Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
Last updated: July 24, 2021
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Making your espresso from the comfort of your own home is a trend that has increased in popularity in recent years. The strong shot of coffee that is provided by an espresso has long been only accessible in coffee shops or expensive coffee machines. However, the growth in demand for espresso has seen a vast increase in the market for cheaper espresso machines under the $200 mark. While these machines may lack some of the premium design features of expensive coffee machines, it is possible to have a quality espresso machine for under $200.
But what are the best espresso machines under $200? This article aims to give you some answers to this question to help guide you in the purchasing process. In the buying guide we identify some factors you should consider before purchasing an espresso machine below $200, these include the water tank capacity, warranty information, pressure in bars, coffee type and the size of the machine. You should take your time and do as much research as possible to give you the best chance of purchasing a great value product.
Research for this article has been compiled from manufacturer websites as well as online customer reviews. The article begins with a comparison table of all the reviewed products, followed by six in-depth product reviews which contain product description, pros/cons and key features. The reviews are followed by a buying guide and a brief FAQ section. The conclusion ranks the top three best espresso machines under $200.
The Mr. Coffee Café Barista is known for being one of the best espresso machines under $200 due to its high-performance capability and durability. This machine is semi-automatic and in addition to espresso, can also make cappuccino and latte. The 15-bar pump system used to generate the coffee can produce incredibly rich blends, ensuring a superior taste to your morning espresso.
One of the best features of the Mr. Coffee Café Barista is its overall usability. The automatic milk frother removes any of the guesswork from the process and produces foamy espressos. This, in addition to an easy-to-operate one-touch control panel to select the type of drink you desire, makes the Mr. Coffee Café Barista one of the most user-friendly espresso machines currently available to purchase.
Another advantage when purchasing this coffee and espresso maker is the large water tank volume at 52 oz. This allows users to get a large amount of espresso from one refill of water which adds an extra layer of convenience when operating the machine inside your home. Both the water and milk reservoirs are removable, ensuring easy access to refill when required.
The Mr. Coffee Café Barista also can self-clean. This programmed feature enables easy maintenance of the espresso machine as well as improving the long-term durability of the machine. The machine requires ground coffee to use in the blend, which is ideal s ground coffee is readily available in the majority of supermarkets.
The DeLonghi ECO310BK is one of the best family espresso machines due to its long-lasting durability and capacity to use different forms of coffee. This machine can be central to the morning routine of a small family which is aided by the self-priming operation, allowing you to wake up in the morning to freshly brewed coffee.
In addition to espresso, the DeLonghi ECO310BK also prepares latte and cappuccino which provides a great variety of options. The cappuccinos are renowned for their fantastic taste, making use of DeLongi’s patented “Cappuccino System”. The attention to detail on espresso is also a real bonus. Using a specific thermostat, the espresso is made to fit the perfect drinkable temperature.
One of the best features of the DeLonghi ECO310BK is its ability to use both coffee pods and ground coffee to produce the espresso blend. This opens a world of options when it comes to making espresso, as coffee pods are available in a variety of different flavors, allowing a large degree of experimentation. While if you prefer the robustness of ground coffee, you can continue using your preferred blend.
Similar to other espresso machines, the DeLonghi ECO310BK contains removable milk and water reservoirs and a removable drip tray which makes it very convenient to use. A unique feature of this machine is the passive cup warmer, which ensures your espresso is kept warm if you need to leave it in the machine for a period.
The De’Longhi Nespresso VertuoPlus is known for being one of the best and most reliable capsule espresso machines currently available to purchase. This machine is Nespresso compatible and contains some of the latest Nespresso innovations. Known for the supreme blend quality, the De’Longhi Nespresso VertuoPlus delivers fantastic value as well as environmental-friendliness with its automatic shut-off feature after 9 minutes of no use.
The coffee quality is ensured through the use of Nespresso’s barcode technology which gives some of the best results in terms of strength and crema. The De’Longhi Nespresso VertuoPlus is simply operated by inserting the capsule and pressing either the espresso or single-serve coffee buttons. The removable water tank can hold up to 57.5 oz of water, ensuring a one refill will last approximately one week. This tank size is one of the largest in the espresso machine market.
One of the best features of this style of espresso machine is the quick brew time. The De’Longhi Nespresso VertuoPlus can produce great tasting espresso in only twenty seconds. Another great feature is the different style of coffees that can be made. For espresso, there are two options – single or double – as well as three other coffee options.
Another advantage of purchasing the De’Longhi Nespresso VertuoPlus is that you will have access to a complimentary gift which includes a welcome kit of Virtuo capsules. If you are new to using capsules, this is a great starter kit for you to try some flavors to work out your preferred option.
The Breville Inissia is one of the best espresso machines for a small kitchen space. Renowned for its small, compact size, this espresso machine can easily slot into your kitchen workspace. Featuring a distinctive red exterior design, this single serve coffee maker has a unique visual appeal. The machine uses coffee capsules to generate coffee, which gives you a great variety of tasting options.
One of the best advantages of purchasing the Breville Inissia is the quick brew time. Similar to the majority of other capsule-based coffee machines, the Breville Inissia can brew espresso in only 25 seconds. This is largely due to the 19-bar pressure system that has a high-power capacity to quickly brew coffee.
A great advantage of purchasing the Breville Inissia is the energy efficiency of the machine. The smart energy feature incorporated into the design automatically switches off the machine after 9 minutes of use. This ensures that the Breville Inissia will not be a burden to your energy bills. Also, if you prefer a double espresso or a large coffee, the two programmable buttons give you different size options for espresso and lungo brews.
As the Breville Inissia is part of the wider Nespresso family, purchasing the machine enables access to a complimentary gift which includes a range of 14 different capsules for you to try. If you are new to Nespresso coffee capsules, this gives a good starter option for you to try a variety of different espresso flavors.
The KRUPS XP3208 is one of the best budget options for an espresso machine below $200. This ground coffee machine is best known for its large water tank which will keep you going for a whole week as well as a cup warmer which gives the impression of a professional standard espresso machine located in the convenience of your own home.
The power behind the brewing system is generated by a 15-bar pump system. This system is known for extracting stronger flavors from the ground coffee, ensuring the KRUPS XP3208 brews great tasting coffee without any bitterness. The manual selection options also give you greater control over the final blend result, with some preferring extra space for milk with others preferring a stronger brew.
One of the best features of the KRUPS XP3208 is the addition of a steam nozzle in the product design. The steam nozzle allows the coffees that are blended to be creamy. If you prefer a creamy espresso, the KRUPS XP3208 is certainly a great purchasing option. Included in the purchasing package is a measuring spoon which makes it easier for you to know the precise amount of ground coffee required to produce the perfect blend.
Although this machine is quite chunky, it will easily slot into the majority of kitchen spaces. The slick black design also ensures it can easily blend with existing appliances. The KRUPS XP3208 comes with a one-year limited warranty which gives good consumer protection during the first year of use.
The Capresso Ultima Pro is a ground coffee espresso machine that is known for producing two espresso cups simultaneously. The machine has strong performance consistency with a stainless steel thermoblock powered by a 15-bar pump, ensuring a high-powered performance.
The Capresso Ultima Pro can give a good variety of espresso options with the different programs. No matter whether you prefer a small strong espresso, or a larger weaker brew, the Capresso Ultima Pro will be able to keep to your needs. For those who love a frothy espresso, the high-pressure frother built into the product design gives a guarantee of a frothy coffee.
Similar to other espresso machines under $200, the Capresso Ultima Pro contains a removable water tank which can fill a maximum of 34 oz of water. While this is a decent amount, it does not compare as favorably as rival machines. The housing of the machine follows a primarily black design with stainless steel accentuations. This color scheme blends well with the majority of other appliances in a kitchen space.
The Capresso Ultima Pro has a one-year limited warranty which protects consumers against the majority of potential design flaws. Do make sure you read the agreement before purchasing so that you are aware of what you are protected against. This machine only serves espresso which could be both a positive or a negative. If you prefer a range of coffee options this may be a disadvantage, whereas if you prefer a machine specifically designed towards great-tasting espressos, the Capresso Ultima Pro is a fantastic purchasing option
What are its best features?
Designed specifically for espresso lovers
Dual espresso machine
Produces frothy brews
What could be improved?
Leaks might happen from the back of the machine
Things to Consider
The buying guide below contains all the essentials you need to know to help you purchase the best value espresso machine under $200. Take time to absorb all the relevant information.
Espresso machine under 200 dollars – what to expect?
As the market for espresso machines under $200 has grown in recent years, purchasing one of these machines does not mean you will be radically weakening the quality of your espresso. For a price under $200, there are many good quality espresso machines available to purchase.
Where they may suffer is long-term durability.
Due to cheaper construction materials, espresso machines under $200 are more likely to break down faster than premium range machines.
That being said, there is a lot of great value to be had in espresso machines under $200, you must scan the market and do lots of research to give yourself the best chance of finding the best espresso machine under $200.
Know your espresso maker
For a machine with an electronic pump, you just have to set the right temperature on the machine. The machine will electrically pump the espresso for you.
Manual Lever Pump
As the name indicates, you have to manual efforts to get the espresso. You have to pump the espresso by hand and no electricity is involved in the process.
The machine with automatic pump allows you to grind and tamp the beans into the portafilter. It will automatically turn ON and brew the espresso and will turn OFF when the espresso is done.
If a machine has a semi-automatic pump, then you have to grind the beans yourself and tamp them into the filter and then turn the machine ON. You then pump the button ON until the water turns black. This is the point when you have to switch the button OFF.
Super Automatic Pump
Now, this is something relieving and worth your money. The machine finely grinds the beans and tamps the ground coffee into the filter. It also boils the water and pushes it with high pressure your espresso is ready.
In recent coffee capsule espresso machines have grown in popularity. These machines use small capsules which come in a variety of different flavors and can brew an espresso in under 30 seconds, much faster than ground coffee. Capsule machines are known for the speed and for producing frothy blends. If you prefer richer espressos, ground coffee machines are more suitable.
The best espresso machine under $200 can be found by the following features
This section outlines all the features you should consider before purchasing an espresso machine below $200.
Size you need
There are a couple of factors you should consider when deciding on the size of an espresso machine. Firstly, how much space do you have in your kitchen? Secondly, how many people will be wanting espressos in the morning? If you are fine for space and know that a whole family will be wanting espressos, purchasing a larger machine such as the De’Longhi Nespresso VertuoPlus could be a good choice.
For those tight on space and only interested in compact machines, the Breville Inissia may be a more suitable espresso machine.
Boiling and temperature control
Temperature control can be an important consideration if you are primarily concerned with having an espresso machine that has a range of temperature options. The majority of ground coffee and capsule machines are automatically programmed to make the espresso to a drinkable temperature.
None of the reviewed products has manual temperature controls. This may be a feature on other espresso machines but would require further research. Importantly, all reviewed products deliver a drinkable espresso temperature. Purchasing an espresso machine under $200 should guarantee strong performance in terms of brew temperature.
Programs – do you need many?
If you are an espresso purist, you are probably not that fussed about having lots of different programs for you to enjoy. Some of the basic programs that most would like to have would include the size option (single or double espresso) and a milk frothing option. The Capresso Ultima Pro is a great option for those seeking an espresso machine with limited program choices.
For those who prefer to have access to a range of coffee options beyond the espresso, many espresso machines have the capacity to make other coffees such as a cappuccino or latte, such as the DeLonghi ECO310BK.
An espresso machine should be easy to use and maintain. Considering that they are primarily used in the morning before school or work, you don’t want to be faffing around various controls and levers. Thankfully, the majority of espresso machines under $200 are very user-friendly and easy to operate.
Provided the water tank and milk reservoir is filled, most machines can be simply operated with the press of a button. Capsule based machines such as the Breville Inissia will then produce a drinkable espresso in under 30 seconds.
If user-friendliness is very important, you should look for machines that have a one-touch operation and also self-cleaning facilities which make the machine easier to maintain.
Durability and guarantees
All the machines reviewed in this article have a one-year limited warranty agreement which means that customers protected for a pre-agreed limited amount of potential machine issues. These agreements should be adequate for your needs.
As discussed earlier, the long-term durability of espresso machines under $200 is limited due to the cheaper construction materials. Don’t expect the machine to be a life-long purchase.
The reviewed products demonstrate the range of designs available for espresso machines under $200. Whether it be a dual cup design as seen with the Capresso Ultima Pro or a single-serve design seen with the De’Longhi Nespresso VertuoPlus. There a variety of different design options.
A unique design option is seen in machines such as the DeLonghi ECO310BK which use both ground coffee and capsules to produce the coffee. This design gives you a huge range of brewing options.
Is it easy to maintain?
Regular cleaning of espresso machines is essential to help maintain the machine. Most products will have a removable drip tray that should be emptied regularly to remove any excess coffee. There are also special coffee maker cleaners that will help keeping your espresso machine sparkly clean.
Machines such as the Mr. Coffee Café Barista contain self-cleaning options which also helps with the maintenance of the machine. One the whole, espresso machines are easy to maintain.
If you’re looking for a fast brewing espresso machine, you are likely to prefer a capsule-based machine such as the De’Longhi Nespresso VertuoPlus. Capsule machines can brew espressos to the desired temperature within 30 seconds of operation.
If you are less bothered about having a quick brew time, ground coffee machines will still be able to produce espresso in under one minute.
Most Nespresso based espresso machines will come with a complimentary gift of coffee capsules which is a great starter pack for those who have not used a capsule machine before. Other accessories include a measuring spoon for ground coffee machines and reusable filters.
Adding milk frothing?
Those who love a frothy espresso may be more persuaded to purchase an espresso machine that has a milk frother built into the design. The Mr. Coffee Café Barista is an example of a machine with this facility.
Even if the machine does not contain a milk frother, these can be bought separately if required.
Should you have a grinder build in?
None of the machines reviewed contains a grinder. Only machines which use raw coffee beans will need a grinder. These machines are more likely to be found in coffee shops as opposed to the home.
Good espresso with a machine – how to?
If you do not know what goes into making the perfect espresso, this video by ChefSteps is well worth a watch. The video gives specific tips such as the brew ratio and brew time:
Before you buy, here are answers to a few questions you may have about your new Espresso Machine:
There is no fixed answer to this question. It depends on the machine quality and how well you can maintain the machine. Espresso machines under $200 are unlikely to last as long as premium range machines. In most cases, machines should be fully functioning for around 3 years but this is not guaranteed.
The first step is to remove the drip tray as regularly as possible to remove excess coffee. The fluid can be drained in the sink with the tray then rinsed out with soapy water and left to try. The rest of the machine can also be wiped down with a cloth, with removable items such as the water tank and milk reservoir also being rinsed and dried. Some machines will have internal self-cleaning features for the mechanisms.
No. To put it simply, some espresso machines are better made than others and produce better espresso regardless of how regularly the machine is used. A good tip is to scan customer reviews and focus on the taste. If customers do not complain about the taste, then the machine is likely to produce good quality coffee.
Hopefully, this article has given you all the essential information that you need to know to help you purchase the best espresso machine under $200.
Our verdict on the top three machines is:
The Mr. Coffee Café Barista comes first on our rankings because of the self-cleaning capability which allows the machine to be easy it to maintain.
The DeLonghi ECO310BK finishes second in the rankings due to its compatibility with both ground coffee and coffee pods, giving a fantastic array of coffee options.
The De’Longhi Nespresso VertuoPlus finishes third in the rankings due to its environmental-friendliness with an automatic shut-off as well as access to a complimentary set of pods.
It is very important that when looking to purchase the best espresso machine under $200 that you take time to research and consider all the purchasing options. That way, you are more likely to purchase a product that is of great value.