Best espresso machine under $200

Finding a great espresso machine that would barely even cost you can feel like you’ve won a small lottery, right? Because of this, we wanted to give you some information on the best espresso machines under $200. Considering many factors such as coffee quality, durability and compactness, we made a list of the best espresso machines in this price category. Let’s take a look at them.

#1 Cuisinart EM-200 Espresso Maker – Best Choice

Editor’s rating: 4.5 Star Editor's Rating

The Cuisinart EM-200 espresso maker makes some pretty good coffee drinks for an espresso machine under $200 and there are many things that influence that.

First of all, the EM-200 comes with a 15-bar espresso pump, which means that the machine can extract an espresso with nice consistency. Then, the machine also has a big 69-ounce water tank, and frankly, tanks of this size are impressive even when you find them on some high-end espresso machines. Furthermore, the EM-200 gives you the pleasure to make milk-based drinks with the help of its steam nozzle, which, to be fair, does create a tasty foam with decent thickness when you think about the price of this espresso maker. Finally, you can also program the drinks’ cup sizes and customize them to your taste.

The design of the EM-200 features a removable drip tray and a cup warmer. The removable drip tray will cut down on the cleaning time of the machine. On the other hand, the machine having a cup warmer will help your espresso taste better. Also, the preparation of the coffee drinks is much easier when you have an espresso machine that comes with a stainless frothing cup, a measuring spoon, and a tamper.

Key features:

  • 15-bar pressure pump
  • Single or double espresso shots
  • Steam nozzle
  • 69 ounces water tank
  • Removable drip tray
  • Cup warmer
  • Tamper
  • Measuring spoon

Pros

Programmable cup sizes (1.5 and 3.0 ounces)

Works with ground coffee and espresso pods

Comes with a stainless frothing cup

Large water tank

Easy-to-use

Cons

Nothing at this price

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#2 De’Longhi ECP3120 Espresso Machine – Best Value

Editor’s rating: 4 Star Editor's Rating

The compact De’Longhi ECP3120 espresso machine doesn’t cost much, but it sure performs well. With a 15-bar pressure pump and a manual milk frother, you can expect some well-extracted espresso with a nice, well-frothed foam floating on top of it. Furthermore, the bottom tray of the ECP3120 is easily removable, and this will help you place some taller cups and glasses underneath the machine.

You can use the ECP3120 to brew one and even two espresso shots at a time. What’s great about this machine is that you won’t have to wait for it to heat up after it’s made a cup of espresso. This is because the machine relies on the Advanced Cappuccino System which enables you to make cup after cup of espresso and keep both yourself and your friends happy

Key features:

  • 15-bar pressure pump
  • Single or double serve
  • Manual milk frother
  • Removable bottom tray

Pros

Advanced Cappuccino System that makes sure you can brew cup after cup

Accommodates cups in different sizes

Compatible with both ground coffee and espresso pods

Compact

Cons

Its warming plate can become too hot

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#3 Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker – Premium Pick

Editor’s rating: 4.5 Star Editor's Rating

The Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma costs a little bit under $200 and we think that it is the best espresso machine in this price category. The machine has all the features necessary to be called a ‘premium pick’: a 15-bar pressure pump, a milk frother, a removable drip tray, and a cup-warming plate. That said, you can be sure that the ESP8XL will make you coffee drinks with great aroma and flavor, and have them be extracted in shorter or taller cups.

More than that, the Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma is the machine that makes one of the best cremas from the rest of the machines on this list, which is possible thanks to the double-wall filter system of the machine. Furthermore, making coffee drinks on the Cafe Roma is close to a complete effortlessness since the machine has a simple control panel and comes with a frothing pitcher.

Breville went big on the machine’s reservoir making it with a capacity of 40.6 ounces, so constant refilling of the tank is nothing but a myth in this case. However, the company went small on the footprint of the ESP8XL, which means that you’ll have the advantage of brewing like a pro with a very compact machine.

Key features:

  • 15-bar pressure pump
  • Double and single espresso shots
  • Dual-wall filter system
  • Milk frother
  • Cup-warming plate
  • Removable drip tray
  • Removable grid
  • 40.6-ounce water reservoir

Pros

Great crema

Great coffee drinks

Comes with a stainless steel frothing pitcher

Easy to use

Very compact

Cons

A bit noisy

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#4 De’Longhi BAR32 Retro Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

Editor’s rating: 4 Star Editor's Rating

Easy-to-clean and compact, the De’Longhi BAR32 Retro is an espresso maker that will make the preparing of coffee drinks as easy as turning a single dial. The BAR32 Retro literally comes with just one dial with which you can operate the machine, and there are intuitive icons of the machine’s functions above the dial which will guide you through the process of making coffee. The machine works with both ground coffee and coffee pods, so it does offer some freedom of choice when it comes to how you want to make your coffee.

The BAR32 Retro will not fail you because it has a 15-bar pressure pump and a swivel jet milk frother, so getting a cup of tasty coffee drink from the machine will be an inevitable consequence. This means that you’ll be able to make tasty espresso, latte, cappuccino, and more in a very simple way. The machine can, furthermore, make two cups of coffee at a time, and it has two thermostats that optimize the temperature of the brewing water and the steam.

Key features:

  • 15-bar pressure pump
  • One or two shots of espresso at a time
  • Dual function filter holder
  • Swivel jet milk frother
  • Two thermostats
  • Stainless steel boiler
  • 35 ounce water reservoir
  • Removable drip tray

Pros

Self-priming operation

Designed to work with ground coffee and coffee pods

Compact

Easy to clean

Cons

A bit of a small water tank

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#5 Hamilton Beach Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino Machine

Editor’s rating: 4 Star Editor's Rating

Nice crema and milk foam are sometimes not a matter of the espresso machine being too expensive, but of it being made well. In the case of the Hamilton Beach, the 15-bar Italian pressure pump will make sure that you get an espresso with a good ratio between the water and the coffee in it. Furthermore, the swiveling steam wand of the machine will froth the milk at the right temperature and help you get a nice foam which will make all those lattes and cappuccinos very tasty.

Another thing that optimizes the quality of the coffee drinks made by the Hamilton Beach is this machine’s cup warmer. The cup warmer makes sure that you can heat up your coffee cups before the drink gets poured into them, which is something that helps the coffee maintain its high temperature. When it comes to usage and cleaning, the control dial on the Hamilton Beach makes the machine very simple to use, while the removable water tank and drip tray make it very easy to clean. Furthermore, the patented Slide and Lock portafilter sure makes inserting the portafilter easier into the machine, so you won’t be struggling with that.

Key features:

  • 15-bar Italian pressure pump
  • Swiveling steam wand
  • Slide and Lock portafilter
  • Removable 42-ounce water reservoir
  • Control dial
  • Cup warmer

Pros

Crema with a decent thickness

Easily accessible parts

Single dial makes using the machine easier

Cleaning the machine is easy with the removable water tank and drip tray

Cons

A lot of plastic parts

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#6 KRUPS XP3208 Espresso and Cappuccino Coffee Maker

Editor’s rating: 4 Star Editor's Rating

Another nice machine on our list of best espresso machines under $200 is the Krups XP3208 espresso and cappuccino coffee maker. To get the best of this machine, you need to add water to its 50.7-ounce water tank, put ground coffee into its portafilter, and turn the machine on. You should then ‘tell’ the machine what to do with the help of its easy-to-use dial, and you’ll have one or two cups of espresso in no time.

The XP3208 relies on a 15-bar pressure pump to make espresso with good consistency, and it also has a steam nozzle for the people who like to prepare themselves a nice cappuccino or latte. The machine, furthermore, has a cup warmer so that your coffee never loses on temperature. Finally, the XP3208 also comes with a tamper and a measuring spoon so that you don’t have to spend extra money on buying these two tools.

Key features:

  • 15-bar espresso pump
  • Single and double espresso shots
  • Steam nozzle
  • 50.7 ounce water reservoir
  • Cup warmer
  • Aluminum boiler

Pros

Easy-to-use control dial

Heats up fast

Nice, stylish design (black with silver accents)

Tamper and measuring spoon included

Cons

There are not many control options for the steam

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#7 De’Longhi EC702 Espresso Maker

Editor’s rating: 4.5 Star Editor's Rating

So far, all the machines on our list of the best espresso machines under $200 have a 15-bar pressure pump and so does the De’Longhi EC702 espresso maker. The pump helps the machine extract nice espresso in one or two cups, depending on your choice. Furthermore, the EC702 comes with a milk frother so that you can turn the cup of nice espresso into a cup of nice cappuccino or latte.

The water reservoir of the De’Longhi EC702 is removable and it can hold up to 44 ounces of water. You can easily see how much water there is in the tank, which means that you’ll always be prepared for the next cup of coffee. Once you turn on the machine, it automatically self-primes, which is great for avoiding any start-up preparations. Furthermore, the Rapid Cappuccino System function of the machine will enable you to make cup after cup of espresso without the machine decreasing the temperature of the water. The EC702 makes coffee from ground coffee and coffee pods.

Key features:

  • 15-bar espresso pump
  • Single and double shots of espresso
  • 44 ounce removable water reservoir
  • Milk frother
  • Rapid cappuccino system

Pros

Self-priming operation

Supports ground coffee and coffee pods

Has a water level indicator

Makes cup after cup of espresso at an optimal temperature

Cons

It sometimes makes bitter espresso

A bit loud

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#8 Capresso 116.04 Espresso and Cappuccino Machine EC100

Editor’s rating: 3.5 Star Editor's Rating

The Capresso 116.04 EC100 espresso and cappuccino machine can prepare you one or two espresso shots at a time pretty fast. The machine is great for milk-based coffee drinks such as cappuccino and latte, and it comes with an integrated swivel milk frother so that you can always have the opportunity of making a nice coffee drink. There’s a 46 ounce water reservoir that’s attached to the machine, and you can easily remove it to refill it or clean it.

This espresso machine has a thermoblock heating system and a 15-bar pressure pump. These two features allow it to make good espresso, and its compact dimensions help it to be able to make the coffee drinks wherever it’s put in your house. The 116.04 EC100 works with both ground coffee and espresso pods because of its flexible portafilter, which means that it is up to you to choose the method of preparing your coffee drink.

Key features:

  • 15-bar pressure pump
  • Single and double espresso shots
  • Swivel milk frother
  • Thermoblock heating system
  • Removable 46 ounce water tank

Pros

Makes nice milk foam

Easy to use with a single control dial

Ground coffee and espresso pods can be used

Compact

Cons

Durability issues

Accommodates only smaller coffee cups

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#9 Klarstein Passionata Rossa 20 Espresso Machine

Editor’s rating: 3.5 Star Editor's Rating

As with the previous espresso machines, milk-based coffee drinks are also an option with the Klarstein Passionata Rossa 20. This espresso machine has a steaming nozzle that enables you to froth your milk and make yourself good-quality cappuccinos and lattes. When it comes to the espresso, not only does the machine make nice espresso, but you also get a spoon/tamper tool which will help you easily put the coffee in the portafilter and properly tamp it.

With the Klarstein Passionata Rossa 20, you can make single and double espresso shots with the help of a dial. The dial and the icons that illustrate the different operations of the machine next to it are intuitive, so you won’t have an issue with using the machine. Furthermore, the drip tray of the Klarstein Passionata Rossa 20 is removable, and that makes cleaning easier.

Key features:

  • Control dial
  • Steaming nozzle
  • Single or double espresso shots
  • Removable drip tray
  • 41.6 ounce water tank
  • Comes with a spoon/tamper tool

Pros

Easy to use

Easy to clean

Nice design

Cons

Many plastic parts

The espresso can sometimes be just warm

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#10 Barsetto Espresso Machine

Editor’s rating: 3.5 Star Editor's Rating

The Barsetto espresso machine is the last machine on this list of the best espresso machines under $200. However, this is still a good machine for its price, and it even comes with a 15-bar pressure pump to make you good espresso. This machine, furthermore, has a 52.5 ounce water reservoir that is removable so that you can refill the water easily and clean the tank when the time comes.

You can use the push buttons on the control panel of this espresso machine to get your espresso, and you can prepare milk-based drinks with the steam dial wand that is integrated to the Barsetto. Something nice about this machine is that it lets you control the temperature of the steam, which means that you’ll be able to have control over the consistency of your foam as well. Therefore, with this machine you can really find your way to some nice espresso.

Key features:

  • 15-bar pressure pump
  • 52.5 ounce removable water reservoir
  • Steam wand
  • Control panel with push buttons
  • Steam dial

Pros

Nice pressure pump optimizes espresso extraction

Big water tank

Adjustable steam temperature

Cons

Durability problems

A bit of a slow extraction

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FAQ

Which coffee grind size is the best to use on an espresso machine?

We recommend you use finely ground coffee on your espresso machine. The coffee should not be too powdery, however. For reference, grind your coffee the size kitchen salt is usually grinded. This is because you don’t want your coffee to be too finely ground nor too coarse. If your coffee is too finely ground, the water won’t be able to flow through it. On the other hand, if you put coffee that is too coarse in the portafilter, you will get an espresso that is not of good quality.

Do I need to have a filter in the tank of my espresso machine?

Filtered water is better for any coffee, not just espresso. This is because filtered water doesn’t contain some minerals and other substances that make the water hard and give a funny taste to the coffee drink. Furthermore, filtered water is also better for the brewing system of your machine since it minimizes the need for descaling the system. However, if your espresso machine doesn’t come with a filter, we recommend you use distilled water.

How does a well-made espresso look like?

Well-made espresso is dark-colored and it has thick crema on the top. The crema is, actually, the indicator of how well the espresso is made. If it’s watery, your espresso is not of good quality.

Things to consider when buying an espresso machine

Features – Before you buy your machine, think about what features you want it to have. Think about whether you want a milk frother so that you can make yourself milk-based drinks, or whether you want a machine without a frother because you only like drinking espresso. Furthermore, look for machines with good pressure pumps (15 bars or more), portafilters that are easy to use, and machines with accessible drip trays and water tanks.

Is the machine easy to use – Always look for a machine that is not too complicated to use because the point of an espresso machine is to let it simplify the preparation of your coffee. Otherwise, you’ll end up being frustrated and you won’t be able to enjoy in your tasty espresso because you won’t be able to prepare it the right way.

Durability – Look for machines that are durable and made of as little plastic parts as possible. Even though plastic is not always that bad, it is one of the less-durable materials used in espresso machines. Often, durability has a lot to do with the price of the machine. However, aim to buy a machine that has internal parts made of stainless steel or aluminum, a drip tray that is made of stainless steel, and a machine that has stainless steel integrated in the front side of its housing.

Compactness – Check the market for an espresso machine that can fit on your kitchen counter. Otherwise, your machine will be that one kitchen object that will disturb you while you’re cooking, or worse—you’ll just end up returning it because you won’t have where to place it.

Conclusion

We think that the Cuisinart EM-200 is the best espresso machine under $200. This machine has an abundance of interesting features that most people who like to prepare a tasty espresso in an easy way find useful. However, each of the espresso machines that we talked about have their own advantages, and ultimately, the decision on which one to buy is up to you.

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