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Espresso machines can be pricey! Many affordable ones struggle to brew true espresso or are built with low-quality components.
Can you get good espresso without breaking the bank?
Absolutely! Dive into this guide to discover top-notch espresso machines under $200. I’ll guide you through choosing a budget-friendly espresso maker that truly gives you bang for your buck.
Quick Answer: Best Espresso Machines Under $200
Best espresso machine under $200
|Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, Programmable Coffee Maker with Automatic Milk Frother and 15-Bar Pump, Stainless Steel
Best cheap espresso machine
|De'Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine, Latte & Cappuccino Maker, 15 Bar Pump Pressure + Milk Frother Steam Wand, Black / Stainless, EC260BK, 13.5 x 8.07 x 11.22 inches
Best pod espresso machine under $200
|Nespresso BEC430TTN Pixie Espresso Machine, 24 ounces by Breville, Titan
Best manual espresso machine under $200
|Flair Espresso Maker - Classic: All manual lever espresso maker for the home - portable and non-electric
Best portable espresso maker under $200
|WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker Bundled with Protective Case, Upgrade Version of Minipresso, Mini Travel Coffee Machine, Perfect for Camping, Travel and Office（ Black）
Do Cheap Espresso Machines Make Good Espresso?
Many budget espresso machines fall short of expectations. Only a handful can reach the high pressures needed for authentic espresso. Those that do often miss out on lasting quality or the cool features found in superior machines.
If you can afford it, check out the top espresso machines under $1000. But let’s be real, not everyone has that kind of cash.
Picking the right machine means even with less than $200, you can enjoy a delicious espresso. For those who love espresso but are watching their budget, these affordable machines are your perfect match.
Espresso Machine Buying Guide
Discover key specs and features to spot in an affordable espresso machine, perfect for coffee newbies.
Brew pressure and temperature
Espresso is brewed by quickly blasting pressurized water through finely-ground coffee.
To make great espresso, you need at least 9 bars of pressure. But, the best baristas go for machines with 15 bars to get an even better espresso shot. Keep it strong!
For a great cup of coffee, hot water is key, especially for espresso. It must be brewed at least at 194°F. If it’s cooler, your coffee might taste weak, sour, or too acidic. So, keep it hot for the perfect espresso!
When choosing an espresso machine, steer clear of steam espresso machines. They’re not the same as machines with steam wands. Why? Because they only reach 2-3 bars of pressure. So, instead of true espresso, you’ll end up with just a stronger coffee.
Semi-automatic vs automatic vs manual espresso machines
Many espresso machines you’ll find are semi-automatic. This means you get to play a part in making your coffee. You’ll fill a portafilter (that’s the long handle with a basket for the coffee grounds), pack the grounds tightly, hook it onto the machine, and start the brewing. They’re pretty user-friendly, though perfecting your brew might take some practice.
Think of automatic or super-automatic espresso machines as your personal coffee shop. Just fill them up with beans and water, and they take care of everything else. They grind the beans, measure the right amount, and with just a press of a button, you can enjoy espressos, Americanos, lattes, cappuccinos, and more, right at home.
Lever espresso makers are rare gems in the coffee world. They’re similar to semi-automatic machines in setup, but brewing with them is a hands-on adventure. To make your espresso, you physically pull down a lever to start the extraction process. How fast or slow you pull this lever determines the brewing time. Mastering this technique requires patience and practice, making each cup a rewarding achievement for coffee enthusiasts.
If you’re starting your barista journey at home, aim for a semi-automatic espresso machine. While automatic ones are easier to use, they’re pricier and not covered here.
What about pod espresso machines?
Pod espresso machines are a hit! They use neat capsules instead of messy coffee grounds, making your espresso-making journey easier and cleaner. Perfect for beginners!
Capsule espresso machines, like Nespresso, offer ease similar to automatic ones and come in various models within an affordable price range.
Wondering if Nespresso is worth it? Each pod costs about $0.70, and they can create extra waste. However, you can tackle these issues by using reusable Nespresso pods. They’re a greener choice and still easier to use than traditional espresso machines.
Ease of use and cleaning
Automatic coffee machines are becoming simpler to use, yet they still differ a lot. For example, some semi-automatic ones work with just one dial, while others come with multiple settings. If you love tweaking your coffee to perfection, those extra settings are great. But, if you’re all about quickly making a good espresso, a machine with too many options might feel overwhelming.
Keeping your espresso machine sparkling is key. Think of descaling it like a monthly spa day—it’s essential. Although it’s not a tough job, be aware that some machines need special descaling solutions which might cost a bit. And remember, a daily tidy-up is crucial, especially for those machines that might leak or get messy if you’re not careful.
Size and portability
Many affordable espresso machines are compact, perfect for small kitchens. However, going small sometimes means missing out on cool features. So, it’s a trade-off between size and functionality.
Tiny coffee machines pack a punch with their durability and handy handles, perfect for moving around. But, if you’re after the ultimate in on-the-go brewing, consider swapping espresso for a nifty AeroPress or a portable travel French press.
A top-notch espresso machine can keep brewing your favorite shots for 3–5 years. But beware! The cheapest ones might use low-quality parts that break in under a year. To dodge this issue, choose brands known for their quality and solid warranties.
Choosing a cheaper, unknown coffee brand might save money now, but it could cost you more over time.
To whip up delicious lattes, cappuccinos, and fancy espresso drinks at home, you’ll need a steam wand or a milk frother. While you can purchase one on its own, opting for an espresso machine that comes with a built-in steam wand is a smart move. For anyone diving into semi-automatic machines, consider this a key feature you shouldn’t skip.
Best Espresso Machines Under $200
Best espresso machine under $200: Mr. Coffee espresso and cappuccino maker
Mr. Coffee’s 3-in-1 coffee maker is a game-changer for its price. With 15 bars of pressure, it brews espresso shots that outshine many rivals. It’s an incredible deal for coffee lovers.
Just when I thought espresso perfection was enough, they upped the game. Now, with an automatic milk frother, crafting lattes, cappuccinos, or even double shots with just one touch is a breeze. Who knew making your favorite coffee drinks could be this easy?
The Mr. Coffee machine is super easy to use and incredibly versatile. Cleaning it is a snap, thanks to its detachable water tank and milk jug. Perfect for coffee lovers!
This set comes with filters for both single and double-shot espressos, plus a scoop that also works as a tamper. Just add some espresso beans and milk, and you’re all set for your first cappuccino!
Best cheap espresso machine: De’Longhi Stilosa espresso machine
De’Longhi stands out as a beloved espresso brand. Their products, including this budget-friendly espresso machine, showcase their commitment to quality. It’s a great pick for anyone starting their coffee journey.
The stainless steel boiler in this budget-friendly machine is a standout feature. It’s tough-built for reliable, consistent coffee brewing for years to come.
The Stilosa makes your espresso just right with 15 bars of pressure. It comes with a handy steam wand, so you can whip up lattes or flat whites easily. Plus, with two filters for the portafilter, you can choose to make either a single or double espresso.
The steam wand on this machine could be stronger. It works, but I hoped for better from DeLonghi.
Best pod espresso machine under $200: Nespresso Pixie capsule espresso machine
Meet the Pixie, Nespresso’s tiny, budget-friendly gem. Part of the Original Line, it’s all about espresso, not regular coffee. Yet, it packs a punch with an impressive 19 bars of pressure!
Like all Nespresso machines, this one is built with top-notch parts and brews yummy espresso that can hold its own against other machines in its price bracket. However, a downside is the crema – the frothy layer on top of the espresso. It’s unfortunately quite thin compared to what you’d get from other Original Nespresso models.
The Pixie’s sleek design and light 6.6-pound build make it super easy to carry around.
Did you spot the two types of this coffee machine on Amazon? Choosing between the DeLonghi vs Breville Nespresso Pixie might seem tricky, but don’t sweat it. Both models brew your coffee with the same high quality and their designs barely differ. Right now, the Breville is the more wallet-friendly choice, so I recommend going for that one.
Make sure to grab some of my top Nespresso pod picks for your new, user-friendly Pixie! It’s compatible with third-party capsules too, giving you a wide variety of choices, many at a fraction of the cost of official Nespresso pods.
Best manual espresso machine under $200: Flair manual lever espresso maker
I usually suggest skipping manual espresso machines. Why? With so many great semi-automatics available, lever machines seem more like a fun trick than a real tool.
Do you dream of making amazing coffee yourself, or perhaps you’re drawn to the sleek look of manual machines? If you’re on a budget but still want top-notch espresso, Flair is the way to go.
While this machine might not be the simplest to use, cleaning it is a breeze. Just detach the brew head, rinse it under cool water, and that’s it! Out of all the machines we’ve looked at, the Flair is by far the easiest to keep in tip-top shape.
Manual espresso machines, like the ones from Flair, are designed to endure. Impressively, Flair provides a 5-year warranty on the brew head and stand – the core parts of the machine. This means you can enjoy your espresso-making journey without worry.
The Flair espresso maker has its challenges, especially for new users. Its main drawback? It only reaches 10 bars of pressure. While that’s okay for a good espresso, it doesn’t match up to machines that hit 15 bars.
Best portable espresso maker under $200: Wacaco Nanopresso portable espresso maker
Camping with espresso used to be tough. Electric machines need power, and hand-operated ones struggle without a steady surface.
Then, along came the Wacaco Nanopresso.
The Nanopresso is a game-changer for espresso lovers! It’s super compact, almost the size of a portafilter, and lets you make a great espresso anywhere by just squeezing a tube. No need for plugs or batteries, and it even includes a convenient carrying case.
Using the Nanopresso can be tough, especially if you have arthritis. But, if you love traveling and espresso, finding a better option might be a challenge.
The Nanopresso requires you to bring or heat your water, as it doesn’t do that for you. But, cleaning it is super simple – a big win for campers without easy access to a sink!
Mr. Coffee automatic dual-shot espresso/cappuccino system
Mr. Coffee’s affordable espresso maker rivals the DeLonghi Stilosa in quality and price.
This coffee maker comes with a detachable water tank and shares many perks with Mr. Coffee’s pricier version. However, it sports a steam wand instead of an automatic frother, which is why it doesn’t claim the top spot on our list.
Nespresso VertuoPlus capsule espresso machine
For coffee and espresso lovers seeking a versatile machine, the Nespresso VertuoLine is a top pick. Among its family, the VertuoPlus shines brightest, offering the best experience for most espresso aficionados.
Choosing between the Nespresso Vertuo and VertuoPlus? The VertuoPlus shines with its flexible water tank and the larger capacity of its Deluxe version, even though the Vertuo is a bit tougher. And when it’s the Vertuo Next vs VertuoPlus, the VertuoPlus wins again with its bigger, adjustable tank—unless you’re after the Next’s unique carafe-size pods.
Capresso 124.01 Ultima Pro espresso machine
The Capresso Ultima Pro impresses with its perfect 15 bars of pressure for rich coffee. It comes with a steam wand for fancy drinks and options for single or double shots. However, it’s a bit tricky to clean without a removable drip tray, making it slightly messier compared to other models.
Hamilton Beach 15-bar espresso machine
Hamilton Beach brings a stylish coffee maker to the table, with a cool design but a slightly complex control panel. It boasts 15 bars of pressure, a handy swiveling steam wand, and comes with all the essential accessories. However, the espresso quality isn’t top-notch, which kept it from climbing higher in our rankings.
Gevi espresso machine with milk frother
I’m a huge fan of the Gevi’s sleek stainless-steel look, and its swivel steam wand is perfect for whipping up lattes. It heats up quickly and delivers a powerful 15 bars of pressure. Plus, the detachable water tank simplifies cleaning.
Klarstein Passionata Rossa 20 espresso machine
Discover the charm of this compact espresso machine, perfect for beginners! It features an easy-to-remove water tank and a user-friendly control panel. With 20 bars of pressure and a flexible steam nozzle, crafting delicious espresso drinks is a breeze.
The main issue with this coffee machine is its portafilter. It’s partly made of plastic and doesn’t feel very sturdy. But don’t worry, replacing portafilters is simple if it’s not to your liking.
Krups XP3208 15-bar pump espresso maker
Krups’ affordable espresso machine packs all essentials, from a 15-bar pump to a swivel steam nozzle, for perfect espresso or latte.
Discover the magic of a 50-ounce detachable water tank and a handy cup warmer in your coffee machine. Ever tried espresso in a pre-warmed cup? It’s a game-changer you shouldn’t miss!
De’Longhi ECP3120 15-bar espresso machine
DeLonghi offers more than one affordable espresso machine, each unique in features and style, but all crafted with exceptional quality standards.
The ECP3120 comes with not just the typical single and double-shot filters, but also a handy holder for espresso pods. Perfect for those who love a classic espresso machine but also appreciate the convenience on slower mornings.
DeLonghi EC155 15-bar espresso and cappuccino machine
The EC155 espresso machine is close to my heart. It was the first one I used in my office job, sparking my passion for espresso. What’s great about it? It’s not just powerful, but also super user-friendly, perfect for espresso lovers!
The built-in frother and tamper mean you’re all set to whip up a delicious espresso or cappuccino. Plus, for those times you need a quick espresso without the fuss, the portafilter works with both ground coffee and convenient espresso pods.
Yabano 15-bar espresso machine with milk frother wand
Discover the Yabano espresso machine! With its powerful 15-bar pump, it’s perfect for brewing amazing espresso. Plus, its slim and sleek design stands out among affordable options.
The built-in pressure gauge helps you make perfect espresso every time. Its stainless steel design and easy-to-remove water tank and drip tray make cleaning a breeze. Plus, the steam wand and cup warmer add a touch of quality to this espresso machine.
I didn’t rank it number one because of the brand. Yabano looks promising, but I’m waiting to see more proof of their quality and service before giving them the top spot. So far, I haven’t found any downsides, but it’s still early days.
Good news for coffee lovers on a budget: You can still enjoy top-notch espresso without breaking the bank. Affordable espresso makers might lack some fancy features, but they’re still champions at brewing delicious drinks. From creamy lattes to smooth espressos and convenient coffee capsules, we hope our list helps you find the perfect machine within your budget.
Looking for a great coffee experience without spending a lot on an espresso machine? Check out the best Ninja coffee makers for a rich, concentrated coffee that’s perfect for lattes. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore homemade espresso with a French press or an AeroPress. And for those who prioritize convenience and quality, consider investing in an automatic pour-over coffee maker. These options promise a delightful coffee experience without breaking the bank.