Getting a good espresso machine on a budget is a tough job. Sure you could buy an espresso maker for cheap, and then deal with the swill it calls “espresso”. There might be some tradeoffs, but you can find the best espresso machine under $200 that makes a decent, if not a good shot. If we can find options for the best espresso machine under $100, we certainly can do much better with twice the budget!
Finding The Gem That Is The Best Espresso Machine Under $200
The Quality Factor
It is recommended that an espresso be made with at least 9 bars of pressure. Handling and maintaining that pressure, plus keeping water at the right brewing temperature is a tough job. And that’s what makes a good espresso maker expensive. This can also make the espresso machine finicky, and protecting against random stalls and errors adds another dimension to pricing.
Thankfully, like many other formerly expensive things, the price of espresso machines is on its way down. That’s what makes it entirely plausible to buy a good quality espresso maker by spending less than 200 bucks. While some concerns about the espresso quality are present, overall, you can be fairly confident in the quality of the espresso maker you purchase.
Setting Grounds For The Coffee Grounds
Forgive the pun, but grinding the coffee makes a big difference to quality. It is good practice for both flavor and taste that you use freshly ground coffee beans. An espresso requires finely ground coffee.
In case you don’t already own a coffee grinder, it would be better to skip buying a grinder and purchase pre-ground coffee instead. Cheap grinders simply cannot give the fine grains that a good shot of espresso demands.
What Type of Guy Are You ?
This is also a good time to consider your choice of espresso machine and coffee. Espresso machines are available in the range of automatic, semi-automatic, and manual. There’s also the question of the functions you would like your machine to perform. Do you just want an espresso, or would you also like your machine to be capable of cooking up cappuccinos and lattes?
Coming back full circle to coffee, you should also consider if you want your machine to run on pods/capsules or if just regular coffee is okay.
I see you have a lot of decisions to make! Not to worry though, helping you navigate those questions is exactly why we have a description of best available coffee machines for your budget.
Best Home Espresso Machines Under $200 — Our Top Picks
Klarstein Passionata Rossa 15 Espresso Machine • 15 Bar • Capuccino • Milk Foam • 1350W • Stylish Design for Modern Kitchens • Steam Nozzle for Frothing Milk and Preparing Hot Drinks • Dark Red
1. DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker
DeLonghi EC702 is pretty much a standard espresso machine. And that’s a good thing because it does all those nice things a standard espresso machine is expected to deliver. EC702 pushes itself to stay at the 15 bar pressure, which is comfortably above the minimum of 9 bars required to make an espresso.
It heats up fairly quickly and your espresso should be ready within minutes, if not seconds. The steam wand works nicely and adds the freedom of making more beverages. This machine can serve two shots of espresso at the same time, and then get ready to serve more right away. It may have some problems at maintaining the right pressure and temperature at this time, but it manages to hold its own.
DeLonghi EC702 has a reservoir capable of holding 40 oz of water, so there’s plenty to go before you have to work on refilling this espresso machine. The cup warmer on the top of the machine is a nice touch, and certainly something we coffee lovers can appreciate. The EC702 is compatible with ground coffee as well as pods. It is a tried and tested workhorse that is fairly popular.
|DeLonghi does a good job maintaining the right pressure||The machine can sometimes suffer trying to maintain the right temperature for extraction|
|Easy to operate and compatible with pods as well as regular coffee||There is a chance it will get noisy as the water amount in the reservoir drops|
|Great value for money|
2. Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville
Nespresso has forged ahead, creating quite a name for itself in single-shot espresso machines. Vertuo conjures up a single serving of espresso at the touch of a button. It’s that simple! Designed specially to serve up espressos, the Vertuo heats up and gets ready for action in just about 15 seconds. That’s practically the same as having your espresso ready in a flash.
The Vertuo works with Nespresso pods, giving you an extra choice of flavors and tastes to enjoy. It maintains a fairly consistent temperature and pressure to deliver an aromatic and tasteful shot of espresso.
You can certainly consider the Nespresso Vertuo as your espresso maker of choice. However, do keep in mind that it works almost exclusively with Nespresso Pods, and the cost of pods can pile up pretty quickly. So it may not be the most budget-friendly option, even though it is not crazy expensive.
Though it is a single-serve machine, the Vertuo lets you brew five different coffee cup sizes for your preference. These go from espresso (1.35oz), double espresso (2.7oz), gran lungo (5oz), coffee (7.7oz), and alto (14oz). The reservoir holds 40oz of water.
Just in case you are hankering for something cold, you can use the Vertuo espresso maker to make iced coffee. Simply follow the same steps you would for making iced coffee with Keurig.
|Maintains excellent temperature and pressure for a great cup of espresso||Works only with Nespresso pods, reducing consumer options|
|Very fast, delivers espresso in about 15 seconds||Can get noisy|
|Pods offer a range of flavors and are automatically brewed to their specific requirements|
3. ROK EspressoGC
I think a manual espresso maker deserves a spot on our list, and the ROK EspressoGC is a good representation of high-quality manual espresso makers. EspressoGC has had some ridicule come its way due to the unorthodox shape that resembles a nutcracker, bell, or whatever someone’s imagination desires.
While there have been jokes on its shape, the general consensus is that the ROK EspressoGC is a pretty decent espresso maker. That’s practically high praise when a manual espresso maker gets to stand its own in a segment full of high-powered fully automatic espresso makers.
The ROK leverages its shape to get the 9 bars of pressure required to get a good espresso going. It is a pretty simplistic construction that leaves no room for error. It will require some additional manual exercise on your part as you help this machine flap its wings.
However, it will reward those efforts with a delicious espresso. So I guess overall that’s a good deal!
|Generates a fair amount of pressure required to make a good espresso||Has to be manually operated with some effort, so may not be suitable for everyone|
|Insulation keeps the water placed in the machine at the ideal temperature||Water may go lower than its desired temperature when being transferred to the ROK|
|Excellent construction that should last several years|
4. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
A full featured and automatic espresso machine, Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is an excellent budget choice. I’d go so far as to say this is a pretty exciting machine if you’re interested in cappuccinos and lattes as well. Heck, you could brew some very interesting coffee types with this machine.
It is right on the upper limit of our budget, but it’s tough to give up all those interesting features. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista has a 15 bar pump that helps it stay in prime shape to brew espresso just right. The Cafe Barista is also a semi-automatic 3-in-1 machine that will also brew cappuccino and latte for you. All you have to do is press the button expressing your choice of beverage, and the machine will handle it for you.
It is easy to use and maintain, but some care must be exercised. You know, simple stuff like cleaning the frothing tube after every use. The automatic milk frother is a useful feature, especially for those who are learning their way around an espresso machine.
Feature-rich as it is, the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is also a tried and tested workhorse. The machine has almost 3000 reviews on Amazon, with about 60% rating it at five stars. Now those are very encouraging numbers for a budget espresso machine.
|Feature-rich machine that makes good espresso||Has some trouble fully extracting coffee powder for espresso|
|Easy to use and convenient customization of drinks||Quite noisy while in use|
|Great value for money||Water and milk reservoirs need to be placed precisely to avoid spillage|
5. Capresso 116.04 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine EC100
Capresso is pretty much a champ when it comes to cooking up affordable espresso machines. The Capresso 116.04 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine EC100 is exactly one of those machines. Priced low, this machine pretty much places itself in the value for money category. There is no long list of features, there’s just a well-priced and somewhat convenient way to make a decent espresso.
Unlike most other machines on this list, the Capresso EC100 does not rely on a pump system to keep its pressure going. It does, however promise 15 bars of pressure. It has a 46oz water container and a dual frother for steaming and frothing.
The machine works well with conventional ground coffee as well as coffee pods. While the storage tank is sizeable, it is always better to fill it up whenever possible, since the temperature in this espresso maker can rise during use, causing the coffee to have a burnt taste. Overall, it’s a decent and compact coffee maker, with a focus on delivering value for money.
|Great value for money||Limited functions|
|Simple and easy to operate||Can have trouble maintaining pressure|
|Versatile machine works with coffee grounds as well as pods|
6. Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
Practically an entry-level model for Breville, the Cafe Roma tries to bring Breville’s high-end premium espresso machine features to a modest price range. A 15 bar thermoblock pump keeps the pressure at the right level for a great espresso, while the heaters work to keep the water at the right temperature for extraction.
The espresso maker is fairly compact in size and includes a frother, cup-warming plate, and removable drip tray. It includes a 40.6 oz removable water tank and can present several back-to-back shots of espresso.
Impressive as the Breville ESP8XL espresso maker is, it too suffers from the problems common to budget espresso machines. It will make a decent shot of espresso, but it won’t be anywhere close to the perfect shot you expect from higher-end Breville machines. You could see it as a fair trade for the price, and that’s exactly what it is.
|Excellent construction with high-quality materials||Several consumers complain about low life-expectancy of the machine|
|Easy to clean and maintain||Has some trouble maintaining the right pressure for coffee extraction|
|Holds pressure at the right level for espresso extraction|
7. Klarstein Passionata Rossa 15 Espresso Machine
Klarstein Passionata Rossa 15 puts a premium on its looks. The machine is fairly well designed to be attractive. Features are fairly standard to what we’ve come to expect in this category. Passionata Rossa espresso machine offers 15 bars, puts up 1350 watts of power, and has a frother.
Of course, it also suffers from the same problems, namely trouble in keeping the water temperature constant and sticking to the correct pressure. It does, however, make a decent cup of espresso. With its interesting design and value for money features, we certainly can consider the Klarstein Passionata Rossa 15 Espresso Machine a fair contender.
|Excellent value for money||It can take a few cycles before the plastic smell goes away|
|Maintains enough pressure for a decent espresso||Can have trouble maintaining pressure for back to back shots|
|Fast and powerful compared to other machines at similar price point|
8. Mr. Coffee Easy Espresso Maker
Mr. Coffee Easy Espresso Maker is all about providing value for money. The conventional feature-rich approach of Mr. Coffee devices is abandoned in favor of greater cost efficiency and even simpler operation.
It is practically a no-frills machine, with the simple goal of churning up an espresso. It is quite similar to the Capresso espresso maker we saw earlier. Mr. Coffee Easy Espresso Maker has a 30oz reservoir, and a 15 bar Italian pump system to make espressos just right.
And of course, it suffers from the same problems as the Capresso. As long as you don’t bring the water reservoir even close to being empty, your espresso maker should not be much of a problem.
|Excellent value for money||Has trouble keeping the right temperature and pressure for extraction|
|Generates enough pressure for a good espresso shot||It is better to keep the water reservoir full, rather than allowing it to empty|
Best Espresso Machines Under $200 — Conclusion
As you see, there is a variety of machines staking their claim to be the best home espresso machine under $200. Keep your preferences in mind, and you will find a useful machine on this list. My personal favorites would be the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista for the range of features it offers, and the Nespresso Vertuo, for its convenient operation and espresso-focused functions. All these machines do have their drawbacks, but they make the best cup of espresso you can find south of the $200 mark.