Trying to buy an espresso machine? Then why don’t buy the best espresso machine under $200 with our help?
Half of my everyday routine includes drooling and fantasizing over the landscape view from my apartment: the sky-high mountains shrouded in clouds and hiding under the layers of milky and yet flaky blankets of snow, the river gushing through the vividly lush green meadows and flowing all the way to everywhere.
This view keeps me up at nights and makes me dream for it when I fall asleep. However, there have been days when even such a majestic landscape has not been able to cheer me up or bring that sensation of relaxation that travels all the way down my spine and makes everything beautiful. In all these days, there is one thing common, and that is a single cup of coffee.
A single cup of coffee can make you go places. This single cup of coffee can brighten up your dull days and enhance the ventures of the already bright ones. For me, coffee is the nearest thing to perfection.
None of my mornings are complete without a cup of strong and hot coffee topped with milk froth. And it is not just the mornings but the evenings too when I return all worn off, the very cup of coffee is what that does the magic for me.
But things are never this simple: I mean they would have been if there was only a single type of coffee, but fortunately, there are not.
Coffee has numerous variants which all depend and vary based upon the type of ingredients and methodology followed for their production, and surprisingly, they all taste a bit too different. If you asked me, I would choose espresso over anything.
For the ones who are not aware of what espresso is, need not worry. An espresso is a form of coffee that is brewed by pushing boiling water through the finely ground coffee at high pressures. Espresso is relatively stronger and thicker than its other cousins and siblings.
However, making a coffee might seem very simple and easy, but the procedure itself needs not only your hard work but also your soul. Making a cup of perfect coffee is something that should not be underestimated.
Previously, this task was performed by hand where the coffee makers would blend and whisk for God knows how many times until they were satisfied with the products.
But with the advent of technological advancements, espresso machines have long been introduced. These machines have been quite famous since their invention and have been extensively used in cafes and bars.
Espresso coffee makers used to be quite pricy and had a somewhat complicated setup that would brew you the best cup of coffee you have ever had. Hey! Don’t get all worked up; I said ‘they USED to be.’
Comparison Table for Best Models
With time, espresso coffee makers have become compact, simple, and cheaper. So let’s help you find the best ones you can see for yourself with our list of the top ten espresso coffee makers and their fascinating reviews.
1. Mueller Espresso Machine – The Premium
This is the top product that one can consider taking home with a $200 budget. Mueller provides this machine with a lifetime replacement policy.
And when a brand manufacturer offers one with a LIFETIME replacement policy, it means they have concrete confidence in the quality and the build of their product. It means for the user that such a machine is destined to provide outclass and consistent results for a long time.
Mueller’s espresso machine comes with a 20 bar pump. This high pressure ensures that one gets the taste and style of a professional barista whenever he or she uses this machine.
And unlike the old-fashioned espresso machines where you have to wait for tiring amount of times only for a single shot of espresso, this machine is VERY fast. It only takes 25 seconds to heat all the water in its tank, and then you can make as many cups as you wish for.
It will be an injustice if we call these products to be just simple cups of coffee because this high pressurized coffee gives you the ultimate elusively Italian taste and an exceptional aroma.
Besides being efficient and fast, this coffee maker is also smart. It has a one-touch button that gives you the option of short and long coffee with the same remarkable consistency. This is not all it has; it turns on the saver mode when left idle for ten minutes to cut your power costs as well. It also has the option of customizable volume and changing the backlight too for making the use more comfortable. In simpler words, this is the best espresso machine under $200.
2. Aicook 3.5 Bar Espresso Machine – The Best Seller
The price and the functioning of the espresso machines make it very obvious that they are something beyond a layman’s use.
The excessive knobs and buttons with weird names make it difficult for a commoner to understand the function of espresso machines and is therefore at the mercy of his barista to hit him up with coffee to survive. Aicook is the one that brought innovation in this regard.
The operation of Aicook espresso machine is simple than simpler. There are no complicated setups or buttons but only a single knob that does all of the work. In a single sitting, this machine is capable of brewing 1 to 4 cups of coffee.
The water container is 8.12 oz. and has markings on it that indicates how much water is needed and should be used for the said number of cups.
The operational pressure of this machine is 3.5 bars, which is lesser than the conventional ones but is sure not a compromise on taste and aroma. The built-in steam wand is itself nothing short of a magician. It provides the machine with the needed versatility and allows the user to get a perfectly textured cup of latte or milk-based coffee.
3. Sowtech 3.5 Bar Espresso Coffee Maker – Masterclass
I love coffee, and I love Starbucks even more, but let’s get real. There is no way for me to walk up to Starbucks every morning for espresso or latte. This is where Sowtech realized that I dream of coffee when sleeping and drink coffee when not sleeping.
Sowtech’s Espresso Coffee Maker is my new best friend. It is not that I don’t have many friends (which is quite true as well), but I need one to make me coffee every single morning. Sowtech Espresso Coffee Maker does that for me, and it does that with utter perfection.
The pressure at which Sowtech espresso maker works is 3.5 bars, and that enables stable filtering of the water. This espresso maker can brew anywhere from 1 to 4 cups of coffee (totaling 240 ml) in a single operation, and its magical domain is not just the rich espresso but also the creamy lattes and cappuccinos. It has an inbuilt steam wand that is responsible for making the all-time hot favorite lattes.
The machine comes with attachments and already marked measuring units for ease. Furthermore, it has detachable parts that make it easy to clean and dishwasher friendly as well.
4. De’Longhi Mini Espresso Machine – Mr. Short
I have found espresso machines under $200 to be very complicated and difficult to use and exceedingly large in size. I am not so good with computers and using these machines has been quite a task for me.
And since I live in an apartment, I do not have extra space that I can dedicate to a hefty espresso maker, but the Mini Espresso Machine by De’Longhi is what I have found interesting.
Mini Espresso Machine is super-fast: when switched on, it can heat up the water in not more than 30 seconds and switches to power saver mode itself after 9 minutes of staying idle.
But the small size of this machine does not compromise on the results and has a 19 bar pressure pump. This pressure pump is powerful enough to provide you with reliable results every time you set it up, and the fast working machinery makes it possible for you to achieve one of the best coffees in no time.
The tank volume of this machine is 1.35 oz. for espresso and 5 oz. for the other ones. This machine does not have a built-in steam wand to save space and size but has an added aeroccino three milk frother
This frother gives you the creamiest textured cream for your lattes and cappuccinos. But the scope of this machine is not just limited to hot drinks; but with the addition of ice, it can also provide you with iced coffee drinks.
5. De’Longhi 15 Bar Espresso Coffee Machine – Mr. Professional
My budget restricts me from taking a stroll down to the coffee place every morning for kick-starting my internal systems. Additionally, my budget is also not supportive of me buying a professional coffee brewing machine because they are just off the chart for me.
De’Longhi has given me some hope with their 15 bar espresso machine because there is no department where this machine falls short when compared to a professional espresso maker.
De’Longhi Espresso Coffee Machine has a 15 bar pressure pump which creates more than enough pressure for the hot water to be pushed to the group head.
This high pressure ensures that you get the best of results every time you switch this machine on. De’Longhi’s espresso machine under $200 also allows you to adjust the preset settings according to your taste and preferences.
In addition to this, the group head of this machine has three filters that add to the versatility of the device. Out of three filters, you can choose from one shot, a double shot or an easy serve shot espresso shot.
In addition to all this, this espresso maker also has an inbuilt steam wand. This steam wand lets the user not only settle for just espresso shots but also permits you to go for lattes and mochas and what not.
This steam wand adds a creamy rich and smooth texture to the milk. Furthermore, this machine is super easy to use because it starts self-priming at the touch of a single button, and since it has detachable parts, it easy to clean and is even dishwasher friendly.
6. Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso – Multitasker
Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso Maker is a semi-automatic espresso machine. It has a 15 bar high-pressure pump that pushes the water in the boiler with immense power and regularity that every single drop of water is brewed to perfection and is enriched with the taste and aroma of coffee beans.
This espresso machine is one of the easiest one in the markets to be used and is even suitable to be used by the beginners. It has a digital display with a single touch button that can do all the hard work for you and in no time give you your morning kit.
This coffee machine by Mr. Coffee is the fastest machine in line by this brand and only takes a handful of seconds to give you the best cup of coffee you have ever had.
Mr. Coffee’s espresso maker has removable parts which make it easier for the user to clean it but however, the placement of these parts is a bit tricky and can turn out to be a bit complex for users.
7. Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker – Mr. Handy
I am a travel freak and an adrenaline junkie. I love going on adventurous trips, out in the woods or rivers or any place that fascinates me. All this travel wears me down and makes me crave for coffee.
I have tried settling for instant coffee mixes at times, but once you go espresso, there is no going back. The only drawback is that espresso machines are quite large to be taken on every trip, and neither do I have the skills of a barista that I can help myself with an exotic coffee every time.
Things have been pretty different since I have got my Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker. The size of this device makes it your best choice for going out if you don’t want to miss your tasteful coffee.
Unlike the other espresso machine, this one is hand-powered and is best to be taken outdoors. The manual hand pump might seem like labor in the first few attempts, but the pressure of 18 bars and the surprisingly rich coffee overwhelms such a negative thing.
Furthermore, even though the machine is all plastic but is definitely robust enough to keep your caffeine levels checked.
For being a complete travel companion, a machine does not only has to be small, lightweight, or easy to use but should also need minimal maintenance.
Nanopresso by Wacaco has detachable parts that can be easily washed and assembled again for later usage.
8. Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker – The Robot
Breville is one of the finest brands in the industry. They have made quite an excellent reputation and have quite a following and brand loyalty. If you asked the Breville users, they would say that once you go Breville, you never go back.
The internal specifications of this machine are nothing to joke about either. It has a 15 bar high-pressure pump with a dual-wall filter system that fills your cup with a brilliantly brewed rich cup of coffee.
This machine lacks the ability to grind the coffee grains, and one has to do that himself but is also provided with utensils that can help you with that. Along with rest of the add-on accessories, the package includes a frothing jug, measuring spoon, cleaning tool, tamping tool, and removable drip tray and grid.
In addition to all of this, this machine is easy to use with minimal functions. It has predefined features that are stress-free even for the beginners and lets you enjoy barista grade espresso at the leisure of your bed.
Adding more to all of this, the cleanup of this espresso maker is even easier than using the machine to make some espresso.
9. Wacaco Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Maker – Little Master
Just as I have mentioned before, I am all in for coffee. The euphoria one gets by a single cup of coffee is no way near any of the drugs. But things get even better when this cup of coffee is a brilliantly brewed shot of espresso. But hey, I have said mentioned being a traveler as well.
Imagine sitting in the wild under the shade of billions of stars with a bonfire in front of you, but your hand is missing your favorite cup filled with the refreshingly aromatic coffee. This just makes this perfect night bland, right? I would like to disagree.
Wacaco Minipresso GR is one of its kind portable espresso makers. It has a manual pump which is best suited for outdoors and is powerful enough to push down a cup of rejuvenating coffee through the narrow filter.
The process seems like a laborious one when a hand pump comes to mind, but the usage of this device is straightforward and provides one with a shot of most of the classiest shots of espresso.
Price is the very first thing I look at the very moment I decide to buy something, and I can proudly say that Minipresso is nowhere near expensive. It falls well in the affordable category, but with the price cut, it has some drawbacks as well. It does not have a boiler and thus lacks the ability to heat water by itself. Consequently, hot water has to be added into the inlet.
Not everyone can treat themselves with a barista grade coffee. It is not easy making a cup of coffee that can match the professional standards.
Even the espresso machines under $200 are not sufficient for that because of their hefty prices and complicated setups. Chefwave’s mini espresso machine is, however, an innovator with a sleek design that does not settle for less.
This machine is super easy to use with the one-touch button to serve you with an express espresso. The boiler takes only half a minute to heat all the water, and the 20 bar pump efficiently pushes this hot water in no time. The end result is nothing but a simple affair to remember.
Apart from being handy and quick, this espresso machine is smart as well. It has an intelligent detection system that switches off the heater when it detects 2 hours of inactivity.
Furthermore, this model is compatible with Nespresso capsules and can hold up to 40 Nespresso capsules in one go that frees you from the shackles of going all over again.
In addition to all of this, this machine has a 27 fluid oz. water container tank that does not need constant refilling and lets you enjoy a good number of espressos before it goes down.
With all the mind-boggling features, we can easily crown the Chefwave Mini Espresso Machine under $200 as the best espresso machine under $200 of 2019.
It will not be a lie if one claims espresso to be the king of the coffee and the very soul of coffee lovers. Espresso makers can, therefore, consequently be claimed to be the kingmaker.
However, not every king is the same when it comes to their strength, dominion, and power. Same is the case with the espresso and subsequently espresso makers.
Not every espresso is the same; they all vary in their strength, taste, thickness, and even aroma. To make an espresso that one can call out to be the king of the kings, one will have to be very cautious and use the best ingredients around. You, however, should not be worried because we have you covered.
At a point or two, we all have seen an espresso machine and have found them pretty fascinating when the water turns into steaming hot, strong coffee.
Things might seem complicated or even magic but are rather very simple to understand. So let’s sneak into these magical machines and know how they do it.
I have always believed in magic and when you add a cup of water into an inlet of a machine and the outlet provides you with a cup of refreshingly hot and rejuvenating strong espresso coffee, you will call it magic too. Somehow, I am a rationalist too; so let’s get to the functioning of the machine that has been accused of practicing magic.
Water is the lifeline of the espresso machine. Water is the primary raw material they need to operate, obviously other than ground coffee beans. When water is added into the water inlet, it is either stored in the reservoir or is directly moved to the forward chambers. This water is then pushed by an electric pump that is responsible for driving the water through a narrow bed of finely ground coffee. The modern-day espresso makers that are used for light commercial or home purposes have two types of motors.
The first one is the vibratory pump. Vibratory pump, also known as the vibe pump follows the working principles of an electromagnet. The constant flux of current causes the piston to move back and forth, which in result pushes the water ahead. These vibratory pumps are responsible for producing some outclass espresso but however have a relatively shorter lifespan of about 5 to 6 years. These pumps are, however, easily replaceable and inexpensive.
The other type of pump is the rotary pump. Rotary pumps even though cost somewhat more than the traditional vibe pumps, but are quieter and are known for producing more consistent results. The working of a rotary pump carries a certain degree of resemblance with that of the heart. Water enters the chamber when it is in relaxing (wider) state, and the spinning disc moves with the help of a spring system. This makes the chamber contract and resultantly push the water out, which is then forced to pass through a narrow bed of finely ground coffee beans.
This pushed water is then heated with the help of a boiler. Actually, all of the heating is done by the boiler. A boiler’s function is the most critical one because even the slightest change in the temperature will drastically affect the quality of the product. The boilers were previously powered by the heat of burning wood, but are now operational with electricity.
The boiler is usually of three types
- Simple Heating Element
- Proportional – Integral – Derivative (PID) Controller
- Digital Temperature Control
A simple heating element is what is usually found in primary inexpensive household espresso makers. These elements are designed to heat to a predefined temperature and allow user no control over the temperature of the water.
Comparative to the heating element, PID is a probe device that needs to be dipped in the water and calculates the temperature of the water and adjusts it itself.
The user can change the algorithms and the programming of a PID as per their needs. On the other hand, there is the Digital Temperature Control which provides the user even greater access and control over the temperature, but at the same time, restricts the user from modifying the preset algorithms as well.
The modern-day espresso machines under $200 are not only for making espresso but are equally good at making lattes and cappuccinos too. This is made possible by a steam wand. The steam wand, as suggested by the name, is powered by steam and this is where the boilers step in again.
Boilers segregate some of the water to be heated to produce steam which, when released with pasteurized milk, gives the loveliest creamy texture to your cappuccino or latte. In the simpler variants of the espresso machines under $200 with the heating element, steam is produced by the second of the two elements which have a temperature higher than the other one.
This steam is later used for lattes and different types of coffee. The modern or more advanced versions use either a heat exchanger or a dual boiler that are even more efficient and produce even more vibrant results.
The last part of the espresso assembly is the group head. Group heads are usually classified into two categories: Saturated and Semi-Saturated.
The saturated group head acts as an extension for the boiler and is readily filled with hot water. The saturated group head is open to the boiler, which allows the hot water from the boiler to move to the group head or otherwise.
Once activated, the pump will push the heated water through a bed of powdered coffee and out of the outlet. This version of the group head allows improved temperature stability and is more often found in the commercial-grade machines for espresso preparations.
These computer-controlled group heads are consequently more challenging to repair and needs skilled technicians to repair or service them.
In a contrasting comparison, the semi-saturated group heads follow the same basic design but have an additional third line that bypasses the boiler. This type of group heads is more natural to produce and cost way less, whether it is their replacement or repair. This is the very reason they are used more often in the espresso machines under $200 suited for homeowners.
Things to keep in mind while buying an Espresso Machine under $200
Espresso machines under $200 are considered to be a onetime investment, and it would not be funny if your hundreds of dollar coffee maker break down a week after you have bought it. The durability of the machine and its components is something that one should never compromise on. A cheaper machine is usually an indication of less strength but again, should not be overpriced either.
The quality of espresso a machine makes is directly related to the temperature and the maintenance of that temperature in the boiler. A cheaper machine will inevitably mean that it has no temperature controlling mechanism, and therefore, the results will be even far from inconsistent.
Lower-end machines are very rigid when it comes to operation. They have preinstalled settings that the user cannot change and is bound to follow. It might not seem like this, but these machines are very erratic when it comes to results.
They can only be turned on or off, which makes it difficult to control the temperature and pressure. On the other hand, the advanced new models have digital displays and settings that can be modified as per the user’s need.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Most of the espresso machines come with an attached steam wand that allows the user to go for other types, like latte and mocha, by adding milk.
There are hundreds of espresso machines that would fit your needs and comply with your price bracket as well, but make sure the one you go for is fully automated
The significant differences between domestic and commercial-grade espresso makers would be their durability, ease of control, and the control of water temperature and other factors each provides to their user. Commercial grade espresso-making machines are more efficient and can be adjusted depending upon the need; however, the ones for home usage are very rigid and fundamental in their functioning.
The ideal pressure for making espresso is 9 Bars, but however, there are now more advanced machines that offer 15 and even 17 bar pressure specifications.
Espresso machines have a series of high maintenance parts that also cost quite a fortune in production. The essential function of the espresso machine is to push hot water through powdered coffee beans. This hot water has to be controlled by a thermostat, which costs a couple of hundred dollars itself.
We have listed down the top and the best espresso makers as per your needs and are very hopeful that you will be able to find your heart in the one you pick. After all, coffee is human fuel. So don’t waste your time buzzing around and decide the best for yourself.
Last update on 2020-01-20 at 04:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API