With the help of our suggestions for the best espresso machine under 200 dollars, you can find a machine to suit your personal needs and budget. This may be the origin story of the next excellent coffee chain. So, let’s start.
We know you’re impatient to learn about the top products in this space. So, we’ll first start with reviews of espresso machines under $200. After that, we’ll look at factors to consider when choosing, which contains valuable insights related to the purchasing process.
Best Espresso Machine Under 200 Dollars
1. Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Espresso Machine – Top Pick
Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 is an Amazon bestseller that has hundreds of five-star reviews. It is a semi-automatic espresso, cappuccino, and latte Brewer which comes with a fantastic price. But it also has advantages and these advantages. Let’s take a look.
The simple interface gives you the ability to select a double or single shot of espresso, cappuccino or latte. After selecting your preference, the programmed settings start.
The milk frother adds steamed or frothed milk automatically according to your selection. After the brewing process, there is an auto-clean function which purges the milk frother. Then you can store the milk carafe in your fridge, or you can clean it.
However, the automation is up until here. Then you have to manually grind, dose, and tamp espresso because this machine has a portafilter. If you want to get the most out of the machine, you should purchase a grinder. You might also need a high-quality tamper because the one included in the machine is made of plastic. Also, the portafilter and the filters are not dishwasher safe.
The machine uses a single boiler for pouring and steam, so the entire brewing process might take more that time machine with a double boiler. Also, most of the machine’s parts are made out of plastic. So the duration of the machine can be an issue: especially when the warranty is only for a year. However, the machine is perfect for its price, but if you have a bigger budget, you can find better machines than this one. Definitely one of the best espresso machine under 200.
2. DeLonghi EC702 Espresso Machine – The Runner-up
The DeLonghi EC702 is a semi-automatic machine that brews espresso, cappuccino, and latte. It is not quite like the Mr. Coffee ECMP1000, which has a function for automatic milk frothing, the EC702 has a manual frother. That is why the EC702 comes with a bit of a learning curve. Now, let’s take a look at its strengths and weaknesses.
First, the pros. The EC702 has two separate brewing and steaming thermostats. Therefore, it takes less time for switching between brewing and frothing and the temperature remains consistent. The brewing works at 15-bar pressure, which results in the best extraction. The portafilter has a single shot filter, a double shot filter, and a tamper. Plus, the machine can work on pre-ground coffee or ESE pods.
Now the cons. The biggest issue according to customers is the steam wand positioning and capability. It’s very complicated to use and is unable to produce a creamy foam by default. Customers have also pointed out that the machine is hard to clean. Also, it is mostly made of plastic parts. So, you cannot count on it for years of trouble-free functionality.
With added equipment, a grinder and a sturdy tamper, plus additional skills, the machine can make good espresso and milk drinks. But, if you’re looking for something that can work great out of the box, the EC702 is not a great machine for you.
3. DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Maker – Best For The Price
The DeLonghi EC155 is a semi-automatic brewer that costs less while being able to make both espresso and milk-based drinks. This compact and stylish machine is an Amazon bestseller and has more than three thousand favorable reviews. But, every product comes with its positive and negative aspects. So, let’s look into EC155’s strong and weak sides.
The economy is probably the most important strength of this product. The next is its ability to brew a fantastic espresso. The machine is also straightforward to clean and maintain. But, it also does need regular maintenance to function at its peak. The portafilter, single shot filter, double shot filter, and tamper come along with the machine. So, you have everything you need to start brewing. You can also use ESE pods or ground coffee for brewing drinks.
Even though the EC155 makes excellent espresso, the steaming wand is way too short, which makes it challenging to work with larger quantities of milk. So, you might have difficulties with making barista-style cappuccino and latte. Also, there’s not enough space under the group head for placing tall cups.
In light of the merits and demerits of the product, the EC155 is a good option for espresso drinkers only. Those who prefer milk drinks will not like the frother on this model. But, the product is very economical, which allows you to save enough money for a good burr grinder. And, trust us, EC155 and a burr grinder is a a perfect combination.
4. Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker
Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker is yet another Amazon bestseller. But, this machine brews espresso way different than the other one. You don’t have to work with portafilters. So, there is no grinding, dosing, or tamping. The machine uses Nespresso espresso capsules. But, it makes only espresso. So, if you want to make milk drinks, you’ll have to buy a milk frother separately. However, you can buy the Nespresso machine and the milk frother for less than $200.
What is good about the Nespresso system is its straightforward approach to brewing espresso. You just fill the reservoir, load the capsule, place a cup under the spout, and then press a single button – that’s all. After brewing your espresso, the machine ejects the used capsule into a built-in collector without any mess to it.
When you purchase the machine, you get a nice pack of 16 capsules. You also get a menu that indicates the flavor of each capsule. After trying all their flavors, you can buy the flavors you like from Nespresso. The capsule-based system is the machine’s greatest strength and weakness, as well. If you’re out of capsules, you are not able to use the machine. So, you should always plan ahead and have a good stock of capsules.
In our opinion, this is a nice option for people who don’t want to mess with grinders and portafilters. It makes great espresso. And, if you buy a milk frother, you can enjoy a big selection of milk drinks too. We’ve also written a buying guide on Nespresso machines if you want to buy a nice Nespresso machine.
5. Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso Machine
The Mr. Coffee ECMP50 is another low-cost semi-automatic espresso and cappuccino brewer. Also, this is a machine that would undoubtedly leave espresso fans way more satisfied than cappuccino fans. However, in general, that seems to be a trend for budget-friendly machines. So, let’s peak at the specifics of what’s good and bad about this brewer.
The ECMP50 functions are like any other semi-automatic brewer. This means you manually have to dose and tamp a portafilter for a double or a single shot. Then, the machine starts to prepare your espresso. However, this model does not have a boiler, and it only has a thermoblock heater. So, do not expect consistency in temperature.
Thermoblock systems take time to switch between brewing and steaming. The overall brewing time on this machine is long, so you might have to wait. Despite all of this, it is a good thing you can brew two cups in one go. Even though it is not a huge thing to have a thermoblock steaming wand, it is a pretty thing to have.
But, because this machine is low in price, you can build on your purchase. For example, you can get a burr grinder and a milk frother to make up for the limited drinks you can make on the ECMP50. But even if you do so, you will still have to deal with a long waiting time and you’ll have more equipment to clean at the end.
Factors To Consider When Buying
It is possible to find a great espresso maker with a budget under $200, but it’s a challenge that needs a lot of research. So, is there a way to make the right decisions despite the variety of machines? Yes, and we will help you with it. Before we begin, take a look at the different types of espresso machines available in this range.
What are the factors you should consider before buying a semi-automatic brewer?
A semi-automatic brewer automates a part of the brewing cycle. Specifically, it is a pouring part of the cycle, which means that you should manually dose and tamp the portafilter. So, for a great cup of espresso, both you and the machine need to be involved.
So, let’s see what the signs of a good semi-automatic are:
Temperature Control: One of the hardest things to do when brewing manually is to maintain the temperature between 195° F and 205° F. However, a good quality espresso maker can do this nicely with the help of a thermostat.
Boiler Type: Semi-automatics that are under $200 come with a single boiler or thermoblock heating system. A single boiler system is way more effective in controlling the temperature than a thermoblock system is. But, thermoblock machines are way cheaper than single boiler machines.
Steam Wand: If the steam wand on the machine does not have good quality, you will definitely limit yourself to drinking espresso or buy a separate milk frother. Some semi-automatic machines do have an automatic milk frother, which is a handy feature to possess.
Auto-Purging Steam Wand: You should wipe the wand clean with a cloth and go through the wand with steam after every use. Keep in mind that when you forget to purge, it can lead to malfunction. So, to avoid having this problem, buy a machine that has an auto-purge system or at least a purge reminder.
Programs: Certain machines have pre-programmed settings for different drinks, like espresso, cappuccino, and latte. Most of these machines allow you to select between a single or a double shot.
Brew Pressure: In order to make good espresso, you need at least 10 bars of pressure. Most of the quality machines produce around 15 bars of pressure.
Build Quality: Espresso machines with this price range have a lot of parts made of plastic. This makes the longevity of the machine way smaller. So, if you opt for something more durable, you should look at pricier models.
Size: Because espresso machines have heating elements, they should have proper clearance on all sides to ensure ventilation. So, make sure your counter has enough space for the machine while having the necessary clearances.
Accessories: A semi-automatic is not a single purchase. You’ll need to buy a steel tamper, appropriate cups, milk frothing pitcher, and even a grinder.
Cleaning and Care: A semi-automatic espresso machine needs regular maintenance. So, if you fail with maintaining the schedule as explained in the product manual can lead to early breakdown. Even worse, it can void the warranty.
Warranty: For a $200 machine, you need at least a year’s warranty. But anyone would prefer a two-year warranty. Also, don’t forget to check the entire process of claiming the warranty. If it asks for you to cover the shipping charges, it’s not a good warranty offer.
Customer Support: If you’re just starting to use a semi-automatic machine, you may have problems that the manual does not tell you how to solve. In this case, a good customer support network can help you get through the issues.
Service: Before buying any product, you should check where you can get it fixed if you face trouble. If there’s no service center in your environment, you’ll have to keep your fingers crossed and pray for the best.
So, if you’re buying one, what are your options?
You can look at our top 5 espresso machine picks under $200 and select a product that meets your needs. But, if you want to look into other options, we suggest you search for products from DeLonghi, Keurig, Nespresso, and Mr. Coffee. Whatever you choose, make sure you compare the pros and cons of each product based on the factors we discussed here.
Conclusion Of The Best Espresso Machine Under 200
An entry-level semi-automatic isn’t as good and functioning as super-automatics and commercial semi-automatics. But, if you have a $200 budget, buying Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 is the best way to spend your money. We love this model because it has an automatic milk frother.
But, if you’re not all about brewing espresso with a portafilter, the capsule-based Nespresso Inissia makes a good alternative. Also, there is an advantage of brewing numerous flavors.
The Nespresso is an example of how companies push their boundaries in the field of espresso brewing. Thanks to technology and innovations, the market now owns lots of good quality products at different price points.
If you have a discerning eye, you can spot the winners in every price category with no difficulty. We hope this article helps you in learning some skills and starting the barista journey as soon as possible.