This guide will help you to make your buying decision easy, we have carefully selected the three best espresso machines under 200 dollars. The $200 price point is enough for the quality, entry-level espresso machine. Therefore Having an espresso machine at home could probably save you a lot of money, don’t you think so? Since there are a lot of espresso machines on the market, It must be difficult for you to decide wich one is the best espresso machine under 200 dollars for you.
Best espresso machine under 200 dollars comparison Table:
#1 – De’Longhi ECP3630
De’Longhi ECP3630 is a great starter machine for someone who desires quality, reliability, and performance, but isn’t ready to invest more than $200. No matter what you prefer, single or double espresso, cappuccino or latte, this is one solid espresso machine that’s going to make great coffee as a result.
Your espressos will have an authentic taste due to, the sempre crema filter. Air is mixed into the brewing process while creating a nice espresso-colored cream, which is essential for any espresso.
The setup is easy, and the machine comes fully assembled, it is also very easy to operate. It has 2 separate thermostats so you can control water and steam pressure separately, also has dual function holder, which lets you use both pods and ground coffee beans, and makes brewing pretty fast and easy.
The machine heats up quickly (in about 2 minutes) and it is quiet during brewing. It also features a cup warmer built in on top.
De’Longhi ECP3630 is our pick for the best espresso machine under 200.
#2 – Mr. Coffee ECMP1000
Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 is actually something between a manual and super automatic espresso machine. You don’t have to froth manually (but you can if you want to) so you can press the button and walk away while your favorite coffee is being made. This is a great machine for the novice espresso lover who doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by a million variables and brewing options they have to master on their own.
There are three different options at the one-touch control panel that you can choose from… espresso, cappuccino, and latte. The Mr. Coffee is also pretty easy to clean, it comes with a removable water tank and drip tray, both of which make maintenance pretty hassle-free. The milk container is also removable and can be placed into the fridge with the lid.
The water container is extremely convenient, as it holds a large amount of water and you won’t need to fill it every time you make an espresso – unlike traditional espresso machines.
The machine heats up in 5-7 minutes.
While most super automatic espresso machines start at the $500. Mr. Coffee seems like a great option within this price range that mirrors these more expensive machines. Therefore Mr. Coffee is our second pick for the best espresso machine under 200.
#3 – Nespresso Pixie
Nespresso Pixie is a super automatic espresso machine which means you don’t have to do anything, just stick a coffee capsule in and select the size of your cup. Press the button and get and you’re brewing an espresso, lungo, cappuccino, making a latte or cafe Americano. This is a great machine if you are looking for a more automated process, without the grinding, tamping and extracting your own beans.
The Pixie has chrome design and it is manufactured in Switzerland. It’s a very compact machine and it doesn’t take up much space on the countertop. Heats up very fast (in less than 30 seconds).
Setting it up is quick and easy. The Machine comes with 16 sample pods, as well as a menu to help you choose your espresso. The pods are high quality and rich tasting. There are 30 different pods to choose from.
The Nespresso seems to have great customer service, inside the box you will get a note to return the item to Nespresso if you have any problems.
The Nespresso Pixie is our 3rd pick for the best espresso machine under 200.
How Do Espresso Machines Work?
Before we start describing machine inner workings, we want to go through the process of pulling a shot.
The shot is made by forcing between 1 and 2 ounces of very hot, pressurized water through finely ground, compacted coffee.
In order to pull the shot from your espresso machine, the first thing you have to do is to check the water tank and make sure that it’s full. Some of the more expensive espresso machines can be plumbed into the water system, in which case this step won’t be necessary.
Next, you will place the ground espresso into the portafilter and tamp it down to produce a tightly packed bed of coffee. The portafilter is attached to the machine by twisting it into a unit that contains the group head, a component which attempts to evenly distribute the water onto the coffee. The portafilter sits just below the group head.
Then you will turn on the espresso machine and let it warm up. The time it takes to warm up depends on the machine. A light on the control panel will indicate when the water is at the ideal temperature – just below boiling point. Some of the espresso machines have a cup warmer on the top of the machine, and you should not only heat your cup there, but place some boiling water in it and then toss it out right before extracting the espresso so that the cup is almost hot.
When you’re ready, just place the cup beneath the portafilter and pull the shot. Depending on what type of machine you have, you will perform different activities in order to do this. With super-automatic espresso machines you will just push the button. With a semi-automatic there will be more you’ll have to do. But ideally you will extract just under 2 ounces of syrupy liquid espresso and it will take 30 seconds to a minute. A good shot will have a foamy, creamy top.
We are just covering the basics here, but as you learn more, you’ll start paying attention to the freshness and grind of the coffee, the water temperature and pressure, and how tightly you pack the coffee with the tamper. All of these factors need to be considered in order to pull a good shot of espresso.
Steaming and Frothing Milk
The best espresso machines will have a wand for steaming and frothing milk, also called a panarello. You use it when you want to make a latte, cappuccino or macchiato. You can also just froth the milk in a separate mug or cup and then pour it over the espresso. Skilled baristas like the frothing pitchers because the pouring spout allows them to make espresso “art”
To make a latte, you would submerge the wand into the milk and turn a steaming valve switch on. The switch will reactivate the heating element, which rapidly reheats the water in the boiler. Steam will emit from the wand and will quickly heat the milk. Placing the wand’s nozzle close to the surface of the milk should deliver a nice froth for cappuccino or macchiato espresso drinks
Inside the Machine
The Control Panel
Most espresso machines under 200 dollars these days have a lit control panel, with the exception of the lever espresso machines, which are mostly hand operated. At the very least, the control panel should have an on/off light and a temperature light that indicates when the water is hot enough to pull the shot of espresso. It should also have a valve for controlling the flow of steam into the wand.
The pricier espresso machines have more lights and indicators that help you to gauge the pressure and temperature more precisely for pulling good shots of espresso.
The Water Tank
All espresso machines need to have a water delivery system. This is called the water tank. On the Best espresso machines under 200 dollars, the water tank is removable from the machine. Commercial espresso machines and some of the pricier espresso machines are able to be plumbed into the water system.
The water in the water tank is cool or room temperature. Heat and pressure are applied once the water leaves the reservoir and is pulled into the pump and the boiler.
The pump draws water out of the reservoir and pumps it into the heating chamber at high pressure.
The boiler is crucial because this is where the heating of the pressurized water is conducted. The boiler is a metal chamber that has a heating element built into it. The boiler has a one-way valve that lets water in from the pump, but it won’t let the water go back into the pump. Instead, the water then travels to the grouphead. The more pressure, or bars, that is applied, the higher the boiling point of the water.
The grouphead is the component that delivers the hot, pressurized water to the coffee that lies waiting in the portafilter. There are a lot of tiny holes in the grouphead for creating an even flow of water onto the ground coffee. All espresso machines have a grouphead, and commercial machines often have more than one.
The portafilter is the removable part of the machine that holds the ground coffee. Once you place the ground espresso into the portafilter and tamp it down, the portafilter is then attached to the grouphead in order to form a seal. Below the portafilter basket are the two spouts from which the espresso flows into your the cup.