Espresso coffee isn’t just about how finely ground the coffee is. It is a unique method of coffee making in which hot and pressurized water is forced on to the fine-ground coffee powder.
Finding its roots in Italy, the espresso coffee has become worldwide famous. The unique features of espresso than other coffees are that it is thicker and has a higher concentration of solids and a crema on the top. Often called as ‘shot’ coffee, espresso coffee is quick to make and drink.
Espresso Machines Under 200 Dollars Comparison Table 2020
There are many coffee machines which brew espresso coffee with ease. In this list, we will learn about some of the best espresso coffee machines under 200 that offer a premium range of features and also make the best in class espresso coffee.
Types of Espresso Machines Available
- 0.1 Types of Espresso Machines Available
- 0.2 1. Based on Their Mode of Automation or Operation
- 0.3 2. Based on Driving Mechanism
- 0.4 3. Stove Top Espresso Machine
- 1 Best Espresso Machines Under 200 For 2020
- 1.1 Mr. Coffee BVMC-ECMP1000-RB Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
- 1.2 Capresso 116.04 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine EC100
- 1.3 Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker, Black (Discontinued Model)
- 1.4 Flair Espresso Maker – Manual Press
- 1.5 Nespresso Inissia Original Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Milk Frother Bundle
- 1.6 Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine by De’Longhi, Aluminum
- 1.7 Nespresso Vertuo Coffee & Espresso Machine by Breville, Matte Black
- 1.8 Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot Espresso/Cappuccino System
- 1.9 De’Longhi ECP3630 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
- 1.10 De’Longhi ECP3420 15″ Bar Pump Espresso & Cappuccino Machine
- 1.11 Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
- 1.12 De’Longhi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker
- 1.13 Mueller Espresso Machine for Nespresso Compatible Capsule, Premium Italian 20 Bar High-Pressure Pump
- 1.14 Cafflano Kompresso (Hand Carry Coffee Maker)
- 1.15 ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker
- 1.16 Lello 1375 Ariete Cafe Prestige Coffee Maker
- 1.17 Things That Make an Espresso Machine You Should Buy
- 1.18 Temperature Control Feature
- 1.19 The FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- 1.20 Conclusion
With new advancements in technology, espresso coffee makers had a significant impact on their design, form, and mode of action. No wonder, it is intended to ease the job, but they differ from each other.
Espresso coffee machines are classified based on:
- Mode of Automation
- Driving Method
- Stove Top
1. Based on Their Mode of Automation or Operation
All the espresso machines, irrespective of the other two categories (driving mechanism and build mode) fall under this category because they are either automatic or semi-automatic.
If you pick up an espresso machine based on driving mechanism, you still have to opt for either automatic driven or manual driven. Based on the mode of automation, the espresso machines are classified into:
Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
The term implies that espresso coffee making is fully automated. These machines can grind coffee beans, dispense pressurized water, and milk automatically.
These machines have programmable controls with which you can set all the tasks to prepare an espresso coffee. Super-automatic espresso machines are set once and forget the type of devices. Once you customize your brew, there is no need to alter them again.
You can change your settings and prepare other brews such as latte, cappuccino, and Turkish coffee depending on the available options.
Ultra – Automatic Espresso Machines
The ultra-automatic espresso machines are designed to avoid any human intervention in making an espresso coffee. It has all the automatic features except dispensing milk and grinding coffee.
You need to dispense the milk and coffee powder manually in the milk storage container and burr grinder respectively. The machine provides different varieties of coffee options for you. Just press the button and get your desired coffee.
The major drawback of these machines is that you do not have control over anything. If you are willing to grind the beans for little extra time, there is no option for it. But if you are looking for a fast coffee with least or no effort, the ultra-automatic espresso coffee machines are the best choice.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines
If you are a pro in making an espresso coffee and you want to control your brew, then semi-automatic espresso machines are the best choice. These machines are cheaper than the other two in this category.
You have excellent control over time, temperature, water dispensing quantity, and milk dispensing. While most of the semi-automatic machines do not have an inbuilt coffee grinder, some of them do. Non-grinding devices have an advantage over the grind quality of your coffee.
The steaming and frothing can be manually done with the help of a wand. These semi-automatic espresso machines are for those who want complete control over their brew quality and for those who want to make few additional tweaks to the coffee.
2. Based on Driving Mechanism
The core method of making an espresso coffee is to drive the pressurized water into the coffee powder. The amount of arc with which the water hits the powder depends on the driving mechanism of the machine.
Depending on the driving mechanism, the espresso coffee machines are classified into the following types:
Steam Driven Espresso Machines
The first espresso machines that came into existence were steam driven. They use the power of steam to force water through the head. These espresso machines have a boiler and multiple heads.
These multiple heads enable the user to make different coffees at the same time. The steam driven espresso machines are a lot cheaper as they do not have any high moving machinery parts.
The major drawback of steam driven espresso machines is that the crema, the hallmark of the espresso coffee is of poor quality.
Piston Driven Espresso Machines
Invented by Achille Gaggia (founder of Gaggia espresso machines) in 1945, these espresso machines use a piston or a lever to drive the pressurized water. There are two types of pistons, manual piston, and spring piston.
With the manual piston, the user must pull the lever to drive the pressurized hot water. In spring piston, the user must create a tension in the spring which then forces the water.
The process which involves pulling the piston to drive the pressurized water is known as ‘pulling the shot.’ An average of 110 – 150 pounds of pressure is created in the process. Piston driven espresso machines are considered as manual espresso machines as it requires human effort to pressurize the hot water.
Electric Pump Driven Espresso Machines
If you want the driving mechanism automatic, then pump driven espresso machines are ideal for you. These machines are the first step towards automatic espresso machines.
Pump driven espresso machines use electricity to pressurize the water. The automation of driving the pressurized water made these machines a huge success and are very popular in commercial stores.
The pumps used in these machines are called solenoid pumps, and they use motor-driven force to pressurize the hot water. It is an ideal espresso machine both for domestic and commercial purposes.
Air-Pump Espresso Machines
Air-pump espresso machines are a very recent advancement in the category of automatic machines. Alan Adler invented the air-pump driven-machine in 2005.
These machines use compressed air instead of a mechanical device (piston or lever) to force the pressurized water. The source of compressed air can be air cartridges or an electric air compressor.
The air-pump espresso machines are modern and latest products. They are relatively smaller and portable than other types of espresso machines.
3. Stove Top Espresso Machine
Stove top electric coffee makers, also known as Moka pot coffee makers were initially not considered as espresso coffee machines. Since the stove top coffee makers use pressure and steam for brewing a coffee, they are now considered as espresso coffee machines.
The coffee maker has a water reservoir at the bottom and coffee brewing compartment above. Metallic filters separate both chambers in between. A safety valve is present which keeps a check on the water pressure.
The coffee brewed by this method may not be as good as the classic espresso, but since it uses all the techniques of the Gaggia’s first espresso machine, it is classified as an espresso coffee machine.
Best Espresso Machines Under 200 For 2020
There is no time in buying a luxury espresso machine when it has poor options. If you are looking for espresso machines which provide tons of features and are available within your budget, herein is the list of some the best espresso machines under 200 dollars.
Mr. Coffee BVMC-ECMP1000-RB Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
Mr Coffee café barista espresso and cappuccino maker is our first pick in top espresso machines under 200. It is a semi-automatic machine which means you have good control over the brew.
The design quality is superb and is very easy to clean/maintain. The water and milk reservoirs are detachable for easy cleaning. All you require to do is put the perfect ground of coffee in the portafilter, the right amount of milk, and water.
Choose an either single or double shot filter, select the brew, and push the button to get your desired brew of coffee. Make sure you tighten the metallic screw properly that holds the portafilter or else it might accidentally fall into the coffee cup.
The machine does not have an inbuilt grinder, and hence you need to grind the beans separately. For a good espresso (or any other), it is not advised to use pre-ground coffee.
It has an electric pump driving mechanism and pressurizes water with 15 bars pressure. The machine also does automatic frothing of milk according to your selected brew.
Weighing around 9 pounds, it is easily portable. It does not have so many complicated features making it simple to use and the best home espresso machine under 200.
- Easy to use
- Stress-free to clean
- Great quality of the brew
- Automatic frothing
- Can brew cappuccino and latte
- The portafilter screw might accidentally fall in your cup
- Occasional malfunctions
- Automatic milk frothing is not up to the mark
Capresso 116.04 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine EC100
The Capresso pump espresso and cappuccino machine consist of a stainless-steel line thermo-block heating system. It is designed to brew espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes.
One of the individuals and the best features of this machine is the dual-frothing system. The steam tube consists of frothing sleeve which can be used for cappuccinos and lattes. If you use the frothing sleeve the air froths the milk-producing best cappuccino.
If you remove the frothing sleeve and use steam tube alone, it is ideal for a latte. The portafilter has two sieves (you can use one or two) which produce thick crema for espresso. Capresso pump uses an electric pump for pressurizing water, and it provides 15 bars of pressure.
The automatic rinsing system allows the machine to maintain proper temperatures for brewing and frothing without the need to wait. The water reservoir can hold up to 46 oz of water and is comfortable to remove and clean.
The frothing sleeve and steam tube must be cleaned after each dispense to avoid milk residues. This step can be very tedious if you are using this machine for home guests or commercial purposes.
There is no inbuilt coffee grinder, and you have to get it done separately. The ground coffee must be placed in a portafilter which has an automatic locking system with a thumb holder. It weighs nearly 10 pounds and is easily portable.
- Dual frothing system
- Stainless-steel ThermoBlock system
- Automatic locking portafilter
- Automatic rinsing
- Easy to clean
- Cleaning the dual froth system after every brew is a tedious work
- Poor customer support
- The quality of the espresso is not impressive
Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker, Black (Discontinued Model)
Nespresso Inissia espresso maker is a fully automated machine. It is designed to dispense one cup of espresso at a time. You must have Nespresso capsules which contain pre-ground coffee in an aluminum casing.
The machine has a pre-heating mechanism in which it heats itself for about 25 seconds before brewing the coffee. Behind the device, there is a detachable water reservoir. Fill it with water and insert the capsule in the capsule bag.
It has two buttons, one for espresso and the other for lungo. Push the switch according to your need, and you will get a quick brew of your desired variety of coffee. You will have16 preloaded capsules with the unit, and you can buy them separately if you want extra.
There is no other method to load coffee powder, and there is no milk tank as well. It has an automatic switch off mechanism for energy saving. The automatic switch-off system will shut down the machine every 9 minutes.
Nespresso Inissia machine is designed specifically for espresso or lungo, and it does not make other varieties of coffee. The electric pump creates 19 bars of pressure to develop good crema for the espresso.
The compact design of Nespresso Inissia takes very less space and weighs just below 5.5 pounds. For regular home espresso enthusiasts, it is the best home espresso machine under 200.
- Compact design
- Great espresso and lung brews
- Easy to clean
- Capsule system delivers precise proportions of coffee powder required for the brew
- Auto power saving mode
- Cannot brew other than espresso or lungo
- Capsules are the only way to dispense coffee powder, and you need to buy pods separately
Flair Espresso Maker – Manual Press
Are you looking for a manual espresso maker instead of an automatic machine? Well, the Flair espresso will impress you. Unlike the automatic or semi-automatic espresso machines, Flair espresso needs user’s effort to prepare your favorite brew.
The Flair espresso maker uses a lever to pull out the coffee. All you essential to do is put in the right ingredients in the machine. Grind your coffee beans with a burr and load the powder in the portafilter. The portafilter is now placed in the portafilter holing funnel.
You can use single or double filter according to your choice. A dispersion screen is placed above the coffee powder once loaded in the portafilter. Preheat the cylinder and the cup with hot water before brewing the coffee. After preheating, slide the barrel over the portafilter and place it lever platform.
A brew head is placed on the portafilter, and it needs to be filled with boiling water. Place the piston on the brew head and pull the lever to pressurize the water. It will create 8 to 15 bars of pressure. Your espresso will be dispensed within a few seconds.
All the parts can be effortlessly dismantled and for efficient cleaning. The Flair espresso maker is explicitly designed for brewing espresso coffee. Variations in crema are observed, and it depends on the coffee grind, roasting period and quality of coffee beans.
- Simple and easy to use espresso maker
- Easy to clean
- Excellent brew quality
- Fast and efficient
- Lightweight (4.9 pounds) and portable
- No power source required
- Crema of the espresso is not up to the mark
- Needs cleaning of all parts after every brew
- Cannot brew other types of coffees
- Expensive than other manual espresso machines
Nespresso Inissia Original Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Milk Frother Bundle
Another entrant from Nespresso is the Inissia espresso machine with Aeroccino milk frother. It is an automatic espresso machine similar to its elder brother. The device has all features identical to the Nespresso Inissia machine. It only differs in build quality and design.
It has a preheating system, and it heats itself for 25 seconds. The ground coffee powder must be dispensed in the form of capsules, and you will get a welcome kit of 14 different coffee grind capsules with the package.
You can make two types of brew with this machine, espresso, and lungo. There are two push buttons for each kind of brew. The smaller one is for espresso and the larger one for lungo. You have to preheat the machine before inserting the capsule.
The preheating system is fast, completes in 25 seconds. After preheating, insert the coffee capsule and push the button according to your desired brew. The machine uses an electric pump and can create about 19 bars of pressure.
You can use an adjustable cup platform to place small (espresso) or large (lung0) cups. The machine has auto switch off mode, and it shutdowns itself every 9 minutes for energy saving.
The significant difference between Nespresso Inissia espresso machine and this one is that the package contains an Aeroccino milk frothing machine. Flow the milk in the Aeroccino milk frother & press the button on it. That’s it; it will warm and froth the milk very quickly.
- Excellent build quality and design
- Quick dispensing of the brew
- Capsule system for accurate measurements of the coffee
- Easy to clean
- Power saving mode
- Aeroccino milk frother
- Requires buying capsules separately
- The machine might dispense espresso and lungo in different quantities than the predetermined measurements
- Cannot brew other than espresso or lungo
- The capsule disposal and cleaning of the capsule system can be tedious
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine by De’Longhi, Aluminum
The Nespresso Pixie Espresso machine is another model from Nespresso making its way into our list. It is similar to other Nespresso machines but differs in design and build quality. The design is compact and can fit in almost all home and commercial needs.
Behind the Nespresso Pixie espresso machine is a 24 oz water tank with red LED indicators. The light signs flash alerting you to fill the water whenever required. Like other Nespresso machines, the Pixie espresso machine has the two push buttons for espresso and lung.
Preheat the machine and insert the capsules to start the brew. The electric pump of the device will create approximately 19 bars of pressure. You will get a welcome pack of 16 capsules along with the purchase.
The avant-garde design of the Pixie espresso offers top-notch functionality and design. With just 6 pounds of weight, it is portable and will fit in the most home and commercial kitchen setups.
All you necessity to do is pour the water, preheat the machine, insert the capsule, and press the button of your choice. The smaller cup button is for espresso, and the larger one is for lungo. It has power saving mode which will switch it off every 9 minutes.
- Premium quality design and performance
- Quick brewing
- Power saving mode
- Empty water tank alert system
- Capsule system for precision control
- The capsule disposal and capsule cleaning is a tedious work
- Cannot brew other than espresso and lungo
- Capsules must be bought separately
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee & Espresso Machine by Breville, Matte Black
The automatic espresso machine from Nespresso, the Vertuo coffee and espresso machine is unique in its class and features. It’s not just any other espresso machine from Nespresso. It has many standout features which make it best in its class.
Like all Nespresso machines, the Vertuo also needs capsules to brew the coffee. The difference is it has an inbuilt barcode reader to read the capsules. Since different pods are required to brew different types of coffee, it can be tiresome to learn or get accustomed to the understanding of which capsule is suitable for which coffee.
This step is eliminated by the barcode reader of the Vertuo coffee and espresso machine. Insert the capsule in the capsule holder, close the lid and lock the button. Locking the button will initiate the brewing. The barcode reader will read the label and brew accordingly.
Another unique feature of Nespresso Vertuo is that it uses centrifugal force to pressurize the water into the coffee. They call it Centrifusion™ technology. The machine pre-wets the powder and uses centrifugal force to create crema.
Unlike the pressurized machines which use a piston/pump, the quality of crema produced by Veruto is not a crema. It is just a whipped foam that mimics crema.
The advantage of this machine over other Nespresso units is that it lasts longer. Since it does not have any piston or lever and no machinery, it boasts a longer lifespan.
- Unique design and performance
- Inbuilt barcode reader to read the capsules
- Unique Centrifusion™ technology
- Easy to clean
- Compact and portable
- The heating method is not up to the mark making the coffee not as hot as intended
- The Centrifusion™ method does not produce crema
- Even though it has a barcode reader, you must have the knowledge about which capsule is suitable for which brew. You might end up brewing a coffee which the machine intended and not you.
Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot Espresso/Cappuccino System
Mr. Coffee automatic dual shot machine is designed to brew a bold and authentic espresso. The automated machine needs the least human effort to make an espresso air cappuccino. Its unique double shot system will dispense shots of coffee at a time.
The machine has a stainless-steel thermal block system which will preheat the device in 25 seconds. It uses an electric pump which generates a pressure of 15 bars. This machine has a single and double cup portafilters. The frothing arm will steam and froth the milk at ease.
It dispenses single shot in 20 seconds and a double shot in 40 seconds. Just fill your ground coffee in the portafilter, gently tap using the tamping tool to evenly layer the powder, and rest back the portafilter to the machine by turning it in the clockwise direction.
Fill the water in the reservoir and turn on the power knob. A green LED light glows indicating that the machine is ready. Press the brew button to dispense the espresso or cappuccino.
You can use the milk frother to froth the milk for cappuccino. The nozzle of the frother produces a rich foamy layer on the milk. The machine dispenses two cups of brew at a time, and sadly you cannot turn off either of them. You must use a full-mouthed cup to avoid spilling.
Mr. Coffee automatic dual shot espresso or cappuccino machine is very compact and can be used for both kitchen and commercial purposes. The device weighs just 1.5 pounds making one of the lightest espresso machines.
- An automatic machine with a bold and authentic brewing
- Dual shot dispenser
- Milk Frother
- Easy to clean
- Shockingly lightweight and compact design
- A single or double shot dispensing system
- Always dispenses two cups at a time which means you always have to place two cups or a wide jar
- The portafilter holding screw can get dislodged and may accidentally fall in the cup
- Milk frothing is not as good as described
De’Longhi ECP3630 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
Another automatic espresso machine in our list that lives up to the expectations is the De’Longhi 15 bar pump espresso and cappuccino machine. The name itself states that the electric pump will create a pressure up to 15 bars.
Most of the espresso machines which can brew espresso as well as other variants such as cappuccino or latte will have a single heat controlling system for both water and steam pressure. But the De’Longhi machine has two different thermostats with which you can control temperatures independently.
It contains milk frother, and you can froth your milk for cappuccino or hot milk according to your choice. The frother sleeve is adjustable to froth the milk accordingly.
There is no automatic switch off the system, and you need to switch it off once your cup is full manually. The self-priming system will reduce the startup operation. It has a 37-ounce water tank which is removable and easy to clean.
The three-in-one portafilter enables you to use different holders for one or two shots of espresso. Its rapid cappuccino system will maintain the optimal temperature required for brewing, and you need not make another cup of coffee.
The machine weighs 10 pounds and is suitable for all home kitchens as well as commercial setups.
- Excellent brewing of espresso and cappuccino
- Simple controls
- Compact design
- Built-in cup warmer
- Good frothing of the milk with simple adjustable sleeve
- 3 in one portafilter holders
- No automatic shut off mode
- Expensive compared to other similar models
- The milk frother whips the cream out of milk in both settings
De’Longhi ECP3420 15″ Bar Pump Espresso & Cappuccino Machine
Another espresso machine in our list from De’Longhi is ECP3420 15 bar pump espresso and cappuccino machine. It has almost all features similar to the ECP3630 except in aesthetics.
It has removable 37 oz water tank at the back. The self-priming system will reduce the startup time for the operation. It has a milk frother with adjustable sleeves, and you can froth the milk for cappuccino or merely a hot milk foam.
The three-in-one portafilter has holders for single and double espresso shots. Similar to ECP3630, it has two separate thermostats for water and the steam heating systems. You can control the temperatures independently.
The built-in cup warming system makes it ideal to brew espresso. There is no automatic switch off the system, and if left alone the cup will overflow. It weighs 10.55 lbs which are perfect for all home and commercial setups.
The De’Longhi ECP3420 has similar stainless-steel body as ECP3630, but it has black accents. It differs only in design but is identical in every way to ECP3630.
- Excellent brewing of espresso
- Milk frothier with adjustable sleeve
- Premium build quality and design
- Self-priming to reduce startup time
- Independent thermostats for water and pressure heat controls
- Built-in cup warmer
- 3-in-one portafilter holders
- No automatic switch off mechanism
- Average milk frothing system
- No adjustable or programmable drink settings
Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
The Breville ESP8XL café Roma stainless espresso maker is an automatic espresso machine with a Thermoblock electric pump. This is unique in its design and built quality. The device comes with a decent amount of add-ons such as tamping, measuring, and cleaning tools.
It has a milk frother which can be used to froth for cappuccino. The package is supplied with a stainless-steel milk frothing jug. It has a unique dual water filling system to produce authentic crema for the espresso.
The water tank capacity is 40.6 oz. It is removable and easy to clean. The Thermoblock heating system will set the temperature suitable to brew an espresso. With the help of 15 bar pressure pump, the espresso produced is rich in crema and great aroma.
The Breville espresso maker has two functions, frothing and brewing. Just plug in the machine after filling the water and coffee powder and turn the knob towards your requirement (frothing or brewing coffee). The device will do its job very quickly.
You need to clean the filters after every brew. The espresso produced with this machine may not be of the industrial grade but is worth trying for beginners. It weighs around 13 pounds and can be easily installed in home kitchens and commercial purposes.
- Excellent build quality and design
- Dual water filling system
- Milk Frother
- Easy to clean
- Decent crema for espresso
- Useful add-ons supplied within the package
- The milk frother does not have adjustable settings, and it will produce a simple foam not suitable for cappuccinos
- Expensive than other machines with similar functions
- The espresso brew is not as standard as industry level
De’Longhi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker
The last member from the De’Longhi family is the De’Longhi EC702 15 bar pump espresso maker. As it belongs to the De’Longhi family and shares similar features. It is an automatic espresso machine which has 15 bar electric pump.
The machine has a self-priming system with which there is no need to warm the cups or the device reducing the waiting time. You can use pods or ground coffee in their patented filter holder.
Its milk frother is also patented by De’Longhi and can be used to produce creamy, foamy cappuccino or lattes. It uses the 15-bar pressure electric pump to produce rich crema for the espresso.
One of the significant differences of the machine compared other De’Longhi machines in our list is that it has an automatic switch off the system. Other De’Longhi machines in our list lack this feature.
It also has a one-touch automatic flow control system with which you can control the quantity of the brew. Out of all De’Longhi machines, the EC702 has the largest water tank capacity (44 oz). It is removable and easy to clean.
While other models have an option to install water filters, the EC702 does not have it. Weighing around 13 pounds, it can be used for home and commercial purposes.
- Compact design and premium build quality
- Milk Frother
- Automatic switch off mode
- One touch control
- Self-priming mechanism
- Large water tank
- Easy to clean
- The milk frothier does not produce an expected quality of the cappuccino
- No option for installing water filters
Mueller Espresso Machine for Nespresso Compatible Capsule, Premium Italian 20 Bar High-Pressure Pump
A premium quality automatic machine which brews a great espresso (and lungo) is the Mueller espresso machine. The advantage of this machine is the compatibility with Nespresso capsules. You can insert the Nespresso capsules or fill in the ground coffee to produce the brew.
It uses an electric pump which produces 20 bars of pressure, highest pressure amongst the machines in our list. The ultra-fast heating system will preheat the device in just 25 seconds. Since it heats up so fast, there is no requirement of pre-heating thereby reducing the total time of the brew.
The one-touch button enables the user to brew either single shot (espresso) or double shot (lungo). It has a water tank which can hold up to 0.8 liters of water. The water tank is detachable and dishwashable.
Since it produces large 20 bars of pressure, the quality of the crema and espresso is excellent. The design is compact, and it weighs just 2.2 pounds. It can be easily installed in all home and commercial kitchen setups.
The powerful 1400 W machine can be quite noisy for some users. It may not be suitable for apartment use. Plus, there can be water leaks while brewing the coffee making the userspace messy.
- Excellent built quality
- Nespresso capsule compatible
- Quick heating mechanism eliminating the need for preheating
- Excellent espresso and lungo brewing
- Simple one-touch controls
- Surprisingly cheap
- The machine is super noisy
- Water leakage while brewing
- No milk frothier
Cafflano Kompresso (Hand Carry Coffee Maker)
Tired of hocus-pocus in the automatic machines? If you are looking for a more candid and minimalistic manual espresso machine, Cafflano Kompresso is the ideal choice. It does not involve any gimmicks of priming, heating or electricity.
Fill the portafilter with the ground coffee and tighten the filter. Fix the portafilter to the tube and pour 60 grams of hot water. You can use 40 or 50 and 80 grams also, but 60 is suitable for 15 grams of ground coffee (portafilter capacity). Screw in the cup at the bottom of the portafilter.
Now position the standard piston over the water tube and gently press for 5 seconds so that the hot water will get infused into the coffee powder. After that, push the piston with full pressure and the espresso will get collected at the bottom cup.
Since it involves manual pressure, the quality of the crema, as well as espresso, may vary. The pressure created by the piston will reach up to 9 bars. You can preheat the cup with warm water before starting the procedure.
It weighs just 200 grams which makes it the best espresso machine for travellers. The device can be disassembled making it easy to clean. As this machine involves human effort and pressures this might not be suitable for geriatric users.
- Simple and elegant design
- Good for travellers
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Durable and long lifespan
- Hydraulic water compression
- Crema quality is not good
- Not ideal for elderly users
- Quality of the brew may vary
ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker
The ROK Presso manual espresso maker is a unique machine which uses two levers to pull the shot. While most of the manual lever operated espresso machines use a single lever, this machine has two on either side of the central brewing unit.
The base of the machine is supported by four rubber grips to avoid slipping while brewing. Most manual machines will not have milk frothier, but surprisingly the ROK Presso manual machine has milk frothier.
The metal used in this machine is durable, and the manufacturer promises ten years warranty on it. Although this machine is not designed for espresso, it can brew legit espresso.
Fill the portafilter with the ground coffee, place it in the holder, fill the cup with hot water and put it over the filter. Now pull both levers down to produce the brew. You can also use the milk frothier in a similar method.
The package includes additional add-ons which include splitter spout, measuring scoop which can be used as a tamper tool, and manual milk frothier. It weighs 7 pounds making it easy for transport.
- A unique dual lever mechanism
- No electricity required
- Manual frothier
- Rugged body with a long lifespan
- Great espresso even though it is not designed for it
- The plastic parts (water cups and portafilter holders) may break
- The milk frothier does not live up to the mark
- You need high-quality ground coffee (and beans) to produce accurate espresso
Lello 1375 Ariete Cafe Prestige Coffee Maker
The LelloAiriete café prestige coffee maker is an automatic espresso and cappuccino machine. It has similar features like the De’Longhi such as milk frother and 15 bar pressure electric pump.
The difference is the milk frother does not have an adjustable sleeve. It can warm up to 9 cups in a single go. The priming is also manual. For manual priming, pour the water in the reservoir, place the cup in its position and turn on the power knob.
Hot water gets collected in the cup, and the machine is primed now. Like the De’Longhi machines, LelloAriete also lacks automatic switch-off mechanism. You need to turn it off manually to avoid spillage.
It has a ThermoBlock 15 bar pump system to provide uniform pressure. Even though it is made of metal, the machine weighs surprisingly light. Weighing about 1 pound, it is the lightest espresso machine in our list. Don’t get fooled by its weight, it is very durable and can last for years.
The milk frother will froth your milk, but it lacks an adjustable sleeve. Even the quality of the foam will not meet your expectations. The manual priming will occasionally malfunction due to air-jamming. You have to release the airlock by removing the water tank and place it back 3 to 4 times to fix the issue.
- Extremely lightweight and powerful machine
- Long lifespan
- Powerful pump for excellent espresso
- Good quality of the crema
- Ability to warm up to 9 cups at a time
- Milk Frother
- The milk frother does not have adjustable settings
- Frequent malfunctioning of the priming system
Things That Make an Espresso Machine You Should Buy
An espresso machine isn’t necessarily about producing a good crema and quality brew. It should meet all the ‘other’ requirements to make it an ideal espresso machine. Not all of them have all the features that suit your needs.
If you are a professional brewer, you must consider buying a machine which allows you to have greater control of the brew. Most professional brewing machines will let you do that.
Home users or occasional brewers require a machine which will reduce most of the human effort. Automatic espresso machines are best suited for amateur users. Let us go through other features which must be considered before buying an espresso machine.
Temperature Control Feature
The ideal temperature required for brewing single shot (1.5oz) of the espresso is 195 degrees Fahrenheit (91 degrees Celsius). At this temperature, the water must be forced at a minimum pressure of 9 bars through 7 grams of ground coffee.
Automatic espresso machines will have automatic temperature regulators with the help of thermostats. If you are a 1st-time user, it is advised to select an espresso maker which will set the temperature on its own.
Professional users will opt for adjustable temperature control systems as they want to control the final output. The temperature switch feature is one of the key-point in brewing espresso. Some units use a preheating mechanism to reach the required temperature.
The self-priming machines preheat the machine before brewing the espresso. Some espresso makers will warm the cup before dispensing the coffee.
Manual espresso machines will not have any inbuilt heating system. The only heat source for these machines is the hot water. So, the temperature at which the hot water is used in manual machines will determine the quality of the brew.
Considering all these features, select an espresso machine which suits the best for you.
The size of the espresso maker will determine where it will fit best. Home espresso makers must be compact and should occupy lesser space. If you have less kitchen space, consider buying a compact espresso machine. Most modern espresso machines are smaller and can easily fit in the household kitchen setup.
If you intend to set up an espresso machine for commercial or office purposes, consider buying a larger unit. Most larger machines will brew two or more cups at a time which can be a time saver too. Some machines will have milk frothier, and it will need little extra room to fit in your kitchen.
Another point to consider regarding size is that if you are a frequent traveller and an espresso fan, you should buy an espresso machine which will fit in your baggage. If you are camping in woods/mountains/hilly areas or if there is no power source in your location, manual espresso machines are best. They occupy less space too.
Some manual machines come along with milk frothier. If you want to try other brews such as cappuccino, you can consider buying them.
The design of the espresso maker depends on whether it is a manual or electric machine. Automatic and semi-automatic machines will have more or less the same model but the manual machines greatly vary in design.
Automatic and semi-automatic machines will usually be larger than manual machines. The automated machines will have a large water reservoir. It needs to be cleaned regularly.
The portafilters are also designed to fit according to the machine dimensions. Manual machines will have smaller portafilters than automatic machines.
Some automatic machines will have milk frothier which is used to make cappuccino or latte. If you want to brew other varieties such as cappuccino along with your espresso, you can buy a machine which has milk frothier.
For commercial and office purposes, it is advisable to buy a machine which is designed to brew more than one cup at once.
Automatic machines are designed to eliminate or reduce human interference. The control system is more sophisticated and advanced in automatic and semi-automatic machines. These two machines will enable the user to make some adjustments to the already existing features.
The fully automatic or super-automatic or ultra-automatic machines require the least human effort of all. They are designed in a similar way that you need to plug in and start the machine. Just fill all the pots or jars with required ingredients, and it does the job.
A professional user will tend to change or tweak the settings which will impact the brew. Automatic or semi-automatic machines are more suitable for them. Home users or occasional users can rely on fully automatic espresso machines as they do not let the user change controls and are quick.
Manual machines will entirely depend on the user effort. You have full control over the machine, and your actions determine the quality of the brew.
A manual espresso machine will require minimum effort for cleaning. Automatic machines require sophisticated cleaning mechanisms along with regular methods.
An ideal espresso machine will have the ability to detach most of the parts for easy cleaning. The regular cleaning such as backwater washing and descaling is required at least once a month.
The water reservoir, portafilter, and the milk frothier wand (if available) should be washable. It is a plus point if the parts support machine washing. Regular cleaning such as scrubbing of the basket, dishwashing the water jar or portafilter must not cause any damage.
The FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Which Espresso Machine Is Good, Manual Or Automatic?
- It depends on your needs. If a manual espresso machine can produce a minimum of 9 bars of pressure, it can brew an excellent espresso with quality crema. An automatic machine is suitable for users who want to make a quick espresso with least human effort.
What Are Nespresso Capsules?
- They are also known as pods which are sold exclusively by Nespresso. The capsules are made of aluminum. These capsules contain 5 to 7 grams of coffee powder which is used for one serving. They are compatible with Nespresso machines and some other third-party automatic machines.
- The capsules are designed according to the type of brew and contain ideal amounts of a coffee powder suitable for each brew.
What Is The Difference Between Single And Double Shot?
- A single shot of espresso is made by brewing 7 grams of ground coffee yielding about 30 ml. The double shot is brewing 14 grams and 60 ml yield.
How Much Pressure Is Needed For Espresso?
- The standard pressure required to brew espresso is 9 bars. Any pressure above this will not affect the quality of the coffee in any way.
Why Does My Automatic Espresso Machine Is Too Noisy?
- Check the water level in the jar. If the water is insufficient, the motor will sound noisy. Fill the water up to the line, and there will be less or no noise.
Buying the best espresso machine under 200 can be challenging. As there are several models available and more pouring in each day, it is best to choose a machine which has more straightforward control features.
Home users can opt for either automatic or manual machines. If you are cynical in trying new varieties every day consider buying a machine which has the luxury of changing or adjusting the settings.
For travellers, it is suggested to get a manual espresso maker which fits well in your baggage. The last point to consider is your budget. Don’t get fooled by the myth that manual espresso machines are cheaper than automatic. Some of them are quite expensive than many automatic machines.
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My name Is Stephane Carol. Stephane Carol Is a coffee addicted. Love to drink coffee most of the times. A few days ago (Most probably November 2018) I decided to start blogging from my real life experience about coffee, coffee making machine and coffee related Items to help who have also Interest In coffee.