Top Rated Best Espresso Machines Under 200: Ultimate Buyers Guide

Image of The Best Espresso Machines Under 200
Best Espresso Machines Under 200

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 onto finely-ground coffee powder.

Finding its roots in Italy, espresso coffee has now become famous in all corners of the world. The unique features of espresso, over other coffees, are that it is thicker and has a higher concentration of solids and crema on top.

Espresso Machines Under 200 Dollars Comparison Table 2020
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De'Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, 15", Black
Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker | Café Barista , Silver
De'Longhi 15 bar Pump Espresso Maker, EC702, Metal
Customer rating
Features
  • Excellent brewing of espresso
  • 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
  • Easy to use
  • Stress-free to clean
  • Great brew quality
  • Automatic frothing
  • Portability
  • Can brew cappuccino and latte
  • Excellent brewing of espresso and cappuccino
  • Simple controls
  • Compact design
  • Built-in cup warmer
  • Good frothing of the with simple adjustable sleeve
  • 3 in one portafilter holders
Image
De'Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, 15", Black
Customer rating
Features
  • Excellent brewing of espresso
  • 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
Image
Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker | Café Barista , Silver
Customer rating
Features
  • Easy to use
  • Stress-free to clean
  • Great brew quality
  • Automatic frothing
  • Portability
  • Can brew cappuccino and latte
Image
De'Longhi 15 bar Pump Espresso Maker, EC702, Metal
Customer rating
Features
  • Excellent brewing of espresso and cappuccino
  • Simple controls
  • Compact design
  • Built-in cup warmer
  • Good frothing of the with simple adjustable sleeve
  • 3 in one portafilter holders

There are many machines that brew espresso with ease. In this list, we will learn about some of the best espresso machines under 200 that offer a premium range of features and also make the best espresso.

Types of Espresso Machines Available

With new advancements in technology, modern espresso coffee makers have had significant upgrades to their design, form, and mode of action. 

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 its driving mechanism, you still have to opt for either automatic driven or manual driven.

So, based on the mode of automation, espresso machines can be classified into:

  • Super-Automatic Espresso Machines

With these machines, the term implies that the espresso coffee-making process is fully automated. These machines can grind beans, dispense pressurized water, and automatically brew coffee.

These machines have programmable controls with which you can set all of the tasks to prepare an espresso. Super-automatic espresso machines are set once and forget the type of devices. Once you customize your brew settings, there is no need to alter them again.

Furthermore, you can change your settings and prepare other brews; such as lattes, cappuccinos, and Turkish coffees, depending on the available options.

  • Ultra – Automatic Espresso Machines

Ultra-automatic espresso machines are designed to avoid any human intervention in the entire process of espresso creation – from start to finish. However, that being said, it has all of the automatic features that one would expect, except dispensing and grinding.

You need to dispense the grinds manually in the storage container and burr respectively. The machine provides different varieties of options for you, so all you have to do is press the button and get your desired beverage.

The major drawback of these machines is that while you little have control over the overall process, there is no option for automatic grinding. However, if you are looking for a fast machine with little or no effort, ultra-automatic espresso coffee machines are the best choice.

  • Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines

If you are a pro when it comes to making espresso coffee and you want to control your brew, then semi-automatic espresso machines are the best choice. As an added benefit, these machines are cheaper than the other two in this category.

You have excellent control over time, temperature, water dispensing quantity, and brew dispensing. While most of the semi-automatic machines do not have an inbuilt grinder, some more advanced versions do. 

The steaming and frothing can also 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 that ends up in their cup.

2. Based on Driving Mechanism

The core method of making an espresso is to drive the pressurized water into the 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, espresso machines are classified into the following types:

  • Steam Driven Espresso Machines

These machines use the power of steam to force water through the head and they typically have a boiler and multiple heads.

These multiple heads enable the user to make different coffees at the same time. Overall, steam-driven espresso machines are a lot cheaper as they do not have any high-moving mechanical parts.

The major drawback of steam-driven espresso machines is that the crema, the hallmark of espresso coffee, is of relatively 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 main types of pistons: manual pistons and spring-pistons.

With the manual piston, the user must pull the lever to drive the pressurized hot water. In spring-piston machines, the user must create a tension in the spring which then forces the water.

The process of pulling the piston to drive the pressurized water is known as ‘pulling the shot.’ An average of 110 – 150 pounds of pressure is created during this process. Piston-driven espresso machines are generally considered to be manual espresso machines as they require human effort to pressurize the hot water.

  • Pump Driven Espresso Machines

If you want the driving mechanism to be automatic, then pump-driven espresso machines are ideal for you. These machines are often considered to be a step towards automatic espresso machines.

Pump-driven espresso machines use electricity to pressurize the water. The automation of driving the pressurized water has made these machines a huge success and they are very popular in commercial settings.

The pumps used in these machines are called solenoid pumps, and they use motor-driven force to pressurize the hot water. Overall, this makes it 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 incredibly modern and they are relatively smaller and portable than other types of espresso machines.

3. Stove Top Espresso Machine

Coffee making time
Coffee making time

Stovetop electric coffee makers, also known as Moka pot coffee makers, were initially not considered to be espresso coffee machines. However, since technically speaking, stovetop coffee makers use pressure and steam for brewing a coffee, they are now considered espresso coffee machines by many experts.

This type of coffee maker has a water reservoir at the bottom and a coffee brewing compartment above. Metallic filters separate both chambers in between and a safety valve is present, which keeps the water pressure in check.

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 espresso machine, it has earned the classification of “espresso machine”.

Best Espresso Machines Under 200 For 2020

If you are looking for espresso machines that provide tons of features and are available within your budget, here is the definitive list of some of the best espresso machines under 200 dollars.

Mr. BVMC-ECMP1000-RB Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

Mr. Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker,

The Mr. Café Barista Espresso And Cappuccino Maker is our top pick for espresso machines under 200. First and foremost, it is a semi-automatic machine, which means you have good control over the brew that you produce.

Furthermore, the design quality is superb and it is very easy to clean and maintain. The water reservoir is also detachable for easy maintenance. When it comes to the actual brewing process, all you need to do is put the perfect amount of grounds in the portafilter and add the right amount of water.

Choose either a single or double shot, select the brew type, and push the button to get your desired cup of coffee. However, it is recommended that you tighten the metallic screw that holds the portafilter properly, or else it might accidentally fall into the cup.

The machine does not have a built-in grinder and so you will obviously need to grind the beans separately. For a good espresso (or other beverage types), it is not advised to use pre-ground coffee with this machine.

The Mr. Café Barista Espresso And Cappuccino Maker has a pump driving mechanism and pressurizes water with 15 bars of pressure. The machine also does automatic frothing that varies depending on your selected brew.

Weighing around 9 pounds, it is easily portable. It does not have an abundance of complicated features, making it simple to use and the best home espresso machine under 200.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Stress-free to clean
  • Great brew quality
  • Automatic frothing
  • Portability
  • Can brew cappuccino and latte

Cons

  • The portafilter screw might accidentally fall in your cup
  • Automatic frothing could be better

Capresso 116.04 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine EC100

Capresso 116.04 Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine EC100, Black and Stainless

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 a frothing sleeve that can be used for cappuccinos and lattes. If you use the frothing sleeve the air froths the -producing the best cappuccino.

If you remove the frothing sleeve and use the 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 a 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 residues. This step can be very tedious if you are using this machine for home guests or commercial purposes.

Pros

  • Dual frothing system
  • Stainless-steel ThermoBlock system
  • Automatic locking portafilter
  • Automatic rinsing
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • 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, 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 that contain pre-ground 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. 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 powder, and there is no tank as well. It has an automatic switch-off mechanism for 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 pump creates 19 bars of pressure to develop good crema for the espresso.

The compact design of Nespresso Inissia takes very little space and weighs just below 5.5 pounds. For regular home espresso enthusiasts, it is the best home espresso machine under 200.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Great espresso and lung brews
  • Easy to clean
  • The capsule system delivers precise proportions of powder required for the brew
  • Auto power-saving mode

Cons

  • Cannot brew other than espresso or lungo
  • Capsules are the only way to dispense powder, and you need to buy pods separately

Flair Espresso Maker – Manual Press

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 the user’s effort to prepare your favorite brew.

You can use single or double filter according to your choice. A dispersion screen is placed above the powder once loaded in the portafilter. Preheat the cylinder and the cup with hot water before brewing your 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. Variations in crema are observed, and it depends on the grind, roasting period, and quality of beans.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • The Crema of the espresso is not up to the mark
  • Needs 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 Frother Bundle

Nespresso Inissia Original Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Frother Bundle by Breville, Titan

Another entrant from Nespresso is the Inissia espresso machine with Aeroccino 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 powder must be dispensed in the form of capsules, and you will get a welcome kit of 14 different grind capsules with the package.

You can make two types of brew with this machine, espresso, and lungo. There are two 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 capsule and push the button according to your desired brew. The machine uses a 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 an auto switch off mode, and it shutdowns itself every 9 minutes for saving.

The significant difference between the Nespresso Inissia espresso machine and this one is that the package contains an Aeroccino frothing machine. Flow the in the Aeroccino frother & press the button on it. That’s it; it will warm and froth the very quickly.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality and design
  • Quick dispensing of the brew
  • Capsule system for accurate measurements of the
  • Easy to clean
  • Power saving mode
  • Aeroccino frother

Cons

  • 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 of the capsule system can be tedious

Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine by De’Longhi, Aluminum

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 almost all home and commercial needs.

Behind the Nespresso Pixie espresso machine is a 24 oz water tank with red LED indicators. The signs flash alerting you to fill the water whenever required. Like other Nespresso machines, the Pixie espresso machine has two push buttons for espresso and lung.

Preheat the machine and insert the capsules to start the brew. The 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 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 a power-saving mode which will switch it off every 9 minutes.

Pros

  • Premium quality design and performance
  • Quick brewing
  • Power saving mode
  • Empty water tank alert system
  • Portable
  • Capsule system for precision control

Cons

  •  The capsule disposal and capsule is a tedious work
  • Cannot brew other than espresso and lungo
  • Capsules must be bought separately

Nespresso Vertuo & Espresso Machine by Breville, Matte Black

Nespresso Vertuo and Espresso Machine by Breville, Matte Black

This is not just any other espresso machine from Nespresso. It has many standout features which make it the best in its class.

Like all Nespresso machines, the Vertuo also needs capsules to brew 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 situation.

This step is eliminated by the barcode reader of the Vertuo 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. 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.

Pros

  • Unique design and performance
  • Inbuilt barcode reader to read the capsules
  • Unique Centrifusion™ technology
  • Easy to clean
  • Compact and portable

Cons

  • The heating method is not up to the mark making the not as hot as intended
  • The Centrifusion™ method does not produce crema
  • Even though it has a barcode reader, you must have knowledge about which capsule is suitable for which brew. You might end up brewing a which the machine intended and not you.

Mr. Automatic Dual Shot Espresso/Cappuccino System

Mr. Automatic Dual Shot Espresso/Cappuccino System

Mr. 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.

The machine has a stainless-steel thermal block system that will preheat the device in 25 seconds. It uses a pump that generates a pressure of 15 bars. This machine has single and double cup portafilters. The frothing arm will steam and froth the at ease.

It dispenses a single shot in 20 seconds and a double shot in 40 seconds. Just fill your ground 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 glows indicating that the machine is ready. Press the brew button to dispense the espresso or cappuccino.

You can use the frother to froth the cappuccino. The nozzle of the frother produces a rich foamy layer on top. 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. 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 it one of the lightest espresso machines.

Pros

  • An automatic machine with a bold and authentic brewing
  • Dual shot dispenser
  • Frother
  • Easy to clean
  • Shockingly lightweight and compact design
  • A single or double shot dispensing system

Cons

  • 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
  • frothing is not as good as described

De’Longhi ECP3630 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

De'Longhi ECP3630 15 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, Stainless Steel (ECP3630)

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 pump will create 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.

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.

The machine weighs 10 pounds and is suitable for all home kitchens as well as commercial setups.

Pros

  • Excellent brewing of espresso and cappuccino
  • Simple controls
  • Compact design
  • Built-in cup warmer
  • Good frothing of the with simple adjustable sleeve
  • 3 in one portafilter holders

Cons

  • No automatic shut off mode
  • Expensive compared to other similar models
  • The frother whips the cream out of in both settings

De’Longhi ECP3420 15″ Bar Pump Espresso & Cappuccino Machine

De'Longhi ECP3420 15

Another espresso machine in our list from De’Longhi is the ECP3420 15 bar pump espresso and cappuccino machine. It has almost all features similar to the ECP3630 except in aesthetics.

It has a removable 37 oz water tank at the back. The self-priming system will reduce the startup time for the operation. It has a frother with adjustable sleeves, and you can froth the for cappuccino or merely a hot foam.
The three-in-one portafilter has holders for single and double espresso shots. Similar to ECP3630, it has two separate thermostats for its water and 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 is perfect for all home and commercial setups.
The De’Longhi ECP3420 has a similar stainless-steel as ECP3630, but it has black accents. It differs only in design but is identical in every way to ECP3630.

Pros

  • Excellent brewing of espresso
  • 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

Cons

  • No automatic switch-off mechanism
  • Average frothing system
  • No adjustable or programmable settings

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker

The Breville ESP8XL café Roma stainless espresso maker is an automatic espresso machine with a Thermoblock pump. This is unique in its design and built quality.

It has a frother that can be used to froth for a cappuccino. The package is supplied with a stainless steel 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 a 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 powder and turn the knob towards your requirement (frothing or brewing ). 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 for commercial purposes.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality and design
  • Dual water filling system
  • Frother
  • Easy to clean
  • Decent crema for espresso
  • Useful add-ons supplied within the package

Cons

  • The 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

DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker, Stainless, Metal

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.

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 in their patented holder.

Its frother is also patented by De’Longhi and can be used to produce creamy, foamy cappuccino or lattes. It uses the 15-bar pressure pump to produce rich crema for the espresso.

One of the significant differences of the machine compared to 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.

Pros

  • Compact design and premium build quality
  • Frother
  • Automatic switch off mode
  • One touch control
  • Self-priming mechanism
  • Large water tank
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • The 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

Nespresso Vertuo and Espresso Machine by Breville, Chrome

A premium quality automatic machine that 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 to produce the brew.

It uses a pump which produces 20 bars of pressure, the highest pressure amongst the machines on 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 a single shot (espresso) or a double shot (lungo). It has a water tank that 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 making the userspace messy.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • The machine is super noisy
  • Water leakage while brewing
  • No frothier

Cafflano Kompresso (Hand Carry Maker)

Cafflano Kompresso (Hand Carry 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.

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 (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 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 travelers. 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.

Pros

  • Simple and elegant design
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Good for travellers
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Durable and long lifespan
  • Hydraulic water compression

Cons

  • Crema quality is not good
  • Not ideal for elderly users
  • Quality of the brew may vary

ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker

ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker

The ROK Presso manual espresso maker is a unique machine that 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 to avoid slipping while brewing. Most manual machines will not have frothier, but surprisingly the ROK Presso manual machine has 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.

The package includes additional add-ons which include splitter spout, measuring scoop which can be used as a tamper tool, and manual frothier. It weighs 7 pounds making it easy for transport.

Pros

  • A unique dual lever mechanism
  • No electricity required
  • Manual frothier
  • Lightweight
  • Rugged with a long lifespan
  • Great espresso even though it is not designed for it

Cons

  • The parts (water cups and portafilter holders) may break
  • The frothier does not live up to the mark
  • You need high-quality ground (and beans) to produce accurate espresso

Lello 1375 Ariete Cafe Prestige Maker

Lello 1375 Ariete Cafe Prestige Maker

The LelloAiriete café prestige maker is an automatic espresso and cappuccino machine. It has similar features to the De’Longhi such as a frother and 15 bar pressure pump.

The difference is the 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 into 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 an 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 very little. Weighing about 1 pound, it is the lightest espresso machine on our list. Don’t get fooled by its weight, it is very durable and can last for years.

The frother will froth your coffee, 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.

Pros

  • 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
  • Frother

Cons

  • The frother does not have adjustable settings
  • Frequent malfunctioning of the priming system

Things That Make An Espresso Machine That You Should Buy

Making Coffee From An Espresso Machine

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 that 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 that 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 a single shot (1.5oz) of 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 have automatic temperature regulators that function with the help of thermostats. If you are a 1st-time user, it is advised to select an espresso maker that 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-points 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.

After considering all of these features, it is important that you select an espresso machine that best meets your needs.

  • Size

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 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 traveler and an espresso lover, you should buy an espresso machine that 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 frothier. If you want to try other brews such as cappuccino, you can consider buying them.

  • Design

The design of the espresso maker depends on whether it is a manual or 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 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 that has frothier.
For commercial and office purposes, it is advisable to buy a machine that is designed to brew more than one cup at once.

  • Easy Control

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 the 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.

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 the 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 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 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 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 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.

Conclusion

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 that has more straightforward control features.

Home users can opt for either automatic or manual machines. If you are cynical about trying new varieties every day consider buying a machine that has the luxury of changing or adjusting the settings.

For travelers, 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 ones. Some of them are quite expensive than many automatic machines.

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Last update on 2021-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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