Everyone should have the privilege of making robust espresso in the comfort of home without having to break the bank on an expensive, above-average espresso machine. You should have simple and affordable access to delicious cups of espresso.
We at Roasty have been reviewing high-end at-home espresso machines for a long time now. However, we know some coffee drinkers are more concerned about a machine’s price than brand, power, or design. If you find yourself in that category, this article is for you. We’ve scoured the internet high and low to find the best espresso machines under $200 to help you brew on a budget!
At a Glance: Our Top 5 Picks For Best Espresso Machines Under $200
What kind of espresso machine do I need?
But before you start perusing our list to find the machine of your dreams, it’s important to figure out what’s best for you. What kind of espresso machine do you need?
But wait a minute…aren’t all espresso machines the same? Whatever machine you get won’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things, right? Wrong. Choosing the espresso machine that best fits your coffee routine and lifestyle is more important than you might think. Let’s talk a bit about what’s out there.
Quick Summary: Best Espresso Machines Under $200
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|BREWSLY 15-BAR STAINLESS STEEL ESPRESSO MACHINE
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|DE’LONGHI EC155M ESPRESSO AND CAPPUCCINO MAKER
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|NESPRESSO ESSENZA MINI ESPRESSO MACHINE
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|DELONGHI ESSENZA MINI ORIGINAL ESPRESSO MACHINE
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|MR. COFFEE ESPRESSO CAFÉ BARISTA
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|BREVILLE-NESPRESSO PIXIE ESPRESSO MACHINE
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|GEVI 15-BAR ESPRESSO MACHINE
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|NESPRESSO ENV135B VERTUO EVOLUO BY DE’LONGHI
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|NESPRESSO VERTUOPLUS BY DE’LONGHI
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|CUISINART EM-100 1.66 STAINLESS STEEL ESPRESSO MAKER
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Commercial Espresso Machines
Commercial espresso machines are primarily used in coffee shop settings and are designed to produce high-quality espresso for a large consumer population. They are larger, made out of a sturdier material (like stainless steel), and are built to handle copious amounts of espresso grounds quickly and continuously.
Furthermore, commercial machines are more complex in structure, meaning there are many working parts inside of the machine that can be somewhat complicated to use and even more complicated to fix. They can cost up to several thousand dollars to purchase, and if they require maintenance, they can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair or replace.
Also, it’s important to note that since they are built on a commercial level, most of these machines are going to be fully or super-automatic. This simply means the machine will handle each part of the brewing process for you, from grinding espresso beans, heating water, steaming milk, brewing the coffee, and more.
At-Home Espresso Machines
Thankfully, not all machines are as demanding or high maintenance as standard commercial espresso machines. Espresso machines designed for the home are smaller in size, usually made of lesser-quality material, and are simple to use and clean. They aren’t designed for the continuous stress of extracting espresso shots back-to-back, but they’ll do well at providing your daily dose of coffee and entertaining guests.
Since they aren’t the most heavy-duty machines, most home espresso machines are fairly simple to use, and they cost less to purchase and repair. Depending on what brand and what type of machine you purchase, a home espresso machine can cost anywhere from around $100-$900. However, we’re here to save you some extra pocket change with these home espresso machines that won’t break the bank but will get the job done every time.
Many espresso machines that are under $200 are either going to be manual machines or semi-automatic machines. These machines either require you to do the brewing process entirely on your own or will at least provide you with a brewing and steaming ability, leaving out other important steps like grinding.
Manual vs. Automatic vs. Super-Automatic
Something else you’ll need to decide before purchasing an espresso machine is how much work you’re willing to put into the brewing process, which is why we’re giving you a quick rundown of the types of espresso machines on the market.
Some people want to be heavily involved from the time the beans go into the grinder (check out our favorite coffee grinders here) until the espresso is in the cup, while others want nothing more than to just press a button and have the machine do all of the work.
Manual espresso makers, also called Piston machines, leave the work of getting a perfect espresso pull to the brewer, as they require you to pump a lever to get the pressure needed to produce the rich, strong coffee we all know and love.
Though admired for the level of control they give, these lever-driven espresso machines aren’t very common anymore, probably because technological advancements made in coffee-brewing products throughout the years have offered us levels of speed and convenience manual espresso machines just can’t give.
Super-automatic espresso machines do every bit of the work for you, which is why they’re such a popular choice among those who can barely keep their eyes open in the early morning hours, let alone grind, tamp, and brew espresso beans.
These babies usually come with all the bells and whistles, from a built-in grinder to a milk steaming wand, and they require no effort of you other than adding your joe and pushing a few buttons. Some don’t like these machines very much because users don’t get very much or any control over the brewing process, but the good news is, some super-automatic brewers make up for this by adding a decent amount of drink customization options.
As you probably guessed from their name, these kinds of espresso machines fall smack dab in the middle of manual and super-automatic brewers. And because of this, we love semi-automatic espresso machines.
Much like super-automatic brewers, a lot of semi-automatic brewers still boast some impressive features that make the overall brewing process a bit easier and more convenient, but they also give the user the satisfaction (and control!) of tamping and grinding their own beans.
What should I look for when buying an espresso machine?
Before you put your money where your mouth is, here are some characteristics you need to keep in mind when choosing which lower-priced espresso machine is best suited for you.
You want to make sure that your espresso machine is reasonably priced and matches up well with the features that it offers. For example, you don’t want to pay for a machine that costs over $200 that doesn’t at least offer a steam wand built into it. Thankfully, there are many great options on the market for those who need a balance between beneficial features and not breaking the bank.
It’s not just what the machine can do, but what the machine is made of that also matters. You may not find every espresso machine that’s under $200 to be made of the finest, sturdiest material, but you should at least expect your machine to be built well, durable, and dependable.
The smaller the size often means the smaller the price tag. One important thing that will influence the size of your espresso machine is whether or not your machine has a water reservoir built into it and how big that water reservoir is.
If you find a smaller machine with unimpressive features and is overall too small to accommodate the kinds of brewing power you’ll need, maybe look at some other options. You’ll also want a machine that will brew delicious espresso without taking up too much space in your kitchen.
Top Espresso Machines Under $200
Everyone deserves to have a high-quality, affordable espresso at the tip of their fingers. Here are some of our favorite espresso machines on the market right now that are dependable, affordable, and would make a great addition to your morning coffee routine.
Brewsly 15-Bar Stainless Steel Espresso Machine
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This Brewsly espresso machine is favored among many home baristas because it’s small, powerful, and has almost everything you need to make a delicious cup of coffee.
As far as structure is concerned, the Brewsly is made completely of stainless steel, so it’s strong, sturdy, and can handle any brewing job. And with 15 bars of pressure and the ability to accommodate any personal flavor preferences, this little machine can create barista-level drinks.
Additionally, it also has double temperature control to adjust both the temperature of the water and the milk. This heating flexibility will ensure that both the taste of the coffee and the temperature and amount of foam in the milk are ideal.
The two-in-one filter holder in the Brewsly delivers either a single or double shot of espresso, and the drip tray is also easy to remove and clean. The milk frother is also adjustable, allowing you more control over the milk frothing process, and the levels of steaming and foam can be adjusted to fit whatever beverage you’re making.
De’Longhi EC155M Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
The De’Longhi espresso machine is a compact model that makes a great addition to any coffee lover’s kitchen, and its sleek black and silver design is sure to fit in with almost any setup.
The De’Longhi brewer is a great addition to any coffee lover’s kitchen. It’s mostly made of metal, primarily in the control pane, drip tray, and along the top of the machine. When it comes to storage, the water reservoir on the inner rear of the machine can hold an entire liter of water, and it has a self-priming system that enables the machine to be ready for use at all times.
There are two separate thermostats in the machine that measures the temperature of the water and the steaming temperatures. In addition to the stainless steel boiler, the De’Longhi not only produces robust espresso but also thoroughly steams milk to create consistent, frothy milk foam.
Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine
This capsule machine, which is Nespresso‘s smallest-ever single-serve espresso maker, has two versions: one by Breville and one by De’Longhi. Both versions of the Essenza are perfectly compatible with Nespresso coffee pods, and both models have many of the same features and are almost the same price.
With its sleek look in design, the Essenza is a nice fit for any style of kitchen, as it comes in a wide variety of colors to complement any kitchen’s décor and is compact and space-saving. The water reservoir is located on the back of the machine and can store enough water to allow you to brew several times in a row before it needs to be refilled.
This powerful little brewer features a one-touch extraction method that can produce an impressive 19 bars of pressure, and when brewing, the Essenza can heat water to the ideal brewing temperature in only 30 seconds. Forgot to turn your machine off? This pod espresso machine makes life easier for you by automatically shutting off after nine minutes of sitting idly.
However, it is important to note that the Essenza only takes Original coffee pods by Nespresso, not the Vertuo line. But where it is limited in this aspect, we believe the pros outweigh the cons for the Essenza.
Mr. Coffee Espresso Café Barista
Coming in three different colors — black, white, and red — this semi-automatic espresso machine by Mr. Coffee is another affordable option, ringing up at just under $200.
The three-in-one machine specializes in producing rich espresso for a variety of espresso beverages, but primarily cappuccinos and lattes. As far as drink selection goes, this machine also has a one-touch control panel built in to select your preferred type of coffee drink before starting the brewing process. Here’s something else worth noting: the water tank and milk container can each hold a decent amount of liquid and are simple to refill and clean.
We enjoy the Café Barista because its 15-bar pump system brews rich-tasting espresso, and it can also steam and froth milk both quickly and efficiently. When it comes to steaming milk, the machine completely warms and froths it for you, saving you both time and energy. Though some may not like this feature because they prefer having more control over the steaming process, it keeps things simple for the busy coffee enthusiast who is in a hurry. The only unfortunate thing is that you need to clean the milk tube after each use to keep the steaming and frothing process up to snuff.
Breville-Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine
Another product of Breville and Nespresso’s union, the Pixie is a small machine that packs a punch when it comes to brewing rich, savory espresso. It has an impressive 19-bar pump that allows you to brew with the same ease as a professional machine. The power behind the Pixie highlights the coffee’s flavor profile while marking the espresso with a nice crema that’s silky-smooth.
Just as its name implies, the Pixie is of smaller stature, making it easy to put it anywhere in your kitchen. The metal handle on the front of the machine allows for the smooth opening of the brewing chamber, granting easy access to your coffee pods. There’s a red light located on the front of the Pixie to alert you of low water levels, as well as a folding drip tray that allows you to brew into larger cups.
However, the Pixie doesn’t just look efficient; it performs well, too. Before the brewing process begins, the Pixie heats the water in 25 seconds, and nine minutes after brewing is complete, the machine’s automatic shut-off kicks in. It also has two one-touch buttons that give you the option of brewing two different sizes of espresso: standard size (1.35 ounces) or lungo (5 ounces).
Gevi 15-Bar Espresso Machine
Another semi-automatic option, this espresso machine by Gevi is a 15 bar high-pressure machine and has a two-in-one coffee maker and a milk wand. Though the brand has a reputation for making portable coffee gear for those who spend most of their time on the road, this model coffee maker makes an impressive addition to not only a traveler’s home but that of a reserved home-body, too.
This machine brews quality shots with exceptional and thick crema, but that’s not where its impressive features stop. It also has double temperature control, allowing you to adjust the water and milk temperatures separately.
Plus, frothing milk has never been easier than with the Barsetto brewer’s steaming wand. There’s a side rotating button that controls the release of steam, which is inspired by the designs of many higher-end commercial machines.
Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo by De’Longhi (ENV135B)
Able to brew both coffee and espresso, the ENV135B is a very versatile automatic coffee maker. Coming in multiple colors, this machine can produce a wide range of espresso and coffee sizes that will suit any coffee lover’s needs. Most importantly, it’s designed for use with Nespresso Vertuo capsules. It also uses Nespresso’s Centrifusion technology to accurately blend the water through the coffee grounds thoroughly to ensure a well-rounded, rich extraction.
A single-serve machine, you can brew a cup of coffee or espresso with the simple push of a button. In addition, the cup stand can be adjusted to four different positions, or even removed completely so that you can brew with any mug you want. The 54-ounce water tank ensures a steady supply of water for your brewing and it also comes with a capsule container that can store about 17 espresso pods for you to brew with.
With a heat-up time of 15 seconds and an automatic shut-off time after nine minutes of inactivity, the De’Longhi ENV135B is also great at conserving energy. Not only will it be kind to your taste buds, but the environment and your wallet too.
Nespresso VertuoPlus by De’Longhi
Where style is concerned, this VertuoPlus by Nespresso and De’Longhi may just take the cake (or should we say coffee?). One of the first things you’ll notice about the automatic espresso machine’s design is that it comes in multiple colors, but you should also note the VertuoPlus’s 60-ounce water reservoir is also designed to move, swiveling out of remaining directly behind the frame of the machine.
Just pop a coffee pod into the machine, and wait about 20 to 25 seconds for the water to reach its ideal temperature. Then, you’ll be enjoying robust espresso with creamy, luscious crema. The VertuoPlus can brew multiple types of coffee, including a standard espresso shot (1.35 ounces), a double espresso shot (2.7 ounces), a gran lungo (5 ounces), coffee (7.7 ounces), or an alto (14 ounces). No need to remember to turn it off after brewing, either, as the automatic shut-off kicks in after nine minutes.
Cuisinart EM-100 1.66 Stainless Steel Espresso Maker
Though a little more on the expensive side of the best espresso machines under $200, this Cuisinart brewer is still a worthy contender for those who are looking for a higher-end machine to use in their kitchen. Like many products on our list and the market, this Cuisinart offering uses 15 bars of pressure to make a savory sip of espresso and silky crema to coat its surface.
Use either ground coffee or pre-packaged coffee pods to brew one or two shots of espresso, and know that thanks to the 53-ounce water reservoir, you can brew several cups of coffee before you have to refill it. However, these aren’t the only features that make the Cuisinart so appealing.
There’s a cup warmer built into the top of the machine to make sure your cup and coffee stay as hot as possible until it’s time to drink it, and there’s also a simple-to-use and easy-to-clean drip tray that catches any joe that may miss your cup. To switch between brewing and steaming with the wand, all you have to do is turn the knob on the face of the machine.
And if none of this is enough to convince you to give this machine a chance, maybe this will: it comes with a milk pitcher and plastic tamping device to help you up your at-home brewing game.
Yabano Espresso Machine with Milk Frother
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Last but certainly not least is a product that’s a bit on the higher end of affordable espresso machines, but luckily for you, Roasty reader, it still comes in at under $200. The stylish, stainless steel brewer from Yabano comes equipped with a 33.8-ounce removable water tank, a built-in steam wand so you can top your drinks with perfect steamed milk, and a pressure gauge to help you consistently brew a delicious shot of coffee.
There’s even a cup warmer on top of the machine to heat your espresso cup before you brew or keep your joe warm after it’s been made.
Like many machines on the market, Yabano’s brewer uses 15 bars of pressure to extract strong espresso each and every time, and just in case you make a mess while brewing your rich, fragrant aroma java, the stainless steel drip tray is removable for easy clean-up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a home espresso machine worth it?
The answer to this question ultimately depends on your coffee-drinking habits and preferences. If you find yourself in line for a specialty coffee drink at Starbucks or the local Mom-and-Pop café almost every day, for example, making your java at home will be more cost-effective and ultimately, a worthwhile investment.
What kind of machine you buy — or whether you get one at all — also depends on how hands-on you want to be in the coffee-making process. If you don’t want to do more than add coffee and push a button, a manual or semi-automatic brewer won’t be the best purchase for you to make.
What’s the most reliable espresso machine?
When it comes to finding a budget brewer you know you can count on, we think the DeLonghi EC155M is hard to beat.
The EC155M is a favorite in the espresso machine market, and its durable stainless steel boiler will guarantee you’ll be making one fancy coffee beverage after another for years to come. This is one of our favorite semi-automatic espresso machines to recommend to Roasty readers, partially because of its price point but mostly because it manages to do exactly what it’s designed to do: brew excellent espressos.
What is the easiest espresso machine to use?
An espresso machine’s ease of use very much depends on whether it’s a manual, semi-automatic, or super-automatic brewer. Because they’re the most hands-on option, a manual espresso machine is likely going to be the most difficult to master. A super-automatic espresso machine, on the other hand, typically only requires you add ground beans and water before pressing a button — you don’t have to be a coffee expert to get a delicious morning cup.
If you’re a budding barista looking to move beyond drip coffee makers and up your brewing game with a simple-to-use semi-automatic brewer, we recommend the Mr. Coffee Café Barista. This machine is a pretty decent place for a beginner to start learning to pull a perfect espresso shot, and the built-in automatic milk frother is a great choice for someone who loves sipping milk-based espresso drinks.
Can you make espresso without a machine?
So what do you do if you can’t find an espresso machine that works for you? Give up the stuff entirely? No way! Luckily for you, there are ways of making dark and rich coffee without the machine…kind of. It’s not exactly espresso, as that kind of joe requires at least nine bars of pressure to make. But there are methods of making a strong coffee concentrate that makes a pretty good espresso substitute that works just as well in your lattes, cappuccinos, and more.
Interested in learning more? Check out this article!
How long will an espresso machine last?
The lifespan of your beloved brewer ultimately depends on a few factors, including brand, frequency of use, and how well-maintained it is. On average, however, quality espresso machines can last from five to 15 years.
Ultimately, there are many espresso machines on the market today that are affordable and are efficient for getting the job done. Though they won’t provide you with all of the bells and whistles that a fancier coffee machine encompasses, they’ll still provide you with a delicious cup of espresso to enjoy.