Best Espresso Machine Under 200: Top Picks For The Best Value For Money
An espresso machine may have a reputation for being expensive, but in reality, if you search at the right places, you can find one at the right price. The best thing is that even if they are affordable, they can deliver superior quality and functionality, providing you with quick access to your caffeine fix.
If you are having a hard time looking for the best espresso machine under 200, we got you covered. Below, we will give you valuable insights on how to choose an espresso machine, and most importantly, we’ll look at five of the choices that can be included in your list. They are affordable, yet they are amongst the best within the product category.
Parts Of An Espresso Machine
Before you start your search, it is important to be aware of the different parts of the machine to make sure that they will offer top-notch quality.
- Grouphead: Also known as brew head or brew group, there can be one to four groups in an espresso machine. For those that are under 200, it is common to have a single group head.
- Portafilter: As the name implies, this is a portable filter. This is one of the most important in coming up with the perfect espresso.
- Portafilter Basket: This is the screen that provides filtration in the portafilter. It comes with a spring that holds it in place.
- Control Panel: This is the part where you can see the different buttons, including the power switch.
- Drip Tray: This has the purpose of catching drips, which will help to reduce mess. Also, it is often removable, which will make the base accommodate cups with different sizes.
- Tamper: It is important to make sure that the coffee grounds are pressed firmly, which means that no air will pass through. This can be achieved through the use of a tamper.
- Water Tank: For most of the models within this price range, there is a tank for water supply, unlike in the more expensive ones that you can connect directly to a water source.
- Water Filter: This is another important part of an espresso machine as this can help in getting rid of impurities in water to make it taste cleaner.
- Grinder: If you want a bean to cup system, there should be a grinder. This will allow you to grind the beans exactly as desired and make sure they are fresh.
- Frothing Wand: This is excellent if you are looking for versatility. This means that you can use the machine in multiple ways, such as in making cappuccino and latte.
However, keep in mind that for a product that is under 200, there are some brands that do not have all of the parts mentioned above. Some may seem to be too basic, but they can still perform the same function.
Choosing An Espresso Machine
Aside from paying attention to the parts that have been mentioned above, below are some factors that are equally important to consider:
Are you going to use the espresso machine for a small office or in the kitchen of your home? The first thing that you have to do is determining the size of the space where it will be placed, and from there, you can decide whether you need a small or large espresso machine.
EASE OF USE
If the espresso machine is complicated to use, it will end up being an under-utilized appliance. With this, make sure that it comes with user-friendly controls, making its operation as a breeze.
There are some machines that can be good beyond making a robust shot of espresso. For instance, if it comes with a frothing wand, you can use it as well in making cappuccino and other drinks.
Aesthetics should not be ignored as you try to make the right decision. Its style will be an important consideration because the machine is often exposed. Nonetheless, do not choose one only because it looks pretty.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
To retain the machine in its tip-top condition, you have to make sure that it is regularly cleaned. Some machines have self-cleaning and descaling functions, making it easier to have them maintained.
It will also be good if the manufacturer is offering comprehensive warranty coverage. This means that if there is any defect experienced, within the warranty period, they can have it repaired for free.
Making The Perfect Espresso
It is not enough that you have the right machine. You should also keep in mind the tips that will be mentioned below to help you make the perfect shot of espresso all the time:
- The coffee is the most important ingredient. Start with fresh beans. It will be best if it has been roasted within 9 to 11 days. Using capsules can be convenient, but they do not often result in the best taste.
- More than the coffee ground, the quality of the water will also be critical. Do not use tap water. It will be good if there is an attached filtration system to the machine.
- Cleanliness of the machine is also essential, especially of the portafilter. If it is dirty, this will have a negative impact on the taste of espresso.
- The right temperature will also give you the assurance of having the perfect espresso. With this, pre-heating is necessary.
- You should also pay attention to proper tamping if in case you are using coffee grounds. There should be no space for air to pass through for maximum extraction.
Top Picks For The Best Espresso Machine Under 200
If you are having a hard time choosing an espresso machine that falls within your budget, below, we will have a look at five of the options you might want to consider.
- Simplicity and affordability – these are two of the things that you might love about this product. It comes with a pocket-friendly price. It is made better by the fact that operating the machine is pretty much simple, making it ideal even for beginners.
- Among others, it is easy to use because it comes with One Touch control panel. Just select the brew that you want and the machine will handle the rest of the work. Plus, the manufacturer provides a well-written manual.
- This can be an excellent choice if you are looking for versatility. One of the reasons for this is the ability to automatically froth milk, which you can choose for lattes and cappuccino, among others.
- The machine also comes with a removable water reservoir, which is surprisingly easy to clean.
- Lastly, it is a 15-bar espresso machine. The minimum requirement of pressure to make the perfect cup of espresso is 9-bar.
- User-friendly interface
- Easy to clean
- Delivers versatile functionality
- Can create a loud noise
- Temperature can be unstable
- Although using this espresso machine can be a bit confusing at first, this should not be a hindrance in choosing this above others. The good news is that after a few uses, the learning curve will not be as steep.
- The versatility of this machine will be another reason why it is expensive. You can customize your brews in different ways. Aside from producing an espresso shot, you can also use it for making drinks that are iced. You can also use cups or mugs of different sizes.
- There are also innovative features that will make it exceptional. One of the perfect examples of the latter is the Advanced Thermal Flavor Extraction Technology. It also has Auto IQ One-Touch Intelligence. With these features, you can achieve maximum flavor without the need to exert too much effort.
- Lastly, it has a well-built carafe that is made from high-quality materials. This makes sure that it will last for a long time and can resist even extreme temperature.
- Produces high-quality espresso
- Durable glass carafe
- Can be complicated to use
- Machine can be prone to leaking
- With this espresso machine, you need to buy and use the compatible capsules. Its drawback is that these capsules are expensive. However, it is a good thing that they can offer variety.
- Among other things, one of the most impressive in this product is the Thermoblock heating element, which will allow you to preheat the machine within half a minute. To add, it also comes with a 19-bar pressure pump, which will be instrumental in achieving the best outcomes.
- You do not have many choices in using this machine, but there are programmable buttons that will allow you to choose from espresso or lungo. The drip tray can also be folded, allowing you to use cups with different sizes.
- Lastly, we also loved how it comes with an automatic power off feature, which will help in saving energy, prevention of overheating, and prolonging the lifespan of the internal components.
- Wide array of choices for flavors
- Capsules are easy to insert and eject
- Compact design
- Capsules can be expensive
- Water tank is small
- Among others, One-Touch brewing feature is one of the most impressive about this product. All that you need is to press a single button and it will automatically brew your preferred drink. Pre-heating will take only about 15 seconds.
- It is also worth noting that it comes with Centrifusion extraction technology. This is a patented innovation. The machine uses 7,000 rotations per minute for the maximum extraction of flavor from every capsule. This will help to come up with the perfect crema all the time.
- The milk frother that is included in this product is also worth noting. The latter makes it easy to create creamy milk that will be an excellent addition to various drinks.
- Easy to use
- Produces excellent espresso with nice crema
- Gets hot quickly
- No third-party pods
- Can be noisy
- Compact and colorful – these are just some of the reasons why you might want to consider choosing this model above others. Its sleek profile will make it the perfect addition to small kitchens or offices.
- It is also a good thing that it comes with an energy-saving feature. There is no need to worry about leaving it turned on. After 9 minutes of being idle, the machine will power off on its own.
- It offers one-touch functionality, which contributes to being user-friendly. You can choose from espresso or lungo, depending on the size of drink that you want the machine to brew. Also, it is a good thing that the machine heats up in just 25 seconds, which minimizes the time that you have to wait before your drink is ready.
- Lastly, when it is purchased, it is already inclusive of 16 capsules with various flavors. A milk frother is also included, allowing you to make different drinks.
- Easy to use
- Has high-quality frother
- Space-efficient profile
- Coffee pods can be expensive
- Plastic construction
With the best espresso machine under 200, you can enjoy superior quality at a price that won’t hurt the wallet. As mentioned above, the options are endless, but this should not give you an excuse to choose just any product. Evaluate their different parts, look at the technical specifications, and learn from the experiences of other people.
From the five products briefly reviewed above, if we have to choose only one, it would be Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Premium Espresso. More than affordability, its simplicity makes it a best-seller. No technical knowledge will be required as its operation is pretty much straightforward, especially with its One Touch control.