So you’re looking at buying a new espresso machine. You want something that guarantees a great experience, but also won’t break the bank.
Sound about right?
The $200 price point is what I think of as the sweet spot for quality, entry-level machines with enough features to satisfy your love of espresso but without being overwhelming to master.
I also didn’t have a massive budget for a machine when I started getting into home brewing. The $200 range is a common, respectable budget for newbies with an appreciation for great coffee who are just starting out.
There are a ton of espresso machines on the market for under $200, which is partially why this is such a great price range. At the $200 price point, you’re not getting the expensive bells and whistles of a super-automatic machine, BUT what you do get is a solid machine that makes solid espresso.
The only problem? The selection for this range is huge and sussing out the best machine for your needs can be tough when the field is so crazy big. I have some thoughts on the available options and have detailed my top picks for the $200 price tag!
The DeLonghi EC3630 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker is the second-most expensive espresso maker listed here, but it packs the most value for your dollar. When you hear the De’Longhi name, you should immediately think: full-featured quality.
Just 12 lbs and 19.6” x 7.2” x 11.9”, the De’Longhi espresso maker is solid and well appointed, and slightly more roomy for a larger presence on your countertop. It has a fully stainless steel casing, which is a really refreshing reprieve from endless, poorly made plastic machines.
For fine-tuning your espresso game, this machine comes with 2 separate thermostats, which enable you to control water pressure and steam pressure separately. If you aren’t as big of a espresso geek and just want something tasty and easy, it also comes with De’Longhi’s patented dual function holder, which not only lets you use both pods and ground coffee beans , but also makes brewing pretty fast and easy. This versatility is a great feature and perfect for a busy household that appreciates good coffee.
The De’Longhi also comes with a self-priming operation, which brews faster than most other espresso machines in this range, eliminating wait times between shots. It also features a really effective warming tray that will keep your cup warm and ready for you. I like to pre-warm my cups to keep my morning lattes hot, right as I pour the milk.
The rest of this espresso maker’s features include: a durable, high quality, stainless steel boiler with 15-bar pump pressure, which ensures the espresso maker produces proper espresso ; an ESE filter, which helps make brewing quick and hassle-free; a Sempre Crema filter; De’Longhi’s patented cappuccino system frother, which enables you to make rich, creamy froth for cappuccinos and lattes; and a 37 oz removable water tank and anti-drip design, both of which make re-filling and cleaning the espresso machine no-hassle.
The only complaint about this model is the necessary tweaking of the grinder settings to achieve an optimal coarseness level. I’ve found this to be the case with many espresso machines and really isn’t something to be concerned with. De’Longhi is known for their espresso machine artistry and quality. The brand is a solid one and has a reputation on par with the best.
At under $200, this machine is a solid pick and won’t disappoint.
Weighing in at a more compact 9 lbs and measuring 12” x 14” x 12.2” in size, the Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso Maker is another under $200 espresso maker that is both aesthetically pleasing and space-saving for minimalist or smaller kitchens.
The great thing about this machine is that it is so easy to use. That’s really refreshing for machines that feature latte and cappuccino settings, which can be the biggest barrier for new users. This machine comes with a one-touch control panel that lets you choose from a single or double shot of espresso, cappuccino, or latte with the push of a button. This is great for the novice espresso-lover who doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by a million variables and brewing options they have to master on their own.
If you love a little steamed and frothed milk, the Mr. Coffee comes with an automatic milk frother that will not only turn your favorite brand of milk into a light, creamy foam, but will also let you select the froth level, allowing you to customize your beverage. It even pours it into the cup for you. It do not get easier than that!
I also love that this espresso maker comes with a great 15-bar pressure pump that will extract maximum flavor from every coffee granule.
The Mr. Coffee is also pretty easy to clean, like most machines, it comes with a removable water tank and drip tray, both of which make maintenance pretty hassle-free.
The rest of the espresso maker’s features include: a well-made portafilter, which ensures the espresso maker produces proper espresso every time; a measuring scoop/tamper, which not only enables you to brew accurately, but also helps you ensure that the ground coffee beans are put in the container evenly; and filter for single and double-shot espresso, which are greta for customizing your beverage and should always be a standard feature. The only complaint about this machine that customers have aired are its being a little loud.
The Mr. Coffee Café Barista received a great rating of 4.1 stars out of 5 on Amazon, where it’s currently priced at $167.17, making it both the cheapest and best-reviewed espresso maker on our list.
While not for true espresso purists, the Nespresso line does have their place. They are convenient and when you don’t have time or the desire to acquire the skill set to make a cup from scratch, you can pop in a pod and you are good to go.
Weighing in at 13.3 lbs and 12-3/4” x 4-3/4” x 9-3/4”, this espresso machine sports a modern, space-age chrome design, which is a breath of fresh air, considering the design of most espresso machines, which hasn’t changed much in the past decade.
The Pixie (the name is a little cutesy, but the machine is great) is a super automatic espresso machine and is lightning quick – as in, it promises to brew in less than a minute. This little beast can heat water to proper brewing temperature within 25 seconds. I don’t know anything that happens that quickly anymore, especially in the morning!
When it comes to power, the Pixie is equipped with a 19-bar pressure pump system that ensures as much flavor is extracted from every coffee granule as possible.
Two other noteworthy features on this machine include: a heat-resistant panel that lets you place the espresso machine directly on top of the pod drawer without worrying whether it will sag or whether the heat emitted by the espresso machine will have an adverse affect on the coffee capsules stored within and a roomy 24 fl. oz. removable water tank, which makes re-filling the espresso machine super easy, storing enough liquid so you’re not refilling every two cups.
While there seem to be no complaints about the espresso machine itself, customers have noted the capsules are on the expensive side. Keep in mind, this machine is just for brewing Nespresso products and does not have a frother, so it is not equipped to steam milk for a latte or cappuccino. This is a great option if you are looking for a more automated process without the grinding, tamping and extracting of your own beans.
The Pixie also received a high rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 on Amazon, where it’s currently priced at $193.58. It is also one of the best sellers for super-automatic espresso machines,.
Chatting about coffee is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better.
I am a die-hard espresso fan. I love every form of the drink from straight espresso shots to lattes and cappuccinos. I currently use a Breville BES870XL Barista, it is an awesome machine. BUT, my dream machine is definitely an Italian Quickmill Andreja. Those bad boys make badass espresso. I love answering your questions, leave a comment or question below!