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.
In the world of entry-level espresso machines, the De’Longhi ECP3420 is a shining example of basic affordability without compromising on essential features. Let’s explore the technical specs and features that make this machine a solid value proposition for espresso enthusiasts looking for quality under that $200 price point.
15 Bar Pump: The ECP3420 brings the barista experience to your kitchen without breaking the bank. With 15-bar pump pressure, it delivers the optimal pressure for extracting rich flavors from your favorite coffee grounds, ensuring espresso shots are flavorful and complex. Moist machines in the higher price levels also use the same 15 bar pressure.
Steam Wand: The machine’s manual frother gives you the power to create creamy cappuccinos and lattes. While it may require a bit of practice, it offers a hands-on approach for those who love to experiment with milk frothing techniques and aren’t ready for a super-automatic frother.
Compact Design: Its compact footprint is perfect for kitchens with limited space. It’s a sleek addition to any countertop, and its portafilter holder and drip tray are removable for easy cleaning, maintaining the machine’s tidy appearance.
Double Shot Capability: The ECP3420 also features a double shot filter for brewing two espresso shots simultaneously, ideal for sharing with a friend or for that extra kick of caffeine when needed.
Easy-to-Use Interface: The machine’s simple turn-button layout and intuitive operation make it especially accessible for beginners. It doesn’t overwhelm with endless options, ensuring that you can brew your coffee without prior experience and lots of trouble-shooting.
Specifications: This model also offers a 37-ounce water reservoir and a 1100-watt heating system. De’Longhi is also known for quality components and longevity in all levels of their machines so the value is solid.
The De’Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine embodies value for money. While it may not boast the bells and whistles of higher-end, super-automatic models, it provides essential features that deliver a genuine espresso experience. It offers an accessible entry point into the world of home espresso brewing and is proof that you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy a satisfying cappuccino in the comfort of your home.
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, making it both the cheapest and best-reviewed espresso maker on our list.
Newer to the espresso market, the ILAVIE Espresso Machine is a great example of affordability and style. Priced well under our $200 cap, it offers a host of technical features and specs that make it a serious value proposition for espresso enthusiasts.
Let’s dive into the details that make this guy a standout in the category:
20 Bar Pump Power: The ILAVIE Espresso Machine packs a punch with its impressive 20-bar pump pressure. This power ensures that your coffee grounds are extracted with precision, delivering espresso shots that are rich, aromatic, and full of flavor. It’s a level of pressure often found in more expensive machines, making it a value-driven choice for under $200.
Steam Wand: The included steam wand is a nice addition, perfect for frothing milk to create lattes, cappuccinos, and other milk-based drinks. Its easy maneuverability allows for those new to espresso to get used to frothing without a significant barrier to entry.
Double Temperature Control: This feature ensures that both the water and steam are heated to the optimal temperatures for brewing and milk frothing, resulting in consistently great-tasting coffee.
Large Water Tank: With a generous 1.5-liter water tank, the ILAVIE Espresso Machine is designed to handle your daily coffee needs without frequent refills, a nice convenience feature if you’re a multiple times daily brewer.
Simple Interface: The machine’s intuitive button layout and simple operation make it accessible for beginners. It offers ease of use without compromising on the quality of your coffee.
The ILAVIE Espresso Machine is a budget-friendly winner that punches above its weight. Priced well under $200, it’s the full package with the 20-bar pump, steam wand, and a range of technical features that elevate your espresso game without breaking the bank. For espresso enthusiasts looking for an affordable entry point into the world of espresso crafting, this machine is an exceptional value – proof that you don’t need to empty your wallet to enjoy quality espresso and specialty coffee beverages in the comfort of your home.
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. It is also one of the best sellers for super-automatic espresso machines,.
This minimalist Breville option ALMOST edged out the Pixie for the third top spot, and really is a great alternative to any in the top 3. There is a lot to like and the Breville name is always a trustworthy indicator of quality and durability.
Here is what you can expect from the Cafe Roma: A solid stainless construction with the standard 15bar thermoblock pump, a dual-wall filter system, a frothing wand (yay!), and a mini cup-warmer. The water tank is about 40 ounces, which is a respectable size. The drip tray is easily removable and pretty straightforward to clean and they include the frothing jug so you don’t have to purchase separately.
This machine doesn’t have quite the oomph and features of the top spot De’Longhi, but it definitely holds it’s own at this price point.
In the realm of entry-level espresso machines, the Gevi 20 Bar High Pressure Espresso Machine is a nice little option for those looking to get started in at-home espresso brewing. Let’s deep dive into the technical features and specs that make this machine a valuable companion for the at home brewer.
20 Bar Pump Power: Like the ILAVIE, the Gevi Espresso Machine is equipped with an impressive 20-bar pump, a feature typically found in more advanced and costly machines. This robust pressure ensures optimal extraction, guaranteeing that your espresso shots are flavorful and aromatic.
Steam Wand: The machine’s steam wand is a smoothly versatile tool, perfect for frothing milk to create lattes, cappuccinos, and more. It’s stainless steel and easy to both maneuver and clean.
Extraction Options: Operation of the machine is simple with options to extract a single shot, double or a customizable amount.
Double Temperature Control: The Gevi Espresso Machine incorporates double temperature control, ensuring that both the water and steam are heated to the ideal temperatures for brewing and milk frothing. Heat time is fast, about 45 seconds.
Ample Water Tank: With a generous 1.2-liter water tank, the Gevi Espresso Machine minimizes the need for frequent refills.
User-Friendly Operation: The machine’s straightforward button layout and intuitive interface make it beginner-friendly. It doesn’t overwhelm with complex settings. The overall aesthetics of the interface are also well-crafted and the device feels modern and solid.
The Gevi is a nice choice for entry-level coffee enthusiasts. Equipped with all the key standard features plus a pump that is often seen in higher-end machines, it offers serious value for those eager to explore. Gevi proves that quality espresso doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag, making it an accessible and valuable companion for novices and those with experience who want a more cost-effective option.
When it comes to home espresso machines, there is another Gevi model that tops our under $200 list. Let’s explore its technical features and specifications, highlighting the differences between this model and the Gevi 20 Bar High Pressure Espresso Machine.
Technical Features and Specs:
20 Bar Pump Pressure: The Gevi Espresso Machine boasts an impressive 20-bar pump pressure, offering optimal pressure for extracting rich, full-bodied flavors from your coffee grounds. While slightly lower than its sibling, the 20 bar high pressure model, it still guarantees a solid espresso experience.
Steam Wand: Like the 20 Bar model, this machine features a versatile steam wand, perfect for frothing milk and creating a range of specialty coffee beverages, from lattes to cappuccinos.
Compact and Practical Design: The Gevi Espresso Machine’s compact footprint ensures it fits seamlessly into any kitchen setup, just like the 20 Bar model. It’s a practical choice for those with limited counter space.
Water Tank: With a 34-ounce (approximately 1.0-liter) removable water tank, this model provides enough capacity for multiple shots and milk-based drinks without the need for constant refilling.
Differences between Models:
The 20 bar Gevi Espresso Machine is a practical and affordable choice for home baristas. While it differs slightly from the Gevi 20 Bar High Pressure Espresso Machine in terms of pump pressure and water tank size, it remains an excellent option for those seeking quality espresso in a compact package. The choice between the two models ultimately depends on individual preferences for pressure, overall aesthetics and the convenience of water tank capacity.
Nespresso is dominating the top 10 in this category, but we couldn’t overlook this alternative in the Vertuo family with a few features from De’Longhi. While this machine is almost identical to the others, what knocks it down the list is that it just isn’t different enough or full-featured enough to warrant the price.
Here is what you can expect from the Vertuo/De’Longhi collaboration: All the same features of the original Vertuo, a larger 54 ounce water tank and 17 (as opposed to 13) capsule used storage system. All of the usual Vertuo capsules are accepted, a more limited group than the Original line we like from the Pixie.
Aaand that’s about it. We told you it really didn’t have much more to offer, a little disappointing for what could have been an exciting collaboration, but still a well-performing machine.
In the world of compact espresso machines, the CASABREWS Espresso Machine emerges as a notable contender, combining technical excellence with a rare feature in the under $200 category —an integrated automatic milk frother. Let’s take a closer look at the technical specs that make this machine a solid pick for this price point..
20 Bar Pump Pressure: The CASABREWS Espresso Machine packs a punch with its robust 20-bar pump pressure, a feature that ensures your coffee grounds are extracted with precision and consistency. This tracks with the top contenders in this category, keeping pace with the best.
Integrated Milk Frothing: A standout feature of this machine is its integrated milk carafe and automatic frother, no barista skills needed. This machine streamlines the process, adding a layer of convenience to the coffee-making routine.
Compact Design: The CASABREWS compact footprint and modern aesthetics make it a nice looking addition to any kitchen. The space-saving design ensures it doesn’t dominate your countertop, making it an ideal choice for those with limited kitchen space.
Water Tank: With a removable 1.2-liter water tank, this machine provides enough capacity for multiple shots and milk-based drinks without the hassle of frequent refilling..
*User-Friendly Interface*: The CASABREWS Espresso Machine features a straightforward button layout and an intuitive user interface. It’s simple and straightforward, no learning curve or unnecessary frills.
Overall, the CASABREWS Espresso Machine 20 Bar brings an added layer of convenience to the world of budget-friendly espresso machines with its integrated milk carafe and auto frothing. Coupled with a powerful 20-bar pump pressure and user-friendly design, it offers a comprehensive coffee-making experience in a stylish and compact package. If you’re seeking an espresso machine that streamlines the process of crafting milk-based coffee drinks without compromising on espresso quality, the CASABREWS Espresso Machine is a compelling choice.
In the world of budget espresso machines, another CASABREWS model makes the list, designed for those who appreciate coffee craftsmanship and ease of use. Let’s explore the technical features and specifications that set this model apart and note the differences compared to the CASABREWS Espresso Machine 20 Bar, Compact model.
20 Bar Pump Pressure: Like the Compact model, this version also offers 20-bar pump pressure, ensuring coffee grounds are extracted with precision and reliability for a smooth taste.
Milk Frother: Unlike its compact counterpart, this model offers a powerful steam wand separate from the milk carafe for more hands-on microfoam frothing.
Professional-Grade Performance: The CASABREWS Espresso Machine is engineered for professional-level performance. Its robust build and components are designed to withstand the rigors of daily coffee crafting, making it an ideal choice for those who demand durability and longevity from their appliances.
Water Tank: Designed with a roomy 1.2-liter removable water tank, this machine is equipped for multiple pours without refilling and refills are easy with just a quick pop in and out of the tank.
Design Aesthetics: The CASABREWS Espresso Machine combines its technical prowess with a sleek and elegant design reminiscent of the other CASABREWS model on our list.
Intuitive Interface: The user interface is thoughtfully designed, offering a simple arrangement of buttons and settings to cater to coffee enthusiasts of all levels.
Differences Between Models:
The CASABREWS Espresso Machine 20 Bar, designed for professional coffee crafting, offers top level technical features and precision for this price point. While the CASABREWS Espresso Machine 20 Bar, Compact Cappuccino Machine offers convenience and compactness, the professional model excels in precision and build quality. The choice between the two models depends on your coffee preferences and how you prioritize convenience and professional-grade performance in your espresso experience.
The Capresso ranks on the bottom spot mainly for my disappointment with its construction and overall durability. This is the most plastic-intense of all the options we’re sharing and while it does perform well, I don’t think it has the longevity of our higher ranked options.
So what can you expect? The usual 15 bar pressure pump can be found on the Ultima, as well as, a self-tamping portafilter, a warming tray for cups, programmable cup sizes, a frothing wand and a smaller 34-ounce water tank.
The soupiness of the puck following extraction is the only other consideration worth keeping in mind. For this machine, it’s important to find the right espresso and grind to the right coarseness for the best result.
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!