Top 3 Espresso Machines Under $200
Are you looking for the best espresso machine under 200? Well you are in the right place. We are going to review the top 3 espresso machines that come in under $200. We are then going to pick the best of the 3. Before we get started, did you also know that espresso machines have been around for about 130 years? Even though you may think they’re a recent technology (in comparison with Roman times – they are!), their creation began in 1884. Invented in Italy by Angelo Moriondo, it wasn’t until 1901 that the world saw an updated that the design was bought and passed through for commercial use. Fast forward to now: many coffee lovers are able to have one in their very own home.
The Different Types of Espresso Machines
“Espresso machine” is a blanket term for a plethora of espresso creating devices. The following machines fall under the category of espresso maker.
Stovetop – Much like a Since they don’t have moving components, they technically aren’t “machines”, but they use manual usage for full espresso control. At the bottom of the average stovetop espresso machine, there is a water reservoir. On top of this is where the coffee is created.
Lever Espresso Machine – The lever styled espresso machine is a manual machine, and you must squeeze water through by taking control of the handle. For those who are particularly picky and must have hand crafted espresso, this type of machine is great for you.
Pump and Automatic Espresso Machines – If you’re not a fan of manual pumping, the automatic pump espresso machine is your best bet. Even though there are a few rare models that still use manual squeezing, most of these are electronic and automatic.
Pod Espresso Machines – Instead of using coffee grounds for your coffee creations, this one uses small pods that are filled with coffee instead. This takes out the task of grinding them from perfectly sized coffee portions.
Steam Espresso Machines – The original way to create espresso was through steam machines. Their inner workings of the small details for espresso are much different than the ones mentioned above. Using steam and pressure, this machine forces water through. These are the most common espresso machines at the consumer level as they’re more inexpensive than the rest.
Maintenance, Ease of Use, and Cleaning
The ease of use depends entirely on which type of espresso machine you choose. If you’re going with a manual model, physically, it will be a tad harder to use and more time consuming as you have to manually apply pressure. Automatic and electronic machines are easier to clean, maintain, and use, as well. Depending on the brand you choose, espresso machines can last between 5 and 15 years. Proper and regular maintenance can make the machine last even longer.
As for size, it matters in this case – most espresso machines are not too bulky, although manually operated ones can appear bigger than others. Regardless, it doesn’t take up too much space on the average sized kitchen counter! Now, we’ll discuss the three best espresso machines that we think you’ll fall in love with.
Top 3 Espresso Machines Under $200
The Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker
The slim Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker has a bit of a retro feel in all the right ways. Where vintage textures meet modern elegance, this machine is not too expensive and is highly rated. The whole design is composed of compact elements that make espresso creation easier. Some of the key features include:
- Folding dip tray
- Thermoblock heating
- Easy capsule insertion
- Backlight indication
- Removable water tank
The folding dip tray is a great feature for those who have taller glasses, as it can accommodate for the extra height. The Thermoblock heating feature allows a fast preheat so you won’t wait all morning for your espresso! After all, you’re going to need that jumpstart to get through the work day. If you want to know how well the preheat feature works on this device: your cup will be ready in less than 30 seconds. As for the backlight indicators, you’ll be able to see in real-time what your water levels are and other alerts.
The design and operation of the The Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker is great, but the only con may be the design in terms of matching with your décor. When the panel is flipped up so you can place a larger cup underneath the nozzle, it looks slightly like a mailbox. This may not be a deal breaker and it may actually be more aesthetically pleasing for you! There is a 1-year warranty from the time of registration until the guarantee ends.
Personally, I enjoy the industrial and compact aesthetic of this espresso machine and would purchase this one over any based on the features and preheat time alone. If I can have my lifeline within 30 seconds, it’s a “yes!” from me!
The Capresso Ultima Pro Espresso Maker
From a design standpoint, this espresso maker is much more common in terms of aesthetic and sleekness. There aren’t any overly unique features that would make it not match your local kitchen décor. Because it’s made out of stainless steel, fingerprints are a breeze to clean off. Features of the Capresso machine include:
- Programmable for 2 espresso cups at one time
- Illuminated icons
- 15 bar pump for perfectly creamed espresso
- This machine has a 1-year warranty
Off the bat, the only con that I can tell you is the lack of features and “wow” factor like others you may run into – and the fact that it’s semi-automatic, not fully automatic. Let me state that this does NOT hinder the fantastic operation of the espresso machine – in fact, it’s a fantastic machine. Let me tell you why.
For those who don’t believe 1 cup of espresso is enough, you can have double the punch at one time. The illuminated icons are great for those night owls like myself who need to put in a few extra hours of work at home, in the dark, without waking anyone up. It’s the little things that make the machine more convenient. Lastly, the 15-bar pump allows the perfect amount of pressure to be applied in creating the perfect amount of foam on top.
Personally, I would buy the The Capresso Ultima Pro Espresso Maker because I enjoy the minimalism it’s design presents for my kitchen. I also love having more than one espresso in the morning and being able to make a cup in the dead of night.
The Mr. Coffee Café Barista Premium Espresso Cappuccino System
This next machine is a mouthful, but comes directly from the kings and queens of coffee creations. Highly rated and perfectly priced for what it does, this machine has many noteworthy features including:
- One touch panel
- Dual use – espresso AND cappuccino
- Removable milk reservoirs
- Drip catcher
- Adjustable cup tray
- Single shot and double shot filler
- Coffee recipes
The one touch panel allows rookie and veteran users alike to make espresso and cappuccino rather quickly and easily. The fact that you can make more than espresso is enough for me to buy it! The added drip capture assures that your counter will not become a mess of espresso dreams and the adjustable cup tray allows you to put in any sized cup you want. Let’s not forget the bonus of coffee recipes for the newbies!
After all these fantastic features, you must be wondering what the drawback is. Personally, I don’t think there is one, except the bulkiness might be a deciding factor for some. Even if it’s only 9 pounds, it can take up a bit of space on the average counter. Thankfully, it’s operation is perfect and has a 1-year warranty if you decide it’s not the best suited for you!
My Recommendation for the best espresso machine under $200
After reviewing these personally and writing out my thoughts, I believe the best choice for anyone, rookie and veteran alike is the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker. This espresso machine is compact, delivers more than enough and has great features. It’s unique in design while still being normal enough that it matches my décor. This machine has given me more than enough second winds before and after work while being able to fill my entire (massive) mug!