In today’s world, coffee seems to be the common denominator we all use. Ask anyone on the street and they are bound to tell you how important their first cup of coffee is in the mornings.
However, the espresso is probably the strongest way to take in coffee. Having an espresso eliminates feeling blue if you had a late night, or you need to have an early morning.
Our Top Pick: Nespresso Inissia Original
Giving you 9 different cups of coffee to choose from and an espresso brewing time of just 25-seconds, the Nespresso Inissia Original Machine by DeLonghi is the best espresso machine under 200. There are numerous new models they have released, but this one remains the stable and the trendsetter for a great espresso maker. I definitely recommend this as my top pick after years of use and not be disappointed.
Top Espresso Machines Under $200 in 2018
For some people, Nespresso might be the only brand, but I have been an avid coffee lover for long enough to give all of the brands a go. To help you make the best decision for your coffee maker/espresso maker, I have done some digging and drinking. Here are the best options for you to choose from.
Products Weight (pounds) Key Feature Check Price Rok Presso 7 No electricity needed Buy Now De'Longhi ECP3420 10.55 Second tier drip tray Buy Now Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista 9 One-touch control panel Buy Now DeLonghi EC702 15 13.1 Automatically self primes Buy Now
Hands down, DeLonghi is the leading brand and manufacturer of the coffee machine. The Nespresso Inissia Original Espresso Machine is one of their staple sellers and it comes with a patented extraction system. This system ensures that no coffee is wasted and you have the boldest possible taste you can think of.
With features like an energy saving mode and 9 different coffee styles, you can definitely use it for entertainment purposes as well. The coffee maker is state of the art and will shut down after 9 minutes. With Nespresso, you also receive a wide range of different coffees and styles that you need to choose from.
It is a little expensive, to be honest, but all of these features will be worth it. Every user gets a 1-year warranty with the option of choosing the extended warranty.
- Great tasting coffee
- Works effectively with 9 settings
- Energy saving mode
- Includes multiple capsules
- A little expensive
- Only uses coffee capsules
Once again, we have the DeLonghi brand with their quality machines. The DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker is large and it is designed for espresso. Instead of only using capsules, you can use your favorite ground coffee beans as well.
While the pump is generally quiet, I have noticed it be a little louder when the tank is empty. However, this feature is used to indicate the tank is empty. Once you are done, this coffee machine is actually really easy and simple to wash.
Compared to the Nespresso, this version is much cheaper. The coffee might not be on the same level as Nespresso, but if you love your Espresso, it will work.
- Basic design
- Excellent functionality with a great taste
- Easy to clean
- Uses pods and ground coffee
- Reasonably priced for the features
- Some people might find it a little noisy
While the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is branded as an espresso maker, I have found it much better at making cappuccino and lattes. It has a very basic design, but all of this is stylish and will complement the décor in your home without you doing too much.
Instead of you guessing the measurements of milk and coffee, this machine includes all of these on the panel. You can now have your favorite coffee drink by simply touching one button and waiting a couple of minutes. Thanks to this feature, it is one of the easiest coffee makers to use.
While many might think it as expensive, I think the coffee maker is actually really affordable. If you are looking for value for your money, this coffee maker is great for all your coffee needs.
- 3-in1 design
- One touch feature
- Easy to clean
- Stylish design
- A little pricey
It seems like we just cannot ignore the DeLonghi brand and once again we have the De’Longhi ECP3420 15″ Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine. It is much smaller than some of the others and only features a 37-ounce water tank. However, this is more than enough for smaller families.
I like this coffee maker for the simplicity it offers. You simply add the milk and the coffee machine will do the rest. If you love great coffee, this coffee maker is for you. You should keep in mind that only 2% of milk is to be used.
As one of the smaller models, it is really affordable. The 1-year limited warranty also offers a lot of peace for your mind.
- Small and portable
- Easy to use and clean
- Really affordable
- Versatile coffee options
- Might be a little small for some
Are you a survivalist in the modern world of technology? If so, the ROK Presso Manual Espresso Maker is something you might need. It does not make any special coffees, but the design does not require any electricity and can be used virtually anywhere you are.
It might a be a little harder to use for some of us who are used to modern technology, but once you find out how, you will do it with ease. It is a little expensive, but I believe the price will work itself out with the amount of money you save on the electricity bill each month. I would recommend it for campers as well.
- Portable and durable
- Needs no electricity
- Great tasting coffee
- Stylish metal covering
- Takes a little time to figure out
How to Make a Perfect Espresso Coffee at Home?
How to Choose a Home Espresso Machine?
While it comes to buying an espresso machine, you basically have four options: A fully automatic, a semi-automatic, manual level, and capsule machines.
A fully automatic (super-automatic) one is for those who don’t want to spend too much time espresso-making. Also, if you’re in a constant rush, or just don’t really care about fine-tuning your brew, a fully automatic espresso maker is the way to go.
However, if you want to make espresso that can churn out coffee to your taste, a semi-automatic machine is what you should be after. It is the most popular type of machine capable of automating most of the processes and leaving users in control for only the most important parts of the process, allowing a fair bit of customization.
If you fall in the ‘do it yourself’ category, just close your eyes and get the manual lever espresso machine. It is an old style machine that can produce exquisite espresso. Users can fine-tune the taste to their liking. However, be warned, you will need to dedicate significant amounts of your time and energy if you decide to go this route. What you get in exchange is the ability to personalize your espresso to your liking. We recommend only the enthusiasts to go for this type of machine. We often seen newbies buy a manual lever espresso machine only to regret later.
And then there’s Capsule option which is built for ultimate convenience. It is usually seen in restaurants and offices but is a very popular choice for home too. From our time of testing, however, we found out that such products don’t produce the best quality espressos. They excel inconvenience, though. Anyone can make espresso with it. There’s very little input required from the user. Simply fill up the water, put in a capsule and with a press of a button, you have espresso ready to be served. So, you’d have to choose between convenience and taste.
Apart from these different types of espresso machines according to their functionality, you may also want to consider the following traits before making your purchase decision:
- Design: Remember, it is not just a tool for producing espresso but also an asset to your kitchen. So, make sure the machine fits well with other elements of the kitchen.
- Size: You can get them in all shapes and sizes. Usually, you will find that super automatic espresso machines are larger in size. Also, the larger the feature list, the larger the machine will be. So, it’s a trade-off between functionality and compactness.
- Maintenance: You will want to get the one which is easy to maintain and last you through the years. The best way to maintain your machine is to clean it frequently. Also, you may want to have a look at the manual and find out the recommended interval for maintenance. Make sure to get a machine which lets you remove the water tank with ease to allow easy cleaning of the machine. You may also want to look at the customer reviews and feedback before making your purchase.
- Convenience: While buying an espresso machine, you can either go with machines which offer less control but can prepare espresso with a touch of a button or you can go with machines which takes more time to produce espresso but lets you fine-tune your drink as per your taste.