400 million cups of coffee, that’s how much coffee American consume every single day. Apart from its delicious taste, coffee wakes you up and is a morning routine for many.
Those morning coffee runs to your local outlet can be expensive. A solution to this is an affordable espresso machine that you can use at home or even at your office.
You actually do not need to spend thousands of dollars to get a commercial grade espresso machine.
With a $200 budget or even less you should be able to purchase a decent espresso machine that will work for you.
Before we jump into our review of the best espresso machines under $200, lets find out…
Espresso is not a coffee bean. Espresso is not the coffee itself. When you force pressurized water through finely ground coffee bean, what you get is espresso coffee.
This is one espresso maker that comes highly recommended and has hundreds of excellent reviews even on Amazon.
The Mr. Coffee brand has been in existence since 1970 and continues to produce quality products.
From its one touch control panel, you can choose cappuccino, latte, single or double espresso. This is a good thing, you don’t want a machine with so many control options that you wouldn’t know where to start.
Mr. Coffee comes with an adjustable milk frother that easily turns any milk to light creamy foam.
Its 15 bar pressure pump will extract all the wonderful flavor from your ground coffee beans.
You don’t have to worry about its maintenance. Its uncomplicated. The water tank and the drip tray are both removable and easy to clean.
For precision brewing, which is what you want; the espresso machine from Mr. Coffee has a measuring scoop that also ensures that your ground coffee is spread evenly in the container. The scoop filters single and double shots.
The De’longhi ECP3420 is quite adaptable. You can make latte, cappuccino, single or double espressos.
With its 15 bars of pressure you should be able to make some top grade coffee.
Even if you are a novice, let this machine not intimidate you. It actually has very simple controls that you will understand in no time. The milk steamer, the espresso arm are easy to clean.
The ECP3420 can even take larger size cups when you are brewing. The tray at the bottom of the machine actually comes off and you are able to set in a large cup.
The water tank in the machine can be easily removed, refilled and reattached but more importantly the water level is
The water tank is simple to remove, refill and reattach, and the water level is on display on the outer water gauge to do away with any guesswork.
You will be content with this machine. It is reliable and works fast. It has a glossy finish, nice compact design and will take up little space on your kitchen countertop.
This stunning machine has a silver finish and manages to come under the $200 budget.
With its stainless steel build, the Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma is strong and will last you a while. Easy to use. Easy to clean.
Using filtered water with this machine will lessen the amount of build up inside. Has an excellent dual wall crema system and a excellent steamer which makes top grade micro-foam.
The 15 bar pump makes fine shots of espresso. The frothing wand takes a while to start up that is only because the system shifts pressure from one source to another
This is one small yet powerful espresso machine. The 15 bars of pressure on the Capresso 116.04 will have your rich flavoured espresso in no time. Without forgetting to mention its silver and black combination that looks good on any countertop.
Can be used with both espresso pods and ground beans. With it dual frothing wand and steam output you should be able to enjoy even other gourmet coffees. Even if you are a newbie in the espresso game, with this machine you don’t have to worry. It is user friendly. You don’t have to worry about getting the grind the right size or even the
tamping. This is because it has pressurized sieves, so your technique will be covered by this.
It has a warming platform for your cups. Drip tray that you can remove to make cleaning easy. An auto rinse capability that works at the same time as when the machine is running to stabilize brewing temperatures.
There some good reviews for this semi automatic espresso maker that you can read here.
The conair cuisinart EM-100 15 bar pressure machine is yet another espresso maker that’s under the $200 dollar value. Its exterior is made of good grade stainless steel that not only looks stylish but is easy to clean.
It’s a compact machine that will not take up too much room in your kitchen. Even for a compact machine, the water reservoir is astonishingly large at 53 oz.
You can extract two shots at once with this machine as the portafilter locks in effortlessly.
It has one control knob. The disadvantage of this one knob is that your brewing time will not be automatic and standard. However, within 28-30 seconds you should have a good espresso.
You can use either ground espresso or pods with this machine. Don’t pack the grounds too tight when tamping, you won’t get the best results.
The steaming wand on this machine is a bit longer meaning that your preparation time should be shorter. To clean the wand, just submerge it in some hot water and wipe it down.
You can warm your espresso cups on top of this machine. That is a nice neat feature. There is a railing that protects your cups from any incidents.
Health experts recommend 5 single espressos or less in a single day. You should know that a single espresso contains right about 107 milligrammes of caffeine. You may say you are less sensitive to such high levels of caffeine but it is still too much.
Drip coffee contains more caffeine than your usual double espresso shot. The brewed coffee packs about 120 milligrams of caffeine in 12 oz whereas the one 2 oz double espresso shot comes in at about 80 milligrams of caffeine.
Espresso machines produce upto 15 bars of pressure to force water through the coffee. So the time taken to brew espresso is shorter than brewing coffee. There is also a fineness in brewing espresso unlike coffee.
When you take an espresso or several of them, you are not as hungry. You will generally eat less. Espresso is a low calorie dense beverage too.
Espressos taken in moderation have some health benefits. Many people will speak about the caffeine but it has some antioxidants that have some advantages to you body such as boosting your immune system.
Many espresso connoisseurs will agree that to get a decent brew, 9 bars of pressure should be sufficient. Many machine are at the 15 bar level and even other at 17 bars.