Best Espresso Machine Under $200 for 2024

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Is it possible to get a decent espresso machine without breaking the bank? We certainly think so, which is why we have put together this guide on the best espresso machines under $200.

In the under $200 price bracket you can expect to get an entry-level espresso machine that is easy to use and allows you to steam your milk. In this article, we will seek to help you navigate the sometimes confusing world of espresso machines and review what we believe to be the best espresso machines under $200 for 2024.

Delonghi Dedica

Best Espresso Machine Under $200
Delonghi Dedica

The Delonghi Dedica is a great value espresso machine for the beginner. It is compact, simple to use, and a great machine if you want to do espresso on a budget.

Best Espresso Machines Under $200


Delonghi ECP3420

Delonghi ECP3420

The Delonghi ECP3420 is a great little espresso machine if you are on a tight budget. Its sleek design and compact size make it ideal for fitting into smaller spaces. Despite its status as an entry-level machine, the ECP3420 performs remarkably well.

With a 15-bar pump pressure system combined with a stainless steel boiler, the ECP3420 ensures the extraction of rich and flavorful espresso. With a Panarello steam wand, users can effortlessly froth milk for cappuccinos.

The espresso machine comes with a 3-in-1 filter holder, accommodating both pre-ground coffee and E.S.E (easy-serving espresso) pods. It also includes a removable water tank and drip tray for easy cleaning and maintenance. 

Many users opt to upgrade the ECP3420 by investing in a single-walled portafilter basket, allowing them to use freshly ground coffee, and to remove the Panarello attachment. These small modifications drastically improve the quality of both espresso and steamed milk.

In summary, the Delonghi ECP3420 stands out as a reliable and budget-friendly entry point into the world of espresso brewing, capable of delivering delicious espresso.

Pros:

  • Compact footprint
  • Affordable espresso machine
  • Quick to heat up
  • Produces a decent shot of espresso

Cons:

  • Steam wand not all that powerful
  • Requires the purchase of additional accessories to get it performing at its best

Delonghi Dedica

Delonghi Dedica

The Delonghi Dedica is one of their most popular home espresso machines. The base model typically hovers just over $200 but frequently goes on sale for even less.

The Delonghi Dedica is a slim and stylish espresso machine that is simple to use. Its compact size makes it ideal for those with limited countertop space. However, this compactness comes with a trade-off: a small water reservoir and drip tray, meaning more maintenance. The Dedica has a sleek stainless steel casing but does incorporate a lot of plastic in the build which is somewhat to be expected at this price point. 

The Dedica is a user-friendly espresso machine, coming with a range of features and accessories. It is equipped with a thermoblock, allowing the machine to heat up quickly and be ready to brew within 35 seconds. The thermoblock does struggle to heat the machine itself so we recommend pulling an empty shot first to warm up the group head and portafilter. The Dedica features a single and double shot button on the front, offering volumetric dosing. The espresso machine includes a 51mm portafilter with pressurized baskets for single and double shots or ESE pods, along with a plastic tamp/scoop combo.

The panarello steam wand performs well creating thick cappuccino froth. However, if you want to produce microfoam you may want to look at upgrading to the Dedica Deluxe which offers customizable foam levels. Like the ECP3420, you can remove the Panarello steam wand, using a cable tie to hold the steam wand in place to create better-textured milk. 

Additionally, the Delonghi Dedica lends itself well to upgrades, such as an aftermarket bottomless portafilter for freshly ground coffee. With a few clever tweaks, the Dedica is capable of producing much better espresso than it is intended to produce.  

Pros:

  • Compact footprint
  • Affordable espresso machine
  • Simple to use
  • Can produce espresso with thick crema

Cons:

  • Low-quality build
  • Aimed at beginners

Flair Espresso Maker

Flair Classic Espresso Maker

The Flair Classic is a superb brewer for the espresso enthusiast and has the potential to produce the best espresso of all the machines in this lineup. The Flair is a manual espresso maker so uses a lever rather than a mechanical pump to create pressure. While a manual espresso machine gives the user complete control over the brewing process, it does come with a steep learning curve, so is not for everyone. 

If you are a newbie to espresso, you may find the workflow of the Flair complicated at first. The brewing process involves preparing the portafilter, and then preparing the brew head by adding hot water before moving the brew head onto the base to pull a shot. You push the lever down to generate the 9 bars of pressure required to produce espresso. It is worth noting you can buy an add-on pressure gauge which is helpful for brewing.

We would be remiss not to mention the design, the Flair Classic is a stunning espresso machine, that will be a statement piece on any bench. It has a durable build, contains no electric parts, and comes with a 3-year warranty. The Flair Classic is also portable, coming with a carrying case. While the Flair offers the best bang for buck, it does require access to hot water and a decent grinder. Additionally, the Flair does not offer any option for frothing milk. The Flair Espresso maker is a great option for the espresso lover who is committed to learning how to pull a good shot and is willing to invest time and effort in experimenting.

Pros:

  • Compact (9.8x 11.8 x 5.9 inches)
  • Can be highly enjoyable and satisfying to use
  • Capable of making a great shot of espresso with good crema
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty on the press stand and brewing head.

Cons:

  • No milk steamer
  • Have to preheat components to get a good shot
  • Takes a while to pull each shot

Delonghi Stilosa Espresso Machine

Delonghi Stilosa Espresso Machine

You might notice a recurring theme with the number of Delonghi espresso machines featured here. But there is a reason they are known for producing quality affordable espresso machines. If you are looking for a no-frills espresso machine to learn to brew espresso on, the De’Longhi Stilosa is a good option. The Delonghi Stilosa is a semi-automatic machine that will pull a basic shot of coffee and comes fitted with a pannarello steam wand to create milk-based drinks. 

The Stilosa is a very compact espresso machine, great for those with limited counter space. Most of the machine is composed of plastic, which isn’t a surprise at this price point, but it does come with a stainless steel boiler, mounted right above the group head. The espresso machine comes with a 51mm portafilter and a single and double shot basket. The portafilter is pressurized, so this machine is really aimed at those using pre-ground coffee but also works with ESE pods. The machine comes with a plastic measuring scoop/tamper, which is rather difficult to use, and a small 33.8 fl. oz water reservoir.

While the Delonghi Stilosa is small and feels cheap, it is capable of pulling a good shot of espresso. It also has a panarello steam wand allowing you to brew milk-based beverages. While obviously at this price it is very much an entry-level espresso machine, it is a bargain for the price and offers a gentle entry into espresso making.

Pros:

  • Compact footprint
  • Can produce a good shot of espresso
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • Low cup clearance between portafilter and drip tray
  • Small water reservoir
  • A lot of plastic in the design

Nespresso Vertuo

While a Nespresso machine doesn’t produce traditional espresso, these machines are worth considering at this price point. The Nespresso Vertuo is one of the latest machines in the range, producing both espresso and drip-style coffee. The Vertuo can brew four different cup sizes at the push of a button- Espresso (1.35 oz), Double Espresso (2.7 oz), Gran Lungo (5 oz), and Coffee (7.7 oz).

Nespresso machines are renowned for their ease of use. These machines are as close as you will come to a super-automatic espresso machine at this price range. The user needs only insert the capsule and push a button to brew coffee. The Nespresso Vertuo automatically adjusts the brewing parameters (coffee size, temperature, pressure, and brewing time) according to the capsule inserted. It uses centrifusion technology to spin the capsule at high speeds, to extract the coffee and produce thick crema.

In addition to being simple to use, the Nespresso Vertuo machine is well-designed. It has a large 40 oz water reservoir and can hold up to 17 used capsules. The machine heats up extremely quickly, in under 20 seconds, and has an automatic shut-off after 9 minutes to conserve power. There is also an adjustable drip tray to accommodate larger mugs. Finally, the Nespresso Vertuo comes with a pack of complimentary capsules to get you started. 

All in all, the Nespresso Vertuo is a good option for the coffee enthusiast wanting a quick and easy way to enjoy their morning brew.

Pros:

  • One-touch brewing system
  • Four cup sizes are available
  • Produces consistent coffee
  • Quick and convenient to use

Cons:

  • Only compatible with Vertuo capsules
  • Milk frother must be purchased separately
  • The price per cup of coffee is higher than traditional machines

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista

Mr Coffee Cafe Barista

The Mr Coffee Cafe Barista, as the name suggests, is a great espresso machine for the latte or cappuccino lover. It is a semi-automatic espresso machine with the added convenience of an automatic milk frother. It is touted as being a 3-in-1 espresso, latte, and cappuccino maker and offers six different beverage sizes:

  • Espresso: 1.25 oz or 2.5 oz
  • Cappuccino: 6 oz or 10 oz
  • Latte: 12 oz or 15 oz

Like the Nespresso Vertuo, the Mr Coffee offers a one-touch control panel, producing your desired drink with the push of a button. The automatic milk frother has a control dial on it allowing you to adjust the level of froth produced. It is a very simple espresso machine to use, once you have inserted the portafilter with ground coffee, you select what drink you want and the machine will pull the shot and deliver frothed milk directly into your cup.

The Mr Coffee Cafe Barista comes with a large 40 oz water reservoir and a removable milk reservoir, allowing you to store any leftover milk in the fridge. It comes with several accessories including a portafilter, plastic tamper, and single and double-shot pressurized filters for pre-ground coffee. It also has a few handy features including an automatic sleep mode after 15 minutes of inactivity and programmed cleaning cycles. And speaking of cleaning, the Cafe Barista does require regular cleaning, especially of the milk frother.

Overall, Mr Coffee delivers on producing a user-friendly and affordable espresso machine, perfect for those seeking convenience without delving into the complexities of espresso brewing. However, it does contain a lot of plastic in the design, so durability may be a concern.

Overall, Mr Coffee delivers on producing a low-cost and convenient espresso maker. However, it does contain a lot of plastic in the design, so durability may be a concern.

Pros:

  • One-touch control panel to produce drinks
  • Automatic milk frother
  • Removable milk reservoir
  • Makes espresso, cappuccinos or lattes

Cons:

  • Noisy when brewing and frothing milk
  • Temperature can be inconsistent making it hard to get a good shot of espresso
  • Durability is a concern

Wacaco Picopresso

Wacaco Picopresso

The Wacaco Picopresso is a portable espresso machine designed for travel. It features a compact design and comes with a case, making it convenient to carry during travel or outdoor activities.

The Picopresso is a manual espresso maker that uses a hand-pumped piston to create espresso. Brewing involves filling the basket with ground coffee, tamping, and then placing the basket into the portafilter with the shower screen on top. You then attach the portafilter to the water tank, fill the tank with boiling water, place the lid on, and start pumping. As you pump a double shot of espresso is slowly released. 

The Picopresso can be relied upon to produce a good shot of espresso complete with a layer of crema. Wacaco has improved upon previous models, to include a larger 53mm filter basket with an 18-gram capacity for double shots. The Picopresso comes with a host of accessories- a naked portafilter, tamper, dosing funnel, foldable spoon, brush, and distribution tool all of which are neatly stored inside the pump unit. 

The Picopresso has a robust build and is compact and portable, coming with a travel case. However, brewing with it can be fiddly and requires access to hot water. Cleaning up can also be a hassle with a lot of small parts to wash. Given this, there is a narrow niche of people who would enjoy the Picopresso; namely the devoted espresso lover, who travels. If this sounds like you, the Picopresso may be just the brewer to take on your travels.

Pros:

  • Produces a reliable shot with good crema
  • Solid build
  • Comes with a travel case and accessories

Cons:

  • Time-consuming to pull a shot
  • No option for milk-based drinks
  • Requires access to boiling water
  • Difficult to clean

The Best Espresso Machine Under $200 | Final Thoughts

So is it possible to find a decent espresso machine under $200? While the pickings are slim, there are a few stand-out brewers. If you love espresso and want to pull quality shots the Flair Classic Espresso Maker is the best option on the table. This manual espresso machine punches above its weight and will produce high-quality espresso that rivals machines twice its price.

If you want the ability to brew milk-based drinks, the Delonghi Dedica is a popular espresso machine that is simple to use with volumetric dosing and a panarello steam wand. It has a stunning design and slim footprint. 

While it is possible to get an espresso machine for under $200, what you get will be entry-level at best. It is worth at least considering your other options:

  • Take a look at second-hand espresso machines. Machines like the Gaggia Classic Pro are built to last for years and you can often pick up one second-hand from eBay for around $200. This machine is one of the best espresso machines under $500 and will produce far better quality espresso and likely last longer than the machines on this list.
  • Wait and save more money so you can get something better down the line. $200 is not going to get you much, if you can save a bit more money and start looking at the machines in the next price bracket- under $500, you will find the quality of build and espresso produced far surpasses the machines on this list. See our guide to the best espresso machines for some other options.

How To Pick A Home Espresso Machine

If you take a quick look you will see there are a huge variety of espresso machines for under $200. Most of these machines are cheap knockoffs, that unfortunately won’t make good espresso and aren’t worth spending the money on. In the rest of this article, we will help you navigate the world of espresso machines, so you find a machine that will meet your needs.

What Are The Different Types Of Espresso Machines?

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines

The majority of espresso machines under $1000 tend to be semi-automatic espresso machines. These machines have electric pumps that produce the 9 bars of pressure required to brew espresso. The barista controls the grinding and tamping while the espresso machine generally governs the pressure and extraction time (in the under $500 range you can expect to have some customization over the extraction process but not generally in the under $200 range). Semi-Automatics are our favorite option for the coffee lover beginning his journey into the world of espresso. They give a taste of the hands-on process of espresso making and milk frothing while remaining relatively easy to master, especially on entry-level machines.

Super-Automatic Espresso Machines

Super-automatic espresso machines are for coffee lovers who don’t have the time or inclination to develop their barista skills. These machines are similar to having a personal barista as they are fully automated so do everything for you from grinding and tamping to brewing and milk steaming at the push of a button. They can produce a great cup of coffee however they are generally on the higher end of the price scale. If you are interested in investing in this type of espresso machine see our guide on the best super-automatic espresso machines.

Manual Espresso Machines

Manual espresso machines are for espresso enthusiasts who want to make an art out of brewing. These machines allow complete control over every step of the espresso-making process from grinding to tamping to pressure and extraction time. They can be difficult to use but lead to a very balanced and textured shot of coffee when you master it. In recent years, new manual espresso machines like the Flair and ROK have been released which offer great value for money. These machines cannot steam milk, and so are for those invested in espresso.

Capsule Machines

Finally, capsule or pod machines are for the person who wants a quick fix. These machines are convenient, untechnical, and easy to use. The process is as simple as inserting the capsule, pushing a button, and enjoying the coffee that comes out. However, the coffee enthusiast may find the coffee lacks depth and there is little possibility for development. Also, while various companies such as Nespresso now have environmentally responsible disposable options, an awful lot of these pods do end up in landfills. Capsule machines are similar to Super-Automatics in that the real advantages of these machines are convenience and consistency. If you are looking for the best espresso machine under $200 you may find a capsule machine is a good option. They tend to be quite affordable and you generally get a high-quality machine. There is also no need to invest in a grinder if you opt for one of these machines. The downside is that they are more expensive to run in the long run, with a higher cost per cup of coffee.

Technical Tip

Pods: These are discs of coffee compressed between 2 layers of filter paper- they vaguely look like a tea bag. Some machines allow you to use both ground coffee or pods.
Capsules: These are made from aluminum or plastic with a foil top and contain a sealed dose of coffee. A capsule allows the coffee to stay fresh for up to 9 months.

Best Espresso Machine Under 200

What To Look For In An Espresso Machine

To find the perfect espresso machine for you, you need to know what you are looking for. So with that in mind, here are a few considerations to help you figure out which type of espresso machine might be your next step on your coffee journey. 

Espresso Or Cappuccino? 

The first thing to consider is whether you need a steaming wand or not. If you are just interested in espresso it would be best to opt for a manual espresso maker which will produce the best shot of espresso. If you do want the ability to brew milk-based drinks, opt for an espresso machine with steaming capabilities. At this price point, most of the wands/ milk frothers are pannarello wands so will produce thick cappuccino froth but not microfoam. There are a few hacks to get around this. As you progress in your skills you can remove the panarello attachment on a few of the machines like the Delonghi ECP3420, holding the wand in place with a cable tie. This gives you far more control over milk steaming, allowing you to create microfoam.

Level Of Technical Skill Required 

If you are just looking for a quick easy shot of caffeine that beats the instant coffee on the bench then a capsule or super-automatice espresso machine may be your best fit. These machines will produce a coffee that is a significant level above instant coffee without requiring extensive effort.

If you are willing to take the time to learn but have little previous experience with espresso machines then a semi-automatic espresso machine is a fantastic doorway into the world of coffee. And finally, if you are an espresso enthusiast and want to make a hobby out of brewing then a manual espresso maker at least ought to be your goal.

Depth Of Flavor 

If you are looking for a high-quality espresso shot, then either a semi-automatic or manual machine is the way to go. At this price point, many of the semi-automatic espresso machines have poor temperature stability and questionable brew pressures which isn’t ideal for producing a well-extracted shot. A lot of the espresso machines under $200 are aimed at those brewing with pre-ground coffee. Because of this they come with pressurized baskets and the brewing pressure is set higher than 9 bars. While you can invest in aftermarket accessories to get around this if you want to use freshly ground coffee, the quality of espresso from a $200 machine is never going to compare with more expensive machines. 

Pressurized Or Unpressurized Portafilter

Another factor when it comes to flavor is whether you are using freshly ground or pre-ground coffee. At this price point, most espresso machines come with pressurized, or double-walled, filters. These are baskets with a false bottom and a tiny pinhole at the bottom. The idea is that it creates a higher pressure within the basket when brewing to improve extraction and allow you to use pre-ground coffee. These baskets are helpful for beginners, producing good results even if the grind is not precise. However, if you want to advance in skill you should be working towards grinding your beans and using unpressurized filters, which leads to far better crema and more delicious espresso. As such, you will need an espresso machine that comes with both types of baskets or has the option to upgrade with aftermarket accessories.   

Additional Features

While any espresso machine will produce enjoyable coffee (in theory anyway), different machines will come with different features. So, for example, generally, capsule machines come with milk frothers (which are completely automatic and do it for you) while manual and semi-automatic machines come with a steaming wand (which means you froth the milk yourself like you see the baristas do in cafes). Some of the other features include single and double-shot volumetric dosing, cup warmers, and removable water reservoirs.

What Is Required To Pull A Good Espresso Shot?

Freshly Ground Quality Coffee

One thing that you will rightly hear again and again as you get more involved in the espresso world is that your single most important piece of equipment is a quality burr grinder.While pre-ground coffee is fine at this price range, if you are even thinking of upgrading it is worth seriously considering buying a quality burr grinder. Also if possible stay away from those pre-ground beans in the supermarket aisle, and find a specialty coffee roastery near you. The taste of your espresso will never exceed the quality of your beans.

Freshly ground coffee

A Minimum Of 9 bars Of Pressure

Espresso is made by forcing hot water (~195-200F) under high pressure through finely ground, compacted coffee. This results in a shot of extracted coffee ideally with a layer of rich, golden crema on the surface. A good espresso machine should produce a minimum of 9 bars of pressure for optimal extraction.

Water Temperature At 195-205F

Espresso machines have a boiler in which the water is heated to the correct temperature. The ideal temperature for a good extraction is 195-205F. Less expensive machines have a single boiler for both steam and espresso, while pricier espresso machines have twin boilers.

25-30 Seconds Of Brewing

Typically a double shot of coffee should take between 25 and 30s to extract. This is especially important for manual and the more customizable semi-automatic machines. Entry-level espresso machines will often simply have a pre-programmed single and double shot button so that you don’t need to worry about shot volume or extraction times.

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