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7 Best espresso machines under $200 in 2021
Getting your espresso fix without breaking the bank
A well-stocked apartment could have many essential items, such as a home office, a comfy couch, and a nice stereo system. But one item that adds a touch of both class and pleasure to your apartment is a nice espresso machine. With it, you can make a delicious beverage that also gives you a nice pick up when you’re dragging. But aren’t espresso machines expensive, you may ask? Not always. We’ve found seven great espresso machines that all clock in at under $200. Check out our recommendations, and remember, we like a nice dark roast.
Best compact espresso machine
De’Longhi’s smallest model takes up a minimum of counter space and offers one-touch operation. Its compact design makes it easily portable, but its all-plastic construction can make it fragile and prone to cracking.
- Makes two sizes (1.35 oz and 5 oz)
- Fast and energy-efficient
- Uses Nespresso capsules
Best espresso machine for under $100
An inexpensive option, this small, space-saving model is a nice entry-level machine that’s easy to use and versatile. This is a basic model for beginners, lacking a timer and more robust steaming features.
- Makes 1-4 cups at a time
- Steam arm for making lattes and cappuccinos
- Easy-to-use controls
Best manual-design espresso machine
Manual design allows for easy portability and operation. Features an elegant and sleek design. This model does require some prep work, and only makes one cup at a time, so multiple servings can take a long time.
- Fully manual
- Easy to clean
- Backed by a 5-year warranty
Best capsule-style espresso machine
Capsules make it easy to set up, brew, and clean up. This is an inexpensive capsule option for a quick cup. Can be quite a bit louder than some of the other models.
- Compatible with Nespresso capsules
- Built-in automatic energy-saving function
- 1-year money-back warranty
Best dual espresso/cappuccino machine
Quickly make several cups in one go with a 42oz water reservoir. The stainless steel exterior with black accents will make this a stylish addition to your kitchen. Sometimes has inconsistencies with drink temperature.
- Easy to clean
- Foaming arm creates perfect froth for cappuccinos or lattes
- Single- or double-espresso brewing
Best espresso machine for beginners
Easily make coffees, lattes, and cappuccinos with this versatile machine, which can use pods or ground coffee. Some customers have had issues with the frother not working after a short period of time.
- Uses Keurig K-cups
- Large 60oz reservoir lets you brew several cups without a refill
- Energy-efficient and easy-to-clean
Best coffee and espresso machine
Make both espresso drinks and regular coffee drinks. Serves four different sizes of espresso and coffee. Note that replacement pods are only available from Amazon at this time.
- 60oz water tank
- Features a fast heat-up time and automatic shutoff
- Only uses espresso pods
What to look for in an espresso machine
Price is not the only factor to consider when choosing an espresso machine for your apartment. Here are a few things to consider when comparing best espresso machines under $200:
- Unit size. Your apartment may not have a ton of counter space, so choosing a unit with a small footprint could be the right move. A smaller unit takes up less space, and is one that you can potentially put under your arm and take to your friend’s place when they’re hosting brunch!
- Ease-of-cleaning. Space may be at a premium for you, and we bet time is, too. You don’t want to spend a ton of time cleaning your coffee machine! Choose one that’s easy to clean and you’ll spend only a few minutes getting it ready to use again tomorrow morning.
- Warranty. This is an appliance you’ll probably use every day, so you’ll probably put it through a lot of wear and tear. Look for a machine with a nice warranty (we’ve seen ones from 1-5 years) so, if something does go wrong with your machine, you can replace it easily and with no extra expense.
Espresso machine tips
- The larger the reservoir, the more cups you can make. If you’re looking to make multiple cups for yourself or for a group (maybe you’re nice enough to make the morning coffee for all your roommates!), you’ll want to look for a unit that has a large water reservoir. With a reservoir of 40-60 oz, you can brew up several cups of your preferred beverage without refilling the tank.
- Beans or pods? Do you want a machine that uses pods/capsules or ground beans? There are pros and cons to both. Pods are quick to use and easy to clean up, though they create more waste. You can buy pre-ground beans or grind them yourself. This can give you a fresher taste, but it takes more effort and can make a mess.
- Foaming accessories for espresso drinks. You might like a pure shot of espresso, but many drinkers like to add a little frothy milk to the equation. If you (or your roomies) love cappuccinos or lattes, choose a machine that’s versatile, letting you make all kinds of beverages. Some of them even make regular coffee, if that’s your thing.
Which espresso machine is the right one for you?
Aside from pricing (and we think the above choices represent a nice range, from under $100 to right around $200), there are a few choices you can make to find the best espresso machines under $200 for you.
- How much are you making? If you’re going to be making several cups at a time (for yourself or your roomies), you’ll want to choose a machine with a large water reservoir.
- Convenience of pods or freshness of ground coffee? If you’re a coffee connoisseur, you’ll probably want the versatility of choosing your own beans (and maybe even grinding them) so you can taste whatever exotic flavors that tickle your fancy. If you want the convenience of just popping in a capsule and getting your caffeine fix right quick, then pods are for you.
- Steam/foam? Do you just want to brew up shots of espresso? Or are you interested in making other drinks, like cappuccinos or lattes? If you want those other drinks, you’ll want a machine with steam capabilities so you can make those fancy drinks.
Choose the best espresso machine for your budget
Buying an espresso machine is a nice treat for your apartment. You can use it to give yourself a pickup when you’re dragging, or provide a nice beverage when you have a guest drop by. Check these out. They’ll suit your needs without breaking your bank!
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