Coffee has become a driving force for many people around the globe. Often, it is not feasible to visit a cafe every time you want to drink coffee. Most of the coffee shops are closed by nighttime and economically too it is not a good idea. Therefore, it is good to have an espresso machine at home so that you can drink your favorite coffee at any time of day without spending much. A good quality espresso machine can prepare the best gourmet coffee by bringing out the rich taste of coffee beans. Choosing and buying an espresso machine is not as easy as it sounds.
We have prepared a guide for you to buy the best espresso machine available under $200. In this article, we have covered the relevant topics like features of a good espresso machine, review of top 5 best espresso machine under 200 dollars, methods to prepare a taste rich espresso, tips on cleaning and maintenance of the machine to prolong its life. This article is beneficial and must read for you if you are planning to buy an espresso machine and you don’t know where to begin at.
Features to Expect In An Espresso Machine
Espresso machines are more or less the same except for some really good ones which have additional features. Following are the features, which you should look out for while buying the best espresso machine under $200.
Pressure Pump is the most important component of an espresso machine. If the espresso machine can exert a good pressure, then it can grind the coffee beans finely to bring the best flavor. The appropriate level of pressure, which should be present in a machine, is 9 bars. You should note that excess of pressure can lead to over extraction which can ruin your coffee, therefore, a balance of pressure has to be there in the machine.
A boiler is an important aspect of an espresso machine as it heats the water for preparing your espresso. Boilers made from heavy marine grade brass are considered the best as compared to boilers made of stainless steel. It is observed that the boilers made of stainless steel fluctuate in temperature, which can lead to improper boiling of water.
Apart from the material, you should also look for the size of the boiler as bigger the size, lesser is the recovery time which means that you can prepare a number of espresso in a less time. So do not go for a thermo block boiler as it is not efficient.
A large sized water reservoir means more coffee can be prepared at a time. The best espresso machine has a removable water reservoir, which ensures proper cleaning so that bacteria do not build up in the machine. Before buying an espresso machine, be assured that the water boiler is in accordance to your needs.
Top 5 Best Espresso Machine Under 200 For Your Family
1. Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Premium Espresso
Available in three different colors white, red and stainless steel, Mr.coffee ECMP1000 barista premium is easy to use espresso machine which prepares smooth espresso without any fuss. It is a semi-automatic espresso machine which can be used to make espresso, cappuccino and latte.
It features a one touch control panel button from where can choose from the options available like the single shot and double shot. One feature, which makes this machine stand apart from others, is the automatic milk frother, which eliminates the guessing part.
It is completely removable for cleaning purposes. The machine uses 15 bars to pressure to prepare the cafe like coffee at your home with much ease. The volume of water reservoir is 55 ounces, which is enough to get shots after shots.
- 15 bar pump pressure
- Automatic milk frother
- Removable water reservoir
- Dishwasher friendly components
- Adjustable cup clearance
- Loud gurgling voice while operating
- Loss of pressure after some time
- Cleaning the machine is difficult.
2. Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker
Inissia is a compact yet powerful espresso machine from Nespresso. The machine is extremely fast and takes almost 25 seconds to warm the water to make a shot of espresso. It is available in a variety of colors to match the interior designing of your kitchen and being compact in size, it does not haul up much space on your shelf.
The water reservoir tank of Inissia can hold up to 23.8 oz of water, which is enough to make 9 coffees. Nespresso has used its patented extraction system in the machine, which delivers rich coffee, by using the pressure pump of 19 bars.
The machine also has an energy saving mode which automatically turns off the machine after 9 minutes this saving your electricity bill. In all, if you are looking for a coffee machine, which is easy to operate, and energy efficient then Inissia must be your choice.
- Compact and lightweight machine
- Easy to clean.
- Ergonomic design and durable build quality.
- Fast brewing
- Pods are expensive.
- Loud and irritating noise
- No power indicator
3. Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
Breville is a brand known for its amazing coffee producing machines which deliver high on performance. The Cafe Roma ESP8XL is the most popular espresso machine available out there. It features a powerful 15 bar pressure pump to bring out the rich taste of coffee beans.
The build quality of Cafe Roma espresso maker is at par with others. With stainless steel material, the machine is designed to work for years. It uses a dual-wall filter system for excellent crema, froth enhancer, cup warming plate.
Using its steam wand, you can produce a good quality of frothing on your cappuccino and the steam wand works as a coffee maker. The light indicators on the machine further ease out the whole process of making espresso by telling the current state of operation of the machine. It comes with accessories like stainless steel frothing pitcher tamping tool, cleaning tool, measuring spoon etc.
- Aesthetic design
- Durable build quality
- Multipurpose steam wand
- Powerful pressure pump
- Stationary steaming wand
- Easily gets clogged.
4. Ninja Coffee Bar Glass Carafe System
Certainly, one of the best espresso machines out there, Ninja Coffee bar glass carafe system is the innovation in technology right before our eyes. It has a built in frother which can produce hot and cold froth. The Ninja's advanced thermal flavor extraction technology makes a rich espresso gourmet with an exotic taste.
You can use the machine to personally customize your coffees from a variety of options available. Custom brews, which are available in the machine, are Classic, Rich and Over Ice.
Signature brews available with the machine are Specialty and Cafe Forte. Different brew sizes are also available like a cup, XL cup, travel mug, half carafe, XL multi-serve and Full carafe.
- Multipurpose coffee machine
- Advanced thermal flavor extraction technology
- Built in frother
- The machine doesn't brew under pressure.
5. Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker
This is another wonder machine from Nespresso. Pixie Espresso Maker is undoubtedly one of the best espresso machine under 200. It has been designed by keeping in mind a smaller urban kitchen. Fairly small in size and available in different colors, the machine is ought to increase the sparkle of your kitchen.
Its thermoblock heating element takes as little as 30 seconds to make a cup of espresso. The compact brewing unit technology ensures that you can easily insert and eject capsules. It features a folding drip tray which can be used to store tall recipe glasses.
Its water tank holds 25 ounces of water so that you don't have to refill it again and again. The water level in the machine is indicated by backlight indicators. The machine also uses auto power off functionality to save electricity.
- Programmable coffee volume
- Large water reservoir
- Backlight indicators
- Space for holding used capsules.
- Low capacity
- No option of blend customization
- Not easy to clean.
Things You'll Need To Make A Perfect Espresso
Apart from an espresso machine, there are various things you will need to prepare a good quality espresso.
- Use filtered water or bottled spring water.
- A dosing spoon to fill the portafilter basket of your espresso machine.
- A good quality tamper.
- Shot glasses.
Cleaning and Maintenance Your Espresso Machine
Cleaning and maintaining an espresso machine is equivalent important. Following are some tips which will help you in the process:
- Use a group head brush once a day to clean the group gasket after preparing coffee.
- Clean portafilter with espresso detergent and backflush the machine to remove the clogging.
- Learn how to change the group gasket and screen by reading the user manual of the machine. This can be handy if you don't want to call a mechanic every time something comes up with the machine.
- Soak components like portafilter, steam tip and drip basket in detergent for an overnight on weekly basis.
An espresso machine provides you the luxury of having cafe made coffee at your home. Although it is not easy to pick the best espresso machine that suits all your needs because of the number of options out there, we hope that our list of best espresso machine under 200 will help you in choosing the best machine for yourself.