Our next budget targeted post is for someone who is looking to spend $200 or less on their espresso machine. This is an excellent range for an entry level espresso machine. They’re nicely designed, make excellent coffee and still won’t overwhelm any one just starting out.
Please always keep in mind that prices constantly change by vendors and we have no say in this. These machines are all priced under $200 as of the time of writing. We will try our best to keep it up to date.
DeLonghi has always been a leader in the world of coffee and espresso makers. One of the great things about DeLonghi is that they have a machine for every budget and every type of user.
This espresso maker is an entry-level machine. It’s a great pick for anyone who is buying an espresso maker for the first time and has little to no knowledge of using an espresso machine. It’s easy to use and makes a good practice.
The machine is manual, meaning it is not programmable and does not have automatic flow stop, you’ll have to time your shots and stop them manually. The built-in steam wand allows you to heat and froth your milk as you like. And if you’re a fan of latte art, this is one way to practice this skill.
The baskets included with the machine are for a single shot, double shot or for accommodating soft espresso pods (not to be confused with capsules).
What Drinks Can You Make Using This Machine?
Pretty much any coffee drink you want. From espresso, cappuccino, latte, macchiato or iced coffee drinks. Find your favorite recipe and start brewing!
DeLonghi Stilosa EC260 vs. ECP3420
The Stilosa has come to replace the EC155 but can also easily replace the more expensive ECP3420… DeLonghi has worked to tweak the design to fix any issues from previous models and has also brought the price down to give you better value for your money. Which is exactly why it’s in our top picks.
Our Second Best Pick…
Perhaps you’re not a fan of how manual that DeLonghi machine is? You want less work and more coffee? Mr Coffee can be a great option for you.
This Mr Coffee machine has preset programs for cappuccino, latte or espresso. All programs can be reset to your liking. The built-in milk reservoir automatically heats, froths and dispenses the milk to your cup. The only work you have to do is fill the portafilter with your favorite ground coffee and insert it into the machine. Select the drink and your preferred serving size and the machine will do the rest.
You’ll notice that the frother has a knob, this would be to customize the froth level to your liking, so it’s more dense or creamier. The milk reservoir is conveniently made to be removable, so any leftover milk can be stored in the fridge for next use.
What Are the Pros and Cons of these Machines? Which One To Pick?
These two machines were picked with these points in mind:
- First one would be budget, of course, since you are specifically looking for an espresso machine under $200.
- Second point is quality and usability for value of money.
We gave you two options:
One is a manual machine (the DeLonghi), which is a great pick for anyone who enjoys the process of making a coffee drink. While you might enjoy this process, it will take some practice until you get things right. Once you know the perfect amount of coffee volume and how to steam your milk, you’ll love everything you can make with this machine.
For those who do not want to get a lot of work done, the semi-automatic Mr Coffee machine is a nice fit. It works a lot like the expensive single-serve coffee makers, but no pods required in this one. The programmability in the machine has everything pre-set for you, you don’t have have to try the correct volume of coffee ratio to milk or get anything right, but at the same time, if you ever want to change the presets, you can.
These espresso makers are budget and user friendly. They won’t be a great choice for an advanced user, but if you’re just starting out, or want it as a gift, these are great.
Unfortunately, a budget of $200 or less won’t get you premium materials. You’ll notice that these espresso makers are mostly plastic when it comes to housing and handles of the portafilters. But luckily, the steam wands and baskets of the filters are stainless steel. So anything that comes in contact with heat is durable.
What Other Options Do I Have for an Espresso Maker Under $200?
If you’re not happy with the picks above, you can always consider a single-serve espresso maker with a milk frother.
Nespresso’s OriginalLine espresso makers are the most popular pick for its category. They are crazy simple to use, require nearly no work on your part, just insert a capsule and press a button and you’re all set! The included milk frother, called an Aeroccino, is able to make hot or cold milk foam.
Since it’s so great, why did we not recommend this first? Because these machines come with an ongoing cost, which is one of its cons.
The price of the machine itself is budget-friendly, but you have to be aware of the ongoing cost of capsules. Nespresso OriginalLine machines are compatible with capsules from Nespresso or third-party brands. There are refillable pods that would cut your costs, but I personally don’t recommend them since they take away from the experience and you not always of best quality. You can read everything about Nespresso here.