Best Espresso Machines Under $200

Getting into home espresso making doesn’t need to require a small fortune. You can find a solid entry-level espresso machine for less than $200, and there are lots of different models available at this price point.

Whether you want a convenient fully-automatic experience or something so hands-on that you actually create the brewing pressure, you’re bound to find a machine that you’ll love using — and still have some funds left over for high-quality beans or a grinder.

My top recommendation is the De’Longhi Stilosa which is undoubtedly the best value for money in this price range. De’Longhi makes quality machines and this one has a steam wand, a great basket and the potential for modifications. The Breville Cafe Roma is a very similar machine and my runner-up recommendation.

Our top picks for espresso machines under $200


Best Overall Espresso Machine: De’Longhi Stilosa

Sale
De'Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine

  • Latte & Cappuccino Maker
  • 15 Bar Pump Pressure
  • Milk Frother Steam Wand
  • Black / Stainless
  • 13.5 x 8.07 x 11.22 inches

PROS

  • Capable machine
  • Long-lasting machine
  • Able to grow with you
  • Competitive price

CONS

  • Poor temperature control (common issue)
  • No fancy aesthetic

Who Should Buy: The De’Longhi Stilosa should be the first espresso machine you consider. It’s the best overall espresso machine and the best value espresso machine under $200. It also can grow with you as you become a more experienced barista, and will last a very long time.

The De’longhi Stilosa provides the best value both now and in the future, making it the obvious choice for most novice home baristas. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an espresso machine this good for less than $200. It even beats out many machines that are priced above this mark. In short, the Stilosa represents everything an espresso machine should be.

You’ll get everything that an espresso machine should be, including a steam wand, good basket, and machine that’s perfectly capable of pulling good shots. These essentials themselves don’t make the Stilosa stand out, but are necessary for consideration as the best overall espresso machine under $200.

Long-Lasting Machine From Established Company

The first feature that sets Stilosa apart is the company that makes it. De’longhi is one of the most established, and has a strong reputation for making machines that last. The company manufactures both home espresso machines and commercial ones. You should be able to continue using this machine long after the warranty expires.

Parts are also available for making repairs, although you’re probably better off just purchasing a new machine if this one does ever wear out. Few people make repairs on machines at this price point.

Easily Modifiable Basket for True Puck Preparation

The other feature that makes the Stilosa particularly good if you plan to advance in your barista skills is the type of basket.

Almost all entry-level machines have pressurized baskets. The basket design has a double-walled valve that the water flows through after going through the grounds. The valve constricts the water flow so that you can pull shots even with coarser coffee grounds:

  • Constricted flow ensures the pressure generated by the machine’s pump stays in the brew chamber.
  • Constricted flow also ensures the brew time remains correct even if the grounds aren’t fine enough to slow the water.
  • An air gap between the two walls aerates the brewed espresso, creating lots of crema on the top of the shot.

This type of basket is the type that most new home baristas should use, especially if your grinder isn’t a true espresso grinder. Eventually, though, you might want to upgrade to a standard espresso basket.

A standard basket doesn’t have the valve. Instead, the finely ground coffee restricts the water flow. The grounds are what determine brew time, and to a lesser extent pressure. This allows you to develop your skills in grinding, tamping and dialing in shots.

Several of these machines can be modified so that their portafilters aren’t pressurized. The Stilosa is the easiest one to modify or find an alternative basket for:

  • Modify: Take apart the valve, remove the spring, and reassemble the valve. It won’t be pressurized anymore.
  • Purchase: Download the most recent “IMS Competition Series” product catalog by searching that title and espresso. The 2022 version is here. Search for a 51mm basket, which is the Stilosa’s basket size, and then use the product number to search for a retailer with the basket in stock. Get a 12-14g basket that’ll fit in the Stilosa’s portafilter, or get a 16-18g basket and bottomless portafilter. The portafilter should be the same size.
  • The process is a bit laborious because the basket isn’t a standard size. Baskets also aren’t cheap compared to the cost of the machine.

If you get a basket, don’t forget you’ll need an espresso grinder (not just a coffee grinder) and a ~51mm tamper.

Runner-Up for Best Overall Machine: Breville Cafe Roma

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker,1.2 liters
  • Stainless-steel espresso machine with 15-bar thermoblock pump
  • Dual-wall filter system for excellent crema; froth enhancer, cup-warming plate
  • Accesories: Stainless steel frothing pitcher Tamping tool/measuring spoon/cleaning tool
  • Removable drip tray and grid; Frothing jug included
  • Measures 9 x 9 x 12 inches; 1-year limited warranty

PROS

  • Capable machine
  • Long-lasting machine
  • Able to grow with you
  • Competitive price

CONS

  • Poor temperature control (common issue)
  • No fancy aesthetic

Who Should Buy: Compare prices for the Breville Cafe Roma to the De’Longhi Stilosa. Get the Cafe Roma if it’s cheaper or you can’t easily find the Stilosa (which is unlikely). Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with either machine.

The Breville Cafe Roma is almost identical to the Stilosa. The Cafe Roma has a similar design, almost all of the same features (including steam wand, basket and general build), and is comparably priced.

The competition between best overall and runner-up espresso machine is extremely close. The only two notable differences are quite subjective, and likely moot points.

First, Breville is also a well-known name in home espresso machines, but maybe not quite as established as DeLonghi is. Whereas DeLonghi makes many commercial machines, Breville primarily focuses on the home espresso machine market.

The portafilter on the Cafe Roma is designed very much like the Stilosa’s, but the Cafe Roma’s is just a touch harder to disassemble and reassemble. It might take a couple of extra minutes.

Best Beginner Espresso Machine: Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista

Sale
Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, Stainless Steel, Programmable Coffee Maker with Automatic Milk Frother, 15-Bar Pump, Ideal for Home Baristas
  • 3-in-1 Functionality: Semi-automatic espresso, cappuccino, and latte maker
  • High-Pressure Brewing: 15-bar pump system for richly-flavored espresso coffee
  • Automated Perfection: Trouble-free automatic milk frother for perfect frothing
  • Easy Operation: One-touch control panel for hassle-free drink selections
  • Customizable Shots: Choose from a single shot or double shot filter

PROS

  • Automatic milk frother
  • Beginner friendly
  • Long-lasting machine

CONS

  • Not hands-on
  • Poor temperature control (common issue)
  • No fancy aesthetic

Who Should Buy: Go with the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista if you want a forgiving and/or convenient espresso machine. So long as you enjoy milk-based beverages, like cappuccinos and lattes, no machine under $200 offers an easier espresso-making experience.

The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista comes the closest to an automatic espresso machine for under $200 (although it’s not a true automatic). This also makes it the most beginner-friendly and convenient model to use.

The highlights of the Cafe Barista lie in its portafilter and steam wand. The portafilter’s design ensures decent espresso even if you don’t know how to tamp well. Just get the grounds fairly even and slightly press down — the machine will compensate for mistakes. It’s even easier to steam milk, as you just fill a container and the auto-frother will steam for you.

If you want something to practice with this machine, you can always try latte art. This is purely optional for the mornings when you have an extra moment and want to experiment.

Like Breville, Mr. Coffee is a household name for coffee makers. It was the first “pour-in instant brewing electric coffee maker” — or automatic coffee maker — back in the 1970s. The company now also makes other types of brewers, including a decent near-automatic espresso machine.

Best Americano-Making Espresso Machine: Jassy 20 Bar Espresso Machine

PROS

  • Hot water dispenser
  • Temperature gauge
  • Beginner friendly
  • Affordable price

CONS

  • Less established manufacturer
  • No fancy aesthetic

Who Should Buy: Consider the Jassy 20 Bar Espresso Machine if you regularly have americanos at home. Don’t confuse this model with the Jassy 19 Bar Espresso Machine, which doesn’t dispense hot water and doesn’t have as hands-on an experience.

The Jassy 20 Bar Espresso Machine is a beginner-friendly espresso machine that’s great if you regularly drink americanos (espresso and hot water).

An automatic steam wand doesn’t just allow you to froth milk, but also has a built-in hot water dispenser. Steam milk when you want, or just pour hot water for an americano. This is one of the few models that dispense hot water without steam, and it’s nice to not need a separate hot water kettle.

A temperature gauge on the front also helps you ensure the espresso isn’t too bitter, which is especially important when making an americano since there isn’t milk to add sweetness. Allow the machine to heat up for a minute, and pull shots once it’s in the temperature range. You should turn it off to cool down once the gauge reads that it’s too hot for ideal espresso, but you’ll probably have to refill the water reservoir by then anyway.

You can, of course, also make cappuccinos and lattes when you want something with steamed milk.

Jassy is a newer company to the home espresso machine market, and doesn’t make commercial machines. The company’s reputation and durability are still being assessed. The machines are thus far proving to be of decent, if not stellar, quality.

Most Stylish Espresso Machine: Klarstein Espressionata Gusto

KLARSTEIN Espressionata Gusto - Espresso Maker, 20 Bar Pump Pressure, 1100 Watts, Makes 6 cups (0.3 gallon), Removable Stainless-Steel Drip Grid, Dishwasher-Safe Drip Tray, Retro Look, Black
  • REMARKABLE DESIGN: The Klarstein Espressionata Gusto espresso machine impresses not only with its quickly prepared, powerful and delicious espresso coffee, but also with its remarkable and stylish design
  • POWERFUL: The coffee maker presses hot water through the ground coffee bean with 1100 Watts power and 20-bar of pressure, unleashing its full aroma. The removable water tank has a volume of 0.3 gallon and can be easily removed, filled, and reinserted with the handle.
  • SIMPLE OPERATION: Thanks to the coffee machine’s EasyBrewing Technology, operation of the espresso machine is very simple and self-explanatory. Three large buttons with clear symbols and their corresponding illuminated displays are wonderfully clear and make for easy use.
  • RETRO LOOK: A highlight is undoubtedly the large temperature display in a retro look. The steam can be controlled intuitively using a large control dial, and the movable frother and hot water nozzle quickly conjures up frothed milk for cappuccino.
  • EASY TO CLEAN: Cleaning the Klarstein Espressionata Gusto Espresso Maker after use is very simple and efficient

PROS

  • Stylish retro look
  • Temperature gauge
  • Separate pulling/steaming indicators
  • Affordable price

CONS

  • Not the most durable

Who Should Buy: Get the Klarstein Espressionata Gusto if you drink Prohibition-era cocktails or know what a Ginn Fizz is. It’s also great if you like 1950s diners, jukeboxes, mobster movies, crown molding, or dressing in styles from the Mid Century. The Espressionata Gusto will likely fit with your decor well, and it’ll pull good shots too.

Pulling espresso is both art and science, and the Klarstein Espressionata Gusto lets you showcase the artistic side. A retro design in basic (black) or bold (vibrant red, pale blue) colors looks like what you’d have found in a diner 50 years ago. There’s nothing else under $200 that looks similar (and you can often find this for ~$100).

The Espressionata Gusto isn’t just about looks, though. It’s got a temperature indicator, separate selectors for pulling shots, and steaming milk. In other words, there’s everything you need to know whether the machine is ready. Just tamp the grounds, pour the milk and use a little skill — you’ll have a great-tasting beverage from a great-looking machine.

You might not be familiar with the Klarstein brand of espresso machines, but the company makes many small kitchen appliances. You can expect this model to last a while. Just don’t expect to keep using it in 10 years, like you might be with the Breville or DeLonghi.

Best Manual Espresso Machine: Flair Classic

Flair Espresso Maker - Classic: All manual lever espresso maker for the home - portable and non-electric
  • HANDCRAFT SHOTS OF ESPRESSO - With the Flair Espresso Maker, you have a complete manual espresso machine that can produce professional quality shots of espresso from your home, or wherever you are. Add 60ml of boiled water and a dose of up to 18 grams to yield a 40 ml shot with beautiful crema. A burr grinder is essential for use with this product.
  • FULLY MANUAL & COMPLETELY BEAUTIFUL - The Flair is a 100% human-powered, manual espresso press. There are no plugs or electronics, meaning the Flair, which was designed from the ground up, will look beautiful in any coffee station or kitchen.
  • EASY TO CLEAN - The Flair Espresso Maker is the only manual espresso maker with a completely detachable brewing head. This patented design allows for users to completely remove the brewing head, separate the parts, and rinse under cool water.
  • BUILT TO LAST - Now with an upgraded, stronger base, post and lever! Made from durable materials like cast aluminum and stainless steel, you can be sure your manual espresso maker, by Flair, is built to last. Both the aluminum press stand and the stainless steel brewing head are backed by a 3-year warranty.
  • FULLY PORTABLE - All Flair Espresso Makers come standard with our precision cut and padded carrying case meaning you can take your manual espresso maker anywhere you’d like.

PROS

  • Most hands-on pulling experience
  • Opportunities to practice and perfect skill
  • Compact and portable
  • No electric connection needed
  • Simple and well-built machine

CONS

  • No milk frother
  • Water must be heated separately
  • Time-consuming
  • Not beginner friendly

Who Should Buy: Go with the Flair Classic if you want to perfect your home baristaing skills, or if you want the best espresso possible. Getting great espresso requires effort, but practice leads to perfectly pulled shots.

As a manual espresso machine, the Flair Classic offers an entirely different experience than any other model on this list. It’s for pulling espresso — and it lets (or makes) you do all of the work.

With a manual machine like the Classic, you must grind, dose and tamp like you normally would with many models. You must then pull to actually apply the pressure needed to pull your shot. There’s a long lever so it’s not too hard to pull — but how are those biceps feeling?

Such a hands-on experience gives you the most opportunity for practicing and perfecting pulling shots. And, no other machine in this price range will produce equal quality espresso once you’re skilled. The Flair Classic can rival semi-automatic machines that are 10 times its price.

Don’t be getting this if you want a milky beverage or something quick, though. There’s no steam wand. There’s also no built-in heating element. You’ll have to heat water in a separate kettle, which is nice if you want espresso when camping but not so much on Monday morning.

Best Balance of Style and Function: Laekerrt Espresso Machine (With Warranty)

Laekerrt Espresso Machine 20 Bar Espresso Maker CMEP02 with Milk Frother Steamer, Home Expresso Coffee Machine for Cappuccino and Latte (Silver, Stainless Steel) Gift for Men, Coffee Lovers, 1350W
  • [ADVANCED FAST HEATING SYSTEM] Laekerrt Espresso Machine equipped with advanced 1350W big power Fast Heating System can continue to make espresso or froth milk. You can re-extract coffee without waiting.
  • [20-BAR PROFESSIONAL PRESSURE] The Laekerrt espresso machine is equipped with a 20 bar professional pump, professional pressure ensures quality results every time. Double cup diversion and more stable coffee extraction to achieve the golden ratio.
  • [STABLE STEAM CONTROL] Laekerrt steam wand features a steady stream to create dense and even creamy foam and latte art.
  • [METALLIC APPEARANCE DESIGN] With a metallic, stylish appearance and stainless steel body, it adds a more perfect and minimalist design to modern kitchens. And it is exquisite and compact, saving space.
  • [WHAT YOU GET] Espresso Machine x 1, Portafilter x 1, Stainless Steel Filter x 2, Coffee Spoon ×1, Manual. (Coffee cup and milk pitcher are not included). Any questions, feel free to contact us.

PROS

  • Most features
  • PID switch
  • Multiple color options
  • Compact

CONS

  • Prone to failure
  • Limited reservoir capacity

Who Should Buy: Consider the Laekerrt espresso machine if you like aesthetics as much as flavor. It’ll pull really good shots while it lasts. Just don’t expect this to be a super long-term relationship.

Laekerrt’s espresso machine is the near-perfect combination of style and science — but with one major downside that puts it last on this list.

The machine is nearly as stylish as Klarstein’s Espressonista Gusto, although with a very different look. Laekerrt has a more modern, well-balanced look that complements rich color with sleek black or faux-wood handles. The espresso machine is available in black, white, blue, sage green and pale pink, and several of these are available with the black or the faux-wood nobs.

On the science side, Laekerrt has managed to include a PID switch within this very affordable machine. A PID switch goes one step beyond some other model’s temperature gauges. The PID actively manages the water temperature of the boiler, scaling heat up and down as needed to maintain a proper and consistent temperature. Models with just a gauge will show when water is at a proper temperature, but they won’t be able to consistently maintain the temperature when making multiple drinks.

Of course, the steam wand, portafilter, group head and everything else is capable of pulling and steaming properly. The portafilter has very short spouts, which is nice if you want to pull espresso into slightly taller cups (e.g. a cortado or cappuccino cup). Most home espresso machines require pulling into a demitasse up and then transferring the espresso into another mug.

There is one major downside — a big drawback — to Laekerrt’s machine. Laekerrt’s a lesser-known manufacturer, and the machine isn’t built to the same standards as most of the other machines on this list. Multiple models have malfunctioned within a year of purchase. Long-term function has been sacrificed for fancier features.

Only get this espresso machine if you can get a warranty with it, and select the longest warranty possible. Amazon often offers a 4-year protection plan that’s recommended. This should be added onto the cost of the machine when comparing options under $200.

(There are technically two different model numbers, but no significant differences between them.)

What to Look For in an Espresso Machine Under $200

No espresso machine priced below $200 will have all of the bells and whistles that something above $2,000 will offer.

There are plenty of machines with all of the essentials though. You just have to know what’s essential and what’s little more than a marketing claim:

Pressure

Make sure your machine has at least 9 bars of pressure.

Espresso needs to be brewed at 8-9 bars of pressure. Many entry-level machines offer much more, but any number above this is a moot point. A machine that produces 12 bars will make espresso just as well as one with 20 bars.

Pump

Get a machine that has an internal pump.

Pump espresso machines use an internal pump to generate the 9+ bars of pressure that’s needed. Machines that have only a heating element can generate a maximum of 3-4 bars, which is enough for making strong coffee but won’t pull true espresso.

Build

Prioritize a well-made machine that’ll last.

Some machines at this price point focus on features more than build quality. While features certainly can be nice, you might want to prioritize build quality if you’re on a budget. You probably don’t want to be replacing the machine in 2 years.

Pods

Avoid pod machines.

While pod machines are convenient and affordable, you may want to avoid them. They generally don’t have a pump to brew true espresso. They also have much higher ongoing costs because you must purchase the pods, which is a major consideration if you’re on a budget. You also won’t get the experience of grinding, tamping and pulling with them.

Overheating

Pull 1-3 shots when the machine is read, and consider using a chilled basket.

Most machines at this price point (and many above it) are prone to overheating, when a too-high brew temperature makes shots bitter. The best way to counteract this on pretty much all of these machines is to pull 1-3 shots when the machine warms up. You can also chill the basket before pulling. This is an issue to be aware of, but not one that should factor into your decision because it’s a common problem.

Other features, such as a steam wand and pressurized basket (for easier crema) are fairly common on these machines. The factors listed above are some essential considerations that not all machines meet, or that manufacturers use as selling points that don’t actually matter.

The machines listed below generally fit these requirements unless otherwise noted.

Note on Grinders

If you don’t have a burr grinder, make sure to get one when purchasing an espresso machine. Being able to use freshly and evenly ground coffee is virtually as important as the espresso machine you have.

As a general guideline, split your budget into 70% on an espresso machine and 30% on a grinder. You can find espresso machines for ~$140 and grinders for ~$50.

If you want to increase your budget, we have buying guides for other price points, too:

Last update on 2024-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API