Enjoy the taste of freshly brewed barista-style coffee at home? You’re in luck, as we’ve crafted a list of 12 nifty machines to help you choose the best espresso machine under 200. There are a few good options at this price point. You’ll be making great espresso as often you’d like in no time.
Top Picks for the Best Espresso Machine Under 200
Choosing the best espresso machine can be tricky, but to make it easier we’ve put a list of our favourite machines together to help you choose. We’ll look at both pod machines and more traditional ground coffee options.
If you’re looking for an Italian style pump machine this Brewsly has enough pressure to extract the perfect espresso with a good bit of crema on top. It’s compact and will sit snugly on the kitchen counter.
The Brewsley includes a milk frothing wand if you’d like to make a barista-style Cappuccino or Latte. The amount of steam is easily adjustable and the wand rotates with ease.
Double temperature control allows you to adjust the coffee and foam milk temperatures separately to make the perfect cup of coffee. And the large clear water tank allows you to easily check the water level before you start.
Includes a removable double drip tray to fit latte cups and glasses.
- Easy and fast to use
- Makes perfect crema
- Compact size
- Milk wand rotation is limited
The Crups OPIO Espresso Machine delivers authentic espresso with good crema directly to your cup. You can manually select to help you achieve great flavour and consistency, while the 15-bar pressure pump produces good extraction without any bitterness.
This machine heats rapidly so no need to sit around and wait for your coffee. You also have the convenience to make two cups at once with enough space to put both cups down comfortably.
Krups produces a true quality machine, they might not be Italian as true coffee tradition goes but with this machine you can rely on quality German engineering.
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Great quality machine
- No automatic turn-off
If you like the convenience of a pod espresso machine then this Keurig is a great choice. Use any K-Cup it to brew coffee, lattes or cappuccinos.
The simple button controls make it super easy to use and make coffee, iced lattes or cappuccinos. You’ll find a large water reservoir that allows you to brew up to 6 cups, saving you precious time in the morning.
The smart start function heats then brews in one easy process, no need to sit around for the machine to heat before selecting the cup size.
With the programmable auto-off feature the machine will turn itself off 2 hours after the last brew.
- Fits travel mugs
- Quiet and efficient
- Makes a great Latte
- Limited to Keurig Pods
Brew like a pro with the De’Longhi Stilosa. Whether you prefer a single or double espresso or even a cappuccino, this machine can brew your favourite coffeehouse coffee just the way you like it.
The machine has separate water and steam pressure controls with two separate thermostats so you can make the perfect cup at the perfect temperature. It has most of the features of some of the more expensive machines at a really great and affordable price.
Cleaning is easy with the removable water tank, that is slightly smaller than some of the bigger machines but still perfectly adequate.
The machine is nice and compact, not as small as the Brewsly but smaller than Krups so if you’re looking for a space-saving machine at an affordable price, this is definitely a great buy.
- Very affordable price
- Good quality machine
- Heats quickly
- Good pressure for producing crema
- The water tank is quite small
Enjoy full flavour espresso with coffeehouse quality aroma and crema. This machine brews without waiting time. The instant heating system help to maintain the perfect water temperature so that you can make a few cups in a row without wait times.
The drip tray is removable so will fit taller cups easily. And of course, you can make two cups at once as pictured, which is a great timesaver.
The water tank holds just over a litre of water and is transparent with a helpful Max and Min water level. It’s easily removable for effortless filling.
- Stainless steel finish
- Easy to follow instructions
- The water tank is on the small side
There is no doubt that Lavazza makes great coffee as you will see this brand of coffee served in many coffeehouses around the world.
Lavazza shows great Italian craftmanship and if you’re looking for a pod machine that is both compact and easy to use then you’ve come to the right place.
Compatible with the Lavazza Blue & Expert pods, this classy mini single-serve espresso system is efficient and delivers a satisfying espresso with little fuss.
The water tank is transparent but is quite small at 0.7 litres, the capsule drawer holds up to 5 spent capsules so no need to clean them out after every cup. It conveniently takes espresso cup sizes and larger mugs.
The machine features both a double and single espresso setting and you can brew strong or long coffees, whichever you prefer.
- Compact design
- Great variety of pods
- Quick and easy to use
- Pods can be hard to find
Nespresso is a trusted brand in the automatic pod espresso machine space. The VertuoPlus offers the latest innovation from their all-in-one options.
With this machine, you can brew a great single-serve coffee or espresso. The machine works with a barcode system to help identify the amount of cream or cup size. So all you have to do is insert the capsule and press the button.
If you buy the VeruoPlus you get a handy welcome kit with a range of Vertuo capsules so your first few coffee servings are included. And it gives you the opportunity to try the range of flavours on offer.
Don’t worry you can make single, double espresso as well as other coffees between 5-ounce and 14-ounce cup sizes. You can even make your favourite coffees as iced drinks if you choose.
It comes with a generous 60-ounce/1.7 litre water tank that can swivel out behind the machine and will shut off after 9 minutes of inactivity.
- Rich brewed crema
- Very compact
- Super easy to use
- Quiet operation
- Pods can be pricey
If you like the idea of a fully handcrafted espresso where you have 100% control over the results then this machine is a great option.
This machine is fully manual and 100% human-powered. There are no electronics, which means it will work beautifully in any kitchen.
The machine itself is easy to clean as the manual espresso comes with a detachable brewing head. It’s a patented design allowing you to separate the parts and rinse under cold water. These machines are built to last as there is no electric pump that may break down. It’s made from cast aluminium and stainless steel so it’s sure to stand the test of time.
It’s fully portable and comes with a carrying case so you can take it with you wherever you go! But you’ll have to buy a coffee grinder, a kettle and milk wand if you’d like to make Lattes and Cappuccinos. Using freshly ground coffee with a manual press is an absolute must.
- Makes great espresso once you get the hang of it
- Sturdy machine
- Fully control
- Comes with a carry case
- Has a learning curve to operate
The Breville Cafe Roma boasts a 7g single shot, 14g double shot and pod capability. Making this a very versatile machine. It also has dual-wall crema technology leaving you with a rich and smooth flavour.
The steam wand is adjustable for speciality coffee at home and features a convenient finger looper for easy control.
It comes with a removable drip tray and the frothing jug is included as well so no need to buy one extra!
The water tank with a 1.2L capacity is completely removable for easy filling.
Note: at the time of writing this machine was on offer under 200, but the price may increase to slightly over 200 from time to time.
- Very versatile
- Easy to clean
- Big enough to multi-task
- Takes a bit of time to warm up
10. Flair Neo Manual Lever Espresso Maker
The Flair Neo is a great little manual espresso maker. No need for pods or pumps, it’s just you and your cup of perfectly made coffee.
The flow control portafilter restricts the flow of water through the grounds to ensure good extractions and crema with every espresso.
Brewing manual espresso with the Neo is a four-step process. Add your freshly ground beans, preheat your brewing cylinder, prep the brew head by adding boiling water and then lower the lever. Simples.
Build to last and easy to clean. Made with cast aluminium and stainless steel it carries a 5-year warranty.
As this is a manual machine you’ll have to buy a coffee grinder, a kettle and milk wand if you’d like to make Lattes and Cappuccinos separately. Using freshly ground coffee with a manual press is an absolute must.
- Good quality machine
- Pressurised portafilter is very forgiving
- Good value press
- Needs pre-heating
The Gevi is an impressive 20-bar machine with an advanced power Thermoblock Fast Heating system it only needs 25-45 seconds to finish a cup of espresso. It looks quite beautiful and will fit on the kitchen counter.
With this machine, you can make espresso, Cappuccinos and lattes if you choose. And with two thermostats you can control the temperature of the espresso and milk separately.
The 20-bar pressure pump definitely has enough pressure to produce good crema for an aromatic cup of coffee. It has three functions and allows you to manually control the amount of coffee; 1 shot (30ml coffee) or 2 shots (60ml coffee).
The steam wand rotates 360° for great frothing flexibility and steam pressure.
- Good pressure
- Works really fast
- Easy to use
A little tricky to clean
This semi-automatic 2-in1 Espresso Maker with milk wand by Barsetto can make a great barista-style coffee with or without steamed milk.
It’s a 15-Bar pressure machine like most of the others listed, giving you perfect pressure for good crema on your espresso. And you can make one or two single espressos at a time or one double espresso of course.
With this machine, you have the convenience of double temperature control so you can adjust the water and milk temperatures separately. for the perfect cuppa.
The water tank holds an impressive 1.8 litres of water enough for brewing quite a few cups of joe. This potent little machine has a double volume boiler to help make hot water and steam in no time.
- Straight forward and easy to use
- Has good pressure to produce crema
- Large water tank capacity
- Milk frother could be better
Types of Espresso Machines Under 200
Manual espresso machines, also called lever espresso machines, can normally be found in two variations; spring piston machines and direct lever machines.
These machines can frustrate and infuriate the inexperienced barista. But they can also make some of the best coffee you’ve ever tasted. Lever machines are very hands-on, which means you need elbow grease to operate them, but can fully control the outcome of the drink.
If you’re a coffee connoisseur and would like to make your espresso by hand, the old fashioned and slow way then this machine is for you. A lever machine will create a better and more reliable espresso when compared to a Moka pot for example but is much trickier to perfect than a sem-automatic machine. These lever machines have been around since 1947 have changed the way we make coffee forever so they are a tried and tested choice.
For manual espresso making you’ll have to buy the coffee grinder, a kettle or water boiling device and milk wand separately as these aren’t included in the under 200 versions listed on this page.
Remember to use high quality, freshly ground and roasted coffee beans with a manual machine for best results. Lower quality beans will deliver an inconsistent and often bitter result, making it hard to tell if it’s your barista skills or the beans who are at fault.
Semi-automatic machines are usually the ones you will find in restaurants or coffee houses. Contrary to the old-style manual machines where you have to pull the shot with a lever, the semi-automatic version will do this with the press of a button.
Using a semi-automatic still allows you to control the amount of water used for your cup so these will generally not have an auto-off switch. You’ll therefore need a bit of skill to know when to do what. But you should be able to figure this out quite quickly. Some say you need a skilled person to operate a semi-automatic machine, we disagree as with a bit of practice you can figure it out. No need to hire a barista with your shiny new machine, unless that’s something you’d like to do of course.
With these types of machines, you can either ground your coffee separately or buy already ground coffee so you won’t need the extra gadgets.
Automatic Espresso Machines
Automatic machines are very similar to the semi-automatic versions. You grind the coffee, tamp it and press the button to get going. The difference is that an automatic machine will stop the water flow by itself based on an internal timer.
It’s quite handy as you’ll be able to get the exact same size of espresso every time – no need to worry that the cup is overrunning as you had to deal with a pesky salesman at the door. But with convenience comes the loss of control. If you like to run close tabs on your coffee and perhaps adjust things here or there, you won’t be able to do that with an automatic machine, unfortunately.
If you’re one of those people who like to get creative, then this machine is probably not for you. But if you are more of a perfect precision every time kind of person then give it a go.
Pod machines are normally fully automatic, all you have to do is insert the pod and perhaps press a few buttons. So again if you like your coffee exactly the same every time or you have lots of disruptions while you’re making your perfect brew then a pod machine could be for you.
We’d recommend before you buy the machine to check the pricing of the pods as most machines can only work with brand-specific pods so if you’ve opted for a machine with relatively expensive pods you’ll be locked into them until you replace the machine.
The coffee pods can also have a bit of an after taste or brand-specific taste so we’d definitely recommend that you try out the pods before buying your machine so that you know you’re buying something you’ll love for a long time.
And of course, these machines can create a lot of waste via the spent pods so if you’re into eco and sustainable living, this might not be the best option for you. Some pods are now either recyclable or potentially compostable but will still have more of an impact than good old fashioned coffee grinds on their own.
Espresso Machine FAQs
Is 15 bar enough for espresso?
Yes, a 15-bar machine should be able to produce a good layer of crema for an aromatic espresso.
Are lever espresso machines better?
Lever machines are more forgiving as you control the pressure, but they are more manual and does have a bit of a learning curve to operate. These machines need a bit of elbow grease to work so won’t be the right fit for everyone. A lever machine will be more consistent than a stovetop Moka pot for example, and once you’ve mastered the pressure you will be able to make espresso just the way you like as you’ll have more control over the outcome then you’ll have with a semi-automatic machine.
What should espresso crema look like?
Espresso crema should be a thick caramelly layer of coffee froth that sits on top of an espresso once made. If the espresso was under-extracted the layer will be thin and patchy. And an over-extracted espresso will have crema that looks very brown or slightly burnt.
Can I use regular coffee grounds in an espresso machine?
Yes, technically you can do this but it won’t give you a great tasting espresso. When it comes to making espresso it’s best to use a dark roast bean.