It’s time again to visit that beautiful morning ritual of deep flavors and sweet crema. Delving into the world of espresso machines, enthusiasts are always looking for that perfect cup, without the hassle of booking it to Starbucks or another local coffee place. The only way to do so, aside from opening your own coffee shop, is to make the espresso yourself.
Not seeing what you’re looking for? Why don’t you check our lists of Espresso Machines below $100 or Espresso Machines below $300? This, of course, means you’ll need all the proper tools to do so. Surprise! One of those tools happens to be an espresso machine. There are various brands and different performers all looking for your attention, from high dollar models to budget-minded makers.
For this list, though, we put together some on the higher end, for those who really enjoy a good espresso. But don’t want to settle for an “okay” brew. Granted, no promises for the ultimate espresso by itself, that might take some knowledge of grain, grinding, and barista-style mastery, but you’re sure to get an excellent cup regardless of your expertise (or lack of).
While overall, you’ll see the best affordable espresso machine, most will likely remain above the $100 spectrum. So if you don’t want to make your wallet cry, check out our other recommend list for budget-minded (but still quality) models. Otherwise, read ahead.
Philips Saeco HD8327/47 Poemia
To top off our list is the Saeco by Philips, one that sports admiration for a flavorful crema. Like most of our previously listed choices, the Saeco has what you’d expect to get a strong brew. 15 bar pressure with handle utilizing a stainless steel finish for lasting lifespan, along with a comfortable ergonomic design and enough space for your cups.
But, the Saeco does a few extra things we appreciate to make sure the filtered flavors really shine through. For example, its filter basket can take your choice of espresso grain for desired taste, but also accepts ESE pods (easy serving espresso) for a quicker brew. You can also get an excellent frothy topping of crema or milk using its steam wand, allowing you to get whatever consistency you prefer. Should you also choose to use it, it has a cup warmer surface, so you maintain the temperature desired for some genuinely refreshing brew.
Mostly the Philips Saeco takes a bit of the groundwork out of espresso prep, relying on its pressure system, so there’s no need for tamping. At the same time, you only get the option of a single shot espresso, so it has a little give-and-take with features. Others, too, recommend getting a grinder for a better espresso grain, but that might depend on your enthusiasm level for “true” taste and good taste.
Overall, not a bad pick if you’re looking for higher quality but aren’t busting bank for the pricier machines. An alternative worth considering is our list of best espresso machines.
Mr. Coffee Café Barista
The next machine on our list of espresso machines under $200, is coming from Mr. Coffee. If you’ve ever had dreams of becoming a beloved barista, this machine might be for you. Or, perhaps, you just want a powerful espresso machine. Whatever your preference, Mr. Coffee offers a sturdy product you’d likely see in a coffee shop.
This particular machine is less flash and more function. It’s big, it’s brushed steel, and it has a lovely series of options for the perfect espresso or tasty latte. For example, you’ve got one-button push adjustments for single or double shot espressos topped with sweet crema. An excellent 15 bar pressure means you get a hardy, rich flavor too. But, if you’re not into the espresso, the Café Barista heats milk for a quick cappuccino or latte too. It accomplishes merely this as well, only requiring measurements of your favorite espresso brand, water, and/or milk. From there, an easy button press gets you the tasty brew.
While other Mr. Coffee versions exist, this one claims the fastest and easiest methods to get a flavorful espresso. Milk is automatically frothed, the prep time is less than a minute, and has the highest bar pressure for the purest flavor. Disassembly for cleanup is easy as well, meaning you don’t have to fret over grain buildup or the like.
For the price point and folks on the go, this is an ideal choice if you’re looking for higher-performing quality. It’s “touch and get me my drink” style, though enthusiasts with specific standards might look into other models.
De’Longhi ECP3630 15
De’Longhi is an established brand in the coffee creation world, and it’s a name you’ll likely see on these lists reasonably often. For a good reason, too, as the machines perform to high standards with lots of options for the best cup of espresso.
The ECP3630 already has a standard fair of expected features. 15 bar pressure for a deeply flavored espresso and stainless steel finish for long years of performance, for starters. This particular model also aims at greater quantities of brew, with a 36 oz water tank and drip tray to keep your kitchen free of unwanted spills. The drip tray also implies you’ll be making plenty of espressos – single or dual shots – with enough size from the nozzle to accommodate larger cups.
Prep time, whether you’re after espresso or cappuccino, is quite simple as well. Like most espresso machines, this De’Longhi has prep time (where the water and/or milk heats) but doesn’t take too long, about a minute or less. For the actual grind/grain, the ECP3630 allows you to scoop the desired amount into a respective pitcher, which is a nice touch, though you’ll be responsible for the grind quality yourself. It’s also able to take espresso pods, if you prefer, making the process a bunch easier.
With a series of adjustable options and nice, compact size, this specific De’Longhi model sits above many at the price point.
The first on our list of the caffeine craze is Nespresso’s Pixie. Or, the Electric Titan? Despite the oxymoron in the name, this machine offers an abundance of options to get that quality cup of good-feel morning espresso.
Simplicity and convenience while maintaining quality is the idea here. As the name implies, the Pixie is comfortably sized to fit anywhere in the kitchen. Additionally, it looks to make a tasty brew quickly with only a few button presses. Those same buttons also program for things like serving size or lungo, pending preference. Oh, and if you’re not too keen on waiting, the Pixie can heat water in roughly 30 seconds.
Some other excellent features for convenience are an automatic power-off system and an LED indicator of how much water is left. As for what it holds? About 26 oz, nothing huge. But, regardless of the size, you can program the quantity of the desired brew, so you get that perfect measure every time. And lastly, should you find the poor Pixie broke down, it comes with a 1-year warranty. Not bad at all.
There are a few drawbacks here, but nothing severe. Of course, because of the size, you’ll need to refill the water reservoir frequently. This honestly isn’t that big a deal, but some might find it aggravating. You also have to make sure your choice in the grain is proper for an espresso. Nespresso has kindly blessed the purchaser with a few samples of its tasty flavors, but not enough to last an enthusiast. So, you’ll either need to keep purchasing from Nespresso or find equally flavorful (and proper) espresso grains to brew. It’s a nice pick that’s sturdy, cool-looking, and does the job without hassle. The price drop from $229 didn’t hurt either. Do you agree this is the best espresso machine under $200?
Oddly enough, our list here might still be considered “entry-level,” depending on the kind of espresso desired. Despite that, however, these machines are entirely capable of getting you a fine shot of caffeine flavored goodness, without all the fiddling of the more budget concerned models. If you’re looking for primo style espresso, then you might be able to pull it off with our list, but our choices were conscious of the person on the go just looking for some good espresso.
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