If you need a quick pick-me-up at the start of the day, or a tasty cup of something deep and rich after a nice meal, an espresso will surely hit the spot. While espresso may be best enjoyed with a pastry at a quaint cafe overlooking the Eiffel Tower, sometimes things like work, time, and finances get in the way.
You can still enjoy a freshly-brewed coffee by getting your own coffee maker! See the best espresso machines under $200 here.
How does an espresso machine work?
Hot (but not boiling) water is forced under pressure through ground coffee beans to give an extra special flavor. An espresso machine will use this process to produce a dark brown color and a satisfyingly creamy head. Whether you plan to enjoy it black, or want to add some sugar and skim milk, having a coffee maker at home allows you to save money—and avoid having your name misspelled at Starbucks.
Do you have the need for speed?
If speed and ease of use is on the top of your agenda, a 1-button, 1-minute espresso will do the job nicely. By the time you brush your teeth, your kitchen will smell great, and you’ll have a shot ready to go. The Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine will give you the quick hit of caffeine you need while reading the headlines before work.
And, for those those who like a tidy kitchen, this model can store up to 10 used capsules.
It straddles both worlds like a Colossus.
If you’d like a model that looks a little more like the classic machines you see in your local coffee shop, the De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker will not disappoint. Don’t let its small size fool you—the 15 bars of pressure make for a flavorful espresso. Two thermostats let you brew 2 shots simultaneously at different temperatures. One of them can even be a cappuccino, as this machine has its own jet frother!
The speed and versatility, all for a reasonable price, make the De’Longhi a great deal for the money.
Just like magic!
Philips is a company well-known in the electronics industry. Their SAECO Poemia Espresso Machine, which is available from Amazon for less than a hundred dollars, shows that quality does not always come at a high price. It can use coffee pods for convenience, or you can express yourself at your next dinner party with some beans your guests have never tried before.
This machine comes with a Pannarello steam wand which lets you to control the consistency of the creamy froth, if you do decide to add a little dairy.
Simplicity is the glory of expression.
The Mr. Coffee ECMP50 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker is even more affordable, priced at about the $80 mark on Amazon. This model, from a trusted brand, will save you money even if you only use it a few times a week.
It has a removeable water tank and drip tray, so cleaning is as simple as making the espresso itself!
Great ambition is the passion of a great character.
If you do want to spend a little more (but not too much) the De’Longhi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker may for you. This model really lets you channel your inner barista. You don’t have to grow a moustache, but you can play around with this machine a little more than the other models. It has dual thermostats, a choice of pressure levels, and even a heated tray to allow you to practice a few different styles (while ensuring your friends still receive a steaming hot cup).
The great thing about this unit is its versatility. If you are in a rush, you can pop in one of the pods. Have the time or inclination for something more complicated? You can do that, too!
Wait, there’s more!
What could be better than serving a hot shot of espresso with a homemade cheesecake? Pick up one of these coffee makers, and you’ll be serving up the good stuff in no time!