The writers of this post on the top best espresso machine under £200 in the UK are a group of professionals with extensive expertise of different coffee makers.
Imagine waking up to the aroma of freshly brewed espresso, ready to kick-start your day with a perfect cup of coffee. For many of us, this daily ritual is essential. But let’s be honest; not everyone can afford those high-end, eye-wateringly expensive espresso machines that seem to grace the pages of glossy magazines. In my world, and probably in yours too, we don’t have £20,000 to spare for a coffee machine.
With just £200 in your pocket, you can find a brand-new coffee maker that not only makes great coffee but also offers a solid return on your investment. Especially when you consider that your typical high-street coffee now costs a pretty penny, skipping a daily takeaway coffee or two in favor of a home-brewed cup can save you some serious cash.
In this article, I’ll be diving into the world of affordable best espresso machines available in the UK, sharing our personal unboxing first hand testing insights and experiences.
Considering affordable can vary greatly depending on the type of espresso machine you’re eyeing. To some, a £1,000 espresso maker might seem like a steal compared to a £3,000 machine, while others might find a £300 machine to be budget-friendly when compared to those costing a grand or more. It all depends on your perspective.
For me, eight years ago, when I first ventured into the world of home espresso, everything felt expensive because I was on a tight budget. My first espresso machine was the Sage Oracle, although I had it for just a week. However, I had to return to reality after savoring the Oracle’s delights and begin my search for an affordable espresso machine.
Back then, I was far from an espresso expert. I had to learn the ropes and quickly discovered just how vast the price range for espresso machines can be.
In this walkthrough guide, we precisely investigate our unboxing first hand testing experiences with best espresso machines under 200 alongside recent buyer reviews.
Best Espresso Machine Under £200 At A Glance
|Espresso Machines||Buyer Satisfaction Ratings||Stores|
|DeLonghi EC685M||90%||Low Price Offer|
|DeLonghi EC785||88%||Low Price Offer|
|Breville One-Touch||90%||Low Price Offer|
|De’Longhi Scultura ECZ351BG||90%||Low Price Offer|
|CASABREWS||88%||Low Price Offer|
|Morphy Richards||86%||Low Price Offer|
When it comes to finding the perfect espresso coffee maker under £200, taste is the key. After all, what’s the point of having a coffee maker if it doesn’t consistently brew delicious coffee? In my experience, the taste of the coffee is the top priority.
You see, not all coffee makers are created equal, and the quality of your machine can directly impact the flavor of your brew. While you don’t always have to break the bank for a high-quality coffee maker, it’s essential to remember that, in general, you get what you pay for. Investing in a machine of higher quality can lead to a noticeably better coffee experience.
What’s also crucial is having a coffee maker that suits your coffee preferences. Some of us enjoy our coffee straight and black, while others prefer creamy lattes or frothy cappuccinos. So, when you’re on the hunt for a coffee maker, consider your own taste preferences. Look for a machine that can cater to your coffee cravings.
Lastly, simplicity matters. A coffee maker should be easy to use. Trust me, a user-friendly machine can significantly enhance your coffee-making experience.
When you have a espresso coffee machine, you’ll want to enjoy it for a long time. To do that, you need to keep it clean. So, it’s crucial to pick a machine that is easy to clean. Nobody wants to spend hours scrubbing and fiddling with intricate parts just to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Another thing to consider is the water you use. Regular tap water can have contaminants that can build up in your machine over time. It’s not something we often think about, but investing in a water filter can be a helpful. It helps keep your machine free from these unwanted deposits and ensures your coffee tastes as good as it should.
Best Espresso Machine Under £200: Tried And Tested Models
Why you can trust Finexo Enterprise: Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
When it comes to best espresso machines under £200, the DeLonghi EC685M is a compact wonder that’s worth a closer look. Having had the chance to test it out, I’d like to share my experiences, highlighting its praises and pointing out a few shortcomings.
First, let’s talk about the positives. The DeLonghi EC685M may be small and slender, but it packs a punch. What I love about it is the ease of customization. With adjustable temperature settings, I can fine-tune the brew to suit my taste preferences. That’s a feature I’ve come to appreciate, especially when I’m trying different coffee beans.
One appreciable feature is the steam wand with Pannarello, offering adjustable texturing settings. This feature is a appreciated for those who enjoy milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. It creates microfoam, which is a far cry from the old-school cappuccino foam. If you’re not a professional barista but want to elevate your milk-texturing game, this machine simplifies the process.
See unboxing picture below.
Additionally, the DeLonghi EC685M espresso machines under £200 doesn’t take up much space on your countertop. Its sleek and attractive design is perfect for small kitchens or limited work surfaces. Plus, it’s easy to clean and maintain, a big plus for daily coffee enthusiasts.
And here’s a pro tip: If you want to upgrade your coffee game even further, you can easily switch to a regular portafilter with this machine. This opens up the door to experimenting with different coffee grounds and achieving barista-quality shots right at home.
Moving on to the drawbacks, while the DeLonghi EC685M offers excellent value for money, its full recommended retail price (RRP) can be a bit steep. However, the good news is that it often goes on sale, making it more accessible to budget-conscious coffee lovers like me.
One thing to watch out for is the Panarello steam wand. If you plan to remove it to use the steam pipe as a pro steam wand, make sure to secure the rubber pipe with a cable tie. It’s a small detail, but it can make a big difference in your experience.
Overall, In my testing experience, the DeLonghi EC685M has proven itself as a popular, efficient, and reasonably priced espresso machine. It’s been a favorite among home baristas for good reason. With a bit of care and the right accessories, it can deliver coffee that exceeds expectations.
The DeLonghi EC785 espresso machines under £200 is essentially the same espresso maker as the EC685, with the primary difference being in its color and the inclusion of a few more accessories as we tested. It comes with a genuine tamper and a milk jug, which is a nice addition to the package. While DeLonghi does offer a tamper for purchase separately, I found the one included with the EC785 to be of comparable quality and value.
What’s particularly commendable is the ease of assembly and use. Right out of the box, it’s straightforward to put together. The machine comes with two portafilters, one for a single cup and another for a double, giving you options for your coffee needs. The clear instruction manual ensures you get started without a hitch.
Espresso preparation is a breeze, even for someone new to the world of espresso making. Simply insert the filter into the portafilter, add your ground coffee, tamp it down with the tamper, and lock the portafilter into place. With the machine set to the desired water temperature, you’ll have a tasty espresso in just 30 seconds. Plus, you can choose between one or two cups, depending on your preference.
For those who like customization, there’s room for improvement. While the pressurized filters are great for beginners, some more experienced baristas might miss having the option for non-pressurized filters. I plan to ask for one as a birthday gift to enhance my coffee experience. Additionally, the two-cup filter basket might be a bit larger than expected, affecting the coffee-to-water ratio. Adjusting the quantity of coffee grounds might be necessary to achieve the desired intensity.
The DeLonghi EC785 also offers versatility in terms of milk frothing. The wand for frothing hot milk or making creamy cappuccinos works effectively once you get the hang of it. While it’s recommended to use semi-skimmed milk, it handles full-fat milk reasonably well too. Moreover, you can use the wand to dispense hot water for tea or additional hot water needs, eliminating the need for a kettle.
Despite its capabilities, the machine does make some noise during operation, but it’s expected from a serious coffee maker. If it’s placed in a separate room from your living space, it won’t be a bother.
Another plus point is the DeLonghi EC785’s slim profile. It takes up the same width of counter or desk space as a kettle, making it suitable for various rooms in your home or office.
Cleaning is straightforward, and you can find a range of accessories to enhance the machine’s performance further. It’s a good-quality and value-packed option for espresso enthusiasts.
On the downside, the DeLonghi EC785 doesn’t come with non-pressurized filters, which some baristas prefer. This omission might require you to seek them out as an additional purchase.
Furthermore, the two-cup filter basket is slightly larger than a traditional double basket, affecting the coffee-to-water ratio. Adjustments are necessary to maintain the intensity you desire.
After putting the Breville One-Touch espresso machines under £200 to the test, and I’d like to share my experiences with you.
The Breville One-Touch Espresso Machine comes with a unique feature – a one-touch milk carafe. This feature caught my attention because it’s not something you see every day in espresso machines. While it’s clear that this machine is not intended for home baristas, it offers an intriguing alternative for those who enjoy milky beverages.
One notable advantage is the ease of making milk-based drinks. The one-touch milk carafe simplifies the process, making it accessible even to those with little barista experience. If you find that bean-to-cup machines fall short of your milky drink expectations, this machine provides an affordable alternative as we tested.
Additionally, the machine accommodates pressurized baskets, but you may have the option to substitute a conventional basket for it. Keep in mind that it uses a 51mm basket, and compatibility depends on the lip or rim shape. If you’ve found a compatible basket, please share your experience in the comments to help others.
During testing, we found that one drawback of the Breville One-Touch Espresso Machine is that it takes longer to prepare your coffee compared to many other machines in the same price range. While the convenience of the one-touch milk carafe is appealing, it does add some time to the overall brewing process.
Another limitation is the limited control over milk temperature and texture. If you’re particular about the frothiness or temperature of your milk, you may find that this machine falls short in providing the customization options you desire.
First, let’s talk about what the De’Longhi Scultura ECZ351BG espresso machines under £200 gets right. This espresso machine boasts a range of features that make it a notable option for coffee lovers. One appreciable feature is the 1.4-liter water tank, which is a step up from some of its competitors in this price range. It means fewer refills and more time enjoying your coffee.
Another positive aspect is the effective controls. While it may lack some of the varied settings found in the EC685, it’s user-friendly and straightforward. If you’re looking for a no-fuss espresso experience, this machine delivers.
One noteworthy difference from the EC685 is that the Scultura uses a brew boiler instead of a thermoblock as tested. This might not mean much to everyone, but it’s a step up in terms of coffee quality. A brew boiler can provide better temperature stability, which can result in improved espresso extraction.
Additionally, the machine comes with a portafilter handle that has a satisfying bulk to it. This adds a touch of quality to the brewing process and feels sturdy in your hand.
During testing we found one noticeable drawback is that the Scultura lacks some of the features and settings that you’d find in the EC685. It comes with a regular Panarello steam wand, which doesn’t offer the same level of control as the variable Panarello on the EC685. This can make frothing milk for lattes and cappuccinos a bit less precise.
In terms of build and design, the Scultura appears and feels a bit cheaper compared to the EC685. While the price of the Scultura is typically lower, it’s worth noting that this difference in quality is noticeable in person. The Scultura is chunkier, approximately 10 cm wider, and seems to lack the same level of finesse as its counterpart.
Another consideration is the price. At the full recommended retail price, the Scultura might feel a tad expensive, similar to my sentiments about the EC685. It’s important to keep an eye out for deals and discounts to ensure you’re getting good value for your money.
First, let’s highlight the positive aspects of the CASABREWS espresso machines under £200, as seen through my testing experience.
This espresso machine is designed to deliver exceptional coffee with a maximum pressure of 20 bar. I was particularly pleased with this feature because most mainstream brands typically offer machines with a 15-bar limit. The higher pressure capability opens up the possibility of extracting rich and flavorful espresso shots.
One thing I appreciated was the machine’s simplicity. It doesn’t come loaded with unnecessary bells and whistles. Instead, it focuses on doing one thing exceptionally well—brewing espresso. It excels at heating water and pumping it through your coffee grounds, resulting in a satisfying cup of espresso.
See unboxing picture below.
The pump, capable of reaching 20 bars, is more than sufficient for extracting rich espresso, even from finely ground coffee. In my testing, it handled general-purpose ground coffee with ease, and I look forward to seeing how it performs with even finer espresso grounds.
Moving on to the design, it’s relatively lightweight, making it easy to set up and move around as needed. The portafilter locks in securely, and it comes with two inserts—one for single shots and another for double shots. I found the double-shot insert particularly practical, as it held the coffee grounds firmly in place.
The water tank, located at the back of the machine, is easily removable and features a dust flap to keep unwanted particles out. A word of advice: be sure to remove the red plug from the water tank before your first use, as indicated in the manual.
The CASABREWS Espresso Machine also has two buttons for espresso—one for single shots and another for double shots. While the difference between them is the amount of water dispensed, it’s possible to adjust both settings to suit your preference.
Talking about the pressure gauge on the front of the machine. It provides valuable feedback on the pressure during the brewing process, allowing you to experiment with grind sizes and tamping to achieve the perfect extraction.
The machine’s hot water dispenser on the right side is a welcome addition. It provides hot water through a professional-style metal nozzle, offering versatility beyond espresso brewing.
While the CASABREWS Espresso Machine impressed me with its brewing capabilities, it’s worth noting that it takes a bit longer to preheat compared to some other machines in its price range. You’ll need a little patience as it warms up.
Another aspect to consider is that the machine provides almost no control over milk temperature and texture. If you’re a fan of intricate latte art or specific milk froth levels, you might find this limitation frustrating.
First and foremost, I have to say that the Morphy Richards Espresso Machine looks fantastic in my kitchen. Its design adds a touch of style without taking up too much space. Aesthetically, it’s a winner.
Another positive aspect is the price point. For what you get, it’s quite affordable. This makes it an attractive option for anyone looking to enjoy espresso at home without breaking the bank.
One of the standout features of this machine, especially for those with limited space, is its compact size. It fits neatly on my home office desk, allowing me to enjoy freshly brewed espresso while working. The smaller footprint was a key selling point for me.
I appreciate that the machine stops automatically when it reaches the desired cup quantity. Whether it’s one cup or two, the Morphy Richards Espresso Machine measures it precisely. This feature ensures consistency in your coffee.
In terms of performance, I found that the machine quickly heats up and brews a cup of espresso in a reasonable amount of time. It’s convenient for those mornings when you need your coffee fix in a hurry.
Now, let’s delve into a few areas where the Morphy Richards Espresso Machine could improve. First, it’s worth noting that I found the price to be a bit higher than expected, especially when compared to previous Morphy Richards espresso machines I’ve owned. However, this could be attributed to the machine’s compact design and features.
One noticeable change from earlier models is the switch from pressurized baskets to different types of baskets that aren’t pressurized. The older machines produced a superb crema, reminiscent of a cappuccino’s thickness, but this new model doesn’t quite match up in that regard. I missed the rich crema.
I haven’t had a chance to use the frothing wand yet, so I can’t provide feedback on that aspect of the machine’s performance.
In my testing, the Morphy Richards Espresso Machine proved to be a stylish and compact option for those looking to enjoy espresso at home. It offers convenience, especially in small spaces, and it’s relatively quick to brew your coffee.
How We Test
At Unboxed, our process for testing espresso machines under £200 is rigorous and thorough, spanning several weeks to months to ensure that we provide our readers with accurate and comprehensive insights.
Our testing begins with the unboxing, where we assess the initial setup, design, and build quality of the espresso machine. We pay close attention to the included accessories, ease of assembly, and the clarity of user manuals. This initial impression sets the stage for our evaluation.
Next, we conduct extensive real-world testing. This involves brewing countless cups of espresso, assessing factors such as brew time, temperature consistency, and coffee quality. We also evaluate any additional features, such as milk frothers or programmable settings, to gauge their effectiveness and ease of use.
Over the course of several weeks to months, we assess the espresso machine’s durability and reliability. We take note of any wear and tear, malfunctions, or issues that may arise with prolonged use, ensuring that our readers are informed about the long-term performance and durability of the product.
Our goal is to provide our audience with honest, practical, and well-informed reviews, helping them make confident decisions when choosing an espresso machine under £200 that suits their needs and preferences.
- Best Bean To Cup Coffee Machine Under £100
- Best Bean To Cup Coffee Machine Under £300
- Top Best Bean To Cup Coffee Machine Under £200
- Best Dehumidifier Under £100, £200, £150
- Best Coffee Machine Under £100
James is a seasoned coffee enthusiast and a dedicated professional in the world of coffee machines. With a comprehensive understanding of various coffee machines and a knack for exploring the latest innovations, his expertise shines through in his detailed reviews. James' insights are born from hands-on experience, having unboxed and tested numerous coffee machines to provide readers with honest, firsthand evaluations. For the coffee connoisseur seeking the perfect brew, James is your go-to source for expert advice and genuine, in-depth reviews.
Amy Lockwood is a well-known expert in the field of home and kitchen appliances. With a passion for testing and evaluating the latest products, she provides her readers with informative and unbiased reviews. Her knowledge and expertise have made her a trusted source for those in the market for new home and kitchen appliances. Whether you're looking for a new refrigerator, oven, purifier or coffee maker, Amy's insightful reviews will help you make an informed decision.
Nancy M Jack
Nancy M. Jack is a home and kitchen appliances expert and best-selling author. She has written numerous books on air fryers and mini oven cooking and home products, with a focus on finding smarter ways to cook on a smaller scale. With over a decade of experience in the field, she is an authority on the latest trends and innovations in kitchen appliances and cookware. Her writing is known for its practicality, providing readers with easy-to-follow tips and recipes that can be put into practice right away. Her expertise has been featured in various publications and she is a regular guest speaker at cooking and home products events.