How I Started My Search for a Good Brewer with a Reasonable Price Tag
Last Updated Nov 2018 – My life might have its ups and down but well-brewed coffee always calms me down. I do not like the idea of waiting in line for more than ten minutes just to get my fix when I can make some for myself in a shorter time frame.
Waiting only adds to my craving; what’s worse? Getting your shot then realizing it’s not as good as they make it sound.
I shared my predicament with my buddies at the office a few months back, and they all concurred to having the same experience. However, one of them got me thinking when he said that I could afford an amazing espresso machine at less than $200.
He didn’t have to say it twice, I started researching and came up with three of the best mocha brewing machines currently on the market.
Here they are;
1. Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine
There are very few coffee brewers with automatic blend recognition on the market currently.
This feature does not come as a surprise to many people who purchase household items manufactured by Nespresso because they have state-of-the-art technology, which enables them to make machines that fit into the new world thus serving people faster and better.
Upon unpacking, you should have the Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee Brewer alongside the instruction booklet and the information folder.
Also, you will get 12 Nespresso VertuoLine Capsules, which are used for making the best mocha and Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother for those instances when you require a strong cup of Joe.
How does it work?
This machine makes 1.35 oz. espresso and can also conveniently make eight 0z. coffee at the touch of a single button. That’s far from being just convenient. Nothing beats the feeling of taking hot coffee on a chilly day, but you will appreciate that feeling, even more, when you brew it from the comfort of your house or office; I know I did.
Seeing that it can be used to make both regular coffee and regular cappuccino, the Vertuo Evoluo uses two capsules, a big one and a slightly smaller one.
The big one is used for coffee while the smaller one is used for making espresso. Centrifusion plays a significant role in ensuring you get the perfect cup while capsule-specific brewing with barcode reading ensures the flavor remains authentic.
This means that you do not have to change the settings every time you want to brew your coffee. At the touch of a button, you will receive the best in-cup variety.
The machine also comes in a deluxe premium version with a large water tank, capsule container, and chromed details. Where else have you heard about a coffee brewer costing less than $200 with an intelligent extraction system that recognizes each Grand Cru blend?
Also, the Vertuo Evoluo takes a very short time to pre-heat the water (15-20 seconds) and has an automatic energy-saving function that turns it off after nine minutes of inactivity.
This machine is not only good at making you the perfect caffeinated coffee, but it also helps save some energy for those days when you brew in a rush and forget to turn it off. Also, it ejects the capsule immediately after use and notifies you the moment your beverage is ready.
With over 12 VertuoLine capsules to choose from, your experience is only guaranteed to get better once you purchase this brewer.
The Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo’s dimensions are 9.0 by 12.2 by 12.3 inches. That is tiny space as opposed to some machines that are bulky and expensive yet make average coffee.
Also, it has a water capacity of 54 oz. that is enough water to make almost 20 cups without having to refill the water tank, which is also removable. You can make mocha for the whole family without worrying about running out of water.
The Vertuo Evoluo can also hold up to 13 large Nespresso capsules and weighs in at 11lbs. I know I have been tempted on several occasions to carry my brewer to work, but I suppress my love for the beverage and just wait until I get home. However, if you wish to, this brewer is ideal for mobility, just be very careful not to lose it to your boss.
As mentioned earlier, this machine uses Centrifusion technology to brew your beverage with the Centrifusion speed rising to 7000 rpm. The power cable stretches up to 29.13 inches meaning you do not have to free up space near the socket; you can connect it from a distance.
With hundreds of positive customer reviews, the Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo is without a doubt among three of the best espresso machine under 200.
2. DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker
The design alone is enough to make you want to purchase this kitchen appliance. DeLonghi wasted no time creating another masterpiece after the previous version was welcomed with open arms by their customers.
Developed with both handles and buttons, this machine is a mixture of the older versions that required handles and the newer versions that only require buttons.
How Does it Work?
The EC702 15-Bar-Pump uses easy serving pods in line with a patented dual filter holder or just ground coffee beans to brew you the perfect cup. I never really understood how making a cup of premium coffee can be done easily until I tried out this machine.
If you are a big crema fan, you will not be disappointed upon purchasing this device. It has a Supreme Crema Filter that is used with two measure of ground coffee to enhance the brewing process and produce the best crema.
Also, you can use the E.S.E (Easy Serving Espresso) filter with one measure of ground coffee or pods of choice to make the preparation process convenient and straightforward.
The EC702 15-Bar-Pump also has two thermostats that help in regulating steam and water pressure so that you can make your java at the perfect temperature. I bet you are also bothered by the confusing start-up preparations that see you configure your machine every time you wish to make some cafe’ au lait.
This machine has a self-priming operation that helps you eliminate that worry and an exceptional no-drip design that helps you avoid wasting time cleaning up the mess made when you should be enjoying your cup of Joe.
Also, it is among the most durable brewing machines I know thanks to its high-quality stainless steel boiler.
EC702 15-Bar-Pump Features
The first and arguably most enticing feature that this machine has is its ease of use. You do not have to hold onto a handle or press a button to stop the beverage from overflowing in your cup. The machine has an automatic flow stop that dispenses just the right amount needed while maintaining the perfect temperature for brewing.
Also, the water tank can be removed, refilled, and reattached easily and the water level is visible to make sure that you don’t guess the amount of water left.
The water tank and drip tray are also dishwasher safe and allow for easy cleaning of the machine once it is removed. I must admit, when it comes to hygiene, this machine goes to great lengths to ensure that you maintain your standards.
The water tank can hold up to 44oz. enough to make more than ten cups at a go. Seeing that it maintains the perfect water temperature for every cup, I wouldn’t worry about serving all my friends at a go if they came to visit. It would even be the perfect time to pitch the idea of purchasing this incredible machine because I know they would all be interested.
The EC702 15-Bar-Pump also has adequate space to accommodate taller glasses. If you need more than the usual amount, you can change from you small cup to a bigger one without worry. Lastly, a stainless steel finishing in in place to ensure that this machine serves you for the longest possible time.
This machine has over 700 positive reviews from all clients who purchased it; a great deal if you ask me.
3. The Nespresso Pixie Coffee Maker
I love the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker mostly because of its design. Glossy with a modern touch, this machine comes in two colors, electric titan, and aluminum.
Thanks to Nespresso, it also has cutting edge technology such as backlit LED lights, programmable buttons, and a Thermo block heating element just to mention a few.
How does it work?
The Nespresso Pixie is among the first of its kind to have 16 Nespresso capsules each with a different aroma. The machine has a streamlined design, and though its water tank capacity is slightly smaller compared to its two counterparts above, it makes up for that with high-end technology.
It can make up to ten delicious 2 oz. cups without having to shut down or fluctuating the water temperature.
The Nespresso Pixie also has an inbuilt energy saving function that shuts it down after 9 minutes of inactivity to prevent the use of excess power after you finish brewing.
The Fast heat up feature ensures that the water is quickly heated up to 25 degrees and programmable buttons ensure that you receive the desired amount and quality without having to alter the setting every time you want to use the machine.
I was very surprised and honestly in doubt of this machine’s capability when I realized that it weighs only 2.8kgs. If I could I would probably carry it everywhere I go, the problem is I’m not sure I’d find the perfect place to plug it in. When it comes to power consumption, 120 V is enough to get the Pixie operating properly.
Nespresso is known for its high-end tech products, most of which are household items. As such, I expected the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker to be a real power consumer, but after a closer look I found out that it was quite the opposite.
However, its cable length is not as impressive, stretching up to 2.6 ft. Then again, this is enough if the place you intend to put it is a few feet away from the socket. Plus it only weighs 2.8 kgs so moving it around should not be a hard task.
At 4.3 inches wide, it has the perfect design to fit in the most space-free kitchens and still leave room for something else. In addition to its design, it has a 19 bar high-pressure pump which allows for a barista-style result. The pump allows for the unlocking of delicate aromas in the coffee capsules and is also involved in the creation of a slimy and dense crema.
The buttons on this machine can be programmed to make the machine dispense precise volumes for every serving and has backlights for ease of use.
Only the Vertuo Evoluo has a faster heat-up system than this device ranging between 15-20 seconds compared to the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker’s 25 seconds. Still, not many coffee brewers can manage to match that heat-up time and go for the same price.
The Nespresso Pixie’s water tank holds up to 24 oz. It is also equipped with red backlights along the sides of the machine that act as warnings when your water levels are very low.
Lastly, purchasing this machine grants you instant access to the Nespresso club, which makes it easy to order their exclusive capsules. This leaves no doubt why it is considered arguably the best espresso machine under 200.
The Bottom Line
My love for cafe’ noir intensified as soon as I discovered that there are relatively cheap brewers on the market that could help me get the perfect espresso cup whenever the craving struck.
These three machines are easy to acquire and offer more than most brewers offer with the option of adding a personal touch.
Why pay for mediocre pedestrian brew when you can make the perfect cup anytime you want from your house, and at a low price?
Get yourself the best brewing machine under $200 featured here and taste the difference.