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Finding The Best Espresso Machine Under 200 Dollars - What To Look For
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Finding the Best Espresso Machine Under 200 Dollars  -  What To Look For

Many coffee connoisseurs laughed when I mentioned trying to find the best espresso machine under 200 dollars.

That's impossible, they said!

Well, after looking around for a few months and trying out a few affordable espresso machines myself, I'm happy to report that it is possible to find the best espresso machine under 200 dollars, you just have to know what to look for (and what to avoid). And that's the primary objective of this article: to inform consumers that are on a budget how to locate affordable espresso machines that don't break the bank!

What to Avoid in an Espresso Maker

The first thing you should consider when looking at affordable espresso machines is what to avoid.

In my opinion, plastic is a big no-no for espresso makers. Machines primarily made out of plastic are probably not going to last very long. Over time the plastic starts to warp and may break off entirely under high temperatures.

Secondly, the smell and taste of plastic will most likely find its way into your espresso. Although some manufacturers claim the smell will dissipate over time, I have to yet found a machine that this was true for. If you're accustomed to drinking espresso on a regular basis, I guarantee you will notice something a little off in the espresso from a plastic machine.

Unfortunately, most affordable espresso machines in this price range are very heavy on the plastic since its cheaper to make a plastic machine.

Stainless steel, on the other hand, is great because it can sustain the amount of pressure necessary to produce a descent shot of espresso. But don't be fooled! Make sure the interior components are also made from stainless steel - including the portafilter and steam wand.

If you look carefully (as I did when trying to find the best espresso machines under 200), you can actually find some affordable espresso machines made out of stainless steel.

Steam Driven or Pump Driven: Which is Better?

The second crucial thing to look for in affordable espresso machines is what powers the brewing process. In this price range, the two most common types are steam driven and pump driven espresso makers.

Steam driven espresso makers harness the power of steam pressure to force hot water through the coffee grounds. And although the first espresso machines ever made were steam-driven, they are no longer considered adequate to produce espresso by today's standards. The reason for this is because steam power alone cannot generate enough pressure to brew a proper shot of espresso. The resulting shot is quite weak, and is more like strong coffee rather than espresso.

On the other hand, pump driven espresso makers are well equipped to produce a great shot of espresso. Pump machines drive hot water through the coffee grounds through pressure generated from a motorized pump.

You'll notice that many pump espresso makers claim they are 15, 16, or 20 bars. This refers to the amount of pressure they generate. Contrary to popular belief, you don't actually need more than 15 bars of pressure to produce a good shot of espresso.

Concluding Thoughts

Finding the best espresso machine under $200 need not be a difficult task, as long as you know what to look for. In order to get the most bang for your buck, try to get pump-driven espresso makers made out of stainless steel. Avoid products that are over-hyped by manufactures and instead try to get machines that have a good following and high customer ratings.

Some of the best places to find good deals on affordable espresso machines are online. This is because online sellers often have access to a much larger market and are able to offer their products for less. Make sure you do your research carefully on espresso machines before you actually buy one.


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