The Cuisinart EM-200 brews professional-quality lattes. It is one of the only espresso machines we reviewed that comes with its own frothing cup.
Cuisinart EM-200 espresso machine: What you need to know
The Cuisinart EM-200 uses bar-pump pressure to extract the best flavors from the coffee beans. The pressure of the bar pump creates espresso crema that is thicker than that of espresso brewed with steam pressure.
One unique function of the Cuisinart EM-200 that makes it one of the best espresso machines is the fact that it comes with both programmable and manual controls. This allows you to use in-between settings for brewing espresso to fit your personal preferences. You can use the manual controls to quickly switch between brewing and steaming while creating a cup of espresso.
The EM-200's adjustable steam wand lets you choose between frothing, steaming and foaming milk. This way, you can turn your espresso into a cappuccino, latte, macchiato and more.
You have to prime the EM-200 before using it for the first time, or anytime the espresso maker is allowed to dry out.
Cuisinart EM-200 espresso machine: Features & performance
The removable water reservoir attaches to the back of the EM-200. It is clear, so you can always see the water level of your espresso machine. The convenient carrying handle lets you transport the reservoir, making it easy to quickly fill it up. The drip tray is also removable and dishwasher safe for quick, convenient cleaning.
The Cuisinart EM-200 comes with a combination measuring and tamping tool, so you can prepare your freshly ground coffee for brewing up to three ounces of espresso. You can brew all three into one large cup or make two smaller cups simultaneously to share with a friend. The tamping tool is slightly bigger than the portafilter, though, which makes it difficult to tamp grounds evenly. You may need to invest in another, smaller tamper that fits better. In case you don't want to bother with the hassle of cleaning grounds out of the filters, the EM-200 is capable of brewing prepackaged pods.
A small switch on the portafilter holds the filter in place, so you can dump used coffee grounds into the trash without losing the filter. This also means you don't have to pry out used grounds after each use. Cuisinart provides cleaning pins to help you remove coffee grounds from the filters while keeping your hands clean.
Another bonus of the EM-200 is the frothing cup that comes with the purchase. It is specially designed to withstand the pressure and heat of the steam wand. The easy-pour spout lets you top your espresso with pretty froth shapes for a great presentation.
The EM-200 looks appealing and fits on nearly any kitchen counter. It stands 12.8 inches high and 10.63 inches long, so it does not take up much space. However, of the espresso machines we reviewed, this is the heaviest. It weighs in at a hefty 25 pounds.
The espresso maker has a short electrical cord to keep it out of reach of curious children while in use, but this can be a problem if you need a longer cord. You get a polarized plug that you plug into an electric socket one way, which reduces the risk of electrical shock.
Cuisinart EM-200 espresso machine: User reviews
User reviews for the Cuisinart EM-200 are fairly mixed. Some point out faults with the steam arm and a few mention that their machine didn't last longer than a year. Other reviews also mentioned that the machine is quite noisy while you're using it and it gets very hot.
More positive reviews state that this machine is easy to use and makes good quality coffee. Some reviewers even replied to more negative ones saying that with regular cleaning and maintenance, this machine should not break and will last a long time.
Should you buy the Cuisinart EM-200 espresso machine?
The Cuisinart EM-200 espresso machine is a good coffee machine that makes smooth espresso with a fantastic crema.
It is heavy though and can be quite noisy to use, so if you need something small and lightweight, you'll be better off with a smaller model.