Are you craving the rich aroma and velvety texture of barista-style espresso at home?
Cuisinart EM 200 espresso machine promises to help you discover the art of brewing perfection.
I used this machine for a month and checked its functionality and performance. I made everything from espresso to milk-based drinks and checked how easy it was to use and clean.
I'll walk you through every aspect of the Cuisinart EM 200 to help you discover if this is the espresso machine to unlock exceptional espresso.
Cuisinart EM-200NP1 Review – My Ratings & Top Features
I rate the Cuisinart EM200NP1 espresso machine 3.8 out of 5.
It offers an impressive array of features, from its 15-bar pump for authentic espresso extraction to its programmable cup size and steam nozzle for frothing milk.
Its sleek stainless-steel design adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen. It’s a solid choice for espresso lovers seeking a versatile and stylish home brewing option at an affordable price.
Who Should Buy The Cuisinart EM-200NP1?
The Cuisinart EM-200NP1 is a great choice for coffee drinkers who want a customizable espresso experience at home at an affordable price.
Overall, it’s a great choice for espresso beginners, but be ready for a learning curve.
This compact machine is best suited for those willing to invest time in perfecting their barista skills for the best homemade espresso.
Why I Decided To Review The Cuisinart Espresso Machine
I decided to review the Cuisinart EM 200 espresso machine because I previously had its predecessor — the Cuisinart EM 100.
The EM 200 is its upgraded version, so I wanted to check if it's better and how.
I wanted to provide an honest evaluation and compare it to other popular machines so that espresso lovers can make an informed choice.
Cups Brewed Per Day
Level Of Experience Needed
I'm a home brewing enthusiast who started with Nespresso Vertuo and recently upgraded to Rancilio Silvia.
Money Saved Per Year
Favorite Drink To Brew
What’s It Like To Live With The Cuisinart EM-200NP1
Here’s my experience using the Cuisinart EM 200 espresso maker from the very first espresso I made.
What's In The Box?
Cuisinart EM 200 espresso maker arrives with:
Overall, the Cuisinart includes everything a home barista beginner needs to start brewing espresso.
Cuisinart has free shipping on all their espresso machines. My espresso machine arrived well-secured, and customer support answered my questions in a day.
Pulling My First Espresso Shot
Here’s my experience pulling the first espresso shot on the Cuisinart EM200:
- I prepared the machine by cleaning all the necessary parts, filling the water reservoir, and letting the water run through the machine for a few seconds.
- I inserted the single filter basket into the portafilter.
- I used the scoop and placed ground coffee in the filter basket.
- I used the tamper to compress the coffee grounds.
- I brushed excess coffee from the portafilter rim.
- I secured the portafilter to the brew head.
- I checked that the power button was shining steadily and pressed the single shot button.
That’s it. The machine automatically stopped pouring espresso at the programmed level. Overall, the process was simple.
I had good espresso on the first try, and it only got better the more I used the coffee maker.
I learned to preheat the portafilter and the cups and experimented with different grinds and pour times to get a truly great espresso.
First Time Frothing Milk
Here’s how I frothed milk the first time:
- I poured milk into the frothing cup.
- I pressed the steam pressure button and waited for it to stop flashing and turn solid.
- I positioned the milk frother over the drip tray and purged the water. Once the water stream turned into steam, I inserted the frother into the pitcher.
- I frothed for about 30 to 40 seconds, and once I was done with the milk froth, I returned the dial to the center position.
Overall, working the stainless steel steam wand requires time and practice. You want thick foam for cappuccinos and thin microfoam for lattes, so you need to learn how to use the steam wand.
Luckily, Cuisinart has detailed instructions and plenty of tips in the user manual, which should help you if you’ve never steamed milk before.
How Much Control Do You Have Over The Cuisinart EM200?
You have some level of control over various aspects of the espresso-making process on the Cuisinart EM200 espresso machine.
For example, the machine has programmable drink sizes, which lets you adjust the volume of your espresso shots.
You can create short and strong shots, or longer mild ones, depending on your preference.
You can also manually time extraction by starting and stopping the brewing process using the programmable cup size feature.
You can stop the pouring at any time by pressing the single or double espresso buttons.
That’s all the control you get. You don’t have steaming or brewing temperature options, nor can you program the machine to create various milk textures.
However, considering this is an entry-level machine, the programmability options it has are more than decent.
How Does It Handle Different Roasts?
Cuisinart EM200 handles medium to dark roasts best.
These roasts generally have a more balanced flavor and can withstand the pressure and extraction process, resulting in a flavored espresso with a good crema.
I found the EM200 struggles with light roasts. It can’t bring out the nuances of extremely light roasts or very oily beans.
Overall, the Cuisinart EM200 is a solid platform for exploring various coffee beans and roasts.
You can fine-tune your grind, dosage, and extraction techniques to unlock various flavors and create espresso shots best suited to your taste preferences.
Look, Feel, and Size Of The Machine
The Cuisinart EM200 is a compact machine with dimensions 12.8 x 9.2 x 10.6 in. It’s made completely out of stainless steel, which makes it look modern, plus it’s durable.
There’s a control panel on top featuring six backlit buttons:
When the coffee maker heats to the brewing level, the brewing buttons flash. Also, when it heats to a steaming level, the steaming button flashes.
This way, you always know when the machine is ready to use, and your espresso is at optimal temperature.
There’s a warming plate on top and a removable drip tray at the bottom. The 64 oz removable water reservoir is located at the back and is a huge capacity.
You can make several drinks without refilling. The knob that lets you control the stainless steel steam wand is on the right-hand side, as well as the steam nozzle.
Overall, the machine looks and feels simple and won't take up too much of your kitchen counter space. I especially liked the blue backlit buttons and felt they gave the machine an elegant look.
What Drinks Can It Make?
Cuisinart EM200 can make:
The one and two-cup buttons make 1.5 oz and 3 oz drinks, but you can change these settings easily. The machine is also compatible with ESE pods (not the same thing as K cups).
Simply place the pod in the filter holder, lock in the portafilter, and brew espresso. This is great when you don't feel like grinding, dosing, and tamping and want your drink quickly.
How Easy Is It To Use?
Cuisinart EM200 is easy to use. Still, if you’re an espresso beginner, it’ll take some time and practice to learn how to pull consistent shots.
However, the machine has straightforward controls and a great user manual that can help guide you through the process step-by-step.
If you already have experience using a semi or automatic espresso machine, you won’t have any issues and will achieve flavorful shots quickly.
How Long Does It Take? (From Heat Up To First Sip)
It takes about five minutes from heat up to the first sip. Cuisinart EM200 has a Thermoblock heating system, which takes two to three minutes to get to the temperature.
The brewing time is around 30 seconds, and it takes another minute to steam milk.
Overall, if you're making espresso, you can have your drink in under three minutes. If you're making a milk-based drink, you'll have to wait a little longer.
You should also preheat your mugs on the warming plate. This can take as long as 15 to 30 minutes but results in a better espresso taste.
Does It Have A Water Filtration System?
No, Cuisinart EM200 doesn’t have a water filtration system.
Water impurities can build up over time, which is why it’s important to regularly clean and descale the machine.
How Hard Is It To Clean and Descale?
It’s moderately hard to clean and descale the Cuisinart EM200. You need to rinse the filter baskets and the portafilter after use to remove grounds residue.
I liked that the portafilter has a locking mechanism, which makes it easy to dispose of wet grounds.
You also need to empty the drip tray when it’s full, which is usually every few days (or more often if you make a lot of milk-based drinks).
The machine also comes with two pins, which you use to clean coffee particles in the filter basket and excess milk stuck in the steam wand.
Make sure to clean the milk nozzle after every use. Set the steam and hot water dial to the hot water setting and position the wand above the drip tray. This releases stuck milk inside the wand.
Finally, you need to descale the machine. Cuisinart doesn’t specify when this should be done, but my advice is to do it at least every two months to ensure the best espresso quality.
My Favorite Parts About The Cuisinart EM-200NP1
I liked the machine has a cup warmer for preheating the portafilter and mugs—hotter espresso results in better flavor.
I also liked that the wand functions as a hot water dispenser so that I could make teas and Americanos.
Finally, I loved the massive water reservoir. I could pull over 30 shots without refilling.
My Least Favorite Parts About The Cuisinart EM-200NP1
I didn’t like the machine doesn’t come with a built-in grinder. However, considering this is a very affordable espresso machine, it’s to be expected.
I also didn’t like the somewhat complex maintenance. It requires a fair deal of work, especially cleaning the milk nozzle.
Cuisinart Espresso Machine Vs Similar Coffee Machines
Here’s how Cuisinart EM 200 compares to other similar espresso machines.
Cuisinart EM200 Vs EM100
The Cuisinart EM 200 is the upgraded version of the Cuisinart EM 100 espresso maker.
Both machines have the same build and structure. However, the EM 200 has programmable options, which the Cuisinart EM 100 lacks. Plus, the EM 200 has a larger water reservoir.
Finally, you have to manually start and stop the extraction on the Cuisinart EM 100 by turning the knob and returning it to the off position.
The EM 200 pulls the shot at the press of a button, so you don’t need to time the process manually.
Cuisinart EM200 Vs Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma
Both the EM 200 and Breville Cafe Roma can make espresso, Americano, latte, and cappuccino. The machines have a 15-bar pump, a Thermoblock heating system, and a cup warming plate.
However, the EM 200 has more programmability options and a much larger water reservoir (64 oz vs 40 oz).
Overall, the machines are very similar, with the EM 200 being slightly more advanced.
Cuisinart EM200 Vs Capresso EC100
Both EM 200 and Capresso EC100 can make espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. Similarly, as with the Cafe Roma, the EM 200 has more programmability options.
However, the EC100 has a more advanced swivel frother for frothing milk. This lets you use it with different-sized frothing pitchers.
On the other hand, the EC100 only comes with pressurized filter baskets.
These are great for beginner baristas, as they make good crema even if the tamping and grinding aren’t perfect. However, as you grow your skills, you’ll need regular baskets as well.
Overall, both machines are great choices for beginner baristas, and it’s up to you to decide what suits your needs best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cuisinart comes with one coffee scoop. The exact number of scoops you need to fill a filter basket depends on the grind size.
Cuisinart brews at a range of 195 to 205 degrees F, which is the optimal temperature for extraction.
You keep coffee hot in a Cuisinart by preheating the espresso cups and the portafilter. You should drink espresso immediately after brewing.
Is The Cuisinart EM200 NP1 Worth Your Money?
Yes, the Cuisinart EM200 is worth your money. It’s a great investment for espresso enthusiasts who want a versatile home espresso experience.
If you're willing to invest time in learning and experimenting with the machine's features, it can deliver quality espresso and milk-based beverages.
This could be the machine to bring your barista skills to the next level. Plus, it’s extremely durable, and you may end up using this purchase for years.