Those who aren’t connoisseurs sometimes fail to differentiate between a coffee and an espresso. If you are one of those who are particular about their favorite caffeinated beverage, these two don’t even compare.
Although the process of making this strong and delicious beverage is a bit complicated, a good espresso machine makes it look so much easier. Besides, with it, you can brew anytime you want, just the way you like it and at a fraction of the cost at your local coffee shop.
So, if you’re interested in obtaining the best espresso machine under $300 to brew authentic espresso in your own kitchen, this article has the perfect solution for you.
Review: The Best Espresso Machine Under $300 (Our Top 6 Picks)
A coffee machine is a must for a coffee enthusiast. But sometimes, it is hard for people to find the right machine at an affordable rate. That is why we have shortlisted some of the best espresso machines to remove this burden from you.
1. Nespresso Vertuo Coffee & Espresso Machine
Kicking off our top espresso machine reviews with a Nespresso VertuoLine. This is an awesome single-serve coffee maker that brews gourmet and traditionally caffeinated beverages.
One great benefit of such machines is that you can experiment with different flavors without worrying about wastage. This is such an efficient coffee maker that it demands less maintenance with an impressively sturdy built.
With quite an elegant look, this machine has a dimension of 8.3×11.91×11.93 inches. It means the size is small enough to fit on any countertop. Besides, its 10.85 lbs. weight also makes it very easy to move.
Nespresso Vertuo features a removable water tank of 40 ounces. You can very easily access it for cleaning or refilling purposes. There is also a compartment for 14 complimentary pods that offer a range of flavors, aromas, and textures.
It has a single front-facing button. So, you don’t get worked up about deciphering an entire manual just for brewing coffee. Only with a simple push of a button, your brew gets started.
When it comes to cleaning and maintenance of the machine, the Vertuo is a breeze. The pod ejects itself automatically after finishing the brew. And since the unit holds many pods before you need to remove them, a lot of your maintenance work gets reduced.
There are 3 adjustable positions of the cup tray so that you can accommodate small cups to large travel mugs. The machine preheats within 20 seconds, so you won’t have to wait much for the morning brew.
Moreover, Nespresso Vertuo has a milk frother for producing excellent milk froth within seconds.
- Brews coffee really fast
- Very easy to clean and maintain
- Sports a sleek and modern design
- Operation is easy with just one touch
- Features three adjustable cup sizes
- The unit is only compatible with Nespresso Vertuo capsules
2. Breville Cafe ESP8XL Cafe Roma Espresso Maker
Equipped with everything a home barista needs to craft a delicious cup of espresso, Breville’s Cafe Roma ESP8XL is the perfect choice for you. For an entry-level espresso machine, it comes with all the major features you’d look for without breaking your bank.
This smart-looking coffee maker is made entirely from stainless steel– talk about durability, eh? Full metal construction combined with an excellent compact size measuring only 9 x 9 x 12 inches makes it an ideal machine for single households or small teams in office space.
The ESP8XL features a Thermoblock Heating System that allows extraction of coffee at the optimal temperature. Its 15 bars pressure pump is enough to pull a rich shot with an appealing layer of crema and mind-blowing aroma.
Moreover, its double and single-shot dual-wall filters aid in a more consistent extraction. You can even brew pre-flavored coffee beverages using the pod filters too. This helps particularly if you want to experiment with coffee flavors.
All these features aside, you should remember that this coffee maker is a manual machine that requires some time to make a delicious cup of espresso. Once the machine has been pre-heated, it takes about 30 seconds to brew a cup.
Breville Cafe ESP8XL comes with an inbuilt 40.6 oz. removable water tank. This size is perfect for enjoying a good few cups before you refill. Its removable drip tray captures any overflow you might make, keeping your space clean.
Simple yet sexy, the Breville Café Roma is one of the most affordable entry-level espresso machines with durable construction. With proper cleaning and maintenance, it will keep on making the best gourmet espresso for years to come.
- Features a removable drip tray
- Durable full-body stain steel construction
- Packs a visible water level indicator
- Easy operation entry-level machine
- Compact and light build
- Doesn’t feature a coffee grinder
3. De’Longhi EC680M Espresso Maker
If you’re looking out for a budget espresso machine with an extremely compact size, we have got the best deal for you. The De’Longhi is an Italian brand, which is the undisputed king in the market of cheap espresso machines.
This compact coffee maker with an ultra-slim and sleek design makes it an ideal choice for anyone with limited kitchen space. With taking just six inches of surface area, the EC680M is designed to sit well on your kitchen counter. Its ultra-light build also makes it easy to move in and out of the cupboard as needed.
This espresso maker is made of stainless steel, which makes it easier for you to clean. It makes the machine highly durable too.
Despite the slim design, it has all the major features of a great coffee machine. Also, this semi-automatic machine with the smallest footprint can be controlled with just 3 buttons: single shot, double shot, and steam. There is a range of automated settings as well as the option to make cappuccino, lattes, and capsules.
Besides, De’Longhi features a handy water reservoir to easily fill up the tank. It delivers no less than 15 bar with efficient steaming while being capable of using ESE pods.
Moreover, the machine also offers customizations, like options for choosing the shot volume, different temperature settings, and brew time.
Further, this espresso machine can make perfectly brewed coffee in a very short time, thanks to its thermo-block technology. Its cup warming feature will also keep your drink warm till you take it out.
- Super compact construction
- Stainless steel built for high durability
- Offers a range of automated settings and beverage types
- Makes perfectly brewed coffee within a very short time
- The machine is a bit noisy while working
4. Nespresso EN80B Original Espresso Machine
When you can’t imagine a morning without a cup of freshly brewed coffee, you know you need a good coffee maker. The Nespresso EN80B is one of the smartest and most stylish coffee makers you can get in the market for under only $300.
This capsule coffee machine will brew an amazing espresso for you in just under a minute. With a simple push of a button, this fully automatized espresso maker will bring you the best gourmet espresso to make your day sunny bright.
It takes only 25 seconds to heat the machine up and another 25 to make your hot beverage. Thanks to its improved thermal block and 19 bars of pump pressure, it can extract maximum taste and aroma from the coffee beans. The patented extraction system produces an unblemished barista-quality coffee drink with extreme fineness.
A nice feature of the EN80B is its flow stop function. It lets the machine brew your coffee with your own desired level of water. With a simple hold of the button, you can program the preferred amount of water.
Another useful option is the Auto-Off function that turns the machine off after 9 minutes of inactivity, saving electricity. Moreover, its adjustable cup size can accommodate tiny cups to even giant mugs. The drip tray helps out to serve the cup. You can also make espresso and lungo with this machine at the same time.
- Stunning looks with a compact design
- Can accommodate cups and mugs of any size
- Espresso and lungo can be made at the same time
- Auto-off function saves electricity
- Flow stop feature makes coffee with the desired water amount
- The pods used are expensive
5. Cuisinart EM-100N Espresso Maker
Known for manufacturing kitchen appliances of outstanding quality and performance, Cuisinart has brought its very own espresso maker. The EM-100N espresso maker is an entry-level but compact machine that is well crafted as well as strikingly beautiful to look at.
With its sleek and shiny stainless steel construction, this item can brew fresh espresso of the highest quality. Despite being an entry-level machine, the combination of a 15 bar pump, 53 oz. water reservoir, and the steam nozzle is a pretty good deal.
In terms of performance, it beats most other competitors in the market. Using the 15 bar pressure always gets you maximum flavor and aroma. Moreover, its own frothing function works quite well in making cappuccinos, lattes, and hosts of other milk-based variants.
Cuisinart EM-100N features a water reservoir of 53 oz. that is more than enough for a small family. Cleaning the machine is also a great joy. Its manufacturers made this machine with special cleaning pins. You can use these pins to keep the wand clean and pristine.
A great feature of this espresso maker—which all other options in our list lack—is that the machine can brew two separate cups of espresso at the same time. Its two-cup basket allows you to make those double servings to share with someone.
- Its water reservoir is the largest on our list
- Boasts a beautiful stainless steel construction
- Able to make two servings at the same time
- Super easy cleaning with special pins
- The machine is a bit heavy
6. Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse Espresso Maker
Lastly, we have another great choice for a semi-automatic espresso machine from Mr. Coffee. It is a super easy one-touch interface with a 19-bar Italian pump and an automatic milk frother that makes you nice and creamy froth.
This is an easy espresso bar, thanks to its one-button interface. With this single button, you can choose what shot of espresso you want. Mr. Coffee also features a 19 bar Italian pump, which gives the right pressure along with evenly heated water with the thermocouple heating system.
Speaking of water, the reservoir is removable and also very easy to fill or clean. Additionally, its automatic milk frother tamps your coffee grounds in the portafilter and delivers the frothed milk directly to your espresso. The frother has both an automatic as well as a manual running option.
Mr. Coffee One-Touch brings the highest quality taste around by extracting the best coffee flavors from your grounds.
It doesn’t matter which cup or mug size you prefer for having your coffee, this item can adjust them all. Its adjustable cup setting fits anything from your cupboard.
As for cleaning, it also has a one-touch cleaning solution. The cleaning button sends a cycle through the machine and washes it from the inside. This hassle-free feature is undoubtedly the best bargain for this item. Auto-cleaning also means longer life for the espresso machine.
- Auto cleaning with a single button
- The easily removable water reservoir
- Adjustable cup setting to fit all cup sizes
- Frother has automatic and manual running feature
- Fine coffee grounds tend to clog up
What to Look for Before You Buy Espresso Machine?
In case our suggested items don’t work for you, consider these specific features below while getting the machine of your choice.
Size: Some espresso machines are really too big. Consider the size of your kitchen and the space it could spare for the espresso machine without sacrificing the accessibility of other kitchen appliances.
Ease of Setup: You don’t want to bring home an espresso machine to get annoyed with the setups and usage of it. Especially when you bought the machine in the first place to evade going to a coffee shop, you want it to be easy to set up and use.
A fully automated machine is the easiest to set up, while a semi-automatic espresso machine requires to be integrated into the main water supply.
Durability: It doesn’t matter what type of electrical appliance you buy; you must choose one that’s been well-built. Many high-end espresso machines come with a good warranty. This gives you an idea as to how long you can expect the machine to last.
Besides, the type of material that’s been used to make the espresso machine will also tell a lot about the durability. For example, a largely metal built machine will last longer and maintain heat better.
Maintenance: If you want to get your own brewed espresso every time in the freshest way possible, you have to take care of the machine regularly. Maintenance activities like cleaning, descaling, backwashing, or washing the portafilters, etc., result in a far better brew. Besides, it increases the lifespan of the machine too.
Grinding Capacity: For getting faster and consistent coffee granules each time you make espresso, you want a machine with a built-in coffee grinder. It saves you a lot of time from doing it by yourself.
Frothing Capability: If you’re into the types of espresso drinks that involve steamed milk, you’ll absolutely need a frother for that. Not all espresso machines come with a frother but having it means you have control over the velvety and crema milk froth in your cappuccino.
Programmable Settings: Life becomes so much easy when you can program the machine to make coffee every day by itself. Besides, it also has consistency so that you can get a more consistent cup.
Ease of Cleaning: Espresso machines need to be kept clean to function properly. There are areas which need to be cleaned almost every day. That is why try to buy one that is easy to wipe and clean to remove the excess liquid. But always try to make a test-run in making espresso after a thorough cleaning. Or else your drink might smell like detergent.
There you have it! We’ve suggested some of the best espresso machines under $300 you were looking for all over the internet. You can pretty much count on the quality of any of these machines on our list. Now, you can go to sleep each night knowing that the next morning holds the finest freshly brewed espresso only for you.
Espresso Machine FAQ
Everyday cleaning of the machine will include scrubbing the portafilter, basket, and cleaning the gasket. You should also wash the screen and underside of the group and backwash the machine. Also, to avoid milk protein building upon the steam arm, you need to sanitize that too.
Although you can brew espresso using any type of coffee bean, the best espresso can be made using dark roasted beans. These beans are rich in natural oils, and they bring that thick golden crema for a flawless espresso shot.
If your coffee tastes sour, it means the coffee shots are running too fast, causing under-extraction. You should run the shots for 30 seconds to make the grind finer. And if the beans are roasted too hard or over-extracted, the espresso will taste bitter.
There is a chance that your steam wand has become blocked. To check, remove the top and clean it. Some steam wands can also be removed to clean them using a pipe cleaner.
Maybe the coffee grounds are too fine, resulting in choking. This means the water is unable to get through as the portafilter is blocked. Another reason for this could be that there is a lack of water in the reservoir.
You can solve this by descaling the machine using lemon juice in case of clogging or choking. And as for the lack of water, simply refill the reservoir with water.