Best Espresso Machine Under 300 Bucks – Coffeeology’s Picks
Nowadays, there are more and more espresso machine brands emerging in the market. This is a very good thing as more competition means better deals and models. If you were to look for an affordable espresso machine back in the day, it would’ve been almost impossible, seeing how there weren’t many brands and almost all of them were Italian.
Thanks to the ever-growing market, the task of looking for affordable espresso machines isn’t that hard. You can even buy decent espresso machines for under $300.
In this article, we’ll take a gander at the best espresso machines under 300 bucks.
Best Espresso Machine Under 300 Dollars – Our Picks
If you’re new to the espresso world, let us introduce you to DeLonghi, one of the big players in the coffee machine industry.
Take a look at the EN520BK Lattissima Plus Espresso Machine, and the first thing you’ll notice is the big box sitting on the front, which is a built-in dispatchable hot milk system that allows you to add frothed milk to your espressos using a few pushes of a button. Forget manual frothing. If that’s not convenient, I don’t know what is.
The hot milk system isn’t the only convenient feature though, as the machine also boasts three milk steaming and 2 coffee brewing options for you to prepare your morning (or afternoon) jolt however you like it. With the Lattissima, brewing espresso and making lattes become second nature. Just place a coffee capsule in the try, set your cup, select your coffee and milk options, and voila! Your coffee will get brewed and served within moments! It’s basically a single cup coffee maker, but for espressos. In terms of flavor, this is one of the best cups you’re ever going to sip. You can take our word on that.
Cleaning is also a piece of cake when using the Lattissima, as it releases the coffee capsules into a container right after usage, which ensures a mess-free disposal every time. Add that to the detachable milk container, and you’ve got yourself a winner when it comes to ease of use, maintenance, and cleaning.
Alright, so, the Lattissima is automated and easy to use thanks to the automated coffee brewing process, but that may seem like an inconvenience to some people. Why? Because it doesn’t offer much room for versatility. This coffee maker isn’t designed for those looking to hone their brewing skills and techniques, it’s made for those seeking a convenient solution that can get their espresso ready without much hassle.
All in all, if you’re looking for an espresso machine that can brew your coffee quickly without having to worry about maintenance and cleaning, then you can’t go wrong with the DeLonghi EN520BK Lattissima Plus Espresso Machine.
- Brews coffee quickly
- Practical and easy to use
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Comes with a hot milk system
- Compact size and ergonomic design
- The water container is a bit small
- Doesn’t brew coffee hot enough for some users
Nespresso is yet another well-known brand in the world of coffee makers, and the Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine is yet another one of their fine creations. If you’re one to enjoy a quickly-made cup of espresso without the fuss, the Vertuoline might just be the best espresso machine under 300 bucks for you.
Not only is this coffee maker beautiful, as it’s also compact and comes in an array of different colors, but it’s also so darn fast, as it boasts an impressively quick heat-up speed of fifteen seconds, which means that your coffee can be ready as soon as you push the button. If you’re constantly busy and need your energy boosters ready within seconds whenever you need them, that feature would come in handy for sure.
When it comes to flavor, the Vertuoline doesn’t disappoint. People swear by the taste of the coffee brewed by this machine, and we cannot deny that the flavor is fairly decent for an espresso coming out of an automated pod machine. Additionally, the Aeroccino milk frother froths and warms the milk for real, which is a huge bonus. If you get the Nespresso Vertuoline Coffee Maker, the taste won’t be a concern.
Another thing that we genuinely dig is the fact that Nespresso offers free recycling of the pods with free shipping. Just head over to Nespresso.com, and you’ll get the recycled pods delivered in the company’s UPS pre-paid envelopes.
Despite its many perks, this espresso machine doesn’t come without drawbacks. Nothing major though, as the disadvantage of the Vertuoline is that the temperate of the prepared coffee may not be hot enough for some people. This is entirely subjective though, as while some people may like getting third-degree burns from their morning jolt, others, like our team, prefer it just hot enough to sip it while enjoying ourselves.
To put it simply, this machine is for those who love espresso, latte, and cappuccino without having to grind coffee by hand then operate an old-time coffee machine. If you don’t mind the somewhat steep price of the pods, this is a solid choice to consider.
- Tasty espresso and cream coffee with double espresso pods
- The frother can froth and warm the milk efficiently
- You can recycle the pods for free
- Ergonomic and compact design
- The pods are a bit expensive
Not only does this coffee machine make magnificent espressos, but it also looks professional, making it the perfect match for those who care about aesthetics as much as efficiency and practicality.
Capresso ‘s EC Pro Espresso and Cappuccino Machine features a 42 oz water container that maintains heat for you to get your espresso whenever you want it without having to wait for the water to reach the ideal temperature every time. Not only that, but it also has a dual brewing nozzle, which means that you can brew either one double or two single espresso cups, so you don’t have to worry if you’re having someone for coffee.
The extraordinary features don’t end there, as the EC Pro coffee machine offers a bottomless espresso filter, which builds pressure depending on the grind size. Granted, you’ll need some practice to master this filter, but the control you’re enjoying is well worth it. You’ll be able to make hotter brews and thicker crema, which, by the way, is impressively rich thanks to the 15-bar pump, in no time.
Finally, this espresso machine boasts a steel swiveling frothing wand that can froth and steam links for cappuccinos and lattes and works as a hot water dispenser for Americanos. The EC Pro is quite the versatile machine, isn’t it?
The double-spout espresso filter is also a nice addition, especially if you’re just starting out with brewing, but the espresso created using it isn’t of the same quality as the bottomless filter, so you should consider sticking with the latter. Nevertheless, using this pressurized portafilter, you can pull a double shot with no fuss, which something that most people would dig.
In conclusion, the dual filters, steel swiveling frothing wand, dispatchable water reservoir, and ability to make two espressos at once make the Capresso 118.05 EC Pro Espresso and Cappuccino Machine versatile enough to be a solid pick for the title of the best espresso machine under 300 dollars.
- Produces tasty espressos
- Can prepare two espresso shots simultaneously
- Comes with a pressurized portafilter
- Comes with a bottomless portafilter for advanced users
- The bottomless portafilter can only handle one shot at a time
- The steam wand has a learning curve if you’re a beginner
If you’re just starting out with espresso machines, Delonghi’s EC680R DEDICA is a reliable machine that’ll surely give you a good head start as it comes with both basic functions that’ll allow you to brew tasty espressos in no time and advanced bonuses that can take your brewing skills to the next level.
The first perk of the DEDICA espresso machine is its compact size. It’s only 6 inches wide, which means that it can fit on any kitchen counter without ruining the overall style nor taking up too much space.
Next comes the great practicality that it offers thanks to two features; first, the Thermoblock technology that heats water to the ideal brewing temperature within 30 to 40 seconds, and second, the self-priming heating system that puts the machine into an ever-ready mode, where it’s ready to brew whenever you are.
For safety, and to avoid unwanted messes, the DEDICA also boasts an automatic flow-stop feature, which is the cherry on top, as it automatically delivers either one or two shots of espresso, giving you room for customization according to your preferences. The brewing experience is quick, easy, and seamless when using this espresso machine.
Finally, if you’re a cappuccino lover, you’ll surely like the 15-bar pressure pump and the manual cappuccino system that can create tasty, creamy steamed milk that you can add to your cappuccinos and lattes.
All in all, the DEDICA will look great on your kitchen counter, and it’s bound to make your brewing experience seamless and relaxed, whether you are an experienced or a beginner coffee brewer, which make it a solid choice to consider in your quest to find the best espresso machine under 300 dollars.
- Classy look and ergonomic design
- Features the Thermoblock heating technology
- The milk steamer is easy to use, clean, and maintain
- May be difficult to use for new users, but you can get the gist of it in no time by reading the instructions
To end our list of the best espresso machine under 300 bucks, we decide to include the Klarstein Passionata Rossa Espresso Machine. Now, the price of this coffee maker is quite low for the specs it’s offering, which raises the question: what’s the catch? Here’s the answer: no catch, just pure genius of German engineering.
Forget about fancy FET switches, gimmicky looks, automation, and programmable buttons, the Rossa is designed to get things done, period. It includes every part you need, all you have to do is use your well-trained eyes to decide when to switch on/off manually when you hit the required volume and strength.
This espresso machine can brew enough coffee for six people as it has a 1.3-quart cater container, making it quite suitable for offices and gatherings.
What we truly like about the Rossa though is the steam nozzle frother. It can produce some of the richest crema ever. If you’re someone who fancies lattes and cappuccinos, this might just be the best espresso machine under 300 bucks for you.
The plastic parts of this coffee machine may come as a turn off for some people, but if you’re one to prefer practicality over gimmicky, unneeded features, the Rossa is a great choice to consider.
- Quite affordable
- Easy on/off operation
- Compact size but powerful brewing
- Quick heat-up time and quiet 20-bar pump
- The steam wand is a bit short
- Many plastic parts are used in this machine
Picking the Best Espresso Machine under 300 Bucks – Coffeeology’s Buying Guide
Having an espresso machine at home is pretty cool. It allows us to make coffee in the comfort of our homes and prepare it to our hearts’ content. However, choosing a great espresso machine isn’t just a matter of price or looks. It’s a combination of several different factors ranging from your budget, your coffee preferences, how much coffee you intend to prepare with it at a time, and a lot of other factors that we’ll be going through.
Different Types of Espresso Machines
If you intend on using the best espresso machine under 300 just at home, then it’s unnecessary to opt for a sophisticated, super-automated device. These machines are usually meant for contexts where a steady stream of coffee needs to be maintained, like a café or a bar, for example. Not to mention that these machines require special skills and experience.
There are four different types of espresso machines. There are manual, semi-automatic, fully automatic, and super-automatic machines.
- Manual machines can be finicky as you’ll have to manage everything by yourself. This includes maintaining adequate and constant pressure by manually pouring water into the mix. This will naturally affect the general quality of your brew.
- Semi-automatic machines strike a middle ground between manual and fully automatic machines. Boiler temperature controls are automated thanks to built-in electric pumps. These are the more common types and most popular as they remove the most tedious part and biggest disadvantage of manual machines.
- Fully automatic machines are pretty much like semi-automatic ones, except they also maintain and control how much water is passed to the device.
- Last but not least, super automatic machines come with all kinds of accessories and a timer. It comes with a complex system that contains a built-in grinder that requires constant maintenance.
What to Look for in the Best Espresso Machine Under 300 Bucks?
There are several features that you should consider when searching for the best espresso machine under 300 bucks, which include:
Temperature Control: One of the toughest things to do when brewing manually is to maintain a temperature that’s between 195°F and 205°F. Good semi-automatic machines should be able to easily maintain it thanks to a thermostat that’s built into it.
Boiler Type: The vast majority of semi-automatic machines that are under $200 come with either a ThermoBlock heating system or a single boiler. The latter is usually more effective in maintaining a stable temperature. However, machines that come with a single brewer typically cost more, so take that into account.
Steam Wand: A bad steam wand will severely limit the functionality of your semi-automatic machine. You might as well just buy a drip brewer instead, or buy a separate milk frother. However, there are some semi-automatic machines that come with their own automatic milk frothers, which are more than a welcome feature.
Auto-Purging Steam Wand: It’s vital that you remember to always clean and maintain your steam wand after every use to avoid any malfunctions or inconveniences. To prevent yourself from running into this problem, you can buy a semi-automatic machine that comes with an auto-purge system or a purge reminder.
Programs: Most machines have different presets for each type of drink. The vast majority of these machines also allow you to choose between single or double shot.
Brew Pressure: 10 bars of pressure is the minimum amount of pressure necessary to make a good espresso. However, good machines will usually produce about 15 bars of pressure.
Build Quality: The vast majority of models that are below the $200 price tag are mostly made up of plastic. This means that they won’t be as durable as the more expensive models, so keep that in mind and try not to be reckless when using them.
Size: You need to make sure that you have enough space on your counter for the machine. Keep in mind that they also require some clearance space as they have heating parts.
Accessories: Buying a semi-automatic machine is usually not enough as you’ll need other accessories like a milk frothing pitcher, a steel tamper, adequate cups, and, in some cases, a grinder.
Maintenance and Cleaning: Semi-automatic coffee machines require a lot of care. This is crucial if you want to maximize its longevity. Just follow the maintenance schedule provided in the product manual, and you should be fine.
Warranty: When you buy a 200-buck coffee machine, you should expect at least a year’s warranty. However, if claiming the guarantee requires you to cover the shipping charges, then it’s not a good warranty offer.
Customer Support: If you’re not used to semi-automatic machines, then you’re going to need excellent customer support and service to cover your back in case you find yourself stuck in a rut.
Service: Before you buy a product, you should check if there are any service centers in your vicinity in case something with the machine goes wrong and needs to be fixed.
Longevity: A good coffee machine should last you upwards of 10 years. If you take good care of your coffee maker, your machine won’t fail you (unless it’s shoddily made of course).
Price: One of the more common misconceptions that people fall into is that saving money means spending the least amount of it. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Investing in a reliable product will always be better than buying a cheap product that is sure to fail you sooner.
It’s also wise to watch out for reviews of the product. You can always trust a product with a lot of positive reviews and satisfied customers.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the MAP (minimum advertised price) is usually not an accurate indicator of the actual cost. In most cases, you’ll find that the price is around 10-15% higher, so take that into account.
Take all of those factors into consideration, and you’ll be able to pick the best espresso machine under 300 dollars for your barista ventures!
Choosing the Best Espresso Machine Under 300 Dollars – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Difference Between Expresso Machines and Coffee Makers?
While both machines basically make the same thing, which is coffee, of course, there are critical differences between the two. It’s essential to be able to distinguish one from the other.
On the one hand, coffee makers do not come with their own grinder. Instead, they are equipped with filter nets that separate between the fine powder and the unwanted coarse and rough coffee particles. Simply put, a coffee maker just boils coffee continuously over a hot temperature. You can add sugar, milk, or cream afterward.
On the other hand, espresso machines are more complicated. They do not come with a grinder, so you’ll probably have to buy a good grinder. Espresso is basically coffee that’s blended from different roasts in a way that produces a unique flavor. Bigger and more advanced espresso machines can also boil water using a coil. The temperature is accurately measured and maintained thanks to a water heat controller.
Another special thing about espresso machines is that they have a pressure gauge. Keep your eye on it and make sure it stays at 15 bars as that’s the optimal amount of pressure to have. Then there’s the portafilter which is the part where the final espresso seeps into the cup.
Should You Invest in a Coffee Grinder Along with Your Coffee Machine?
Grinders are crucial in the process of making espresso. While there are some machines that come with their own coffee grinders, we don’t recommend using them as they can be awfully underwhelming and even impractical. A good blender will run you around $250 and should last you upwards of years. Manually grinding coffee beans just isn’t practical as it requires both time and energy, and we all know how valuable these commodities are nowadays.
Your espresso machine can make or break your morning ritual, which is why you need to do your due diligence when buying one. If you’re on a budget, finding the right machine may seem challenging, but it’s possible. All you have to do is check our picks for the title of the best espresso machine under 300 dollars, go over our buying guide, and you’ll be good to go!