Wouldn’t it be great to get a barista-quality shot of espresso every time the cravings for coffee strikes? Investing in a real espresso machine will help you in that regard, as it allows you to prepare an authentic espresso, cappuccino or latte, fast and easily in your home or office.
However, buying a good espresso machine can be a tricky task due to the high number of brands around, and it may be difficult to know which one suits your needs. Most people needs some guidance, before they can make an informed decision and choose an espresso machine that meets all their individual needs, desires, and budget.
Our buyer’s guide and reviews of the Best Espresso Machines Under $300, seeks to provide you with all the necessary information you need to help you up your “barista game”, and make the best purchasing choice.
|Model:||Water Tank Capacity:|
|Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine with Aeroccino by De'Longhi||1,6L (54.oz)|
|DeLonghi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker||1L (34.oz)|
|Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker||5 cups|
|Delonghi EC680M DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine||1L (34.oz)|
| Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine With Aeroccino||0,7L (24.oz)|
|Capresso 124.01 Ultima Pro Espresso Machine Coffeemaker||1,1L (37.oz)|
|7 Piece All-In-One Espresso & Cappuccino Maker Machine From EspressoWorks||1,25L (42.oz)|
|UniTerra Nomad Paris Red Portable Espresso Machine||0,3L (10.Oz)|
Things to Look For in an Espresso Machine
Ease of use: This is the number one consideration when choosing a good coffee maker. You need a machine that is super easy to use whether you are a novice or experienced in barista making. For this reason, you should look for a machine with which much of its processes are automated so that it will do the entire job for you at the touch of a button. Also, look for programmability and make sure the settings and buttons are intuitive before you buy.
Ease of cleaning: Convenience of the machine should always be your priority. Besides the ease of use, cleaning your machine also needs to be effortless. Always make sure you have an idea of what cleaning entails. Keep in mind that the more the features and components, the longer it will take to clean it.
Budget: Your budget will most likely affect your buying decision. Espresso machines can be expensive depending on many factors. The secret that many users are unaware is that the best machine is one that fits within your budget. Despite the wide price range, there is still a good espresso machine within your budget that will deliver barista quality coffee shot. After all, the last thing you want is to buy an expensive machine that is not easy to use.
Design: The design of your machine is an important consideration because some espresso machines can be quite big. For this reason, you should keep in mind the size of your counter space and find one with a compact design especially if you have limited kitchen space. Although large sized models have features that justify its size, they often sacrifice the accessibility of another kitchen appliance.
Other considerations include;
Cup warmer – This is essentially important if you are not consuming all the drink at once. This feature will help keep your espresso warm for some time this saves you the hassles of reheating your drink, which can cause bitter tastes in your espresso.
Frothing capability – A frothier help to pressurize the milk flow so it is an important consideration if you like making espresso-based drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiato.
Water capacity – Most espresso machines come with large water tanks, which allows you to prepare your beverage simultaneously. Make sure the water tank is large enough to reduce the number of times you have to refill.
Grinding capacity– Espresso machines comes with a built-in grinder or separate grinder. Built-in coffee grinders are most convenient as they offer freshly ground coffee, however; they may not accommodate higher volumes of coffee grounds. On the other hand, separate grinders have high capacity.
All of these factors have been taken into consideration in our Best Espresso Machines Under $300 Reviews.
The Vertuo Evoluo coffee maker is a well-designed and high quality machine that every coffee lover will like. This unit uses a patented extraction technology called centrifusion. This technology is advantageous because it spins the capsule at super-speed (about 7000 rotations) thus blending ground coffee with water for a fine, tasty drink.
Another advantage of this machine is the fact that it capitalizes on spaciousness. It also comes with a 54 oz. water tank, which keeps refilling to a minimum. That is not all, it has a 17 capsule discard container that is ideal for used capsules which adds to your convenience during brewing.
Another good thing about the Vertuo Evoluo is that it heats in just 15 seconds. This is astonishingly quick and inspires confidence that you are only seconds away from a delicious cup when you have it in your home.
The crema on this machine is designed such that you can make different beverages. This machine has two different size settings where the first full size 8 oz. cup is perfect for those who want Americano drinks while the smaller 1.35 oz. cup is fine for traditional espresso style drinks.
When it comes to ease of use, the Vertuo Evoluo allows you to save the procedures into the Grand Cru blend capsules for an automated operation every time you need the exact specifications, for consistent brewing quality.
- The Largest water tank (54 oz.) and discard container (17 capsules)
- Quick heat up (15 seconds)
- Barcode that registers preparation details on the Grand cru
- Patented extraction technology for an instant enjoyment
- Two different settings for custom drinks
- Low extraction temperature
Bottom line: The Evoluo is an affordable and innovative machine that uses centrifugation process to brew a delicious coffee within seconds.
This coffee brewing machine is designed to be easy to use so that you can brew like a pro. This machine will brew authentic barista-quality beverages for whatever preferences you might have. Simply put, this brewer will bring out the barista in you.
The other thing you will love about this coffee maker is the patented filter holder with dual-function, that adds convenience to your brewing process. What this means is that either you can use ground coffee or coffee pods, and this makes espresso or cappuccino making simple and fast as you
That is not all; the self-priming operation of this machine is a great addition that saves you the hassles of startup preparation. Interestingly, this machine comes with a rapid cappuccino system that maintains an optimal brewing temperature. This ensures that you can brew cup after cup, don’t have to wait for a long time for your drink to be ready, keeping the waiting between cups minimal.
In terms of power, this unit is very efficient. It is fitted with two thermostats, which allows you to control water and steam pressure separately. This is helpful as it conserves energy thus saving you a lot of money on utility bills. The removable water tank, drip tray, and boilers are all made of stainless steel, which makes this machine capable of providing you with delicious espresso for many years.
Again, when it comes to cleaning this machine, it is a breeze, thanks to the removable water tank and drip tray, which are easy to remove and reassemble. Lastly but not the least, we liked it because of the steam dial which is very useful when you don’t want to use the frothier.
- Great power for quick brewing
- Very easy to clean
- Durable construction
- Dual function filter holder for convenience
- Comes with two 3.oz espresso cups and saucers
- Frothier depends on steam dial operation
Bottom line: DeLonghi is easy to use and combined with the great value for money, it makes it a great coffee maker for both experienced and inexperienced coffee lovers.
If you want to be your own barista, you may want to try the Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino maker. The Mr. Coffee brand has a rich reputation in performance given that it has only specialized in the coffee making since its foundation in 1970.
The first thing you will like is the single touch control panel that gives you the chance to choose single or double shots for your espresso, latte or cappuccino. This user-friendly touch control panel is a plus when it comes to the ease of use, as you don’t need barista skills to create your favorite drink.
Additionally, this machine is a friendly option under the $200 price bracket so if you want to grab an espresso machine without breaking your bank, Mr. Coffee café is a convenient buy. That is not all; there is a single pump boiler at the heart of this machine that ensures efficient extraction of espresso as well as frothing the milk. Again, this boiler helps you to choose between the two modes rather than doing both simultaneously.
The automated milk frothier is another unique feature that makes this machine stand out. This feature minimizes milk wastage as it turns the ordinary milk into frothy and creamy foam effortlessly. The water reservoir located on the back of the machine is removable for easy filling. What is more is the fact that you can even top-fill without removing it completely. Moreover, most parts of this machine are dishwasher safe which saves you time.
- Versatile and can brew any espresso drink of any flavor and size
- One press milk frothing
- Very easy to use and cleaning is simple
- Manual included helps you invent original recipes from your home
- Electric 15 bar pump that yields a powerful pressure for brewing impressive drinks.
- It is quite loud and might be a bad choice for those who wake up early and don’t want to wake up others.
- Lack specifications on some of the parts
Bottom-line: the Mr. Coffee café barista is an affordable machine with lots of great features. If you are a beginner coffee brewer, this machine is a good choice.
The DEDICA is another great machine from the DeLonghi brand. Coming with a well-thought design; this machine has an illuminated control panel in the front, which allows you to choose the type of brew you prefer. That is not all; you can also program the Dedica to create your custom beverages. If you were to forget to turn off the Dedica, it automatically shifts to standby after some time to conserve energy.
Another cool thing is the ThermoBlock technology that allows the machine to produce a vaporing espresso in a quick 40 seconds. Interestingly, the internal temperatures are set at 190F, which is ideal for espresso brewing. The built-in cup warmer keeps your beverage piping hot. This machine also has a self-priming option that ensures the machine is geared and ready to go as soon as you are ready to brew your drink.
If you have limited space on your counter top, the Dedica is a good choice as it features a well-thought design for narrow spaces. This machine takes just 6 inches of your counter top space, thus giving you more freedom to use the remaining space that other bulky machines take up.
An automatic frothing system is integrated into this machine, which offers a barista quality foam. As is that is not enough, there is a flow stop feature that automatically delivers one or two shots of espresso, which adds to the convenience of customizing your drinks.
Moreover, the Dedica comes with a 15 bar professional pressure that is enough for creating a rich, frothy crema for your espresso drinks.
- Fast heating time (40 secs)
- Perfect brewing temperature for espresso
- Compact design that saves counter space
- Cappuccino frothing system for barista quality foam
- Built-in cup warmer that keeps espresso piping hot
- Takes a bit of time to cool down
Bottom-line: A well-thought design that is ideal for those with limited counter space.
The Pixie Espresso Machine is a stylish and easy to use single serve espresso machine that combines premium espresso and modern convenience. Notably, this is a very powerful espresso machine, coming with high pressure pump of 19 bar, which unlocks the exquisite flavor of each and every espresso capsule for a barista-quality drink. Another good thing about this machine is the Nespresso capsule system that delivers great and unique flavors and aromas for instant enjoyment.
The Pixie Espresso machine also does really well when it comes to efficiency, as its system reaches the ideal brewing temperature in only 25 seconds. As if that is not enough, the Pixie automatically shuts itself off after 9 minutes, which conserves energy and saves you on utility bills.
This unit is very user-friendly regardless of your barista skills. It features 2-one-touch buttons to prepare your favorite coffee within seconds. Again, the folding drip tray accommodates different cup-sizes for espresso. In addition to this, a red indicator light will alert you when the water tank requires refilling.
An instruction booklet is also included in the package to guide you how to set it up so that you can brew your first cup in a few minutes.
- Compact size and saves on counter top space
- Auto-power off function that reduces power consumption
- Fast warm time up
- Super easy to use
- Variety of pods to choose from
- Welcoming pack with 16 Nespresso Grands Crus capsules
- No control over temperature, brew strength and grinds
Bottom line: The Pixie is a great choice if you want a simple to use coffee machine
If you want to bring simplicity and convenience while brewing delicious and tasteful espresso and cappuccino in your kitchen, this sleek espresso machine offers you a quality performance, all without you having to sacrifice your counter top space, .
On the front side, there is a control panel with two programmable cup-buttons, which can be set up to 6-Oz. of espresso. You just need to press and hold either of these two buttons and watch the magic as crema-rich espresso pours into the cup.
The Capresso Ultima machine features a 15 bar pump coffee system for quality brewing. As a result, this system will help you produce cups of barista style quality coffee. Another good thing is that this machine is programmable to deliver a single or double shot of espresso. Using the hot water function, you can prepare either tea or Americano.
Additionally, it comes with a large warming platform for the cup and this platform keeps your beverage at the ideal temperature for some time. The auto shut-off feature turns off the machine after 30 minutes thus conserving energy.
One thing that perhaps makes it stand out is the integrated storage space, which is spacious enough to store your brewing accessories.
- Convenient and compact design
- Very easy to use
- Heats up easily
- Programmable pump
- Built-in storage for accessories
- The frothier tends to overflow
Bottom-line: the Capresso is a coffee maker that is constructed with maximum durability in mind. Besides, its design is well thought and the built-in storage is a cool addition to your brewing accessories
This is a versatile all in one coffee maker designed to brew your favorite recipes with ease. It features everything you need to prepare a cup of espresso. The exquisiteness of this machine is established by the thermal block fast heating system, which makes this machine ready for use after just 45 seconds.
For convenience, this coffee maker comes with an easy view water tank (removable) so you can easily monitor water levels. That is not all; the large (1.25l) water reservoir has a handle that makes it easy to remove it while cleaning and refilling. Besides, the frothing device and the drip tray are removable making cleaning a breeze for a clean and dry counter top.
Coming with a pump pressure system of 15 bar that pulverizes coffee beans to perfection in the grinder making it easy for the preparation of Italian espresso, Americano, and macchiato. Moreover, there are two portafilter baskets made of stainless steel included, so you can switch between single or double shots during each brewing.
- Quickly and ready for use in under 45 seconds
- Easy view, removable water tank
- LED indicators that confirm when it is ready to brew/steam
- Safe and reliable (protected against overheating and pressure)
- Ease to operate
- Some reports that the quality of the coffee is less than what they expected
Bottom line: An all-inclusive coffee maker that combines all convenience you need to prepare your espresso-based drink in one set.
If you are the person who needs your espresso everywhere you go, then you need to consider this Nomad espresso machine. Just as its name says, this espresso machine is truly a nomad because you can make yourself a high-quality espresso coffee wherever you are, as long as you have hot water and coffee.
The most imperative feature of this coffee maker is the fact that you don’t need any power source, batteries or high-pressure cartridges to prepare your espresso something that makes it an eco-friendly option.
The Nomad is stunningly designed with novice users in mind. You will just be amazed at how easy it is to operate regardless of the skill level. In its modern design, the Nomad has a manual pressure pump for an instant control simplifying the process.
It comes with a small lever that operates two tiny pistons in a see-saw motion to manually build pressure. Interestingly, an interactive pressure control gives you a live monitoring of the brewing pressure yields for superior results.
Additionally, the Nomad features a proprietary True Crema valve that compensates for coffee grounds and tampering variations. This enables the machine to use coffee grounds that are not evenly ground. This adds to the convenience of making coffee anywhere.
- Compact size and portable
- Straightforward manual operation
- Requires no power source, batteries or pressure cartridges
- Looks great on the counter top
- Consistently makes great espresso
- Getting the grounds into the basket might be a little difficult
- You need to have access to boiled water
Bottom line: Selling above $200 the Nomad sounds quite expensive for a non-electric espresso machine. However, considering its performance, low carbon footprints and the added portability, it is still well worth the money.
Finding a good espresso machine can be quite the task, as there are a lot of options to choose from, and you need to pay attention to the budget, performance, ease of use and cleaning, capacity and design among other, before you make a purchasing decision.
Our buyer’s guide and reviews of the Best Espresso Machines Under $300 will hopefully have helped you a long way in finding an affordable espresso machine, and one that will deliver delicious coffee for years to come. If you’ve got something you’d like to share about espresso machines in this price segment or in general, feel free to leave a comment below.
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