Espresso machines under $300 can make you a good shot of espresso right in your home. They create a cup of rich, creamy, espresso deliciousness on demand without you ever having to leave the comfort of your own space. Some machines take just a couple of minutes to heat up, and under a minute to make your drink of choice. If you are looking for the best espresso machine under $300, you have plenty to choose from. We have narrowed down the choices for you in this guide so you know exactly what you are getting when you go to order your new espresso machine. Our guide will also help you weigh the pros and cons of each machine. This is so you can make the most informed decision and find the espresso machine to meet your needs, because not all machines are created equal. Check out the best espresso machines under $300 to make your next favorite coffee drink at home.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick for the best espresso machine under $300 is the De’Longhi EC680. The machine itself is compact and has a stylish look to it. Choose from red or silver to suit your kitchen décor style. Furthermore, it is lightweight coming in at only 9.3 pounds.
The water tank is removable and can make up to eight espressos before it needs to be refilled. To use the frother, just switch the dial to froth, put the jug of milk under the spout, and adjust the setting to how much foam you want. The frothing part can be tricky if you have never used one of these before, but with a little practice you will get the hang of it in no time.
The three filter selection on the machine is a nice option if you want to make more than one shot at a time. The options are one, two, or a use a pod for even more convenience. This machine can make two espressos at once, which is a huge plus if you make your partner coffee in the morning. Furthermore, you won’t have to wait long to have your drinks because this espresso machine makes them fast, about 48 seconds for one shot of espresso. For under $300, this is a solid machine that is durable and makes a delicious cup of espresso in under a minute. The combination of value, quality of espresso, durability, and usability.
Types of Espresso Machines
When you start looking for an espresso machine, you will notice a few different types which include a manual, semi-automatic, and super automatic. Espresso machines under $300 will either come in super automatic or semi-automatic, but the most common is semi-automatic. The manual machines tend to run higher in cost, which can be up to $5,000 or above.
A semi-automatic espresso machine uses an electric pump that puts out pressure between eight to nine bars, at a minimum, when making a shot. As you shop for espresso machines, you will notice that most semi-automatic machines have a 15 bar pump to provide you with extra pressure. This extra boost will press out all of the flavor available in the grounds so you get a nice rich shot.
The semi-automatic espresso machine is a good medium between the manual and super automatic espresso machines. The semi-automatic allows you to have some control over the shot while still being somewhat automatic in the brewing process. If you like to have some control but do not want to do all of the work, a semi-automatic espresso machine is a good option for you.
If you do purchase a semi-automatic espresso machine, you will need to grind your own coffee as these do not come with built-in grinders. However, the semi-automatic machines usually come with a tamper, which you will use after you grind the coffee beans. Once the beans are ground, pour them into the portafilter and attach it to the espresso machine. From here, you can start the brewing process and extract the espresso manually. This allows you to have as strong or as weak of espresso as you want.
If all you want to do is push a button and have your espresso made for you, then a super automatic espresso machine is your best option. These machines literally do everything from grinding the beans to frothing the milk. Furthermore, they put out a consistent espresso shot every time so you know just what to expect. To have some control over the type of drink you are making, most super automatic machines have options, and some are even programmable. The options include choosing different coffee drinks or how strong or weak you want your espresso. These machines are nice if you do not want to have to put too much thought into making your espresso.
Super automatic espresso machines work fast. Once they are heated up and you press the button, it only takes a few seconds until you have a cup of espresso in your hand. The more expensive super automatic espresso machines will filter your water and steam your milk. These are not always available on the models that are under $300. However, you will get self-cleaning machines for this price, which is a huge plus if you forget to clean them on a regular basis.
Features to Look for in an Espresso Machine
Some espresso machines will have more features than you actually need. Knowing the difference between what you want and need in an espresso machine will you stay within your budget and find the right machine for you. There is no use purchasing an espresso machine that does not have all the features you want because chances are you won’t use it. The same is true for the opposite. If the espresso machine has too many features, you may go over your budget, feel overwhelmed, and give up on your espresso machine after a short period of time. We have a made a list of the features to think about when looking for an espresso machine. Once you go through the list, think about the ones you can live with and can live without.
Does it Have a Grinder?
Super automatic espresso machines come with a built-in coffee grinder. Some people like this where others prefer to grind their own coffee. If you already have a coffee grinder, then you can cross this feature off your list. If you do need a coffee grinder, a super automatic espresso machine is something to think about because it does allow you a few choices when selecting the grind. However, if you are super picky about your grind, you will want to purchase your own grinder as they have more options than the ones built-in the super automatic machines. A semi-automatic espresso machine does not come with a coffee grinder, so if you are choosing that type of machine, this will add to the cost.
The Water Tank
The volume of the water tank may be something you think about last, but it should be further up on your list. Taking into consideration how much water the tank holds will give you a good idea on how often you will have to refill it. Do you mind refilling it every couple of days? Do you prefer something with a larger tank but that is heavier to carry? Or would you rather have a smaller, compact thank sitting on your counter. Another aspect of the water tank to think about is how it is filled up. Some are filled with a funnel where others can easily be removed and filled from your faucet.
Some super automatic espresso machines do all the frothing for you, while other machines allow you to manually froth your milk. A manual frother will allow you to perfect your frothing skills and experiment with it as you get better and better. Other people do not like to mess with the frother, which is where the super automatic comes in handy. With these types of machines, all you have to do is wait until the milk is frothed for you and take your drink when it is ready. Keep in mind that these espresso machines may not froth milk to your liking, it just depends on your personal preference and how picky you are when it comes to your milk foam.
Regular cleaning on espresso machines is important because it keeps them running properly. If your machine is hard to clean, chances are you will not do it as often as you should. Failing to clean your espresso machine on a regular basis will cut its lifespan down, which can be frustrating for you. If you want a machine that can clean itself, then a super automatic is the best choice for you. A semi-automatic machine will need to be cleaned by you as they do not have an automatic cleaning option. Keep in mind that you are putting time back into your investment, so if you don’t mind cleaning, a semi-automatic machine can still be an option for you.
Durability and Customer Service
Spending money on an espresso machine can seem like a lot upfront, but keep in mind it is an investment. Furthermore, when it comes to investments, you want to make sure they are protected, which is why checking for a warranty is a good idea. Some espresso machines come with manufacturer warranties, which cover manufacturer defects up to a year. Others machines have more general warranties, so make sure to look what the machine offers before purchasing it.
In the case that you do actually need to use a warranty, you want to make sure the customer service behind the brand is helpful. Good customer service can enhance the experience you have with the espresso machine. Furthermore, if you have important questions about the function or are confused about a feature, customer service can be helpful as well. This is especially important if you are a first time user.
Advantages of a Machine Under $300
Espresoo machines under $300 have many advantages, and the most obvious one is that you will no longer need to go to the coffee shop. When your coffee is ready for you in the morning, you will find there is more time during your routine and money in your wallet. A second advantage to owning your own espresso machine is experimenting with different flavors of espresso. This can be done by grinding the beans courser or finer, depending on how experimental you are feeling that day. You can further experiment by frothing your own milk.
A third advantage espresso machines under $300 are considered entry-level machines, which means you can experiment with features to decide if you want to upgrade your machine. Let’s say you cannot decide between a super automatic or a semi-automatic espresso machine. Choose one and if love it and want to experiment more, you know you will like the more expensive machine. A fourth advantage of espresso machines in this price range I you can choose from pod machines, super automatic, or semi-automatic machines. This gives you a few options without being too overwhelming.
Disadvantages of a Machine Under $300
While there are many advantages of an espresso machine under $300, there are a few disadvantages. The machines under $300 are not made with the same high quality materials as the more expensive machines. While it is not always the case, the parts may not last as long because they do not have the same quality as an espresso machine that cost in the thousand dollar range. The espresso tastes similar, the machine just might not last as long.
The espresso pods are a good option, however; they do have a downfall as they take a commitment. If you think you will get sick of the pods over time, you may want to look for a machine that offers an option to use both pods and coffee, or forego the pods altogether.
Why Trust Me
I have completed hours or research about the various types of espresso machine available on the market. The espresso machines I have researched are not limited to the entry-level price range, they range from entry-level to high end so I have a good idea of the differences between the machines. By doing research, I have learned what brand names have been around for a while and what names have recently come onto the market. While a brand name is good to have, it does not make a deciding factor, but it is good to know where the espresso machine comes from.
While doing my research, I look for the features that are necessary on an espresso machine. Furthermore, I look for features that are nice to have, but may be optional. I love coffee myself and am always searching for the next great cup of coffee, so I put my knowledge to work as part of my research as well. I compare what I know against what other people prefer. By seeing all the different views, I get a well-rounded take on what most people want in an espresso machine. All this knowledge is gathered together in a comprehensive guide to assist you in finding the right espresso machine for your lifestyle.
How I Chose the Best
I compile my research together and find the top espresso machines to compare against each other. The top espresso machine list usually consists of about ten machines in the very beginning. I start by narrowing down the choices by the amount of features the machine offers in addition to how much they cost. While cheaper is not always better, more features are not always better either. They both are taken into consideration equally and the ones with the best value are kept on the list.
Normally, five machines are left during this first cut. Next, I look at ease of use, dependability, and what type of encounter people had with them. If people had a hard time or the machine quit working after a few months, then it was cut from the list. It is no good to purchase a machine that is difficult to use.
After this second cut, this takes the machines down to the top three. I looked at a combination of price, features, customer reviews, and durability to get a good overview of the machine. The one that is the best of the best makes it to the top of the list.
The Best Espresso Machines Under $300
This guide to the best espresso machines under $300 has both super automatic and semi-automatic machines on it. Find what type you like best and the features you actually will need.
The De’Longhi EC608 espresso machine is compact so it will fit on most counters without taking up too much space. It sits seven inches wide and 13 inches tall, which is a pretty small size when compared to other espresso machines. Yet, just because it’s small does mean it is lacking features or power. This machine comes in the top of our list because of the features it offers as well as the price it comes at. The EC680 is ready to brew in about 40 seconds and takes baskets or pods, which is nice when you can’t make up your mind.
The EC680 espresso machine has programmable options when it comes to water temperature, water hardness, and when you want the machine to go in stand-by mode. The stainless steel panarello is another nice option because you can heat and froth milk, or use it for hot water. A cup warmer located on top of the machine will ensure your espresso stays hotter longer. You will never have to guess when to descale your machine because this one lets you know when it is time and even has a descaling mode.
The EC680 does not take non-pressurized baskets, it only uses pressurized baskets, which can be downside for some people. The machine is pretty light, so it does not have a lot of weight to keep it still while you are twisting the portafilter around. Keep this in mind when you are using the portafilter to avoid a mess. Another downside to this machine is that it does not take light roasts and it can get clogged by extra find coffee grounds.
Why It’s Worth It
This compact machine is simple to use as it has marks for single, double, or using the pod basket, making it pretty hard to mess up a shot. The espresso machine comes with three filter baskets, scoop/tamper, and a pressurized portafilter. It is ready to go as soon as you start it up.
Who It’s For
The De’Longhi EC680 is for people who want to start out with a good quality espresso machine without spending too much money. It is also for those who want to experiment with a frother, different espresso shots, and have the options of using pods. It is a well-rounded machine to break into the art of espresso making.
What People are Saying
People who have used this machine say it is simple to use, even if you have never used an espresso machine before. They say the machine works quickly and the frother works up a good amount of foam. Some have said you need to read the manual before using the machine to get the hang of things.
The Breville ESP8XL Café Roma is a 15 bar pump espresso machine that has a dual water filtering system and a heated cup plate on the top. The stainless steel design looks sleek with any type of décor, and the machine will not take up your entire counter space.
The Café Roma features a 28 ounce water tank and lets you know when it is warmed up and ready to brew. The double wall filter combined with the internal temperature makes almost the perfect crema on top of your espresso. The machine allows you to broth and brew at the same time, which not all espresso machines in this price range do. Once you purchase the machine, you will notice that it comes with an espresso cup and a frothing jug, which is nice to have if this is the first espresso machine you have ever purchased. It also comes with a scoop/tamper and everything else you need to make your very first cup of espresso.
If your coffee grinds are not ground to a fine consistency, your espresso machine will clog. You will need a good coffee grinder to get the right consistency. Furthermore, you will need to practice a little bit before getting the perfect shot of espresso if you have never used a machine like this before. The Café Roma will make a weak shot of espresso if you don’t tamper enough, so if your first shot isn’t great, just keep practicing until you get it right.
Why It’s Worth It
If you want an espresso machine that will make you a shot of espresso while you froth the milk, this is a good option for you. The machine comes at a good price, looks great, and is a durable piece of equipment. Overall, it is a good value machine.
Who It’s For
The Breville ESP8XL Café Roma is for those who want an espresso machine that does the basics while you do the extras. For example, you will need to practicing your milk frothing capabilities and tamping skills. However, this is the exciting part of making espresso and coffee drinks because you get to experiment and find what you like.
What People are Saying
Those who have used the machine on a regular basis say it is built of high quality materials, durable, and makes great espresso shots. Users have noted that it is a good espresso machines for those who have never used one before. Some have noted heater element problems, while others say their machine has lasted two years when making multiple drinks per day.
The Capresso EC Pro is our third top pick if you are looking for a good, solid espresso machine for your home. It is smaller in size, but packs features that make it perform like the big machines.
The Capresso EC Pro comes with a removable 42 ounce water tank. It has two portafilter options, one to use with the double spout, or the other to use with the naked version. The frother creates foamy milk for your coffee drinks and the cup warmer keeps your drink hot. The pump boiler system ensures your water will stay at the right temperature before, during, and after the brewing process.
The cup warmer takes a little while to heat up, so once you get the espresso machine going, you may need to wait a couple of minutes to use the cup warmer. The steam wand does not have a lot of clearance so don’t expect to steam pitchers of milk.
Why It’s Worth It
The Capresso EC Pro is simple to use and has indicator lights so you know whether you are making espresso or steaming. It comes with a tamper/coffee scoop along with two protafilters. The espresso machine is small in size while still producing great tasting espresso.
Who It’s For
This espresso machine is for those who are looking to get into espresso making but don’t need too many extra features. It has everything you need to make a good shot of espresso and coffee drinks, but without the extra frills. It is simple to use with dials and switches, so you don’t be intimated by lots of buttons.
What People are Saying
People who have used this machine regularly say the pressure is good and creates a nice crema on top of the espresso. They also like the amount of features you get for the price. Some complained the machine did not get hot enough, where others did not have a problem with the temperature at all.
Finding a good espresso machine under $300 is not hard, there are many to choose from that have a variety of features. Furthermore if you are looking for something a little more basic, there are machines like that on the list as well. No matter what your experience level with espresso making is, you will find a machine to meet your needs and your budget.