Top 5: The Best Espresso Machine Under $300 for Brewing at Home

Best Espresso Machine Under $300

Espresso machines can be expensive, especially for those on a budget. That’s why you should try to find the best espresso machine under $300. This will allow you to have delicious, fresh brewed espresso in your own home, without sacrificing your budget to meet your refined taste.

Top Rated Espresso Machines Under $300

Water Tank Capacity

Power

Heating System

Price

Breville ESP8XL Cafe

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker

40.6 oz

1000 W

ThermoBlock

DeLonghi EN520BK

DeLonghi EN520BK Lattissima Plus Nespresso Capsule System

30 oz

1200 W

Thermoblock

Nespresso VertuoLine

Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother

40 oz

1350 W

Thermoblock​

Delonghi EC680M DEDICA

Delonghi EC680M DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine

44 oz

1300 W

Thermoblock​

Capresso 118.05 EC PRO

Capresso 118.05 EC PRO Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

42 oz

1050 W

Aluminum boiler

The Benefits of Having Your Own Espresso Machine

​For those who love espresso, there are many benefits to having a machine for your own personal use in your home or office.

  • It’s convenient – Having a machine at your disposal at all times makes it easy to make a cup of the perfect espresso whenever you want it, no matter the time of day. A machine in your kitchen or office at work also means you don’t have to brave the cold temperatures in the winter, or scurry down the block in the pouring rain for your tasty beverage.
  • You’ll save money – Though the price of a machine can seem a bit high at first, it will cost a lot less to spend it on an espresso machine that can pour thousands of cups of coffee over many years than you would to buy multiple cups each day from a coffee shop.
  • They are easy to use – Because they have simple controls, the best espresso machines under $300 are easy to use for anyone, even novice coffee drinkers.This means anyone in your home or office can make professional tasting coffee in a matter of minutes, for themselves, their friends or co-workers, or even for clients or customers.
  • They’re classy – There’s nothing like impressing your family and friends with your high-tech gadgets, and an espresso machine is no exception. And when they taste your barista-quality espresso, you’ll be the talk of the group for the rest of the night.
  • Great options – Most espresso machines offer the convenience of more than 1 beverage option. They can make lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, and some even have a hot water spout for making tea. This makes it even easier to please your guests.

​What to Look for in an Espresso Machine

​For those who love espresso, there are many benefits to having a machine for your own personal use in your home or office.

  • Size – Because this machine is going to be spending a lot of time on your counter, you want to make sure it is small enough to fit comfortably in the space you have available.If you don’t plan to use it every day, make sure it can fit in your cupboard or on a shelf, out of the way.
  • Durability – When buying a new machine, be sure it is made from quality materials that won’t break when using it. This includes the outer casing, the boiler, the water tank, and the steam wand. If the machine’s parts break down easily, it is of no use to you.
  • Water Reservoir – Your machine should have the capacity to hold a fair bit of water. You don’t want to keep filling it every time you make a shot of espresso or a cappuccino.This is especially true if you are serving a larger group. It takes time for the water to heat as well, so the more often you need to fill it, the longer it will take to serve the entire group. It is also a good idea to find a machine with a removable water tank, for more convenient filling and less mess.
  • Easy Cleaning – Taking your machine apart to clean all of its components can be a pain. That’s why having one with an easy disassembly makes this process a bit easier, especially for those who use their machine every day.
  • Frothers – Most machines come with a steam wand for those who like to go beyond espressos to the world of lattes and cappuccinos. Though you never have to actually use it if you don’t want to, it’s nice to have one of these, just in case.

Other than these features, the best espresso machine under $300 has pretty basic parts, all of which are described here by this professional barista.

How these machines work is a different story, so if you’re curious, Mike Cooper describes how different types of machines do their job.


​#1 | Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker

​​This Breville Espresso machine is made of high-quality stainless steel. It uses a thermoblock heating system that gives you the perfect temperature for your espresso.

​​This pump also uses a full 15 bars, which combined with the dual-wall filter system gives the maximum pressure for creating perfect crema.

​​The included steam wand makes a creamy froth using a variety of milk products, from skim to soy to whipping cream. The water tank is removable for easy filling and can hold up to 1.2L of water.

​​Two stainless steel cups and saucers are also included with this machine, though they have been known to stain after repeated use. These can be warmed before use on the warming tray, for a long-lasting heat for your beverage.

​​A stainless steel frothing pitcher, a tamping tool, and a cleaning tool are also included in the box, so you have everything you need to make the perfect cup of espresso and keep your machine in spotless working condition.

Pros

  • Cheaply priced at about $162.00, which makes it a good option for coffee and espresso lovers on a budget
  • There is an adjustable cup support to accommodate different cup sizes
  • Small size, with dimensions of 11.9 x 8.3 x 11.9
  • It comes with a set of 12 Nespresso VertuoLine capsules, so you can try out a variety of their blends

Cons

  • Can only be used with Nespresso VertuoLine capsules
  • The whipped crema is really whipped coffee and tastes a bit bitter to some

#2 | DeLonghi EN520BK Lattissima Plus

DeLonghi EN520BK Lattissima Plus Nespresso Capsule System

​​Though it can be left off to have a delicious shot of espresso, this machine comes with a removable milk tank on the front for creating lattes and cappuccinos in your own kitchen.

​​This system uses a single button to heat your milk, and when you’re finished, the milk tank can be removed and placed into your refrigerator until you’re ready for another cup.

​The control buttons are illuminated, allowing you to choose your milk or coffee selections even with minimal lighting.

​This machine also uses a patented coffee capsule system that requires no measuring or skill on your part to make your hot drinks. When your beverage is made, the empty capsule then ejects into an included container for added convenience.

​The drip tray beneath the spout is removable, to accommodate larger latte mugs when needed. An adjustable timer can be set to turn your machine off at a specified time, to reduce wasted energy.

Pros

  • Though the liquid amounts used in each drink are pre-set, you can customize your drinks by holding down the selected button until you get the desired amount of water or milk
  • The pods make less of a mess then coffee grounds
  • The machine is small in size, with dimensions of 12.6 x 6.7 x 10.2 inches
  • This machine is easy to use, even for beginners

Cons

  • A bit expensive at about $320.00
  • The drinks this machine makes are warm, but not overly hot
  • The frother must be cleaned daily after use

#3 | Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker

Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother

​​This Nespresso VertuoLine machine has 2 different capsule sizes, with a large one suitable for coffee and a smaller capsule holder for espresso.

​Centrifusion technology spins the capsule while blending the ground coffee with water to create delicious coffee or espresso with the perfect crema. It also uses capsule recognition and has code reading technology to make the perfect cup every time.

​​The capsules are easy to insert and can be ejected when brewing is finished. An included used capsule container can hold up to 20 used capsules and is removable for easy disposal when filled.

​​This machine also comes with the Aeroccino Plus milk frother, which can create both hot and cold milk froth with just the touch of a button.

​​Best of all, this machine has an automatic off mode, which will shut down your machine after 9 minutes of inactivity, keeping wasted energy to a minimum. When you’re ready to use it again, it will only take 15 seconds to heat the water for your next cup.

Pros

  • Cheaply priced at about $162.00, which makes it a good option for coffee and espresso lovers on a budget
  • There is an adjustable cup support to accommodate different cup sizes
  • Small size, with dimensions of 11.9 x 8.3 x 11.9
  • It comes with a set of 12 Nespresso VertuoLine capsules, so you can try out a variety of their blends

Cons

  • Can only be used with Nespresso VertuoLine capsules
  • The frother must be cleaned daily after use

#4 | Delonghi EC680M DEDICA

Delonghi EC680M DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine

​With thermoblock technology on this espresso machine’s pump, you have water heated to an ideal temperature for brewing in only 40 seconds. This feature combines with the self-priming system to prepare your hot beverage quickly, with minimal fuss.

​A 3-in-1 filter allows you to brew the custom drink of your choosing, accommodating single or double shots, as well as easy-serving espresso pods.

​An included tamper has a scoop on one end to fill the machine with your chosen coffee grounds, and a flat end on the other side to press them down to maximize their flavor when brewing.

​Included with this machine is the frothing system, which uses the attached steam nozzle to create a thick foam to top a cappuccino. With easy to read, illuminated buttons, you’ll never need to guess what you’re brewing.

​​This machine is made of durable stainless steel, has a drip tray to reduce any mess, has an auto-stop feature that turns if off after a period of inactivity, and is only 6 inches wide, making it a good option for those with limited space.

Pros

  • It’s dimensions are 13 x 5.9 x 13 inches, taking up very little space on your counter Can be used to make espresso, cappuccino, regular coffee, and even tea
  • Is compatible with both ESE coffee pods and loose ground coffee
  • There is a built-in cup warmer on the top of the machine
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • A bit expensive at $268.00
  • If the machine is in need of repair, it could take months to be fixed by the service company

#5 | Capresso 118.05 EC PRO

Capresso 118.05 EC PRO Espresso and Cappuccino Machine

​The EC Pro comes equipped with two different espresso filters to choose from, including one for beginners who need the easy use, and another bottomless filter for expert espresso makers who prefer the control it provides.

There is a double spout espresso filter, which allows you to create 2 cups of espresso at once if needed, reducing waiting time for others in the house. An advanced pump boiler heats the water to the optimal temperature quickly and consistently.

​The optimal pressure for creating the perfect, rich crema espresso-lovers desire is possible using the 15 bar pump. Attached to this machine is a commercial-style power frother for creating foam for cappuccinos and steamed milk for lattes.

​The 42 oz clear water reservoir is removable for easy filling, and attaches to the back of the machine, so you can always see the level of water inside. A stainless steel drip tray beneath the cup area is also removable for easy cleaning.

Pros

  • Its dimensions are 11 x 12 x 8 inches, making it a good option for those with limited counter space
  • Decently priced at about $250.00
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Can make 1 or 2 beverages at a time for added convenience
  • Includes a scoop/ground tamper to prepare the proper amount of grounds

Cons

  • The machine is a bit light and may require you to hold onto it while locking in the inserts
  • Espresso shots may be a little weak because of a lack of pressure
  • Extra fine grounds may clog the portafilter

Conclusion

Though all 5 of these espresso machines would be a fine addition to any kitchen, the Delonghi EC680M DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine tops the list as the best espresso machine under $300.

Though all 5 of them can be used for making more than just espresso, the DEDICA allows you the most variety in hot drink options.

​*This machine is also the thinnest of the group, making it easy to squeeze in between your other countertop appliances. With a durable stainless steel body, this machine is not only strong, but it looks great, classing up your kitchen or office, and impressing your family and friends.