Are you on the market for an espresso machine? If so, you have come to the right place. Even though you are familiar with these machines, does not necessarily mean you know what to look for when purchasing one. If you are like most people, you want an espresso machine that can perform just like those in coffee shops. Well, you can have that and so much more, but not without knowing the specifics of these machines first. Below, you will discover an in-depth buying guide for the best espresso machine under 300 and five product reviews.
Latte, Cappuccino, And Espresso Maker All In One
If you like to switch things up a bit, you will need to invest in a machine that is capable of creating delicious lattes, cappuccinos, and espressos. While some models can deliver tasty cappuccino and espressos, they are lacking the ability to create lattes. If you are interested in a machine that can do it all, invest in a three-in-one espresso, cappuccino, and latte maker.
The pump system is one of the most important components of the espresso machine. This component must perform consistently and efficiently to brew rich and tasty espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. The 15-bar pump system is very commonly utilized in these machines because they work superbly. It is also crucial to note that some of these pumps are electric and some are steam.
Without the delicious froth on top of your cappuccino, it just would not taste like the ones bought from a coffee shop. If you enjoy froth, you will need to purchase an espresso with a milk frother. Now, there are two different types of milk frothers, including the manual and automatic. If you want to create delicious beverages with froth without a lot of physical effort, you should choose a model with an automatic milk frother. If you do not care to work for your beverage, then a manual frother will do.
User-Friendly Control Panel
The control panel is the heart of the espresso machine. In fact, it is utilized to program the machine to create specific beverages. A user-friendly control panel will be detailed with images and words to ensure easy programming. For example, the control panel should be laid out in a manner that makes it easy to select a beverage with or without froth. You should be able to do this without pulling out the included instruction manual after the first use.
Extended Electric Cable
If you have limited kitchen counter space and a few electric receptacles, you will need to purchase an espresso machine with an extended cord. Some machines will come with an electric cable that is 15 inches in length, while others will include a 26-inch cable. The 26-inch is sufficient for homes with limited space and outlets.
Single Or Double Shot Filter
A single and double shot filter will allow you to select the strength of your latte. If you want a stronger latte, you will simply select the double shot filter and vice versa for a weaker latte.
The best home espresso machine under 300 will have a small footprint. This basically means that the machine is compact in size, so it will not require a lot of counter or storage space. If you have a small kitchen, you will definitely appreciate this design.
A safety feature that will prevent damage caused by overheating and operating while the reservoir is dry is the auto shutoff. This feature will shut the machine down after it is done making your espresso or latte, ensuring the longevity of the machine. For people whom multi-task in the morning, it is wise to only consider an espresso machine with this safety feature.
Breaking down an espresso machine and spending hours cleaning the components is not a job that most people are willing to undertake. To keep the cleaning time to a minimum, more and more brands are turning to removable water reservoirs. You can remove the reservoir to clean it more thoroughly. So, all you need to do is wipe down the rest of the machine to get it spic and span.
In addition to this, the milk reservoir is also removable. So, you can soak it is a sink full of soap and water after each use for a more thorough cleaning.
When it comes to heating up the beverage to a desirable temperature, the espresso machine utilizes a heating system. While some brands do not offer this information to consumers, it is crucial to determine what type of heating system the machine has before you make a purchase. If you cannot find this information readily available, be sure to contact the manufacturer. Without a quality heating system, the machine may not be able to deliver hot beverages for an extended period of time.
Ground Coffee And Pods
Some espresso machines utilize pods and ground coffee. The difference between these two items is the price. Six pods are slightly more expensive than a can of ground coffee. While the pods are more convenient, some people living on a strict budget will prefer ground coffee, which also offers more flexibility. However, if you are one of those people who like to switch back and forth between the two, you should consider a machine that will accept both.
Related Guide: Best Espresso Machine Under 200
If you work on a limited time schedule most days, you do not want to be bothered with lengthy startup preparation. Well, you will not need to if you invest in an espresso machine with self-priming capabilities. The machine will do all of the work for you, while you enjoy a few moments of relaxation.
Excess drips can leave a mess, especially after the beverage cup is removed from the platform. To eliminate this issue and keep your cleaning tasks to a minimum, only consider brands with a no-drip design.
1. Breville Nespresso Pixie Original Espresso Machine
Are you on the market for an espresso machine that will deliver rich, tasty espressos and coffees with every use? If so, you should look no further than the Breville Nespresso Pixie. This machine is integrated with intuitive technology and premium-grade components to ensure durability, consistency, reliability, and longevity.
- POWERFUL: Nespresso Pixie espresso maker has a 19 bar high-pressure pump that allows for a barista-style result, unlocking the delicate flavor of each Nespresso coffee capsule.
- EFFICIENT AND ENERGY SAVING ESPRESSO MAKER: System heats-up to ideal temperature in just 25 seconds and automatically turns off after 9 minutes, consuming less energy.
- EASE OF USE: The Pixie is a programmable espresso maker with two one-touch buttons to create your favorite coffee and espresso recipes into the desired size; Espresso (2.7 oz), or Lungo (5 oz). Pour over ice to create your favorite iced coffee drinks.
- Folding drip tray holds large cups
- Automatically switches off after nine minutes
- 19 Bar pump
- Available in three designs (titan, aluminum and electric titan)
- Includes 14 capsules
- 24-Ounce removable water tank
- Water indicator light
- Capsules are slightly expensive
- Operates slightly loud
The Nespresso Pixie has a 19 bar pump, which will create enough pressure to deliver barista-style results. This pump is designed to unlock the flavor of every coffee capsule, providing you with a delicious beverage every time.
Unlike some espresso machines, the Nespresso Pixie is capable of heating up to the maximum temperature in 25 seconds or less. So, there is no delay in you receiving the most delicious cup of espresso or coffee.
To prevent damage, while conserving energy, the machine is integrated with an automatic shutoff. This safety feature will kick in after nine minutes of non-use. So, once your espresso is delivered, the machine will automatically switch off after nine minutes. This is ideal for busy people who tend to forget to turn off their appliances, before leaving for work or school.
Folding Drip Tray
The folding drip tray will allow for a neater storage. The tray has a large footprint to accommodate larger single-serve recipes and cups. In fact, it will hold a large cappuccino or latte cup with no problem.
The Breville Nespresso Pixie is a wonderful espresso machine. It works efficiently to keep energy use to a minimum. The small footprint helps cut down on space and makes storage easy. While the machine operates slightly loud, this is fairly common with espresso machines.
2. Nespresso D121-US4-BK-NE1 Citiz Espresso Maker
The Nespresso Citiz Espresso Maker’s user-friendly interface is ideal for people who have never owned such a machine before. The machine is designed with premium-grade components and intuitive technology to deliver rich, tasty espressos, cappuccinos, coffees and macchiato in minutes.
- Easy insertion and ejection of capsules; Holds 10 used capsules; Removable 34-ounce water tank; For use with Nespresso coffee capsules only
- Integrated aeroccino milk frother; Rapid one touch preparation of hot or cold milk froth for Cappuccino, Latte, Macchiato and Iced Cappuccino
- Compact brewing unit technology, Fast preheating time: 25 seconds; 19 Bar high pressure pump; Automatic power off after 9 minutes of inactivity. Machine can be turned on by hitting either the Espresso or Lungo buttons located at top of machine
- Cup tray pivots to accommodate tall cups or glasses
- 34-Ounce removable water reservoir
- Milk frother
- Heats up in 25 seconds
- Automatically shuts off after nine minutes of inactivity
- User-friendly interface
- Electric cable is short (3.6’ in length)
- Frother needs to be improved
The Citiz Espresso Maker is designed to deliver quick results. The heating element will heat up within 25 seconds after it is turned on. After the unit reaches the maximum temperature, it will begin preparing your beverage.
To conserve energy and prevent overheating damage, the Citiz will shut off after minutes of inactivity. This safety feature is ideal for people with a busy schedule and forgets to turn off their appliances, before leaving for work or school.
Pivoting Cup Tray
To accommodate espresso and latte cups, the Citiz is equipped with a pivoting cup tray. It will comfortably accommodate a tall recipe glass without you needing to force it underneath the spout.
The Nespresso Citiz Espresso Maker is extremely easy to use, even for first-timers. The machine includes everything you need to create a delicious latte, cappuccino or coffee. You will receive 16 free capsules with this purchase.
3. Nespresso GCC1-US-RE-NE VertuoLine Evoluo Espresso Maker
The Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo Espresso Maker has a very user-friendly interface, making it ideal for people who have never owned one of these machines before. The machine utilizes single-serving capsules, which offer convenience and easy clean ups. To make things even more convenient, the capsule container is capable of holding up to 20 used capsules.
- Centrifusion technology to gently brew both Coffee and Espresso with one touch of a button
- Capsule recognition and code reading technology for blend-specific parametric brewing. Two capsule sizes, large for Coffee and small for Espresso
- Easy insertion and ejection of capsules. For use with Nespresso VertuoLine capsules only. Not compatible with Nespresso OriginalLine capsules
- Accommodates eight-ounce and 1.35-ounce capsules
- Movable cup tray holds large glasses
- Extraction technology blends water and ground coffee better
- Includes 12 capsules
- Preheating time – 15 to 20 seconds
- Equipped with a 29.13” cable
- Slightly heavier than some of the competitive brands
- Temperature could be hotter
Removable Water Reservoir
To ensure a thorough cleaning and easy refills, the water reservoir detaches from the machine. When it is time to refill, just simply detach the reservoir from the machine, wash with soap and water, refill and replace. Since the tank holds 40 ounces of water, you should not need to refill more than once every other day, depending on usage.
Movable Cup Tray
The moveable cup tray accommodates both tall latte and cappuccino glasses or mugs. In addition to this, the machine is designed to accommodate both eight-ounce coffees and 1.35-ounce espressos with two different capsule sizes.
The Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo Espresso Maker delivers delicious beverages in minutes. The patented Centrifusion technology is definitely worth mentioning, as it allows the machine to create richer, tastier coffee than ever before.
4. EspressoWorks All-In-One Espresso Machine
The EspressoWorks All-In-One Espresso Machine is ideal for large households. The machine has a very unique heating system known as the Thermoblock. This system ensures instant steam and precise temperatures every time.
- READY FOR USE IN 45 SECONDS- Just Add Beans! With the advanced Thermoblock fast heating system you can always expect precise temperature and instant steam from the EspressoWorks All-In-One Set (Machine dimensions: 9.75" L x 9" D x 11.5" H inches).
- EASY VIEW REMOVABLE WATER TANK- Conveniently monitor water levels of front view transparent tank (1.25L capacity). Handle included on tank for easy removal for cleaning and refilling.
- 15 BAR PUMP PRESSURE SYSTEM- Enjoy great tasting Italian Espresso, Americano & Macchiato. Stainless Steel milk frothing cup included for easy preparation of Lattes and Cappuccinos. EASY TO CLEAN- Detachable frothing device and removable drip tray to ensure hassle-free cleaning.
- Detachable frother
- Removable 1.25 liter water tank
- Drip tray is removable
- 15 Bar pump pressure system
- Operates slightly loud
- Pump vibrates very hard
1.25 Liter Removable Water Tank
The ExpressoWorks Espresso Maker’s reservoir holds 1.25 liters of water. You can remove it from the machine for a more thorough cleaning and easier refills. The tank is transparent, so you can monitor the water levels with ease.
Cleaning the frother will never be easier, as it is detachable. Just detach the frother from the machine to clean it thoroughly with soap and water. Rinse thoroughly before reattaching.
The EspressoWorks All-In-One Espresso Machine is ideal for large homes with several cappuccino lovers. The machine includes all the necessities to create rich, hot and tasty beverages in minutes.
5. Breville BEC680SIL1BUC1Nespress CitiZ Original Espresso Machine
The Breville CitiZ Espresso Machine is ideal for singles and couples who enjoy cappuccinos, coffee, and lattes. The machine is designed to deliver hot beverages with minimal effort. The clean up is quick and simple, so you do not need to spend hours breaking the machine apart, cleaning and reassembling.
- DESIGN: CitiZ's new look continues to please both Nespresso coffee and espresso drinkers and design lovers, adding a touch of elegance to coffee rituals.
- SMART POWER: Nespresso's unique 19 bar extraction system along with an automatic standby mode to reduce energy consumption.
- VERSATILITY: The folding cup tray accommodates taller single serve coffee or espresso cups. Brew different single serve coffee cup sizes at the touch of a button depending on your coffee needs - Espresso (1.35 oz) or Lungo (5 oz). Pour over ice to create your favorite iced coffee and iced latte drinks. Removable Nespresso capsule container, drip tray and water tank (34 oz.) for quick and simple cleaning.
- 34-Ounce removable water tank
- Movable, removable cup tray
- User-friendly interface
- Includes 14 capsules
- Capsules are slightly expensive
- Operates slightly loud
Accommodates Large Cups
The CitiZ is equipped with a folding cup tray, making it capable of accommodating larger cappuccino and latte cups. The tray is also removable to provide a more thorough, quicker cleaning.
Removable Water Tank
The 34-ounce water reservoir is also removable, so you can achieve a thorough cleaning and easier refilling. The tank is transparent for better monitoring of water level.
The Breville CitiZ Espresso Machine is available in a variety of colors, including silver, red, black and white. The machine has a small footprint to accommodate smaller kitchens. The interface is very user-friendly to eliminate the need to second guess or utilize the instruction guide after the first use.