Who says great espresso has to break the bank? If you are starting to think about getting serious with your relationship with espresso, this guide is for you.
We steered clear of steep prices and brought you the best espresso machines under 300.
Grab a cup and read on, great espresso doesn't have to break the bank!
The Best Espresso Machines Under 300
Here’s our list of the best affordable espresso machines on the market.
EspressoWorks10 Pc All-In-One
This 19-bar machine includes everything you need to start making your own espresso. It comes with a built-in coffee grinder, a milk frother, and double-walled glasses.
Not only can you make espresso but lattes and cappuccinos as well. The advanced Thermoblock heating system ensures perfect temperatures for each cup.
- Large detachable water tank for easy refills
- Built-in heating tray keeps your cups warm
- Each basket has an engraved line to ensure you add the right amount of coffee
- Slightly noisy particularly in Clean mode
- Doesn’t make regular coffee
- The milk reservoir spout may drip if put in the fridge to store leftover milk
Nespresso by Breville Vertuo
This machine lets you brew five different cup sizes of single-serve coffee. It comes with a 40-oz removable water tank for hassle-free refilling.
Nespresso uses centrifusion technology using barcodes and doesn’t skimp on crema for large coffee cups.
- Heats up in only 15 seconds
- Automatically shuts down after 9 minutes of inactivity to save energy
- Comes with a range of complimentary Vertuo capsules
- Can be used with Nespresso Vertuo capsules only
- Nespresso Vertuo capsules are pricier than many other kinds of coffee
- Not eco-friendly, since capsule plastic is non-biodegradable even if recycled
DeLonghi America Inc EC685R Dedica Deluxe
Share a kitchen with roommates and don’t want to take up the whole counter? This 6” compact machine is ideal for you.
It adds a splash of color to your countertop and allows you to make espresso, cappuccino, and latte with whatever beans you like.
You can play around with foam and steam thanks to the premium adjustable frother to make a cup that fits your preferences. It also tells you when you should descale it.
- Compact to fit different counter spaces
- You can take out the double drip tray to fit larger cups
- Comes with an Automatic Flow Stop feature to dispense the right amount of espresso
- Can only make one cup at a time
- May not consistently produce crema
- May overheat easily and require time to cool down
This manual espresso maker allows you full control over your coffee. It has a pressure of 6-9 bar and uses preinfusion, a technique common in high-end coffee makers. It comes with a stainless steel tamper and a bottomless 2-in-1 portafilter for naked or spouted brewing.
Like all manual machines, this is slower than automatic and semi-automatic machines. If you’re someone who needs a quick cuppa, this may not be ideal for you. It’s best suited for people interested in playing around with taste and texture and taking the time to learn.
- Doubles as a portable espresso maker
- Completely detachable brewing head makes it easy to clean
- Durable thanks to cast aluminum and stainless steel
- You’ll need to purchase a burr grinder
- You’ll need to boil your own water
- May not suit people with arthritis or hand problems
Calphalon Temp iQ (BVCLECMP1)
This machine gives your espresso a beautiful layer of crema. The 2.3” portafilter holds more grounds and ensures even water extraction for a robust flavor.
The extra-large 68-ounce moveable water tank comes with a hinged lid for easy filling. The dial interface lets you adjust steam and pick preprogrammed single and double shots.
- Consistent espresso quality thanks to Thermoblock heating technology
- Optimally extracted espresso with pre-infusion technology
- Comes with a cup-warming tray
- Doesn’t come with measuring coffee spoon
- Milk pitcher only large enough to make one cup
- Loud milk frother
Calaphon vs Breville Espresso Machine
When it comes to an espresso machine under 300 dollars, many wonder about the Calaphon Temp iQ vs Breville espresso machines.
While Breville espresso machines are fantastic (read all about our favorite Brevilles here), the fact of the matter is they come in at a higher price point than this Calaphon.
The fact of the matter is the Calaphon Temp iQ is really packed full of features at the sub 300 dollar price range. The only premium feature this machine is missing is a grinder.
Picking the Best Espresso Machine Under 300
Let's take a look at these espresso machines one more time:
Each and every machine on this is is guarenteed to make you a great espresso drink at a price that won't break the bank.
With an impressive 19-bar pressure and a built-in coffee grinder and milk frother, the EspressoWorks10 Pc All-In-One stands head and shoulders above most espresso makers under $300.
The engraved line on each basket tells you exactly how much coffee to add, and the advanced Thermoblock heating system ensures the perfect temperature for each cup of espresso, cappuccino, or latte.
A very close second is the Calaphon Temp iQ. The only reason we didn't put it first is that it does not have a built in grinder, and it does not have one. However, this is the most premium espresso machine less than 300 dollars.
If you are looking for a more automatic and easy to use espresso experience, the Nespresso by Breville Vertuo is a fantastic choice to enjoy your espresso with ease.
For the serious espresso drinker, any of these machines will make delicious coffee affordable and will pay for itself in less than six weeks.
Other Things to Consider When Choosing an Affordable Espresso Machine
So you’ve picked an espresso machine. Before you place that order, take a look at a few other important considerations.
Does It Come With a Grinder?
Not every espresso machine comes with a built-in grinder. A grinder, whether new or refurbished, is an essential part of making your espresso.
Ideally, coffee beans used for espresso should be about the size of salt crystals. Any finer and they’ll clog the filter. Any coarser and the water will slide over them and give you a cup of extremely bitter coffee.
Burr grinders come in two shapes: conical and flat. Both get the job done, but flat grinders tend to trap more grounds. This means you’ll use go through more coffee. Conical grinders are easier than flat ones.
Burr grinders can be automatic or manual. Automatic grinders are faster and easier and yield more coffee. Manual grinders are ideal for you if you’re very particular about the grinding process. They’re also easier to take along when traveling.
How Easy Is It to Clean?
Different espresso machines come with different cleaning requirements.
Some semi-automatic and automatic machines more or less clean themselves. Others require you to take apart certain components and rinse them under running water. Before you go ahead and buy, make sure you can actually take apart and put back these parts.
A finer grind and lower heat make for easier cleaning. Whatever brand you end up buying, you’ll still need to descale your machine every few months.
How Much Water Can It Hold?
This may not matter much if you’re the only person who uses your machine.
If you usually enjoy your morning espresso with your partner or family, you’ll need a machine that can hold more than a cup’s worth of water at a time.