Our Top Choice
This wee little machine proves two things:
When it comes to espresso machines, sometimes it’s OK to judge a book by its cover
Great things really do come in small packages
When it comes to espresso, De’Longhi is known for producing machines that will deliver the highest quality shot — with some of their machines touting price tags that far exceed the $1,000 price mark.
The Nespresso Inissia delivers an espresso shot that tastes JUST AS DELICIOUS as the shots pulled from the highest price De’Longhi espresso machine.
Looking for a GREAT espresso machine for a shockingly low price?
We’ve got you covered.
One of the biggest reasons to invest in an espresso machine is to get a quality cup of coffee, espresso, or espresso-based beverage without foisting over a good chunk of change each morning.
The following models could make you swear off coffee shops for good. With each of these espresso machines, you can tell that the creators took great care in making sure that each performed consistently, came equipped with awesome features, and — most importantly — delivered a truly decadent espresso.
Top Espresso Machines Under $300 Review
The sleek black machine is a beauty to behold. But even better than its aesthetic are the GORGEOUS espresso shots it produces. Shots are rich in color, have a gorgeous caramel-colored layer of crema, and taste strong and smooth — not bitter.
Other Things We Love
- An energy-saving mode ensures that the machine will shut off after nine minutes. If you’re like me, many mornings are spent rushing out the door, waiting for that sweet caffeine to kick in.
- And when you’re still groggy, worrying whether you’ve turned off your machine, unplugged your curling iron etc. can be that one pesky thing that makes you five minutes late, as you rush back to make sure all is kosher in your home. With this energy-saving mode, you won’t have to worry!
- A folding drip tray accommodates larger cup sizes, so you can adjust based on how much of a java jolt is needed before use.
- Free gift! Each purchase comes with a complimentary welcome kit that includes 16 nespresso capsules with different flavor profiles. What I love about this is that — along with saving some money on capsules — this gives you an opportunity to discover your favorite flavors, which will help you make informed choices when buying capsules in the future.
- As is the case with other nespresso machines, you can’t use any ground espresso or coffee with this machine. Just like keurigs, they can only operate with the use of a pre-purchased capsule.
- This is a great little machine for the home, office, or even a small cafe. But if you have a bustling shop or restaurant business, this isn’t going to be a good commercial choice to accommodate crowds.
Cappuccino lovers, rejoice!
You no longer have to shell out five bucks or more at Starbucks each day. The Breville Cafe Roma Espresso Maker is a SUPER affordable machine that pulls delicious espresso shots and is also equipped to make superb cappuccinos and lattes.
Because the Breville Cafe Roma is equipped with 15 bars of pressure, you’re able to pull barista-quality shots each and every time — and the quality of a shot can make or break a cappuccino and latte, no matter how much milk and sweetener you use to dull it down.
Speaking of milk…
This little machine has an extremely intuitive design and an easy-to-use frothing wand that delivers milk-based espresso beverages that will darn near transport you to a high-end cafe. The only thing missing from such beautiful froth is some latte art — but at such a low price, you honestly won’t miss it too much.
Other Things We Love
- The Cafe Roma’s froth enhancer ensures that you get beautiful crema with each espresso shots. Shots also have a smooth, aromatic flavor, which can be hard to find with low-price espresso machines. I will admit that the shots aren’t as smooth as the Nespresso Inissia, but they come pretty darn close.
- One area where this machine has a bit of an edge over the Inissia is when it comes to espresso options. You can choose to use ground espresso or capsules with this machine — it’s the best of both worlds!
- It’s not quite as itty bitty as the Inissia, but at 13 lbs, the Cafe Roma boasts a small footprint and can easily fit into your kitchen.
One thing I really love about the Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine (aside from the exquisit lattes and cappuccinos it makes) is that it is so, SO user-friendly.
I am a coffee lover first, and that love originally came from shelling out a lot of cash (and putting in a lot of gas mileage) to try the best of the best when it came to espressos and espresso-based beverages. Obviously, I don’t have the money to go to high-end cafes every day, so a good espresso machine has always been my savior when it comes to getting those quality shots and beverages at home.
The Hamilton Beach Espresso gets that. That’s why it comes equipped with step-by-step instructions to show you exactly how to make the perfect cup.
Adding to the ease of use is the Hamilton Beach Espresso’s removable 40-ounce water reservoir. This makes cleanup and refilling SO EASY, which really comes in handy if you have coffee-loving guests over to your home. Unlike a steam machine, you can refill the water reservoir without turning the power off.
Other Things We Love
- Simple push-button operating system
- Like the Breville Cafe Roma, you can use both pods and ground coffee in this machine
- Lightweight and can fit easily (and stylishly) on any kitchen counter
- Rather noisy during the brewing process
- Sometimes rattles during the brewing process
- Espresso is delicious, but not quite as yummy as the shots produced by the Nespresso Inissia and the Breville Cafe Roma
Best Overall Espresso Machine Under $300
It’s hard to pick a top contender from this list, but the Nespresso Inissia has claimed the top spot for several reasons.
Along with the aforementioned features, the Nespresso Inissia heats and brews within 25 seconds.
And although all the machines listed are lightweight, the Inissia has the smallest carbon footprint (I also like to use the term “adorable” when describing it). You can easily fit it ANYWHERE in your kitchen and transport it if needed.
And of course, the espresso shots simply CAN’T beat. What more could you ask for?