Espresso machines come in all price ranges. If you have the budget for it, you can get a real fancy one that would make a professional barista quite happy. However, you can also get decent mid to low range options for home use. This guide will help you find the best espresso machine under $300.
If you want espresso coffee quickly, using capsule espresso modules in compatible machines will give you a fool proof cup of brew everytime. However, pod espresso makers don’t let you use your own grind so you can’t try a special gourmet blend that you may have come across and liked somewhere else. You also can’t play around with the brew strength and depth of flavor. The machine recognizes specific brands of capsules and pumps out the exact pre-programmed amount of water required for that blend, so it is an automatic machine. You may be able to pre-program this setting first. A semi-automatic is more common for loose grounds because it allows you to control the pressure bar, so you have more control over quantity of water for strength of brew and flavor when you use different espresso blends. More information at Smart cook nook.
The Pixie is a similar but smaller version of the Citiz and is the smallest in the Nespresso line, but works every bit as well. This portable Nespresso Pixie espresso maker can make one cup effortlessly. This is a great no fuss way to get a great brewed cup of espresso, as it uses Nespresso coffee capsules that lets you choose the flavor of your coffee. You just pop in a capsule, fill up the built in 24 ounce water tank, and select either espresso or lungo for your desired coffee quantity which you can re-program if you want to. The water preheats in only 30 seconds and it has a 19 bar high pressure pump. With programmable buttons, auto power-off mode and backlight indicators to detect water level, the Pixie from Nespresso is truly a blessing for espresso aficionados who don’t want to fuss too much with the settings. The added benefit comes from the milk frother, which can be used to add hot or cold milk froth to your brew for a delicious cappuccino or latte. At this price, it may be the best automatic espresso machine for your needs.
This is another espresso machine that takes up very little space, except this one allows you to use your own espresso grounds. Nice to have if you aren’t a fan of the Nespressos, Illys, Kcups, etc. The De’longhi Dedica gives you your shot in less than 40 seconds because of the thermoblock heating technology and self-priming to have it ready at all times. With 15 bar pressure and the auto-flow stop feature, you are certain of the perfect single or double shot each time, and its cappuccino frother gives you café quality foam. You have a choice of single shot, double shot or an espresso pod each time because of its included 3-in-1 filter. The included tamper is meant to be used for the former two.
Additional features include an illuminated control panel and a built-in cup warmer to heat your glasses or cups before using them for shots.
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