The Best Coffee Machine Buying Guide

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For many coffee connoisseurs, the daily grind can’t begin smoothly until we’ve had a cup of steaming hot coffee- so having the ideal brewer is of utmost priority.

You can spend an eye-watering amount of money for a coffee machine with interactive displays and the kind of high-end stainless steel detailing you’d find on ace-style choices. But our most recent reviews show that an unfailing good cup of coffee doesn’t have to break your bank.

Conversely, you might be looking for features more than the modest on and off switch. In that case, a little more money will buy you convenience such as a milk frother for cappuccinos and lattes, a thermal controller to keep coffee hot for several hours or a timer function to greet you with a cup immediately you step out of bed.

Choosing the Best Coffee Machine

You’ll find an infinite variety of coffee makers in the market. We explain the three common types below, as well as the ideal features to look out for. And to help you make a quick decision, we explore each type in detail including their advantages and disadvantages. Read on as this simple guide will show you how to buy the best coffee machine and make the hunt for the all-in-one fit concurrently easier and faster than ever.

Best Espresso (Ground Coffee) Machines

If you prefer ground coffee, then an espresso is likely to suit you. These machines are more like the old-school coffee makers you used to see in the coffee shops. They are significantly lighter and cheaper than bean-to-cup, but offer a lot more flexibility to produce great-tasting coffee. This is because you won’t be tied to a specific brand of coffee. At the same time, you have a lot of control over the strength and taste of your drink since you’re free to choose how much coffee and water to use.

Pros

  • Authentic coffee making experience and excellent value for money for coffee fans. Plus, using ground coffee is way cheaper than using capsules

Cons

  • The flexibility of control means that you’ll have to invest more time and effort to learn how to make the perfect espresso

Best Bean-to-cup Coffee Machines

The secret is in the name- these machines grind beans on demand to produce the best-tasting coffee. They make intensely fresh coffee as you will be grinding individual beans rather than using ground coffee. Additionally, they are very easy to use because coffee is dispensed at the press of a button. The fact that bean-to-cup coffee makers have an inbuilt grinder means that you can fill them up and not worry about the mess. Plus, you have the freedom to choose the type of coffee beans you prefer.

Pros

  • Fresh instant coffee straight from the bean, very easy to use and not messy

Cons

  • They are larger than most traditional models and tend to be significantly more expensive

Best Capsule Coffee Machines

Capsule machines offer the promise of quick, tasty coffee (it’s not spoonful instant), but you won’t have to queue in front of a barista. However, you’ll first need to taste what’s available to determine what you like. Most of these machines work with proprietary pods made by Tassimo, Nespresso and Dolce Gusto ranges; though you can choose to buy pods made by rivals as they are much cheaper. A capsule machine is especially ideal if you think you won’t be using your machine too often because their sealed capsules keep coffee fresher for longer.

Pros

  • Quick, mess-free way to make your morning brew

Cons

  • Choosing a capsule machine means you’re limited to one brand of coffee capsules. Plus capsules are more expensive than ground coffee or coffee beans

The Coffee Machine Shopping Features in More Detail

Though some features can make a machine easier and more expedient to use, there are several you won’t really require. To decide which set of features are right for you, consider this handy checklist to narrow down your options.

Capacity

Water tank capacity is an important consideration if you want to make lots of coffee without having to constantly reach out to refill the tank. You can buy a machine that can make two espressos at once, but then some don’t distribute coffee evenly between the two cups.

Style and Colour 

You’ll find an endless number of coffee machine styles, colours and finishes to match your kitchen’s décor. Here, the choice is for you to make as you may also want to look for a brand that matches your kettles and toasters for a perfect ensemble.

Ease of Use

Learning how to use a coffee machine with high level of detail can be nothing short of a daunting task. One of the main elements of our rating system is how easy to use each coffee machine can be. Consequently, we award a rating of one star to every coffee maker that’s easy to use.

Speed

Speed is yet another crucial consideration for most coffee lovers. The average time it takes for a good machine to brew up is less than 15 seconds to make and another 15 seconds to stop dripping. Poor coffee machines will take double the amount of time to make coffee and to stop dripping completely.

Accessories

It’s worth taking some time to identify the accessories you need in an ideal coffee machine. You may want to look at items like milk jugs, milk frothers, coffee grinders and so on to make your coffee making experience more gratifying. If you find one with no accessories, it’s worth trying to bargain with the salesperson to add one or two handy options.

Portafilter

The portafilter is the device that holds the coffee filter. While you’re out shopping, test it out to see if you can quickly remove it and fit it back in. Some machines have tricky and stiff mechanisms which can make this easy job a wrestling experience every time you want to add coffee.

Over To You

As you can see, bean-to-cup and espresso machines give you the freedom to choose the type of ground coffee and beans you prefer. We recommend Arabica flavours due to their strong darker roast beans which offer warmth and richness. If you want a capsule machine, be sure to test out all the drinks in the range to get the one that best suits you. Happy coffee machine buying experience!

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