The Ultimate Guide to the Best Coffee Machines
The ultimate guide to the best coffee machines. We get into how to spot a great machine, as well as some top coffee machine picks to get you started.
Are you on the hunt for the best coffee machine? If so, then you have come to the right place. In this post we are going to be taking a look at how to go about finding the best coffee machine for you.
First up, we going to get into how to go about selecting a coffee machine that perfectly suits your needs and is of high quality.
And then – we have tracked down some top coffee machine picks for y’all to take a look at to help you on the way to buying the coffee machine of your dreams. Coffee brightens our days and has been making life good since the 18thn century. It is also packed with health benefits in case you didn’t know! Definitely check those out if you were not aware of them : ).
So, it’s a no brainer that having a coffee machine that makes great coffee it s total must. Let’s get started!
How to Select the Best Coffee Machine
There are literally thousands of different types of coffee machines on the market. Making a start on separating the good, the bad, and the great can take a little time if you have not owned a few machines in your life and already known exactly what you want next.
However once you know what kind of machine will suit your needs, and what marks a good coffee machine from a bad one, things start to get a lot simpler. Combine that with our epic list of great coffee machine finds, and you will on your way to selecting your dream coffee machine in no time at all.
First thing to do is to identify which type of coffee machine is the one for you.
Identify What Type of Machine You Need
Coffee machines can be separated generally into four categories:
These make espressos and other restaurant style coffees such as lattes, cappuccinos, mochachinos, macchiatos, lungos and restrettus. They function by heating water to the exact temperature that is right for coffee brewing. Then forcing it at high pressures through a slightly compacted ‘puck’ of finely ground coffee. The resulting liquid is what flows into your cup. Espresso machines are thought to produce the best coffee. However they are very ‘manual’ in function and usually make only one or two cups at a time. After each coffee making, parts of the machine also need to be cleaned. Espresso machines usually require some skill on the part of the operator for them to produce the high quality coffee that they are famous for.
Bean to cup machines:
Bean to cup machines are either espresso machines or filter machines which have inbuilt bean grinders. Perfect for those who love a freshly ground cup, but also like the simplicity and convenience of automation.
These coffee machines are essentially espresso machines, but more convenient and require no skill to use. The pucks of coffee that one would usually pack oneself, come pre packaged into small plastic capsules. All it takes to brew a cup of coffee is to insert one into the machine, slip a cup underneath, and press the button. The capsules come in different flavors and bean blends/types and each person can easily choose which type they want. These machines are great for anybody who wants espresso quality coffee, very conveniently. The downside to these machines is that the capsules are more costly than beans or ground coffee. Also, they do not make large quantities of coffee at a time.
Some machines do however take reusable stainless steel pods which you can fill yourself with your own grounds.
Filter coffee machines are completely different to espresso and capsule machines. These coffee machines brew coffee by heating water and then dripping it through grounds contained in a filter. This percolates into a jug, which is either insulated to keep warm or sits on a hot plate. Filter machines are great for making large (as in a jug full) of coffee at a time with minimum hassle. You just set the machine up to go, and pour out the coffee when it is done.
The drawback to these machine is of course they will not brew up restaurant style coffee, and definitely do not make espressos. This may not be an issue, if you prefer pour over coffee. It is important though to note that filter coffee machines can often produce less tasty coffee, which is bitter. The bitterness however can be minimized… And we will tell you just how in the next section.
Get to Grips with What Features Make for a Great Coffee Machine
Within the different types of coffee machines, there are also elements to look for to make sure that your coffee machine gives you what you want.
With espresso machine, there are two areas to consider before making a purchase. Firstly, what level of automation do you want, and next up what specs are important to you.
How automated do you want it?
If you are in the market for an espresso machine, the first thing you will need to decide on is what level of automation you want. More automated coffee machines have inbuilt settings for water temperature and pressure. Meaning you never have to worry about this. Some also dispense ready frothed milk, can refill their water tanks automatically, and of course grind their own beans in some cases.
On the other end of the scale are the espresso machines which allow you to manually control all of these settings and elements. These types of machines are great for those who are already shot pulling experts, or who are keen to learn the finer nuances of espresso making.
For those of you who do not want total automation, but do not want to have to control every part of the process, there are also many models which fall into an in-between category. Not full manual and not fully automated, these machines are great for the pickier coffee drinker, who wants a level of control but does not want too much extra work.
For example, if you like your frothed milk a certain way, but are not too eager to experiment with ground size – then maybe go for a model which has a manual milk wand, and in inbuilt bean grinder.
What specs are important to you?
When shopping for a home use espresso machine, don’t be fooled into buying an overpriced model because it advertises “pressure up to 15 bar or 19 bar”. For pulling an espresso, the ideal pressure is 9 bar. These higher pressures are peak pressures. This overhead is merely present to make sure that the correct pressure can be generated consistently.
Single vs Double Boilers
When it comes to home espresso machines, not many come with two boilers. If a machine has one boiler, then this means that you can either pull an espresso shot, or froth milk, but not do both at the same time. Also, with a single boiler you must remember to always vent off the steam after frothing your milk. This is because the steam for milk frothing has to be made hotter than the steam used for making the espresso. If you pull a shot directly after frothing milk, the steam out of the boiler will be too hot and you will end up with burnt espresso.
Steam vs Pump Driven Models
Another thing to consider when choosing an espresso machine is whether you want a steam or a pump driven design. Steam driven machines are cheaper, well functioning, a good choice for someone who just wants a good cup of coffee. For an aspiring barista however, these may be a limiting factor and therefore a pump driven model may be a better choice.
Keep these points in mind when checking out models!
If you are in line to purchase a capsule machine, then there are not as many decisions involved as with an espresso machine. Essentially, capsule machines are 100% automatic espresso machines, and so most of the decision making is taken out of the process. You still however need to select out a good machine that is suited to you, and there are a few key things to take into consideration.
Do you want to froth your own milk?
Firstly, you should isolate for yourself if you want to froth your own milk – or do you want the machine to do it automatically? Some machines will give you frother milk at the press of a button and others hand manual fothers whereby you control the frothing process. And of course if you will not be doing any milk frothing, then select a machine which does not have a milk frothing component. This will cut down on unnecessary cost.
Do you want to control temperature?
Some models allow you to make adjustments to the water temperature. This affects how hot your coffee is as it comes out, and also its taste. If you have no desire to play around with this aspect, then go for a automated model as these simpler versions are usually cheaper.
Which brand of capsules do you want?
When buying a capsule machine, it is important to remember that you will be stuck with that brand of capsules. So make sure that you actually like the taste of that brand’s coffee blends before making a purchase. Often, capsules can only be bought online or at specific outlets. So also make sure that you can easily get hold of the capsules before buying its associated machine.
Top Tip: Taste test capsules from brands before buying a machine
There are a number of companies that make capsules and capsule coffee machines. These brands include:
The coffee that these brands sell varies in flavor and strength, so make sure that you settle for the brand that suits your taste. Of course, if you are a confirmed Lavazza fan for instance, then you already know which brand you love. But otherwise it is a good idea to analyse which brands coffee tastes good to you before buying their machine.
Bean to Cup Machines
Bean to cup machines can fall into either the espresso machine category or the filter machine category. If you are looking for a bean to cup machine that is an espresso machine, then you will also need to consider the decisions and specs listed under ‘espresso machines’.
The same applies if you are looking for a bean to cup filter coffee machine. Check below for points to consider when buying a filter machine.
Of course, when picking out a bean to cup machine of any type, you also need to examine the grinder component. Grinders comes in many shapes and forms and levels of quality. They are also responsible for making sure that your coffee beans are ground into what will produce an excellent cup coffee. So it is important that they perform this step well.
Specs of a good grinder:
Coffee grinders come in two main types. Blade grinders and burr grinders. Blade grinders are inferior to burr grinders because they do not grind coffee very evenly. Evenly ground coffee is a very important component to good coffee.
Burr grinders are considered to be a much better choice of coffee grinder, because they can grind up coffee very evenly. They achieve this by a rubbing action of two plates together. But it doesn’t stop here.
Burr grinders can be broken up into four categories:
- High speed – Although this may sound like a desirable thing, high speed grinders are considered to be bottom of the range when it comes to burr grinders. For one, the speed at which they operate can cause heat to build and for your ground coffee to ‘burn’. Secondly, they are usually very noisy.
- Low speed – Low speed burr grinders are superior, and covetted in the coffee making world. Much quieter than their high speed counterparts, they also produce quality grounds which are never burnt. They too can be broken up into two categories, gear reduction and direct drive.
- Gear reduction grinders – Have a higher speed motor, but the grinder component move slowly thanks to a set of gears. Much like on a bicycle where gears allow one to peddle fast, while the wheels turn slowly.
- Direct drives – These babies are the Mustangs of the coffee world. They have slow motors, which grind to perfection and are extremely quiet.
It is up to you how high you want to go up the ladder of grinders. You want nothing but the best? Then make sure your machine has a direct drive burr grinder. Just want to make decent coffee and not bothered about noise? Then a cheaper higher speed burr grinder may be just fine.
The kind of grinder you need also depends somewhat on which type of machine you want to get.
What kind of grinder do you need for the coffee you are making?
Espresso machines should have grinders which are capable of grinding to a very fine and even consistency, while not heating the ground coffee up. So in the case of an espresso machine you are basically looking for a burr grinder which is either of the low speed, gear reduction, or direct drive variety.
For a filter coffee machine, the grind should be a little more course. For this you could get away with a blade grinder. However if you want an even ground (for optimum flavor), then you will need to select a machine with a burr grinder.
Filter Coffee Machines
Filter coffee machines are typically fairly simple in design in comparison to espresso machines. There are however a few things to consider before selecting out a machine.
Heating pad vs thermal jug
Filter coffee machines brew up to as many as 12 cups of coffee at a time. The coffee that has dripped through needs to be kept warm until the whole jug has heated up. There are two ways to do this. One is with a heating pad that the jug sits on, and the other is by having a thermally insulated jug. The latter alternative is usually the superior option as far as taste and flavor goes. This is because while the thermal walls of the jug will keep the coffee hot, there is no additional heat added. With heating pads, the additional heat of the pad essentially cooks the coffee in the jug. The coffee starts to ‘burn’ after a short period of time, and can get really bitter and acrid.
What size do you need?
If you often entertain groups of people and coffee is on the menu, then a large capacity filter coffee machine will be a great fit for you. With a filter coffee machine, brewing coffee for groups of people is really effortless. Providing you have a machine with a big enough jug.
If you hardly ever have to make coffee for more than yourself and another, then a small coffee machine will of course be more economical.
What kind of filter do you want?
Filter coffee machines either come with their own permanent washable filter, or they require you to use disposable paper filters. The upside to paper filters is that they are super convenient. The downside is that you have to keep on buying them, and that they can taint the taste of your coffee with a paper flavor.
If you decide you want a filter coffee machine which comes with a permanent washable filter, then keep in mind the two types of filter material. Filters are usually made out of either a nylon mesh, or metal. The nylon filters can take on flavor residues and taint the taste of your coffee over time. So if this is an area where you are particular, go for a machine which has a metal mesh filter.
Other Things to Consider
Besides these main elements, there are some other things you can consider. For one, do you want any extras such as a milk frother attachment? And do you want any automation, like a clock and timer so that your coffee machine can get going before you in the morning? Or maybe you would like it to connect to the wifi so that you can direct it from the comfort of your bed?
General Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Coffee Machine
Specifics aside there are some very general things to consider when purchasing a coffee machine. One thing to always keep in mind are the dimensions and whether or not the machine will fit comfortably into the space you have in mind for the it.
Another thing to always remember is ease of cleaning. If you like the machine and use it alot, chances are you will also be cleaning it a fair bit. Models which have been designed for easy access and easy cleaning can make this part of owning a coffee machine a lot simpler.
Cost and durability are also factors to consider, when buying almost anything. Coffee machines are no exception and most of us would like to purchase something durable and long lasting for a cost effective sum of money. Of course quality and price go hand in hand. However a good rule of thumb is to go with models which are simple, while having the components you specifically want, and made out of long lasting materials such as stainless steel instead of plastic.
You should now have a pretty in depth idea of how to pick out a top coffee machine that is suited to you and your needs. To make it even easier, let’s move on to our list of top coffee machine picks to get you started!
Our Top Coffee Machine Picks
To make things easy for you we have divided our top picks into the main categories of coffee machines. Espresso machines, bean to cup machines, filter coffee machines and capsule machines.
Restaurant Style Espresso Machines
First up we are going to take a look at some really great models of restaurant style espresso machines for home use.
To begin with a bang we present you with the Smeg Espresso Coffee Machine. It might not be cheap, but what it lacks in bargain value it makes up for with its stunningly stylish design.
A good portion of the moving parts of the machine are made out of stainless steel which is great for durability. The fact that the machine has a plastic housing will make it less durable than an all steel machine. However this model is a nice inbetweener in terms of material and durability.
It sports functions such as descaling, steaming, being able to switch between one and two cup brews, adjustable water heat, adjustable cappuccino system, flow stop function to customize your coffee length, and even a setting to control the hardness of your water.
A really nice feature of this machine is that as well as taking regular ground coffee, it also takes Ille coffee pods. Best of both worlds!
This machine is ideal for someone who wants to be able to tweak things manually, and also be able to fall back on programmed extraction parameters if need be. It is also ideal for situations where you want to be able to use coffee pods if you feel like it.
A well priced and attractive machine, this De’Longhi model is a great buy if you want an affordable machine which is made out of stainless steel, with a minimum of plastic components.
The De’Longhi is a semi automated machine which allows you to froth your own milk, while taking care of pressure and water temperature.
A has a few nifty elements, one of them being a ‘time to descale’ alarm. Also, if you are someone who likes larger cups of coffee, the drip grid can be easily removed, to allow space for taller mugs.
On the downside, one aspect to the machine which may be a hassle is that you cannot steam milk before pulling a shot. Because the machine has a single steam cylinder it will heat up the steam up for the milk to a temperature which is too high for your shot. This however is the case with all single cylinder machines, and can only be overcome by going for a double cylinder model, which will then put you in a higher price range.
Overall this machine has had quite a few 5 star reviews on Amazon, and seems to be a great all rounder.
This machine is perfect if you are on a budget, but want durable a machine made out of majority metal, which pulls a great espresso without too much manual intervention needed. It is also best suited to those making one or two espressos at a time, and who are happy froth any milk after pulling the shots.
Although fairly pricey, this coffee machine is a true deluxe. Adapted from their commercial models to be suited to home use, the Rancilio Silvia stands out as the kind of machine that a barista would want in his or her home.
Made almost entirely out of stainless steal, the Rancilio Silvia is super durable and hard wearing. And thanks to its commercial grade background – it puts out superb espresso and coffee.
The machine is equipped with Rancilio’s commercial grade group head for excellent heat stability and premium extraction quality and with the same heavy duty porta fillers which come on their commercial machines. The porta fillers sport a patented ergonomic handle for ease of use and optimum extraction.
Although this machine has a single boiler, it has been designed to have an unusually short recovery time between shots. This is thanks to the size of the boiler which has a 12oz capacity.
Another great feature of this machine is that the water reservoir can be topped up from above or removed at any point during the operation.
On the wand side of things the Rancilio is fitted with ‘an articulating’ stainless steel steam wand. This design allows for a complete range of motion for steaming perfect latte quality milk. The wand is also equipped with a commercially designed steam knob, so that you can adjust the intensity of the steam during milk frothing.
If you like the idea of being able to utilise the convenience of capsules, while having the freedom of still using ground coffee, this machine can tick both those boxes. As an optional extra, you can buy a pod and capsule adaptor kit.
Customers have gone crazy about this machine on Amazon, naming it the best and most long lasting espresso machine on the market in its price range.
Someone who is serious about their espresso’s, wants some control over the process and is aiming to buy a long lasting and sturdy machine.
And for those of you who want something a little more automated, we have the Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker from Mr. Coffee.
This machine does all the work for you, and delivers rich tasting espressos. An inbuilt milk frother also allows you to make cappuccinos and lattes with the press of a button.
With a one-touch control panel for drink selections, and easy filling and removable water and milk reservoirs, it does not really get much simpler than this!
This machine has had good feedback on Amazon, with some calling it the perfect budget automated espresso machine.
Someone who wants an almost fully automated espresso making experience, and does not want to spend the earth on a machine.
This Breville espresso machine is a well priced but capable model. It contains a 15 bar Italian-made pump which when pulling a shot, starts with low pressure to bloom coffee grounds, then gradually increases pressure for extraction. You can also choose manually whether to extract one or two shots at a time, as well as how much water you wish to go into each coffee/espresso.
Made almost entirely out of metal, this espresso machine is built to last, and looks stunning as well. Along with the machine you also get 1- and 2-cup single and dual wall filter baskets, the steam wand attachment, a Razor dose trimming tool, a stainless steel milk container, as well as a water filter and water filter holder.
For the price, this is a decent espresso machine built out of quality materials.
This Breville model has had some great reviews on Amazon and has racked up a series of pretty happy customers.
This a great machine for an espresso and coffee lover that wants some manual control over their coffee making process, and wishes to purchases a simple and sturdy machine. Perfect for someone getting into into the espresso machine game, who wants to flex their extraction muscles a little but does not want to go for a $500+ machine.
Bean to Cup Coffee Machines
And now we come to the bean to cup machines. Bean to cup machine can be either espresso machine, or filter coffee machines, which are fitted with an inbuilt bean grinder which automatically grinds fresh beans for each cup of coffee.
This model by Breva is another great ‘value for money’ find. Although not as cheap as the previous machine, it is a superior machine, and the price is very reasonable for the level of quality that it offers. Boasting a pump driven design, it is made almost entirely out of stainless steel. It is fitted with a built in burr grinder component, which if purchased separately would probably cost a pretty penny.
Furthermore, while having a single boiler – this machine comes with an automatic purging function for the steam. Meaning that if you steam milk and then wish to pull a shot, the steam temperature will adjust to to the correct temperature for the espresso shot. And you will not have a ‘burnt’ tasting espresso.
With this automatic function, the only drawback to the single boiler on this machine is the fact that you cannot pull and shot and steam milk at the same time. However for an at home situation this is usually not major issue.
This machine has had an almost overwhelming number of positive reviews of Amazon, and is one of the ‘Amazon’s Choice’ products.
This machine is a really great choice for anybody who has a little extra cash to spend, and wants a high level of quality and ease of use. It is also perfect for anybody who wants the bean to cup function, with a quality grinder thrown into the mix of great features.
And now we come to the Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso machine from Delonghi. As its named states, this model is super automated. However at the same time, it puts out high quality espresso and coffee drinks. So you get barista quality coffee, without having to go through a learning curve on shot pulling.
This machine features a built in conical low rpm burr grinder. The low revs of the grinder makes it lower in pitch and therefore quieter on the ear. The grinder is adjustable, so you can choose what size grind you wish for different types of coffees.
The next awesome feature to this machine is its double boiler system. Double boilers are the best, for the reason that temperatures always what they should be, with no additional tinkering from you. This goes for both the temperature of the water used for the shot, as well as the steam temperature for the milk frothing. Additionally, with a double boiler, you can froth milk simultaneously to pulling a shot. Very handy.
As far as settings and flexibility goes, this machine seems to blend ease of use with range of choice. From its control panel you can determine exact water to coffee ratios. This allows you to make exactly the strength and type of coffee that you like, with very little hassle. Thanks to the adjustable coffee spigot height, you can also fit any size cup underneath, from the classic espresso cup to a tall mug.
The machine also sports:
- Rinse and decalcification auto programs
- A removable drip tray for easy cleanup
- An exclusive cup tray to keeps cups warm before use
- A three-hour automatic shutoff for safety
- A patented cappuccino system which rotates 180 degrees to allow for any size milk container
- An electronic steam and coffee thermostat
- A water-level indicator
This machine has racked up many happy customers on Amazon, and has been selected as an “Amazon’s Choice” product.
The only downside to this machine is that it is not cheap – however if you are looking for top quality in materials, features and coffee output, then this machine will provide value for money.
Anyone who wants top quality coffee, freshly ground, at the press off a button. Also great for those who like to enjoy different strengths of coffee, in a variety of mug sizes. The patented milk frother also makes this machine a good purchase for someone who enjoys lattes and cappuccinos.
7 Pc All-In-One Espresso & Cappuccino Maker Machine Barista Bundle Set w/Built-In Steam Wand (Inc: Coffee Bean Grinder, Portafilter
Although not quite a beans to cup machine this espresso maker comes pretty close! Equipped with all of the gadgetry and accessories, this machine is truly an all in one purchase.
The machine itself is a high quality and durable model from EspressoWorks. Equipped with a steam pump, it also boasts an advanced Thermoblock fast heating system from which you can always expect precise temperature and instant steam.
This machine claims to put out a tasty espresso, topped with rish and perfect crema. This claim is backed up by some happy customers on Amazon. Truly not bad for a machine far under the 500 dollar bracket.
An interesting and sensible feature on this machine is the water tank located on the side. Often water tanks on espresso machines are situated at the back, which may be good for accestics, abut often entails you to move the whole machine whenever you need to refill the water tank. With this machine you can know you will never need to shift the machine around to refill the water canister.
Another great feature of this machine is it’s easy to clean design with a removable drip tray and detachable frothing device. A big part of owning and using your own espresso machine is cleaning it. Having a machine which is designed with easy cleaning in mind will definitely make the day to day cleaning of your machine more of a pleasure than a pain.
Besides being a high quality machine, this model also comes with the following add-ons:
- A blade bean grinder. The makers of this machine seem to hold the opinion that truly good espresso can only be made with freshly ground coffee, and so they included a bean grinder with the machine.
- 2 quality espresso cups – so that you can get brewing straight away!
- 2 porta fillers, one large and one small – so that you can brew single or double shots with ease.
- 1 stainless steel frothing cup, and a measuring spoon and tamper
So not only is this quality machine a good price, it also comes with everything you will need to make coffee. With no additional purchases needed, this machine provides true vale for money.
Anybody who wants truly top range espresso right in their home for under $250. This all in one machine provides real value for money, and is simultaneously well designed, easy to use and easy cleaning.
And if you have some money to burn and want to really go to the top the the range, both as far as espresso quality and automation go, then take a look at this machine.
The company boasts that thanks to their “pulse extraction process” this machine’s extraction tech allows the whole bouquet of aromas to blossom from coffee beans. They claim that this produces possibly the best coffee of all time, all at the press of a button.
100% automated, this machine can put out top notch coffee drinks from espressos to ristrettos to lattes and cappuccinos. All you need to do is select your coffee of choice. And of course feed the machine coffee beans and water from time to time.
Made in Switzerland, and crafted largely out of stainless steal, this machine is undoubtedly a quality product.
Suited for those with a good sized budget who want a fully automated and top of the range espresso and coffee maker.
Filter Coffee Machines
And on to the filter coffee machines. If you are not someone who wants to make espressos, and just wants simple drip coffee from a good machine, then this section is for you.
Although technically also falling under the ‘beans to cup’ coffee machine models we just looked at – we had to head up the filter coffee machine category with this machine. For the simple reason that it is an outstanding example of a good filter coffee machine.
This filter coffee machine is fully programmable, meaning you can set it to start brewing at any time of the day or night. And be greeted by freshly brewed coffee the moment you enter your kitchen in the morning. That’s my kind of coffee machine.
Inside the machine there hides both a charcoal water filter, and permanent gold-tone coffee filter to ensure only the freshest coffee flavor flows through into your cup. These two factors are really an asset in a coffee machine. If you have owned a cheap filter coffee machine for any length of time, you will know well those ‘notes and tones’ of stale coffee and how off putting that taste is.
And speaking of fresh tasting coffee, let’s not forget the built in bean grinder. Surprisingly, the grinder is a high quality burr grinder! The folks who designed this machine really knew their stuff when it comes to quality components. Keep the grinder filled with fresh beans, and it will automatically grind the required quantity for the amount of coffee you have selected for the machine to make.
Besides this good quality burr grinder, the machine also has a strength selector function, grind control to fine -tune intensity and volume, as well as an auto shutoff and brew-pause function.
A filter coffee lover who wants the flavor of freshly ground beans without the hassle of grinding. Also a great choice in machine for anybody who needs to brew large amounts of coffee at once, and who likes the timer/automatic brewing function for the mornings.
This Cuisinart model made it onto our list of top coffee machines for a number of reasons. First off, instead of a glass carafe on a heating pad, it sports an stainless steel double walled insulated jug for receiving and holding the brewed coffee. This is fantastic design because it keeps coffee hot without adding additional heat. Heating coffee after it has been brewed burns the coffee and results in that signature bitter filter coffee machine taste.
What makes this insulated jug design even more effective at retaining heat in your brewed coffee is its patented brew-through and pour-through lid. This lid keeps out air and retains steam, keeping the coffee hotter for longer and full of aroma with no loss of taste. A real win win situation!
Besides this great jug design, the machine is also fully automated and has 24 hour programmability. Another machine that can make you coffee before you even get out of bed. It also has a brew-pause function which stops the flow of coffee during brewing if the jug is removed. Which means you can pour a cup of coffee mid brew without upsetting the apple cart.
The filter basket section also swings open for easy inserting of coffee filters. Great if you are planning to situate your machine on the counter underneath a low set of kitchen cabinets.
On Amazon many people have bought this model and given it a 5 star rating. However there does seem be a problem with some models having defective lids which cause the coffee to run down the sides of the carafe. This may however be due to users not seating the nozzle securely into the lid. If you purchase this machine, make sure to check that the nozzle and carafe lid are joined correctly before making coffee.
This is a great coffee machine for anybody who wants a programmable filter coffee machine that keeps its brewed coffee hot for hours. Without the use of a heat pad and the resulting burnt coffee. This is also a great budget purchase. Good coffee, conveniently, for a very affordable price.
Another great budget option, the Brew Sense Drip coffee maker from Braun. This coffee machine is automated and 24 hour programmable.
It also houses the “Pure Flavor Brewing System” which ensures even extraction. This means that the coffee first brewed will taste the same as the coffee brewed towards the end of the extraction process. You can also select the strength of coffee, by choosing either the regular or bold function.
The display is large and clear, great for those who hate reading tiny numbers on displays. The Brew Sense also has a pause drip function, which enables you to pull out the jug mid brew to pour yourself a cup. Without making a big mess by doing so. The removable components are dishwasher safe.
As far as customers review go, this machine has been reviewed by over 500 buyers on Amazon with a general consensus that it is a good quality machine that brews good coffee.
Somebody who wants to brew smaller amounts of coffee, up to 4 cups at a time. Also best for those who drink their coffee directly. Overall a good budget option for the fast coffee drinker.
A simple coffee machine with a twist. The coffee drips into two insulated mugs, instead of into a jug or carafe. This ingenious design is great for anybody who likes their coffee hot, with no burnt taste, and ready to go.
This machine is also an ideal design for some workplaces, as each person makes their own cup of coffee to the strength that they like. No more big jugs of coffee getting more and more bitter as the day goes on.
Another convenient feature of this machine is that the dual spout is detachable for easy cleaning. It also has a removable filter liner (for easy cleaning), and a water window.
As far as specs go, this machine is pretty basic. However in justification of the price, it does comes with two thermal double walled stainless steel travel mugs, and is manufactured to a good standard of quality. Consumers who have bought this product have reported getting good usage out of it for as long as 10 years!
Somebody who wants a machine which will produce hot, good coffee, in a ready to go format. Also, this machine is best suited for either a single person or couple. Or communal situation where everybody makes their own coffee and has their own cup. And not ideal situations where you need to make many cups of coffee all in one go (e.g. a party).
This filter coffee machine model from Cuisinart is another example of the functional thermos flask jug design. Coffee makers which have a thermal insulated jug for receiving the coffee really stand out from their heat pad & glass jug counterparts. Purely for the fact that coffee which is kept warm in an insulated thermal jug, will not get the burnt and bitter taste that comes with a heat pad.
If you like your coffee really hot and are worried that an insulated jug just won’t do it, this may be the ideal machine for you. Why? Because it has a unique new internal heating system to provide three temperature settings: Regular, Hot and X-hot.
This machine also implements what they call re-engineered brewing technology, to brew up to 25% faster than regular machines. The faster the coffee brews, the hotter it will be when you pour it!.
Another trick you can use to make sure that your coffee is super hot, is to rinse your insulated jus with hot water before brewing. This will inject extra heat into the walls, and ensure no heat from the brewing coffee is lost in warming up the flask.
Besides using the superior insulated jug design, this machine also has the following features.
- Easy touchpad controls
- 24hour programmablilty
- Self clean function
- Auto shut off
- 1-4 cup setting
- Charcoal water filter
- Gold tone coffee filter
These last two features are worth emphasizing. Having a metal mesh coffee filter is really great for two reasons. Firstly you do not need to buy paper filters all the time. Paper filters are an extra expense and can also make your coffee taste faintly of paper. Also, metal filters are better than their plastic mesh counterparts that are found in some coffee machines. Plastic mesh coffee filters can absorb flavors from your brewing coffee, and then release notes of stale coffee into you future brews. This gets worse and worse over time.
Lastly, having a charcoal filter for your water also helps to make sure that here are no strange flavors in your coffee.
Over 5 000 customers have reviewed this machine on Amazon and by and large reported that it is a reliable and functional machine that makes great, and hot coffee, before you get out of bed.
Somebody who does not need to make more than 4 cups of coffee at a time. Also a good choice for someone who does not like the taste of burnt/ bitter coffee that heat pads give.
Unique in design, this coffee maker from Hamilton Beach has a feature which sets it apart from other filter coffee machines. Instead of an external jug to catch the dripped coffee, it has an internal chamber where the brewed coffee is held and kept warm. This sounds like a recipe for burnt and bitter tasting coffee. However, the makers claim that their design keeps coffee both hot and perfectly fresh tasting for up to 4 hours.
Customers who have bought this machine confirm that the heated coffee is not as bitter as coffee on a heat pad. Which is fantastic for those of you who want coffee on demand, without it being overly bitter from burning on a heat pad.
Reviews on Amazon are generally positive for this machine. However there is one recurring gripe, and that is that these machines are not the most long lasting. However taking into account the reasonable price of the unit, this machine is not a rip off.
This machine is ideal for those who like to have brewed hot and fresh tasting coffee on hand for a couple of hours after brewing. Most coffee machine will not be able to achieve this, and if this is your main priority then this machine may be for you. If however you are looking for a model which will last you a lifetime – then you should maybe look further.
This beautiful filter coffee machine may be pricey, but it definitely will make heads turn! The interesting design is accentuated by the brushed brushed brass finish, and the ‘on display’ setup of the components rather than being unappealing,is unusual and attractive.
On the specs side of things, this machine justifies its high price tag. Made out of durable metal housings, its plastic components are all BPA/BPS/BPF & Phthalate free. This is a great feature in a coffee machine, as heat will cause any toxic plastics to release an even higher amount of their contaminates.
This machine also sports a unique copper boiling element which rapidly heats water to control brewing temperature between 196 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that the water is at the perfect temperature for coffee soluble extraction. But not too hot that the coffee will burn. This rapid heating of water also enables the machine to brew a full carafe of coffee in under 6 minutes.
The machine is designed to be ultra silent during the brewing process. Once brewed the coffee is kept hot on a hot-plate element engineered to hold coffee temperature between 175 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit for a maximum 100 minutes. After which time it then automatically shuts off.
This machine also comes with a 5-year manufacturers warranty. Always reassuring for the customer and an indication of good quality.
This machine has by far one of the highest proportion of positive reviews out of all the the machine we have listed. It appears that this is a really superior product that is made to the highest standards. Considering that Technivorm has made these machines since 1964 with the same solid build quality, its probably no surprise there!
Filter coffee fanatics (guilty over here) who are willing to pay the price for tip top, long lasting, superior quality in a machine.
Pod / Capsule Machines
And now for all the lovers of automation, great espresso and convenience, we come to the pod and capsule machines.
To start the capsule machines off with on a high, we have the Nespresso Vertuo Machine by Breville in red. This capsule machine is simple to use, while offering a variety of cup size / drink selections.
It also comes with an Aeroccino milk frother, so that you can finish off your milk backed beverages like cappuccinos and lattes to perfection.
The price range of this model is fair considering its versatility in cup size functions, the quality of espresso that it puts out, and the fact that it comes with an additional automated milk frother.
As far as buyer reviews go, the Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine has racked up a lot of happy customers. With many reviews emphasizing that the machine makes great coffee, functions perfectly, is easy to clean and makes a great variety of drinks. All while not costing a fortune.
Someone who wants top quality coffee, with a minimum of effort.
At a higher price point than the previous machine, we have the Silver Lattissima Plus by DeLonghi. It uses the Nespresso capsule system, and so is perfect for Nespresso lovers.
Although quite pricey, this machine has the capability to make slightly fancier drinks than the previous capsule machine. Its patented De’Longhi automatic cappuccino Latte Crema System enables you to make barista grade coffee and espresso drinks with ease.
The machine comes with 6 pre-programmed drinks available. Ristretto, espresso, lungo, cappuccino, latte, hot milk and hot water function for tea.
A truly convenient feature that this machine has, is that you can easily remove the milk reservoir at the end of the day and store it in the refrigerator! Meaning no milk goes to waste, and no milk goes off in your machine.
The thermoblock heating system reduces cold-start heating time down to seconds, speeding up the coffee making process. It also functions to maintain optimal temperature to enjoy multiple single serve coffee drinks instantly.
Besides these convenient functions, the Delonghi model is made to a high level of quality, with premium finishes and some Italien design thrown in.
Customers who have bought this machine on Amazon, overall report it to be a high quality and well functioning machine.
A Nespresso lover who wants a high quality machine with the capability to produce barista frothed milk drinks. This machine can make it all, and so will make a coffee connoisseur, who also needs speed and convenience, very happy.
Gourmia GCM5100 One Touch Multi Capsule Coffee & Espresso Machine – Single Serve – K-Cup Pods & Nespresso Compatible –
On a more budget friendly note, we have the Gourmia GCM5100. Combining quality and and functionality with a lower price, this machine is an attractive option.
One of things which elevates this machine from the ranks of regular capsule machines is that it can take both K-cup pods and Nespresso capsules. This is a real bonus for long term use as it means that you are not tied to just one brand of capsules. If you are someone who can’t make up their mind whether they like K-cup or Nespresso best – then this machine may be perfect for you.
Besides the dual compatibility feature, this Gourmia model also has some other handy features. Using the arrow controls and LED display you can adjust both brewing temperature and cup size.
The machine can accommodate a tall mug down to a regular cup. It also has a flip down demitasse shot platform for making espressos with ease.
The extraction pressure on this machine is automatic like with most capsule machines. So there is no need to worry about getting that right. The high powered extraction system will do everything for you at the press of a button.
This machine does not come with a milk steamer, however Gourmia does sell a steam attachment.
This machine has had bevy of 5 star reviews on Amazon and customers report that it is well functioning and makes great coffee. Gourmia’s customer service also seems to be top notch.
A Nespresso or K-cup lover who wants great coffee for just over a hundred dollars. The versatility of being able to use two brands of capsules is also great for families, office situation or couples who can’t agree which brand of capsule is the best.
Yes this is an espresso machine. And it is portable! No larger than a small flask, this is literally one of the world’s smallest espresso machines. But, it appears that one shouldn’t judge an espresso machine by its size. Because small as this portable model is – it produces great espresso!
Espresso lovers who have bought this machine on Amazon report it to make really great espresso, flavorful, hot, and with good crema. Amazing results from such a small, compact and simple machine.
On the specs side of things, this machine is simple, but functional. A 15 bar pressure pump and a water heating element is basically what the machine consists of.
The way it functions is also simple. Place a Nespresso capsule into the one end. Flip and fill with water. Press the single button, and brew your espresso!
You also have the choice to use either hot or cold water. If you pour in cold water, the machine will heat it, but will take about 8 minutes. It will also use up more battery power. If you pour in hot water, the machine will go straight to the extraction process, giving you espresso within moments. According to the manufacturers, the machine’s battery will give you 3 extractions if it heats the water itself, and up to 80 extractions if you give it boiling water to work with. Not bad!
The machine is designed to take genuine Nespresso capsules. However, although you cannot use other capsule brands you are not chained to Nespresso. The machine can also take a reusable stainless steel pod, which you can refill with you own ground coffee. This literally provides the best of both worlds. You can have the convenience of capsules for travel, and the sustainability of the refill option at home.
A great feature of this amazing little machine is how easy it is to clean. Multiple buyers on Amazon have stated that a very small portion of the machine comes into contact with the brewing coffee. This is because the coffee does not run through the length of the machine, it goes directly from the capsule into the cup component. When you want to clean the machine, you can can simply run hot water through it.
Espresso lovers who want to be able to enjoy great espresso, literally anywhere. Ideal for people who travel a lot, drive a lot for work, or simply somebody who wants good espresso at the office. This machine is so well functioning that it can even serve as an incredibly compact home espresso machine.
This espresso machine of course does not come with a steam wand. This of course could be a drawback for someone who likes making cappuccinos and lattes.
If you love Nespresso coffee and the company, then this is a great middle of the range Nespresso machine. The Pixie is a great buy of you are looking for a long lasting machine which makes good espresso. Not as luxurious as some of its fancier family members of the Delonghi models- the Pixie nevertheless offers the same functionality. It is also make out of a higher grade of material than its cheaper counterparts. Meaning you get great functionality, with long lasting materials, at a mid range price. Not bad!
Despite its delicate name, the Pixie has an impressive 19 bar pressure pump hiding in its interior. This equates out to a superior extraction for you the coffee drinker. Besides this the machine is very simple. Two preset functions, espresso and lungo, allow you to make either an espresso, or a regular or Americano coffee.
The heating element within the Pixie is deemed to be efficient, heating up to the espresso making temps in just 25 seconds. After 9 minutes the unit automatically switches off to conserve energy.
Customer reviews on Amazon are resoundingly positive for this machine with comments like ‘Great machine brews delicious espresso’ and ‘Great espresso, without the drama’ and ‘I wish I had known about this machine years ago!’
The only drawback to this machine is that it does not come with its own steam wand. However you can purchase this component extra from De’longhi.
This machine is perfect for somebody who loves Nespresso coffee and espresso, and wants a mid range machine which combines functionality with durability. Also suited to those who like their coffee black or with flat milk.
Is a compact single serve espresso machine that puts out exceptional coffee and espresso what you are after? Then the Nespresso Essenza Mini may be what you need.
Claimed to be the smallest and most compact single serve espresso machine on the market, the Essenza Mini measures in at 12.9 x 3.3 x 8. This is a great feature in an espresso machine if counter space is at a premium.
And the best bit about the compact size? It hasn’t seemed to impact the level and quality of extraction. This machine with its small but functional design has gained the approval of retired baristas. One review on Amazon stated that the espresso from the Essenza Mini is roughly 95% as good as an espresso pulled from a commercial scale thousand dollars plus espresso machine. Not bad!
The tech behind this little machine’s power and functionality lies in the 19 bar high-pressure pump. This quality of pump allows for a maximum extraction. It also creates a superior crema that is ‘ incomparably dense and unctuous ‘.
The next feature of this machine which makes it a winner is it’s fast heat up system. Thanks to innovative design, the Essenza Mini can heat up to ideal temperature in under 30 seconds.
As far as functions go the Essenza Mini has two extraction options. The espresso and the lungo, or Americano. If you purchase an additional milk frother then of course you can also make milk coffee drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes.
On energy efficiency note, the Essenza Mini has an integrated energy-saving function which switches the machine off after 9 minutes of inactivity. There is an additional and even more economical setting which you can select that switches the machine off after 3 minutes of inactivity.
This machine has had a barrage of 5 star reviews on Amazon with many many happy customers. Consumers report it to put out truly high quality, barista level espresso. And with merely the press of a button and almost no clean up.
Anybody who wants top class and effortless espresso and coffee. Especially suited for those who want as small and compact a machine as possible. The absence of a steam wand may make this machine less suitable for those who want to make cappuccinos and lattes. However if this is the machine for you, then you can also purchase a milk frother separately.
If you are a lover of Nespresso coffee, and also want to make milk based coffee drinks, then the Nespresso Inissia could be an attractive option.
Like its san’s milk steaming counterpart, the Pixie, the Inissia is equipped with a 19 bar pump. This means you get a superb extraction and lots of thick crema. The mecca of espresso making! This happens all at the press of a button.
But unlike the Pixie, the Inissia also comes with the freestanding Aeroccino 3. The Aeroccino provides a smooth, finely textured hot or cold milk froth for your coffee recipes via an automatic system. Meaning you can make cappuccinos and lattes to your heart’s content. With the Aeroccino comes two different whisk components. One for high volumes of forth and one for light to no froth.
Besides these great functions the Inissia also has the fast heat up system. 25 seconds is all it takes for your machine to heat up to an ideal temperature for perfect extraction. After which an energy saving mode automatically switches off the machine after 9 minutes.
The Inissio also features adjustable cup size, and you can choose between making espresso shots or long coffees.
And lastly, the Inissio also has a secretive ‘double tap’ feature. Not advertised, but verified by users, the machine allows you to double tap and walk away. It will then heat up, and make you espresso or coffee without you having to come back to punch the button for the extraction. Convenient!
As far as buyer satisfaction goes the number of 5 star ratings this machine has racked up speaks for itself. Buyers have reported this machine to make top class espresso, good foamed milk, and is long lasting, durable and easy to operate.
This machine is a perfect option for those of you who are after high quality espresso, with the option of effortless milk frothing.
Whew! We have covered an extensive range of machines. And if you have made it this far you are definitely equipped to make some informed coffee machine buying choices. From what to look for in a coffee machine, to what personal preferences to consider, to some top machine picks we found. We have covered grounds(s)!
Ultimately, the perfect machine for you will depend on your personal needs, requirements, preferences and budget. There are many great coffee machines out there. And things can get complicated when it comes down to making a decision as to which is the best one for you. However once you figure out the priorities for you and your coffee drinking habits, things start to get a little more clear cut.
And with the plethora of beautiful coffee machines available today, you will undoubtedly be sitting with the machine of your dreams on your countertop in no time. We hope this article has helped you in your hunt for the best coffee machine.
Until next time… Happy brewing folks!