Your Guide to top Quality Coffee Machines
From fully-automatic bean-to-cup coffee machines to manual espresso makers, this page reviews the best coffee machines on the market today! Plus, we have included an all-important guide to help you understand what a bean-to-cup coffee machine is and what you need to know before investing in one.
Bean-to-cup Coffee Machines
Reviews of the best machines for home brewing
Are you fed up of waiting in line every day for ridiculously overpriced coffee? Do you wish you could have a personal barista to make you a perfect coffee every day? That would be nice, wouldn’t it?
Well, with a bean-to-cup coffee machine (and a little bit of practice), you can finally get that extra-hot, dry cappuccino with a shot of vanilla made entirely to your taste! And even better, you can get it from the comfort of your own home!
Here at Daily Barista, we have taken the stress out of getting your daily caffeine fix by reviewing the best equipment you need to do it yourself. Plus, with years of barista experience, we can let you in on a few tricks of the trade to help you make coffee that’s much better than the average Joe.
Sage Barista Express
|Rating||4.6 out of 5|
|Dimentsions||31cm x 40cm x 33cm|
The Barista Express is the best bean-to-cup machine for people who want more control over how their coffee tastes. It is easy to use but still allows you to customise the settings and have a go at creating funky latte art. So, if you want to play barista, then this is the machine for you!Sage Barista Express Review Check Price
|Rating||4.4 out of 5|
|Dimentsions||33cm X 14.9cm X 30.3cm|
|Rating||4.5 out of 5|
|Dimentsions||26cm x 46cm x 36cm|
|Rating||4.4 out of 5|
|Dimentsions||37.5cm x 28.5cm x 36cm|
The Magnifica is an all-in-one, semi-automatic coffee machine. Ideal for someone who wants a little more control over their coffee-making experience but doesn’t want the hassle of learning how to use tricky equipment. The coffee part is done for you, leaving you to heat up the milk as you like.De’Longhi Magnifica Review Check Price
De’Longhi Prima Donna
|Rating||4.5 out of 5|
|Dimentsions||48cm x 26cm x 37.5cm|
Melitta Barista TS Smart
|Rating||4.3 out of 5|
|Dimentsions||46.7cm x 25.9cm x 37.2cm|
De’Longhi Caffe Corso
|Dimentsions||28.5cm x 36cm x 37.5cm|
Coffee Machine Guide
So, you’ve decided to take a leap of faith and ditch the overpriced cappuccinos from average coffee shops and invest in a long-term coffee machine for you to enjoy a nice cup of coffee at home. Well, good on you.
Then you must be here because you’re not too sure what to do next, right?
Don’t worry, this section of Daily Barista will be your ultimate guide to giving you everything you need to know before deciding what kind of bean-to-cup coffee machine you should buy.
What is a bean-to-cup coffee machine?
A bean-to-cup machine is a type of coffee maker that adds quality and simplicity to your daily coffee(s).
The goal of these machines is to give you all the equipment you would need to create a decent cup of coffee. A bean-to-cup machine usually allows you to do everything from grinding beans, to creating perfect espressos and even heating milk.
They have multiple settings to allow you to create a range of your favourite coffee-shop drinks, such as lattes, cappuccinos and many more.
How do they work?
As with any type of kitchen appliance, all bean-to-cup machines work differently.
Some of them are fully automatic, so the only bit of work you have to do is top up the beans/milk and press a couple of buttons. Other machines require a little more work, but this will usually result in more freedom over your coffee preferences.
Ultimately, a bean-to-cup machine will grind up fresh coffee beans and turn them into a tasty cup of coffee. Many machines will also have an option for milk, whether that is an automated milk heating system or a manual steam wand which will give you control over how hot and frothy you want your milk.
Why buy a bean-to-cup machine?
There are many reasons why you should want to buy a bean-to-cup coffee machine.
For one, in the long run, it can be much cheaper than buying a coffee every day from your local coffee shop. You also have more control over how your drinks are made, as you will be the one making them. Plus, you will always have access to good coffee without having to leave your house!
You should look at this purchase as an investment, like a TV or laptop. I’m sure most of you haven’t thought about replacing those high-tech gadgets for a while, right?
So, with the right amount of research and by selecting a model that will suit your coffee tastes and preferences, then your new machine will stay with you for years to come.
How much do they cost?
Again, this aspect of a bean-to-cup appliance will vary due to them all offering different features and giving different results.
Prices can range from as little as £170 up to £1000 and can even be higher than this for some real techy, robust machines!
So, this purchase should be seen as a reliable and well thought out investment. Which is why it is essential to choose a model that suits your specific needs.
Top tips for buying a bean-to-cup
Do you have a budget to stick to?
While we certainly aren’t telling you to shop purely based on the price tag, it is essential to know what budget you are working with because the price of bean-to-cup machines do vary.
Before setting a budget, think about what you are looking for in a machine. Do you want it to be fully automatic? Do you want an external steam wand for heating milk? Once you have an idea of what you want, you can begin to narrow down the machines and shop within your price range.
Since this is going to be a significant investment in your home, it is important to focus on quality as well as price. You may not get everything you want from a machine for under £300, or the performance of a cheaper machine may be slightly amateur.
That said, shopping for the most expensive machine doesn’t necessarily mean you will get the best quality either. Make sure you focus on your preferences, find a machine that will achieve what you want and do it consistently!
Consider your taste preference
Latte and cappuccino fans may wish to spend a little more money (or do more research) and invest in a machine that allows you to work with a milk frother. Whereas espresso and strong coffee lovers should focus on finding something that delivers a perfect espresso or has multiple coffee taste settings.
There are many machines (both automatic and manual) that offer a milk frothing feature. Whether that be an external wand that manually lets you create textured milk or an automated milk frothing dispenser.
Each of these types of milk heating devices has its benefits. It is up to you to know what will work for your preferences.
If you are a busy individual and require a quick drink that is made to the same standard every time, then a machine that automatically heats milk will be ideal for you (especially if you don’t trust yourself to do a good job every time). The De’Longhi Eletta does a great job of making cappuccinos automatically.
However, for those of you that have a more acquired taste (i.e. are a little fussy) or if you want to play around with creating latte art, then a manual steam wand might be a better choice.
Consider the size
This may sound obvious to some, but for those who have never owned a bean-to-cup machine before, they can be quite big.
They all vary in size, so whether you have a huge kitchen with plenty of worktop space or a cosy kitchen with a bit less room, there is bound to be a machine that can suit your needs.
One of the most compact machines on the market is the De’Longhi Dedica EC685, at only 15cm wide, this little beauty can slot into many small spaces (although you will need a bean grinder to go with it).
Will you be using fresh beans or pre-ground coffee?
You need to consider what type of coffee you prefer and make sure that your machine is compatible with that. A lot of automatic machines include options to use fresh beans as well as the option to insert pre-ground coffee which is a notable feature.
The Melitta Barista TS Smart offers a double bean chamber so that you can store two different types of coffee beans at once – as well as an option to use pre-ground coffee.
Do your research
This is an obvious one because you are here and clearly in the middle of doing some research!
However, make sure you research about specific machines that you’re interested in and look around because there are so many similar machines out there.
We have done a lot of the hard work for you, so check out some of our reviews where we analyse and compare different bean-to-cup machines. You can also use the search bar on our website to look for specific coffee machine reviews that will help you find out all you need to know before making any purchases.
Why are some of these coffee machines so expensive?
There are several factors that contribute to this one. For a start all manufactures offer different prices for their products, that’s just part of brand competition. Which is why research is important.
Two machines may offer very similar services, but they can vary in price because they are sold from different companies.
Another thing to take into consideration is how advanced these machines are. Some bean-to-cup machines are very technical and offer dozens of automatic settings, whereas others are manual and require you to do more work.
What is so important about using fresh coffee beans?
It is all about the oils.
Fresh coffee beans contain natural oils that dry out the longer they are left. It is these oils that give the coffee a smooth texture and rich crema when it’s extracted for espressos.
Fresh coffee beans will take your bean-to-cup quality up a notch. Think about it, the machine does all of the technical work for you, but it isn’t magic, if the bean quality is bad then chances are the end result won’t taste too good either!
There are so many different types of coffee beans, and you can purchase them from many places. So, shop around and try out a few different brands to find what suits your taste.
Can I buy a second-hand bean-to-cup machine?
There are ways to buy used bean-to-cup coffee machines (through eBay or Amazon third-party sellers).
However, the quality may not be as good for a second-hand machine, depending on how well the previous user looked after the machine. Following correct cleaning guidelines is essential for maintaining the life of all bean-to-cup coffee machines. So, a second-hand machine may seem like it is in good condition on the outside, but it is the inside that needs to be well looked after.
Plus, you probably won’t get any sort of warranty/guarantee to cover any faults or damages that may occur from a second-hand machine. Just something to consider if you are spending a lot of money.
Are there other types of coffee machines/gadgets?
There are many other machines and gadgets that will aid you in making coffee at home. Such as:
- Espresso machines – these machines have the sole purpose of providing you with a good, strong espresso. They are usually more compact and have fewer settings than traditional bean-to-cup coffee machines. However, some of them do have a milk frothing wand attached, so the option is always there if you did want a little steamy milk with your coffee.
- Tassimo and Nespresso – these are the classic one-button-does-all kind of machines. They are automatic machines that don’t take fresh coffee beans. Instead, they require specially formulated pods to create specific drinks.
- French Press – this appliance is a step up from your standard instant coffee. A French Press allows you to use fresh pre-ground coffee and brew it through a pressed filter function.
In our opinion, if you really want that barista-style coffee, then you will need to invest in a bean-to-cup machine, as this is where the barista technology lies.
So, you have reached the bottom of this guide. Congratulations, you should now have a better idea of what a bean-to-cup coffee machine is and how you should go about buying one.
Take a look at our reviews for more information and comparisons of some of the best bean-to-cup machines on the market. Or head over to our blog to get some more tips, tricks and information about all things coffee-related.
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