Coffee is a key staple of modern living. Most of us can’t start our day without a hot cup of coffee. Whether that be a coffee made at home with our own machines, or one we’ve picked up whilst out and about.
Coffee is super on trend right now in the UK. Small independent coffee shops are popping up everywhere on the UK high-street. Whilst Starbucks cups are all over our Instagram feeds.
Instant coffee just doesn’t cut it anymore. Everyone’s looking for stronger, fresher and barista style coffee everyday. Given the popularity of coffee, it’s no surprise that we’re all looking for ways to get a great cup of coffee at home, with our own bean to cup coffee machines.
There is a huge range of different coffee machines on the market which can all create different tasting coffee. The differences between coffee machines comes down to whether they are espresso machines (pods & manual) or a filter coffee machine.
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What Different Types Of Coffee Machines Are There?
Coffee machines can be categorised into 2 different types: espresso and filter coffee machines.
A filter coffee machine manually passes hot water through ground coffee. Hot pressurised water is pushed through coffee in a espresso machines. Espresso machines result in a stronger tasting coffee, the equivalent to the taste you can get from barista style coffee shop. From the image below, you can see the classic Crema, the frothy head on the shot. The Crema helps you identify a coffee made from an espresso machine.
An espresso machines gives a stronger tasting coffee, but filter machines are typically used more often. Filter coffee machines are simpler to use and often quicker than an espresso machine. You can make a large amount of coffee in one go with a Cafetiere (filter coffee machine), as per the image below.
We value the taste of the coffee over the practicality of making it. Therefore, a coffee made from an espresso machine is the coffee of choice for us. Even more so, a coffee made from a bean to cup coffee machine is our favourite.
Espresso Coffee Machines Explained
There are many different styles of coffee machines available to buy. Before our review of the 5 best bean-to-cup coffee machines in the UK, read about the different types of coffee machines available. Plus, why we’ve decided to focus on bean-to-cup coffee machines.
1) Capsule Coffee Machines
One of the most well known types of espresso coffee machine. These machines push pressurised hot water through a coffee capsule, which you insert into the machine, to create a great tasting coffee. These machines are really easy to use, simply a case of inserting a pod into the machine. Plus there is little to no mess.
You don’t have to worry about disposing of the coffee grounds as you can throw the capsules away after use. Even better, you can recycle the pods. Brands that us capsule coffee systems include Nespresso, Tassimo and Nescafe Dolce Gusto to name a few.
2) Manual Espresso Machines
A similar concept to the capsule coffee, however, a manual espresso machine relies on manually adding some ground coffee into the machine. For a lot of people, this is the preferred type of coffee machine due to the great tasting coffee it makes at a relatively lower price (per coffee, not including buying the coffee machine) compared to the capsule coffee machine. Capsules can range between 20-50p per capsule which can be considered to be relatively expensive. Manual espresso machines require more cleaning and are more manual than a capsule coffee machine.
3) Bean-To-Cup Coffee Machines
The concept of a bean-to-cup coffee machine is pretty much the same as a manual espresso machine, however, the form of the coffee you add to the machine is different. Manual only allows for finely pre-ground coffee to be added vs. a bean-to-cup coffee machine where the machine will grind the coffee beans itself.
Whilst you can buy pre-ground coffee, we feel the freshness is lost vs. a bean-to-cup machine grinding the coffee itself. A bean-to-cup coffee machine gives the freshest tasting coffee. Whilst you can buy a coffee grinder to allow you get the same fresh tasting coffee with a manual, this just adds more expense so you may be better off going for a bean-to-cup coffee machine.
Below you can find our best UK bean-to-cup coffee machines based on customer reviews, price and brand.
Best Bean-To-Cup Coffee Machines UK
1. Sage by Heston Blumenthal BES875UK The Barista Express
For us, the look of the machine sells it for us. The look is typical of a bean-to-cup coffee machine with a bean store at the top and the traditional silver machine associated with barista style coffee.
The inbuilt grinder takes you from whole beans to espresso in under a minute and the high pressure steam output is perfect for Barista quality milk texturing, great for creating lattes and cappuccinos at home.
With PID temperature control and an Over Pressure Valve, as well as a precise and perfect dose each time, you can achieve the perfect Espresso at home easily.
£600, Amazon – Buy Now.
2. De’Longhi Magnifica Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine ESAM4200
One of the best selling coffee machines on Amazon, this is one of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines for those on a budget.
The stylish bean-to-cup espresso/cappuccino machine creates a great tasting coffee through 15-bar pump pressure and advanced dual boiler system.
The machine also comes with a traditional stainless steel milk frothing arm, built-in burr grinder and a 2 year guarantee. You really couldn’t go wrong with this coffee machine for under £235, making it one of our best bean-to-cup coffee machines.
£235, Amazon – Buy Now
3. Melitta Caffeo Barista TS Bean to Cup Coffee Maker
What make’s this Melitta one of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines is the fact is completely embraces modern technology to help you make a great cup of coffee.
Choose from 21 pre-set coffee specialties from original recipes on the machine. Save the preferences of up to 8 people on the machine, meaning you no messing around with buttons and attachments every time.
The machines prepares a selection of coffees, hot milk, cappuccino, hot water, hot or cold lattes, 4 classic specialties: Expresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Latte macchiato and 17 others types of drinks.
£750, Amazon – Buy Now
4. Melitta SOLO & Milk E953-102, Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
Perfect for those looking for a bean-to-cup coffee machine for under £390. The Melitta SOLO & Milk E953-102, Bean to Cup Coffee Machine is a great looking machine for a medium to low price point.
Simple and intuitive operation. Prepare your coffee with a touch of a button: 3 strength intensities and an adjustable water quantity (30-220ml) on the LED display.
Preserve the machine and coffee taste with automatic cleaning and descaling. Easy to clean interior thanks to the removable brewing unit and dishwasher safe.
£390, Amazon – Buy Now
5. KRUPS EA893C40 Evidence Automatic Bean-to-cup Coffee Machine, Silver
The KRUPS EA893C40 Evidence Bean to Cup coffee machine is just as much a work of art as it is a coffee machine and will delight coffee connoisseurs. It’s probably the best looking bean to cup coffee machine on our list.
The machine can produce 15 drinks make with one-touch making it easy to brew all your family’s favourites. Choose from 5 white coffees (cappuccino to latte), 7 black coffees including rich espresso and intense ristretto. There is even 3 temperature settings for tea too! Coffees are customisable, too: add an extra shot of espresso for a bolder flavour, use the dark setting for a more robust coffee, or prepare two cappuccinos or lattes at once.
You can even make coffee using your smart phone. The KRUPS Espresso app (available on iOS and Android) lets you brew remotely, save your favourites, keep a maintenance log and get the latest KRUPS news.
£999, John Lewis – Buy Now.