Coffee is a key staple of modern living, most of us can’t start our day without a hot cup of coffee.
Coffee is bang on trend right now, with small independent coffee shops popping up everywhere and the classic photo of a Starbucks cup being 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 machines.
There are a huge range of different coffee machines on the market at varying price points, all creating different taste’s of coffee. The basic difference between coffee machines comes down to whether they are espresso machines (pods & manual) or a filter coffee machine.
Different Types Of Coffee Machines
Coffee machines can be split into two main types: espresso and filter coffee machines.
A filter coffee machines passes hot water through ground coffee, while 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, that helps you an identify a coffee made from an espresso machine.
Although espresso machines give a stronger tasting coffee, filter machines are typically used more often due to them being simpler to use and quicker vs. an espresso machine. For example, with a filter coffee machine you can make a large amount of coffee in one go with a cafetiere, as per the image below.
We value the taste of the coffee over the practicality of the machine, therefore, an espresso machine is for us.
Espresso Coffee Machines Explained
There are many different styles of coffee machines available to buy. Before we go on to discuss the 5 best bean-to-cup coffee machines, it’s worth us explaining about the different types of coffee machines available and why we’ve decided to focus on bean-to-cup coffee machines.
- 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 and have little to no mess. You don’t have to worry about disposing of the coffee grounds from the machine as you simply just throw the capsules away after use. Brands that us capsule coffee systems include Nespresso, Tassimo and Nescafe Dolce Gusto to name a few.
- 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 work than a capsule coffee machine though.
- 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. We feel that bean-to-cup coffee machines give the freshest tasting coffee out of all the espresso machines above. 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 bean-to-cup coffee machines based on customer reviews, price and brand.
5 Best Bean-To-Cup Coffee Machines
1. Sage by Heston Blumenthal BES875UK The Barista Express
For us, the look of the machine sells it for us. The look of the machine is so 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.
You can pick up machine for under £600 from amazon.
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.
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. and saves the preferences of up to 8 people on the machine, meaning you dont have to mess around with buttons and attachements.
The machines prepares a selection of coffee, hot milk, cappuccino, hot water, hot or cold lattes, 4 classic specialties: Expresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Latte macchiato and 17 others types of drinks. Pick it up from Amazon for less than £750.
4. Melitta SOLO & Milk E953-102, Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
For those looking for a bean-to-cup coffee machine for under £390, this Melitta SOLO & Milk E953-102, Bean to Cup Coffee Machine is perfect for those looking for a great looking machine for medium to low price point.
Simple and intuitive operation; prepare your coffee with a touch of a button: 3 strength intensities, 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.