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The best coffee machines on the market now

Coffee machines
There’s nothing like a good cup of coffee – but what machines can you rely on to get the best result when at home?

If you can’t function without your morning coffee but braving the line at Starbucks before work just isn’t feasible, our-round up of the best coffee machines on the market should help point you in the right direction.

What type of machine is right for you?

There are a variety of coffee machines on the market, and the right one for you will depend entirely on what type of coffee drinker you are.

Pod or capsule machines

These are used for coffee that comes in a disposable capsule or pod that is inserted directly into the machine.

The pods or capsules themselves tend to be more expensive and less environmentally friendly than ground or instant coffee but, despite this, recent research has found that as many as  17pc of Brits own a coffee pod machine .

Pod or capsule machines are worth the investment if you’re constantly in a rush as the machines heat up quickly and erase any of the mess that comes with working with coffee grounds.

However, most are only compatible with a capsule or pod that is sold by the machine’s manufacturer. So if you want to get creative with your coffee, a capsule machine might not be for you.

Bean-to-cup machines

This is the machine of choice for fans of coffee shop-style lattes. Simply pour your coffee beans into the machine and watch as it grinds them to make a professional tasting drink.

The machine uses a built in grinder , many of which come with a variety of settings so you can decide just how finely you would like your beans ground, and pours your drink automatically once finished.

Some machines will even a include a steam arm so you can froth milk.

Filter coffee machines

For people who aren’t too fussed about their coffee and just need a quick pick-me-up, a filter coffee machine might be the best option.

Filter coffee machines work by dripping water through ground beans into a warm jug below. They’re a bit more time consuming than other coffee machines, but every cycle of use means the next cycle will produce stronger coffee.

There’s something for everyone among our pick of the best coffee machines, from the espresso enthusiast to the cappuccino connoisseur…

1. AeroPress coffee maker

£30, Whittard

This cheap-and-cheerful gadget has a cult following among those in the know. Simply place a spoon of whatever coffee you like in the tube, add hot water, then press down with the plunger.

Within 30 seconds, you’ll have a smooth cup of coffee (though admittedly without a coffee-shop style crema). Cleaning up is easy, and they even come with 350 disposable microfilters, so are low-cost to run.

Telegraph rating: 9/10

2. Jura S8 bean-to-cup coffee machine

£1,495, John Lewis

What an excellent machine from Jura , the Swiss brand that have been making top coffee machines for decades. While it’s incredibly pricey, it’s also superb. Here’s why: 

The Jura S8 is a really simple machine. All you have to do is plug it in, follow a few easy instructions regarding its installment, and you’re good to go. It works primarily with coffee beans, grinding them up each time you want a cup, but you can also use pre-ground. 

Once you’ve put in your beans (and don’t get too much in there, just enough for a few coffees, to keep it fresh), select your coffee from the touch screen. All cafe coffees are there – latte, macchiato, flat white, etc. Simply press and you’ll have a cafe quality drink in a matter of seconds. You can even adjust the settings to get the right strength and size. 

For milky drinks, there’s a tube which can go directly into a milk bottle (all milk alternatives work), or into a provided milk jug. It’ll suck it up and froth your milk for a perfect cappuccino. You’ll have to clean fairly regularly, however, to ensure it works properly. 

It really doesn’t get better than this – though, of course, you must decide if it’s worth the outlay. 

Telegraph rating: 9/10

3. De’Longhi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Eclipse Touch

£98.00, Amazon

New from Nescafé this year, the Dolce Gusto Eclipse coffee machine allows you to create top-tier barista style drinks from the comfort of your own kitchen.

The unique design makes it stand out from other machines on the market without compromising ease of use and a professional final product. 

The high-pressure system (designed specifically for coffee shop quality) allows you to make rich, flavoursome drinks every time.

Telegraph rating: 8/10

4. De’Longhi Magnifica fully automatic bean to cup coffee machine

£326.25, Amazon

Coffee connoisseurs swear by bean-to-cup makers – machines which grind coffee beans on the spot for a more intense, richer coffee.

Such appliances can cost an eye-watering amount of money, but De Longhi’s Magnifica range is one of the better-value high street options.

This model lets you adjust everything from the strength of the coffee to the temperature, and also lets you use ready-ground coffee – ideal for those caffeine emergencies.

Telegraph rating: 8/10

5. Bosch Tassimo Vivy hot drinks and coffee machine

£58.95, Amazon

This sleek, black machine makes over 35 varieties of drink, from lattes and macchiatos to hot chocolates and tea.

Other than the quality of the coffee, its stand-out feature is that it’s very low-maintenance – the product has an automatic cleaning and descaling program, while the 1.5L water tank means you don’t have to fill it too often.

You’re limited to the maker’s capsules (or "T-discs", as Bosch like to call them), but there is a good range available, including some made by the coffee chain Costa.

Telegraph rating: 8/10

6. Nespresso Pixie coffee machine by Krups

£125, Amazon

The smallest of the Nespresso range, the Pixie is compact enough to squeeze into even a tiny kitchen and provides a good-quality single or double espresso from a capsule in as little as 25 seconds.

It doesn’t, however, have the capacity to froth milk – so if you’re a cappuccino guzzler, you might want to upgrade to a bigger model, or buy a stand-alone milk frother.

Telegraph rating: 7/10

7. Francis Francis for Illy Expresso coffee maker

£149.41, Amazon

There are few coffee machines as good-looking as this vintage-style number from Francis Francis. Another capsule chomper, it’s best at espressos but does have a steam wand so you can froth milk for cappuccinos and lattes. Available in red, white or black.

Telegraph rating: 7/10

8. Gaggia Classic espresso machine

£225.18, Amazon

One of Which’s ‘Best Buys’, it’s a classic stainless steel machine that delivers top-notch espressos in just 16 seconds.

It has a steamer attachment so you can make frothy coffees, and works with both ground coffee and ESE (easy serve espresso) pods. Very simple to operate, too.

Telegraph rating: 7/10

9. Sage by Heston Blumenthal Barista Express bean-to-cup coffee machine

£529.99, Amazon 

If you fancy yourself a true barista (and have pockets as deep as Starbucks), this Heston Blumenthal-branded monster will tick all your coffee boxes.

The stainless steel machine is solid and stylish and will grind beans on any of 18 settings from coarse to fine, depending on how you crave your cuppa. The machine helpfully has "clean me" and "empty me" lights which remind you when it needs a bit of TLC.

But its not sufficiently better than other options to justify the price.

Telegraph rating: 6/10

Our favourites

There are countless excellent coffee makers on the market, with different types suiting different needs. 

Some of our favourites include the De’Longhi Nescafé Dolce Gusto , which makes coffee-shop quality coffee, and the De’Longhi Magnifica  which, despite its hefty price tag, makes the freshest coffee thanks to its built-in grinder. Its one of the most versatile machines out there. The Jura S8 is wonderful but expensive. 

But the winner has got to be the AeroPress . For sheer simplicity, and affordability, it can’t be beaten. 

*Minimum price available from our recommended retailers. Other prices may be available. Latest prices supplied by Monetizer101.

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10 best pod coffee machines

Whether it’s a lungo or latte, get a great-tasting drink in seconds with one of these machines

  • Sam Ellis

  • Monday 9 October 2017 10:00

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The capsule coffee machine is a supremely useful invention, offering outstanding convenience for coffee lovers who want to enjoy a barista-quality cuppa from the comfort of their own home. 

There are a wide variety of capsule machines on the market, most of which are designed to work with specific proprietary capsule systems such as Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, Tassimo and other top brands. Many of these machines are produced by some of the most notable names in the coffee space (Delonghi, Lavazza, Krups and so on), so generally speaking, you won’t have any problems with quality if you stick with the better-known companies. 

One of the main factors to consider when choosing a capsule machine is pump pressure (measured in bars), as it will determine how much flavour the machine can extract from each coffee capsule, as well as the quality of the crema when brewing espressos. A good rule of thumb is to choose a machine that has at least 15 bars of pump pressure, as do all of the machines listed here (except the lighter-duty Lavazza Jolie). 

If you’re looking for the best coffee-capsule machine among the many choices that are available, below are 10 top picks that really stand out from the crowd. 

1. Sage Nespresso Creatista Plus Coffee Machine: £367, John Lewis

Read more

  • 7 best cold-brew coffee makers
  • 12 best espresso machines
  • 10 best coffee grinders

With eight different beverage selections, the Sage Nespresso Creatista Plus offers you plenty of options for preparing barista-style coffee from your kitchen worktop. The machine is super-easy to use, with an intuitive high-resolution display that guides you through the coffee preparation process in short order. This machine features a 19-bar pump, so you won’t ever have to worry about achieving adequate flavour extraction. Lovers of milk-based coffee drinks will have a field day with this machine, as it provides 11 different milk temperature settings as well as eight different texture levels to help you precisely control milk-froth quality. All in all, the Creatista Plus is an elegantly designed workhorse that brews great tasting coffee. 

Buy now

2. Krups Nespresso Expert Coffee Machine: £249.95, John Lewis

The Krups Nespresso Expert enables you to prepare bespoke brews according to your own personal preferences. You can whip up espresso, ristretto, lungo, or Nespresso Americano coffee drinks using three different temperature settings (medium, hot and extra-hot), and as far as operational efficiency goes, using this machine really couldn’t be any simpler. It’s as easy as pushing a couple of buttons, or you can set everything up using your phone, thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity and Nespresso app. This machine is highly efficient, with 19 bars of pump pressure to force every atom of flavour out of each coffee capsule.

Buy now

3. Dualit 85180 Cafe Cino Coffee: £199.95, John Lewis 

The Dualit Cafe Cino is a delightfully compact capsule machine that offers a level of versatility that belies its modest size. Not only does it brew cappuccino, espresso, latte, and lungo beverages, but you can even pop in a tea pod when you’re in the mood for a different type of cuppa. Its programmable dosing memory allows you to customise the flavour extraction to whatever setting you find most agreeable. One of biggest standout features of this machine is its cold-milk-frothing option, which allows you to create creamy milkshakes anytime the mood hits you. In some respects, the Cafe Cino is more of a multi-function beverage-producing machine than just a coffee maker, although it facilitates coffee preparation with remarkable efficiency.

Buy now

4. Lavazza Jolie: £79.99, Robert Dyas

Those who are familiar with the Lavazza name are well aware of the company’s legendary status in the coffee space, and its stellar reputation is well represented in this beautifully designed machine. It features a 10-bar pump for efficient flavour extraction, and its mind-blowingly simple push-button operation makes preparing a cup of joe an extremely easy affair. The machine is compact and quiet, emitting only 44dB of sound during the brewing cycle – a welcome departure from other capsule machines that can tend to sound like garbage disposals when in operation. With one-touch operation and removable dishwasher-safe parts, ease of use gives the Lavazza Jolie a distinct edge against its similarly priced competitors. 

Buy now

5. DeLonghi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Eclipse: £129.99, Argos

Outfitted to work with Nescafé Dolce Gusto pods, the Dolce Gusto Eclipse is nothing short of a work of art in the design department. The machine looks more like a sculpture you would find in a modern art museum than a coffee maker, but don’t let its stylish, ring-shaped configuration fool you – the Eclipse offers rock-solid performance and versatility, accommodating over 30 different varieties of hot and cold beverages. It also features a highly intuitive touch-screen control panel for hassle-free operation, as well as 15 bars of pump pressure to produce quality coffee drinks of a calibre that you would typically find in high-street shops. 

Buy now

6. DeLonghi EN750.MB Nespresso Lattissima Pro: £330, John Lewis 

Whether you’re a fan of espressos, cappuccinos or both, you’ll find plenty of versatility in the De’Longhi Lattissima Pro. It features a patented milk-foaming system, operated by touch screen, which allows you to create heavenly milk-based concoctions such as latte macchiatos and cappuccinos without having to fuss with milk pods or steam wands to accomplish the job. The intuitive interface enables you to programme the machine to suit your specific tastes, and with 19 bars of pump pressure, quality flavour-extraction is a given. The Lattissima Pro only takes 25 seconds to warm up for regular coffee drinks, and 40 seconds for milk-based drinks.

Buy now

7. Lavazza Modo Mio Espria Plus: £119.99, Lavazza 

The Lavazza Modo Mio Espria Plus offers the perfect combination of elegant design and cutting-edge technology, with one-touch controls and a smart LED screen that will assist you in managing and maintaining the machine. It accepts Lavazza capsules through the top of the machine, keeping everything clean and simple, and the agreeable spout height allows you to place your coffee mug in position without any hassle. With a 40-second heat-up time and 15 bars of pump pressure, the Espria Plus offers efficient, no-frills operation that gets the job done, and with its sleek metallic silver-grey finish, this machine will make a fine addition to any kitchen worktop. 

Buy now  

8. Illy Francis Francis Y3.2: £78.90, Amazon

Designed by renowned architect Piero Lissoni, the newly released, whimsically named Francis Francis Y3.2 by illy offers a smart combination of elegance and functionality. Designed for iperEspresso and iperCoffee capsules, the Y3.2 prepares remarkably flavourful, barista-style coffee. Simplicity and convenience are the primary features of this machine, as it offers two programmable coffee settings, one-touch operation and automatic ejection of used capsules. It has a stylish yet compact design that makes it a good fit for practically any kitchen worktop. 

Buy now

9. Bosch Tassimo Suny: £70, Debenhams

When time is at a premium, this machine is the one you want in your kitchen. The Tassimo Suny features a Smart Start button on the front of the machine that is activated when you press your cup against it, allowing for ultra-quick drink preparation. Since this machine is compatible with all T-Disc capsules, it can create coffee, tea and/or chocolate beverages with equal facility. The Tassimo Suny also features intelligent barcode technology that takes all the guesswork out of drink preparation. When you pop the T-Disc into the top of the machine, it will read the barcode and then adjust its settings to prepare the drink according to the prescribed specifications. Not only does this make the process of creating your favourite beverage super easy, but it guarantees a consistency of performance that you’re sure to appreciate on a daily basis. 

Buy now

10. KitchenAid Nespresso Artisan: £309.95, John Lewis

When it comes to stylish design, it’s hard to beat the look of the KitchenAid Nespresso Maker. It has a “retro-chic” aesthetic that evokes a classic 1950s-diner feel, but its functionality embodies the best that modern coffee-making technology has to offer. This KitchenAid coffee maker is designed to work with Nespresso Grands Crus capsules, and it offers six pre-programmed cup sizes that can be adjusted by way of one simple brewing button. The KitchenAid also features an LED display that provides intuitive indication of the machine’s status, and with its fast heat-up time (under 30 seconds), you’ll be drinking your delicious cup of java within minutes of turning on the machine.

Buy now  

The Verdict: pod coffee machines 

While it’s obvious that price will be one of the top priorities on your list, you should also factor in how the machine will complement your lifestyle. If your coffee needs are relatively minimal (you’re the only coffee lover in your house, for instance), you might be better off sticking with a lighter-duty machine such as the Lavazza Jolie . If you’re a tech-inclined person who fancies smart gadgets and appliances, you’ll probably warm up to the Bluetooth-enabled Krups Nespresso Expert . If aesthetic appeal is one of your main considerations, no doubt the KitchenAid and Francis Francis Y3.2 machines will be top choices. If you are looking for a great all-rounder that excels in most of the aspects that matter for a capsule coffee machine, go for Sage Nespresso Creatista Plus , our Best Buy.

Sam Ellis is editor-in-chief of Coffee Tea Club