• Toby

How to know which coffee machine to buy?

Updated: Jan 13

Coffee is one of the biggest commodity in the world and one of the most popular drinks in the world. Most consumers drink coffee every day and therefore it's important to know which coffee machine is right for you! Instead of buying coffee on the go from fancy branded coffee houses why not buy your own and save money. We break down the different variants of coffee machines for you to help with your decision.


1) Manual Espresso Machine

Manual espresso machines are the more traditional method of curating coffee and involve sending water through a coffee "puck".


Pros – best tasting coffee mimics the high-street retailers, flexibility in the variety of coffee they can make, allowing for maximum customisation and experimentation. Some of the manual espresso machines run without electricity making them eco-friendly, and some are also portable making them great for weekends away.


Cons – It can prove time-consuming to make each coffee, especially whilst you perfect your technique. Very complicated equipment that may need training in how to manually grind and tamp the coffee and steam the milk to perfection. The machines are generally quite large, and also can be fairly messy. The consistency and flavour of the coffee may depend on the ability of the barista


2) Bean to cup machine

As in the name, bean to cup machines uses coffee beans which are automatically ground up for you.


Pros – easy to use as the machine internally will grind, compresses and pour the coffee. It is a simple design that provides consistency in coffee taste. It offers a convenient service that is fast, averaging 20-60 seconds per espresso. Some of the high-end bean to cup machines will come with an integrated milk frother, which will heat and aerate the milk to your desire.


Cons – these machines require regular cleaning and replacement of the coffee beans to upkeep the standard of the coffee, if the machine has an integrated fresh milk frother it has to be cleaned daily. They do not tend to suit low use environments and would benefit from being used more frequently. These machines are typically higher in price.


3) Pod or capsule machine (with separate milk frother)

Pod or capsule machines are relatively new and have been pioneered by Nespresso. Pod machines essentially use a small pod which has coffee grounds.


Pros – although you can choose the pod, you cannot generally choose the best coffee beans, and the results are not as good as manual espresso or bean to cup. The coffee pods can also be fairly expensive to buy weekly. These machines suit lower volume environments, as the machine can only produce one at a time. The coffee pods are typically made of plastic and aluminium making them difficult to recycle.stage and keep the product fresher for longer.


Cons – although you can choose the pod, you cannot generally choose the best coffee beans, and the results are not as good as manual espresso or bean to cup. The coffee pods can also be fairly expensive to buy weekly. These machines suit lower volume environments, as the machine can only produce one at a time. The coffee pods are typically made of plastic and aluminium making them difficult to recycle.


4) Pod or capsule machine with built-in milk functions

Pros – some of the capsule machines also have the choice in buying milk pods, this eases the cleaning of the machine as the milk is dried and will not require any added cleaning process.

Cons – milk capsules are powdered/long lasting and therefore do not provide the fresh taste of a barista coffee, they also do not allow the option for substituting milk variety.


5) Filter coffee machine

Filter coffee works similar to a pod machine, however the water isn't forced through. Instead, coffee grounds are placed in a filter which the water drips through into your cup.


Pros – uses ground coffee, so the process of making and brewing the coffee is quick and can provide coffee for several people at once. Some of these machines come with an integrated hot plate that keeps the black coffee hot for up to a few hours. The machines are the cheapest on the market and are easy to use.


Cons – uses ground coffee, so the process of making and brewing the coffee is quick and can provide coffee for several people at once. Some of these machines come with an integrated hot plate that keeps the black coffee hot for up to a few hours. The machines are the cheapest on the market and are easy to use.

– milk capsules are powdered/long-lasting and therefore do not provide the fresh taste of a barista coffee, they also do not allow the option for substituting milk variety.

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