Coffee machines are one of the most confusing small appliances to shop for. There are so many different varieties to choose from – each one taking a different form of coffee and producing various flavourful results. Before you take the plunge and purchase a machine for yourself, think about what kind of drinks you like to drink and how often you plan on using the machine.
Do you like a strong black espresso every morning, or the occasional latte? Do you like to spend some time crafting the perfect brew, or do you want something that’s ready to go in an instant? Whether you opt for a fancy pod machine, a built-in grinder or a simple no-fuss filter coffee maker, here’s our guide to finding the right option for you.
Best Coffee Machines Reviewed for 2018
|Model||Image||Pressure||Type||Tank Capacity||Price||Buy Now|
|Lavazza A Modo Mio Magia LM6000 Espresso||15 Bar||Pod||1 Litre||£|
|Jura E6||15 Bar||Beans||1.9 Litre||£££|
|KitchenAid Nespresso Artisan||19 Bar||Pods||1.4 Litre||££|
|De’Longhi EC685||15 Bar||Grounds and Pods||1.1 Litre||££|
|Melitta Optima Timer Filter-Coffee Machine||N/A||Grounds||1.1 Litre||£|
Our Top Pick
Espresso Maker For Strong Black Coffee
A dedicated espresso maker is a highly flexible purchase when it comes to coffee machines, allowing you to create very strong, barista-style drinks using a range of pods. This style of maker is a great purchase for somebody who really gets into the art of coffee making and achieving that perfect crema.
This highly rated Magia espresso-machine produces a truly amazing cup of espresso. If a strong black americano is just what you need to get you raring to go in the morning, this could be your new best friend. Made by Lavazza, an Italian brand (and they really know their coffee) it is small, compact and sophisticated. There is a wide variety of different capsules that you can choose from, ideal for espresso and americano drinkers. The benefit of its Thermoblock technology is that your beverage will always be brewed at just the right temperature, so say goodbye to that burnt taste forever.
- Auto shutoff
- Sleek design
- Effecient design
- Great tasting drinks
- Cream coloured version is much more expensive than the black model
Our Verdict: This Lavazza A Modo Mio Magia espresso maker is well worth the money for the quality of the drinks it produces, with the added benefit of features like auto shutoff, customisable programs and an adjustable drip tray that can go in the dishwasher. This appliance comes highly recommended.
Lavazza A Modo Mio Magia LM6000 Rating: 9.5/10
- Tank Capacity: 1 Litre
- Pressure: 15 Bar
- Type: Pod
- Temperature Settings: 2
- Auto Shutoff: Yes
- Guarantee: 2 Years
Lavazza A Modo Mio Magia LM6000 user manual
Best Bean-to-Cup Option
Waking up and smelling the coffee should be something that we enjoy and that’s something that is possible with this easy-to-use Jura coffee machine, not only can you make your favourite coffee but also a cappuccino or Latte Macchiato too.
One thing that strikes buyers is the price, there’s no beating around the bush, this isn’t a cheap and cheerful addition, neither is it supposed to be. This is a new indispensible purchase for the kitchen with its stylish design and high-tech features. If you want the taste of a barista drink from home then this will do more than the trick, it boasts a 15 bar pressure and has an impressive 1450-watt power system.
One nice little touch that we enjoyed is that it has a memory function allowing the personal coffee maker to remember your favourite beverage. This is a cooperative machine that not only knows what you are likely to want but it can vary the size upon your adjustment.
It’s also important to add that it has a removable water tank and an auto clean function ensuring that no residue is left over.
- It is a powerful machine with complete durability
- Contains a memory function
- Removable water tank
- Nice tasting, aromatic coffee
- Sleek design
- Not priced for small budgets
Our Verdict: The best bean to cup option for serious coffee lovers.
Jura E6 Rating: 10/10
- Dimensions: (H)34.0 x (W)29.0 x (D)35.0
- Power: 1450 Watt
- Usually has a two year warranty from most retailers
- Variable sizes for your cup
- TFT display
- Makes coffee, espresso, latte
Jura E6 user manual
Best Artisan Option
Pod machines are the dream solution for people who want the luxury of great tasting drinks without making a mess. The process is simple – one vacuum sealed pod per cup. In it goes, out it comes. Job done. Find pods to make all kinds of delicious drinks: not just espresso but cappuccino, hot chocolate, chai latte and many others.
This artisan Nespresso model from KitchenAid is a weighty countertop model that really feels like a quality purchase. It’s quick, easy to load, comes with a tonne of useful features such as emptying and descaling modes, and has a high-shine finish that would complement any kitchen. However you like your coffee – strong as an ox or weak as kitten – you can use one of 6 settings to ensure that it comes out just right. This is convenient, tasty, hot coffee every time you make it, with no hassle. Sounds good to us.
- Removable resovioir
- Pods are great quality
- Great tasting coffee
- Fantastic aesthetics
- No milk functionality – you have to add your own
Our Verdict: Pod Machine For Delicious No-Hassle Coffee-Making
KitchenAid Nespresso Artisan Rating: 9/10
- Tank Capacity: 1.4 Litres
- Pressure: 19 Bar
- Type: Pod
- Features: 6 Pre-Programmed Cup Sizes
- Auto Shutoff: Yes
- Guarantee: 2 years
KitchenAid Nespresso Artisan user manual
Best Pump Option
This pump espresso coffee machine from De’Longhi is sleek and minimalistic in appearance, however with an adjustable steam frother and an impressive heat up time of just 30 seconds, this appliance is perfect for those rushed mornings when waiting isn’t an option.
We love that this machine is suitable for both coffee pods and grounds, making it incredibly versatile and giving you the option to create your own special brews. However, our favourite feature of this machine is undoubtedly the cup warmer, which means your coffee is being made in a warm mug, and so it will stay hotter for longer.
- Fast heat up time
- Use pods or grounds
- Integrated manual milk frother
- Cup warmer
- Instructions a little unclear
Our Verdict: A good all-rounder perfect for even the most rushed kitchens
De’Longhi EC685 Rating: 10/10
- Tank Capacity: 1.1 L
- Pressure: 15 bar
- Type: Grounds or Pods
- Guarantee: 2 Years
De’Longhi EC685 user manual
Best Coffee-Filter Machine
Filter-Coffee Machine For Easy Black Coffee That Keeps Warm
The appeal of filter-coffee machines is that they are delightfully easy to use and you can make a big pot of coffee all at once, which saves lots of time if you are making coffee for several people – great for work. You can get jugs in all different volumes to suit your need. There is no need to boil water, you simply pour it into the appliance and it slowly drips through the paper filter filled with grounds to create a big full jug of hot caffeinated loveliness. The jug sits on a hot plate, which is what keeps it warm.
The Melitta Optima Filter-Coffee Machine is one of the top filter options we have found. It’s a modern take on the classic filter-coffee machine design, including useful features such as a timer, water level display and detachable filter unit to make brewing your coffee even easier. The joy of using a timer is that you can set the machine to start brewing for when you wake up, so the smell wafts deliciously through the house. All you need is water, grounds and the right size filter papers.
- Not restricted to one brand of coffee
- Lovely design
- Easy to use
- Great functionality
- Fantastic tasting coffee
- Have to replace filters with every use
Our Verdict: While it is slightly more expensive than a bog standard filter-coffee machine, you get what you pay for – a sleek design that creates lovely hot coffee with no mess and no restriction to any one brand of coffee, as is the case with some of the pods. Bonus – grounds are great for the garden.
Melitta Optima Rating: 9.5/10
- Tank Capacity: 1.1 Litres
- Pressure: N/A
- Type: Ground
- Features: Thermostatic Hotplate
- Auto Shutoff: No
- Manufacturer’s Guarantee: 2 Years
Melitta Optima user manual
Coffee-Machine Buying Guide
Size is an important factor to consider when choosing your coffee-machine, if you plan on storing it away some of the time. Unless it’s going to be on the kitchen worktop – in which case it can be as large as you want (within reason) – make sure you opt for a coffee-machine that is small and light enough to fit in one of your kitchen cupboards.
Some people like their coffee ready quickly, with minimal effort. Others like to put time and effort into crafting the perfect cup. If convenience is your priority, consider opting for a pod machine that does a lot of the hard work for you while still offering a lot of variety.
As a general rule: the higher the wattage, the faster your coffee will heat up. If you’re going to be making batches in large quantities, then a high wattage machine – perhaps a filter-coffee machine with a large jug – is going to be the right option for you. If it’s just you and a friend, you can afford to go lower with a machine that will just make the occasional espresso or latte.
Unless you only drink black coffee– espressos or americanos – then you may want to consider looking for a model that either has a steam arm or an integrated milk frothing function. This will give you the ability to make all kinds of drinks that use milk, such as cappuccinos and lattes.
Bar pressure is what’s responsible for the flavour of your drink. If the bar pressure isn’t powerful enough, you won’t get as strong a flavour. To achieve a great-tasting coffee with a smooth cream on the surface, aim to buy a model with a bar pressure of between 9-15 bars.
The top models tend to use thermoblock heating systems. The reason is that they heat water only to 90° – the optimal temperature for great coffee – rather than boiling point as you would for a cup of tea. This helps to avoid the horrible burnt taste that results if you heat the water too much. When buying your coffee machine, look for one with a thermoblock heating system.
Unless you’re buying a filter model, auto shutoff is a good function to look out for. It shuts down your coffee machine automatically after use if you haven’t touched it for a certain amount of time, which both saves energy and prevents coffee burning. Auto shutoff can be found on most models but not all, so try and find one with this function if you can.
Hopefully this article has helped you discover what kind of coffee-machine is going to be the right choice for you. Which one will you go for and what features do you like the look of? Let us know in the comments.