What to consider when buying a coffee machine

Are you one of those people whose day doesn’t start until you’ve had a burst of caffeine? Do you love the smell of a freshly opened bag of roasted ground coffee? Can’t walk past Costa’s without buying a takeout of a double shot latte? Join the club! With more and more coffee houses popping up on our high streets, the temptation to fork out for a milky coffee is ever present. Problem is, they’re not cheap, which is why many people are buying coffee machines and getting their caffeine fix at home.

Not only do you save money, but you can get that barista style flavour without leaving the house. But with so many different types of machines, how do you start to work out which one you should buy?

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The trick is to work out what type of coffee you prefer to drink, how much time you want to spend making it, and how much choice of flavours you want there to be. Once you’ve made your choices, the rest is simple.

FILTER MACHINES

So, if for you, a macchiato represents a shade of brown, it’s probably more than likely that you’re not a coffee connoisseur, and a filter coffee machine may suit you. Once upon a time all coffee machines were filter types, but they have come a long way since the ’70s. Filter machines use ground coffee that is placed in a paper filter through which boiling water is then dripped through.

The glass carafe that catches the resulting coffee sits on a warming plate. They are perfect for offices as they make large quantities of coffee that can be kept warm for long periods of time. This De’Longhi ICM15210 Filter Coffee Maker is a steal at only £27.95. Ideal for people who want a no nonsense cup of coffee.

De'Longhi ICM15210 Filter Coffee Maker

De’Longhi ICM15210 Filter Coffee Maker

POD MACHINES

For those who love the variety of espresso, lattes and cappuccinos, but don’t want the hassle of actually making them themselves, a pod or capsule coffee machine is a great solution. The manufacturers have done all the hard work for you, and created authentic tasting flavour pods, which include your favourite coffee-house drinks, and even teas and hot chocolates. The coffee is blended, roasted, grounded and then sealed in the pods, which stay fresh for up to 9 months.

When you place the pod in the machine, hot water is forced through the ingredients and the result is a great tasting cup of coffee with no messy filters to clean up afterwards. This Tassimo by Bosch T20 Multi Drinks Machine is our favourite as you can get coffee pods from Costa Coffee, and it is reduced from £99.99 to £59.99. One thing we would say about the pod machines is that with the milky drinks, the milk is included in the pods, which can make it taste slightly artificial for some people.

Tassimo Bosch T20 Multi Drinks

Tassimo Bosch T20 Multi Drinks

PUMP ESPRESSO

If you love coffee, have the time and don’t mind a little effort when it comes to making your coffee, you should consider a pump espresso coffee maker. These coffee makers use a metal filter holder where you ‘tamp’ down the ground coffee to make espresso.

There is a separate tank that heats up the water to the optimum temperature for making coffee, this water is then forced through the coffee at the correct bar pressure (15 bar) to produce a rich, smooth espresso. They also have a traditional milk frother so that you can steam milk for lattes and cappucinos. This De’Longhi Espresso EC820.B Coffee Machine is a good price for £169.99.

De'Longhi Scultura ECZ351 Coffee Machine

De’Longhi Espresso EC820.B Coffee Machine

BEAN TO CUP MACHINES

Finally, there are bean-to-cup coffee machines for the real coffee connoisseur. As the name suggests, these machines grind the beans and then the grounds are delivered to the holding filter where they are tightly packed, ready for processing.

Most machines are fully automated, meaning that at just a touch of a button you get a barista style coffee in minutes. We think this Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine from Saeco is good value at £549.95.

Saeco Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine

Saeco Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine