Best Coffee Machine Reviews

De'Longhi Magnifica Bean to Cup Coffee Machine ESAM4200

Coffee drinking and crafting continues to evolve (or perhaps devolve), with the hipster crowd favouring a more organic, hands-on coffee-making experience. We are seeing the rise in popularity of older, more traditional techniques such as Turkish coffee, pour over and vacuum style coffee makers. At the other end of the spectrum are the hi-tech gadgets that will do all the work for you at the touch of a button.

The internet is full of best coffee machine reviews, featuring dozens of different machines all claiming to do amazing things. It can be overwhelming trying to decipher all the information available. Not to worry: whether you are testing the waters as a newbie to the fine art of coffee making, or wanting to upgrade your existing machine, we have the definitive guide to the various types of coffee gadgets around, as well as the top selling machines currently on offer.

Best Coffee Maker Comparison Table

Different Types of Coffee Machines

There are as many different kinds as there are coffee beans. Coffee lovers today are spoilt for choice, and the sky is the limit when it comes to experimenting with different flavours, grinding techniques, appliances and techniques. The selection on offer can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to producing speciality coffee at home. However, don’t let that deter you. With the help of our demystifying guide, you will be enjoying exquisitely delicious brews at home at the push of a button – or if you prefer a more authentic experience, there are plenty more traditional options available.

Read on to find out what kind of coffee preparation device is best suited to you.

Drip/filter coffee pot

Probably the most well-known, the filter coffee pot is ideal for when you need good coffee on demand. The method of operation involves water slowly dripping through a container full of coffee grinds, then through a paper or permanent filter.

As the hot water flows through the granules, it absorbs their flavour and aroma, and carries that on through to drip down into your coffee pot. They typically yield between 2 and 6 cups of coffee (depending on jug size). And because it sits on a warming plate it’s ideal for busy households or offices, as there will be hot coffee available throughout the day. Drip coffee makers are very affordable and good value, the downside is that often they require more cleaning, brew rather slowly, and don’t provide much variation on the type of coffee you can create, with no room for experimentation.

Pod/capsule machines

These hugely popular single-serve brewers use disposable pods or capsules which have been packed with pre-blended, roasted and ground coffee. On placing the capsule inside the machine, the heated water is forced through the coffee grinds, producing a fully flavoured and aromatic blend (different depending on what capsule you have used). This is a very easy method, with minimal to no cleaning required. Be aware each machine is compatible only with the matching capsules/pods specifically designed for it. Little to no knowledge of the coffee making process is required to make a quality cup of coffee, and these machines offer speed, no fuss cleaning and simple operation. However, bear in mind that refills are more expensive in the long run than buying a bag of beans would be, and you won’t be able to experiment much to tailor the coffee to your own unique style.

French press

French Press Coffee Maker

A fancy name for a quite commonly seen device, a French press is also known as a cafetiere, coffee press, or coffee plunger. Usually made of stainless steel or glass, they are simple to use with no complicated instruction manual needed.

Freshly ground beans and hot water are placed together into the jug. After waiting about 2-4 minutes for the full absorption process to occur you depress the plunger, which acts to separate the coffee grounds from the drinkable coffee, and voila: delicious coffee ready to enjoy.

French presses generally only make between 1 to 3 cups of coffee at a time, but the bonus is that they are portable, so you can take them camping or on holiday - wherever you need your coffee fix! These are great value and allow you to use whatever coffee beans tickle your fancy. When using the press, you’ll need a coarser (larger) grind to prevent seepage through the mesh filter. This coarser grind will also make for a slightly longer brew time.

Stove top

Also known as a Moka pot, espresso pot or macchinetta, these devices are highly popular in Europe and Latin America. They can be used over a flame or an electric range, come in a variety of sizes, and are typically made of aluminium. These produce coffee by using the pressure of steam to force boiling water through the ground coffee. Easy to operate, you simply fill the boiler up with water, add coffee grinds to the filter, and place on a heat source.

The flavor of stove top coffee will vary depending on your bean selection, grinding quality, and the level of heat used. Often thought of as stove-top espresso makers, they are not considered to be true espresso creators by connoisseurs. The reason for this lies in the low pressure (1 to 2 bars) produced in a Moka pot. True espresso is produced at 9 bars of pressure. If you like your coffee strong, with increased caffeine kick and deeper flavors, then this simple device is for you.

Espresso coffee machines

If espresso coffee is your cup of tea (so to speak) then this style of machine is what you’re after. You can easily make barista-style espresso in your own kitchen using pre-ground coffee. Some of these machines even boast a steam arm which you can use to make frothy milk for cappuccinos and lattes.

An espresso machine will look impressive in your kitchen, although will take up a bit more space than the previously described methods. This is the appliance for someone wanting a bit of a challenge. They are harder to use than pod and bean to cup machines, but enable you to have a greater level of control over the finished product.

If you’re after a genuine old-school coffee experience you should invest in one of these bad boys. The cons of investing in an espresso machine are that they are more time consuming than other varieties of coffee machine, will take a bit of practice to master the perfect espresso, and also require regular dismantling for cleaning or descaling with chemicals.

Bean to cup

The name says it all with this machine. With one touch of a button, this intelligent gadget will grind your beans, pack the grinds, and push water through the filter at the selected pressure.

Designed for the true coffee artiste, most of these machines are fully customisable so you can plan your perfect brew down to the smallest detail (or just stick to automatic if you don’t have the patience or time for experimentation). Usually equipped with a steam arm to heat and froth milk, you can make a range of different varieties of coffee. Exceptionally easy to use, (you’d be hard pressed to make a bad cup of coffee using one of these) most are fully automatic. Some of the high-end machines have features such as cup warmers, timers, milk frothers and a variety of fully adjustable settings. Bean to cup machines make very little mess and provide opportunity for a wide range of coffee production. They do tend to be bigger,