The Best Coffee Machines for Your Kitchen
As a renter, there are all sorts of reasons why you might be tempted to buy a coffee machine.
Coffee machines can add a touch of style and elegance to your kitchen, providing a great opportunity to touch upon your barista skills and get the full café experience from home while enjoying the smell of fresh coffee throughout your property.
Plus, buying a coffee machine can be a huge money saver – it’s no coincidence that Britain’s coffee shop market is currently valued at a whopping £10billion. And now, with the popularity of reusable cups, you can easily enjoy homemade coffee at home or on-the-go.
With so much to choose from, however, it can be a little tricky to find your perfect-fit machine. So we’ve pulled together this handy guide to picking the best machine for you.
Sit back, grab a hot brew and discover the best coffee machines for your kitchen.
But first… some things you need to think about
It’s safe to say that there are a lot of great machines on the market right now, so to make your search a little easier, it’s worth underlining your biggest priorities before buying.
Do you care most about ease of set up and use? Or is it all about taste and the ability to experiment and get creative?
Are you a bit of a coffee connoisseur? Do you need a full range of choices, including cappuccinos, lattes and flat whites? Or are you after more basic espresso options? Do your flavour, strength and bean preferences change on the regular?
Perhaps it’s important for you to choose a chic and stylish design or something that’s neat and doesn’t take up too much space (if your rental has a small kitchen, it’s a great idea to find something that can be popped in the cupboard).
Or maybe you’re a tech aficionado and are drawn in by all the bells and whistles – higher-end machines can offer lots of functions, pre-programming options, and remote app controls.
Either way, thinking about these things in advance can help to refine your coffee machine search.
There are different kinds of machines on offer
Espresso machines are for great taste, giving you a rich, condensed and shorter coffee with a crema top. Coffee connoisseurs can also enjoy experimenting with their preparation methods. However, espresso machines are on the more expensive side and can take up a lot of space.
Bean-to-cup machines produce café-quality coffee for the purists among us. Like espresso machines, they tend to be more expensive but offer great-tasting, fresh coffee thanks to built-in grinders. They also come with lots of settings for experimentation. Bean-to-cup machines are the all-singing, all-dancing option; lots of them now even come with a steamer and other handy features.
Pod machines are ultra-convenient. You don’t need to grind your own beans, meaning that your coffee will always be fresh. They’re cleaner and typically very easy-to-use. However, you have to buy pods that are compatible with your machine, limiting you to certain brands. The pods themselves can also be expensive and aren’t recyclable, so pod machines are a less sustainable option.
The best Espresso machines
Sage by Heston The Barista Express, £549
Ideal for: gadget wizards
Pros: professional-standard, multi-function, easy-to-use, comes with a milk-foaming nozzle, a wide variety of coffee options
Cons: it’s on the pricier side
Flair Signature espresso maker bundle, £239
Ideal for: eco-warriors
Pros: hand-operated rather than electric, simple once mastered, easy to clean, compact, high-standard taste
Cons: The functionality takes a little getting used to, as it’s a manual offering and different to a typical espresso machine.
Swan SK22110 retro pump espresso coffee machine, £85
Ideal for: style-seekers
Pros: attractive vintage-look, good value, easy to use and clean. The Swan comes with a milk frother and temperature gauge and is available in multiple colour options.
Cons: the coffee is a little bit on the weak side if you like a strong brew
The best bean-to-cup machines
Jura S8 Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine, £1395
Ideal for: aspiring baristas
Pros: top-notch coffee, simple to use, option to grind own beans or use pre-ground coffee, full range of coffee options
Cons: the deluxe price-tag, needs regular cleaning
De’Longhi Magnifica S Bean To Cup Coffee Machine, from £239.99
Ideal for: value lovers
Pros: value for money, flexible strength and temperature, multiple cups brewed at once, ability to use pre-ground coffee, slim design
Cons: needs regular refilling
Beko Bean To Cup, £324.99
Ideal for: Those in a hurry
Pros: super-simple, no-frills, good-tasting coffee, flexible grinding settings, sleek design
Cons: slightly basic instructions, lack of choice (only makes espresso)
The best pod machines
KitchenAid Nespresso artisan £395
Ideal for: the house-proud
Pros: gorgeous aesthetic, vintage-look, level-operated pod chamber
Cons: doesn’t have a milk attachment, quite large for a pod machine
Bosch Tassimo Vivy Hot Drinks and Coffee Machine, £77.90
Ideal for: bargain-hunters
Pros: excellent value, sleek design, makes over 35 types of drink, low maintenance
Cons: you’re limited to using Bosch’s capsules
De’Longhi Lattissima One, £219.99
Ideal for: the self-indulgent
Pros: milk-frothing cappuccino and latte options, neat and attractive look, simple to use, ergonomic design, eco-friendly low-energy mode, waste-saving
Cons: you’re limited to using Nespresso pods
The hot take
Ultimately, there’s something for everyone when it comes to at-home coffee-making, so it’s about finding the right machine for you and the space where you live.
With just a little bit of care and attention, you can find the perfect machine to elevate your living space and maximise your day-to-day coffee experience.