The average cost of a Which? Best Buy coffee machine is £185, so a traditional espresso machine that will set you back less than a third of that price sounds like a bargain not to be missed.
On paper, Aldi’s Ambiano coffee machine looks to tick all the boxes. Available in most Aldi stores from 20 October 2016, it has a pleasing retro look reminiscent of classic coffee makers, including a temperature gauge for precise drink preparation.
You can make two espressos at once thanks to the double filter, and the steam wand gives you the option of frothing milk for cappuccinos, lattes and more.
But for just £60 can it still turn out a tasty, well-brewed coffee?
Aldi Ambiano espresso machine – what you get
Despite its rock-bottom price. the Ambiano espresso machine has features that you would expect from a more expensive model, including a steaming wand, cup warmer and temperature gauge.
And, while we’ve seen a few £50 coffee machines pass through our test labs over the years, it’s rare for them to look good too. The Ambiano has the looks of a machine three times its price, which is a nice bonus.
While its curvy good looks impressed initially , we came across an annoying niggle when using this coffee machine. It constantly dripped after use, splattering the drip tray and body of the machine with murky coffee leftovers.
For £60 this is probably the kind of flaw you could live with if the coffee is up to scratch. Read the full first look review to find out what we thought of the espressos and cappuccinos we made with this Aldi coffee machine.
For recommended models starting from just £50, see our pick of the best coffee machines.
How much should you spend on a coffee machine?
We’ve tested traditional ground coffee machines, such as the Ambiano, that range from less than £70 to nearly £600, and we’ve found that price doesn’t necessarily guarantee you will get a superior machine.
Some models costing hundreds of pounds failed to impress us with the quality of their coffee, while some cheap and cheerful models turned out an unexpectedly excellent espresso. So you don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds to get a decent coffee maker, although you might want to spend a little bit extra to trade up to a model with all the features or the design you’re looking for.
You can see all the coffee machines we’ve reviewed, and sort models by price to find the best fit for your budget, by heading to our coffee machine reviews.
Aldi and Lidl appliance deals
Discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl regularly sell own-brand kitchen appliances such as this coffee machine. These are usually in store for a limited time while stocks last. We tried the Silvercrest Espresso Machine (£50) earlier this year, which had a similar retro look to the Ambiano coffee maker. We’ll also be bringing you our verdict on Lidl’s newest coffee machine, complete with automatic milk frother, in a few weeks’ time.
The limited stock, low prices and short shelf life are all tempting reasons to throw caution to the wind and treat yourself when you spot these products in store. But, while some have impressed in our try-outs and are significantly cheaper than big-brand rivals, others have been less impressive, or not that much cheaper than tried-and-tested alternatives.
Before you buy, it’s worth thinking about whether you really need that gadget, and doing some initial research to see how the price and features compare with other similar products.
Prices correct as of 18 October 2016.