The latest Which? coffee machine tests have uncovered a new top-scorer, plus the first Don’t Buy coffee machine we’ve seen in years.
We put 16 coffee makers to the test, including big hitters like the Nespresso Creatista and Essenza Mini. Some models proved a fast and foolproof route to your morning pick-me-up, but others were downright dreadful.
The worst coffee machine scored a mere 32%, while the best model went straight to the top of the leaderboard with an impressive 86%. The difference between the two? One machine produced espressos that knocked our expert taster’s socks off – full of flavour, with a rich golden crema and a hint of sweetness. The other made a dull, thin and flavourless espresso, and proved a total nightmare to use. It’s more expensive than our top Best Buy coffee machine, too.
Get the lowdown on the coffee machines we recommend ahead of the Christmas season, so your festive brews don’t leave a bitter taste in your mouth – see all our Best Buy coffee machines.
Choosing the right coffee machine
The big trend in 2017 has been towards increased personalisation, with new machines giving you more control over exactly how you want your coffee, from temperature and length to milk froth density.
To narrow down your options when buying, it’s worth thinking about how you – or a loved one – like your coffee: do you mainly drink short black espressos or longer milky brews?
How much control you want over the process, and whether you want the freedom to buy a range of coffees, also affects the type of machine that’s right for you. Some will automate everything, while others will leave the espresso-making and milk frothing up to you.
Find out more about the different types of machine and see our most recently tested models below, or head to our coffee machine reviews to filter by price, type and more.
New capsule coffee machine reviews
Capsule machines are great if convenience is key. With most models, you simply pop in a capsule, press a button, and your drink appears. However, bear in mind you’ll be tied into one pod system (such as Dolce Gusto) and capsules are the most expensive option per cup. We’ve just tested models from Nespresso, Tassimo and Dualit:
Bosch Tassimo Vivy TAS1407GB, £39
The cheap and cheerful Tassimo Vivy works with Tassimo capsules, which offer a range of drink options, from traditional espressos, lattes and cappuccinos to more unusual flavors such as Oreo hot chocolate and Baileys Latte Macchiato. You don’t need a milk frother with the Vivy; instead, milky drinks such as cappuccino come with an additional capsule that contains UHT milk.
Can a milk pod make a satisfying cappuccino? Read the full Bosch Tassimo Vivy review to find out.
Dualit Classic 85170, £249
The Dualit Classic has the look and feel of a traditional Italian coffee machine, but has thoroughly modern innards. It’s a capsule machine that works with either Dualit or Nespresso capsules, which means that it will take Nespresso-compatible capsules, too. If you find boiling a kettle a chore, you can also use Dualit’s tea pods with this machine.
Good looks don’t come cheap, though – this stylish appliance is more expensive than many rival Nespresso machines. Read the full Dualit Classic review to discover if it should be on your wishlist.
See our picks of the best Nespresso-compatible capsules
Nespresso Essenza Mini, £80 (£120 with milk frother)
This new-for-2017 Nespresso machine is ideal if you want a quick caffeine hit but have limited space on your kitchen worktop. There are two slightly different versions, one made by Krups (above, left), and one by Magimix (above, right) with a variety of colour options to choose from. You can buy the standalone machines, or a bundled version with Nespresso’s Aeroccino milk frother – perfect if you want the option to make milky coffees.
Lavazza Jolie Plus, £60
The Lavazza Jolie Plus is designed to take Lavazza’s own-brand coffee capsules, which primarily cater for espresso drinkers. While you can get a milk-frothing accessory to whip up milk for cappuccinos and lattes, many of Lavazza’s coffee capsules are designed to be enjoyed black.
The Jolie Plus without milk frother starts at around £60, but there are some deals to be had at the moment if you shop around. If you are looking for a Jolie Plus with a milk frother, you will probably need to spend closer to £99.
Read our Lavazza Jolie Plus review to see if this machine a good buy.
Sage Nespresso Creatista, £299
One of Nespresso’s flagship 2017 launches, the Creatista is all about the personalisation. You can choose between several different drink options, such as ristretto, espresso, lungo, cappuccino, flat white and latte. You can also customise the temperature of your drink and the texture of your milk.
A fully automated steam pipe takes the guesswork out of frothing milk to the perfect consistency. The Creatista Plus, which costs about £50 more, is available in stainless steel and has some extra milk frothing options over the standard model.
If you’re fanatical about your foam, read the Sage Nespresso Creatista review to see if this machine delivers on its promises.
Looking for the new Nespresso Vertuo machines? They launched too late for this round of tests, but you can read our full Nespresso VertuoPlus first look review to get our first impressions
New ground coffee machine reviews
Traditional ground coffee machines allow you to get hands on with the coffee-making process. Because they work with loose ground coffee, you’ll have more freedom to shop around for your perfect blend.
Many can also be used with ESE (‘easy serving espresso’) pods. These are similar to a tea bag but with a pre-measured dose of coffee grounds inside, taking the guesswork out of having to prep your coffee if you’re new to espresso making or in a hurry.
DeLonghi Icona Micalite ECOM311, £180
This DeLonghi is available in black or red and works with either ground espresso coffee or ESE pods. It’s a newer version of a classic coffee maker, with traditional looks and an easy-to-use three-button control system and milk steaming pipe for manual frothing. There’s a mug warmer up top too, to keep your espresso cups cosy.
Will it satisfy the coffee fan in your life? Check the full DeLonghi Icona Micalite ECOM311 review to find out.
DeLonghi Distinta EC1341, £180
The Distinta comes in three matt colours – black, off-white and on-trend copper. You can get toasters and kettles to match both this model and the Icona if you are keen on a coordinated kitchen. The Distinta has similar features to the Icona, including a simple control dial, cup warmer, and the option to use either ground coffee or ESE pods.
Smeg ECF01 Coffee Machine, £280
This retro-styled Smeg coffee machine is available in red, pastel blue, cream or black. Or, if you’re really looking to impress, it’s also due to launch in a limited edition Dolce & Gabbana print in 2018.
Like many of its competitors, it has a steam pipe that can be used to froth up milk for cappuccinos, lattes and flat whites. It’s on the pricey side, though, so before you clear a space for it, read the full Smeg ECF01 review to get our verdict.
New bean-to-cup coffee machine reviews
Bean-to-cup machines combine the automated convenience of a capsule machine with the variety of coffee offered by a ground coffee machine. They grind whole coffee beans from scratch to produce a freshly ground espresso.
However, these machines tend to be more expensive and are sometimes more complicated to set up than capsule machines. We check how noisy they are, how difficult they are to use and the quality of coffee they produce, so that you can avoid the models that simply aren’t worth the cost.
Beko Bean to Cup CEG7425B, £349
This Beko bean-to-cup coffee machine, the first we’ve tested from this brand, works with either ground coffee or whole beans. It also has an integrated milk frother and a self-clean cycle in an attempt to be as hassle-free and automated as possible.
It’s not the most stylish model around, but it’s relatively affordable for a bean-to-cup model – some rivals cost more than £1,000. Find out whether it dishes up fresh coffee for less in the full Beko Bean to Cup CEG7425B review.
All the latest coffee machine reviews
Here is the full list of the 16 new coffee machines we have tested and reviewed. Click on the link to get straight to the individual review, or head to our coffee machine reviews to browse by price, brand or type.
- Beko Bean to Cup CEG7425
- Bosch Tassimo Vivy TAS1407GB
- DeLonghi Icona Micalite ECOM311.RD
- DeLonghi Distinta EC1341CP
- Dualit Classic 85170
- Krups Essenza Mini with Aeroccino XN111840
- Krups Essenza Mini XN110140
- Lavazza Jolie Plus with Milk frother 18000128
- Lavazza Jolie Plus 18000128
- Magimix Essenza Mini with Aeroccino 11373
- Magimix Essenza Mini 11366
- Krups Nespresso Expert&Milk XN601840
- Magimix Nespresso Expert&Milk M500
- Krups Nespresso Expert XN600840
- Sage Nespresso Creatista BNE600SLQ
- Smeg ECF01 Coffee Machine
Prices are correct as of 10 November 2017.