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Don’t put up with sub-standard coffee. Our coffee machine experts pick out the best home coffee machines to upgrade your coffee-making game – and your work-from-home experience.
Coffee machine sales soared during 2020 as many of us swapped commuting for working from home and invested in a coffee machine to help us create our coffee shop favourites in our kitchens. But if you haven’t yet taken the plunge or worse, are regretting a badly-chosen coffee machine panic buy, now could be the time to switch.
We’ve hand-picked some of our most recently-tested home coffee machines to help you refine your shopping list.
Want a new home coffee machine? Head to our Best Buy coffee machines to see the top-performing models.
If you have a pod coffee machine…
Pod machines are popular, because they’re easy to use and virtually mess-free. You can pick up a basic machine cheaply but the ongoing cost of the pods can be significant – it’s one of the most expensive ways to enjoy an espresso. Plus, the mountain of pods these machines leave is an environmental nightmare.
The Podback recycling scheme aims to make the pod recycling process easier for consumers, but you could also consider switching to a ground or bean-to-cup coffee machine instead.
If you’re fed up with the financial or environmental cost of coffee pods, take a look at these convenient alternatives.
This smart-looking ground coffee machine will look great in your kitchen. It won’t take up much space, and its simple controls rival those offered by pod machines. Just one button to get one or two espressos brewed and the separate milk carafe means you won’t need to faff about frothing milk for your morning cappuccino – another button, and it’s all done for you.
Read our full review of the Swan Nordic One Touch ground coffee machine.
Siemens EQ.300 T1351209
£400 from Siemens or John Lewis
This impressive-looking Siemens bean-to-cup machine will set you back around £400, which makes it’s cheaper than average bean-to-cup machines we’ve tested, just not quite as cheap as an entry-level pod machine. But if you’ve been tempted by the coffee freshness that this type of machine can offer, it could be worth considering.
Read our full review of the Siemens EQ.300 TI351209 bean-to-cup coffee machine.
Everything you need to know about recyclable, reusable and compostable coffee pods.
If you have a ground coffee machine…
If you own a basic ground coffee machine but want to learn to make espresso like a barista, it may be a good time to upgrade to a machine with more features.
Ground coffee machines aren’t quite as convenient as pod machines – it’s a more involved process to get that brew at the end. Dealing with messy ground coffee, tamping the coffee and handling portafilers needs a degree of confidence and a willingness to play around a bit to get the perfect espresso, too.
If you have your eye on a bean-to-cup machine, check out these tempting alternatives.
Breville Barista Max VCF126
£349 from Currys (currently out of stock)
This impressive-looking Breville combines a ground coffee machine with a coffee bean grinder. It’s almost a bean-to-cup machine but not quite, as you’ll still need to work to get your espresso. On the plus side, that makes it cheaper than a true bean-to-cup, and it still has a large 2.8L water tank, a cup warmer and a steam pipe to froth milk for lattes and cappuccinos.
Read our review of the Breville Barista Max VCF 126 ground coffee machine.
The Krups Evidence One will release your inner barista without too much effort – if you’re fed up with measuring ground coffee and frothing milk, this home coffee machine will brew you a coffee at the touch of a button. It can also make two coffees at once, including milky coffee drinks such as cappuccino or lattes, so it’s ideal for caffeine-loving couples.
Read our full test review of the Krups Evidence One EA895N40 ground coffee machine.
Find out which home coffee machines feature in our round-up of the best coffee machines for 2021.
If you have a bean-to-cup coffee machine…
Bean-to-cup machines offer the freshest brew as they grind beans on demand. Basic ones usually come with a bean hopper, a large water tank, as well as a milk frother for milky coffee drinks. Some top-of-the-range models also come with wi-fi connectivity, or customisable options that allow you to change the temperature of the espresso or adjust the fineness of the coffee grind, for example.
Bean-to-cup machines can be expensive, so if you splashed out last year and chose the wrong machine, consider selling it on and reinvesting in a machine that’s right for you.
DeLonghi ECAM Prima Donna Soul
£1,199 from John Lewis or DeLonghi
This impressive coffee machine isn’t cheap, but if you splash out, you’ll be rewarded with the latest tech, plenty of features and a host of customisable options. Controlled by either the large, colour LCD screen, or through the Coffee Link App, the machine offers a wealth of drink options, plus you can customise the brewing process and store the settings for your favorite drinks.
Read our full review of the DeLonghi PrimaDonna Soul bean-to-cup coffee machine.
Miele CM6360 Milk Perfection
£1,399 from Miele
The sleek looks and lengthy list of features on this machine are appealing. You can use beans or ground coffee, handy if you want a decaff option. The dual valve allows you to make two coffees at once, and there’s a milk flask for automatic frothing. It also offers an array of brewing settings, tea options, wi-fi connectivity, and the option to save named profiles for your household’s favourite drinks.
Read our full test review of the Miele CM6360 Milk Perfection bean-to-cup coffee machine.
Discover the best bean-to-cup coffee machines to choose from before you buy.
All prices correct at the time of writing. Prices may change.