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4 Dec 2020

Six new coffee machines to suit all tastes this Christmas

These new coffee machines, including pod, traditional and bean-to-cup models, have 'thoughtful gift' written all over them.

It's less than a month until Christmas (in case you hadn't noticed), and if there is still a coffee machine-shaped space on your wish list, we've rounded up a selection of the latest models to inspire you.

Coffee machine sales soared by 100% at electrical retailer Currys PC World during 2020, as more of us stayed home and made our own coffee. Bean-to-cup machine sales went up a staggering 463%, according to the electrical retailer, and a coffee machine was sold every minute in August across the country. That's a lot of coffee going down.

So, if you're yet to take the plunge and buy a coffee machine, or simply want to upgrade to a better model now that your coffee-making skills are levelling up, we've rounded up some new models for you to consider this Christmas. Check out the reviews before you buy, to make sure you get the best coffee machine for you.

Want the best brew now? Head to our Best coffee machines for 2020.

Breville Barista Max
Breville Barista Max coffee machine, £299

Best for: An at-home coffee-shop experience
Type: Ground coffee

Squint, and this Breville coffee machine could pass for the more expensive Sage Barista Pro. Like the Sage, the Barista Max has a built-in bean grinder so you can practise your barista skills. This model grinds the beans straight into the portafilter making it a hybrid between a traditional coffee machine, which uses ground coffee, and a bean-to-cup machine which automatically grinds the beans for you. It's the perfect model for you if you're missing proper coffee-shop coffee.

Will this machine deliver an espresso that's hot, tasty and has a mouthwatering aroma?

Read our full review of the Breville Barista Max.

Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus
Krups Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus coffee machine, £79.99

Best for: Convenience
Type: Capsule/pod

If you're short on kitchen space or want a nearly instant cup of coffee in the morning, this Dolce Gusto pod model will brew you a coffee at the touch of a button. All you need to do is choose the size and temperature, and decide whether to add an espresso boost or not.

The Genio S Plus machine won't take up much space in your kitchen either. As a bonus, it also makes other hot drinks such as hot chocolate and tea. It uses pods, which makes it much more convenient and less messy, but it's an expensive way to enjoy a coffee, and the pods are notoriously tricky to recycle.

Find out if this makes a decent espresso in our Krups Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus review.

Smeg coffee machine
Smeg ECF01 coffee machine, £319

Best for: Stylish kitchens
Type: Ground coffee

This great-looking coffee machine will give your kitchen an instant style boost, sitting on your countertop in all its shiny red glory. Its simple controls add to the sleek design, and the integrated milk frother means you can make a cappuccino or latte as well as an espresso. It's not cheap though. We've found Best Buy ground coffee machines for less than £100, but none that look quite as spectacular as this one.

If you're after a coffee machine that looks good, this one certainly ticks the box, but will it make a stellar coffee?

Read our Smeg ECF01 coffee machine review to find out before you splash out.

Nespresso Vertuo Next coffee machine with capsules
Magimix Nespresso Vertuo Next coffee machine, £79

Best for: Simplicity
Type: Capsule/pod

The Next is the latest Nespresso Vertuo machine. It uses clever Vertuo capsules that tell the machine exactly what to do via a special bar code printed on them - coffee-making simplicity at its finest. The Vertuo Next is a great choice if you prefer a mugful of coffee to get you going in the morning, as the largest size dispensed is a staggering 414mls (an Alto).

Capsules aren't the cheapest way to enjoy a coffee, and while Nespresso capsules are slightly easier to recycle than its competitors', it's still a hassle. Currently there are no compatible capsules, so you'll also be limited to Nespresso.

Find out if the Nespresso Vertuo Next coffee machine deliver a first class coffee.

John Lewis pump espresso machine, £100

Best for: Cappuccino fans
Type: Ground coffee

Here's another good choice if you love milky coffees. This ground coffee machine, one of the first own-brand models from John Lewis, has an automatic milk frother, so you don't have to do battle with a hot steam pipe. It's a pretty decent price for a milk-frothing machine too, and has simple controls, an adjustable drip tray and the option to make a double shot.

But will the integrated milk container be a nightmare to keep clean? And, more importantly, can this coffee machine produce creamy cappuccinos and delicious espressos?

Read our full review of the John Lewis Pump espresso coffee machine with milk frother to find out.

Siemens EQ.500 TQ503GB1 coffee machine, £499

Best for: A fully automated brew
Type: Bean-to-cup

If you haven't upgraded to a bean-to-cup machine yet, this affordable model could be a good bet. At £499, it's cheaper than other bean-to-cup machines we've tested, and comes with a range of features to help you get the freshest brew at the touch of a button. If you truly love espresso, you'll be happy to know that you can make two at the same time with this machine. We also love the simple-to-use control panel at the top.

Read our full Siemens EQ.5000 TQ503GB1 review to find out if it's time to level-up your coffee-making game.

Top things to consider when buying a coffee machine this Christmas

Not sure what coffee machine to go for? The best place to start is by deciding between a capsule, traditional espresso or bean-to-cup machine.

  • Capsule or pod coffee machines A capsule-coffee machine is quick and easy to use and will make uniform espressos time and time again. Most machines come with an automatic milk frother. On the downside, coffee pods are difficult to recycle and aren't great for the environment, so if this weighs on your conscience, opt for one of the other types of machine.
  • Traditional espresso machinesIf you want more control over how much espresso ends up in your cup, release your inner barista with a traditional espresso machine. As well as making your own coffee, usually, you'll need to froth your own milk with the steam pipe, too. While the satisfaction of getting your brew exactly how you like it may be high, these machines can be messier and need more cleaning.
  • Bean-to-cup coffee machinesIf you're after the freshest espresso possible and the smell of ground coffee beans, then a bean-to-cup machine is the perfect choice. Many models automate the brewing process, for those times where you want a coffee without the faff. These machines are usually large and bulky, and often expensive, but do make the freshest coffee.

Find out what else you need to know before you buy in our coffee machine buying guide.

Prices correct as of December 2020. Prices may change.