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31 Aug 2021

Five coffee gadgets we've tested to help you enjoy barista-style coffee at home and at work

Save money on your daily caffeine fix with our round-up of must-have coffee grinders, coffee makers and other accessories
A person using a coffee machine at home

Every coffee addict needs an arsenal of accessories to create the perfect cup of Joe at home or at work. From bean to froth, we've tried and tested a range of coffee-making gear to bring you the best there is.

No matter what kind of coffee you enjoy, we can help you streamline your approach to making your favourite barista-style drinks at home or in the office.

We'll help you avoid wasting money on the wrong products or gadgets you don't need. You'll also be saving money too by making it yourself instead of going to your nearest cafe or coffee shop.

Find out our list of the essential coffee gadgets and accessories and how much you can expect to pay for them.

Whatever kind of coffee you like, we've got you covered with our reviews of the best coffee pods and best instant coffee.

1. Coffee grinders

Coffee grinder filled with coffee beans

An easy to use grinder that produces an even grind is essential to making great coffee.

It's important to think about the coarseness of grind you want before you make a purchase.

  • Espresso, coffee machines, Moka pots and Aeropress will need fine-ground coffee.
  • Filter or cafetiere coffee will require a coarser grind.

We tested all of our coffee grinders ranging from £18 to £200 on different settings and assessed the uniformity of the different grinds.

Want to know which came out top? Read our best coffee grinders.

2. Cafetiere and French presses

Cafetiere coffee is closer to filter than espresso. So if you like your coffee on the weaker side, cafetiere is the way to go.

We tested 11 cafetieres from big brands including Bodum, Le Creuset and John Lewis. We looked at ease of use, ease of cleaning, granule filtration and heat retention, and we learnt a few things along the way.

Firstly, size doesn't really matter. We tested small cafetieres and a 1-litre version and, surprisingly, found no difference in performance - not even in heat retention.

Secondly, stainless steel cafetieres are harder to press down, but they keep coffee hotter for longer than glass ones.

Compare our results and read more about our best cafetiere findings on cafetieres costing £12 to £35.

3. Milk frothers

If your coffee of choice is a frothy cappuccino or a silky latte, then a milk frother is a must. To buy a quality frother, you'll be looking to spend between £45 to £55.

We tested eight electric frothers from Dualit, Lavazza, Lakeland and more, on everything from ease of use to volume increase and mouthfeel.

If you're lactose intolerant, or you're vegan, we've got you covered. We tested all the frothers with oat milk as well as semi-skimmed milk. In fact, one of our Best Buys produced such great oat milk foam, one tester thought it was cow's milk.

Find out which milk frother we're talking about.

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4. Coffee makers and AeroPress

AeroPress in use

Want to bring quality coffee to the office? Or maybe you want to ditch the instant coffee on the next camping trip?

We tested the iconic AeroPress and a number of other portable coffee makers to see which left the least granules in our cups, which were easiest to use and clean, and which were quickest at brewing.

Of those we tested were a mixture of portable French presses and espresso makers. Only two of the coffee makers produced a nice crema, one of which was a Best Buy.

Our Best Buys are priced at £60 and £29. Members can find out which coffee maker or Aeropress was the cheaper Best Buy of the two.

5. Coffee machines

Coffee machine at home

And last but certainly not least, coffee machines. The ultimate at-home appliance for making barista-style coffee.

Before investing in a coffee machine it's worth researching which would suit your needs best.

The three types to consider are:

  • Capsule or pod coffee machines - Easy to use and generally mess-free during use. However, if you want to recycle the pods you'll have to clean them which can be a little messy and time-consuming. These machines will normally just make espresso. We've got a Best Buy pod machine for only £65, but you can spend up to £350 on one of these.
  • Bean-to-cup coffee machines - Best for caffeine addicts that want fresh coffee fast. They have inbuilt coffee grinders and many will have a steam wand or automatic frother that can make frothed milk. You can spend between £399 and £1200 on a quality bean-to-cup machine.
  • Ground coffee machines - The real deal. These coffee machines look like what you'd see in your local coffee shop and require a more hands-on approach. Our Best Buys range from £140 to £320.

Have a look at our Best Buy coffee machines to see the machines we recommend that fit into your budget.