How to buy the best bean-to-cup coffee machine
By Manette Kaisershot
Everything you need to know about buying a bean-to-cup machine, from how much you should expect to spend to the pros and cons.
A bean-to-cup coffee machine is ideal if you're looking for the freshest coffee possible, at the touch of a button. But with prices ranging from about £250 to well over £1,000, it pays to know which models are worth buying and what to look for.
We've tested a range of popular models, from espresso-only bean-to-cup machines, to models that can make all manner of elaborate milky coffees such as cappuccinos, flat whites and macchiatos at the touch of a button.
In this guide you can find out:
- how much you need to spend on a bean-to-cup machine
- the pros and cons of bean-to-cup coffee machines
- advice on which brands to look for.
Just want to compare bean-to-cup coffee machine scores? Use the filters on our coffee machine reviews to see all the bean-to-cup models we've tested.
How much do I need to spend to get a decent bean-to-cup coffee machine?
Bean-to-cup coffee machines range widely in price, from around £250 to over £2,000, but we've found that paying more doesn't always guarantee great results. Our tests have uncovered some Best Buys that cost around £250, as well as some models costing nearly well over £1,000 that proved merely OK.
We've recently uncovered a model that's so poor we had to issue our first Don't Buy in years. Check our top five best bean-to-cup coffee machine see the models we recommend, and take a look at our list of Don't Buy coffee machines for one to avoid.
Bean-to-cup coffee machines: pros and cons
Bean-to cup machines are just one option if you're in the market for a new coffee machine. Here's a breakdown of their pros and cons vs other coffee machines.
- Bean-to-cup models are often simpler to use than traditional espresso machines (which use ground coffee).
- They make freshly ground espresso at the touch of a button.
- Some are entirely automatic and will froth milk for the perfect cappuccino, too.
- They offer the most flexibility when it comes to choosing a coffee that suits your tastes, as you can use any coffee beans.
- Most can take ground coffee as well as beans, allowing you to try all sorts of different coffee flavours without being limited to one or two brands (like capsule machines).
- Bean-to-cup machines tend to be pricier than most traditional and capsule models.
- They can also be quite large and bulky.
- They can also be noisy to operate and tricky to clean.
- Some have restrictions on the type of roast you can use
However, if you pick a good bean-to-cup machine you'll have an easy, mess-free route to a great cup of coffee.
If you've decided that a bean-to-cup machine is right for you, head to our pick of the top five bean-to-cup coffee machines to find the best model.
Not sure what you want? Try our overall coffee machine guide for advice on other options.
Bean-to-cup coffee machine brands
We've tested bean-to-cup models from brands including Bosch, DeLonghi and Gaggia. The most expensive models we've tested are from Jura (£1,900) and Sage (£1,500), the brand backed by TV chef Heston Blumenthal.
But you don't have to spend that much. DeLonghi, in particular, has a range of more affordable models, including a good selection under £500.