Top five best ground coffee machines for 2020
A traditional ground coffee espresso machine is perfect for creating that authentic coffee shop experience in the comfort of your own home.
It may take a bit of practice to get used to measuring out and preparing the ground coffee yourself, but once you get the hang of it you'll have the freedom to experiment with different blends and make the perfect coffee for you.
We've rounded up five of the best ground coffee machines below. Each of these coffee machines excels at producing flavourful coffee with minimum faff. We've also highlighted three poor coffee machines uncovered by our tests. These mediocre models left our tasting panel unimpressed, and are best avoided.
Not sure if a ground coffee machine is right for you? Our coffee machine buying guide explains the different types available and their pros and cons to help you decide.
Top five best ground coffee machines
This coffee machine is a few years old, but remains one of the best-scoring coffee machines we've tested. It uses ground coffee, or ESE pods, and has a steam wand for milk frothing. This stylish, affordable machine is a top pick - it makes excellent espresso and cappuccino with minimal fuss.
Last updated: November 2019.
Table note: we changed our coffee machine test programme in August 2018. Results for the Breville One Touch are not directly comparable to the results for older models.
Not found the coffee machine for you? See all of our coffee machine reviews to find the best option for your budget.
Three ground coffee machines to avoid
A great ground coffee machine is a thing of beauty. You will be able to brew the espresso you want, to the length you desire, using coffee you have chosen. But choose the wrong model and however hard you try you may end up with a disappointing and weak espresso due to poor extraction.
We've uncovered coffee makers that fail to heat milk to the right temperature, ruining the froth, and models which make thin, watery espressos with an unappetising crema. See the models to steer clear of below.
If you're not sure an espresso coffee machine is right for you, browse other models, including popular Nespresso coffee machines in our coffee machine reviews.
Our coffee machine tests
Each espresso machine goes through tough tests to see how easy it is to use and clean, whether it makes piping hot coffee or not, how well it steams milk and how noisy it is. We also get our taste test panel to taste the coffee from each machine in a blind taste test.
The panel rate each espresso on its appearance, aroma and taste so only the very best brews will make the grade to become a Best Buy. We use the same ground coffee in each machine so we can compare how well each machine extracts the flavours. All the traditional espresso machines we have selected above gained five stars in our espresso taste test, so you know you'll be getting a machine that makes a top-notch cuppa.
Need help getting the best from your machine? See our video guide to making the best espresso and other espresso-based coffees.