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7 July 2021

Top five best ground coffee machines for 2021

We reveal which traditional espresso machines have scored highly in our ground coffee taste test.
Rebecca Marcus
Ground coffee machine

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.

Log in to unlock our table below to reveal the best and worst ground coffee machines. Not yet a Which? member? Join Which? to get instant access to all our Best Buy coffee machine reviews.

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. See all of our top picks in our roundup of the best coffee machines.

Top five best ground coffee machines

  • 77%
    £62.95

    This budget coffee machine makes exceptional espressos and is incredibly easy to use. You’d be hard-pressed to find anything better at a price this low.

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  • 76%
    £319.00

    This beautiful Best Buy brews excellent espressos, and the steam wand whips up creamy cappuccinos. It’s not the cheapest option, but if you want a show stopper for your kitchen counter, this eye-catching coffee machine won’t disappoint.

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  • 70%
    £149.00

    This is a fantastic ground coffee machine, so whether you’re after a clean-tasting espresso or creamy cappuccino, this coffee machine delivers. It’s quick and easy to use, easy to descale, and quieter than most, all of which combine to make it a worthy Best Buy.

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  • 69%
    £89.98

    This stylish, yet affordable, model makes fantastic espressos and deliciously creamy cappuccinos. It’s easy to use, quiet and incredibly speedy, knocking out an espresso in just 12 seconds.

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  • 68%
    £45.00

    While it might lack some of the fancy features you get on more expensive models, you certainly won’t be missing out on great-tasting espresso with this machine. Its cappuccinos could be tastier, but it's still worth considering given the affordable price.

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Table last checked: July 2021. 

Not found the coffee machine for you? See all of our coffee machine reviews to find the best option for your budget. 

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.

  • 50%
    £179.00

    This versatile coffee machine is simple and quick to use, however it makes disappointing espresso. For the price, we think you can do much better.

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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.