Coffee machines come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and styles so you must make an informed decision before you purchase one. So whether you’re just tired of the same old instant coffee or you’re a beginner barista or a coffee enthusiast, there’s a wide range of coffee machines available to choose from.
COFFEE MACHINE TYPES
Before you think about the features you want, the first thing you should consider is the type of coffee machine you want. The main types are capsule or pod coffee machines, bean to cup coffee machines, ground coffee machines and filter coffee machines.
Capsule or Pod Coffee Machines
If you want quick and easy hassle-free coffee then capsule or pod coffee machines are ideal for you. They are easy to use, simply press the button and let the coffee machine filter water through ground coffee in the pod, pouring you a perfect cup.
Advantages of Pod Coffee Machines
Capsule or pod coffee machines are excellent if you have limited space in your home as they usually come in small and compact sizes to fit on your kitchen countertop.
Additionally, they are also really good value for money and only require little maintenance so if you’re a beginner coffee drinker then this coffee machine type is perfect for you.
Disadvantages of Pod Coffee Machines
Though capsule or pod coffee machines are practical and easy to use they also have a downside. This type of coffee machine are limited to the types of pods available and most of the time you can only use the brand’s own type of pods in the machine.
Bean to Cup Coffee Machines
For those that fancy recreating their café favourites then bean to cup coffee machine is for you. This type of coffee machine is fully automated to grind coffee beans for every cup so you can enjoy quality coffee all the time.
Advantages of Bean to Cup Coffee Machines
Bean to cup coffee machine is the choice for coffee aficionados out there with its built-in coffee bean grinder providing you with fresh brewed coffee all the time.
They are convenient to use as most have customisable settings for tailored drinks. What’s more, is that most can automate the coffee-making process and can make two drinks at once.
Disadvantages of Bean to Cup Coffee Machines
Before you buy a bean to cup coffee machine you might need to consider your budget as they tend to be much more expensive. Additionally, you’ll have to make sure you have enough space to fit one in as they are usually very large and bulky.
Ground Coffee Machines
Ground coffee machines will suit those that are looking to be more practical when making their coffee. You’ll be able to craft your drinks like your local barista as they come with a range of features such as a steam arm or milk frother to make cappuccinos.
Advantages of Ground Coffee Machines
The best thing about a ground coffee machine is that they can use any ground coffee and some can also use ESE pods for a mess-free drink preparation.
Furthermore, you will be able to make two drinks at once whilst also having more control over the strength and size of your drink.
Disadvantages of Ground Coffee Machines
If you’re not the hands-on type and just want your coffee without any effort required then this type of coffee machine is not for you. There’s a learning curve involved to get the hang of making your coffee as there is more room for error, and it also requires more manual prep and cleaning than the other types.
Filter Coffee Machines
Filter coffee machines are easy to use and come in different cup volumes. Water simply drips slowly through a basket of ground coffee to infuse a pot or carafe. They are straightforward and there is no needs to boil the water first as filter coffee machines usually have thermos pots and hotplates to keep the coffee warm.
Advantages of Filter Coffee Machines
The key benefit of having a filter coffee machine is that it is perfect for people that like to have guests around. They are convenient because they can keep the coffee warm for long periods of time so you don’t have to wait around for another brew.
Disadvantages of Filter Coffee Machines
If you’re looking to try various coffees then a filter coffee machine isn’t for you as it is only able to make black filter coffee, so there are no espresso, latte or cappuccinos. They also need filters and take some time to clean.
FEATURES TO LOOK FOR
Depending on the type of coffee machine you purchase, there are few features to look for and you should consider these before you buy.
If you’re regularly making coffee, you should look for a coffee machine with a large water tank of around 1.5 litres, otherwise, you’ll have to constantly keep refilling. For example pod coffee machines have very small tanks.
If you’re a fan of milk drinks, such as cappuccinos and lattes then you should choose a coffee machine with a milk frothing function.
If you don’t want a bitter espresso then you should look for a coffee machine with a 15-19 bar as the optimum bar pressure. An essential feature as it allows the steam to meet the coffee granules at the right speed.
A nice feature to have is when your coffee machine lets you adjust pre-set drink settings to accommodate your preferences. This means the appliance will automatically provide the right amount of coffee, at the perfect strength, every time.
You don’t want to add another chore to your household, that’s why you should look for coffee machines with automatic cleaning program that regularly cleans and descales your machine. If you do purchase a machine without this feature, check to see if parts can be removed for an easier cleaning experience.
If you enjoy hands-free operation then you should lookout for a coffee machine that is equipped with smart technology. The smart system allows you to connect to an app on your smartphone or tablet, so you can brew your coffee from bed or on the way home from work.
Coffee machines with a thermoblock heating system are very fast and efficient in heating water to the optimum temperature for making coffee. With coffee best brewed at around 93°C, you’ll be able to achieve flawless flavour every time without a fail.
Coffee machines have been around for lots of years and they are always changing with more features. That’s why it can get a bit overwhelming on which one to choose and you might have some questions. Here are just a few common questions answered.
How often do I need to clean a coffee machine?
If you’re not in a rush, we recommend giving your machine a quick clean after each use but the amount of thorough cleaning needed will depend on the type of coffee machine you have. Pod machines are stress-free to clean as they can be flushed out with water and sometimes needs descaling.
How long do coffee machines last?
Research published by Statista Research Department, tells us that the typical machine will last between 6 and 10 years when cleaned and maintained properly. So make sure you choose the ideal coffee machine for you!
How much does coffee capsules cost?
If you’re thinking of purchasing a pod or capsule coffee machine you’re probably wondering how much they cost. Capsules can cost anywhere between 24 – 46p dependent on the machine.
Why do I need filter paper for my filter coffee machine?
Filters are used to provide you with easy maintenance, as well as helping to keep the coffee fresh. There are reusable filters available if you don’t want to keep buying filters and want to save on long term costs.