Nothing beats waking up in the morning and smelling the irresistible smell of a freshly brewed cup of Joe. Instant just doesn’t compare to a cup of the machine-prepared, foam-topped good stuff. And the good news is there’s a great selection of machines out there on the market for all tastes and budgets.
From futuristic units that sync with your smartphone for a cup that’s ready the moment you wake up to aesthetic drip machines that deliver a stylish caffeine kick, these are the coffee machines worthy of a spot on your kitchen counter.
Moccamaster KBG741 AO
If you’re going to opt for the simplicity of drip-filter coffee, why not get an iconic design? We’ve recommended the Moccamaster before because it really is difficult to beat in the design and functionality stakes. Mastering brewing temperature, water and coffee contact time as well as the all-important holding temperature, these bold-coloured beauties are the ideal machine for no-nonsense coffee drinkers that want a delicious supply available throughout the day.
Nespresso Lattissima One
A capsule machine’s ease of use is traditionally let down by the fact that you are locked into buying a specific type of capsule. That’s without mentioning the price you pay for convenience, and the impact all those empty capsules have on the environment.
But if you still want to take the plunge, the Nespresso Lattissima is one of the best capsule machines available. A clean, stylish and robust build makes it an aesthetically-pleasing addition to your counter top and it’s a solid performer within its long coffee skill set (espresso, americano, latte and cappuccino). There’s a huge variety of Nespresso flavours and blends to explore at this point in time, so you’re spoilt for choice.
Aside from the coffee, the milk vesicle is easy to fill, dispatching a single-serve straight to the cup, the warm up time is quick and low-power mode and cleaning alerts are handy additions that will help increase the lifespan of your machine.
£129; John Lewis
Sage by Heston Blumenthal Oracle Touch Fully Automatic Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine
This is serious kitchen gadgetry, but don’t be intimidated – a simple touch-screen menu does all the hard work and those with more precise tastes are also catered for. For the spec-heads we’re talking 2.5 litre capacity, 15-bar pressure and a stainless steel boiler with “PID” tech that’ll produce an espresso shot within one degree (give or take) of the selected temperature.
Coffee strength, milk texture and temperature can all be dialled in, with the option to save up to eight specific profiles, and there’s a handy milk wand for barista-style experimenting. It’s a truly impressive machine that’s worth of its price tag.
£1,849; John Lewis
They don’t just do fridges you know. This Smeg espresso machine is one of many stylish counter-top appliances from the Italian curve enthusiasts. Available in six eye-catching colours, the Smeg ECF01 is another handsome ground coffee machine that’s ideal for the style-conscious caffeine addict. There’s ample settings for differing tastes, a milk wand and even a cup warmer whilst you wait for the machine to heat up.
Another big beast of the kitchen coffee machine game. Looks great, is extremely versatile and offers a wide range of delicious coffee with the added bonus of an easy to use app that syncs with your phone.
Whether you’re using freshly-ground coffee or beans, the Jura S8 offers a great variety of preset drink options and even takes into account water hardness with a pH testing kit included with the machine. The initial cleaning process is quick and easy, subsequent cleaning is understandably a little more fiddly but the depth of settings make the effort worth it.
The Aroma G3 Grinder tech allows you to fine-tune the intensity of your cup and the touch-screen menus are easy to navigate. Undoubtedly one of the best machines on the market.
Breville VCF108 One-Touch Coffeehouse
An extremely affordable all-rounder that doesn’t disappoint. This nifty and surprisingly stylish machine is perfect for quick espresso-based favourites on the go, whilst the connoisseur has the added luxury of manual settings for milk-frothing and volume.
The machine’s simplicity is mirrored when it comes to cleaning, too. A removable drip tray, continuous surfaces and a single button cleaning cycle make keeping it pristine a doddle. An ideal gateway machine for better coffee.
£299; Currys PC World
Gadget fiends rejoice – although the 3.5″ colour touchscreen is a breeze to use, why not just sort everything from your phone and let the machine do the rest? All you need to do is make sure the cup is in the right place. Thirteen pre-set coffee types are available to choose, along with the ability to customise style of milk froth, temperature and strength. Removable dishwasher-safe parts also make cleaning easy.
La Marzocco Linea Mini
Okay, so dream with us here. More often than not, when you go to your favourite coffee shop, you’ll see a shiny espresso machine with two words along the back: La Marzocco. The family-owned Italian coffee machine company have been hand-making espresso machines and associated equipment since 1927 and they produce a machine – based on their professional Linea model – that is basically a coffee shop machine for your kitchen. Same components, same iconic design and same performance – the highest possible quality coffee at home. It’ll cost you a hell of a lot mind, but it’s important to have a dream.