(Pocket-lint) – How you like your coffee can be a deeply personal thing – you might like it strong, milky, or any other number of ways. A great way to take control of your cups of Joe is to buy yourself a coffee machine so that you can enjoy barista-quality drinks from the comfort of home.
So, we’ve rounded up the very best coffee machines out there, some filter coffee makers, some capsule machines that use Nespresso and Dolce Gusto (recycle please) and some all-singing and dancing bean to cup machines that also do milk frothing so you can experience your latte at home.
Although some of these machines are a little on the expensive side, using beans and your own milk means you’ll soon save money compared to a pricier cup of coffee at Starbucks or Costa.
Moccamaster Filter Coffee Machine
Like filter coffee? Then look no further. If you fancy something really high-end, the Technivorm with its classy finish (various colours are available). You can manually adjust the speed at which the coffee flows into the carafe and it’s powerful enough to brew a full pot of coffee in just a few minutes. The Moccamaster has a copper boiling element which is fast to heat up and controls the brewing temperature precisely.
This well designed bean-to-cup coffee machine isn’t cheap but it is mega impressive – an external milk carafe ensures it can deliver excellent milk-based drinks (two simultaneously as well) and you can customise drinks really easily (say you want an extra shot). It’s one of the more compact bean-to-cup machines we’ve seen, too.
There’s also an excellent app you can download and connect to the machine via Bluetooth.
The app enables you to see various settings and options, including easily setting the water hardness level, when the machine will automatically turn off as well as being able to automatically turn the machine on at a certain time. The app also tells you when you need to clean the machine or replace the filter. Feature-packed but not hard to use, the Krups Evidence is one of the best coffee machines we’ve used.
Smarter Coffee Machine 2.0
If you’re after a decent bean-to-jug filter machine, the Smarter 2.0 is not only a decent machine but it also gives you easy-to-use app-controlled elements. You do pay a bit of a price premium for that, however.
There’s a real convenience to having a machine that has coffee ready for you first thing in the morning.
Likewise, it’s great to have smartphone notifications that tell you when the coffee is ready. Those things are both very useful, but arguably are the only smart features that give you a real advantage.
There’s Google Home/Assistant compatibility but it is currently very limited as you can’t start brewing coffee with a simple command.
Nespresso by De’Longhi Lattissima One
If you’re looking for a pod machine that doesn’t look like an industrial mixer, try this svelte Nespresso machine, available in white (actually cream) or mocha. Its brilliance is that it also has a milk compartment for ace cappuccino or macchiatos but crucially the milk apparatus is self-contained so the milk doesn’t make the rest of the machine dirty.
After each cup you can remove the milk bit, easily pull it apart and wash it (dishwasher safe, as well). It’s a brilliant answer to more expensive machines that need to rinse themselves all the time (and for you to empty the drip tray all the time as a result). If you want a bit more milk capacity, there’s this slightly more expensive model as well.
Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie & Milk
This good value machine builds on Lavazza’s excellence in coffee and adds milk into the mix. It’s a great choice if you want a to make milky coffee but also want the convenience of coffee capsules.
The buttons can be pre-set while the cup rack is adjustable in height depending on whether you’re usually an espresso drinker or you prefer bigger cups.
It’s also designed not to take up too much room on work surfaces and to be quiet, too – it emits only 44dB during the brewing phase.
DeLonghi Scultura ECZ351
The DeLonghi Scultura ECZ351 is one stylish coffee machine. Available colours comprise black, cream, white and grey so there should be at least one that will match your kitchen décor, plus its 310 x 300 x 250mm measurements mean it won’t take up too much worktop space either.
This machine supports ground coffee and ESE pod formats and it can make espressos and cappuccinos, the former of which it can manage to do two at a time.
The Scultura has a removable tank with a capacity of 1.4-litres, a machine pressure of 15 bars and there is a removable drip tray for easy cleaning.
You’ll also find a couple of handy features with this number including a steam pipe, auto-off function and a cup warmer like the Miele, but no adjustable temperature feature.
Francis Francis Y3
The Francis Francis Y3 coffee machine’s rectangle, angular look makes it perfect for a contemporary kitchen.
Like the DeLonghi Scultura, this model is also available in a few colours but it is a little more daring with a lime green model and orange option available, alongside black and white.
The Y3 is a capsule machine that uses the Illy iperEspresso capsule system and claims to offer “true bar-quality espresso”. It is smaller than the Scultura measuring 270 x 320 x 110mm and it’s also a little cheaper. The removable tank has a 0.9-litre capacity and the machine pressure on this model is 19 bars.
You won’t get warm cups from this model and there is no steam pipe either but the drip tray is removable so, again, cleaning should be nice and simple.
The Nespresso Inissia is good for those who are new to Nespresso. It’s cheap and cheerful and it offers a simple, fuss-free design, along with a small 120 x 320 x 230mm footprint that allows it to be easily tucked to the side of your kitchen.
The Inissia is a capsule model that unsurprisingly uses Nespresso capsules and it will make one espresso at a time, meaning if you have a dinner party you’ll be standing in your kitchen for a while.
It offers a machine pressure of 19 bars and it has a removable tank with a capacity of 0.7-litres and it is available in a couple of colours including white, red, burnt orange and blue.
When it comes to features, the Inissia doesn’t pack them in, with no cup warmer, adjustable temperature, filter or steam pipe but does come with a removable drip tray and a nice retro style.
Writing by Dan Grabham and Britta O’Boyle. Editing by Max Freeman-Mills.