Coffee Machine Buying Guide

Many people want to buy the best coffee machine for their home, with the popularity of these appliances sky-rocketing in recent years. This guide on how to buy a coffee machine should help you make the right choice.

1. Types of coffee machines

Manual Coffee Machines
Automated Coffee Machines
Capsule Coffee Machines

Manual Coffee Machine

If you like to experiment with a wide range of coffee beans, then a manual machine may be right up your street. Most models use a motor driven pump to force the exact amount of water needed through a thermo block, creating coffee to your specific taste. While they require slightly more work than an automated machine, you have a lot more control over the final product.

Automated Coffee Machine

An automatic coffee machine does all the work for you - simply add some coffee beans and the machine will grind them and dispense them at the touch of a button. They are often more expensive than manual models, as well as slightly noisier, but they are the ultimate appliance for people who want quick coffee with little hassle.

Capsule Coffee Machine

A capsule - or pod - coffee machine removes the need to use coffee beans entirely, instead relying on capsules of ground coffee wrapped in filter paper. These are inserted into the machine, which then pierces the pod and forces hot water over the contents to create an espresso. While extremely fast and easy to use, the capsules are slightly more expensive per cup than the equivalent in beans and machine quality can vary.

2. Size of the coffee machine

The size and weight of your coffee machine may be important if you intend to stow it away after each use, so if this is the case pick a lighter model. You will also need to make sure you have enough countertop space even if you decide to leave it out.

3. Settings & features of coffee machines

Bar pressure

This is the speed at which the hot water is forced through the coffee, with between 15 and 19 bars considered optimal.

Thermoblock

The heating element that boils the water to the perfect temperature.

Filter holder

Used for holding the granules, with aluminium on cheaper models, while brass is preferred on pricier machines because it retains heat better

Wattage

Machines with higher wattage boil water faster, saving you time every morning!

4. Milk Frother

Some coffee machines come with a built in milk frother. Each milk frother does the same basic function, the frother aerates the milk by sending steam through the milk, thus heating the milk and significantly increasing the volume, which helps cut through the sharp flavour of coffee. For the more advanced domestic baristas, a milk frother will give you the ability to emulate the cool coffee art from your local cafe.

Shop Coffee Machines

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