Coffee machine buying guide

Find the perfect coffee machine for you

Our morning pick-me-up comes in all tastes, styles and sizes. So, whether you like a creamy cappuccino or a strong espresso to get your morning going, this guide has all the info you need to choose the right coffee maker for you.

Look out for the ‘Our Experts Love’ range to find everything from the best barista-style machines to the simplest espresso makers.

And of course, if you want to see what’s on offer for yourself, come down to one of our stores and we’ll be happy to help find the right appliances for you.

Coffee pod machines

For those who strive for good quality coffee but don’t want the mess or hassle, a coffee pod machine is the perfect solution. Pod machines use vacuum sealed pods filled with delicious fresh coffee, with one pod making one cup. As well as a range of popular coffee drinks such as espresso, Americano and cappuccino, coffee pods or capsules come in an array of other flavours such as hot chocolate, chai latte and iced tea. Some pod machines use barcode readers to automatically identify your beverage, selecting the best settings for the drink.

Why would I choose a pod machine?

A pod machine provides a quick and easy way to make coffee, simply pop in your pod, choose your settings, and the machine does all the hard work for you. The range of pods available makes them ideal for those who love variety.

How much do the capsules cost?

Capsules cost anywhere from 24 – 46p dependent on the machine.

How many varieties of drinks can pod machines make?

Dolce Gusto make over 30 drinks, Tassimo make over 35 drinks, and Nespresso make 24 drinks.

What milk do pod machines use?

Most Dolce Gusto and Tassimo pods require a separate milk pod. Dolce Gusto use powdered milk, Tassimo use UHT milk, and Nespresso use fresh milk if the machine has a milk container.

Espresso coffee machines

Espresso machines provide great flexibility, letting you get creative in your quest for the perfect crema. Espresso machines use widely available pre-ground coffee, or you can grind your coffee to the coarseness you require using a grinder (see coffee accessories). You’ll feel like a barista as you carefully pack the coffee into the tamper before creating beautifully intense espressos, lungos or ristrettos.

Why would I choose an espresso machine?

Espresso machines give you more control over your coffee and that beautiful fresh taste. Many espresso machines come with a steam wand to create frothy milk toppings for lattes and cappuccinos.

What does bar pressure mean?

Having the correct bar pressure is crucial for extracting the best flavour from your coffee. Between 9 and 15 bars is the perfect pressure for full-flavoured coffee with a professional crema.

What does thermoblock mean?

Machines with thermoblock heating systems are incredibly fast and efficient. Thermoblock machines heat the water to the optimum temperature for making coffee - around 90-95℃ - so that the coffee beans don’t burn and leave behind a bitter taste.

What is a steam arm?

Espresso machines with a steam arm will allow you to create a range of milky coffee drinks including cappuccinos, lattes and macchiatos. By mixing together steam, air and milk you’ll be able to provide a wider range of drinks for friends and family.

What is crema?

Crema is a telltale sign of a professionally made espresso and appears as a thick golden froth on the top of your coffee. A crema is created as tiny air bubbles trap the flavoursome coffee oils extracted from ground beans.

Bean-to-cup coffee machines

Bean-to-cup machines provide a premium experience, creating a huge range of espresso-based drinks at the touch of a button. These all-in-one machines use whole beans and are perfect for those who love variety but want more speed and convenience than offered by an espresso machine. Once you’ve filled the coffee machine with beans, water and milk, each coffee will only require you to press one button. They also allow you lots of freedom with the ability to customise the coffee strength, water temperature and more.

Why would I choose a bean-to-cup machine?

A bean-to-cup machine delivers the freshest coffee extracted from whole beans, but are still simple to use. A built in grinder and tamper saves you from having to grind and pack the coffee beans yourself, while easy controls allow you to tailor the taste of your favourite drink. Also, machines come with a milk carafe to make frothy milk or a manual steam wand for drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos.

What does memory function mean?

For the ultimate convenience, a memory function will let you store your favourite drink so you can make it every day at the touch of a button.

What is an LED display?

Bean-to-cup machines boast premium features such as LED displays that add a professional design touch. Some models even feature contemporary touch controls for added functionality.

What drinks does a bean-to-cup machine make?

They make a range of coffee-based drinks from flat whites to creamy cappuccino and espresso.

Is it more expensive to make a coffee with a bean-to-cup machine?

Bean-to-cup machines can cost more than more traditional coffee makers, and sometimes be slightly noisier while grinding beans and producing coffee. Nonetheless, the level of noise produced is very acceptable, and the superior espressos produced make these machines well worth the investment.

Pump espresso machines

Create barista-style coffee at home using your favourite ground coffee or ESD pods with an espresso machine, from creamy cappuccinos and lattes to luxurious espressos, macchiatos and more.

Why buy a pump espresso machine?

Pump espresso machines are perfect for a genuine barista experience. Pump espresso machines are among the most popular coffee makers in the world. They’re also the most common, because they’re easy to use and produce great espresso every time.

What coffee does a pump espresso machine take?

Pump espresso machines take fresh ground coffee.

What sort of coffees can you make with a pump espresso machine?

With traditional milk frother, you can make your favourite coffee drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes and flat whites.

What is bar pump and why is this important?

A single bar of pressure is one-unit atmospheric pressure. Therefore, 8 bars of pressure are eight times the pressure at sea level. 15 bars of pressure is considered the sweet spot for creating great tasting shots.

Filter coffee makers

Filter coffee machines come in different cup volumes and are very easy to use. Water simply drips slowly through a basket of ground coffee to infuse in a pot or carafe. There's no need to boil the water first. Filter coffee machines usually have thermos pots and hot plates to keep the coffee warm.

Why would I buy a filter coffee machine?

Filter coffee machines are perfect for someone who is on the go and making large batches for family or guests. They are simple to use and perfect for making Americano drinks.

What coffee can you use in a filter machine?

Use fresh ground coffee in your filter machine to make the perfect easy beverage.

Why do you need filter papers?

Filters are used in order for easy maintenance, as well as keeping the coffee fresh. It’s also possible to buy reusable filters.

How many cups of coffee can you make with a filter coffee machine?

Dependent on the size of the jug, filter coffee machines can make up to 10 large cups, perfect for coffee mornings.

How much time do you have to make a cup of coffee?

Not that much time, I just want to grab and go.

We recommend the 'Made for you' coffee machines. These are types of coffee machines that do all the hard work for you. You just need to load up your capsules, beans or grounds and just press a button. Within minutes, your favourite cup of coffee is ready!

Made for you

I have the time. I'd like to become an at home barista!

We recommend the "Made by you' coffee machines. These are types of coffee machines that allow you to put your own personal stamp when creating a cup of coffee. It may be mastering 'latte art' with a steam wand, or adjusting the strength or type of coffee you use. You're in control!

Made by you

Made for you

These are types of coffee machines that do all the hard work for you. You just need to load up your capsules, beans or grounds and just press a button. Within minutes, your favourite cup of coffee is ready!

Pod coffee machines

You can buy pod capsules from almost any supermarket, or directly online. These machines are pretty self explanitary. You pop the pod in the machine and press a button. In no time at all your coffee is made for you. The quaility is always guaranteed and theres so many blends or brands to choose from. You just need to decide what type of pod system you want to invest in. We range machines that use: Nespresso pods, Dolce Gusto pods or Tassimo pods.

Link to all pod coffee machines

Link to Nespresso pod coffee machines

Link to Dolce gusto pod coffee machines

Link to Tassimo pod coffee machines

Automatic bean to cup machines

If you want the ultimate coffee machine that can produce a fresh, barista style coffee, with minimal effort, then look no further. On most models, there’s no need for tamping or transferring milk into mugs - it's all done for you, at the touch of a button. These machines do have some other features such as: personalising different drinks for multiple users, automatic cleaning modes, some come with steam wands to froth milk up separately ready for you to wow your guests with some 'latte art'.

Link to Automatic bean to cup machines

Made by you

These are types of coffee machines that allow you to put your own personal stamp when creating a cup of coffee. It may be mastering 'latte art' with a steam wand, or adjusting the strength or type of coffee you use. You're in control!

Maunal bean to cup machines

With a built in grinder, this machine will produce the freshest of coffee. Make sure you tamp the grounds down for that perfect shot of coffee. All machines come with a steam wand, so that you can foam the milk ready to create that delicious cappucinno or latte. And if you're brave, why not try some 'latte art' on top.

Learn more about Manual bean to cup machines

Traditional espresso machines

Choose your own ground coffee and tamp them down for that perfect shot. With the steam wand attached, you can foam the milk ready for a delicious cappuccino or latte.

Learn more about Traditional espresso machines

Filter coffee machines

If you like black coffee and plenty of it, this is the machine for you. They are very easy to use. Water simply drips slowly through a basket of ground coffee to infuse in a pot or carafe. There's no need to boil the water first. Filter coffee machines usually have thermos pots and hot plates to keep the coffee warm.

Learn more about Filter coffee machines

Things to look out for - the techie stuff

Bar pressure - why is it important?

Having the correct bar pressure is crucial for extracting the best flavour from your coffee. Between 9 and 15 bars is the perfect pressure for full-flavoured coffee with a professional crema.

What is crema?

Crema is the sign of a professionally made espresso and appears as a thick golden froth on the top of your coffee. A crema is created as tiny air bubbles trap the flavoursome coffee oils extracted from ground beans.

What is 'latte art'?

Latte art is the shapes and patterns you see on the top of your cup of coffee. Any good coffee shop will serve you something like this. It’s the art of mixing foamed milk in with the fresh crema to create these shapes and pattens, and with the right machine, (plenty of practice) you can do this at home too!

What does thermoblock mean?

Machines with thermoblock heating systems are incredibly fast and efficient. Thermoblock machines heat the water to the optimum temperature for making coffee - around 90-95℃ - so that the coffee beans don’t burn and leave behind a bitter taste.

What is tamping?

Tamping is pressing down the ground coffee beans into to holder or basket. You use a tamper to do this, which is usually included with the coffee machine. Too much force, and the water can't infiltrate the grounds to create the coffee. Not pressing hard enough, and you'll end up with warm brown water, no coffee.

Accessories for coffee machines

Barista accessories

Tampers, machine descalers or posh coffee glasses, we have it all for you to impress your guests or just enjoy your coffee in style.

Learn more about coffee accessories

Pod coffee capsules

Why not include up your favourtie Dolce Gusto or Tassimo pods along with your machine.

Learn more about Dolce Gusto and Starbucks for Dolce Gusto pods

Learn more about Tassimo pods

Coffee grounds or beans

Why not include some of Starbucks' finest with your coffee machine. Enough for you to pratice your barista skills at home.

Learn more about Starbucks coffee beans and grounds

Coffee grinders & caffettieras

Have a favourite coffee bean but need it ground. Why not chose a grinder with your coffee machine.

Learn more about coffee grinders and caffettieras

Milk frothers

Want to practice 'latte art' but don't have a steam wand. Why not chose a standalone milk frother.

Learn more about milk frothers

Travel mugs

You've made your coffee, but you need to take it with you, how about a travel mug?

Learn more about travel mugs

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