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Capsule coffee machines are currently popular. But constantly buying pods is both expensive and wasteful – the non-recyclable capsules are a burden on the environment. Instead, opt for a machine that’s compatible either with ground coffee or coffee beans.
If you love American-style coffee, like to have a pot of coffee on the go and don’t want to spend a fortune on gadgets, a filter machine will be perfect for you. They make a delicious pot of black coffee by dripping water through ground coffee beans into a jug. They can typically make several cups in one go for larger households too.
If you have more of a budget and are a coffee connoisseur, opt for a bean-to-cup machine, which will bring you a barista experience at home by grinding whole coffee beans to make fresh coffee.
They typically include a steam wand so you can froth milk too. These will be pricier than a filter machine, but will be able to easily make coffees of all types, from flat whites to cappuccinos, and produce a fantastic taste.
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What should I consider when buying a coffee machine?
Before splashing out on a coffee machine, ask yourself what kind of budget you have in mind and what kinds of coffee you most enjoy. If you want to spend under £30 and enjoy a simple pot of black coffee, a filter coffee maker will be for you.
If you are prepared to spend hundreds or even thousands, you can enjoy all the bells and whistles of a fancier machine that can effortlessly make all your coffee dreams come true. Consider, too, how much space you have at home: the sizes of coffee machines can vary hugely so make sure you take dimensions into account before splurging on your dream machine.
Here, we’ve taken a look at a selection of non-capsule coffee machines, so whether you love an Americano, an espresso or a latte, you’ll find a machine for you in our roundup. We sought out models across all kinds of budgets and tested each machine, rating them on their ease of use, value for money, appearance, and, most importantly, their ability to make delicious coffee.
Lakeland Digital To Go Coffee Machine with Travel Mug
If you’re always super busy and on the move, you need this Digital To Go Coffee Machine from trusty British kitchenware brand Lakeland in your life.
The clever automatic filter coffee maker brews fresh filter coffee straight into a large thermal travel mug, perfect for grabbing on the go without any faff.
It’s ideal for those who have a set routine as you can programme it to brew at the same time every day.
The machine couldn’t be easier to use with its digital display, it has a reusable filter and it takes both filter coffee and coffee bags, making your morning coffee as simple and portable as possible.
Sage The Oracle Professional Bean To Cup Coffee Machine
If you're serious about how your coffee tastes, and have both the financial means and the kitchen counter space, you will not find a better at-home coffee machine than the Sage Oracle.
Performing all the functions of a professional machine, including café quality espresso and milk frothing, it provides the added kindness of taking any skill requirements out of making a cup of joe.
Aside from moving the portafilter from grinder to group head, every function on this machine – grinding, tamping, extraction, milk frothing – is automated.
All you have to do is find the option you want on the touchscreen: and you can customise the drink to your preference, from strength, milk texture, and temperature.
The taste is seriously impressive: as coffee aficionados know, the key to a great cup is perfect extraction – ensuring the temperature is correct, the grounds properly tamped, and water distilled through the grinds for long enough for strong yet not bitter cup. The Sage Oracle has this nailed.
If you want customised cappuccinos, luscious lattes, and the Americanos and espressos of your dreams but have never worked as a barista, this coffee machine is a dream come true.
Morphy Richards Verve Cream Pour Over Filter Coffee Machine
If you like waking up to fresh coffee every morning, go for the Morphy Richards Verve Cream Pour Over Filter Coffee Machine.
The clever machine allow you to set a timer so you can enjoy your morning brew without any effort at all on groggy mornings.
We liked the ceramic-style appearance of the machine, which looks great on the kitchen worktop, the range of settings, which allows you to choose the strength of your coffee, and the generous size of the machine, which can make up to 12 cups at a time.
The keep-warm function also keeps your coffee at the ideal temperature for half an hour. A great all-rounder for coffee lovers.
Tower Cavaletto 800W 4 Cup Espresso Machine, Midnight Blue & Rose Gold
If you’re looking to make a splash on the worktop with your coffee machine, opt for the Cavaletto 4 Cup Espresso Machine from British brand Tower Housewares.
Available in both black and dark blue, the espresso machine looks far more expensive than it really is, with an elegant rose gold trim and matching accessories.
Most importantly, it’s simple to use and makes a reliably delicious tasting espresso, and thanks to its included steamer, can also make everything from lattes to cappuccinos. (This is somewhat fiddly, we confess – you'll need to practice if you don't have prior barista capabilities).
It’s a great option if you want to make a variety of coffees but you don’t want to spend hundreds of pounds on a machine.
Breville Mini Barista Coffee Machine
We were really impressed by the Mini Barista Coffee Machine by award-winning appliance brand Breville.
If you know a thing or two about extraction and frothing -i.e., if you have rudimentary barista skills – this machine will allow café pedigree coffees at home. You do need to know your way around a tamper and a steam wand, but if you've these capabilities (or you're looking to cultivate them), the Breville is for you.
That said, it’s surprisingly easy to set up and get the hang of, and thanks to its steam wand and milk jug, allows you to make everything from flat whites to cappuccinos. It is simple it was to make truly delicious barista-style espresso with the push of a button, and it looks fabulous and professional on the kitchen worktop too.
Bialetti Moka Induction Stovetop Coffee Maker
Induction coffee machines operate by passing team through coffee grounds. As a result, the coffee is brewed at a higher temperature and pressure. Delightfully, this results in a coffee pot of espresso-flavoured coffee, with a long, creamy finish. It's sophisticated and strong.
This Moka Induction coffee machine is stylish and thoughtfully designed. It won't scald the beans, and you'll end up with a rich, Italian-style coffee. It's a breeze to use (simply fill with grinds, and water, then place on your stove top) and more or less fool-proof. We love it.
Hario Clear Water Dripper
Lower in acidity, sweeter and smoother than regular coffee, and less wasteful, it's little wonder cold brew coffee has become wildly popular among the coffee cognoscenti in recent years. We have to admit to adoring it ourselves.
The Hario Clear Water Dripper could not be easier to use, and makes café-quality cold brew. Simply fill with water and grinds at night, then seven hours later you will have up to 2 litres of – we do not overstate – smooth, chocolatey, oh-so-gorgeous cold brew coffee. You can even heat this extraction if you want a hot coffee in the afternoon – it will still be impressively tasty.
Melitta Aromaboy Filter Coffee Machine
Effortlessly stylish, this nifty filter machine is perfect for a couple who adores a brew. You can easily adjust the strength of your coffee - don't fret about having thin, American-style filter coffee here, if you don't want it.
It will produce two perfect cups in a matter of minutes, but keep any untouched java warm but not burnt until you want it. We punish ours with daily use, and it never lets us down.
Dunelm Grey Coffee Machine
We had to double check the price tag on this excellent coffee machine from British retailer Dunelm, because with its smart grey appearance, it looks a lot more expensive than a mere £15.
The machine couldn’t be easier to use, with one simple button to operate it, a plate to keep your coffee warm and a removable filter holder to make cleaning a doddle.
It makes a tasty pot of American-style filter coffee and is incredibly easy to clean. A perfect option if you just want a reliable pot of black coffee in the morning without any added frills.