There is no doubt that owing a bean to cup machine is a testament for your love of coffee. It will ultimately become the centre piece to your kitchen so it’s important you choose the right one.
The market is flooded with machines and choice is abundant. Unfortunately it’s never a “one size fits all” situation and you must make an informed decision before you buy one. Otherwise it could be a costly mistake!
Below are several machines and brands that I would consider buying. For more information on these, there is a thorough review of each machine in a separate article.
Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines
A make and brand that’s been around for a long as coffee itself we have the DeLonghi Esam 4000.b.
A true delight in any kitchen and for every coffee enthusiast, it can use both ground and coffee beans to make an excellent coffee.
It doesn’t just stop at espresso either. A built in steamer creates beautifully light cappuccinos just like any professional barista. A simply twist of the coffee nozzle can change it from one cup to two espressos at a time. Perfect for a professional couple.
This bean to cup coffee machine comes with a built in burr grinder, removable drop tray and totally separate brewing unit. There are settings programmed into the Magnifica which allows you to customise the strength of your coffee with volume and intensity options.
It is a fine coffee machine which naturally creates discussion in the kitchen over a rich coffee.
Within it’s price range it’s clearly one of the best machines considering what it can do and how well it functions. The only downside to this model, I can think of, is during grinding and water heating it’s a tad noisy. However, a small price to pay for a piece of art in your kitchen!
DeLonghi Esam 4000.b is a delightfully simple coffee machine which allows for a quick coffee for people on the go. As one of the smaller variants on the list I would recommend this to a single or professional couple. If there are more coffee drinkers in your household you will need a bigger rig. Check out our full review here.
The Gaggia Brera is yet another classic on this list. It comes with a steamer for your milk frothing and can also use beans or ground coffee. Slightly different to the other coffee machines, the Gaggia Brera is specifically designed to be energy efficient. It does this in the way of having a standby mode when not in use.
The Gaggia is very simple to use and makes an excellent cup of coffee. You control the Gaggia from a stylish control panel on the front. From only a few buttons you can make espressos to light and fluffy cappuccinos with no extra thought.
I think a stand out point to this machine are the separate coffee compartments. This allows you to stock the Gaggia with different types of coffee and change them at a press of a button. You can have a deep, bold coffee for the morning and a smooth creamy blend in the evening. Swapping between the two has never been easier compared to other models where you have to remove the beans completely and replace.
The Gaggia Brera is more of a weekend coffee machine. What I mean by this is it’s slow, compared to others, when making your coffee. So If you’re a busy individual who needs the crucial seconds in the mornings you might want to look at the other models on this list.
With that said, the Gaggia is an excellent bean to cup coffee machine and much more versatile than others. I think it’s main selling point are the coffee compartments allowing you to stock the Gaggia with different blends to suit your mood. Read my extensive review here.
With 13 Grinding Settings The Delonghi is like a Swiss army knife of coffee machines. It takes the versatility of the Gaggia Brera and multiplies it several times over.
This coffee machine can make you everything all the way from espresso to lattes. Slightly different to the other machines the Delonghi Eletta doesn’t have a steamer to froth your milk. Rather is does this automatically and separably straight from the contraption on the front.
You can customise this option with programming built into the machine for your perfect combination of milk, coffee and water.
From personal preference I sometimes like a larger coffee, this is where the twin boiler system kicks in. You can either choose between two cups and one large on. With some machines you’re limited to the size of coffee, with the Delonghi Eletta it gives you more options.
The burr grinder comes with 13 settings which, again, considering other models is an excellent range. This allows you to fine tune your grinding for a coffee consistency of your choosing.
With all of the features and versatility there has to be at least one draw-back right? Unfortunately there is and one this occasion is the price, it fit snugly with in the upper range of the machines. However with all coffee machines, price is a good indicator of quality and I’m confident the DeLonghi Eletta will not disappoint. Read the full review here!
Jura ENA Micro 1
- Power – 1450 Watts
- Capacity – 1.1 Litres
- Compact Swiss Design
- Simple Operating System
Not everyone has a large kitchen for some of the coffee machines in this list. This is where the Jura ENA Micro comes into play.
It’s significantly smaller in proportion to other machines boasting a lean 23cm x 32cm x 44.5cm exterior. The Jura also has the, if not one of, the best sleek and stylish designs I’ve seen in a coffee machine. It’s utterly beautiful space age design will fit into a young professionals kitchen not looking slightly out of place.
Despite it’s small size the Jura ENA still has a 1.1 litre water capacity with built in filters and cleaning. So you’re easily covered for several cups of coffee.
Most machines in this list have some kind of milk frothing device either built into the body or on the side. Unfortunately the Jura ENA has neither.
This is the one downside to the Jura as it’s just a straight espresso or Caffe Americano type which for some is a deal breaker. For myself, I personally love the Jura ENA Micro, I’m more of a fan of straight deep black coffees and this does them perfectly.
If you’re looking for a small, stylish bean to cup coffee machine for deep bold coffees then this one is perfect for you. Read our full review here!
- Power – 1450 Watts
- Capacity – 1.8 Litres
- Cappuccino System
- Coffee Beans or ground coffee
- Silent integrated grinder
Another mid-range model we have another from Delonghi, the Delonghi ECAM22.110.SB. I appreciate it’s not the most striking of names but this machine certainly packs a punch.
It is about half the price of the Delonghi Eletta, which is also on this list, but doesn’t mean it’s half as good!
This Bean to Cup machine has plenty of tools in it’s possession. One of the most note worthy is the silent integrated grinder. This makes it one of the quietest machines on this list and perfect for that early morning stealth coffee!
The grinder comes with 13 adjustable settings, again similar to it’s bigger brother. This allows you to choose, with great detail, how finely you want your beans ground. Each will provide a unique flavour to the bean which means you can customise a coffee just for you.
Sharing is caring, this Delonghi can make two cups of coffee at once from the brewing unit. Or just one big greedy cup.
To top things off there is a built in cappuccino system that combines steam, air and milk for that perfect froth. There are also plenty of options and settings available to customise each of your favourite coffee drinks.
These options make it incredibly easy to use. Once you’ve saved your settings your favourite drink is literally only one push of a button away.
If your budgeted to a mid-range coffee machine that is perfect for a busy family this Delonghi should be first choice. Read our full review here.
Sage the Barista Express
- Power – 1850 Watts
- Capacity – 2 litres
- Built in Grinder
- High pressure steam output
This mid-priced coffee machine is a mini cafe in your own home. It provides both excellent value for money and functionality and worthy of the No.2 spot in my top 10 list.
The Sage comes with a built in grinder which provides swift results going from bean to coffee in under 1 minute. It also comes with automatic dosing. This function selects the right amount of ground coffee for your drink without any guess work.
Typically grinders come with 13 settings, however the Sage goes 5 better with 18 grinding settings. I think with this many settings I’d be spoilt for choice!
An excellent added touch is the low pressure, pre-infusion. This feature only adds to the flavour of your drink by soaking the ground coffee before extracting. The difference this feature makes its satisfyingly noticeable.
Located on the far right on the machine is the high pressure steam output. This particular device on the machine is of highest quality and lives up to the name of high pressure. It creates equally excellent cappuccinos that are light and frothy.
Something that the other machines on this list doesn’t have is the hot water wand. This device can be used to pre-heat your cup so you coffee stays warming for longer. Additionally it can be used to make Americanos after you make an espresso.
With it’s steam-punkish design the range and options can not always be as clear cut as the other machines. This can be it’s downside for some. It tries to stay authentic without the use of a digital display but of course, for some, this can also be a turn off.
If you’re looking for an authentic barista style machine that fits in your kitchen the Sage is a perfect candidate. Check out the full review here!
Melitta E953-102 Caffeo
- Power – 1400 Watts
- Capacity – 1.2 litres
- Material – Stainless Steel
- Three setting Steel Grinder
- Three brew and coffee strengths
- Push-Button Cleaning
The Melitta is an absolute behemoth. I’m not talking about size but in the scale of what it can do.
For the first time on this list we have three different brew temperatures and three different coffee strengths. You can take one coffee bean and create 9 different flavours from these options!
There is a built in steel grinder with intelligent pre-programmed settings which again adds to the diversity this machine provides.
Built into the stainless steel design is a 1.2 litre water capacity with a self purifying system. There is also a whole lot of power, 1400 watts to be specific. You can be sure this machine grinds and heats to perfection.
There is a push-button cleaning function for a thorough self clean. The remainder of components are easily ejectable and cleanable.
Like with recent machines on the market, this one comes with the option to make two cups of coffee at once. And a built in steam output for making those fluffy cappuccinos.
There is always a downside to some coffee machines and like with some others, the downside her is the noise. It can get quite loud during the grinding but shouldn’t put you off buying one.
The Melitta is an excellent mid-priced coffee machine that has many options to make a delicious varied coffee. Take a look at our full review here!
Sage the Oracle
- Power – 2400 Watts
- Capacity – 2.5 litres
- Material – Stainless Steel
- Automatic Grinding
- Low Pressure Pre-Infusion
- Automatic Milk Texturing
This Sage, the Oracle, is the most expensive bean to cup coffee machine on this list. You would expect some highly advantageous features and cafe-esq quality coffee.
Fortunately, this is exactly what you get.
The first noticeable change from the Sage Barista is the fact that this one now has the digital display. From this new display you have access to all the different blending modes available to you.
You can tamp, grind and dose coffee from a simple button. An even more luxurious feature is that it automatically froths your milk into silky bubbly perfection! This takes away the stress and strain of having to do it yourself. The pre-programmed steamer does it all for you.
The Oracle has a steam boiler giving you heat and steam when you need it. There is also an auto infuser that whilst making the espresso it creates texture to the milk at the same time. No doubt, this is a handy and convenient feature.
Compared to other machines the Oracle is light years ahead in the power department, holding an extremely impressive 2400 watts of power. This makes it the most powerful coffee machine in this list.
To add to that accolade the water capacity is a striking 2.5 litres. The water tank also self filters which is even more impressive when you consider the size.
This machine is truly in a league of it’s own and I can imagine who ever owns it, will never look back. With that said, owning one is not for the faint hearted if you are a mere mortal. It will set you back a significant amount of cash which for some, isn’t possible to spend on a coffee machine. Check out our full review here!
Melitta E970 Caffeo CI
- Power – 1500 Watts
- Capacity – 1.8 litres
- Material – Stainless Steel
- Coffee Memory Stores
- Three Brew Temperatures
- Four Coffee Strengths
Another Melitta on this Top 10 list but for very good reason!
The E970 Caffeo was a mid-priced machine where as this E970 is comfortably mid-to-high price being a fraction under four figures. So what features has it added to justify the extra cost?
First up is the memory system which, in reality each and every bean to cup coffee machine should have! I am amazed at how customisable this feature is, you can hone a coffee down to a single bean. It gives you four personal coffee preferences for each programmed setting making it even easier to have your cup.
In addition to this there are three different brew temperatures, each of which will provide a different flavour to each cup. To add to this wizardry this Melitta throws in four coffee strengths and two bean trays.
As far as options go, the Melitta E970 certainly gives them all.
With all this customisation you would imagine it can get a little messy. Fortunately there is a built in push-button cleaning function and all parts are also easy-clean components.
The Melitta E970 might not be the cheapest machine but it provides huge amounts of value in the range of options it provides for your coffee.
- Capacity – 1.8 Litres
- Power – 1450 Watts
- Integrated Coffee Grinder
- Milk Frother
The Delonghi ESAM2800 would be considered a low-priced bean-cup-machine but doesn’t mean it’s short of features!
To start with Power, this machine comes with 1450 watts which sets it equally against some of the mid-range machines. It’s 1.8 litre capacity also does the same, making it great value for money on this two specs alone.
As with all machines in this list, there is a built in coffee grinder and a steamer to create frothy milk.
Unfortunately there is no auto cleaning feature however all parts are easily removable and cleanable by hand.
With all things there has to be some kind of negative. With this machine it would be it’s build quality. Compared with the stainless steel finishes of the mid or high-range models this one is made from plastic. But you most consider that you are buying from the low end of the market. Even if this machine lacks the build quality of the others, it’s specs are almost identical.
Still can’t justify the cost of a coffee machine? Have a look at some of the best coffee grinders instead!
Coffee Machine FAQ
In order to make the right decision when buying a Bean to cup coffee machine it’s useful to know as much as you can about them. Below I’ve compiled a number of frequently asked questions about the coffee machines and i hope this makes your decision easier.
Why Buy a Bean to cup coffee Machine?
Bean to cup coffee Machines are easily one of the most premium and fashionable items you can have in your kitchen. They are fantastic to look at and create a focal point where conversation can be had.
They bring people together, spark excitement and curiosity when its in use and just makes an excellent cup of coffee.
Coffee machines can also save you a lot of money in the long run. People who typically buy coffee in the mornings before work or when out and about buy these machines as an investment which they make back within a year.
You can customise most coffee machines with finite detail to make a drink perfect for you. There are options ranging from intensity, pre-soaking, temperature and plenty of grind options. Each one of these create subtle flavour changes in your coffee allowing you to experiment and create a blend just for you.
Using coffee beans you love! If I’ve found a perfect coffee bean that gives me a flavour suited just for me, I can use it over and over again with cafe-quality engineering.
How to Choose a Bean to Cup Coffee Machine?
Lets be realistic, choosing a coffee machine is no easy task and there are plenty of factors you need to consider. If you get the wrong one, you could be throwing away a lot of money. Below are some things you might want to consider:
If you’re interested in a certain brand, make sure you’re not missing out on valuable cash by buying into it. Some branded coffee machines hike the price up from what should be a low-range machine to a mid-range machine. Don’t get caught out on looks alone and read the tech spec for the machine you’re considering.
Good coffee machines can range from a few hundred to a couple of thousand so knowing your budget is a smart starting point. When you’re happy with what you’re prepared to spend you can start managing expectations.
If your budget is at the high end, you can expect your machine to include self cleaning, multiple temperature, grinding and intensity options. Several bean trays for added variety, automatic milk frothing and even some noise cancelling mechanics.
If your budget is at the lower end, you will need to consider what this limits you to as you’re not going to get what a premium bean to cup machine can give.
When you think coffee, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Espresso, Americano, Caffe Latte, Cappuccino? Figuring out what you want to use the machine for is incredibly important.
If you want to make Cappuccinos then a steamer or milk frother is incredibly important. On the other hand, if you prefer espresso or a straight black coffee you could save yourself some noticeable cash and avoid a machine with one.
Built in Steamer or Automatic Milk Frothing?
Most machines these days come with a built in steamer, or milk frother as its sometimes called. If this is something that you want, it’s good to double check that your machine definitely comes with one.
Multiple Cup Features
For the most part coffee machines are limited to making one cup of coffee at a time. Slowly but surely there are machines coming onto the market that can make two cups at once which encouraging.
But with that said, making a coffee from one of these machines requires little to no effort and just a press of a button. Additionally, on average it takes around 30 seconds to make a coffee so when you think about it, it’s not bad at all.
How long does it take to boil a kettle?
You won’t find integrated cleaning in any of the low-priced machines and even hard pushed to find any in the mid-priced for that matter.
Integrated cleaning is something reserved exclusively for the high-priced machines that are at least £1000.
Using the internal mechanics that heat the water, it flushes the system of any stuck coffee or lime scale. You can be sure a coffee machine with internal cleaning will last longer than one without.
Why Are Coffee Machines So Expensive?
In reality they’re not that expensive, let me explain why:
To begin answering this question, you need to take into account why you want a coffee machine in the first place. Do you love coffee that much? You you prepared to invest in something that will save you money in the long run? Do you want something easy and convenient?
When people first see the price tag they think, “blimey that’s expensive for a coffee!” This is understandable but we need to look at a few factors.
Why are you considering a Bean to cup coffee machine in the first place? Other than just loving coffee, people see these machines as a worthy investment.
Coffee lovers typically have coffee machines to recreate that amazing cafe-style coffee they get on their way to work. It costs a fraction of the price of a typical coffee in a cafe so each time you make a coffee at home, you’re saving money.
More so, it will taste even better because you’re using the bean of your choosing, the settings honed in specifically for you and it saves you time!
At around £3.00 a coffee on average you’re looking at £15 in a working week, £60 a month or £720 a year! In one year you would have broke even and after that, you can essentially get cafe-style coffee for next to nothing!
Does it need to have a Coffee Grinder?
The coffee bean grinder is an integral part of the machine in general. Without the ability to grind your beans it would just be a coffee machine. People forget that once ground coffee looses it’s intensity and aroma after a while. Having a machine that only grinds the beans when you need them means you get an intense full bodied coffee each time.
Are Bean to cup Coffee Machines Noisy?
Generally speaking, it’s true they give off an amount of noise. How much noise depends on the brand and the part specifications of the machine. Unless your machine states that it’s noise reducing or noise cancelling expect noise during grinding and heating. Regular coffee machines that use ground coffee rather than coffee beans are much quieter than their expensive counterpart. If noise could be an issue then it’s worth while considering one of those instead.
Fortunately the noise is only for a very short period of time during the grinding, as you would imagine. However if the noise is really a concern I don’t think a bean to cup coffee machine is for you. The noise it makes when working is all part of the experience.
I hope you have used this guide to figure out your personal best bean to cup coffee machine. The main reason why it can be such a challenge is the price involved. I can imagine it be hugely frustrating if you bought a machine which just simple wasn’t what you wanted after all!
With this Top 10 list and guide we have looked at the types of coffee machines and the features they do and do not have. We’ve also looked at what you should expect given a chosen budget.
And with that in mind, I wish you the best of luck for your new purchase. If you do have any questions please leave a comment below.