The cult London coffee shop has branched out into producing its own coffee machines. It fits all Nespresso pods but Grind also makes its own pods that work in this machine too. We absolutely loved the simplicity and chic good looks of this pod machine. It’s small enough on the work surface, but all the shiny metal makes it stand out – and you’ll want to show it off.
Nothing hits the spot quite like that first cup of coffee in the morning. A good cup of coffee can set you up for a day, but a bad one can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Domestic coffee machines are getting snazzier by the month though, and can now deliver the perfect cup at home for a fraction of the price of a coffee in a high-street store.
According to research, the average cup of coffee from a café costs £3.40 these days and us Brits are spending £530 each per year on coffee. Across a household of more than one adult those costs really start stacking up. As the cost of living strikes, maybe you’re looking to reign in expenses. OK, a coffee machine is a big cost upfront, but it should save you a fortune in the long run.
Generally speaking coffee machines are split into three camps: bean-to-cup machines, pod machines and espresso machines.
Bean-to-cup coffee machines take whole roasted beans and grind them fresh, allowing you a huge degree of control over your coffee. They also tend to have some way to steam and froth milk. These are the closet machines you’ll find to the ones you see baristas using in coffee shops. Some let you control how coarsely the coffee beans are ground, which impacts the extraction and ultimately flavour of your coffee. A few will also let you scroll through different coffees on a menu and whip up whatever you want.
Pod coffee machines are hugely convenient. They usually involve loading a pod (not all pods work in all machines, so do your research) and then pressing a button or two. And voila, your coffee is delivered. Pod machines don’t take up more space, and are often more affordable than other coffee machines. However, they don’t tend to offer milk texturization (creating steamed milk and microfoam). Some come with milk frothers, which produce an aerated foam that’s more bubbly than the type you’d get from a steam wand.
Espresso machines are smaller than bean-to-cup, and often have fewer bells and whistles, i.e. you can’t customise your coffee to quite such a degree. But they take up less space in the kitchen while delivering great coffee-shop quality coffees and allow you some creativity – they have steam wands more often than not, allowing you to go wild with latte art if you want.
How we tested
We spent a month testing close to 20 coffee machines, across the three main types. What we wanted was a great cup of coffee, to be honest. So we looked at the finished cup we were able to produce (we are a far cry from a trained barista) from each machine. We also took into consideration price – the price of coffee machines varies hugely, but so does the build and quality and this is often reflected in the price. Only machines that justified their price made the cut in this roundup. Size on work surface, ease of use and pure dumb good looks were also factored into our decision. Here are the coffee machines that ticked our boxes.
The best coffee machines for 2023 are:
- Best coffee machine overall – Grind One Nespresso compatible pod machine: £295, Amazon.co.uk
- Best automatic coffee machine – De’Longhi eletta explore automatic coffee maker: £999, Delonghi.com
- Best for coffee beans – Sage barista express impress: £724.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for espresso – Sage bambino: £329.95, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for cold coffee – Breville iced+hot coffee machine: £49.99, Currys.co.uk
- Best for small budgets – Salter professional espirista espresso coffee machine: £99.99, Salter.com