There’s nothing like the fresh taste of coffee from beans – especially in the comfort of your own home! Bean-to-cup machines can be expensive though, so it’s important to know which are worth the money. That’s why we thoroughly research each model to provide you with in-depth bean-to-cup coffee machine reviews.
In this section, we’ve reviewed many coffee machines to help you choose the best model for your requirements. These models range in price from £200 right up to £2000 (although pricier options aren’t always better). They also have a variety of features. Scroll down to choose a review to read, or take a look at our “How we Review Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machines” section for more information on our process and criteria.
Our #1 Recommendation
We’ve listed all our reviews below and have a top 10 list of the best bean-to-cup machines. But if you just want to know our favourite model, we recommend the Delonghi Eletta ECAM44.660.B. This espresso and cappuccino machine can make fantastic coffee and has a range of customisation options.
How we Review Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machines
There are many factors affecting the quality of a bean-to-cup coffee machine – but some are much more important than others. Here’s an overview of the most important features and considerations:
- Coffee Quality – we’re all coffee lovers at BeanToCupCoffee.co.uk, so the quality of coffee a machine produces is our #1 concern. We’re looking for machines that produce espresso with great taste, aroma, texture and appearance. And if the machine can make cappuccino or other types of coffee, we also consider the quality of these. After all, if a coffee machine can’t make coffee you look forward to drinking, what’s the point?
- Coffee Customisation – everyone likes their coffee a certain way, and if you’re like us you’re probably very picky about your ideal brew. That’s why we look for machines that allow you to customise the taste of your coffee. Common settings include coffee strength (this is essential), bean coarseness, water temperature, cup size, milk frothing and more. It’s not enough just to have these features though – they also need to be easy to use.
- Coffee Types – true bean-to-cup coffee machines produce espresso, but many also come with milk frothers to make cappuccino and lattes. While being an espresso-only machine isn’t a negative thing in itself – some people only need espresso – we make sure to point this out in reviews. It’s also important to know whether a machine can froth milk automatically or has a steam arm for manual frothing.
- Price – one of the most common questions we get is “why are bean-to-cup coffee makers so expensive?” The simple answer is that they really aren’t expensive – at least considering the technology included and quality of coffee. If you regularly buy from coffee shops, they can actually save you money in the long run. Even so, price is a vital factor when choosing a machine, which is why each model is rated inexpensive, mid-range or premium. These categories include a wide range of prices, but our goal is to help you narrow down your options quickly. Keep in mind that our review scores take into account the price of a machine. This means two models with the same score but different prices provide the same value for money (in our opinion) – but not necessarily the same quality. This is because it would be unfair to rate a £250 model lower simply because it couldn’t match the advanced features of a £2000 model.
- Ease of Use – if a machine is difficult to use or has a lot of complicated features, we’ll probably mark it slightly lower depending on the quality of the rest of the machine. Ideally, a coffee machine should have a variety of customisation options using intuitive one-touch buttons.
- Ease of Cleaning – to make cleaning easier, many bean-to-cup machines come with automatic rinsing and descaling programmes. Some models take care of nearly all maintenance for you, while others need manual cleaning from time to time. The best machines are easy to clean, even if they require some manual work. Low-quality machines are often fiddly and frustrating to maintain.
- Brand – not all coffee machine brands are equal. While we always recommend buying an coffee machine because of its features and performance, it’s worth taking into account the brand’s reputation. Are they known for producing reliable appliances? Do their machines tend to make high-quality coffee? What warranty and customer service do they offer? We’ve listed our favourite bean-to-cup brands to help you make an informed decision.
These are the main “categories” of considerations we look at when writing our bean-to-cup coffee machine reviews – but there are many other factors. These include whether the machine can produce coffee from ground coffee as well as beans, additional features (such as cup warmers), advanced memory options, warranty and many more. We aim to provide the best bean-to-cup coffee machine reviews on the internet, and extensive research is part of this.
That’s why we recommend reading our reviews closely. Our scores are designed to give you a “bird’s eye view” of the quality of a coffee machine – but the really useful information is contained in either the reviews or our top 10 lists.
Additionally, our reviewers often don’t have direct experience with a machine. Instead they do thorough research into the specification, features and online buyer feedback to judge the quality and performance of a coffee machine. We believe this is the fairest way to review an appliance, as reading hundreds of reviews provides a far more balanced overview of a model’s strengths and weaknesses than just using it for a couple of days.
It’s also important for us to point out that we are not paid to review coffee machines. While some of the links on this website are affiliate links (click here to read our full disclaimer), which means we get commission if you buy after clicking (this doesn’t cost you anything), we don’t accept payments from brands to review their machines. We aim to provide impartial and honest feedback – we don’t believe this is possible if you are directly compensated for writing a review.
Getting the Right Coffee Machine
Coffee is very personal. Everyone has different tastes and preferences, which means everyone also has different requirements from a coffee machine.
Some people just want a simple machine that can make a cup of espresso. Others want a full-featured model that can automatically make cappuccino, save their favourite settings and perform automated maintenance.
The point is that you should try to think about what you need from a coffee machine – because this might be different from other people.
Are you happy to froth milk manually using a steam arm or do you want to pay more to get an automated cappuccino machine? Do both you and your partner want to drink coffee together and therefore need dual output? How much are you really able to spend? Do you need the machine to remember multiple setting combinations or are you happy to pay less and do this manually? Which types of coffee do you most want to drink?
All of these questions affect which is the best machine for you. That’s why it’s important to read the reviews (at least the parts related to your requirements) to see whether a machine is the right option.
With that said, we don’t think you can go far wrong with our top recommendations. If we’ve given a coffee machine a high rating and strong review, that means we think it provides great value for money and produces fantastic coffee. These models are the best of the best when it comes to bean-to-cup machines (in our opinion) and won’t let you down when it comes to coffee taste and aroma.
How to Read Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine Reviews
Choosing a bean-to-cup coffee machine is a big decision, so here are some tips for reading reviews.
- Don’t feel you need to read every word of a bean-to-cup coffee machine review. Instead, focus on the sections that are most relevant to your requirements.
- Take notice of the section of buyer feedback. This often uncovers advantages or problems that are impossible to find from product descriptions alone.
- Make sure you know which types of coffee a machine can make automatically. One of the most common reasons for disappointment is people buying an espresso-only machine when they want to make cappuccino.
- Don’t overlook the cleaning section of reviews. Maintenance is vital to keep your new machine in top condition, so it’s important to know whether it has automated programmes.
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All Reviews (A-Z)
Listed below are all our current bean-to-cup coffee machine reviews. When reviewing coffee machines, we take into account all the factors listed above to provide you with a detailed overview of the model’s performance.
This list contains every review, including those for machines that are no longer in production (although there aren’t many of these). This is to help you if you’re buying a second-hand machine, or just want to compare a previous model to a newer one.
We regularly review new machines, so if the model you’re considering isn’t there make sure you bookmark this page. You can also contact us to request a review.
The Delonghi Caffe Corso ESAM2800 is at the lower end of the price spectrum for bean-to-cup coffee machines - yet still aims to provide top-quality ...
The Eletta is one of the most popular cappuccino makers on the market at the moment. Click here to find out whether we think it lives up to the hype.
With its array of customisation features and an affordable price, the Delonghi Esam 4000.b Magnifica is a popular model. But does it live up to the ...
Another popular model in the Delonghi range is the Magnifica ECAM22.110.SB. Click to read our review of this popular coffee machine.
The Gaggia Brera is a stylish coffee machine that includes a milk frother. But how does its espresso taste? Let's find out.
The "baby" of the Jura bean-to-cup coffee machine range is the ENA Micro 1. Click here to find out what we thought of this attractive model.
The Melitta E953-102 Caffeo Solo & Milk is a fully automatic coffee machine with a compact design and two-cup output. It's a "true" bean-to-cup ...
The Melitta E970 Caffeo CI is a fully automatic bean-to-cup coffee machine with memory storage, a variety of customisation options and a stylish ...
The Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Barista Express is a manual espresso machine that also comes with a built-in burr grinder. In other words, it's not a ...