We really love our coffee in the UK – today we’re consuming more of it than ever before. It’s no surprise, then, that we’re looking for ways to replicate our favourite barista-style beverages from the comfort of our own homes. Luckily brands from Delonghi to Dualit are on hand to help out, with a range of coffee machines which spans from entry level to semi-pro.

Buying Guide Choose Machines

Choose a coffee machine that suits your taste. Small, compact designs are great for busy people who need a quick and easy pick-me-up. Grand, multifunctional machines offer plenty of choice (and will impress guests at coffee mornings and dinner parties). Our buyer’s guide takes the work out of researching which coffee machine is right for you, leaving you to review the pros and cons and pick the best appliance for your lifestyle.

Buying Guide Pod Machines

If your kitchen is more of a through-route than a destination, the convenience of coffee pod and capsule machines is hard to beat. Insert your chosen pod, press a button and your drink is ready in moments, leaving you to get on with your day. Save even more time with a product from the sophisticated Smart app range, which allows you to order extra pods and automatically schedule coffee for when you wake. A variety of coffee types and flavours is at your fingertips, from a shot of espresso to a perfectly smooth latte. If you’ve got a small kitchen or fancy a machine in your study, it’s worth considering a space-saving miniature design.

At a glance

  • Quick and fuss-free
  • Compact size for kitchen counters
  • Easy to clean
  • Suitable for one or two people

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Buying Guide Bean to Cup Machines

The advanced functionality of a bean-to-cup machine means replicating a coffee shop-style espresso is easier than ever. Producing ultra-fresh coffee by grinding beans on demand, some versions will even store and replicate your desired strength of coffee. To create an authentic cappuccino, use the milk-frothing device (and don’t forget that all-important sprinkle of cocoa powder on top). If you’re using it for special occasions only, it can be cleaned and stored easily thanks to removable brewing units.

At a glance

  • Digital control panels
  • Steam wand
  • Easy to dismantle and store
  • Makes two espressos at once

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Buying Guide Cappucino Machines

If you enjoy the art of creating coffee and secretly aspire to be an Italian barista (we do, too) then an espresso and cappuccino machine might be your best fit. No other coffee machine is as versatile as a traditional pump; not only do they make elegant espressos and flat whites, their built-in steam-operated wand creates creamy frothed milk for lattes or cappuccinos. The traditional pump is designed to deliver the ideal pressure and water temperature, so the strength and consistency of your coffee can be left entirely up to you. Tea makers aren’t left out either – the built-in water tank instantly produces hot water.

At a glance

  • Hot water dispenser for Americanos and tea
  • Choose between beans or granules
  • Steam wand

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Buying Guide Filter Machines

Who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee? Filter machines drip coffee into a glass pot, so you can see exactly how much is left. Pour directly from the pot and fill up to ten mugs with one brew – enough for everyone in a busy household. Programmable machines will have your drink ready when you wake, making those dark winter mornings that little bit more bearable. Bonus points for the warming function, which keeps the coffee at the perfect temperature all morning.

At a glance

  • Warming function means coffee is ready when you are
  • Compact size for small living spaces
  • Makes up to ten cups of coffee

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Buying Guide Know Coffee

What makes a cup of coffee?

  • Espresso: shot of espresso
  • Americano: shot of espresso, hot water
  • Flat white: shot of espresso, dash of milk
  • Cappuccino: shot of espresso, one part milk, frothed milk
  • Cafe latte: shot of espresso, two parts milk, steamed milk
  • Cafe mocha: layer of chocolate powder, shot of espresso, hot milk, whipped cream

TIP: use semi-skimmed milk for lattes and cappuccinos. The reduced fat content creates a balance between a light frothy texture and creamy taste.

Taking care of your coffee machine

A well-kept machine can last for as long as a decade. Here’s how to clean a coffee machine when you’re making the most of it:

  • Daily: Take 5 minutes to empty all waste containers and flush out steam wands running the recommended manufacturer programs.
  • Weekly: Take 20 minutes to run a thorough system clean using recommended cleaning tablets (the machine runs the clean itself).
  • Monthly: Take 45 minutes to de-scale your machine by running the set program. This helps to keep it clog-free and prevent it malfunctioning.