8 best coffee pod machines for delicious, fuss-free coffee | 2023

Speed is another reason to consider a pod machine. These machines force heated water from its tank into the coffee pods until they burst and release rich, quickly brewed espresso. Every machine will preheat after switch-on. From then, it’s possible to get an aroma-packed espresso shot or slightly longer lungo in under 30 seconds.

Another advantage of these machines is the mess-free approach. It removes many of the other aspects of coffee-making like the grinding, dosing and tamping of grounds which makes the whole process much more user-friendly.

There’s cause for a cautious approach to coffee pods that are made from aluminium or plastic. Although some big brands like Nespresso offer programs that allow you to return used pods for recycling, there are more environmentally friendly coffee pods to choose from. Discover coffee expert Celeste Wong’s picks of the best eco-friendly coffee pod options out there, from small coffee roasteries to major brand players.

Unfortunately there’s no one-size-fits-all design to coffee pods; different brands require different pods (Nespresso, Lavazza and ESE are the major three designs) so when it came to testing, we kept as much parallel in roast and bean variety as possible, focussing on espresso and lungo programs. Popular brands for coffee pod machines include Nespresso, Lavazza and De’Longhi.

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Looking for an irresistible discount on a top-performing coffee pod machine? Our olive reviews experts are on a mission to uncover the best coffee pod machine offers from a range of retailers. 

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How to choose the best coffee pod machine for your home

A coffee pod machine is an excellent entry into the world of reliably fast and delicious espresso. Before you buy, there are a couple of things to be aware of.

  • Pod compatibility: Nespresso? ESE? Lavazza? Keep this in mind when looking for a coffee pod machine. Some will have eco capsule options available. You can buy pods from independent roasteries to fit most (but not all) machine types. Brands like Nespresso require buying into the brand itself.
  • Versatile functions: although it’s often a single shot affair, most coffee pod machines offer a lungo function that draws a slightly longer shot than the traditional single espresso.
  • App connectivity: more modern models are often accompanied by apps and can be connected to via smartphone.
  • Coffee quantity programming: this will allow you to tell the machine how much to brew into your waiting cup so that it saves the quantity as your pre-set.

Best coffee pod machines at a glance

  • Best for user-friendly variety: Morning Coffee Machine, £349
  • Best for milky coffees: De’Longhi Nespresso Lattissima One, £259
  • Best for user experience: Hotel Chocolat The Podster, £154
  • Best blow-out coffee pod machine: Grind One, £295
  • Best basic coffee pod machine: Lavazza Jolie, £65
  • Best for retro style: Lavazza A Modo Mio SMEG, £199
  • Best for energy efficiency: Illy ESE pod machine, £115
  • Best for versatility: Nespresso Vertuo Next, £149

Best coffee pod machines to buy in 2023

Morning Machine

Score: 5/5

  • Available from Morning, £349
Morning coffee machine against a white background

Best for speciality coffee and variety

Compatible with: Nespresso pods

New for 2022, the Morning Machine has levelled up what is possible to achieve from a coffee pod machine. Its sleek, compact design is both minimalistic and modern, oozing style without demanding attention. And behind the simplicity lies immense sophistication in the form of user-friendly precision controls. 10 ready-to-brew recipes are selectable by spinning the outer rim of its touchscreen frontage. Among them are a Kyoto drip coffee function for slowly brewing over ice in addition to Morning’s Brew and Bloom classic recipe for espresso.

It feels like the first time that certain features from professional espresso machines have been put into a coffee capsule machine. The extracted coffee is measured in grams rather than ml. And in addition to a manual function, coffee temperature, bar pressure and quantity are all adaptable. There’s even a small light to illuminate your espresso as it’s extracted. More barista recipes are available through the Morning app. The machine itself is both WiFi and Bluetooth connectable so if you want to brew your coffee from bed, you can.

Available from:

Morning, £349

De’Longhi Nespresso Lattissima One

Score: 3.5/5

De'Longhi Lattissima One coffe pod machine against a white background

Best for milky coffees

The big unique selling point of this coffee pod machine is the milk-frothing wand and single-serve milk container which pulls out from the front for easy filling and cleaning. It’s the result of a collaboration between Nespresso and De’Longhi, two superpowers of the coffee landscape so the technology to brew and extract richly aromatic shots of coffee.

The milk system offers four little notches for guiding you on the milk quantities for three milky drinks; espresso macchiato (30ml), cappuccino (60ml) and latte macchiato (135ml to max 165ml) in addition to black espresso and lungo functions and is dishwasher-safe when dismantled. It’s possible to personalise the settings of each coffee and save a favourite for quick-select. One of the drawbacks of this model is the price, sitting over £200. However, it’s a great option for a household with different coffee preferences.

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