The best bean to cup coffee machines to buy in 2022

The technology behind this type of offering means these machines are usually large and pricey. But don’t be intimidated. We’ve broken down the differences between bean-to-cup machines vs espresso machines. We walk you through what to look for and share our tried-and-tested top picks of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines below.

For more coffee reviews, check out our full guide to the best coffee machines featuring picks of the best espresso machines and the best coffee pod machines. We’ve tried and tested a variety to give you the best results for what you need and are always on the look out for the best coffee machine deals to bring you a bargain. Or for a little inspiration, discover the best coffee subscriptions and the best gifts for coffee lovers. Make your own homemade coffee syrup using our step-by-step recipe and discover more advice and buyer’s guides on everything from the top British gins to the best English vineyard breaks in our reviews section.

Treat yourself to the full experience and serve your coffee in one of our favourite espresso cups and coffee mugs.

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Gaggia Magenta bean to cup espresso machine with a plate of pancakes beside it

Best bean-to-cup machines at a glance

Best for contemporary style: Smeg BCC02 bean-to-cup coffee machine, £649.95

Best affordable bean-to-cup espresso machine: Breville Barista Max £449

Best large capacity bean-to-cup coffee machine: Gaggia Cadorna Plus, £750

Best bean-to-cup espresso machine: Sage Oracle Touch espresso machine £2,099.95

Best smart bean-to-cup coffee machine: Smarter Coffee Machine £179

Best mid-range bean-to-cup coffee machine: Delonghi La Specialista Maestro bean-to-cup coffee machine £999.99

Best for adjustable aroma intensity: Gaggia Magenta Plus £599

What’s the difference between bean-to-cup coffee machines and espresso machines?

Traditional semi-automatic espresso machines encourage the building of basic barista skills and require a more hands-on approach to loading portafilters and using pre-ground coffee.

In contrast, the best bean-to-cup coffee machines are fully automated, freshly grinding whole beans to bring you a cup of coffee at the touch of a button, with opportunities to personalise the cups. The outlay cost with a bean-to-cup machine will be higher but balanced by the time and effort saved to achieve a great cup every time.

How to choose the best bean-to-cup espresso machine

Within the bean-to-cup world there are a couple of machine types, but all share the fundamental element of having a bean compartment and grinder.

Top tip: store your coffee beans in an airtight container and only top up the hopper with what you need. This will keep the beans’ flavour fresher and give you better flexibility over switching up the beans.

  • Bean-to-cup espresso machines: these focus on producing espresso; short shots of intense coffee brewed under pressure. This forms the fundamental element to many coffee house classics.
  • Bean-to-cup coffee machines: in addition to making espresso, these could include filter systems for making drip coffee and can come with glass carafes, measuring coffee in cups rather than single and double espressos.
  • Manual bean-to-cup: this type combines automation with a hands-on experience, leaving the fun bits for you to do. For example, loading and locking the portafilter and frothing the milk.
  • Automatic bean-to-cup: quite simply, once you’ve selected the drink you want, the machine does the rest.

Best bean-to-cup coffee machines to buy in 2022

Smeg BCC02 bean-to-cup coffee machine

Score: 5/5 stars

Smeg BCC02 bean to cup coffee machine in red

Best bean-to-cup for contemporary style

Known for its large white goods and statement kitchen staples, Smeg has a strong reputation for making efficient and stylish appliances, like its ECF01 espresso machine. The brand’s first-ever bean-to-cup coffee machine doesn’t deviate from this, carrying the same iconic design and curved lines without dominating kitchen space.

It’s the smallest bean-to-cup on test, simply offering four control buttons and eight selectable functions, a steam wand rather than an internal milk tank, and a dial for adjusting the grind level from its coffee bean store. The steam wand angles outwards for use in mugs, cups or glass jugs. The coffee produced is packed with flavour. We want one in our own kitchens. Read our full Smeg BCC02 bean-to-cup coffee machine review.

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