The best coffee machines 2022 for a barista-like experience

Whether you want fully-automated convenience and coffee at the touch of a button, or the gratifying connection to your cup of coffee that comes with a hands-on machine, there are lots of coffee machines to choose from. Prices of coffee machines vary from £25 to £2,000, and can be compact models or stalwarts of your countertop. There’s no point in paying for sophisticated personalisation features if all you’re after is a delicious americano, or dedicating half your surface to a machine that won’t get used.

So, with this in mind, we’ve rounded up our tried and tested favourite coffee machines to help you make great coffee at home.

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

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A coffee machine brewing espresso into a cup

Best coffee machines at a glance

Best espresso machines

  • Best mid-range espresso machine: SMEG ECF01 home espresso machine, £319
  • Best modern classic: Gaggia New Classic espresso machine, £299
  • Best compact machine for quality accessories: KitchenAid Artisan espresso machine, £381.65
  • Most stylish espresso machine: De’Longhi Dedica EC685.M manual espresso maker, £182
  • Best espresso machine for adventures: Wacaco Minipresso GR espresso maker, £46.90
  • Best mid-range buy for simplicity: Sage Bambino Plus espresso maker, £399.95

Best coffee pod machines

  • Best for user-friendly experience: Hotel Chocolat The Podster, £149.95
  • Best blowout coffee pod machine: Grind One, £275
  • Best basic coffee pod machine: Lavazza Jolie, £79
  • Best coffee pod machine 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 bean-to-cup coffee machines

  • Best bean-to-cup machine for contemporary style: Smeg BCC02 bean-to-cup coffee machine, £649.95
  • Best large capacity bean-to-cup coffee machine: Gaggia Cadorna Plus, £750
  • Best bean-to-cup machine: Sage Oracle Touch espresso machine, £2,099.95
  • Best smart bean-to-cup coffee machine: Smarter Coffee Machine, £199
  • Best mid-range bean-to-cup coffee machine: Delonghi La Specialista Maestro bean to cup coffee machine, £999.99
  • Best bean-to-cup machine for adjustable aroma intensity: Gaggia Milano Magenta Milk, £599
  • Best affordable bean to cup espresso machine: Breville Barista Max, £44

Types of coffee machines

The type of machine you buy will depend on the type of coffee you drink, priorities, budget, space available and level of personalisation desired. The more you pay, the greater the personalisation options you’ll likely have.

Bean-to-cup coffee machines: These coffee machines are fully-automated. They grind freshly roasted whole beans and the grinding, dosing and tamping are all done at the touch of a button. You can usually make two drinks at a time, they often have sophisticated customisation settings available and you can save your drink preferences. Some even have apps and WIFI connectivity which means you can set the machine to make your coffee while you’re still lying in bed.

Coffee pod machines: These accommodate pre-prepared coffee pods which provide a mess-free espresso. The machines themselves are relatively affordable, starting around £30, but the pods themselves can be expensive and difficult to recycle, unless you buy biodegradable versions.

Ground coffee machines: The closest you’ll get to espresso machines in a coffee house. These use ground coffee and have portafilters that you lock in place. You’ll likely need to tamper and tap out the grounds yourself with these machines which adds a satisfying hands-on experience. Providing its the right grind level, you can also switch up the coffee you use. Manual pump espresso machines are the most experiential of all, harnessing your own strength to apply enough pressure to produce espresso, rather than being plugged into the mains.

Filter coffee machines: These machines are a different beast, not requiring any power and generally taking longer than espresso machines. Comprising just a filter, coffee and hot water, the brewed coffee drips into a jug.

Best coffee machines 2022

Espresso machines

Gaggia New Classic espresso machine

Score: 5/5 stars

Gaggia Classic espresso machine

Best modern classic

If you’re looking for an espresso machine that carries legacy as much as style, Gaggia’s Classic effortlessly denotes quality and expertise. Made in Italy, its trio of rocker switches and steel outer case hide the trappings of a state-of-the-art machine for home use, including a solenoid valve for controlling water temperature. All the accessories are also professional grade.

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