How To Choose The Right Coffee Machine

DeLonghi ECAM 22110B

Choosing The Right Coffee Machine

From filter coffee makers to traditional espresso machines, all the various coffee equipment available may be overwhelming. However, for those who have just a little essential knowledge, you can actually navigate the world of coffee makers and get the right machine for you personally.

Not so long ago, making a cup of joe was no more complicated than choosing your favourite make of instant coffee and boiling a kettle. How things have changed! The proliferation of coffee shops throughout the world has made everyone more particular in what we choose to drink. Not happy with drinking lattes and cappuccinos inside our local coffee shop, an unbelievable 20% of UK households now own a coffee machine so we can also enjoy our favourite creation in your house.

Kaffeevollautomat Test

So here is our simple to follow guide on how to choose the best type of coffee machine for you personally.

There are a number of basic approaches to make coffee, and determined by your own preference, some will be more suitable for your requirements than others. Let's take a look at the main types of espresso maker on the market.


Without doubt the most affordable way to make 'proper' coffee, a cafetiere is really a glass or plastic jug using a plunger mechanism built in. You just add boiling water down coffee you've put in the cafetiere, allow it to brew for any short time and then press documented on the plunger to push every one of the coffee grounds to the bottom. Easy!

For: Make decent coffee from about £10 upwards, portable, no energy needed (other than boiling water).

Against: You can't make espresso, latte or cappuccinos, similar to filter coffee makers.

Filter Coffee brewers

Available for both businesses and homes, all filter espresso machines work in the same way. Cold water is poured in the top, and then heated and dripped by having a filter paper containing your ground coffee. The finished jug of coffee sits on a hotplate, keeping it warm in order to keep coming back for refills.

For: Simple to use, coffee can be kept hot for hours, low price of machines.

Against: It is possible to only make wedding party coffee - no espressos, lattes or cappuccinos. Filter coffee flavoured with syrups aren't to everyone's taste.

Capsule Espresso machines

Available from most Street department stores, there is now an enormous range of great little machines to choose from. The coffee is pre-measured and packed in foil capsules which you place into the machine, and it will be usually done in the touch of a button. They're normally a doddle to clean and the coffee can often be very good quality, especially if you've gone using a branded coffee like Lavazza.

For: Wide range of machines, make most forms of coffee from espresso to lattes, very easy to clean.

Against: It is possible to only use your manufacturer's pods, and they also tend to be expensive.

Pump Espresso Machines

They are small, normally domestic, espresso machines that have a high-pressure pump to produce an espresso that you can then use because the base for lots of other drinks including macchiatos, lattes and cappuccinos. Accessible in High Street stores from around £100, though with this price don't expect a device that will last for years.

For: Produce a wide range of espresso-based drinks, low cost, not limited to a smaller range of coffee

Against: Low priced machines can have short life spans, may be fiddly to clean

Traditional Espresso Machines

Fundamental essentials larger commercial espresso machines you'll recognise from Traditional coffee houses such as Costa and Starbucks. Built to be used all day long and present many years of service, they may be expensive and bulky, driving them to unsuitable for domestic use. However, in recent times, some manufacturers made smaller slimline units that is used at home, provided your pockets are deep enough. Please remember you'll need a grinder too.

For: This is how coffee should be made, reliable and resilient machines

Against: Expensive, well suited for commercial use

Bean To Cup Coffee Machines

Bean to cup machines contain an integral grinder and espresso maker that are automated in a way that you can pour your beans in the top, press a control button and get an espresso straight to your cup. Which means no barista knowledge should be used and there's no need for a separate grinder, making them space efficient too. However, having everything in one box means there's more to visit wrong, particularly in cheaper machines where some of the internal components are created down to a price.

For: Freshly ground coffee from one piece of kit, no barista knowledge needed

Against: More to look wrong, can be fiddly to completely clean, cheap machines may be unreliable


Basically we appreciate that there are all kinds of other ways of making coffee not covered on this page, we've tried to make it simple. Some people we speak to are unaware of which type of machine most closely fits them, and unquestionably many people have either made the wrong decision or used poor advice, leaving them a machine that's not ideal for their needs.

When choosing a product, don't forget to also look at the ease of cleaning, the warranty cover you're going to get, and how easy these are to use. Review websites and internet-based forums are a great way to obtain opinion from those who already have the equipment you may be considering buying, so spend some time seeing what others when you have experienced.