Everyone has their own favourite when it comes to drinking coffee, so whether it’s a latte or americano, an espresso or a mocha, there will be a great choice for you here, and it’s our job to help you find it.
So, let’s get started with our quick guide comparison table, listing the most common features that our reviewed products offer. This is our top ten guide to bean to cup coffee machines, but there are plenty more to choose from, and you’ll find out more about the other options that are available further down the page.
- 1 Best Bean To Cup Coffee Machines 2018
- 2 Top 10 Bean To Cup Coffee Machine Reviews
- 2.1 Number 1: Delonghi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine
- 2.2 Number 2: Melitta Caffeo Barista TS Bean to Cup Coffee Maker
- 2.3 Number 3: Jura Impressa F8 Aroma+ TFT Coffee Machine
- 2.4 Number 4: De’Longhi ECAM44.660.B Eletta Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
- 2.5 Number 5: Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Barista Express Coffee Machine and Grinder
- 2.6 Number 6: Melitta E953-101 Caffeo Solo and Milk Fully Automatic Coffee Maker with Milk Steamer
- 2.7 Number 7: Gaggia Brera Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
- 2.8 Number 8: Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 4000.b 15 Bar Bean to Cup Espresso/ Cappuccino Machine
- 2.9 Number 9: Delonghi ESAM 2800 Caffe Corso Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
- 2.10 Number 10: Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Dual Boiler Coffee Machine
- 3 Top 5 Bean To Cup Coffee Machines Under £500
- 4 Top Tips For Choosing Bean To Cup Coffee Makers
- 5 Coffee Machines FAQ
- 6 The Last Word
Best Bean To Cup Coffee Machines 2018
We’ve also got a table for under £500 machines further down the page if your budget won’t stretch any further, and you can get some great machines in that price range. If you’re wanting to see our full range of top bean to cup coffee machines, here’s our run down:
|Delonghi Magnifica ESAM4200|
|Melitta Caffeo Barista TS|
|Jura Impressa F8|
|Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Barista Express|
|Melitta E953-101 Caffeo|
|Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 4000.b |
|Delonghi ESAM2800 Caffe Corso|
|Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Dual Boiler|
Top 10 Bean To Cup Coffee Machine Reviews
Now that you’ve seen our preferred machines, it’s time to take a look at them in much more detail. Below, you’ll see a brief review of each of the products, along with a link to check them out for the latest UK price on the world’s biggest shop, Amazon. This will mean that you can get the very latest price on the coffee makers that grab your attention.
Number 1: Delonghi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine
Our favourite machine for 2018 is the Delonghi Magnifica ESAM4200, ahead of several other machines from the manufacturer, with the next being the ECAM 44.660.B machine. It’s designed to be a solid starter machine for people getting into home coffee making, and makes it easy to get started straight away by offering a one touch espresso function, and the same for an americano. It doesn’t stop there, though, as there’s a full cappuccino functionality included, so anything involving frothing up the milk is also a breeze. It’s the amazing price, coupled with a great range of features that’s won the ESAM4200 our number one spot.
As quite a small unit, Delonghi have managed to cram everything into a compact space, giving even the smallest kitchen the option of a great coffee maker. You’ll clearly benefit from the extensive experience of Delonghi in developing their machines, with a price that’s very attractive compared to most other models. The full review of Delonghi’s Magnifica ESAM4200 coffee machine is here.
Number 2: Melitta Caffeo Barista TS Bean to Cup Coffee Maker
Melitta’s Caffeo Barista TS has taken over from where their Bistro coffee machine left off. It caters well for those who want impressive results and can afford to spend a little more than those that are on a tight budget. It’s a very attractive machine that can be considered an all rounder – perfect for households that have a range of coffee drinkers. In other words, you can make espressos and cappuccinos easily, and even latte lovers should be impressed. As you’ll quickly see in our in depth Melitta Caffeo Barista TS review, this machine will take some beating for those that can afford it – a view that’s repeatedly echoed in the customer comments.
The Barista TS has allowed Melitta to step up and bridge the gap between the home and cafe coffee market, and confidently takes on Jura in the price stakes for the premium home machine of choice. You can read more about the Jura machine next, but there really is very little to separate them, and we expect most people to be swayed one way or the other primarily on appearance – we just prefer the Melitta!
Find out more with a full review, and check out the price now:
Number 3: Jura Impressa F8 Aroma+ TFT Coffee Machine
As we mentioned in the Barista TS summary above, the Impressa F8 from Jura is a formidable machine, and also stretches the home coffee market to a new level. Jura have generally been seen as a manufacturer of expensive, premium machines in the past, but the Impressa F8 has packed their extensive experience into a machine priced to suit a more wide ranging spectrum. Yes, it’s still expensive compared to the cheaper Magnifica ESAM4200 from Delonghi, but as we all know, you get what you pay for. A premium machine will dispense a much richer, more configurable and versatile coffee, so don’t be tempted to go for the cheaper option just because it’s in our number one spot, a lot of the reasoning behind that relates to price and affordability.
Where the Jura really shines is in its ease of use out of the box. The controls are remarkable intuitive, considering they’re quite different to most other machines we’ve seen. They are all based around, and interact with, a screen at the top of the machine, which guides you through the operation. Jura have managed to pack an incredible amount of options into a small number of menus, and it doesn’t feel too complicated at all, while at the same time feeling like you can personalise your drinks as much as you need.
Rather than reiterating our full guide here, why not read our complete review here or head over to Amazon to see the current price:
Number 4: De’Longhi ECAM44.660.B Eletta Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
Delonghi are one of the heavyweights of not only the bean to cup market, but also the wider coffee machine range. Whatever you’re looking for, they will have a machine that fits your requirements. However, are they the best choice?
Let’s be clear, if you can afford this one, we believe it’s better than the ESAM4200 in the number one spot, and for that reason, if they were equally priced, this would be in the top spot instead. In fact, this is the Delonghi machine we like the best, if you take price out of the equation altogether.
The Eletta ECAM 44.660.B bean to cup coffee maker is one of their strongest contenders, as you’ll see evidence of over on their Amazon page which boasts one of the highest marks out of five rating (at the time of writing). This model specialises in cappuccino making, which means it includes features for steaming the milk. The best outcome will come from coffee beans to give the ultimate freshly ground experience, and it’s not limited to cappuccino either, it’s a good contender as a coffee all rounder. If you like your latte for example, the removal milk tank will suit your needs perfectly. If you want to read our full review, then click here, otherwise check out the incredible price:
Number 5: Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Barista Express Coffee Machine and Grinder
Heston’s other entry comes with an eye watering price, so we’re glad this one made it into the top ten too. While it’s still expensive by some people’s standards, at the time of writing, it’s less than half the price of the Dual Boiler that took the number ten spot. There’s no doubt about it, Heston knows his coffee, and both machines craft really great results. Last year, we ranked this lower, simply because we felt like it’s in a sense of limbo and we weren’t sure people would take to the Barista Express. What we meant by that is the people who want to have something truly spectacular in their kitchen will probably go all the way and select the Dual Boiler, whereas the more price conscious will be more likely to choose from one of the other choices in the top ten. We have to admit we were wrong. Many of our readers went on to buy this, and it featured regularly in 2016 towards the top of Amazon’s bestseller list.
So, for 2018, we’ve listened to feedback and more importantly the buying public, and it’s overtaken the Dual Boiler to complete the top five, because in isolation, it does boast some unusual features which can make a really unique and impressive cup of coffee. You can read our full review and decide for yourself about the Barista Express here.
Number 6: Melitta E953-101 Caffeo Solo and Milk Fully Automatic Coffee Maker with Milk Steamer
Melitta’s second entry in the top ten comes in the form of their E953-101 Caffeo Solo. I really like the look of this model, in fact I’d go as far as to say it’s up there with the most attractive designs in our top ten.
It’s cheaper than the number two ranking Caffeo Barista TS, so you’ve probably guessed that it falls a little short of its big brother in the performance stakes. It still makes a great cup of coffee and is versatile enough to provide a wide range of coffee types, but just has that feeling of not quite hitting the mark in the same way as the more expensive Melitta.
Of course, making it to number six is nothing to be sneezed at, as it’s a very solid contender!
Learn more in our full review of the Melitta Caffeo Solo here, or check the latest price:
Number 7: Gaggia Brera Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
No top ten would be complete without an entry from Gaggia. They’re up there with the best when it comes to coffee making, and their Brera doesn’t disappoint. As you can see from the image, it’s a very compact choice, so great for kitchens where space comes at a premium.
We thought hard about placing this machine higher in our list, as it’s versatile in the types of coffee it can make, and customisable to ‘hot key’ your preferred drinks on the control panel. However, scanning through the reviews on Amazon’s website showed a few complaints about cleaning and breakdowns.
All coffee machines need regular cleaning, and it’s understandable that some customers will have problems, so perhaps marking it down for these reasons is a little unfair, but we have to rank them somehow!
To read more about what previous customers have to say, and see the current price on the Gaggia Brera bean to cup coffee maker, here’s the all important blue button:
Number 8: Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 4000.b 15 Bar Bean to Cup Espresso/ Cappuccino Machine
At number eight is Delonghi’s third entry, the ESAM 4000.b from their Magnifica range. This is an impressively priced model, and perhaps the one to rival the 4200 in the budget market. Despite being essentially the same machine in a different colour, the price does seem to generally be higher on this model, hence the much lower placing. Where Delonghi’s experience really shines, especially in the lower end machines, is their attention to detail with features that are well thought out like the drip tray.
For newbies to the coffee market, simple things like an easy to remove, empty and clean drip tray can make a huge difference. The same goes for the one touch coffee selections, which will prevent new users from getting frustrated and wondering whether anything is happening. Of course, once you get the hang of the machines these become less important, but Delonghi have clearly recognised that today’s budget buyer could easily be tomorrow’s premium enthusiast.
Check the full Delonghi ESAM4000.b review here and the current price with Amazon here:
Number 9: Delonghi ESAM 2800 Caffe Corso Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
Delonghi complete their stranglehold on the top ten with their fourth and final entry at number nine. The ESAM2800 has replaced the ECAM 22.110.SB in our top ten after a massive surge in popularity, thanks to its competitive price and great range of features. It’s not a complete all rounder product, which is the main reason why it ranks below the ESAM 4200. For those who have previously owned the earlier ESAM2600, you can tell immediately that it’s a step up from the previous model, and that’s a good clue towards the fact that it will appeal to a slightly more established coffee drinker.
With the more plentiful options in terms of choices of coffee, it’s no surprise that this machine has grabbed the attention of espresso drinkers who are known for liking their coffee ‘just-so’. That’s not to say that it’s a one trick pony, though, this Delonghi certainly makes easy work of the milk based coffees too, thanks in no small part to the manual milk wand frother.
Cleaning functions are convenient and fast to deal with, so maintenance should be a breeze, something that most coffee maker owners will be drawn to!
Read our complete Delonghi ESAM2800 Caffe Corso review.
Number 10: Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Dual Boiler Coffee Machine
Heston Blumenthal has put his name to a range of coffee machines (there’s a second model that’s reviewed below) and they’re very impressive indeed. The jewel in Heston’s crown came in for 2016 at number five in our list, and the main reason it didn’t get closer to that top spot the top spot is the price, which may be out of reach for most household budgets (brace yourself and click the check price button!). On the other hand, if you really want to impress your friends and relatives when they’re visiting, this is definitely the way to do it. This year, we’ve gone for the cheaper Barista Express as the higher ranking Sage machine, as the sales in 2016 really showed that more people were drawn to the Barista Express instead, even though we prefer the results (and fun that can be had) from this machine.
The Dual Boiler coffee maker is the high end model and makes one of the best cups you will find outside of a specialist coffee shop. The big selling point is in the science (if you know anything about Heston, that will come as no surprise whatsoever), such as the specific ninety-three degree milk texturing and attention to detail with pressurisation (you’ll notice the white dial with the red needle in the picture) to create the perfect flavours. If there was a mad scientist developing the perfect drink, this would be their tool of choice. If you want to find out more, including that eye watering price you can do so here:
Top 5 Bean To Cup Coffee Machines Under £500
We know that not everyone can, or even wants, to buy the most expensive product on the market, so it’s important that we also look at the budget coffee makers too. While the type of the machine indicates that it’s a premium product and probably not for everyone, there are opportunities to get hold of a high quality bean to cup machine for less than £500. Of course, it’s true that you get what you pay for, so you’re unlikely to get a model that can do everything perfectly without the price tag to match, but in this section we’ll completely ignore the price tag, other than including only machines under that threshold.
For completeness and clarity, it’s important to make clear that we’re using the normal prices on Amazon as our selection criteria, based on the most common price we’ve seen over the last year or so. What we’re left with is our favourite five of the top ten bean to cup coffee machine options above, reordered to ignore the pricing. You might find that machines like the Melitta Caffeo Bistro are available on Amazon from time to time for less than £500, but it’s by no means the normal price.
The reason that the reordering has happened is that the price played a big part in our top ten above, so the lowest entry in the above table has moved right to the top in this section:
|Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Barista Express|
|Delonghi Magnifica ESAM4200|
|Melitta E953-101 Caffeo|
|Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 4000.b |
Top Tips For Choosing Bean To Cup Coffee Makers
Even the most experienced baristas probably struggle to choose the perfect coffee maker for their home, so it’s going to be even harder for the less informed and experienced buyer to navigate the maze of features on offer across the makes and models of coffee machine. Let’s take a look at the key factors that usually matter most to buyers.
Multi Cup Brewing
The simple option to make two cups at the same time can be a real benefit to a particular coffee machine. While a lot of the manufacturers have caught on to this, there are still too many on the market that limit you to making one drink at a time. More strangely, the odd machine appears where it’s actually tough to make a single cup, as the default option is to make two. Fortunately these are few and far between.
At risk of stating the obvious, the draw of the multi cup machines is that you aren’t stood for twice as long as necessary waiting for your drinks, and more importantly, the first one hasn’t started to go cold by the time the second cup has been made.
We touch on multi cup brewing in a little more detail on our page about coffee machine cup sizes.
Price Is Important But Not Most Important
Many people fall into the trap of choosing the cheapest machine that looks to meet their needs. That may work out fine, but probably isn’t the best way to reach the ideal choice. Naturally, no-one should spend more than they can afford, but similarly it’s crazy to spend fifty pounds less on a machine, only to change it for a more expensive model six months later when you realise you’ve cut one too many corners.
A better approach is to use price as a tie breaker when you’ve narrowed your choices down to a few machines, and can’t find a way to choose based on other factors.
Don’t Forget To Study The Cleaning Functions
A lot of modern coffee makers have cleaning cycles built in that can save you a lot of effort in keeping them clean and hygienic. No machine can do everything for you, so at the very least they’ll need to be emptied and have chambers wiped out. There’s a wide range of effort needed between models though, and in general, the cheaper a machine is, the more work you’ll need to put in to keep it in optimal condition. Having said that, some of the really high end models can require more attention too, as their owners tend to see coffee as a labour of love, so the makers know this and make many parts removable for cleaning where they could be automatically treated in lesser machines. That’s why you’ll often see staff appearing to dismantle the makers at the end of the day in your local coffee shop!
Read The Reviews
One of the reasons we love Amazon so much is that you will almost always find reviews from previous customers across the UK. This will give you an insight into the real world use of a product, rather than being limited to the manufacturer’s description on the product as you would do on the high street. It’s good to keep an open mind when trawling through reviews on items like coffee makers, as human nature tends to mean we’re more likely to complain if we don’t like a product than to praise it if we love it. Also you have to bear in mind that competitors might get their negative reviews published in an attempt to pull more sales to their own products.
On the whole, Amazon does a great job of keeping reviews on their site genuine, but just keep in mind that some may be written in the heat of the moment after a bad experience. On the other hand, when you do see great reviews, that’s probably a very good sign in virtually every case!
These four tips for selecting your coffee machine should help guide you in the right direction, so feel free to keep coming back to them if you’re struggling to decide. We place particular importance on the reviews, as they’re one of the best indications you’ll get about a product’s quality and suitability for your needs.
Coffee Machines FAQ
Sometimes, it can help with the buying process if you have a clear idea of exactly what your coffee machine does. Obviously, you’ll want a machine to make a great cup of coffee, but beyond that, what exactly goes into the perfectly brewed drink? In this section we’re going to take a much closer look, and that should help you to understand more about what you’re about to buy. Here’s some top questions about bean to cup makers…
Why Is Using Coffee Beans A Good Thing?
Most coffee lovers agree that you can tell when a drink is made with freshly ground beans. You only have to take a look at the huge popularity of Starbucks and Costa to see how the mainstream population has taken great coffee to heart. Bean to cup machines take advantage of the freshness of coffee beans compared to pre-ground coffee to give you a richer drink, usually with a really impressive aroma during the grinding and brewing process.
I’ve Heard These Machines Are Really Noisy!
Yes, it’s true that grinding coffee beans isn’t quiet, so if you like a late night coffee and live in a bedsit with your kids, you probably want to buy a machine that works with ground coffee. That might include your perfect bean to cup machine though, as many models will work with both types of coffee. All that said, we don’t think the noise of grinding coffee beans is a big deal, in fact it adds to the experience, and what’s more, it only lasts a few seconds each time.
How Big Are The Machines?
Generally speaking, bean to cup machines can be bigger than other types of coffee machine due to the mechanisms required to grind the beans for use. The manufacturers are getting better all the time at finding ways to make the units less cumbersome, and are now suitable for most kitchens without taking up too much space on the worktops.
Why Are These Machines So Expensive?
This is a curious question, and we hear it a lot. We don’t consider them to be very expensive at all, especially when you consider how many people buy a daily coffee on the way to and/or from work. Research has shown that the rise in popularity of take away coffee has meant a rising number of people spend over £50 per month on take away coffee, that’s nearly £2.50 for each working day! So, on that logic, most machines will pay for themselves in much less than a year. A different way to answer the question would be relative to the other types of machine on the market, which do not grind the beans for you. The grinding mechanisms add another layer of complexity to producing the machines (for example keeping them to an acceptable size), as well as the parts themselves costing money. Overall, these are aimed at a different market to the lower cost coffee machines, and that’s people who love coffee and can afford to enjoy that passion at home.
You can find out more about the processes the machines use in order to create you a great cup of coffee on our page about how bean to cup coffee machines work.
Are These Suitable For Cafe And Restaurant Use?
When we created this site, we were really thinking about home users, who are looking to install bean to cup machines in their kitchens. In general, when you look at the marketing from the manufacturers of these hot drinks makers, they talk as if they’re referring to domestic use. However, in most cases, they don’t specifically refer to home users, so perhaps that’s more of a main target market than entirely who they’re selling to. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from buying one of the machines we review on this website and putting it in your cafe or restaurant if you run one. The only thing we can think of is that you might invalidate the warranty if it only covers domestic use. We’d recommend giving the manufacturer a call if that’s concerning you before you buy. Alternatively, you will find that there are commercial machines available from specialist suppliers.
Can I Buy A Second Hand Maker?
You only need to click through any of the links on this site to Amazon to see the prices that used coffee makers are selling for (when they’re available, they’re listed immediately below the main price for a new unit). You may find that you can buy a pre-owned bean to cup machine on eBay for less, but typically we’ve not seen a saving much greater than 30% on Amazon itself. As with most things, you get what you pay for, and unless you’re buying from a trusted friend, you’ll want to be getting the security of buying from a trusted source to avoid getting ripped off and picking up a damaged or faulty machine. In other words, unless you’re getting a chunky discount from a well known and reputable retailer, we wouldn’t recommend trying to get a cheap bargain for the sake of it!
Coffee Machine With Grinder Integrated Or Separate?
Buying a coffee machine with grinder functionality built in is the most popular choice for people wanting to make coffee fresh from beans. That’s not the only option though, and if you look at our Sage by Heston Blumenthal Dual Boiler review, you’ll see that we’ve included that machine even though you’ll need a separate grinder to turn the beans into the coarse or smooth coffee you want to use. If you’re a complete coffee enthusiast, you’ll probably opt for that over the integrated grinder in the machine. For most of us though, the convenience and simplicity of the best coffee machine with grinder built in is probably going to win out, especially if you’re opting for an all-in-one fully automatic coffee machine.
The Last Word
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the bottom, and hopefully you’re now far more informed about the type of coffee maker that will best suit you. Hopefully a specific make and model have caught your eye, and you’re now in a position to buy. Don’t forget to look for the blue price check button above that will take you to Amazon for each of the featured bean to cup coffee machines in our review section.
Thanks for reading and happy brewing!