From time to time we get asked questions via email, and it makes sense to address them here on the blog rather than individually. That way, everyone gets to read our point of view rather than just the reader that chose to email us.
In this post, we’re going to be addressing something that’s been asked a few times in various forms – should I buy a specialist coffee machine like a cappuccino maker, or something a little more versatile?
While the answer is undoubtedly ‘it depends’, that’s not a particularly useful one. Let’s have a go at answering it in a little more detail, hopefully helping you to make your own mind up. We’ll use cappuccino as the subject, although it could easily be espresso or any other type of coffee – the principle remains the same.
The reason we say ‘it depends’ is that everyone will use their machine differently. If you know that you only drink a specific type of coffee and you won’t be treating visitors with anything else, then the simple answer is likely to be to go for the specialist machine.
On the other hand, the days when a dedicated machine made a real difference to the quality of coffee are gone, unless of course you’re buying something very expensive (and at the time of writing, we’re not really covering those machines, choosing to focus on mainstream models instead). We’ve got plenty of reviews of very impressive coffee makers that will make creating a latte, cappuccino or espresso a breeze, and virtually all of them can make virtually any coffee you could desire (disclaimer: please read the reviews and product specs carefully before you buy, especially if you’re after something specific).
Great examples of machines that will give you high quality regardless of coffee type include the Jura F8 and the Melitta Caffeo Barista TS, or for a little less there’s a really good choice from Delonghi that sells very well called the Eletta.
Generally speaking, you’ll find that some models will have a particular coffee type that they excel at, but do very well across the board, especially those coffee machines in the £500-£1000 range. Our product reviews will help you narrow those down, but if you’re still unsure, click the blue buttons on each review to find them on amazon and have a scroll through some customer reviews. You’ll often find some really useful specifics from people looking for the same things as you. While we put a lot of time into the research and creation of our write ups, sometimes another person’s opinion can help a lot.
So, in summary, if you’re certain that you’ll only be making one variety of coffee, by all means get a specialist coffee maker, otherwise our vote goes for something that offers more variety, especially one of the machines we referred to above.