Buying a coffee maker isn’t up there with a car or a new home, but it is going to be one of the more expensive things you buy this year, particularly if you’re a real coffee lover. That’s because a cheap percolator or pod machine is unlikely to cut the mustard, so you’ll probably be looking at the premier style of these gadgets – the bean to cup coffee machine.
They’re much cheaper than they used to be, but are still likely to drift into the range of several hundred pounds. You can get cheaper ones, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Companies like Andrew James are well known for their affordable appliances, especially those for use in the kitchen, but in our opinion, if you’re going to buy a bean to cup maker, you want it to be something that really makes a difference to the beverages you enjoy, not just grind beans for the sake of it.
At the other end of the spectrum, there’s companies like Breville, who make very impressive machines for sale in the UK under the Sage brand that’s synonymous with Heston Blumenthal. They make the impressive Barista Express and The Oracle, and in the middle there’s the Dual Boiler, which doesn’t directly qualify as a bean to cup model, but does have a separate grinder available called the Knock Box.
So, that’s the cheapies and the premium options, what’s in the middle? Well, there are plenty of companies in the market, and the one that pops up regularly is De’Longhi, who make all sorts of products that you’ll find in the electricals section of your local store. Think toasters, kettles, sandwich makers and so on. Until their coffee makers, I’d not really rated them as a stand out manufacturer, but actually they’ve created quite an impressive collection of machines. They make a surprising number of variations too, covering all budgets and catering for different tastes in coffee too. You’ll often see a couple of their machines in bestseller lists, and that’s not just down to the price – they’re easy to use and make a very nice cup of coffee to boot.
So, in summary, the freshness you get when grinding beans to order is what makes these machines stand head and shoulders ahead of types other coffee makers, and frankly spend what you can afford because the bigger price tags do generally tally with better coffee. There’s a huge choice out there, so do your research ahead of time, and make sure you check out the deals available on the web before you turn to the high street, as you can sometimes make a chunky saving on the recommended retail price online.
Finally, try a few brands of beans too – there’s a surprising difference to be experienced by varying up your bean source. Keep them in sealed containers until they’re required, and you’ll get the best coffee you’ve ever made at home!