17 Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines of 2022

In this post, I’m exploring the 17 perfect bean to cup coffee machines of 2022 in the UK.

This includes comparisons of features, nevertheless likewise my own thoughts on each machine based on my grasp of bean to cup coffee machines, and based on the experience I’ve had with each machine.

I’ve used a lot of of these machines myself, usually quite commonly for my individual blog article reviews and YouTube reviews, and any that I’ve not yet got my hands on as of yet, I will do soon and I’ll update this article accordingly. 

So if you’re shopping for a bean to cup coffee machine and you wanted some ideas and comparisons by someone who knows a little about the machines in matter, then this is for you. 

Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines of 2021

Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines of 2021

I don’t find out about you, but when I’m shopping for anything, and I’m searching Google for “the best <whatever>”, I get slightly frustrated when I come to the realisation that I’m reading a scraped together list of sales blurb that I could have found myself, and the article doesn’t truly help me in any way. 

So this isn’t among them – this is, hopefully, the many helpful guide on the web for when it comes to the perfect bean to cup coffee machines available in the UK. This post likewise contains a big bean to cup coffee machine FAQ, so scroll down to the bottom of this article for that.

My aim is to provide the reader with genuine insight into which of these bean to cup machines may be best for you, including reviews from my own experience each time possible.

I’m working my way through these machines in terms of very having them in my kitchen for a week or so, to help me to give even more useful insight than would be possible with research alone. 

I’ve used an increasing number of these machines, there are only a few bean to cup coffee machines I’ve not yet used, and when it comes to these I’m going purely from scientific research, but I do put rather a little of time into doing this research study. You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you just how long I spend researching these machines…

So all of this info ought to be useful and insightful even if the machine in question isn’t one I’ve personally reviewed as of yet.

Best Bean to Cup Espresso coffee machines.

Literally to point out, I’m specifically referring to the perfect bean to cup espresso coffee machines, and doesn’t include bean to cup American coffee machines, for these machines, see:

Perfect Drip coffee Machines

Why Buy a Bean to Cup Machine?

If you want true espresso coffee at home, or in the office, or both if you work from home as numerous of us do at the moment, you only in truth have two options, a semi-automatic traditional espresso coffee machine with a coffee grinder, or a bean to cup espresso coffee machine (mainly known as fully automatic or super automatic espresso coffee machines across the pond).

Going the traditional route with an espresso machine doesn’t basically mean buying a coffee machine, it also indicates developing the needed home barista skills.

There’s no doubt about it, if you want to be able to produce drinkable espresso coffee and espresso-based coffees utilizing a classic espresso coffee machine, this means embarking upon the home barista hobby, which is ideal if that’s what you’re setting out to do.

But if all you want is a coffee makeking device capable of espresso-based coffees at the touch of a button, then it’ll be a bean to cup coffee brewing equipment you’re after. 

If you’ve landed on this page searching for a coffee makeking tool, and at this point, you’re not sure which is the perfect kind of coffee machine for you, I’d recommend this post:

How To Choose The Perfect Coffee makeking device For Any Budget

Something often overlooked when it comes to buying a coffee machine is the importance of the quality of coffee that you choose to utilize. It doesn’t question how good or expensive the machine is, you need to utilize decent coffee beans if you want decent coffee. Another way to put this is, put crap in, get crap out ;-).

I buy coffee beans from loads of different sources, all freshly roasted high-quality coffee of course, and we’re actually lucky in the UK with the sheer number of small-batch coffee roasters here now, a lot of of which you’ll find in my UK coffee roasters directory. 

Nevertheless a while back, I was helped by my fellow coffee botherers (this is what I refer to my readers as, so that’s you now since you’re here reading this) to put together a small range of special coffee beans, just for them, focusing on the flavour profiles that were requested the most. This grew into The Coffeeworks, which is now a thriving business supplying a range of (at the time of writing) 16 freshly roasted coffees. 

Why not give them a go, and work with the discount code below if you do:

Work with discount code CBNC25 for 25% off your first order at Coffeeworks

What Type of Bean to Cup Espresso Machine?

The main forms of bean to cup machine are manual milk frothing, and auto milk frothing. The latter are often called “one touch” bean to cup machines or “one touch cappuccino” machines.

The difference is that the fundamental, manual milk frothing machines come with a steam wand, and the user has to steam and pour the milk themselves.

Auto milk frothing “one touch” bean to cup machines do everything for you including steaming and pouring the milk, you actually press a button. 

There are pros and cons for both, but the main pro for fully auto one-touch machines is practicality, and for semi-auto the main pros are cost (they’re cheaper), and you have more control over the quality of milk drinks.

With some practice, humans can create way better milk texture and pour much better cappuccino & latte, and especially flat whites, than is possible with a machine.

Some of the better one touch machines do a fairly good job of cappuccino, latte & latte macchiato at the touch of a button, but I’ve not come across one as of yet that will make a proper flat white. Then again, most baristas can’t make a proper flat white either, but that’s a topic for a future article ;-).

So let’s get on with it, starting with the lowest price bean to cup machines and moving our way upwards from there. If you want more info on bean to cup coffee machines in general, truly scroll to the bottom where you’ll find my FAQ.

Check Price - Amazon UK

Features:

  • 1 touch bean to cup (coffee only, not 1 touch milk drinks)
  • Front loading easy access water tank: 1.2 litres
  • 13 grind settings
  • Large dishwasher safe drip tray
  • Decent steam power

This has been among the perfect selling bean to cup machines on Amazon for numerous years, and as a result, there are a massive number of answered questions.

So this machine has a lot going for it in terms of the user being able to learn all of its quirks & pros and cons before deciding whether it’s the right bean to cup machine for them. By the way, by far the perfect answered matter in my modest opinion, is this one:

Question: Does this equipment enable me to travel through space and time?
Answer: Hi, only if you possess a CONTINUUM TRANSFUNCTIONER, Cheers G

Blurb:

Grinds Fresh Coffee Beans

Your preference of fresh coffee beans finely ground with the integrated burr coffee grinder. Making coffee shop quality coffee, to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.

Personalise Your Coffee

Easy to work with control panel for you to just adapt the coffee strength and length to your choice.

Double Delivery

Prepare two drinks with a single touch of a button, or prepare hot water for tea infusions.

Traditional Milk Frother

Produces a smooth and silky milk foam to create your favourite beverages such as Cappuccino, Caffe Latte, or Latte Macchiato.

Notes about the blurb:

What is spoken about here as a normal frother is a pannarello wand / turbo steam wand, which a lot of bean to cup coffee machines have.

These are simply a steam pipe with a sheath around it with air holes on the side, intended to foam milk without the learning curve linked to learning to steam milk with a pro steam wand. 

See my video on steaming milk:

Pro steam wands that you’d find on commercial machines, and traditional espresso machines such as the Gaggia Classic Pro & Sage Bambino Plus, take some getting used to, although the Sage Bambino Plus also has an auto steaming role which is extremely impressive for a machine at this price!

Sage Bambino Plus Review

Panarello wands like this one make it much easier to foam milk, but don’t give you any control over the foam, you literally get whatever the machine wants to give you, which is usually dry, firm cappuccino foam. 

The only Panarello I’ve used which is the exception to this is the De’Longhi Dedica EC685 which has a Panarello which is capable of steaming milk for latte art.

But with the ECAM 4200, and with the majority of other bean to cup coffee machines with panarello wands, you can basically pull off the sheath and utilize the steam wand as a standard steam wand.

It takes a little bit of practice to steam milk this way, and you may find you’re happy with the foam produced with the panarello wand, and if you are then excellent.

My Review

My Observations:

Best Bean to Cup Coffee machine? Latte Art.
As you can see, good steam – latte art is no problem, with the panarello removed.

This is one of the lowest price bean to cup coffee machines available.

In fact, as far as I’m aware it’s the cheapest bean to cup espresso coffee machine available in the UK right now, and literally, on paper at least, this machine as more going for it in terms of shot quality, than some of the much more expensive bean to cup machines. 

While some of the more expensive machines have some great features, particularly when it comes to convenience – the ESAM 4200 has as lots of grind settings as the more expensive De’Longhi machines, and double the number of grind settings of some much more expensive bean to cup machines.

While the 7 grind settings which half step increments doesn’t come close to what you’d expect to find on a stand alone espresso coffee mill, it does give you a bit more ability to dial in (find the grind that produces the perfect espresso coffee from the beans you’re utilizing).

I used the Esam 4200 as my main espresso machine for a week or so, in order to write my Delonghi Esam 4200 review. And I was very impressed with this bean to cup machine for the low cost, there’s in reality nothing offensive about this machine.

I can’t say “oh yeah it’s the cheapest bean to cup machine but here’s why”. Simply, it produces literally as good shot quality and milk texture as a lot of much more expensive machines. 

It’s a fairly compact machine, and everything is well thought out. I enjoy the front loading water tank.

Plenty of steam power and the steam pipe with the Panarello removed works perfectly well for producing decent milk texture, as you can see from a couple of photos of my latte art attempts above.

The only niggle I found with this machine is that it’s difficult to get back to the exact same settings.

The volume and strength dials are like volume knobs without any numbers for reference, which I found a little of a pain, nevertheless not a deal breaker for such a bargain priced machine.

Check Price - Amazon UK

Check Price – Amazon UK

Features:

  • Easy access front loading water tank: 1.8L
  • Adjustable brew group height for different sized cups
  • Steam wand doubles as hot water tap
  • Fairly quiet grinding with 13 settings.

Blurb:

The ECAM22 will create you the wonderful espresso at the touch of a button as well as providing you the opportunity to make cafe style milk based drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes.

Beautifully crafted, this an awesome piece of engineering will allow you to start the day with the fantastic coffee consume to suit you and will look stunning on your kitchen surface.

The machine has a silent integrated grinder with 13 settings so that you can tailor your coffee to your exact taste buds.

Espresso coffee. The modest rotation of the dial lets you increase or decrease the coffee intensity. By pressing the corresponding buttons you can choose between short or long coffees.

Cappuccino. Cappuccino System equipment is ideal to produce a rich, creamy froth for perfect cappuccinos

Latte. Cappuccino System tool is ideal to produce a rich, creamy froth for fantastic lattes

Notes about the blurb:

“Cappuccino system device” – is just the Panarello wand. It does irritate me when manufacturers try to make up cooler sounding names for bog fundamental implements… 

My Observations:

In my humble opinion, this is rather a lot of machine for the money.

It doesn’t cost a excellent deal more than the ESAM 4200, and it does have rather a few more features and refinements, which would make me tempted by this machine vs the mildly cheaper preference, if I was on the market for a bean to cup machine.

It has a ridiculous number of Amazon reviews, which are extremely positive overall.

Obviously, there will always be negatives, but numerous of them appear to be rating the supplier quite than the machine.

For instance, there are multiple reviews referring to the machine having been sent to a UK address with an EU plug, and of course, this is a rating of the supplier, not the machine. 

By the way, the reason this may happen is if you’ve (possibly unknowingly) purchased from a third party seller. Sometimes there is more than one supplier option available, and some may be cheaper than others.

The problem with simply choosing the cheapest supplier is that there are a number of firms that sell coffee machines in the UK from Italy and other countries.

Machines purchased from these firms are likely to come with an EU plug, and they may come with a return to Italy warranty too, so it’s worth doing some due diligence and just checking who you’re buying your machine from if it’s not a machine that is dispatched and sold by Amazon. 

Check Price – Amazon UK

Literally a quick update re the Ecam E22, readers have explained to me that there’s a new version of this, which is about the same price but has been released more recently. A few people have asked me if I can explain the difference. 

Perfect Delonghi Machines

Check Price – Amazon UK

DeLonghi in fact likes utilizing numbers ;-), 21.110, 21.116, 21.117, just keep in mind that the first part of the number, in this case, ECAM 21, is the main model number, and the B or S is the colour (black or silver), and the final number is the specific variation, which is purely aesthetic differences as far as I’m able to tell. 

The 21.117 appears to differ from the first version of this model (21.110) just with the colour of the Panarello wand and other slight colour differences, I can’t find any meaningful differences in specs, and I think there are unlikely to be as they’ll usually release a new model just to alter something simple like the steam wand. 

This leads me to the other variation of the Magnifica S, the ECAM250 which as far as I can see, other than slight aesthetic differences only differs due to the steam wand. 

Check Price – Amazon UK

As I’ve simply explained, they’ve given this a different model number, the Magnifica S Smart 250, nevertheless other than a few changes in the format of the controls, and really slight aesthetic differences, it appears (I’ve used both) to be the same machine except for the steam wand. 

Personally, though, even though a steam wand might not seem like a reason to go for a different model, I’d go for this one over the other similar versions of the machine, as long as the prices are similar, just because I think this is the perfect Panarello steam wand that I’ve ever come across.

Panarello is the name for the sheath over the steam pipe which automatically injects air into the milk or milk alternative, and while I’m not a huge fan of these milk frothers, they are really, very humble to work with, which is why so lots of domestic coffee machines feature them. DeLonghi came up with this particular version of Panarello steam wands with the DeLonghi Dedica EC685 traditional espresso machine (at least I think that’s the first machine this wand featured on, please correct me if I’m wrong), and I was in fact surprised the first time I used it. 

It enables the same almost automatic frothing as with the fundamental Panarello, where the position of the tip of the wand relative to the surface has little impact, nevertheless it likewise has a truly clever little feature that I think is extremely underrated, which is the ability to switch it from stretching to truly heating. 

Basic Panarello wands give you no control over how far you stretch the milk, which is why utilizing wands like this tends to give you actually stiff old school cappuccino foam. With this one, however, you’re able to decide when you’ve pulled enough air into the milk, and at that point, you can simply alter the setting so it’s only heating, and you’ll end up with microfoam.

This is a great feature, though you don’t have to use it. With both this kind of Panarello and the basic one, you can slide it off and work with the pipe underneath as a pro steam wand. There’s a knack to this, nevertheless once you’ve got it, you’ll be able to produce a excellent milk texture which is literally as stretched, and basically as hot as you prefer it.

Best Bean to Cup Coffee brewing equipment? Gaggia Brera.

Check Price – Gaggia Direct

Features.

  • Dimensions: L25.5 x H33 x D42.5 cm
  • Thermoblock boiler
  • Steam wand doubles as hot water tap
  • Auto Cleaning
  • Ceramic Burrs
  • Removable Brew Group
  • Digital display
  • Removable Water tank: 1.2 litres
  • Coffee Bean Capacity: 250 grams
  • Dump Box Capacity: 8 servings
  • Adjustable Cup Height
  • Panarello Steam/Hot Water Arm
  • Adjustable Coffee Dosage

Blurb:

The Gaggia Brera is a compact bean-to-cup espresso coffee machine in a stylish, modern design. The Brera is humble to work with and allows easy access to the water tank and coffee ground waste via the front of the machine.

The Brera allows for customisation of your preferred beverage. The easy to use controls provide control over the grind of the coffee, the amount of coffee used in each espresso shot, and controlling the length of each shot.

My Review

My Observations:

Best bean to cup machines. The Gaggia Brera.

Best bean to cup machines. The Gaggia Brera.

I think this is a brilliant little bean to cup coffee machine for a relatively low cost.

I used it for a week or so every day, as my home machine in order to write my Gaggia Brera Review, and I was really impressed.

It’s relatively quiet, it’s extremely easy to use, the steam power is nice & concentrated, and FAST, plus steam is ready really quickly. Removing the Panarello wand leaves a fairly long steam pipe which works quite well as a fundamental steam wand.

My only niggles are that I wish it had more grind settings (the two De’Longhi machines above are slightly cheaper, and have more grind settings), and I found the grind adjusting a bit stiff.

Although to be fair, the difference between 5 to 10 grind settings isn’t actually going to make much of a difference, and I do realise that the majority of bean to cup users won’t be touching the grind much anyway, so for many people, this probably won’t issue. 

If you’re especially fussy about dialing in (getting the grind spot on with each bean) you’re probably not going to be going for a bean to cup machine. 

If shot quality is the a lot of important thing to you, and you want to be able to perfectly dial in whenever, even the likes of the Sage Oracle & Sage Oracle Touch which in my opinion are the really best bean to cup machines when it comes to shot quality, won’t get you as close to perfection as a classic espresso coffee machine in the hands of a competent home barista. 

By the way, I usually find Amazon to be the perfect source of deals for coffee machines, but in this case – and with the majority of Gaggia machines truly, Gaggia Direct, (the UK distributor for Gaggia) usually provides the perfect deal.

Check Price – Gaggia Direct

Likewise see my review on youtube:

Check Price – Amazon UK  Check Price – Currys

Features:

  • Auto pre-infusion (for enhanced shot quality).
  • Compact & stylish
  • Easy cleaning
  • Cappuccinatore system for one touch milk
  • Humble to utilize

Blurb:

The Melitta Caffeo Solo & Excellent Milk bean to cup coffee brewing equipment is the great combination of compact design and feature-packed technology that makes making a best tasting caffeinated beverage quick and easy.

Easy Operation.  The Melitta Caffeo Solo & Excellent Milk has an intuitive operating panel with a pared-down LED symbol display to keep things humble and straightforward.

There are two pre-programmed coffee settings plus special programmes for both lattes and tall coffees. Coffee strength and descaling and cleaning programmes can likewise be accessed by selecting the appropriate symbol.

Auto Cappuccinatore. Makes indulgent creamy coffees and light work of preparing hot water, warm milk, and light, frothy milk. You can set the desired amount manually utilizing the dial.

Aroma Extraction System. To increase your coffee pleasure the Melitta Caffeo Solo moistens the freshly ground coffee prior to brewing which releases the subtle flavours of the coffee. The ability to troubleshoot the grind size and coffee strength in three stages will allow you to discover your wonderful taste.

Height Adjustable Coffee Outlet. The height adjustable coffee outlet can easily accommodate latte macchiato glasses or mugs. The coffee outlet likewise allows you to make two cups at once using the double cup mode.

Cleaning and Maintenance. The Melitta Caffeo Solo & Fantastic Milk features a removable brewing unit that can be rinsed clean under running water. It also allows the interior of the coffee brewing device to be cleaned with a damp cloth. The Melitta Caffeo bean to cup coffee machine will alert you if cleaning and descaling are essential.

Melitta Companion App. This app features tips and tricks on how to get the best from your machine and make the wonderful coffee plus illustrated step-by-step instructions for maintenance programmes and help with understanding the status of the coffee machine via the diagnostic device.

My Observations:

This is an auto frothing bean to coffee brewing equipment, and this is one of the lowest-priced options.

For the price, which at the time of writing is cheaper than the De’Longhi Magnifica S Ecam E22 above, and only mildly more expensive than the ESAM 4200, this is an impressive looking machine. 

The Solo uses a cappuccinatore for frothing the milk, vs a carafe system, which is among the reasons (I think) for the lower cost of this machine, but simply, I think the cappuccinatore system has a lot going for it.

Instead of having to take out a milk carafe and put it in the fridge, or wash it out each time – you just put the cappuccinatore pipe into your milk bottle, the milk is then sucked up the pipe, frothed, and delivered into your cup.

Again, auto milk frothing whether delivered with this system or via a carafe isn’t going to give you much in terms of control of your milk texturing, but for a lot of people who appreciate ease of use over anything else, I think this machine has a lot going for it at this price. 

It has many Amazon reviews, which is always handy, as it indicates you can spend some time going through them and looking for recurring benefits and drawbacks.

By doing this, you can determine whether there may be some cons that would make a real difference to whether or not this would be the perfect bean to cup coffee brewing device for you.

In particular, I like to spend time going through the mid star ratings.

I find if you look at the one star reviews you’re usually looking at faults or people reviewing the supplier. 

in the middle of the stars, around 3 & 4  are where you tend to find the interesting comments that may help you to determine if the advantages and disadvantages according to hundreds of users, suit your particular requirements. 

If you spend some time reading the reviews, you’ll see that there have been a fair amount of faults, which have led to the replacement of parts or the entire machine.

The biggest complaints I’ve seen are about milk temperature and the quality of the milk foam.

It does appear to be a trending niggle, so if milk temperature and/or quality of the milk texture are particularly important to you, this may not be the perfect machine for you. 

Having said that, I would never expect any one touch milk frothing machine to deliver amazing milk texture.

So if you’re someone who drinks many milkies, and if you want great milk texture, I’d go for a manual milk frothing bean to cup coffee machine.

Take off the Panarello to work with the steam pipe as a steam wand – or look at the likes of the Sage Oracle, or Sage Oracle Touch which have pro steam wands, and can create brilliant milk texture, however I’ll discuss these machines shortly.

Check Price – Amazon UK  Check Price – Currys

Check Price – Gaggia Direct

Features:

  • Professional steam wand
  • Fully customised coffees including temperature
  • Espresso coffee, Espresso coffee lungo, Coffee, Americano, hot water & hot milk (via steam wand)
  • 1.8 Litre water tank
  • Stainless steel drip tray
  • Automatic pre-infusion
  • Removable brew group for easy cleaning.
  • 250g hopper capacity.

Blurb:

Up to 5 Beverages at the Touch of a Button
Produce espresso, espresso lungo, coffee, americano, and hot water at the touch of a button.

Professional Steam Wand
Relive the authentic traditional Gaggia barista tradition and love ideal milk texture with the traditional and professional stainless steel steam wand.

Thanks to the length and shape, this wand can be used with a wide range of different milk jugs, and milk volumes, and will also dispense hot water for teas and infusions.

New Interface with Capacitive Buttons
Wide user interface with full colour screen and capacitive buttons ensures better visibility and greater control for an improved user experience. Creating coffees and performing cleaning procedures are all done with step by step guidance.

Adjustable Espresso coffee Tray
The adjustable cup tray ensures the best height for producing stunning espresso with minimal disruption to the crema, and reduced splashing. 

100% Ceramic Burrs
Ceramic burr grinders ensure no overheating of coffee grinds during grinding. This burr material also enhances durability & longevity and helps to reduce overall grinding volume.

Optioaroma
This feature allows the user to fix the intensity and to create perfectly tailored beverages by selecting the essential quantity of coffee to be ground for each ingest.

Pre-Brewing
Pre-brewing, also referred to as pre-infusion, improves the quality of espresso coffee by pre-wetting the grounds before the commencement of espresso coffee brewing.

Removable Brew Group
The brew group, or brewing unit, is the heart of the machine. This auto-doses and auto-tamps the coffee for all your espressos, and keeping it clean of coffee oils is a must. Being able to just remove the brew group and rinsed under a tap, and easily slotted back in place, makes this important maintenance super easy.

Bypass Chute for Pre-Ground Coffee
In addition to the coffee beans option, an easy solution to brew different ground coffee blends, included decaf

Quick Heat Boiler
The Quick Heat boiler ensures hot beverages from the first cup without the waiting. Its secret lies in its body crafted in light aluminium and stainless steel, which can reach hot temperatures fast.

My Observations

If you primarily consume milkies, and if milk texture is important to you, this may truly be your best bean to cup coffee makeking tool. 

As far as I’m aware, this is the first non-commercial bean to cup coffee machine available in the UK other than the £1500-£2000 Sage Oracle and Sage Oracle Touch, which features a proper steam wand.

At the price of this machine (currently £550 at Gaggia Direct) given the degree of control you have over shots, including shot temperature, and given it comes with a pro steam wand, I think this is an exceptionally interesting bean to cup machine. 

Check Price – Gaggia Direct

Gaggia Cadorna Barista Plus.

Gaggia Cadorna Barista Plus.

Check Price – Gaggia Direct

Features:

  • Professional steam wand
  • Fully personalised coffees including temperature
  • Espresso coffee, ristretto, lungo, coffee, Americano, hot water & hot milk (via steam wand)
  • 4 separate custom profiles
  • 1.5 Litre water tank
  • Stainless steel drip tray
  • Automatic pre-infusion
  • Removable brew group for easy cleaning
  • 300g hopper capacity

Blurb:

Italian Excellence 
Proudly made in Italy, for premium quality and a never ending passion for espresso coffee making.

Up to 6 Beverages
Learn the 6 beverages available, all at your fingertips and try the ultimate barista experience at home: ristretto, espresso, espresso lungo, coffee, americano & hot water (for teas and infusions). 

Brand New Wide Screen User Interace
High technology crafted it even more humble, thanks to a widescreen control panel offering all settings and functions at a glance.

4 User Profiles
4 different user profiles to memorize all beverages, personalised to your heart’s content, easy to alter & easy to save.

Stainless Steel Pro Steam Wand
The must-have equipment to unleash your inner barista, the stainless steel steam wand dispenses steam to texture milk to a high – latte art worthy basic, and will likewise deliver hot water for teas and infusions.

Adjustable Espresso coffee Tray
The adjustable cup tray ensures the perfect height for producing stunning espresso coffee with minimal disruption to the crema, and reduced splashing. 

100% Ceramic Burrs
Ceramic burr grinders ensure no overheating of coffee grinds during grinding. This burr material likewise enhances durability & longevity and helps to reduce overall grinding volume.

Optioaroma
This feature allows the user to troubleshoot the intensity and to create perfectly tailored beverages by selecting the required quantity of coffee to be ground for each consume.

Pre-Brewing
Pre-brewing, also called pre-infusion, improves the quality of espresso coffee by pre-wetting the grounds before the commencement of espresso coffee brewing.

Removable Brew Group
The brew group, or brewing unit, is the heart of the machine. This auto-doses and auto-tamps the coffee for all your espressos, and keeping it clean of coffee oils is a ought to. Being able to actually remove the brew group and rinsed under a tap, and easily slotted back in place, steeps this important maintenance super easy.

Bypass Chute for Pre-Ground Coffee
In addition to the coffee beans choice, an easy solution to brew different ground coffee blends included decaf

Quick Heat Boiler
The Quick Heat boiler ensures hot beverages from the first cup without the waiting. Its secret lies in its body made in light aluminium and stainless steel, which can reach hot temperatures fast.

My Observations

Released in the UK in November 2021 the Cadorna Barista Plus is Gaggia’s second latest bean to cup coffee makeking equipment to be brewed available with a professional steam wand.

The steam wand on the Cadorna is mildly bigger than on the Magenta plus, other than that as far as I can see, it’s a very similar machine however it has a mildly smaller (1.5L vs 1.8L) water tank, It will produce ristretto, it’s about 3.5cm wider, 2cm taller and about half a cm deeper. It has a bigger display, and it has four personalised user settings.

Check Price – Gaggia Direct

Check Price – Amazon UK Check Price – Currys 

Features:

  • Cappuccinatore milk frother
  • 21 pre-set coffees
  • 1.8 Litre water tank
  • Dual hoppers (sort of, nevertheless see my note below on this)
  • Connected coffee machine – via Melitta Connect app.

Blurb (paraphrased):

  • 21 different coffee presets which can be personalised via the Melitta connect App.
  • Produces a huge range of coffee shop favourites including Café Crème, Espresso & Latte Macchiato.
  • Patented tech including “best aroma system plus”, “Intense Aroma” and “Whisper Grinder”.
  • Features two airtight coffee hoppers
  • TFT touch screen display
  • Automatic cleaning and descaling
  • Engineered and manufactured in Germany

My Observations:

This is an interesting machine from Melitta, and the general consensus from people who own the machine is that it’s great when it comes to the coffee side of things, people are mainly impressed with the espresso and Americano this machine will produce, and the huge number of recipes, particularly if using the app. 

The 8 customizable user profiles with personal usernames instead of just a colour system, for example, is something that people are often extremely impressed by, and a lot of people seem to be impressed with the app, except for those who aren’t… ;-).

Those who’re not impressed with the app, nevertheless, I’m uncertain if it’s people with a particular phone or people with a particular version of the firmware, however there seems to be two schools of thought here, either the app connection is really easy and works well, or it’s awful and doesn’t work properly. From what I understand this is a firmware question, and models from 2020 and onwards must be fine with Android or IOS nevertheless don’t quote me.

Talking about the app, I think it’s basically a basically clever thing when it comes to the ability to create and edit so lots of different profiles and the various different coffee recipes you can select via the app, but there is one part of it that strikes me as a bit of a mistake, which is the fact that you can do all of this fantastic stuff remotely, including creating coffee – but you have to physically walk up to the machine to turn it on. 

I know, you’d have to walk up to it to put the cup on the drip tray, however the reason I’d want a smart coffee machine like this would be so I can order my first coffee of the day while I’m still arguing with my alarm clock. There’s no reason you couldn’t put a cup in place the night before, then wake up in the morning and order a coffee via your phone, other than the reality that there’s no way to turn the machine on from the app.

A quick note on the “two hoppers” feature. This machine essentially has a hopper which is split into two sections, and I do think that’s truly clever, however it’s not fantastic, especially not if you’re planning to utilize among the hoppers for Decaffeinated. 

The first reason for this is very that hoppers are the worst place to store coffee beans. I think you’re better off just chucking in roughly the amount of coffee beans you’re about to utilize, and keep your coffee in airtight containers, and if you’re doing this then the dual hopper system is neither here nor there. 

I understand, the marketing blurb does say that this is airtight, however I doubt that. I’d love to see some evidence that the hopper is airtight, as I don’t think that’s possible. You can put a rubber seal around the hopper lid, that will stop air from getting into the hopper once the lid is on, but then how is there no air available into the hopper via the burrs? The burrs aren’t touching, there’s a slight gap, and air is pretty small ;-), so I don’t think there’s a way to actually make hoppers air tight. 

How to store coffee beans properly

Even if there was, by the way, this still doesn’t make hoppers a good place to store coffee beans, due to the fact that what about the air you’re trapping in the hopper with the beans when you load beans in and then close the lid? With coffee storage solutions usually, you have some way of pushing out the trapped air. 

The other matter with a split hopper like this is that a number of people will see it as a route for decaffeinated, keeping decaf in one chamber and full caffeine beans in the other and while this works in theory, in practice it’s not a excellent solution due to exchanged retention. 

Exchange retention is when some of the coffee you ground the last time you brewed a coffee stays in the grinder and ends up being used the next time you make a coffee. This isn’t huge, with domestic machines it tends to only be two or three grams, however the question with dual hoppers and one coffee mill is you likewise have additional exchanged retention in the form of beans sitting on top of the burrs. 

When the other chamber is selected, there will be beans sitting in the top of the burrs which will be ground first before the fresh beans are ground from the selected hopper chamber, so add this to the exchanged already ground coffee, and I would assume that unless you waste a coffee each time you switch chambers, you’re probably going to be sipping a fairly even mix of coffees from both hopper chambers, which isn’t fantastic for the person who thinks they’re drinking decaf. 

One of the things I like about Melitta is that as with Gaggia bean to cup machines, a double shot is a double shot, and this is one of the reasons you’ll see me featuring a few Melitta machines here, and Gaggia machines. 

You can in reality request a double shot, and get a double shot, meaning double the volume of espresso brewed from double the volume of coffee beans. OK, you can get the same on other machines by just pressing the single espresso button once, waiting for the espresso to finish pulling, and then pressing it again, but it does make me feel better about an espresso coffee machine when a double shot is literally brewed with double the weight of coffee beans.

Re the milk, this is handled with a cap in cup frother, also called a cappuccinatore. I generally prefer this kind of frother to the carafe systems where you have to fill a carafe with milk and slot it onto the machine. They tend to be a little bit more laborious when it comes to cleaning, and cappuccinatore milk frothers are so humble.

There’s literally a milk pipe which you can put into the milk container which sits next to the machine, or simply slap it in your milk bottle, the milk is sucked into the machine, frothed, and delivered into your cup. 

Check Price – Amazon UK 

Check Price – Amazon UK 

Features:

  • 7 one-touch coffees (with this version)
  • 1.8 Litre water tank
  • Carafe milk frother (with this version)
  • Colour screen display

Blurb (paraphrased):

Freshly Crafted Coffee
The Magnifica Evo freshly grinds your coffee beans basically as your coffee is being crafted, to ensure the freshest espresso and tastiest espresso-based beverages.

Colour Display
Attractive colour control panel with easy to use soft-touch selections and coloured icons for a range of different one-touch coffee recipes.

LatteCrema System
The new LatteCreama system, exclusive to DeLonghi, enables one-touch milk-based coffees with long lasting rich milk foam at the fantastic temperature and texture.

7 One-touch Recipes
All of your cafe favourites at a single touch of a button.

My Observations:

At the time of writing at least, this is one of the extremely latest bean to cup coffee machines from DeLonghi. It’s entry to mid-range in terms of price, and it’s rather an impressive little machine, on paper at least. 

The reason I say “with this version” for a few of the features, is that there are a few different versions of this machine, the cheaper Evo 292.33 version for example has a steam wand instead of the one touch carafe, and that one doesn’t have the one touch milk drinks.

It’s a new machine so early days regarding reviews, however the only genuine gripes I’m hearing so far is that the instruction manual isn’t great and you’re perfect jumping on YouTube for video setup guides. Likewise, a few people have explained that the milk is a little on the cool side.

Check Price – Amazon UK  Check Price – Currys

Features:

  • Auto or manual milk-steaming – your choice
  • One touch dial for 10 different coffees
  • Colour TFT display
  • 1.8L water tank
  • 2 hopper chambers
  • Adjustable brew group for different cup sizes.
  • Automatic cleaning and descaling
  • Compatible with Melitta Pro water filter cartridges
  • Removable extraction chamber for easy cleaning
  • Brew temperature control

Blurb:

Be Your Own Barista with the Award-Winning Caffeo CI Touch

Innovative Bean-to-Cup Coffee Maker Accommodates Individual Choice

With its double-sealed 2-chamber Bean Select system for flavour variation, the user-friendly Caffeo CI One-Touch moves swiftly in its mission to optimally extract both flavour and aroma, as beans are systematically pre-wetted to enliven your senses.

This fully-automatic bean-to-cup coffee makeking equipment offers 3 brew temperatures, 4 strength levels, and a double-cup preference for simultaneous arrival of two drinks.

Its “My Coffee” memory-feature stores up to four personal preferences, and the option to rotate between Espresso coffee, Cappuccino, and Latte Macchiato (among others) provides a feeling of an Italian cafe within the comfort of your own home or office.

With its smooth surface, refined design structure, and push-button cleaning components, it is well within your reach to maintain the pristine integrity of this innovative and long-lasting Melitta coffee maker.

My Observations:

This is a one-touch, auto milk frothing bean to cup machine, and it appears to have a lot going for it in terms of features for the price.

It has a fair number of Amazon reviews considering it’s only been available for a couple of years (at the time of writing), and there are lots of positives. 

The dual-chamber hopper – is about as much utilize as a chocolate fireguard, in my simple opinion. If you’re thinking of buying this machine due to the truth that of this feature, I’d suggest against it.

In theory, it seems a clever idea to have for instance an espresso coffee blend in one chamber and a lighter roasted bean in the other chamber, or full caffeine in one and decaffeinated in the other.

BUT – there’s only one coffee grinder, being fed by two hoppers – well, one hopper split in half.

So when you switch from one hopper to the other, what about the grinds retention, and not only that, what about the beans retention, meaning the beans that are sitting on top of the burrs from the other chamber when you switch chambers?

Basically, you’re going to end up sipping a mix of the coffee from both chambers – unless you make coffee and chuck it away after switching hopper chambers, and how much you’d need to chuck away would depend on the grinding retention and how a lot of beans are sitting on top of the burrs, it could be two or even three coffees that you’d need to make and pour away.

So as far as I’m worried, dual hoppers are entirely pointless unless they’re feeding dual grinders, as is the case with the DeLonghi Maestosa, and the Siemens EQ.9 plus connect s700, which both have two separate grinders.

Check Price – Amazon UK  Check Price – Currys

Check Price – Amazon UKCheck Price – Currys

Features:

  • Cappuccinatore milk frother
  • Extremely slim at under 20cm wide
  • 1.5L water tank
  • Pre-infusion
  • Humble dosage control
  • 5 grind settings
  • Removable brewing unit
  • Auto cleaning and descaling
  • Espresso & Café Crème from one touch
  • Volume settings with markings
  • 3 adjustable brew settings

Blurb:

One of the the majority of compact bean to cup coffee machines on the market, the Avanza fires on all cylinders and punches way above its weight class and price class, providing effortless one touch espresso coffee & café crème, plus cappuccino, latte & more via the humble to use and simple to clean cappuccinatore frother.

My Observations:

This is a neat looking and relatively new bean to cup coffee machine from Melitta, and it seems to be quite a nice little compact machine at the low to mid price range. It’s a cappacinatore machine, which basically suggests that it has the milk frother that would usually be inside a milk carafe, however there’s no milk carafe, so you simply chuck the pipe into your milk bottle, and the frother froths the milk (due to the truth that that’s generally what frothers tend to so) and delivers it into your cup.

It has three-dose settings with simple bean selections, as with the Gaggia bean to cup machines, and the volume setting is on a dial similar to the DeLonghi machines, nevertheless there are some references in the form of markings around the dial to refer to, though there are no numbers (that could be remedied, with stickers, or Tipp-ex –  stickers would probably look neater…).

This machine doesn’t have a bypass chute, so just keep in mind that you can’t use pre-ground coffee with it. There are five grinding settings, however the Manufacturer has in truth answered a question about the grind settings in the Amazon questions and answers, which is rather interesting.

Someone has asked about the grinding settings, and Melitta have answered appearing to suggest not adjusting the setting at all from the factory pre-set until at least a thousand coffees have been brewed. This seems odd, I’m sure if they’ve misunderstood the question and are talking about some form of internal burr adjustment, or whether they’re saying that the grind adjustment is only there to be made finer over the years as the burrs wear.

Just keep in mind that this isn’t a fully automatic bean to cup coffee makeking equipment as the blurb states, not when it comes to how we tend to classify fully automatic in the UK, this may be lost in translation a little from one country to another, for example, bean to cup machines are usually spoken about as fully auto or super auto machines in the states, whereas here if we refer to a bean to cup machine as fully auto this would usually be an automatic on the milk side as well as where espresso coffee is concerned. 

There are a few gripes in the reviews stating that they thought they were buying a fully automatic machine, which would produce one touch milkies for them, however it’s not that sort of machine – it will produce the coffee for you (espresso coffee and Café Crème) on a one touch basis, but the milk is a manual affair, though all you have to do is stick the pipe into your milk bottle and press the steam button, so there’s not a massive amount of work needed.

Check Price – Amazon UK

Check Price – Amazon UK

Features:

  • 9 one-touch buttons including flat white
  • Adjustable milk froth
  • Complete control over each coffee including coffee temperature & strength
  • Adjustable brew group height for different sized cups
  • Intuitive touch control panel
  • 2 litre water tank

Blurb:

Improve your everyday with Eletta Cappucino, De’Longhi’s innovative automatic coffee maker. Savour a velvety smooth caffe latte or prepare two espresso coffee cups at once and love your coffee with a friend.

Combining cutting-edge coffee technology with trademark Italian style, this sleek white and stainless steel design fits seamlessly into any modern kitchen.

  • Coffee and milk based beverages at the touch of a button
  • Brew 2 espresso coffee cups at the same time
  • Creamy, dense, long-lasting milk foam at the perfect temperature with the automatic LatteCrema System. Auto clean milk carafe
  • Customise aroma and quantity
  • White finish with stainless steel detail and button control panel

Notes about the blurb:

Re the “enjoy your coffee with a friend” bit, that’s easier said than done at the moment, eh? Unless you happen to live with your friend of course. 

My Observations:

This is another really successful bean to cup coffee makeking device from De’Longhi, as you’ll notice if you look at the reviews – it has racked up a tonne of reviews, and the overall rating is very impressive.

Even though it’s largely positive, there are a few complaints that the flat white this machine produces isn’t a flat white, and this is no surprise to me. It’s a tall order to get a appropriately brewed flat white at a coffee shop, let alone from a machine.

If flat whites are your milky of option, as they are mine, then I’d avoid an auto milk frothing machine, steam your own milk.

Yeah, there’s a learning curve, however once you get it you’ll be able to make better flat whites than you’d get from any machine, and from the majority of coffee shops too.

Check Price – Amazon UK

Check Price – Sage Appliances Check Price – Amazon UK  Check Price – Currys

This isn’t a bean to cup machine, strictly speaking, however it’s really close – and it may be the absolute ideal machine for some people reading this post, which is why I decided to include it. 

By far my favourite bean to cup machines are the Sage Oracle and Sage Oracle Touch, which I’ll speak about a little bit later, and the Barista Touch is extremely close to these two machines. It lacks extremely little simply in the way of bean to cup type features, and it’s about a grand cheaper than the Oracle touch, which is why I think I have to include the Barista touch.

Update: Sage Discount Codes!
If you’re in the UK and you’re thinking of buying any Sage coffee makeking equipment or coffee grinder (or any other product from Sage Appliances) you might want to drop me an email. Click here to join my “Brew Time” mailing list, and then email me ([email protected]) to see if I have a recent discount code to Share. Sage Appliances sometimes share codes with me, I can’t publish them – and there’s no point as they’re usually time-limited anyway, however they do allow me to share them with subscribers via email.

I’m not including the Sage Barista Express in this post, or the Barista Pro, as I think without the touch screen features these machines are firmly in the home barista semi-auto traditional espresso machine category. 

Features:

  • Modest touch screen operation
  • 5 pre-programmed coffees
  • 6 personalised coffees
  • 29 coffee mill settings
  • Automatic or manual milk steaming – your preference (automatic produces near-perfect milk texture!)
  • Stainless steel construction
  • 3 second heat up time

Blurb:

Create third wave speciality coffee at home with ease.

Barista-quality performance with new intuitive touch screen display with pre-programmed café drinks menu and automatic milk texturing. All within a compact footprint. A built-in grinding machine delivers the right amount of ground coffee on demand and with a 3 second heat up time, you go from bean to cup, faster than ever before.

Clever. Automatic. Customise.

Intuitive touch screen display simplifies how to make your favourite café coffee in 3 easy steps – Grind, Brew and Milk.

You can easily adjust the coffee strength, milk texture and temperature to suit your taste. Then save it with your own unique name. Create and save up to 6 personalized coffees.

Automatic Micro-Foam Milk Texturing.

Auto steam wand, allows you to troubleshoot the milk temperature and texture to suit your taste. Delivering barista quality micro-foam that enhances the flavour of the coffee and is necessary for creating latté art.

Faster Heat up Time

Innovative ThermoJet™ heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds. Ready to make your best coffee without the wait.

Precise Espresso coffee Extraction

Digital Temperature Control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal espresso coffee extraction.

Integrated Coffee mill

With a single touch, the integrated conical burr grinding machine with dosage control delivers the right amount of coffee on demand, for maximum flavour.

Hands Free Operation

Innovative grinding cradle allows any at-home Barista to grind directly into the espresso portafilter.

Notes about the blurb:

If you tend to take marketing blurb with a pinch of salt, I’m with you!

Some of the blurb I read truly annoys me ;-), particularly when people try to invent new exciting sounding terms for in fact basic features. 

Many of the marketing blurb you’ll read on Sage products, although, is bang on.

This is something I’ve learned over the years from becoming a user of Sage machines.

OK, the “hands free operation” is a little of a stretch, it literally has a portafilter cradle, that’s extremely nothing ground breaking ;-), but everything else is spot on.

This latest wave of machines from Sage (Breville Worldwide, however sold in the UK under the brand Sage Appliances as of course there’s another Breville brand here, the name was sold in the 80s I believe) basically do heat up in 3 seconds.

This was the main thing I was skeptical about when they first unveiled this new thermojet system. I have the Bambino Plus, which has the same system, and it extremely is ready that quickly. 

The Automatic milk texturing is something else I was initially skeptical of, nevertheless that’s right too, as this is another feature the Bambino plus shares. You can choose from three temperature settings and three foam settings, and it in fact does make proper microfoam that you can pour latte art with.

You can steam manually if you like, as I do, and with practice, you will be able to produce basically slightly better microfoam than is possible on auto, however still, the quality of the milk these machines are capable of on auto, I believe to be far, far superior to any of the auto milk foaming bean to cup coffee machines.

My Observations:

As I explained earlier, strictly speaking, the Barista Touch isn’t a bean to cup machine, but there’s only in fact one small bean to cup factor missing, which is tamping.

The Oracle range that I keep harping on about, is a full bean to cup with one distinct difference, which is that they require the user to literally move the coffee around, which does two things. 

First of all, it deals with a problem that bean to cup machine designers have to get around, which is automating dumping the used coffee grounds into the dump box inside the machine and ensuring that the user can’t allow it to overfill. 

Secondly, it gives bean to cup users a more authentic home barista experience. 

While Oracle users are only manually carrying out one small part of the technique, moving the portafilter from the grind position to the group head & then knocking out the puck of coffee from the portafilter.

This handling of the portafilter is the main thing many people associate with the Barista experience.

So the Oracle machines allow home espresso machine users to feel like home baristas, and to experience a similar extent of quality in the cup that they’d experience, nevertheless without having gone through the home barista learning curve. 

The only extra step a barista touch user has to carry out is tamping (using the tamper to put pressure on the ground coffee in the basket), and basically – this is another key part of the home barista thing.

So for some people, the barista touch is ideal, providing truly a bit more of the authentic home barista experience without requiring much in the way of developing skills.

Yes, there’s some skill involved in tamping, nevertheless it’s not quite at the same level as learning to pull decent shots with a classic espresso coffee machine without any automation.

Likewise, the Sage machines come with the razor device, which ensures a degree surface & the right space between the top of the puck of coffee and the shower screen in the group head.

This does make it harder to mess up the tamp, as the main mistake people make when tamping is either not getting the correct dose into the basket, or not tamping level. 

By the way, if you think you might enjoy the home barista thing to the point that you may want to extremely develop the skills quite than rely on automation, the Sage Barista Express is almost half the price of the Barista Touch.

The Barista Pro is the newer version of the Barista Express, and has the same newer thermojet system. There’s also the Sage Dual Boiler, which is the same dual boiler machine as the Oracle & Oracle touch (indicates you can pull shots and steam milk at the same time) but without the bean to cup stuff.

Check Price – Sage Appliances Check Price – Amazon UK  Check Price – Currys

Check Price – Sage Appliances Check Price – Amazon UK  Check Price – Currys

As I’ve spoken about, this is one of my two favourite true bean to cup coffee machines.

I say “true” because if we were to take that out of the equation and include the Barista Touch I’ve just pointed out, I’d say my three favourites, as I think this is a ideal fit for many people looking for a bean to cup coffee makeking equipment.

The Oracle was the first coffee brewing device I ever reviewed. Sage sent me one on loan for a week or so in order to review it, by this point (almost 5 years ago, at the time of writing) I was primarily using manual brewers, and hadn’t yet begun my home barista journey.

I was extremely impressed with the machine, but it was only once I started the home barista learning curve that I fully appreciated the quality of the coffee and milk texture this machine was able to produce straight out of the box.

Until you’ve tried using a manual espresso machine and you come to realise literally how much skill is actually involved, you might not fully value basically how much work must have gone into producing a machine that delivers impacts like this straight out of the box.

Features: 

  • Dual Boiler – pull shots and steam milk at the same time for faster coffees
  • 2.5L water tank
  • Proper low pressure pre-infusion – reduced chance of channeling = increased shot quality
  • PID control – ensures stable brew temp = increased shot quality
  • Auto on and off – set it to be ready to utilize when you wake up needing coffee
  • Full sized 58mm portafilter – comes in handy when it comes to buying third party accessories, naked portafilters, tampers, baskets, etc.
  • Big, bold double shots – crafted from 22 grams of coffee
  • Auto Dosing & Auto Tamping for as close to perfect extraction every time
  • Auto milk steaming with control over milk temp and texture
  • Auto steam wand purging
  • One touch Americano / long black – water delivered via a separate water tap, not dispensed through the coffee grounds.

Blurb:

Third Wave Specialty Coffee, without the barista.

The Oracle creates third wave speciality coffee at home, comparable to what you would get at your favourite café. The Oracle has automatic grinding, dosing, tamping and milk texturing, automating the two the majority of difficult parts of manual espresso. You can extract espresso coffee and texture milk simultaneously, enabling you to go from beans to latte in under a minute.

Auto Grind & Tamp. Fully-integrated conical burr grinding machine automatically grinds, doses and tamps 22 grams of coffee straight into the portafilter.

Precise Espresso Extraction. Dual stainless steel boilers and heated group head controlled by digital temperature control (PID), brings water to precisely the right temperature to extract maximum flavour potential.

Micro Foam Milk Texturing. Self-cleaning steam wand, powered by a dedicated boiler, textures milk to your liking and delivers Barista-quality micro-foam that enhances flavour and is essential for making latte art. Allows you to tweak the milk temperature and texture to suit your taste.

Flexible Shot Control. Choose between one shot, two shots or manual control over how much espresso coffee ends up in your cup for the wonderful dose each time.

LCD Display. LCD gives you all the information you need to make coffee exactly the way you like it, each time.

One Touch Americano. The innovative One Touch Americano feature delivers a double espresso, and then separately through a dedicated spout, fills the cup with hot water, the same way as any good commercial machine.

My Review

My Observations:

Sage (or Breville in Australia who create the machines, we discover them as Sage Appliances here) are an exceptionally clever bunch of people.

Sage Coffee Machines – Why You Shouldn’t Buy One Just Yet

It’s apparent from their products that they take a step back when making machines & look at things from a fresh perspective, quite than just looking at what others have done. 

They clearly did the majority of stepping back when creating their address to the bean to cup question, as it’s so different to any other bean to cup coffee machine that came before it. 

“Normal” Bean to cup machines, for want of a better word, offer the untrained coffee lover espresso coffee and espresso-based drinks at home, at the touch of a button, straight out of the box without the skill development required to get semi decent results from a average espresso coffee machine.

They do this, but it comes at a sacrifice to cup quality.

There’s no doubt at all that a representative espresso machine in the hands of a skilled home barista will deliver espresso coffee and espresso-based coffees that even the best bean to cup machine wouldn’t be able to come close to delivering. 

Nevertheless for years, bean to cup coffee machines have been great-selling machines because lots of coffee aficionados place such a appreciate on ease of use.

They’re busy, they simply want to press a button and get their favourite coffee, and they don’t have the time or inclination to embark upon a hobby (and becoming a home barista basically is a hobby although lots of people don’t rather get that when they begin).

What the Sage Oracle did, even though, was to answer a particular niche market, which is busy people who want the ease of work with of bean to cup, however without any sacrifice in cup quality. 

I’m not talking here about superficial things, bells & whistles, I’m talking about fundamentals. 

For example, the Oracle has 45 grind settings. This provides the Oracle a huge advantage over any other bean to cup machine I’m aware of.

All of the other bean to cup machines featuring in this article (and all of the machines I’m aware of) except the sage machines have between 5-13 grind settings.

Being able to more finely troubleshoot the grind size steeps a huge impact on shot quality. So this is a huge plus for the Oracle even before we take any of the other features into account. 

But then we have things like pre-infusion, PID (digital temperature control), 21 gram double dose, Americano being made with hot water via a dedicated water spout so it’s not literally a long over extracted shot, dual boiler, auto milk texturing.

While I don’t think you’re ever going to get a bean to cup machine up to 100% of the potential cup quality of a decent home barista set up and a decent home barista, these features I believe get the Sage Oracle about as close as anyone is likely to get.

Likewise, keep in mind that I said a decent home barista setup and a decent home barista. I would expect the Oracle to be able to deliver better quality coffees straight out of the box in the hands of a complete beginner than a novice with a wonderful home barista setup. You should have tasted some of the coffees I brewed early on my home barista journey… 😉

Check Price – Sage Appliances Check Price – Amazon UK  Check Price – Currys

Check Price – Amazon UKCheck Price – Sage Appliances  Check Price – Currys 

I’m not going to go into as much detail here literally due to the fact that this is a newer, touch screen version of the Oracle, and a number of of the features are the same. 

Features (which differ from the oracle):

  • Modest touch screen operation
  • 5 pre-programmed coffees
  • 8 personalised coffees

Blurb:

Automation at every stage

Automated, touch screen operation simplifies how to make your favourite cafe coffee in three easy steps – grind, brew and milk.

You can easily fix the coffee strength, milk texture or temperature to suit your taste. Then save it with your own unique name. Create and save up to 8 personalized coffees.

Swipe. Select. Enjoy. With automation at every stage, basically swipe and select for espresso coffee, long black, latte, flat white or cappuccino and enjoy café quality coffee at home.

My Review

Also watch:

My Observations:

For me, the newer Oracle Touch is aimed deeper into the bean to cup market than the Oracle is.

In other words, while The Oracle perhaps grabs the attention of the folk who discover that they want better quality than bean to cup machines are likely to deliver, I think the Oracle Touch is aimed more at the folk who swear by bean to cup, and are looking for the perfect when it comes to simplicity and ease of utilize.

Let’s imagine you’ve been a bean to cup machine user for years, and your eyes are drawn to the Oracle Touch due to the truth that of the intelligent looking user controls and personalisation.

You go on to read that not only is this machine going to give you the type of user experience you’re looking for, but it’s likewise likely to deliver better tasting coffees than any machine you’ve previously owned.

You may then be reaching for your wallet, or reaching for an excuse to tell (or sell?)  your better half why you need to spend the price of an incredibly nice holiday on a coffee brewing device ;-). 

Check Price – Sage Appliances Check Price – Amazon UK  Check Price – Currys 

Update: Sage Discount Codes!
If you’re in the UK and you’re thinking of buying any Sage coffee machine or grinding machine (or any other product from Sage Appliances) you might want to drop me an email. Click here to join my “Brew Time” mailing list, and then email me ([email protected]) to see if I have a current discount code to Share. Sage Appliances sometimes share codes with me, I can’t publish them – and there’s no point as they’re usually time-limited anyway, nevertheless they do allow me to share them with subscribers via email.

17 Perfect Bean to Cup Coffee Machines – Conclusion

So this is the up to date list of what I believe to be the current 17 best bean to cup espresso machines in the UK this year.

I’ve recently completely updated this list as a lot had changed in the world of coffee machines since I first wrote this article, and I will continue to keep a close eye on things and update it again as things alter. 

Don’t forget although, regardless of what bean to cup coffee machine you go for, if you want great coffee out, you need to put wonderful coffee in – don’t forget your discount code:

Utilize discount code CBNC25 for 25% off your first order at Coffeeworks

Now, I’m going to introduce you to my bean to cup coffee machine FAQ. I did have this on a separate article, however I thought it would make sense to bring this info here so that anyone looking at bean to cup coffee machines has access to all of this info on the same page.

OK, this does make this less of a post, and more of an encyclopedia ;-), however you don’t have to read all this info at the same time, feel free to bookmark the page so if you do have other questions, you know that you can come back here and carry on reading.

Kev’s 2022 Bean to Cup Machine FAQ

What is a bean to cup coffee brewing equipment?

What we refer to as bean to cup coffee machines, are espresso coffee machines with an integrated grinder and a brewing unit.

While with a traditional espresso coffee machine there’s a filter holder, known as a portafilter, into which the user has to put ground coffee beans (we call this dosing), this is handled by the brewing unit. The machine automatically grinds the coffee for you and then doses the basket, in the brewing unit.

With traditional espresso machines, the user has to tamp the coffee, lock the portafilter into the group, press the button, and then knock the portafilter into the knock box, as you’d see a barista doing in a coffee shop – all of this is managed via the brewing unit on bean to cup coffee machines, all the user requires to do is press a button, and empty the internal grinds bin when it’s full.

There are different types of bean to cup coffee machines when it comes to the milk side of things, with standard bean to cup machines only being fully automated where coffee is worried, and requiring some work from the user to steam and pour the milk, and with “one touch” machines likewise called “cappuccino makers” being able to make milk-based coffees likewise at the touch of a button.

Do bean to cup machines make espresso coffee as good as traditional espresso coffee machines?

Creating a great espresso with a representative espresso coffee machine is something that needs quite a little of skill and effort.

A good traditional espresso coffee machine paired with an espresso coffee capable grinding machine in the hands of a skilled Barista, will (in my humble opinion) deliver espresso coffee on a different level to that which a domestic bean to cup machine would usually be capable of.

But, this is only after the user has invested a significant amount of money on tool, and a significant amount of time and effort developing their home barista skills. 

When it comes to literally being able to walk up to a machine, press a button, and walk off with your coffee – bean to cup machines offer a extent of convenience that most people would expect from a coffee machine, while delivering espresso and espresso-based coffees that most “normal” coffee drinkers would be more than happy with. 

For more on traditional espresso coffee machines see:

Best Espresso Machines

Is a bean to cup coffee machine the right coffee makeking tool for me?

This is an exceptionally good matter, several people buy a coffee brewing equipment without fully understanding all of the different forms of coffee machines available, and as a result, they end up with something which doesn’t rather fit their needs.

The fantastic thing about coffee machines now is that there are so most different forms and even sub-types of coffee machines, that there’s usually a great match for all needs. But you need to know what your callsfor are in relation to a coffee machine if you’re going to end up finding your wonderful match.

If come to think of it, you’re in fact uncertain if you discover all of the options of which bean to cup is just one, I’d advise this post: 

Coffee Machines Guide

Another quick point to make is that bean to cup machines espresso coffee machines. 

Espresso is the base of the majority of of the many popular cafe coffees including cappuccino, latte, flat white, cortado, macchiato, Americano – and you can make all these kinds of coffees with the majority of bean to cup machines. 

If you were in fact looking for drip coffee, see: 

Perfect Filter coffee Machines

What are the different types of bean to cup coffee makeking device

Not only are there many different types of coffee machine, there are sub types, too. 

When it comes to bean to cup, there are two main subtypes:

  • Bean to cup coffee brewing device with steam wand
  • One touch or “cappuccino maker” bean to cup coffee brewing equipment

See my video below which explains the different kinds of bean to cup coffee machines.

Which sort of bean to cup coffee makeking tool do I need? 

This depends on you. So as pointed out above, there are machines with steam wands, which allow you to manually steam milk for milkies (cappuccino, latte, etc) and then there are the one touch machines that deal with the milk from one touch, too.

By the way, if you’ve heard the terms semi-automatic and fully automatic bean to cup machines, this tends to be how bean to cup machines are described in the states – with semi auto being what Brits tend to call basically bean to cup machines with steam wand, and fully or sometimes “super automatic” machines being what we’d refer to as one touch machines. 

Machines with steam wands such as the Gaggia Brera, Delonghi Magnifica, Gaggia Anima and so on – are best for:

  • Budget (they’re usually cheaper). 
  • People who are fussy about their milk texture. 
  • People who want more control over the milk temp and texture.

These types of machines are one of the lowest cost machines – though this isn’t true of all machines.

The Oracle and Oracle Touch have steam wands – but they’re likewise one touch machines, kind of – and these definitely aren’t the cheapest. These machines have a steam wand, nevertheless the machine still does the frothing, actually in the jug via the wand instead of via a carafe, and unlike a lot of other one touch machines they extremely produce wonderful milk texture, suitable for pouring latte art.

For more see: 

Sage Oracle and Oracle Touch Review

The reason I say this sort of machine is better for someone who’s fussy about milk texture is that many of the one touch machines create fairly thick foam with big bubbles – for making what I refer to as old school cappuccino, with spoonable foam. 

Some people like this kind of foam, which floats on top of the coffee, whereas I much prefer velvety microfoam, which mixes with the coffee and creates a much more integrated milk & espresso coffee based coffee which, for me, delivers the ideal mouth feel. 

Regardless of how you like your milk texture, if you’re a flat white lover, you’re going to need microfoam. Flat white just can’t be crafted with fundamental stiff milk froth, which is why some of the one touch machines which have a “flat white” choice tend to get a little bit of stick in the reviews when it comes to whether or not they’re in truth capable of one-touch flat whites.

By the way, I have had what I’d considered to be a fairly good flat white from a bean to cup machine, but not a home coffee makeking tool – this was a commercial bean to cup coffee makeking device, an great machine I have to say, nevertheless many people aren’t going to spend this sort of money on a bean to cup machine for home.

If you are looking for a commercial coffee makeking tool, feel free to drop me an email, I’ll understand some excellent commercial machine suppliers who I’d be more than happy to put you in contact with.

In my humble opinion, among home coffee machines the only bean to cup machine capable of proper flat white is the Oracle & Oracle Touch. There’s the lower cost Sage Barista Touch, however this isn’t truly a bean to cup machine, it’s a home barista espresso machine with a touch screen, a hybrid, simply. 

When it comes to controlling texture and temperature, again you only in reality have this with machines with a wand – except for the Oracle & Oracle Touch, and some of the other higher end one touch machines including the Gaggia Accademia.

Do all bean to cup machines with steam wands produce great milk texture?

I’m glad you asked this, oh – wait, I asked it, I’m talking to myself!

Nearly all of the bean to cup machines with a steam wand, come with what’s mentioned as a Panarello – likewise known as a “turbo frother” or “auto frother”.

These are a sheath fixed over the steam pipe. They pull air into the milk via a hole on the side, and most of these types of wands are only capable of the thicker froth for old-school cappuccino that you’ll also get via most one touch bean to cup machines.

However – with most machines, you can just pull the sheath off, to reveal the metal pipe, which can be used like a pro steam wand that you’d see on a commercial coffee makeking device or home barista machine. It takes a bit of practice, but it’s possible to get in reality good milk texture this way, with the panarello removed.

The only thing which is a little bit of a pain is that some of these pipes aren’t all that long, so it can make it a little of a faff, but you’ll get used to it.

Which are the best for milk texture

If milk texture and control over texture and temperature are important to you, my personal favourite is the Gaggia Magenta plus, just because it’s a simply clever bean to cup machine with the sort of features bean to cup users would want, but it has a pro steam wand, allowing you to create perfect texture without the faff of removing the Panarello and not having a pipe which is rather long enough to reach into the milk jug.

Check Price – Gaggia Direct

As I’ve spoken about a couple of times now, there’s likewise the Sage Oracle and Oracle Touch, and I truly like these machines too – but they’re outside of the budget of lots of people, while the Magenta Plus is a much more reasonably priced machine.

The newer Gaggia Cadorna Barista Pro has now been released in the UK, too, which is well worth having a look at, especially if there are multiple users who will want to save their own personal settings.

Do bean to cup coffee machines give control over grinding

Bean to cup machines have grind adjustments, but many of them will have only around 3-5 grind settings, so there’s in fact not much control there. The flagship Gaggia machines the Babila & Accademia both have 15 grind settings, which offers more control than with any other machine I’m aware of apart from the Oracle range which have 45 grind settings. 

Who steeps the perfect bean to cup coffee machines, Gaggia, DeLonghi, Sage, Melitta, Krups?

This is a common issue, but there’s no modest answer, as all manufacturers have ranges of machines spanning different budgets. 

If you were to ask me who I think gives the perfect ranges of bean to cup machines I’d say possibly Gaggia or  Delonghi. 

Gaggia Coffee Machines DeLongCoffee Machines

If you were to ask me which brand I think makes the very best bean to cup machine, my personal favourite is the Oracle or Oracle Touch, if I’m not taking budget into consideration. These machines, while not the many expensive to be fair, are not within the budget of a lot of of coffee lovers, and OK they’re not bean to cup machines, strictly speaking, they’re Sage’s respond to to bean to cup.

Are there any coffee only bean to cup coffee machines?

Yes, not many, however there are a few. The Beko CEG5301X, the SCOTT Slimissimo and the Smeg BCC01.

Just keep in mind, these machines differ a huge amount in price, particularly the smeg machine, but they appear to be incredibly similar in terms of specs and features, with the Smeg it seems you’re paying for looks, quite than for additional specs or features, which is fine as long as you’re creating that preference deliberately. For more see:

Smeg Coffee Machines

Which bean to cup coffee machine is perfect for Americano?

Most bean to cup machines will make Americano, and the  Sage Oracle or Sage Oracle Touch have a one-touch Americano button – and a dedicated hot water spout, although as I’ve said these aren’t within all budgets, they’re not cheap. 

When it comes to more standard bean to cup machines (the Sage machines don’t have a brewing unit, so they’re not in reality bean to cup machines, technically speaking) the latest Gaggia bean to cup machines including the Cadorna & Magenta I think are one of the best for Americano due to the truth that most of them have a separate channel for hot water. So they deliver the coffee through one channel, and then fresh, hot water via another channel, instead of delivering hot water through the used coffee as is what happens with the majority of machines.

Which is the best bean to cup machine for an workplace?

This is a common question, and the respond to is, annoyingly “it depends.”

What it depends on, more than anything, is how many people will be utilizing it, so how lots of coffees per day it’s going to be creating. If it’s a home office, and you’re going to be making a few coffees daily, what you’re looking for actually is a home coffee machine – despite the fact you’re going to be using it in your workplace – so, all of the machines I referred to above in the main perfect bean to cup coffee machines section are one of the perfect.

If you’re talking about an workplace with a number of people many whom are going to want a few coffees daily from it, along with creating coffee for customers when they call, you’re probably going to need to look at the commercial side of things, both from a speed and a reliability perspective. 

12 people waiting to make a coffee from a home machine during a 15 minute break for example is going to be a bit of a frustrating experience, while commercial machines are made for this type of scenario.

Also a home machine put under this kind of demand is likely to not last as long, or to require more regular maintenance – as it’s being used for more than it’s in fact designed for in terms of coffees made back to back and the worry on the components that will come with this.

If you’re looking for a commercial bean to cup coffee machine for bigger offices, just drop me an email and I’ll point you in the right direction. 

Where ought to I go for the perfect bean to cup machine sales & deals?

This is another fairly common matter, and the usual respond to is literally to shop around and see who has a sale on or who’s providing a deal at the time.

If you’re buying a Sage coffee makeking device, I may be able to offer you a discount code if I have one at the time, just email me to see if I do.

Gaggia Direct have deals and provides sometimes, so they’re worth checking. Even if they don’t have a sale or a deal, they’ll sometimes offer 3 year warranty instead of the usual 2.

Amazon is always worth checking of course, and my advice there would basically be to make double sure the machine is coming from a UK supplier. 

eBay is worth checking too, particularly for used machines. If you’re looking at a new machine there, basically be careful when it comes to warranty. I’ve heard from a customer lately who bought a brand new machine from eBay listed as having manufacturer’s warranty, nevertheless when he went to the manufacturer with a warranty matter he was told they wouldn’t honour the warranty as they didn’t recognize the seller.

Costco have decent deals on coffee machines occasionally, however other than that I’d simply shop around online and see who has the best deal for the machine you’re looking for. Literally be careful that it is truly a good deal and you’re not being hoodwinked – wow, hoodwinked, where did that come from ;-).

Anyway – there are a few (at least…) websites appearing to offer truly good prices for coffee machines, often much better pricing than other UK suppliers, and it’s often not a great deal as such, but a grey import.

A grey import suggests that the machine you’re buying wasn’t intended for your country, and the seller is taking advantage of that. Manufacturers tend to have selling prices which reflect the market and likewise the cost of sale of the machine once it’s been imported to that country via the official channels.

You’re not breaking any laws, that I’m aware of, buy buying a grey import, however there can be issues when it comes to having to return the machine, as it would usually mean the buyer paying to return the machine from the country it came from, and there can also be unexpected customs charges.

Bean to cup coffee machines from Currys, are they any good?

This is a common question, too – as Curry’s are a convenient place to buy from, although – I went to my local Currys the other day and stood there at the counter like a lemon for about ten minutes. I have to admit I don’t especially enjoy the fact that their staff are all floating rather than always having someone at the tills ready to take your purchase to, nevertheless anyway.

Currys sell some well-known bean to cup machine brands, including Gaggia, Krups, DeLonghi and Breville – but they tend to have particular models from each manufacturer rather than having the full ranges.

Best Coffee Machines

Just be careful when it comes to the Breville side of things, as this is a widely brewed mistake.

Sage Appliances, which make some of the most popular coffee machines, are spoken about as Breville in almost all other countries, we know them as Sage here due to the reality that the brand name was sold in the 80s. 

Some people (I find out this from the emails I’ve been sent from readers) have noticed that Breville and Sage are the same machines, and have thought that it’s an interchangeable brand name, so when they’ve walked into Currys (the main reseller for Breville UK) and seen a Breville coffee brewing device at seemingly remarkable price, they’ve bought it only to realize a bit later on. on that they’ve bought a totally different brand of coffee brewing device.

See Breville Barista Max Plus:

Breville Barista Max Plus

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Breville coffee machines by the way, just that the brand we know as Breville in the UK is definitely not the same brand that is sold outside of the UK, and they’re massively different machines although some of them look mildly similar and have similar names. For more on Sage see:

Sage Coffee Machines

Bean to cup coffee machines from Argos, same matter?

Similar matter, similar respond to. Argos tend to sell De’Longhi, Seimens & Melitta – and again they don’t usually have the full ranges, but they do sometimes have decent deals, so it’s always worth a look. 

Are Jura bean to cup coffee machines any good?

My personal opinion about Jura machines is that their higher-end home bean to cup coffee machines, in particular, are very good. The reason you won’t find anything about Jura coffee machines on this blog, even though, is that I’ve had so lots of complaints from people about aftersales support. Just check out their UK Trust Pilot reviews. I’ve not had complaints about their machines, I have to say – basically their support.

It does look like they’re beginning to do better, looking at the last couple of reviews – however I didn’t want to start reviewing their machines without hearing from them re what’s going on with their support, so I’ve tried to contact them, but I’ve had no joy. If this changes, and they convince me that whatever the matter with aftersales support, it’s now sorted – you’ll start to see Jura bean to cup coffee machines appear on this post.

Gaggia Vs DeLonghi – who steeps the best bean to cup coffee machines?

Another common matter about two of the a lot of popular manufacturers of this kind of coffee machines, and I completely find out the issue being asked, however it’s similar to asking which car manufacturers make better cars, it usually depends on the exact models being compared. 

Overall from the machines I’ve used, and from the conversations I’ve had with readers who’ve owned both brands, I tend to think of these two brands as being fairly equal. They’ve both been around for a long time, they both have quite wide ranges covering all budgets, and they both have lots of repeat customers who’re really loyal to the brand. 

As I’ve said in other posts, the one thing that would lead me to buy a Gaggia coffee machine over a DeLonghi coffee makeking tool in the UK is just that the main UK reseller for Gaggia in the UK, Gaggia Direct, are the same guys who ran Gaggia UK before Philips bought Gaggia, so the history and grasp they have allows them to offer excellent customer service.

Plus, they’re an old-fashioned customer support oriented business who you can basically phone for support, or have a zoom call with, or pop in to see them if you’re within driving distance of their warehouse and showroom near Halifax.

The Gaggia bean to cup machines all deliver double shots when you select a double shot – in that they have a selection for 2 shots, and when selected – the machine grinds, pulls the shot, and then does the same again.

This isn’t the case with all of the DeLonghi bean to cup coffee machines as far as I’m aware, so this is undoubtedly one thing in Gaggia’s favour, but until I’ve tried all of DeLonghi’s bean to cup machines, which I haven’t as of yet, I can’t basically make a sweeping statement re Gaggia Vs Delonghi on the whole.

Are the Sage Barista Express or Barista Pro good bean to cup coffee machines?

The Sage Barista Express and Barista Pro are fantastic machines, however they’re integrated mill home barista machines, and not bean to cup coffee machines. My video, above, explains the differences between these two machines, in case you were wondering.

The same is true of the Barista Touch, which is the touch screen version of the Barista Pro, even though that is more along the lines of a bean to cup machine, with it’s touch screen controls – but still, it isn’t a BTC machine.

I know the matter because some retailers put these machines in the bean to cup machine category due to the truth that they see the grinding machine and assume that makes it BTC, however it doesn’t.

The BTC side of things refers to the technology built into the machine to replace the barista – not simply the integrated coffee grinder.

As I’ve said a couple of times, the Oracle range, while not bean to cup machines in the traditional sense as they don’t have a brew unit, are almost bean to cup machines in that they handle all of the parts of the method and require little or no user interaction other than handling the portafilter & moving it about – however the machines in the Barista range don’t have these clever “on board barista” features to reduce the need for barista skill.

So, there we go, all of the many extensively asked bean to cup coffee makeking device questions. If I’ve missed any literally leave a comment below and I’ll respond to it, and add it to the FAQ if it’s a question I’ve missed.

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This article first off appeared at Coffee Blog – The UK Specialty Coffee Blog – For Lovers of GENUINE Coffee!