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Coffee machine buying guide

An Espresso Coffee machine

Let us help you find the right machine

There's lots to know about coffee so finding the perfect coffee machine can be a daunting task. We’ve put together three simple questions that are designed to help you select the right machine. Ask yourself...

Select your drink of choice

Espresso

Espresso

A form of strong black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans

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Cappuccino

Cappuccino

A type of coffee made with espresso and milk that has been frothed up with pressurized steam

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Filter coffee

Filter coffee

Water is passed through a paper or mesh filter containing ground coffee to make a black coffee.

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A Latte

Latte

A milky coffee made with espresso and hot
steamed milk

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A filter coffee machine

Filter coffee makers

Cold water is poured into the top of the machine where it’s warmed by a heating element before dripping down through a basket of coffee into a jug below. It's then kept warm by a hot plate.

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A bowl of sugar and coffee beans

Percolators

Percolators work like filter coffee makers in reverse. Stovetop and electric models push boiled water from the bottom through the coffee filter at the top. The brewed coffee then settles in the bottom of the jug.

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Beans on a slate

Pressure machines

Water is boiled in a chamber and this creates pressure and steam. Eventually enough pressure is built up which forces the boiling water through to the coffee.

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Pots of coffee beans

Bean to cup

A bean to cup machine is essentially a pump espresso maker with a built-in grinder. Fresh coffee beans are ground in front of you, creating the ultimate coffee making experience in the home.

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Coffee pods

Coffee pod machines

Coffee is blended, roasted, ground, and then hermetically sealed in capsules that stay fresh for up to nine months. Hot water is then sent through the pierced capsule and directed into a waiting mug.

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Coffee beans and ground coffee

Pump machines

Pump machines have a separate tank and a thermostatically-controlled boiler with a 'Thermoblock' system. This heats up the water to between 85-92°C – the optimum temperature for making coffee. Water is then sent through the coffee holder at the correct bar pressure, helping to create a robust and smooth tasting espresso.

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A selection of coffee machines

No fuss & occassional user

Although tamping coffee can be a fun part of the process, it can also prove to be quite time consuming and complicated. Pod machines work with pre-packaged capsules which provide coffee with a consistent cremà time after time. Pods come sealed, guaranteeing long lasting freshness which is also ideal for the occasional user

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A selection of coffee machines

Large family or regular entertainer

The benefit of filter machines is that you can produce and enjoy multiple cups of coffee at one time. This is ideal for a large family of coffee drinkers, or just if someone wants to enjoy several cups throughout the morning. Many machines come with hot plates to keep the filter coffee warm, which is great for plenty of refills.

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A selection of coffee machines

Cappuccino & latte lover

If you’re a lover of the cappuccino or latte then you will sure to be looking for a machine that is capable of frothing milk. Generally, the steam required for the processes of pump and pressure machines can also be applied to milk so these are a good start. You can also purchase standalone frothing machines.

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A proffessional coffee machine

Aspiring barista

Tamping coffee is a fun but tricky part of getting the perfect espresso. Levelling off the coffee before locking the holder into the machine helps the water to filter through evenly. It can be a fine art getting this just to your taste. For the aspiring barista and discerning espresso drinkers it's definitely worthwhile selecting a machine where they have total control of the style.

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Important elements to consider

Wattage

Water tank & capacity

Bar pressure

Heating element

Wattage

Choose a high wattage machine if you're looking to make large quantities of coffee or need your morning espresso in a hurry.

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Coffee being made

Water tank & Capacity

A removable water tank makes cleaning easy. Opt for a higher water capacity if you're looking to make several cups of coffee in one sitting. Machines with a high water volume are ideal for large families and entertaining.

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Coffee being made

Bar pressure

Good bar pressure is important for making an impressive cremà. Between 15-19 is the optimum bar pressure for ensuring that the steam meets the coffee granules at the correct speed. Too slow and it could result in a bitter taste.

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Coffee being made

Heating element

A rich and flavoursome espresso requires the water to be heated to an optimum temperature of around 90°C. A machine with a Thermoblock heating system heats the water to the ideal temperature, preventing the coffee from being overheated and leaving a bitter taste.

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Coffee being made