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Bean-To-Cup Coffee Machines: 2019 Buying Guide
While there are many different types of coffee machine available on the high street today, bean-to-cup has emerged as a market leader. This may be largely thanks to coffee shop brands and chains growing in the past decade or so – as these machines effectively allow you to capture the barista experience right at home.
Bean-to-cup coffee machines are a great way to blend your own delicious espressos without having to rely on packet coffee or without having to head into town.
For true coffee aficionados, these machines help to produce truly flavoursome brews. Many people can tell the difference between a bean-to-cup brew and a powder coffee blend. But what sort of factors should you be looking for in a bean-to-cup machine? How much should you be spending on a reliable model?
In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know. If you’re interested in brewing up tasty coffees without having to pay a local barista, this buying guide will be your best place to start.
Why Buy a Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine?
As mentioned, there are plenty of great reasons why you may wish to buy a coffee machine that blends straight from the bean. Here are just a few points to consider:
• Bean-to-cup coffee is often seen as fresher than most blends. That’s because you’re drinking coffee without the middleman! Your brew is flavoursome and fresh. There’s none of the artificial nature of filter or powder coffee.
If you value full flavour and freshness, this type of machine will likely be an excellent purchase to bear in mind.
• You won’t have to use just one or two flavours or bean types. You can use a mixture of beans, flavours and blends to create different coffees you can enjoy again and again and again.
• There’s a built-in grinder. This means bean-to-cup machines are often very easy to use! Simply pour beans into the device, and they will be ground and blended. What’s more, you have complete control over how thick you want your brew, too.
• All of this can be done with the touch of a few buttons. To be able to take advantage of fresh coffee straight from the bean, you won’t have to exercise much effort.
• These machines are obviously ideal for coffee connoisseurs and for those who know what they’re looking for from their brews. They can be considered an excellent investment unless, of course, you’re not too fussy about features and flavours.
Things to Look For
With there being so many different brands specialising in bean-to-cup coffee, it can be hard to tell the difference between what’s out there. Depending on the features and functionality important to you, it can mean the difference in paying several hundreds of pounds! W
hile we will cover the general area of cost and market RRP a little further down in our guide, we must first take a look at some of the premium features and facilities you can expect from these machines.
Anyone truly ‘into’ their coffee will know that you need to get the milk just right, too. There’s more to just putting milk straight into a brew!
Many bean-to-cup coffee machines will come with a built-in milk frother, which allows you to heat up and froth up your milk of choice for pouring straight into your coffee. This is less seen as a premium feature nowadays, though it can help to push the price up on occasion.
Yes – the most passionate coffee drinkers out there care about how hot their milk is, too! This may also be a safety measure as well as one of taste.
However, many bean-to-cup machines will come with a built-in thermometer system which you can use to carefully heat up and measure your milk and coffee before you drink it. A piping hot brew is always tasty, but you don’t want to burn yourself!
While some of the more straightforward or affordable models on the market will simply allow you to brew coffee with a variety of beans, others actually come with presets built-in. Fancy an espresso? Or maybe something with a little more kick?
Pay a bit more, and you will be able to blend and brew a unique coffee in minutes with a machine that knows exactly how to emulate those particular coffee styles.
Why have to wait for your machine to reboot for you to make another cup of coffee? Coffee is a social drink, and many devices will allow you to brew up to two cups at once.
This may not seem like something you feel is essential on the face of it, however, think about your coffee routine – could you benefit from two cups created at once?
Modern coffee machines are easier to clean than ever before. However, there are even some bean-to-cup machines out there which will do all the cleaning and maintenance for you.
There may still be some wiping and cleaning down you need to attend to, but ultimately, you can leave certain types of machine to do all of the nitty gritty for you. That means you can simply start up your machine again and again with fresh brews guaranteed.
However, these machines may need regular descaling if you use them more than a few times a day. Some of the best self-cleaning models will take on the lion’s share of the work for you. However, don’t anticipate having to entirely rely on your new brewing buddy for everything.
Yes – even our coffee machines are considered ‘smart’ these days! You may find different bean-to-cup devices have a touch screen or smart functionality to help make your brewing experience that little bit easier.
Some machines can remember your favourite drinks, brews and settings. Others, meanwhile, will even be able to help you make new brews with on-screen tutorials! Why rely on YouTube videos when your coffee machine can show you everything you need to know?
Perhaps the biggest negative to apply to bean-to-cup machines is the noise involved in the brewing process. Grinding coffee beans takes genuine time and effort, even for a machine! Therefore, you can generally expect there to be plenty of noise during the process.
However, there are some models which offer quieter grinding and blending as standard. Again, you may expect to pay more for these models, but it will likely make the difference if constant grinding is likely to get on your last nerves! Look for quiet or reduced grinding noise as a priority if you’re particularly sensitive to this.
Frequently Asked Questions
Naturally, there are probably likely to be a few questions you want to ask about bean-to-cup coffee machines before paying money across. Here are some of the more popular queries coffee drinkers ask before buying in.
How Much Should I Pay for a Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine?
The general rule of thumb for anything technological is, of course, that you’d expect to pay more for better tech. However, that might not always be the case. Keep an eye out for brands you trust, the features you need and, of course, what verified user reviews are saying.
You can expect to pay anywhere between £200 and £1500 for bean-to-cup coffee machines. The lowest priced machines will offer you freshness and flavour, but the most expensive machines will provide you with many of the premium features listed above.
What are Some of the Best Brands to Look For?
We generally suggest you don’t have to stick with a big brand if there are great reviews for lesser-known manufacturers. However, some of the most famous names in coffee machines of this kind include DeLonghi, Jura, Sage, Morphy Richards, Whirlpool, Miele and Dualit.
There are, however, hundreds of brands which specialise in this type of machine – meaning there really is a world of choice available.
Is a Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine Right for Me?
For many people, a bean-to-cup machine may seem like an extravagance. If you are a coffee drinker who doesn’t mind drinking filter or powder coffee, there may not be too much of a selling point for you in bean machines.
However, those who swear by them will likely tell you that they provide some genuinely tantalising tastes. If you’re passionate about coffee and want to replicate different blends at home without a barista’s support, it may be worth you handing money over.
It’s surprising to think that there are so many facets and features to look for with bean-to-cup coffee machines! However, the model you buy will depend on how much you want out of your coffee. There are so many different bean machines available at different prices, it can be hard to choose.
We hope this guide has helped to break down these trendy machines for you. In your hunt for tasty coffee, why spend more at cafes and coffee shops when you can brew your own bean blends at home? Always read verifiable user reviews, too!
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