Coffee machine(126 Posts)
Hi all, posting here for traffic. Me and DH are occasional coffee drinkers and like the idea of having a coffee machine. I want to buy a coffee machine, within a reasonable budget upto £170. My problem is that there is so much variety and I don't know what to pick. Some of them are very reasonable but the replacement pods costs a lot, some are filtered and so on. Please help me select a machine , which is not expensive to run in longer term ( like buying pods and all).
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance
Hello, this thread is a little old and some of the recommendations might be out of date. If you’re looking for up-to-date advice on the best coffee machine money can buy, take a look at our round-up of Mumsnetters’ favourites. MNHQ.
Just get a cafetière. Domestic pressure machines are shit.
I vote for cafetière, and a bean grinder if you're serious. Shouldn't cost you more than £50 altogether.
We have a machine (grounds - not pods). But if I was buying again I would get an Aeropress and milk frother.
Another vote for a cafetière. Pods will come & go, but ground coffee beans, a cafetière and freshly boiled water will always be available (I hope!)
I have a Delonghi Primadonna S, the coffee it makes is amazing, high street coffee shops don't come close. You should be able to get a Delonghi Magnifica for not much more than your budget and you will not look back, promise.
I got a Delonghi Magnifica about six months ago.
Best thing ever!
I watched amazon for the prices and got it when it was pretty cheap.
I have a cafetière & bean grinder, a coffee pot & a tassimo as dh fancied one & was only £30 on the local fb for sale site & had a good £20 of pods included. We also have a milk frother. I've become rather fond of the tassimo as I'm pregnant (so can't have too much of my normal jugged coffee) & the Costa Americano pods aren't bad. I agree with pps start with cafetière & frother, see how it goes, then go from there.
I bought a nesspresso a couple of years ago and I used to love it, it does make very nice coffee, but the pods are expensive and not that environmentally friendly and I haven't bought any for ages. I use an aeropress now, easy to use an coffee tastes great.
We've got a 2nd hand Gaggia machine. I don't like all of the plastic associated with pod machines and actually enjoy the ritual of making a coffee and frothing the milk etc
I have a Nespresso but I honestly think I use my cafetière as much. I do use both of them daily though so not really an 'occasional' coffee drinker
Another vote for Gaggias. Fabulous machines. Get a good grinder with the ability to grind to different consistencies and just grind the beans as you need them. Much more economical than a pod machine.
I strongly dislike cafetière coffee.
Aeropress or cafetière and burr grinder.
It's grinding the beans that makes the difference. The coffee in pods can be incredibly stale, as well as the fact that disposing of them is an environmental nightmare.
Nespresso pods are designed to be hostile to the environment; there is no other explanation, since the coffee they produce is thin and bitter.
Definitely Nespresso. Bloody good coffee... even better than the well known chain coffee shops. And their after sales service is fantastic. We got a 2 year guarantee on our machine. It was leaking slightly after 18 months so I called them. They arranged to collect it, fixed it for free and then returned it as well as loaning us a machine in the interim so we didn't miss out on our daily java!
I work in a coffee shop and agree it's the pressure that makes espresso nice. we've tried a couple of home ones and I can't make coffee with them like I do at work so just settle for cafetiere as the rest arn't worth kitchen space
i mostly use a cafetiere....I keep breaking them though so I just got an insulated one...coffee made at eight is still piping hot at 10!!
when not using that i have a Bodum Pebo (used to be called Santos) vacuum coffee maker...and that's great fun to watch...have a google.
I have also been through about four of those. I am clumsy.
I have a very retro pyrex vacuum coffee doodah too, but the filter on that is a bit iffy...although now I have my burr grinder I could probably sort that with a coarser gind!
We've had quite a few machines over the years and the Aeropress makes the best coffee of all. We have a milk frother as well.
Nespresso pods can be recycled- just ask for a recycling bag with your next delivery & when full, take to nearest Nespresso bar/shop or ask them to pick up when you get your next delivery. Can also use Doddle or Collect+
My vote goes to Bean-to-Cup machines though - you can get reasonably priced ones from Amazon (check prices with camelcamelcamel)
This is £180 on Amazon Warehouse Deals
I have a Tassimo which I love but as others have said, pod machines are not good for the environment and it costs about 50p a cup. To save both money and the environment I'd get an aeropress. Makes really good coffee, much better than a cafetiere and much easier to clean.
I think the Nespresso pods work out at around 35pence per cup. Can end up being an expensive habit!
Thing is Nespresso is easy if you only have the odd coffee as you are not having any mess from grinding etc, it's dead easy to use.
We worked it out as 30p a cup which is a lot cheaper than the coffee shop!
I have the ninja coffee maker, it uses ground coffee and has a frother thingy that you put the milk in and heat it in the microwave. It's the best gadget I've ever bought ! I'm a bit of a coffee snob and have had the tassimo and the dolce gusto and the ninja is way way better. It has a timer on as well, so coffee made when we wake up. It also has a cup/ travel mug/ half carafe and full carafe function so you can make just the right amount.
For a pod machine definitely Nespresso! So easy and the pods are at most £3.30 For 10. And they're actually decent coffee.
Aeropress and French press aren't comparable. More effort goes into them and that's not what you want for a quick, easy, no clean, no fuss decent coffee
I have a Gaggia Titanium (and previously had a Gaggia Babyclass) but with the OP's budget and only occasional coffee drinking, I'd go with a good grinder such as the Wilfa:
and a cafetiere or Hario V60 (I prefer the V60 personally). I find Aeropress too fiddly.
Nespresso is tolerable but not amazing. As for Tassimo, I'd rather go without. Cheap and nasty stuff!
Nespresso 100%! Amazing (if you select the good coffees so try and get a taster pack), easy to clean, easy to reorder, easy to use and easy to recycle the pods if you ask for the bag. For the price, ease of use, consistent taste etc, you cant go wrong.
I agree that cleaning a cafetière is a PITA - the grounds are always too wet for the bin and too solid for the sink, and we don't have a compost heap.
But FWIW the aeropress pops out a perfect, neat little puck of compressed coffee grounds. You fire it straight into the bin and rinse the unit and that's literally it.
I can make coffee from fresh beans in about one minute longer than it takes to use a pod machine, but I do appreciate that this isn't for you if you want a plug'n'play solution.
Oh, and dont make the mistake of buying the highstreet nespresso compatible pods. They are shit. Nespresso pods only.
Another vote for a delonghi magnifica. Much prefer the coffee from that to most high street chains. We bulk buy beans from Costco. The Columbian beans have a good mellow, medium flavour.
I really love coffee, couldn't start the day without it, but don't like aeropress at all. To me it really ruins coffee. So try before you buy
I'm currently doing the rounds of 3 different types of coffee machines and can see the good and bad sides of them all so here goes...
1. Bialetti stove-top mocha pot. Makes seriously strong espresso. Cheap but messy and relatively slow.
2. Dolce Gusto Pod machine. Cheap to buy but expensive pods. OK for occasional use. Wide variety of drinks and the coffee is good. Environmentally unfriendly. I bought some refillable pods on Amazon but they need to be packed tight and are messy.
3. De'Longhi machine. Less than €100 six years ago and makes great coffee. Compatible with ESA pods (those crappy little cushions) but I just use good ground coffee.
4. We now want yet another machine and I'm considering this <<<<< Gaggia. However I looked at the coffee holder/handle device and it seems a little flimsy when you think how much knocking it gets. I may have to think again...
I use the rombouts (sp) and Waitrose equivalent little plastic cups with coffee grounds at the bottom.
Just pour in boiling water for an Individual fresh coffee. Not environmentally friendly, but no faffing about with gadgets.
Mind you, I could have brought 10 or more coffee machines for the amount I've spent on the plastic cups.
I have a Deloghi Dedica. I love it. It doesn't take up three quarters of the bench and doesn't have a cleaning cycle that takes hours and constant coming and going. It has a small reservoir for water and needs re-filling more often than a bigger machine, but has enough pressure to make a really good cappuccino.
Chicky you need some of these. I've only ever found them in Sainsbury's but they are brilliant. Much less wasteful and bulky than the plastic ones.
We've a Gaggia for espresso and steamed milk, a filter coffee machine (AEG machine, still going strong after 36 years), a number of cafetieres in various sizes, but if I had to keep just one, it would be the Italian stove top Moka pot (as also suggested by Smeaton). That's just a mere 35 years old, and you can take it camping!
But whatever you do, for the sake of your children, grandchildren and the planet - avoid the pods!
I've had all of the pod machines and they don't even compare to the Magnifica as it's freshly ground.
Have a look at this Dulce Gusto for £35. Great price and cheapish pods as well. Lots of Amazon reviews too raving about it.
I've heard many good reviews of Aeropress but IME there's no crema.
What's the point in that?!
DP is the head barista at his coffee shop. At home we have a Sage by Heston grinder and use a chemex which makes fab coffee. The chemex is a pour over/drip filter so you weigh and grind the beans then pour boiled water over the beans through a filter in to the chemex.
I am a coffee snob granted and would never buy an nespresso or similar, imo the coffee they produce is utter shite as are the little whizzy milk things they sell. And yes the pods are terrible for the environment.
Aeropress could be a good shout though. They're really cheap, ~£30 if I remember rightly, you do have to buy filters for it but they were cheap too and we haven't run out yet. You can use ore ground coffee in it if you wanted to (though fresh ground whole beans is much better) which would be quicker/more convenient.
Another vote for our Delonghi Magnifica. Have had it about 4 years and the coffee is excellent.
We have a Gaggia bean to cup - it's amazing but it cost about £500
I took ages before deciding to buy as it was expensive but
Have a small Jura. Cost £500, 9 years ago but it self cleans, maintenance easy and so still going strong.
It's bean to cup, has milk frother too and coffee is great.
Put the coffee grounds on the roses!
We still love it.
We have both a pod machine (a Dolce Gusto) and a cafetiere - I use the cafetiere whenever making coffee for more than one, but I like the pod machine for making just one. I don't really understand why people are so obsessed with the plastic from the pods - obviously it isn't ideal, but other equally environmentally unfriendly domestic uses of plastic get a lot less hate. For instance, a pod uses a lot less plastic than the tray for a ready meal - but, while eating a ready meal daily isn't great for other reasons, I've never heard anyone rang about their environmental impact. I think there's a weird snobbery about the pod machines which is justified through their environmental impact.
I love my nespresso. You can normally try them in places like John Lewis.
I have a Tassimo. It's fine but nothing fancy. Pods are usually on offer at supermarkets aswell.
The Nespresso pods are made of foil and you can send them back to Nespresso for recycling.
The big advantage is everyone can have the type of coffee they want easily without having to buy a whole range of beans.
Has anyone tried the Kitchenaid one? You can use your own ground coffee and make it into a mug. It looks brilliant in terms of low waste, but are the actual mechanics of it any good?
I think so called coffee machines and especially the pod type, are poor and you are far better off just buying a good cafitiere and good quality coffee and enjoy the pleasure of brewing your own. The pod type machines are a simple loss leader. You have to keep buying their pods which are an environmental disaster and, from my findings,taste pretty poor anyway.
I like my stove top Bialetti espresso pot, and grinder. Cheap, simple and all parts replaceable. You can make al, types of coffee.
I've got a Tassimo and I love it. Great range of pods and you often get them on offer
I used the dolce gusto machine abroad and it was great. More a tea fan tbh.
Use a cafetière normally
We used Which magazine: their cheap and cheerful star buy was a Krups, under £50 at the time and it's bloody brilliant, makes nicer coffee than a lot of so called cafes. They don't do that model any more so in a way that's not helpful but my point is that Which got it spot on. This was back in the day when some libraries had subscriptions but worth finding out.
Personally I don't like cafetiere coffee and furthermore it gives me the shits but I think aeropress is pretty good - no crema as a previous poster has said but decent flavour. (Not sure why it tastes so different from cafetiere when the method of making is no similar but there you go.)
A stove top pot all the way!
Why use the earth's valuable resources on pods, be they plastic or foil, when you can make a good cup of coffee without them? Don't go down that road.
Thank you very very much every one, for your valuable inputs. I am going through the choices here one by one, but one thing is sure- I AM NOT GOING FOR PODS. Please excuse my ignorance, I had no idea that pods were bad for the environment.
Time to update my enviro friendly reading.
Will update once I buy the product. Good day everyone
No offence to previous posters but I feel there is a lot of bad coffee advice in this thread.
If you want a coffee machine I imagine you like espresso based coffee.
We are big coffee drinkers and have gone through many reasonably priced machines over the last 10 years.
I would strongly advise against pods which are expensive and not freshly ground. If you go with pods you will miss out on all the delicious varieties of coffee and you will not get that true freshly ground taste of buzz.
The biggest leap in quality for us despite the actual machine was when we bought a grinder so I strongly recommend leaving money in your budget for a good one of these which starts at around £50 new. In my experience the cheap ones are just rubbish.
We currently use a Heston Sage machine which we picked up on ebay for around £100 which is amazing. I would also recommend any of the delonghi machines which can be bought for around £50-60 for the cheapest model if you find one reduced if you want something a bit cheaper. They have more expensive models but they all make good espresso.
We are using a bodum grinder which we picked up for £20 on ebay but can be bought for around £50-60 new.
I do not normally like to buy electronics second hand but coffee machines are often unwanted presents or people just do not use them much if the want to get rid of them and the good ones are made to last.
Hope this helps and please do not buy pods unless you really only want to use it occasionally or do not care about the quality of coffee very much.
One extra point is that a cheap coffee machine with a decent grinder will make better coffee than an expensive coffee machine without a grinder.
Say no to Nestle, they're just as unethical as they always were.
Get a filter coffee machine. I have one I used to have in the office but have recently brought home.
I use a reusable SwissGold filter and grind the coffee with a Hario burr grinder. I also buy good coffee as that makes the biggest difference.
Agree completely with all of Pumpkin's points, especially regarding coffee grinders. I highly recommend this Krups grinder which is excellent and really good value. Whatever you choose, make sure that it has a burr grinding mechanism rather than a blade.
Well, you can easily recycle the nespresso pods to be fair as many here have stated. They are also carefully sealed to preserve the flavour.
And dont be fooled into thinking that you need to spend a small fortune on an all singing and all dancing coffee machine, I have had some truly dire thin/bitter coffee at peoples homes that have come from machines with fancy grinders and frothers that they brag cost between £4-600! Coffee that doesnt even come close to the nespresso high end pods imho...
But, as with all these things, its really down to your lifestyle, budget and preference.
I think pod machines get a bad name because of tassimo and dolce gusto type pod machines, which frankly produce coffee worse than a hospital vending machine.
Over the years we have had accumulated:
Stove top pot
Gaggia coffee machine (Classic model, £200 secondhand)
I use the Gaggia on a daily basis, it's super for us.
I never use a cafetière any more (in fact I think we may have got rid of ours) it doesn't taste as strong as I like it. The stove top pot and aeropress goes on self-catering holidays with us, but we prefer the stove top to the aeropress.
Every time any one has made me coffee with their pod machine it has tasted crap - thin and barely tasting of coffee. For that and environmental reasons, I would never consider owning a pod machine.
Bad coffee advice
Jesus, this thread got snooty fast.
Op, go try out some machines and judge for yourself.
I am sorry but pods are not freshly ground coffee. Yes you can make bad coffee for a good coffee machine but you can not make great coffee from a pod.
"sealed for freshness" Is marketing speak for in a packet.
I believe they are simply a clever marketing strategy to make more money from coffee drinkers by being able to sell them consumables. They are a bit like printer ink. They give away the machines because they know they have you for life with their pods.
Perhaps a better analogy may be they are akin to ready chopped carrots or ready grated cheese. They will never taste as good as if you do the chopping/grating yourself. This is even truer with coffee as it changes completely after it has been ground and left for a while.
They may be good for an occasional coffee drinker but I can see zero benefits of using them with any regularity apart from the fact that they require a little less effort to use.
Plus the other reason you should avoid pods at all costs is that the best coffee should be consumed not long after it is roasted buying a pod machine means this is impossible to achieve.
Apologies for my long rants I just love coffee and want people to experience good coffee at home.
Did you even read my post?
I do not believe I was snooty at all. I was genuinely trying to help OP with what I have learnt.
Stating the truth that pod coffee is not very good is by no means being snooty in fact my advice will save you money in the long run.
You post on the other hand was completely useless. Please tell me which shops allow you to go and try out all their coffee machines?
Pumpkin, no issue with you giving long explanations. Just maybe ditch the haughty comments suggesting others are giving bad advice?
Personally, I agree, some pod machines really are shit. Even some of the weaker nespresso pods are not so good (and particularly the cheap high street knockoffs), the strong higher end ones are fantastic though, and I say that as a regular user having also drunk shite coffee from some grinding fancy pants machines.
Yes, I have no doubt that grinding your own beans is sublime and fresher, but not everyone is looking for that and dont have the space for that type of machine.
Op said they were occasional coffee drinkers, so I offered advice regarding the nespresso because it sounded like it suited their needs.
OP, you have stated you have gone off the idea of a pod machine now, but I would reccomend heading to a nespresso store (if possible) to at least try them before you dismiss entirely.
John lewis often do demo days with manufacturer sales staff on coffee machines, as do selfridges/house of fraser etc...
DFOD with your comment about my suggestion being "useless".
Even if you can recycle coffee pods isn't it a better option to not use them at all? There's an environmental cost to making them and recycling them.
Well, that is a fair point nocake. Although you can buy your own refillable pods for the nespresso as an alternative. Plus, you could even grind your own beans first in a grinder.
The OP has said she does not want pods. Additionally it is not easy or practical to try out coffee machines before you buy them so what part of your posts represents good advice?
The difference in the amount of kitchen surface area a pod machine takes up versus a small delonghi machine takes up for example is minimal.
I really think pod coffee machines are marketing sham. If you disagree with me that's fine. Ultimately I (and hopefully OP) will be drinking better, cheaper coffee than you whilst being able to sample the delights of many of the great independent coffee roasters in this country which is also fine.
"I really think pod coffee machines are marketing sham. If you disagree with me that's fine. Ultimately I (and hopefully OP) will be drinking better, cheaper coffee than you whilst being able to sample the delights of many of the great independent coffee roasters in this country which is also fine."
Nope, not at ALL snooty.
OP COULD use Refillable pods pumpkin. Cheap, and freshly ground if she gets a grinder. Then she could sample all the "delights" as aforementioned.
Also, I purchased mine at a john lewis demo day, there were several machines being demoed by manufacturer staff. Also my mother in law did the same at another department store. They chose the lavazza pod machine, which I find pretty good too.
Anyway, as you know best and are the apparently the final authority on coffee, I shall defer to your superior knowledge and shut up now.
I'm not a coffee connoisseur so my suggestion won't be helpful, but i fancied joining in talking about coffee makers anyway as i enjoy my daily coffees. I've used a stovetop, a cafetiere, a clever coffee dripper and have now settled on a filter machine. (Yes i know, i am stuck in the 80s.) I use paper filters (i know!) But you can can get wire mesh filters if you didn't want to lose the oils or to be more enviro friendly. The paper filter full of grounds goes in the compost. The filter machine suits me as it keeps the coffee hot, so you can go back for more, it's super easy to clean by rinsing it or putting the pot and filter holder in the dishwasher. I found a cafetiere a faff to clean but others don't.
If we're talking about beans, a friend of mine, who lived for a couple of years with a chap in the States who had his own coffee shop and roasted his own beans, insisted you should keep beans in the freezer. I've also been told you shouldn't do that. Any advice from the coffee bean people here?
"OP COULD use Refillable pods pumpkin. Cheap, and freshly ground if she gets a grinder. Then she could sample all the "delights" as aforementioned. "
What is the point of buying empty pods so you can refill them when the end product will be more expensive and not as good?
I think you just want to argue as you clearly have not thought this through.
The great thing about good coffee as I was trying to explain in my original post was that you do not have to spend a lot of money to achieve it. If wanting the best coffee experience I can achieve without breaking the bank makes me snooty then so be it.
However I think you are throwing out insults as your argument is weak.
"Hillarious" I am really no expert on keeping beans but I imagine that it depends somewhat on how long you will keep them. We just use an airtight container but we do get through a lot of coffee here and a kg bag never lasts more than a week or two.
I didnt realise this was an "argument". Just different people giving OP different opinions.
"Ultimately I (and hopefully the OP) will be drinking better and cheaper coffee than you."
"Clearly have not thought this through."
"Your argument is weak"
expensive hard to beat Moka pot aka stove top pot, freshly ground beans make a difference so a grinder is worth investing in ideally a burr grinder.
Anyway, I hear a nice cup of coffee is much better with a . Enjoy.
"Ultimately I (and hopefully the OP) will be drinking better and cheaper coffee than you."
"Clearly have not thought this through."
"Your argument is weak""
Yes you can see that at every stage I have been commenting on the advice you have given as opposed to calling you names like snooty.
I am genuinely trying to help people drink better coffee. Do you work for a pod coffee manufacturer? Otherwise I have very little understanding of why you think they are so great. What exactly is your point?
HarmlessChap I almost agree with you here stove top coffee is probably the 2nd best option.
Although you can get a reasonable espresso machine for a similar price to a decent burr grinder so once you have the grinder you might as well get the machine.
Caffetieres, filter machine all have their uses but they are very different from a good espresso.
An Italian couple in Rome once spoke to me about their love of espresso and explained to me that with an espresso you are only getting the cream of the coffee as opposed to other methods where you end up with more of the dregs.
I do not know if they were right or not but it has always made sense to me.
Of course I dont work for a manufacturer!
I just happen to think that they are great fairly priced machines. I was dubious and totally against the idea of pod coffee until I tried a nespresso in store. The OP asked for advice from everyone, not just you.
Are you also so rude and dismissive pumpkin?
Well I like my Tassimo despite it being the coffee from hell apparently
I find the idea that most people will be getting fresher coffee by using a cafetiere quite amusing. Most people aren't grinding their own freshly roasted beans, they're using supermarket ground coffee that sat on the shelf for weeks and then open in their fridge for a couple more.
I don't think many people would really argue that pod coffee is better, or even the same as, coffee made in an espresso machine, stove top coffee maker or cafetiere which is made with freshly roasted beans ground right before making. The thing is, most people also can't be bothered to make that coffee everyday. They just don't care enough (I don't). I suspect that for a lot of people (again, including me) pod coffee isn't replacing a lovingly made artisan coffee; it's replacing instant (this is definitely, definitely true in a lot of work places). I make better coffee at the weekend, when I can be bothered, but during the week I find my pod coffee good enough and quick enough to stick in my flask and drink on my way to work. I think that's the case for a lot of people.
"I just happen to think that they are great fairly priced machines."
You are missing the point. They sell some of these machines at a loss so that they can sell you the consumables i.e pods at a hefty price forever.
I am not saying that espresso machines are the only way just that the pod machines were designed to get consumers to spend more rather than less. It is a false economy.
Making an espresso in a machine takes seconds the only difference between doing that and using a pod machine is you have to manually feed the coffee grinds into the coffee machine.
To tell people that pod machines are a cheaper option or a massive time saver is simply an untruth.
Yes and people enjoy coffee tasting in different ways.
We have a dolce gusto, makes good coffee but the pods are pricey
pumpkin you are just being a GF towards me now.
Anyway, I agree, everyone has different tastes and objectives with coffee and I think IF the OP can get out and try some different options then all good, but if not, I am sure that she willhave found some useful advice here from EVERYONE who has been kind enough to comment!
Good luck OP!
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