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    The best coffee machines to kickstart your morning

    19 May 2020

    If you’re a coffee lover and can’t comprehend mornings without a strong cup, now might be the perfect time to invest in a machine that will stand the test of time. After all, it’s going to be a while before we can rely on a barista to whip us up a cup on the way to work.

    Bean to Cup Machines

    These machines take roasted coffee beans and grind them for you, pouring water through the ground beans and into a drip pot or a cup below. Often the more expensive coffee machines, as they have more moving parts and automate some of the process for you.

    Filter Coffee Machines

    You will be familiar with these kinds of machines and will have probably comes across them in one way or another in the past, either in the home or office. Newer, smarter models take some of the ‘office coffee machine’ feel out of them, but essentially, they work in the same way by filtering water through ready-ground coffee.

    Pod or Capsules

    Growing in popularity due to their convenience and ease to tidy up, pods get you your coffee quickly, are hassle-free to use and taste good. Their only downside is that it’s a one-size-fits-all approach, not allowing a huge amount of flexibility in terms of taste or creativity. Not especially eco-friendly, either.

    Lakeland Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

    Bean to cup machines tend to on the more expensive side, so we liked finding a sub-£100 one. Ideal if you don’t want to grind the beans yourself or you don’t have a huge amount of space – the Lakeland Bean to Cup machine is a compact unit that can sit neatly on a sideboard in the kitchen and make up to four cups. It can also handle ground coffee too, and switches neatly between the two options depending on your preference. £99

    The Barisieur Coffee & Tea Alarm Clock

    This machine might be on the more luxurious end of the price spectrum, but there’s something appealing about the design of the Barisieur and Joy Resolve’s attention to detail warrants its inclusion in the list. Using ground coffee or tea, the Barisieur can wake you up with a perfectly brewed cup – ensuring it heats the water to just below boiling point to ensure the coffee doesn’t burn. It even has a little jug and refrigeration for your milk – keeping it between 3 and 5 degrees. £345

    Melitta AromaFresh Grind & Brew Therm

    A larger, potentially sturdier version of the Lakeland Bean to Cup machine, this option from Melitta features the option to use ground coffee or beans, and comes with a programmable timer so you can set it to come on whenever you like. The large transparent jug can hold up to ten cups of coffee, and it’s also insulated, meaning it’ll keep warm enough to last most of the day. We also found it to be easy to clean and take apart and reassemble. £199

    Smeg Drip Coffee Machine

    Instantly recognisable as a Smeg machine, with a plethora of colours to choose from to match, the Smeg Drip Coffee Machine has a retro design, an auto start mode which is programmable, a digital LED display and clock and enough space for up to four cups of coffee. It’s easy to clean, operate and maintain, and even comes with a descaling light indicator. A nice small addition to the Smeg range. £179

    Russell Hobbs Buckingham Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

    Proof that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a coffee machine to enjoy great coffee, the Buckingham Stainless Steel Coffee Maker did a great job during our test, making up to ten large cups of coffee with an all important keep warm stage for the jug. The machine features ‘showerhead’ technology, which allows the water to pass through the filter more efficiently and showers each grain of coffee with water, ensuring minimal wastage. Also features a programmable timer. £59.99

    De’Longhi Icona Vintage Espresso Coffee Machine

    You can use either ground coffee or ESE pods for this De’Longhi coffee machine, and the device also features a clever Cappuccino system mixing steam, air and milk to create an automated froth. It has a 15-bar pump and the milk steamer is a nice addition for those who like hot milk with their coffee. As you’d expect from machine experts De’Longhi, it also features a vintage design that wouldn’t look out of place on the counter in a traditional Rome coffee bar. £111

    ROK ESPRESSOGC

    We liked this offering from ROK as it’s something a little different, and we think it’d be a good option for those who might see a large coffee machine on their countertops as rather too cumbersome. The machine works completely manually – you fill the top up with hot water and then essentially ‘press’ the ground coffee in the cup below by raising two arms on the side of the device. In many ways, it works in the same way as a conventional coffee machine, but uses no power whatsoever. £149

    KitchenAid 1.7L Drip Coffee Maker

    A traditional looking coffee machine from a traditional American coffee machine manufacturer. The KitchenAid has a 24 hour timer and other features you’d expect from a drip coffee machine such as this, but a couple of other clever aspects we liked – such as notched ladder on the reusable filter so you can get coffee measurements right each time, and a ‘pause and pour’ feature that means you can stop it pouring fresh coffee if you need a cup straight away. £119

    VonHaus 6 Cup Premium Espresso Maker

    Make coffee the old fashioned way and pop it on the stove. This attractive pot is suitable for both gas an electric hobs, comes with a heat-resistant handle and make enough to six decent sized cups of espresso. £17.99

    Coffees

    A good coffee machine is best twinned with the right coffee to fully enjoy it, so we sampled a few options out there. We especially liked:

    Sant’Eustachio Coffee Beans 250g

    A traditional, full coffee flavour from wood-roasted beans. Made using the same roaster they’ve roasted beans on since 1948+

    New Ground Coffee

    This Oxfordshire based fair-trade coffee supplier sells coffee online through their website and also stocks Selfridges.

    Grind London

    If you’re in London this coffee house is a bit of an institution, but during this time of lockdown they’re doing their bit to help bring their excellent coffee to you, with packages delivered straight to your door.

    Hundred House Coffee

    Excellent single origin coffee with design flair and considered branding to match. Delicious roasts and lots of variety – subscription packages available, and they do teas and hot chocolate too.

    The Gentleman’s Barista

    Set up in 2014, the Gentleman’s Barista coffee is carefully and sustainably sourced from all over the world – we particularly liked ‘Stovepipe’, using beans sourced from Rwanda and Brazil.

    Whittard Coffee Beans

    One of the best things about Whittard’s selection is the sheer amount of it and the variety – we especially liked the Kenyan Peaberry and the Breakfast Blend. Lots of fun to be had trying out different beans from around the world and different roasts.