The best coffee machine for every budget

For many people, having a latte in the starbucks local coffee every morning is an integral part of their morning routine.

But making it at home can be more convenient, tastier and much cheaper per cup.

If you're thinking of brewing at home, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are many ways to brew coffee, and even once you've made that decision, there is a dizzying array of equipment to choose from.

The Independent has developed a comprehensive guide to help you make a decision.

You will need a maximum of three things to get started: coffee, a grinder (possibly) and deciding on a brewing method to buy a coffee machine.


The different types of coffee packaging

Coffee itself is quite simple. It's the seed of the coffee berry, picked and roasted. And it's always best fresh. There are three main forms of coffee you'll probably consider; whole beans, ground coffee and capsules or pods.

Coffee beans

If you buy whole beans, they will need to be ground. Freshly ground grain makes for a fresher tasting cup, with the trade-off that grinding adds an extra (noisy) step to the preparation of your brew.

The editor's favourite

Best Seller No. 1
Lavazza Coffee Beans L' Espresso Italiano, Expresso 100% Arabica Balanced and Aromatic, 500 g pack
3,430 Notices
Lavazza Coffee Beans L' Espresso Italiano, Expresso 100% Arabica Balanced and Aromatic, 500 g pack
  • Made from carefully selected 100% Arabica beans, L'Espresso Italiano is a balanced coffee with floral notes. Its light roasting gives it a rich and aromatic result.
  • An Italian espresso with an infinitely creamy texture
  • 100% Arabica, Medium Roast, Strength 5
  • Golden cream appearance and warm colour, Aroma floral notes, Delicate taste
  • 500g pack. Coffee beans, ideal for automatic machines and grinders

Ground coffee

If you buy ground coffee (which is either sitting on a supermarket shelf - or freshly ground in the shop), you skip the grinding stage but sacrifice freshness as the grounds oxidise over time.

PromoBest Seller No. 1
Lavazza Ground Coffee Il Mattino, Intense and Generous Espresso, Pack of 4 x 250 g [1kg]
1,606 Notices
Lavazza Ground Coffee Il Mattino, Intense and Generous Espresso, Pack of 4 x 250 g [1kg]
  • For this intense and generous coffee, Lavazza's expertise in selecting the best origins, carefully combining the finest robustas from Asia and Africa
  • The result is a richly flavoured coffee that finishes with a pleasant nutty note. Ideal for lovers of well-balanced coffee with a generous texture.
  • Arabica and Robusta, Light Roast, Intensity 10 Intense
  • Appearance Light Cream, Aroma Notes of dried fruits, Taste Intense
  • 1 kg package. Ideal for the filter machine or manual machine

Coffee capsules

These two types of coffee are likely to be cheaper and tastier than your third option: capsules. However, capsules - usually vacuum-sealed pods of coffee grounds for machines like Keurig and Nespresso - offer unparalleled levels of comfort, which is why they are often spotted in hotel rooms. You fill them with water and then press a button.

Coffee grinders and mills

Many coffee lovers insist that the greatest improvement to your cup of coffee can be found by grinding your fresh beans every time you make a cup.

The cost of a grinder can vary from around €30 to thousands of euros, with consistency of grind size being one of the differentiating factors - a more uniform grind is preferable.

Bodum appliances are known for their durability, and this grinder is no exception. Because it uses flat, not conical filters and has no fancy features, it is best used as a coffee grinder than an espresso but would make a wonderful pour-over or drip coffee.

Best Seller No. 1
Bodum - 11160-01EURO-3 - BISTRO - Electric Slat Coffee Grinder - Black - 150 W
162 Opinions
Bodum - 11160-01EURO-3 - BISTRO - Electric Slat Coffee Grinder - Black - 150 W
  • Stainless steel propeller, speed 30,000 rpm
  • Transparent lid for viewing the fineness of the grind
  • Maximum capacity: 60g of coffee beans
  • Easy to use: fill the tank with coffee beans, adjust the lid, press, ready!
  • Award-winning design
PromoBest Sale No. 2
BODUM - 10903-01EURO-3 - Bistro - Electric Coffee Grinder, Stainless Steel Grinder - 160 W - Black
124 Opinions
BODUM - 10903-01EURO-3 - Bistro - Electric Coffee Grinder, Stainless Steel Grinder - 160 W - Black
  • 12 grind settings: fine (for espresso) to coarse (ideal for a piston coffee maker).
  • With conical grinder so that the grains are ground quickly, gently and evenly.
  • This small, space-saving device can also grind larger quantities with its 220 gram capacity.
  • With an adjustable timer function for even easier handling.
  • Anti-static borosilicate glass collection container to prevent the fine coffee powder from being inadvertently released.

If you are lost in buying a good coffee grinder, we have written a test of the bodum bistro coffee grinder

Method and machine

Making a good cup of coffee at home depends very much on what you use to make it. If you grind your own beans for the best flavour, you would probably do best with a pour-over method or a French press.

Piston coffee maker

A simple process: add grounds, cover with water and plunge the filter in after a few minutes. The result is a full-bodied cup, but beware of coffee grounds sitting at the bottom of your cup.

Best Seller No. 1
Bodum - 1788-01 - Kenya - Piston Coffee Maker - 8 Cups - 1 L - Black
3,450 Notices
Bodum - 1788-01 - Kenya - Piston Coffee Maker - 8 Cups - 1 L - Black
  • Iconic brand design
  • Plastic frame and cover to protect the glass from impact
  • Heat resistant (up to 250 degrees) and odourless borosilicate glass
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Bisphenol A free
  • Delivered in a gift box
PromoBest Sale No. 2
Bodum - 1903-01 - Java - 3 Cup Coffee Piston - 0.35 L - Black
880 Notices
Bodum - 1903-01 - Java - 3 Cup Coffee Piston - 0.35 L - Black
  • Coloured plastic frame protects the glass and also acts as a support
  • Heat resistant (up to 350 degrees) and odourless borosilicate glass
  • Made for over 40 years by expert craftsmen in our eco-friendly factory in Portugal
  • Environmentally friendly coffee preparation system (no paper filters or capsules)
  • All parts are dishwasher safe
  • Made in Europe

Chemex" type coffee machines

Pour-over coffee is simple. You pour a steady stream of hot water over the coffee grounds sitting in a filtered cone on your cup. The resulting brew brings out some of the more subtle notes - the downside for those who prefer a punchy cup of Joe is that the flavours are more delicate.

Chemex coffee technology is a fast but effective coffee making technique - and Bodum has taken it to the next level. All you need is a water boiler, and this coffee machine will do the trick for a full-flavoured long-drop coffee.

Best Seller No. 1
Chemex 6 Cup Coffee Maker with Wooden Handle
4,666 Notices
Chemex 6 Cup Coffee Maker with Wooden Handle
  • For a wonderfully aromatic filter coffee.
  • Comfortable grip thanks to the heat-insulated wooden handle.
  • Filter coffee maker and decanter pot.
  • As one of the 100 most beautiful objects of the design in the Fashion Museum in New York.
  • Gutter for precise pouring

Expresso

The difference between espresso and an ordinary cup of coffee is in the preparation. Instead of a slow brew, near-boiling water is sent through high-pressure ground coffee beans, producing a caffeine hit in seconds.

The resulting shot is shorter, stronger and more intense than an ordinary cup of coffee.

Best Seller No. 1
Espresso machine De'Longhi ECP 31.21 | Filter holder with aluminium finish | Milk froth nozzle | Filter for 1 or 2 cups Espresso | Also suitable for pods | Black
1,706 Notices
De'Longhi ECP 31.21 espresso machine | Filter holder with aluminium finish | Milk froth nozzle | Filter for 1 or 2 espresso cups | Also suitable for pods | Black
  • Professional filter holder with aluminium finish. 2 separate thermostats to control water and steam temperature
  • Hot water function.
  • Cappuccino System: The milk frothing nozzle mixes steam, air and milk to create a particularly creamy foam for a perfect cappuccino.
  • Suitable for ground espresso powder (1 or 2 cups) or pre-portioned E.S.E. pods. -
  • Accessory storage for the filters included in the delivery (for 1 or 2 cups and for the use of E.S.E. pods)
PromoBest Sale No. 2
Delonghi EC221.B Machine à Espresso Solo Pompe, Noir
831 Notices
Delonghi EC221.B Machine à Espresso Solo Pompe, Noir
  • Capacité : 1 l
  • Puissance : 1100 W
  • expresso solo pompe 15 bars
  • Couleur: Noir
  • Composants inclus: Pick Left
  • Poids du colis: 4.54 kilograms

This machine is not a set-and-go affair, and if that's what you're looking for, here are some pod espresso machine suggestions below! The DeLonghi is for those who are pretty hands-on with their coffee and are willing to grind, tamp, weigh, time and pull their own espresso for the best possible results. It's a good size for sitting on a counter, not too bulky. One reviewer said: "It's so easy to use and relatively mess-free. It's a bit noisy, but I don't mind. It works like a breeze and always produces great pours with nice cream marks. The milk frother works great with any type of milk and I only use almond or coconut milk. Being a barista years ago, I learned that some milks are really hard to get a nice velvety foam, and this machine does exactly that with almond milk! It's not latte art quality, but just close enough that it can be."

Coffee pods

Some people like to buy and use pod coffee machines for convenience. It saves time and effort, perfect for those with early mornings and busy homes.

The Senseo coffee maker

The Senseo pod coffee maker is one of the most environmentally friendly single cup options on the market, as it doesn't use plastic pods but mesh pods. It is small and compact, so it won't take up too much counter space. Perfect for someone who lives alone or for your cabin!

PromoBest Seller No. 1
Philips CSA210/61 SENSEO Original+ pod coffee machine, Black
1,470 Notices
Philips CSA210/61 SENSEO Original+ pod coffee machine, Black
  • A new design with a metal cup holder and matte finish
  • Intensity slider to choose your favourite classic or intense coffee
  • Crema plus function for a thin, creamy layer
  • More environmentally friendly with its automatic shut-off function and made from recycled plastics
  • Make one or two cups at a time
  • Compatible with Senseo pods
PromoBest Sale No. 2
Philips Senseo Original Plus, Pod coffee machine (power selector, aroma booster technology, made of recycled plastics), White, CSA210/11
728 Avis
Philips Senseo Original Plus, Pod coffee machine (Power Selector, Flavour Booster Technology, from recycled plastics), White, CSA210/11
  • A new design with a metal cup holder and matte finish
  • Intensity slider to choose your favourite classic or intense coffee
  • Crema plus function for a thin, creamy layer
  • More environmentally friendly with its automatic shut-off function and made from recycled plastics
  • Make one or two cups at a time

And if you're more of an espresso fan, but still want the convenience of coffee in pods...

The Nespresso coffee machine

Nespresso is easily the sexiest of the pod coffee packs - just look at its brand ambassador, George Clooney. The sleek machines come in a variety of colours, and even the coffees they produce are Instagram-worthy: whether it's a tall cup or a short espresso, there's always an aesthetically pleasing layer of cream froth on top (so it looks a bit like a Guinness). The level of coffee geekery involved is also unparalleled.

Nespresso machines are really top of the range, and this is one of the best. With the ability to make a Ristretto, Espresso, Lungo, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Flat White, Caffè Latte, Hot Milk and/or Hot Foam at the touch of a button, this machine is a game changer for coffee lovers with minimal coffee knowledge. One reviewer loved the machine, saying: "This Nespresso machine from De'Longhi is absolute perfection!

This is not our first Nespresso machine and to be honest we have never hated a Nespresso and have never had a problem with quality or performance. Our machines have all been fantastic and this one is no exception. This machine adds even more features that we haven't seen before, such as a flat white button and a Ristretto coffee drink. It really is an attractive and stylish machine to have in the kitchen too! We love the look of this one, and it has a very modern updated look. We liked our last one too, but this one is even more stylish!

Best Seller No. 1
De'Longhi 203549 Inissia Nespresso Coffee Pot, Plastic, Black
23,929 Notices
De'Longhi 203549 Inissia Nespresso Coffee Pot, Plastic, Black
  • Flow Stop: automatic and programmable coffee quantity
  • Thermoblock heating system (ready to use after 25 seconds)
  • Auto power off mode after 9 minutes
  • Removable water tank with a capacity of 0.8 l
  • Expulsion of used capsules
  • The cup is not included

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Last updated on 2022-06-26 / Affiliated links

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