Best Bean To Cup Coffee Machine Reviews 2021

Contents

What if there was a way you could enjoy Barista Quality Coffee every day without leaving your own home?

All you need, to be the envy of your friends is the Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

One of the easiest ways to turn your kitchen into your new favourite coffee shop, is to use freshly ground coffee beans.

A bean to cup coffee machine does it exactly that. Grinding the beans on demand, before making your perfect Espresso, Latte or whatever coffee takes you fancy

Many factors will come into play when choosing the perfect machine for you. Budget, taste, preferred coffee style to name but a few

I have used and tested over 20 different machines and are now ready to present the 10 top bean to cup machines, so you make the best decision to fit with your considerations

The Top 3 Picks

For those who don’t want to read the full article (TLDR), I don’t blame you it is a long one. Below are my top 3 choices, there is 1 for each budget, and you really can’t wrong with either of them.

Best For Budget

  • Easy Clean Technology
  • Beans Ground on Demand
  • Thermoblock Temp Control
  • 15Bar Pressure
  • 1.8L Water Tank

Best Buy

  • Manual or Automatic settings
  • Conical Burr Grinder
  • Interchangeable Filters
  • 15Bar Pressure
  • 2L Water Tank

Top of The Range

  • Auto Clean Technology
  • Silent Bean Grinder
  • Touch Screen Control
  • 15Bar Pressure
  • 1.8L Water Tank

The best bean to cup coffee machines

Sage the Barista express coffee machine

Features

  • Manual or Fully automatic settings
  • Conical Burr Grinder
  • Interchangeable Filters
  • 15Bar Pressure
  • Water Tank Capacity 2 litres
  • Twin Boiler system

Our review

The Sage Barista Express is my pick as the winner of the mid-priced machines, and is therefore given the award as the “Best Buy”. It’s not just me who thinks so, this has been one of the top selling bean to cup espresso machines for the last few years. A true favourite of the coffee experts. Read my full Sage Barista Express Review

What this machine offers you in return for it’s price tag is excellent value.

For those who are not familiar with the brand, Sage are normally associated with very high-end kitchen appliances, so it is great to see their best-selling coffee machine come in the middle of the price range..

Offering a staggering 18 different grind levels, you have the same level of control as if you manually ground the beans.

This also has a large bean container capable of taking 450 grams of coffee beans

What does this mean for your coffee? Well once you know how you like your beans ground, then it will consistently offer you the same each and every time you use it. Not every bean to espresso machine offers you this level of control. How fine or coarse you grind your beans has a direct impact on the pressure in the group head, and this affects the quality of espresso your machine will produce.

The sage also comes with an auto dosing feature, meaning it will grind the exact amount of beans for either a single or double espresso. This ensures the grounds are as fresh as they possibly can be, and minimizes waste. Great for you and great for the environment, a win win!

It also comes with a stainless steel boiler and digital temperature controls, which means it makes your coffee only when the water is at the perfect temperature and pressure. Guaranteeing you a smooth espresso with a perfect crema.

The Sage barista express also boasts a self cleaning steam wand, and a stainless steel milk jug. So all you Latte lovers can practice your Latte art all day long. What better way to impress your friends? You can also just use the wand for some hot water to make an Americano.

Pro’s

  • Great looking stainless steel finish, will look great on any Kitchen counter
  • Full control over the intensity and flavour
  • Consistent coffee each time
  • Excellent value for such a quality machine
  • Great for coffee experts

Con’s

  • Takes a little while to get used to and perfect your settings
Delonghi Esam4200 in silver

Features

  • Manual or Automatic settings
  • Integrated Burr Grinder
  • Milk frothing steam wand
  • 15Bar Pressure
  • 1.8L Water Tank

Our review

The 2nd best bean to cup coffee machine in my opinion is the DeLonghi Esam4200 Magnifica. The Magnifica is also my best budget pick, with an RRP under £300. This is the king of the budget machines.

But don’t let that fool you, just because we have labelled this a budget option, it is still a very impressive coffee maker. This machine is perfect for beginner to intermediate home baristas

Fresh tasting espresso is guaranteed due to it’s integrated burr grinder, which grinds the beans on demand. If you have a particular brand of pre-ground coffee (or can’t stand the grinding noise in the mornings) then you also have the option of using ground coffee beans.

I found the steam wand was easy to use to create microfoam for my cappuccino’s. You can also use the wand for steamed milk to make Latte, Flat White or any other milk coffees, as good as you would find in your local coffee shops.

The magnifica is also rather simple and intuitive to use. And the supplied instructions are simple to follow and give a detailed process for de scaling (which should be completed every few months depending on use).

For those of you that can’t wait for your morning espresso shot, the whole process for pressing the button to your shot being ready is less than 1 minute.

Pro’s

  • Amazing value for the price
  • Full control of the coffee strenghts it produces
  • Large water tank capacity (1.8l enough for 6 long drinks)
  • Easy to use

Con’s

  • Plastic outside so feels cheaply made (but this is why it is cheaper than other models)
De Longhi Prima Donna coffee maker

Features

  • Manual or Automatic settings
  • Integrated Burr Grinder
  • Milk frothing steam wand
  • 15Bar Pressure
  • 1.8L Water Tank

Our review

If money was no object then the DeLonghi PrimaDonna would be, without a doubt be number 1. This machine would satisfy even the most ardent coffee lovers. This is definitely the best bean to cup coffee machine available on the market. Perfect for coffee fans with enough money.

However I have to be realistic and compare all variables. So although this is a truly magnificent bean to cup machine, it is expensive, so it comes in at number 3 on the list. But if you can justify the cost and want a premium machine this is the one to get.

The technology in the De Longhi Prima Donna, allows you to fully customise every aspect of your coffee with just a few taps of the colour touchscreen or smart phone app. To be honest this is a little space age for a coffee machine, but maybe I’m getting old?

Like your beans ground a little more coarse, or more milk and less foam in you cappuccino? Well its all possible, as almost every aspect can be programmed into this machine.

You can even make iced coffees when the UK summer arrives (if it ever does)

The setup does take a fair amount of time, this is purely down to the sheer number of settings you can control. And you will find you need to tweak them for the first few weeks to get to perfect coffee for you. But it is worth the effort believe me. Once you have completed the setup to your liking, then you will have a perfect cup of coffee every time with just one touch of a button.

Although if you just want to plug and play then the manufacturers standard settings still produce a quality coffee that can rival any coffee shop.

Pro’s

  • State of the art technology including a smart phone app
  • Full control over all aspects of the process
  • Can make any coffee drink you can think of, including Iced Cofee
  • Easy to clean

Con’s

  • No con’s at all, well go on then the price it is expensive for home users. But as with all things you get what you pay for
Beko CG5311 bean to cup machine

Features

  • Milk Frother
  • 19 Bar Pressure
  • 1.4L tank
  • Self cleaning

Our review

By combining great styling and a budget price into their Beko bean to cup machines, they have created a great little coffee machine.

One of first things you’ll notice is its size, this is the smallest coffee machine to make the list. Making it the perfect choice for those with smaller kitchens. Small doesn’t mean less features though and the Beko still has a full spec.

Having a removable water tank, means no fiddling about with jugs trying to get to the back of the machine, simply pop out the tank and take it straight to the sink. The tank lifts up and out, so you can leave the machine up against a wall.

The pre programmed settings allow you to make single or double espresso’s with the touch of a button. And with it’s adjustable spout you can make a flat white, cappuccino or any other barista style drinks.

It comes with options for either a mild or strong coffee built in, but you can further adjust these or go somewhere in the middle, by adjusting the grind and water level. Once you have mastered your perfect strength, then there is a memory function to store your perfect settings.

When you’re finished its programming will clean the machine automatically.

Pro’s

  • Both small and full of features
  • Very affordable for all
  • Produces good coffee
  • Automatic cleaning programme

Con’s

  • It’s small size means limited water tank and coffee bean capacity
DeLonghi Eletta bean to cup coffee machine

Features

  • 15 Bar pump pressure
  • Takes coffee beans or ground coffee
  • 2 litre tank
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Pre brew function

Our review

For those of you that want the top of the range but can’t afford the De Longhi Prima Donna, then the Delonghi Eletta ECAM44.660.B is a very good alternative from the same maker. For the price it is one of the best coffee makers.

This machine is packed with all the features you would expect in high end machines, but this does, mean it is a little on the larger side. So not suitable for all kitchens or homes.

The machines two dispensers allow you to make two espresso shots or ristrettos at the same time, and the drip tray has plenty of space to accommodate 2 cups. Or you can simply use 1 larger cup and have a one big shot. For the shots you have the options of single or double, short or long, as well as being offered 13 grind settings between ultra-fine and coarse.

For those who like the milky coffees the automatic milk frother allows you produce long drinks such as lattes, macchiatos or cappuccinos with one touch of a button. And its patented crema technology produces silky smooth steamed milk and high-quality froth.

The integrated milk container is removable, which is a nice feature as it allows you store the milk in the fridge when not in use

With all the pre-set options to choose from capable of producing and endless variety of coffees, you could be forgiven for thinking that is enough. But if you are a very fussy coffee drink then you also have the option to program you own settings for aspect of process. Meaning your perfect coffee is always only a touch of a button away.

This is the third entry from Delonghi on the list.

Pro’s

  • Packed full of features
  • Very affordable for all
  • Produces good coffee
  • Fully Automatic milk texturing

Con’s

  • It’s larger size might not be suitable for all homes or kitchens
Gaggia Brera Silver

Features

  • 15 Bar pump pressure
  • Takes coffee beans or ground coffee
  • 1.2 litre tank
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Energy efficient

Our review

No list of coffee machines would be complete without at least on entry from the sectors most famous brands, Gaggia. While they do have an extensive range of bean to cup machines, I have chosen the Gaggia Brera model for a few reasons.

The first reason is, it is a really simple coffee machine to use and produces a top notch cup of coffee. However being simple to use is not reason enough to be on the list, it also has to have the full range of features and produce the goods.

Features include a ceramic burr grinder, which is preferable to a metallic coffee grinder as they retain more of the aroma from the coffee beans. You have the option to decide how fine to want to grind the beans. The coffee beans capacity is a little small however at 250 grams.

There are also several coffee options, including single or double espresso, and long cups of coffee.

The brera also height adjustable milk frother for those home coffee makers looking to make themselves cappuccinos, flat whites or latte style drinks.

Another great little feature is the ease with which you can take out the parts that need a clean, you do not need to clean after every cup. For the basic clean there is an automatic flush through that happens on start up. The Gaggia will also remind you when it’s time for a descaling.

Oh and did I mention this is probably the best looking of all the bean to cup coffee machines I have reviewed? Probably the Milano styling

Check out other Gaggia Bean to Cup Machines here

Pro’s

  • Stylish and good looking
  • Does all you need from a coffee machine
  • Small enough for most kitchens
  • Great coffee

Con’s

  • It’s small size, means coffee bean capacity of only 250 gram.
Miele-CM6150 Coffee maker

Features

  • Different user profiles
  • Pump pressure 15 Bar
  • Beans or ground coffee
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Energy efficient

Our review

What really sets the Miele bean to cup machines from the rest is the ability for each member of the household to create their own profile. Which means everyone can have completely different tastes in coffee, and all can have their favourite drink just one touch away.

Once each person has programmed the machine, you can even produce two cups of coffee at the same time. So no morning arguments over who gets their morning hit first.

Personal settings include grind level, water amount and milk temperature.

The drip tray also doubles as a cup warmer which is a great little extra, your coffee will taste better when the cup is pre warmed.

There is no milk frother wand, instead this function is internal and when making a Cappuccino or Latte, you simply stick the hose into a pint or jug of milk, and Miele will take care of the rest.

The Miele will also rinse itself after each use making daily maintenance a breeze, however you do need to give it a deeper clean from time to time, and its parts are easily removed to give a soak.

Pro’s

  • Fully automatic coffee machine
  • User profiles
  • Small enough for most kitchens
  • Simple to use

Con’s

  • Milk texturing is not as good as other machines.
Sage By Heston Blumenthal - The oracle

Features

  • Precise control of the temperature
  • Large 2.5 litre water capacity
  • Milk frother
  • Fully automated coffee machine
  • Digital Control Panel

Our review

The Sage Oracle BES980BSS lives up to its name and really is the oracle of the bean to cup machines, and would be much higher on our list if only for its rather high price range. In fact the price is more like a commercial coffee machine and not one for home use. However there are a few of you out there who can afford this and if you can then you will be getting a lot of quality, as you would expect from any Sage by Heston Blumenthal

The oracle is a huge step up on its little brother the Barista Express, and although it looks like a manual espresso machine, it is a fully automated machine.

The process is simple, the sage will grind the correct amount of beans to your preferred level of coarseness, and then tamp it to the correct consistency. You do have the option here to control the coffee strength. The only intervention from the user is to move portafilter to under the group head.

The Oracle can then make two extremely consistent espresso’s at a time, every time. But it doesn’t stop there, this is much more than an espresso machine. The milk texturing system or milk frothing if you will, is also fully automatic. All you need to do is place a milk jug under the steam wand the oracle will do the rest, and produce a silky milk texture. So all you home coffee experts can enjoy a latte, cappuccino, macchiato or any other different coffee types.

Pro’s

  • Fully automatic coffee machine
  • Consistent coffee
  • Fully automated milk frother
  • Excellent specifications

Con’s

  • Would have a higher rating but is expensive for a home machine, but has a great build quality from a top brand.
Melitta E953-102 Caffeo Solo & Milk

Features

  • 15 bar pressure
  • 1.2 litre water tank
  • Manual Milk frother
  • Fully automatic bean to cup espresso maker
  • Pre brew function

Our review

Melitta believe it or not made the first ever filter coffee machine over a century ago, and they have been serving coffee drinkers ever since. They may not be the most well known brand, but they are synonymous with great quality in their home market of Germany. So for their first entry on the list to be mid range of the price scale is quite something.

The Caffeo Solo & Milk features Melitta’s patented “Aroma Extraction System, which wets your beans with a little water just prior to grinding them. This helps with the flavour extraction and ensures you experience the fullest flavour and aroma. This is great for any fussy espresso drinkers and ensures you a fresh coffee each time.

The Caffeo solo and perfect milk is capable of making two cups of coffee at the same time.

You can also have lots of other options when brewing your coffee. These include three different strength options in addition to the temperature you like your shot. Unlike other coffee machines however you only have three settings for the grinding process. But what you do get that other machines don’t offer though is a wide range of coffee length options from 30ml up to 220ml

The “& Perfect milk” part of the model name refers to the manual milk frother or steam wand, which allows the skilled barista to make many different coffee varieties. Such as cappuccino, lattes, Latte Macchiatos and other drinks. As milk frothers go this is pretty simple to use after a little practice. After only a few weeks you will have the hang of how to froth milk and then it’s easy.

Cleaning is also a breeze on this machine, there is an automatic cleaning program, as well as a descaling program. You will like any of the bean to cup machines, take out the brewing chamber or group head and give it a soak in warm water. Gratefully this isn’t a fiddly process and the part comes out with ease, you just need to follow the simple instructions.

One downside is it only takes whole coffee beans and there is no option to use pre ground coffee.

Pro’s

  • Fully automatic bean to cup coffee machine
  • Slim design for those with limited space
  • Many different coffee brewing settings
  • Milk frother

Con’s

  • No option to use pre ground coffee
Melitta Barista TS Smart

Features

  • 15 bar pressure
  • 1.8 litre water tank
  • Automated Milk frothing
  • App and touch screen custom settings
  • Changeable water filter

Our review

Smart coffee is the name of the game with Melitta Caffeo Barista TS, this bean to cup coffee maker probably has more computing power than my first smart phone. Not only do you get smart features, but you also get great looks and great coffee with just one touch.

Coming with 21 pre set coffee recipes, and 5 strength intensity settings, you would think that would be enough customisation to ensure you get your perfect cup of coffee. But just in case this is not enough then you also have the option to fully customise the way it makes your coffee, and up to 8 people can store their preferences. You can make 2 cups simultaneously from any of the pre-set recipes, which is awesome when entertaining.

The customisation can either be achieved via the TFT screen or the smart app. Each user has the option to store the preferred amount and strength of coffee to be used in each of recipes. Another really great feature which you will not find on any other automatic coffee machine is the ability to use different beans for different drinks, you can store 4 different beans and program which one is used for which recipe. I have yet to see another machine that offers this level of custom settings to make coffee. You can even produce hot water for tea, or as a cup warmer.

The milk carafe is an external part to the main machine, which although looks a little strange alongside the otherwise stylish machine, it is actually really useful for storing the milk in the fridge when not in use and for cleaning. As you would expect with such a feature rich coffee machine there is also a full cleaning program, as well as a descaling option (this does require a little work, such as adding the descaling solution).

With so many benefits to this machine, you are forgiven for wondering why i am rating it so low on the list, well it is purely down to value for money. It does come at the top of the price range, and is therefore not suitable for all.

Pro’s

  • Fully automatic bean to cup machine
  • More configurable than you could possible need
  • 8 Different user profiles can store their preferences.
  • Many different coffee brewing settings

Con’s

  • Only takes whole coffee beans

Jump to the final verdict

Bean to cup coffee machine buying guide

What is a bean to cup machine?

As the name would suggest a bean to cup machine is one which take care of most of the process from the bean to the final cup of coffee. They should require very minimal input from the user, other than initial set up and pressing a button or two when they fancy a coffee.

Why Buy a Bean-to-cup Coffee Machine?

Convenience is the main reason, and if you are a lover of coffee, then having a machine in your own kitchen that can produce your daily hit is a must have if you ask me.

Secondly economics, while the initial outlay may seem a lot, over the course of its lifetime a bean to cup machine will not only pay for itself, but will actually save you cash compared to visiting coffee shops.

What is the best coffee machine for home use?

This is not an easy question to answer, its a bit like the age old adage “how long is a piece of string”, but don’t despair we will guide you to the best machine for you below.

There are a lot of factors to consider, which means what is the best machine for one home may not be the best machine for another home. It is a very personal choice.

How much should you pay?

Well this is really a question of what can you afford or how often you drink coffee? A bean to cup machine can cost anywhere from £250 – £2000. Which may at first glance seem very expensive, but you need to work it in comparison to buying a cappuccino or espresso at your local coffee shop daily. If you spend £2.80/£3.00 a day at a coffee shop, then that is over £1000 a year. So for coffee lovers buying a machine may actually be cheaper.

What should I look for in a bean to cup coffee maker?

There are many considerations to take into account when choosing your bean to cup machine:-

Automatic or Manual Milk preparation

This is a vital step to get right at the beginning, once you have bought your machine there is no changing your mind, without spending more money.

You need to decide what type of coffee you drink the most, if your an espresso kind of person, then a manual milk frothing arm may be enough for you.

However if you are a heavy drinker of Cappuccino or Flat Whites then, you unless you are confident texturing your own milk, you may want an automated milk frother.

Personalisation

What level of personalisation can be achieved. While most bean to cup coffee machines are ready to go straight out of the box, you may want to consider how much control you have over the whole brewing process.

Or it maybe you live in household, where everyone has slightly different tastes. A coffee enthusiast will want to control each aspect of the brewing process.

Depending on the machine you choose, you may have control over the strength, the amount of water, the grinding and all other aspects of brewing process.

Machine size and capacity

This is actually a vital step in the decision making process. You for sure want to make sure you can fit your preferred model in your kitchen, and it the place you have reserved for it. These coffee machines can come in a big range of dimensions.

Another consideration on size, is what is the capacity of the hopper and water tank. This will dictate how often you need to top them up.

Cleaning / Maintenance

Another very important feature is the self cleaning programmes, and how much manual maintenance is required. All coffee machines will require some manual cleaning/maintenance, but exactly how much will be dependent on the model you choose.

Connectivity

You may also want to consider in this, the smart age, if your machine comes with an app? imagine just getting out of the shower, pressing your phone and by the time you get downstairs your drink is ready.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these machines noisy?

The only part of the coffee making process you could really describe as loud would the “grinding of the beans”, there is no way around this, it’s just a noisy process. Don’t let this put you off though, it only lasts 20 seconds or so. And it is definitely worth it for freshly ground coffee each time.

How to clean them?

Most machines will come with a self cleaning program, but don’t think this absolves you of all your chores. While they will be able to handle 90% of their owning cleaning with a burst of steam through the system. You will still need to run a descaling solution through the coffee machine every few months.

In addition depending on your model you will probably have to remove the brewing section and give it a soak every once in a while, just some warm soapy water will do.

Integrated or external grinder?

If we want to be strict about it a bean to cup coffee machine should have an internal grinder, otherwise how is it bean-to-cup? That being said there are a few machines such the Sage that do require and external grinder, its just personal choice, I prefer integrated. I think you would need to be a real coffee connoisseur to prefer and external.

Which coffee beans to use?

The best coffee beans to use is personal preference, and will depend on what drink you prefer, espresso, cappuccino, latte etc. Also if you prefer strong coffee or a mild coffee will influence your decision. Most major supermarkets and online retailers offer tasting selections kits, where you get a small selection of different beans from around the world to try and see which is your favourite.

Can you use ground coffee in bean to cup coffee machines?

Yes ground coffee can be used in some machines, but not all. If your favourite coffee is only available pre-ground then make sure you get a machine that takes it.

Do you need to refrigerate the beans

No unlike ground coffee which does need to be refrigerated, beans will stay perfectly fresh in the coffee machines hopper. Ensuring you a fresh coffee daily.

Are there other manufacturers to think about?

Yes there are plenty of other brands to look at, just because they didn’t make the list above, doesn’t mean they are not worth buying. I have reviewed many of them on the site:-

Jura – If you have the money then you will certainly want to look at getting a Jura bean to cup machine. This is the very top of the range. But prices are too high to make the list of top 10

Siemens – Another great German company that excels in most fields. Definitely worth a look at

The Final Verdict

Without a doubt the Coffee Machine I enjoyed the most, and suited my personal needs as an avid coffee drinker is the Sage Barista Express, it is simply enough that even my mother my can get a top notch espresso out of it (sorry mum), but still packs all the tech to make people think your a pro barista.

It is the one I kept and have happily been using daily for over a year now.

But if you are the kind of person who likes the finest things in life, and has a money doesn’t matter kind of outlook, then lucky you!! Haha only kidding you will want the Delonghi PrimaDonna (see its named aptly)

About Jacques Carner

Jacques is the man behind behind We Spill The Beans. He as a lover of all things coffee, and has previously worked as a buyer for one of the biggest coffee companies in the world. You can find more about him here.