You can’t go wrong by choosing a Sage by Heston Blumenthal bean to cup coffee machine, this is a brand that has fostered a real top of the range feel here in the UK.
I am sure you are all familiar with who Heston Blumenthal is and no doubt you have seen his TV chef programs or are familiar with The Fat Duck restaurant.
So you will be in no doubt that for him to lend his name to this range, then they must meet his extremely high demands.
You may however be wondering who are Sage? Well they are a UK name for the more familiar Australian brand Breville. In fact you are probably quite accustomed to them as well, as they produce and sell a wide range of kitchen appliances here.
By partnering with such a famous celebrity chef they have pulled off quite a marketing trick and propelled their bean to cup machines to the top, not long after entering the market.
As you can probably expect all this comes at a price, and the Sage coffee machines sit the higher end of the pricing range, with RRP’s between £500 and £2000.
So can Sage really justify these prices and is the name Heston Blumenthal really worth paying extra for? Well this kind of marketing really works in other industries, think Air Jordan.
Sage currently occupy 2 spots on my list of the best bean to cup machines (check it out here) including the number 1 spot, and while I am a huge fan of Heston and his crazy cooking, this had no bearing on me including them on the list. They are there because of their functionality and merit as a bean to cup machine. This is quite a feat for a company that only produces 3 bean to cup machines.
So if you can afford one and enjoying have great looking gadgets in your kitchen, then this is a brand you should definitely think about investing in. Not only will it look amazing on your worktop, but you will be able to enjoy your morning coffee as much as you would if you popped to the local coffee shop.
In addition to great looks and great coffee, you also get a great build quality, and these machines would hold up against most commercial coffee makers.
So if this does tickle your fancy, then you are going to need to decide which one of the 3 options is the best one for you? Well below I have a quick summary of each model, which should be enough for you to make a decision. But if you are like me and want to research further before spending a significant amount of money then there is a link to more in-depth review of each machine.
One thing to note with these Sage machines is that they are not fully automatic from the bean to the cup. The integrated burr grinder will grind the exact amount of beans automatically, but you will be required to move the grouphead yourself and tamp the ground coffee.
Some purists will say because of this they shouldn’t be classed as bean to cup machines, but I think it’s up to you the end user. If you don;t mind this manual step then these are great machines.
The 3 Sage By Heston Blumenthal Bean to cup coffee Machines
The first Sage model in the bean to cup range is the aptly named the “Barista Express”. While this is the entry level machine it is by no means lower grade and it’s RRP is reflective of that, at £600. When compared to other machines from other manufacturers this is more of a mid level coffee maker.
I absolutely love this machine and it also came top of my list of the top bean to cup machines. It is sleek, beautifully designed and will sit perfectly on any kitchen worktop.
But this isn’t a beauty pageant, and to compliment its looks it also allows even novice baristas to produce a perfect shot of espresso with ease.
If you are looking for a professional grade coffee machine for your kitchen then this definitely worth more than a cheeky glance.
I should add that there is also the The Barista Pro and Barista touch models, which are both essentially the same modal but have different control panels. The pro has a digital control panel, and touch a touch screen control panel.
Read the full Sage Barista Express Review here
Middle in the range from Sage is the Dual Boiler, while most will not class this as a bean to cup machine (Myself included), it is an exceptional espresso machine and I thought I could squeeze in a quick write up.
The reason it cannot be classed a bean to cup, is the lack of integrated grinder, meaning you will need to grind your own beans, as well as tamp them. Or you could just invest is some quality pre-ground coffee.
Now we have got over the bean issue, we can talk about the espresso, and wow does this machine produce great espresso’s. You have such a range of control over the whole brewing process, that once you’ve set it to your liking. You are then guaranteed consistently great espresso shot after shot.
Like its cheaper sibling, there is also a manual steam wand to turn those little black shots of joy into your perfect milky coffee.
At the very top of Sage’s range sits the Oracle, quite a name for quite a machine. There are actually two versions on the oracle, the standard (pictured) and the oracle touch which is even more expensive.
These machines are not for the faint of heart, with the oracle RRP £1,499 and the touch at £2,000 you need to be a real serious coffee aficionado to even think of parting with that kind of cash.
But if you are thinking of getting an Oracle then you will still be getting great value for money as this is easily £2k worth of coffee machine.
This a fully automated bean to cup offering from Sage, and will even handle the milk texturing for you.
And don’t worry about spending all that money and getting the setup wrong, as when you parting with this much you don’t have to worry. No Sage will come and set it up for you.
The Final Verdict
You could certainly do a lot worse than invest in a Sage coffee machine.
If you’re like me and you like quality gadgets in your home, that not only look pretty, but do their job exceptionally? Then this is a brand you may just fall in love with.
They don’t make a huge range of machines, and instead of exerting their efforts into making 20+ different models, they have channeled all that effort into ensuring the three they do make are perfect. And I firmly believe they have come as close as possible to achieving that aim.
Granted they are not cheap at first glance, but when take a deeper look and realise just what you are getting for your hard earned money, then they do represent good value.
And I as I constantly preach compared to buying your coffee daily at your local coffee shop, you will actually save money in the long run, even at these prices.