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There are so many aspects that go into making a barista-quality cup of coffee: the grind of the beans, the temperature of the water, the extraction time, the type of equipment used–just to name a few. It can get overwhelming. You may love the way coffee-shop drinks taste, but you don’t love the cost. Making a great cup of coffee or espresso at home is possible and will save you money.
If you cringe at the thought of having to learn barista skills, a bean to cup coffee machine might be exactly what you’re looking for.
A bean to cup coffee machine does everything for you at the push of a button. You simply pour in whole coffee beans and water, and the machine grinds the beans, heats the water, and produces a fantastic cup of coffee. The machines typically have many more features, but the most important thing is that your contribution will be very small. No fancy barista skills needed!
There are quite a few bean to cup coffee machines on the market, so we’ll walk you through our top picks. Read on for the eight bean to cup coffee machines that made our list.
|DeLonghi ESAM3300 Super-Automatic Espresso Machine|
|Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine||1 year||4.55/5|
|Breville BES870XL the Barista Express Espresso Machine||1 year||4.45/5|
|BLACK+DECKER CM5000B 12-Cup Mill and Brew Coffeemaker|
(Best For The Money)
|Gaggia 1003380 Accademia Espresso Machine||2 years||4.20/5|
The DeLonghi Magnifica has a lot going for it: it can make a wide variety of drinks, from americanos to espressos, and it looks good doing it. For the coffee beans, it has thirteen adjustable settings, so you can get the perfect grind for whatever type of coffee drink you prefer. The manual frother also has adjustable settings, so you can have the exact level of foam needed for a cappuccino or macchiato.
Despite all its many settings, the control panel is easy to use, and the machine has an auto shut off for safety. Best of all, the 60-ounce reservoir of water is kept hot with a double boiler that allows you to make espresso and steam milk at the same time.
There’s just one negative to this machine: the regular maintenance. You know how your Keurig will say it needs to be descaled and you ignore it? Well, if you ignore it with this one, the whole machine won’t work until it’s properly descaled. You also need to make sure the beans have been properly cleaned from the grinder regularly, or they can get stuck.
The Gaggia Brera is a great compact machine for kitchens with less counter space, or if you simply like a minimalist profile on your coffee makers. It has an adjustable coffee grinder with five settings, and the holder has a capacity for 8.8 ounces of beans.
We liked the built-in water filter, which can significantly reduce the number of times you’ll have to descale the machine. It has automatic cleaning notifications to let you know when maintenance is required, and all the parts you need to clean are easily accessible. There’s even a cup warming tray to keep your coffee hot. The pannello-style frother is a traditional steam wand that also allows you to fill your cup with hot water for tea.
This machine has a lot of options for customizing your coffee, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have nearly as many adjustable settings. The coffee grinder has only five settings, and there are only three settings for coffee strength. It also only has one boiler, which means you can’t make espresso and froth milk at the same time.
The Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine is aptly named. It can do (almost) everything a barista can do. It has a hands-free grinding cradle, so the grounds go directly into the portafilter for your espresso. It comes with a lot of accessories, like a special dose trimming tool called the Razor that allows you to level off your coffee grounds perfectly.
It also comes with an assortment of cleaning tools. The steam wand allows you to hand-texture the milk, so you can create latte art, and you can make a single or double shot of espresso at the same time. Best of all, it has a special temperature and pressure control system that makes the creamiest espresso every time.
As convenient as the machine is for your daily coffee, it’s also a bit of a pain as far as daily maintenance. It requires daily cleaning to keep everything working properly, and if you try to skip it, parts can break down easily, like the coffee grinder. It also only has a single boiler, which means it can’t make espresso and steam milk at the same time.
If you’re interested in having fresh-ground coffee for your auto-drip coffee maker, then the Black+Decker 12-Cup coffee maker might be the best choice for you. It’s extremely budget-friendly, especially compared to the other machines on this list, and it has a 12-cup capacity. The combined coffee grinder and coffee filter basket make things even easier for you in the morning. It grinds your coffee beans in the same basket that filters your coffee, so that’s one less step for you to worry about.
There are several brew strength options, so you can get that perfect grounds-to-water ratio. It also has an auto brew feature, so you can set everything up the night before to brew in the morning.
However, if you’re looking for a machine that can make a variety of coffee drinks, including espresso, this isn’t it. It also has very basic features that don’t allow much customization. There isn’t any storage for the coffee beans, so you have to add them each time you brew.
The Gaggia Accademia makes it easy to have a machine be your personal barista at home. Because it has a carafe to store the milk along with a steam wand, you can make drinks like cappuccinos and macchiatos at the push of a button. The double boiler enables espresso to be made and milk to be steamed at the same time, which is how the machine can make your favorite coffee drinks quickly and easily.
You can also program the coffee quantity, from small cups to travel-size mugs. The adjustable coffee dispenser allows just about any size coffee cup to fit.
On the negative side, it just doesn’t hold as much as others do. The water tank is smaller (only 54 ounces), the coffee bean hopper only holds 12 ounces, and even the drip tray is small. Because of this, you need to refill the water and coffee beans and clean out the drip tray daily. It also requires frequent maintenance to keep everything running smoothly, so it’s not as automatic as it might seem.
If you want an impressive and intuitive machine, the Jura S8 Superautomatic Espresso Machine might be what you’re looking for. Everything is controlled by a large touchscreen, and you can choose from fifteen different drink options.
It has a pulse extraction brewing system, which means it sends pressurized hot water through the coffee in pulses, giving it time to fully extract. The milk texture is adjustable, so you can choose the exact amount of froth you want. It’s also very easy to clean, and best of all, it keeps up with what needs to be cleaned when.
The biggest issue with this one is the cost. The majority of these machines are expensive, it’s true, but this one is by far the most expensive on the list. We’re just not sure the added cost is justified. Both the temperature of the milk and the espresso never seem to be hot enough, which is a problem for people who love their coffee, well, hot. The touchscreen is also frustratingly sensitive, to the point where it often locks up and shuts down the machine. The grinder clogs easily, which adds to the cleaning and maintenance.
The Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker is another option for those of us who just want regular coffee in the morning. It allows much more customization than you’re used to with your typical auto-drip coffee maker. You can adjust not only the grinder settings, but the strength of your coffee as well. It has variable cup sizes, so you can make a single cup of coffee up to a 12–cup carafe.
Espresso drinkers will have to look elsewhere, however, as it’s not an espresso machine. It also has a small bean hopper capacity at only eight ounces. The grinder is prone to jamming and must be thoroughly cleaned frequently, especially if you like oily, dark roasts. The water reservoir can’t be removed, so you can’t clean it properly. If you choose to use the included carafe, you may find it lacking. It’s poorly designed, and you must practically invert it to get to pour.
The Buona Mattina Automatic Espresso is another machine that produces a variety of espresso-and-milk drinks at the push of a button. This is a real plus because you don’t have to spend time learning how to make the drinks yourself–the machine does it for you. It has a large LCD that makes it easy to choose which type of coffee drink you’d like, and several adjustable settings like temperature, espresso flow, grams of coffee used, milk froth, pressure, and water flow.
But it’s at the bottom of our list for a reason. It lacks adjustable settings, for one thing. You can’t adjust the grinder settings, the milk temperature, or even the cup size for the coffee. It wastes the small amount of water it holds by constantly rinsing before and after each cup. It needs frequent maintenance, like emptying the spent grounds container after every coffee. Perhaps worst of all, though, it’s expensive to return it even under warranty. There’s a hefty restocking fee, and the company charges you to ship it back.
The DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso Machine has the best features you’re looking for in a bean to cup coffee machine. It has many adjustable settings for the grinder, the frother, and the brew strength. Its powerful double boiler allows you to make espresso while steaming milk at the same time, and it has a large water capacity so you don’t have to refill it every day. Even with its many settings and customizations, it’s intuitive and easy to use.
For those who are looking for a best-for-the-money option, the Black+Decker 12 Cup Mill and Brew Coffeemaker is a great choice. It’s perfect if you love the convenience of an auto drip brewer, but you also want freshly ground beans. This machine gives you both, and you don’t even have to grind the beans yourself.
With so many great choices out there, we hope our reviews of the best bean to cup coffee machines will help you decide which is the best one for you.
Featured image credit: Couleur, Pixabay
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