Buying the right coffee machine

small manual espresso machine
What is the best coffee machine to buy? Let's go through some of the different types of machines and see which best suits you.

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There are five kind's of coffee machines that you can use at home

Choosing the best machine for you will depend mainly on how you like your coffee, what is your beverage of choice, espresso, cappuccino, or do you like it black? The machine that you choose must be able to deliver the coffee you enjoy without too much fuss.

Pump Espresso Machines

A home machine that uses a pump espresso system is great because this will give you the best chance of producing espresso and coffee-based drinks that are close to your local coffee shop’s quality.

A pump espresso machine will require a separate grinder if it does not have a built-in grinder, this is the best set up to give you coffee shop quality at home but it requires more manual input than other home based machines.

Be careful when purchasing a very cheap pump espresso machine, you will most probably find that the cheaper ones don’t have a strong enough pump and so they don’t deliver a great quality espresso, also cheaper machines don’t have a strong enough steam wand, so frothing milk becomes challenging.

The best small pump espresso machine for home use is the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

It has commercial grade parts so it works just as well as a big machine you will find in a coffee shop.

Bean to Cup Machines

Just like the name says, you put some beans on the top and press some buttons and you get a coffee. Bean to cup machines are a great alternative to a pump espresso machines if you don’t want to do a lot of work. Some bean to cup machines have espresso pumps, others use new technology to extract espresso, most bean to cup machines, will deliver a good espresso.

These machines come in a variety of options, 

  • with a manual milk frother
  • with automatic milk dispenser
  • dual milk option
  • multiple auto milk drink creation
  • no milk option

Making the right choice on this type of machine will depend mostly on your budget and whether you want the ability to make multiple coffee drinks.

Pod Espresso Machines

Pod espresso machines are well marketed but may not be the best option for you, they come across as very stylish and convenient but be careful, coffee pods are more expensive than buying ground coffee or coffee beans. There are cheap coffee pods out there but most of the time you get what you pay for, the good ones cost more.

If you’re happy with the quality from coffee pods and you like the convenience, there are few options available

  • Pod machine – espresso only
  • Pod machine – with milk option

Just like bean to cup machines, you can choose an option that suits you best, if you drinking espresso only, you probably don’t want to spend more money on a milk option.

Steam Espresso Machines

These are very similar to pump espresso machines expert they don’t have a pump, the machine uses steam to deliver espresso, this is a cheaper option to pump espresso but it is not recommended as it just doesn’t work as well as any of the other alternatives.

Filter Coffee Machines

You just want simple black coffee, there are many great options available.

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