Best Bean to Cup Espresso Machines 2017


In this post I’m exploring the best bean to cup espresso machines of 2017, including comparisons of features and common comments from user reviews.

This isn’t a “top ten” as such, I am doing it in some kind of order, it’s a combination of price (ascending) and popularity (descending). In other words I’m starting at the lower end of the budget, and starting off with the most popular machine at that price, and moving on from there. Actually, the very first machine on the list among the cheapest, and is also the best selling bean to cup espresso machine ever in the UK as far as I can tell. 

I like using my manual espresso machine, and I don’t feel the need to go the bean to cup route, but many people prefer the convenience of bean to cup. Some people look down their noses at bean to cup, and in theory bean to cup might not be on par with traditional espresso in terms of the potential of the espresso quality, but that potential is down to the user – and of course the coffee. 

I would think that even the very best bean to cup machine would struggle to compete against an experienced skilled Barista, or the more experienced home Barista, in terms of the quality of resulting coffee when using the same coffee beans. However, replace the barista with the average consumer, and the bean to cup machine then probably stands a much better chance of competing with even semi commercial prosumer machines. 

The quality of the coffee beans is the most important thing when all said and done, and I would think a bean to cup machine with freshly roasted speciality coffee beans from a small batch coffee roaster, that have been fairly recently purchased and have been stored well, would produce a much nicer coffee than even the best Barista using the best traditional espresso machine with stale commodity super market bought coffee beans. 

Anyway, I’m getting side tracked – so without further waffling:

Best bean to cup espresso machines 2017

De’Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200

De Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200Features: 

Dimensions 36 x 38 x 28 cm
Dual boiler, no waiting for steam after pulling the shot
1 touch bean to cup
Simple to use coffee strength / volume controls
Turbo steam wand.
Capable of Ristretto and Espresso 
No1 selling bean to cup espresso machine on Amazon
Burr grinder 
Water tank: 1.2 litres
1450 watts
Available in black or silver
2 year warranty

This is the best selling bean to cup machine on Amazon, and it has an average review score of 4.5 from a whopping 1,485 reviews – plus there are over 250 answered questions, so this machine has a lot going for it in terms of the user being able to find out all of it’s quirks & pros and cons before deciding whether it’s the right bean to cup machine for them. By the way by far the best answered question is this one: 

Question: Does this device enable me to travel through space and time?
Answer: Hi, only if you possess a CONTINUUM TRANSFUNCTIONER, Cheers G
Love it ;-). 

Blurb: 

DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM4200 blackGrinds Fresh Coffee Beans

Your choice of fresh coffee beans finely ground with the integrated burr grinder. Creating coffee shop quality coffee, to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.

Personalise Your Coffee

Easy to use control panel for you to simply adapt the coffee strength and length to your preference.

Double Delivery

Prepare two drinks with a single touch of a button, or prepare hot water for tea infusions.

Traditional Milk Frother

Produces a smooth and silky milk foam to create your favourite beverages such as Cappuccino, Caffe Latte, or Latte Macchiato.

Note about the blurb:

It’s not what I would class as a traditional frother, it’s a Pannarello / turbo steam wand as many of these machines have, meaning that it has a sheath around it and the air holes are in the side, rather than having a hole or holes in the tip. This makes it much more straight forward to stick it in the milk and create froth, but my experience with turbo wands is that they make it almost impossible to control the milk texture, so what most people tend to do if they want to work on improving the milk texture, is to just remove the plastic sheath, or in some cases you can replace the turbo wand with a traditional steam wand. 

Amazon reviews: 4.5 / 5 from 1,485 reviews

Best review: 

Bought this having had a tassimo machine before. The change is stellar and, to be honest, it’s no extra hassle. Now all my waste goes on the compost rather than having to be disposed of down the local recycling centre.

I now get to try all sorts of coffees that I find in random shops. It makes beautiful coffee (especially once you’ve got the grinding size right) quickly and easily. And the variable strength setting is a complete winner if you think you may have overdone the caffeine that day but still have to have another one (as I frequently do!).

Complaints? It is a bit noisy on warm up, and the spouts don’t quite come down far enough when you’re using expresso cups, which leads to splashes. But I’m quibbling!

If you like shots of coffee (rather than filter) get this if you can afford it. It puts all the pod machines I’ve ever tried in the shade. I love it!!!

Worst review:

First machine made one cup of coffee, which tasted great, and then the mechanism stopped moving. Followed all the instructions, reset the machine it made another great cup of coffee and stuck again. Resetting did nothing this time. Amazon were great and replaced the machine. The new machine worked perfectly for a couple of weeks. I had made sure to only use the machine as stated in the manual. Watched youtube videos on how to use it, how to keep it clean, everything I could find as I wanted this one to last as long as possible. Then it jammed. Wouldn’t reset. Didn’t react to soft or hard resetting. Returned it and Amazon refunded. Now I manually make coffee.

Notes about the reviews: 

While there are some 1 star reviews, it’s just over 5% of the reviews, 3% are 2 star, about the same for 3 star, 14% are 4 star, and 74% of the reviews are 5 star. This is very good considering that this is one of the cheapest bean to cup espresso machines on the market.  As far as I can see nearly all of the negative reviews are with reference to faults, and given that it has a 2 year manufacturers warranty, although having a fault is a pain in the backside, the potential of having a faulty machine wouldn’t put me off. I can’t see any recurring themes from the reviews when it comes to any kind of a design fault, and the recurring theme from the positive reviews are that it makes great coffee and it’s simple to use. 

Price:

RRP is £449.99 but it’s nearly always available now here on amazon from under £300, it’s currently on offer at £259.99

 Krups EA8108 Espresseria Automatic Bean to Cup

Krups EA8108 Espresseria Automatic Bean to Cup

Features:

Dimensions: 24.5 x 36.5 x 33 cm
Water tank: 1.8 L
The most compact Krups fully automatic machine
Adjustable settings for coffee size, strength and temperature
Simple interface makes it easy to achieve barista style coffee
Provides optimal temperature coffee for every cup
Professional quality grinder for precise and uniform grinding
1450 watts

Blurb: 

For coffee lovers that are big on taste and short on space.

The KRUPS EA8108 is a fully automated espresso machine packed with features for easy barista result. Designed for use with coffee beans this machine boats all the key features of KRUPS’ renowned Bean To Cup line in a smaller footprint for easy cafe quality coffee at home.

Ultra-compact system with 1.8L capacity. Stylish casing finished in Piano black.
The ergonomic rotary knob and height adjustable coffee dispenser provide intuitive operation.
Compact Thermoblock System fast-heats water to the perfect temperature. Cup warming tray keep your coffee at the optimum temperature.
Stainless steel conical burr grinder ensures a precise and uniform grind to make the perfect espresso with a rich crema.
Adjustable settings for coffee size, strength and type.
Simple and easy to use interface to achieve the best coffee possible.

Thermoblock Heating System

Patented Thermoblock system ensures a hot and aromatic coffee.

Rotary Knob

Easily adjust your coffee preferences with the ergonomic rotary knob.

Milk Frother

Easily make the perfect cappuccino using the multi-directional steam nozzle and directly froths the milk into a cup.

Easy Maintenance

Easy to clean and maintain thanks to the stainless steel burr grinder and automatic rinsing, cleaning and de-scaling programmes.

Stainless Steel Grinder

The Active Speed grinder launched by KRUPS is 20% faster than the grinders used in previous models, it will guarantee you an express espresso!

The new KRUPS Active Speed grinder was designed to offer high resistance during use, and to ensure that it can complete up to 280,000 cycles without fault.

Amazon reviews: 4.4 / 5 from 16 reviews

Best review: 

Absolutely love this machine; it looks amazing, produces deliciously smooth coffee and it’s so easy to use.
Has a tank at the bank that lifts up and out easily, the top flips aside so you can fill it with water and then being clear, you can easily see how much water is left. A dial allows you to choose the fineness of the grind and a second dial allows you to choose the volume of drink you want so you can make a full cup of coffee or an espresso or anything in between. The coffee comes out of two nozzles so you can do two cups together if you press the button twice- it does an initial grind and goes through one complete cycle producing half a cup in each cup and then automatically repeats the cycle to complete the two cups. There is also a milk frothing nozzle that you can used to make lattes or just to froth up milk for a hot chocolate. It’s dead easy to wipe clean and indicators come on to tell you when the grounds need emptying or the drop tray needs emptying. I’m a total convert to this little beauty now and never bother with instant coffee anymore. Switching this on in the morning and drinking that first cup of coffee 2 minutes later is now one of my absolute pleasures…. oh, and by the way, it makes the coffee at the perfect temperature for drinking so unlike pouring hot water from the kettle into instant coffee and then waiting for it to cool, with this, your coffee really is ready to drink in 2 minutes !!!

Worst review:

Save your money.. choose another product. I throw away more unused beans than I drink & it goes into a clean cycle (when used more then a few times), says empty the bean tray constantly (when not even quarter full). Frustrating!!

Notes about the reviews: 

Only one 1 star, two 3 star, one 4 star and twelve 5 star reviews. The machine doesn’t appear to suffer much from faults, and there are no recurring complaints. 

Price:

RRP is £429.99, available on Amazon from just over £300. 

De’Longhi ESAM2800.SB Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

De'Longhi ESAM2800.SB Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

Features:

Dimensions: 28.5 x 36 x 37.5 cm
Water tank: 1.8L
15 bar pressure
Removable 1.8 L water tank
Electronic steam and coffee thermostat for accurate steam control
Suitable for fresh coffee beans
Removable brewing unit for easy cleaning
Steam wand
Integrated professional burr grinder with 7 adjustable coarseness settings
Energy saving function
Power supply switch for zero consumption
2 year guarantee

Blurb

The ESAM2800 is the perfect bean to cup coffee solution to give you the kick start to your day.

Designed to look elegent but functional so that the perfect coffee is just a touch of a button away.

Fresh beans mean that this machine will offer a full aroma coffee as if you were buying it from a coffee shop. Espresso’s, long black, cappuccinos and lattes using the steam wand to create textured milk. The ESAM2800, a perfect coffee solution for those who recognise style and enjoy a bit of luxury.

Espresso

The advanced boiler system (thermoblock) allows for the perfect espresso – one or two cups it will always be the same perfect temperature

Long Black

Create the perfect long black coffee.

Cappuccino

Using the steam wand you can create textured milk for a coffee shop quality cappuccino.

Latte

Using the automatic milk function you can create textured milk for a coffee shop quality latte.

Easy to Clean

The brewing unit is completely removable, so cleaning the inside of the machine is easy, even in areas normally difficult to reach.

It has rinse and decalcification auto-programmes to reflect local water hardness.

Easy to Use

Self-priming system means the machine is always ready for use.

This machine has an automatic shut-off after a pre-set time has elapsed, making it even easier to use.

The instant reheat function heats the core of the machine, ensuring that the machine is always at the ideal temperature for espresso.

Level of Convenience

This machine can be used with either fresh coffee beans or ground coffee. The simple functionality means that the perfect coffee is just a touch of a button away.

Amazon reviews: 4.6 / 5 from 87 reviews

Best review: 

I got this to replace the older version, Old one was good, this is even better.
Makes brilliant coffee. You of course have to try various settings to suit your taste. More important try different coffee beans. I settled on Guatemalan coffee, none others quite match it for me. This is a very personal taste.

With this model you can control the temperature of coffee and water. The door has a latch to open and shut.
The coffee has more aroma when ground fine.

Downside…. Once you perfect your coffee, you will not enjoy high street coffee so much…..

Worst review:

Broke after 11 months- bean grinder stopped working.

Notes about the reviews: 

Three 1 star reviews, three 2 stars, two 3 stars, twelve 4 stars & the rest 5 star. There seem to have been some faults, mainly with the grinder. A few people moaning about the machine being too loud, and quite a few people complaining about the milk temperature. There are suggestions within the positive ratings that some of the negative reviews are from people who didn’t read the instructions properly and who haven’t got the machine set up correctly, which is an interesting point. 

Price:

RRP is £349.99on offer now here on amazon for £299.

 Melitta E953-102 Caffeo Solo and Milk Fully Automatic Coffee Maker with Milk Steamer 

Melitta E953-102 Caffeo Solo and Milk Fully Automatic Coffee MakerFeatures

Dimensions: 20 cm wide x 45.5 deep x 32.57 cm tall
Water tank: 1.2 litres
1400 watts
Three brew temperatures & three coffee strengths, in any volume. 
Intelligent integrated three setting steel grinder
Height adjustable spout, two cup option, cup warmer, removable water tank, easy to move, only 20 cm wide
Hygienic – push-button cleaning, easy-clean components and surfaces. Energy-efficient LED lights, shut down and stand-by modes
Pre-brew function for optimal flavour
Steam wand
Height adjustable spout
Water filter
Cup warmer
Removable brewing unit
Energy saving mode
Slim–only 20 cm

Blurb

Four Generations of Coffee Expertise

The Melitta group of companies, with headquarters in Minden, has long been a successful manufacturer and innovative developer of coffee machines. Founded by Melitta Bentz in 1908, the company invented the coffee filter, and it’s Melitta’s passion for coffee that fuels the company. The employees’ loyalty to Melitta products is something of which the group is particularly proud and this loyalty has contributed to Melitta’s expansion and development. Melitta’s global family ‘makes coffee a pleasure’.

For true connoisseurs

Intelligent automatic grinder, flow control dial, a choice of coffee strengths, easily programmable brew temperatures and an easy to use integrated milk steam nozzle that creates creamy milk froth all add up to a consistent, simple and enjoyable coffee experience.

Optimal Coffee

Real ground coffee at the touch of a button from a low-maintenance machine. Pre-brew function injects water into the coffee as it grinds, maximising the flavour. Passive cup warmer means you can gently heat your cup before making your coffee.

Sophisticated Functions but Simple Care

The removable water tank has a safety sensor so the machine won’t work without water. The convenient height-adjustable spout (up to 13.5 cm) lets you make two cups at the same time. Automatic cleaning and de-scaling is quick, no fuss, push-button easy. Rinse the removable brewing unit under the tap, and just wipe down the easy-clean surfaces.

Sustainable Production and Sophisticated Technology

Featuring environmentally conscious, energy efficient LED lights. Programmable automatic stand-by or complete ‘off’ switch for 0-watt consumption; adjustable energy saving mode.

Amazon reviews: 4.3 / 5 from 37 reviews

Best review: 

I love coffee and over the years have had many varied machines for making itncluding cafetiere, Tassimo, Nespresso, Espresso, filter jug, etc.
All of these have their strengths and weaknesses -Nespresso and Tassimo it is the cost of the posd which is a major drawback, and the others it is the mess and cleaning.
I have wanted a good quality bean to cup machine for some time, but have not been able to justify the cost, so when the Melitta was featured as deal of the day I took the plunge and bought it, and how glad I am!

Firstly, it produces fantastic coffee. The strength can be adjusted from 1 – mild, to 3 -strong, and the volume can be varied from a small espresso up to a large cup.
As a bean to cup machine, there is no faffing about tamping, measuring, etc.. You just press a button and off you go.
Cleaning is just a matter oe emptying the ďrip tray each day which is a very quick and easy job, and giving the brewing unit a periodic clean which again is not a difficult process.
Unless anything goes wrong, this is the last coffee machine I will buy – I love it.

Worst review: 

Stopped working after 5 weeks.
Makes ok black coffee if you can get it to take the beans through …
Steamer heats the milk but regardless of setting won’t froth the milk for a decent cappuccino.
Previous DeLonghi machine much better.

Notes about the reviews: 

There are only three 1 star reviews, and they seem to be faulty machines. Amazon have a returns window (usually 30 days) in which the item can be returned for a replacement or refund.  I see quite a few Amazon reviews for coffee makers which give me the impression that people are getting the return window and the warranty mixed up. The warranty is with the manufacturer, and is usually a 2 year warranty, the Amazon return window gives buyers the opportunity to simply have the product swapped out if it develops a fault within the return window. Once that window closes you can still get the machine fixed, it just means contacting the supplier or the manufacturer directly, and they will probably ask to see your receipt. 

A common comment in the reviews is that they’re being sent out in the UK with a 2 pin UK plug, which is a pain as you then have to dig out an adapter or go out and buy one before you can use your new bean to cup espresso machine. 

Another common theme is that excessive amounts of water end up in the internal drip tray, but the general consensus is that this is a quirk which isn’t much of an issue once you’re used to it. 

There are a few negative comments about the frother not being up to much. 

Generally the comments about the coffee the machine produces are good, and a recurring theme is that it’s simple to use and quick.

Price:

RRP is £449.99 but it’s available  here on amazon from £399.99

 Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Barista Express 

sage barista express

This isn’t quite bean to cup, but it’s high on the best seller list  in the bean to cup category of Amazon, second only to the  Magnifica ESAM4200. It’s a bean to cup / traditional hybrid, which gives the user some bean to cup features while also providing the enjoyment, ritual and theatre of making Espresso – along with the initial frustration, so just be prepared, if you do just want to press a button and have great coffee from unpacking your machine, then go for a full bean to cup machine.,

I used the Sage the Oracle for a week about 18 months ago, that is closer to bean to cup as it has more automated features, and it’s dual boiler too, and it’s much higher price tag so the oracle will feature in this post a bit later on.

Features

Dimensions: 35 x 37 x 38cm 
Water tank: 2L
Inbuilt grinder takes you from whole beans to espresso in under a minute
Automatic hands free dosing, delivers a consistent volume of consistently ground coffee into your filter with one-touch
Low pressure pre-infusion gently soaks the coffee allowing it to expand prior to its high pressure extraction for a balanced taste
High pressure steam output for barista quality milk texturing
Separate hot water wand for pre-heating cups or making a long black or an Americano
1700W

Blurb: 

Heston says that almost every ingredient tastes better when fresh, and coffee is no exception. The natural oils that give espressos and cappuccinos their rich flavour quickly degrade once the coffee bean is ground, so the Barista Express grinds fresh coffee straight into the filter for you, in exactly the right amount, then extracts the full, fresh flavour. With an expert array of features, carefully engineered for the most aromatic coffee you can make at home, it’s no wonder Wendy said it was the best coffee she’d ever had! Fully automated with super easy controls, it’s nearly impossible to make a bad cup of coffee with this intelligent, 15 bar pressure machine.

Grinds, doses and extracts – from whole bean to flavourful espresso in under a minute. 250g bean hopper holds enough for 25 shots of espresso and has an integrated stainless steel conical burr grinder. Pre-ground beans can also be used. 18 grind settings from coarse to fine. 2 litre top-fill water tank with integrated water filtration. Adjustable dose so you can tailor to your taste. 15 bar pressure builds gradually at first for an even extraction. Thermacoil heating system with adjustable temperature control. High power milk frothing arm. Instant hot water for long black coffees. Single and double filter baskets, 480ml stainless steel frothing jug and cleaning kit incl.

My comments:

I really like Sage products. I have the smart grinder pro, which is a brilliant grinder. I spent a week using the Oracle for my Sage the Oracle review post, and I found that to be an amazing machine, and I’m currently using the Sage smart kettle for a review post coming soon, spolier alert – its probably the best kettle in the world ever…

The thing about Sage (Which is Breville in other countries, but they can’t use the Breville name here as there was already another firm called Breville) is that whatever they’re designing, they pull out all the stops, to ensure that they’re creating the best possible version of that machine at that price range.

You can see that by looking at the specs of this machine, 2L water tank, separate water spout, 1700W, stainless steel, proper steam wand. They could have used cheaper materials, they could have gone for the standard 1.2 or 1.4L water tank, they could have left out the hot water tap and let people use the steam wand for water for Americano, or the kettle. But this isn’t the kind of thing they do. While most manufacturers simply look at what the market needs, what price point it needs to be at, and then churn out machines that fit the bill, Sage are a different kettle of fish (pun intended 😉 ), they create products for the prosumer end of the market, for connoisseurs, which in many cases as with the smart grinder pro and the Barista express, are priced within the standard consumer range.  

It’s important to remember though that this isn’t a full bean to cup machine, and you should expect a learning curve while you develop some Barista skills, which will probably include some offensive language, feet stamping and wasted coffee ;-).

A quick comment about the ‘Sage by Heston Blumenthal” name, and Breville. There are some comments in the questions and answers which seem to suggest that there’s some kind of conspiracy, one person describes how shocked they are that Heston Blumenthal doesn’t actually design these machines, and that it’s Breville machines re-badged – another person suggests that Heston Blumenthal himself imports these machines from Breville. 

The Breville group is behind these products, but it’s not re-badging, it’s simply that their operation in the UK couldn’t be called Breville due to the existence of another brand with the same name. The Heston Blumenthal connection, is a celebrity endorsement, Heston isn’t creating or importing these machines and packing them up in the back of the fat duck ;-). George Foreman didn’t create the Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine either, that’s one of the most successful endorsement deals of all time. 

Amazon reviews: 4.5 / 5 from 223 reviews

Best review: 

This machine is originally manufactured by BREVILLE. So the Sage Barista Express sold in UK is the same as BREVILLE BES870XL in north America. I bought it for my home in Paris, so i’m using a UK to French plug adaptor.

Delivery very quick from UK to paris (2 days), Good packing condition.
The instructions are very easy to understand, I don’t see very tricky use for this machine. There is a filter inside the water tank, that i recommend to change every 2 month (the 6 units package, 1 year of filters, is sold 12£ by Sage website). But to increase the lifetime of the filter (so I don’t change it too much and save money) i’m using water from Britta water filter so i change the filter every 3 month instead of 2.

I grind the coffee beans with level 4 (French café Carte noire, 100% Arabica, 1Kg for 9£), quantity setup knob at 3’oclock so the pressure indicator goes to the prefect range of extraction.
I love it i love it ! It provides also immédiat hot water (for tea), and water steam to froth milk. Very good conception, nice design, very heavy and stable, 1 cup and 2 cups filters are supplied, cleaning tools as well. All you need for the first 2 month of use. Then, don’t forget to buy replacement filters for the water tank and Decalcifying Tablets.

Worst review: 

I recently bought the Barista Express after searching for a coffee machine to replace my broken Jura ENA 1. After reading a lot of positive reviews I decided to purchase the Barista Express, what a mistake! The machine looks the part and is extremely well built, but that is where the positives stop. I made my first coffee with my freshly roasted beans and it was terrible, I expected this. So I proceeded to adjust the grind, and dosage amount to get the right amount. I gave a firm tamp. Still terrible coffee. I spent the best part of an hour producing coffee after coffee, the machine is so temperamental. In order to get a decent shot I had to time the extraction, tamp directly on some kitchen scales to measure my tamp force. This is not practical for a serious coffee lover in order to get a consistent shot. I mainly drink espressos so each variation in tamping and grind size drastically effects the quality of the shot. If you are making a latte or cappuccino the coffee taste would be masked, but if you try just the espresso shot it is terrible. This is not a god coffee machine for the price. I have since bought a replacement Jura Impressa A5 which is so much better!

Sage reply:

Sorry you have had issue with your Barista express. Although the machine is Bean to cup it is a manual machine which means it is perfect for people who would like to train themselves as Baristas (one train task is to manage the amount of pressure used for tamp, which will require a scale).

It is a shame that you have returned the coffee machine however, anyone reading this review please jump in touch with us on 0203 7641722 and we can talk you through getting the perfect shot from your Barista express.

Notes about the reviews: 

While there are a few reviews which do seem like faults (and I’ve spoken to Sage appliances tech people in the past, and I wouldn’t have any concerns about how they might handle a fault) the majority of them seem to stem from the fact that this isn’t a full bean to cup machine, which means it won’t just make great coffee straight out of the box if the user hasn’t used an espresso machine before, there will be a learning curve. 

It’s number 2 on the best sellers list in Amazon within the bean to cup category, so people who are looking for bean to cup are being attracted by the features of the Barista Express. Some of these people, it would seem from the reviews, don’t quite realise that there is going to be a learning curve when it comes to making espresso that doesn’t taste horrible. Dialling the bean in perfectly, getting the tamp pressure right and so on, it’s  challenge, and you will waste quite a bit of coffee while you’re on this learning curve. If this isn’t for you, then there are plenty of full bean to cup machines which do away with the need for any development of Barista skills. 

Price:

RRP is £599.99 but it’s often on offer here on amazon, it’s on for £548 at the moment.

De’Longhi ECAM44.660.B Eletta Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

De'Longhi ECAM44.660.B Eletta Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

 

Features:

Dimensions: 26 x 36 x 46 cm
Water tank: 2L
Memory function – makes your favourite drink by choosing the amount of milk and coffee
Easy to clean and practical – automatic rinse and descaling programmes
Automatic cappuccino and caffe latte function to build a creamy milk texture
One touch cappuccino, caff latte, lattemaccchiato, espresso macchiato and flat white drink choices
Long life grinder with 13 adjustable settings
145o W

Blurb:

Make all your coffee shop favourite drinks with the Eletta ECAM 44.660.B bean to cup coffee machine. Nothing else can beat freshly ground beans to create your favourite coffee. Whether you like a strong espresso or long frothy cappuccino, this machine can deliver it at a touch of a button.

  • Makes all coffee shop favourites
  • Grinds beans for a perfect taste
  • Personalise strength, length and temperature of coffee
  • Automatically froths fresh milk with integrated milk carafe
  • Latte Crema technology for luxuriously smooth milk
  • Automatic clean, rinse and descale functions

Grinds Fresh Coffee Beans

Your choice of fresh coffee beans finely ground with the integrated burr grinder. Creating coffee shop quality coffee, to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.

Personalise Your Coffee

Navigate with the two line digital display to personalise the coffee strength and length to your preference.

Latte Crema Technology

De’Longhi patented Latte Crema Technology automatically creates perfect luxuriously smooth milk every time.

Removable Milk Carafe

Fresh milky coffee has never been easier with the removable milk carafe. Simply store in your fridge until you need to make your coffee.

Amazon reviews: 4.8 / 5 from 41 reviews

Best review: 

I had a De’longhi Essam 5500 bean to cup for 5 years and recently it developed a fault in the boiler. Im going to have it repaired as I really loved the Machine. The machine was excellent and gave me great service over that 5 years.

I took the plunge and decided to buy a new machine It arrived quickly was well packaged and all parts were there. After unboxing and setting it up
My initial thoughts it looks way better and more modern than my old machine. I fiddled about with it got the water hardness set up the water temperature set. Now the recommendation is to make 4 or 5 cups of coffee to get it run in. i used this to set the grinder to my liking and also MY coffee set up.
I drink black coffee and the Machine is excellent it has plenty of customisable features for strength and volume. The coffee has a nice rich crema on top and looks fabulous. and to cap it off it will switch itself on in the morning if you set it to do so

I have read that people find the milk coffees too cold I had the same problem with my old machine. This can be made better buy a few steps
put some boiling water in the cup to heat it then discard the water before making your milk coffee.
The carafe for milk has a clean setting on it turn it to clean a cycle it a couple of times this puts hot water through it and heats the system. I found that by doing that there wasn’t an issue with anything being cold. You can use a combination of both steps or just use which ever one you prefer

If you just want to add milk to your coffee and take it straight from the fridge it will cool the coffee too much. You can add hot milk to the coffee by using the Milk menu function which will dispense hot milk and wont cool the coffee.

Over all I’m delighted with it.

Worst review:

Really good coffee machine, it just isn’t very hot!

Notes about the reviews: 

This is the first machine review I’ve come across without any 1 star or 2 star reviews! The lowest star reviews are 3 stars, it only has two of them, and four 4 star reviews, the majority of the reviews (35 out of 41) are five star reviews.

The recurring theme throughout the reviews is that people aren’t over the moon with the temperature of milk drinks, but they love the other features of the machine enough to still rate it highly. There are comments about helping with the temperature with a pre-warmed cup, and an answered question from a user says that there is a trick to setting the milk temp higher, which is to set the temp to the coolest setting, make one coffee, then re-set to the highest milk heat setting, apparently this makes the machine produce very hot milk drinks.

Price:

RRP is £829.99 but it’s usually available for quite a bit less than that here on Amazon, it’s on offer at £599 at the time of writing.

De’Longhi Magnifica Fully Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine ECAM22.110.SB

De'Longhi Fully Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

Features:

Dimensions:  43 x 23.8 x 35.1 cm
Water tank: 1.8L
Cappuccino system: combines steam, air and milk producing a rich creamy froth for a great cappuccino
The machine can be used with either fresh coffee beans or with ground coffee
Sophistacated icon control panel to prepare your specific coffee drink
New silent integrated grinder with 13 adjustable settings
You can prepare two cups of coffee from one brewing unit
1450 watts

Blurb: 

The ECAM22.110.SB will create you the perfect espresso at the touch of a button as well as providing you the opportunity to make cafe style milk based drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes. Beautifully crafted, this fantastic piece of engineering will allow you to start the day with the perfect coffee drink to suit you and will look stunning on your kitchen surface. The machine has a silent integrated grinder with 13 settings so that you can tailor your coffee to your exact taste buds.

Espresso

The simple rotation of the dial lets you increase or decrease the coffee intensity. By pressing the corresponding buttons you can choose among short or long coffees.

Cappuccino

Cappuccino System device is ideal to produce a rich, creamy froth for great cappuccinos

Latte

Cappuccino System device is ideal to produce a rich, creamy froth for great lattes

Amazon reviews: 4.6 / 5 from 104 reviews

Best review:

With my big purchases (like this) I spend far too much time researching products and it’s testament to this product that is the chosen one! I LOVE coffee, well i LOVE decent coffee and boy does this deliver. I really wanted a bean to cup for fresh espresso however with the automatic milk dispenser i have had very little other than milk based coffee drinks which can all be customised to your strength and likeness. The machine goes through a clean cycle every time you use it which is very reassuring but does mean getting through a reasonable amount of water. I tend to use a jug to catch the cleaning water rather than the drip tray as it’s easier to empty each time. Read reviews that the milky drinks arent hot enough with all the delonghi’s but haven’t had this problem myself, they are pretty much drinkable straight away when going into a cold cup but in a preheated cup they will need time to cool – I’m not even on the hottest setting either. I now go to work that wired it takes me til lunch time to get down off the ceiling. Only used with the Lavazza Caffe Espresso Beans so far and highly recommend these. Obviously the coffee you are going to get out of this machine is only as good as the beans you put in so don’t be a tight-arse with your bean purchase.

Worst review:

Really surprised that this got such good reviews. My old Philips bean to cup gave up the ghost and after a bit of research I bought this instead. After initially struggling to get it set up as unhelpfully some of they buttons were sticking and the menu dial was all over the place not stopping where you needed it to I eventually managed to make a weak cold overflowing flat white. Unperturbed I kept going but was disappointed to find that although you can alter the amount of milk and coffee dispensed into the cup, you can’t alter the number of shots. So I always have a double shot and this was not possible making the whole milk menu useless. I overcame this by using the hot milk only setting and then adding a double shot of coffee which wasn’t ideal but worked. What is unexcusable is that the Milk and coffee comes out warm and not hot. Even with the machine turned up to the highest temperature. So unless you like throw coffee straight down your throat it will be cold in about 5 mins. The machine is cheap and plasticky looking. Not what I would consider a £500+ piece of equipment to look like. And you will have to fill the water tank (and empty the drip tray) 20 times a day as it constantly seems to be on a cleaning cycle which uses a fair amount of water. I took mine back to Currys and got a refund. I am now a proud owner of a Sage Barista which although is a little more work, makes coffee 1000 times better!

Notes about the reviews:

There are a few 1, 2 & 3 star reviews, eleven 4 star reviews, and over eighty five star reviews, so most people seem very happy with this bean to cup espresso machine. There are a few gripes about customer service, and a recurring comment is about the amount of water the machine uses, as it does a cleaning flush as it turns on and as it shuts down, but I can’t see any serious issues in the reviews. 

Price:

RRP is £469.98, but you can usually find it at the lowest price on Amazon, it’s available at the time of writing for under £400.

 JURA 15079 E6 Coffee Machine

JURA 15079 E6 Coffee Machine

Features: 

Dimensions: 49.8 x 40.4 x 29.8 cm
Water tank: 1.9L
Fully automatic bean-to-cup coffee machine elegantly combines convenience, reliability and style
Introducing a world first – P.E.P. for outstanding barista quality espresso and ristretto
Integrated Aroma G3 burr grinder, 15 bar pump and thermo-block heating technology for consistent quality coffee
7 Individually programmable speciality coffees
1450 watts

Blurb:

The compact JURA E6 coffee machine is revolutionising the coffee drinking experience. The espresso brewing process has been perfected with a world first: P.E.P. (Pulse Extraction Process) technology optimises the extraction when making espresso or ristretto to guarantee professional, barista style coffee every time. Maximum flavour is teased from the coffee to produce a drink with beautiful crema and aroma. The JURA E6 truly is a compact fully automatic coffee machine with big features. The E6 has been designed with simplicity in mind. Conveniently select your speciality coffee and enjoy the show, it’s that easy. With simple operating controls on the front of machine, using the modern TFT display allows you to easily create your personal coffee experience at the touch of a button. An intelligent preheating feature ensures that the coffee is always piping hot while saving energy when not in use. The E6 also has an integrated fine foam milk frother which crowns milky specialities with feather light milk foam.

The E6 from JURA revolutionises the enjoyment of coffee in every aspect. The espresso brewing process has been perfected with the Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.), the only process of this kind in the world. Developed by JURA, it optimises the extraction time and guarantees the very best aroma even for short speciality coffees. The JURA E6 truly evokes a pure passion for coffee, and with its stylish design it compliments any modern kitchen.

Outstanding coffees at the touch of a button

With 7 specialities to choose from it is easier than ever to enjoy the ideal cappuccino, latte macchiato or espresso with just the touch of a button. The E6 expertly prepares your drink without having to assist or move the cup. The thermoblock heating system efficiently prepares water and steam creating the ideal brewing conditions for your coffee and milk specialities. Use the hot water outlet to turn a coffee into an americano or make a glorious cup of tea.

The cappuccino spout effortlessly adjusts to suit glasses or cups up to 113 mm tall. An aroma protection lid keeps up to 280 g of coffee beans fresh to preserve all the delicious flavours and aroma. A removable 1.9 L water tank features on the JURA E6, within which the new CLARIS Smart water filter can be installed. The CLARIS cartridge filters the water before each preparation, removing impurities and improving the quality of the water for a perfect cup of coffee. 98% of coffee is water, the better the quality of the water, the purer and less adulterated the aroma. Once the filter has been used to its maximum, the coffee machine will cleverly prompt you to replace it to keep your coffees perfectly pure and fresh.

Wireless technology has continued to grow within JURA, now the E6 can communicate wirelessly with the JURA Cool Control Wireless (sold separately), which continuously monitors the milk level and displays a prompt on the colour display when insufficient milk is available for the next drink. The JURA Cool Control accessory keeps fresh milk refrigerated at 4°C, ready for preparation at any time.

  • Easy to use – one touch operation
  • Compatible with JURA Smart Connect
  • Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.)
  • 7 individually programmable specialities
  • 3″ Colour Display
  • To be used with coffee beans
  • Grinder now twice as fast and even quieter
  • Ingenious height-adjustable dual spout
  • Integrated state-of-the art milk foam technology
  • Intelligent energy efficiency
  • Compatible with JURA Smart Connect
  • Removable water tank for easy refilling

Amazon reviews3.8 / 5 from 6 reviews

Best review: 

Simple yet efficient. Great for anyone who enjoys a good cup of coffee. Doesn’t have too many complicated features but prepares a hot and tasty cup of coffee.

Worst review:

Espresso tastes weak.. even after playing with settings.. my old delonghi beats it! Hands down

Notes about the reviews: 

3.8 from only 6 reviews isn’t great. There is one 1 star review, one 3 star, one 4 star, three 5 star. Milk not being hot enough is a common comment, and I’ve seen that in reviews on other websites too, although this is a common theme with most bean to cup machines. 

Price:

RRP is £795, it’s on offer here for £695 at the moment. 

Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Oracle

The Espresso Machines I Might Buy When I Win The Lottery.

 

As with the Barista Express, this isn’t quite a full bean to cup machine, but it’s very close. It auto doses and auto tamps, all you have to do is put the portafilter into the doser / tamper, then remove it and put it into the group head and press the button. This machine does auto milk texturing too, but you do the pouring, meaning you can try your hand at Latte art.

As I mentioned earlier, I used this machine for a week while I reviewed it for my Sage the Oracle review, and I was hugely impressed. It wasn’t for me as the price tag was out of my range and also I wanted to develop some home Barista skills, and this machine does most of the tricky stuff for you, so it’s a bit too close to a full bean to cup for me, but for anyone who wants bean to cup along with the feel of using a traditional espresso machine, this might be your perfect machine. 

Features:

Dimensions: 37.3 x 40.9 x 45.3 Centimetres
Water tank: 2.5L
Dual boiler
Automatic grinding and tamping
Scheduled Auto on feature, so The Oracle is warmed up and ready when you’re awake and in need of coffee
Programmable low pressure pre-infusion for a balanced extraction
Automatic milk texturing
Over pressure valve – this commercial feature limits the maximum pressure throughout the extraction, helping to prevent bitter flavours in the shot
2 Lattes in only 90 Seconds
2,400 watts

Blurb:

The Best of Both Worlds – The convenience of an automatic, with the quality of a manual. 

The Oracle creates café quality coffee that tastes like you’d get in your favourite café. The Oracle has automatic grinding, dosing, tamping and milk texturing, automating the two most difficult parts of manual espresso. You can extract espresso and texture milk simultaneously, enabling you to go from beans to latte in under a minute.

Dose

The integrated conical burr grinder automatically grinds, doses and tamps22 grams for a double shot, similar to the commercial machine in your favourite café.

Temperature

Dual stainless steel boilers and heated group head, both regulated by our digital temperature control (PID) automatically delivers the water at precisely the right temperature, extracting maximum flavour potential.

Pressure

The Oracle also features an Over Pressure Valve (OPV). This commercial feature limits the maximum pressure throughout the extraction, helping prevent bitter flavours in the shot. It also has true low pressure pre-infusion, which gradually increases the pressure to gently expand the grinds for an even extraction.

Micro Foam

The automatic steam wand textures milk to your preferred taste and temperature, from silky smooth latte (less texture) to creamy cappuccino (more texture). Powered by a dedicated boiler, the auto steam wand delivers barista quality micro-foam that enhances the flavour of the coffee and is essential for creating latte art.

Grind Beans

Automatic Grind, Dose and Tamp.

Extract Coffee

Low Pressure Pre Infusion, followed by 9 Bars of Pressure for the perfect Espresso.

Texture Milk

Dual Boiler allows Espresso Extraction and Automatic Milk Texturing at the same time.

Create silky smooth Milk filled with Micro Foam, to create beautiful Latte Art.

Two Dedicated Boilers

One for Espresso extraction at 93°C.

One for Automatic Milk Texturing, always ready for when you need it.

White Glove Service

When you get your Oracle home, call our customer service team and we will send one of our experts round to your house to set up your machine and make a few Coffees with you.

Low Pressure Pre Infusion

Avoiding “channelling” is incredibly important when extracting Espresso.

Channelling, is when too much pressure is forced onto the Coffee puck causing the water to burst through and then the Coffee will become over extracted and bitter.

Amazon reviews: 3.9 / 5 from 45 reviews

Best review: 

My coffee experience started in my late 30’s. I started with instant which quickly became mundane, moved quickly on to a pod machine, and again didn’t really satisfy me. The pod coffee mostly tasted watery and the powdered milk bland and artificially sweet. After many months of looking I decided on a bean-to-cup machine and De’longhi seemed to have the most choice of machines. De’longhi Magnifica Esam 4200 (Amazon best seller) was the machine I settled on and to be honest I wasn’t disappointed. I thoroughly used the machine every day for over 2 years and 9 times out of 10 It produced a decent cup of coffee. In fact my only criticism was the coffee was never hot enough and 10s In the microwave was the only solution. All in all a decent bean to cup machine with few drawbacks!

My enthusiasm for a more Costa/Starbucks coffee and the need to tailor the coffee to my taste continued. As I said the De’longhi made a good cup, but never a great cup. Back to the drawing board I went.

After a couple of months searching for the holy grail of machines I stumbled upon The Oracle. It seemed to have the wow factor with plenty of on-line videos and reviews to support this fact. It arrived on Wednesday and 3 days later I am extremely happy and confident I made the right choice. This machine produces the most delicious hot coffee. It has the wow factor, not only In the coffee It produces, but also In the way It looks. I am enjoying every aspect of this machine and creating some tasty drinks. It’s encouraging me to try all types of coffees, as this machine can produce them with ease. I have the white glove service booked as there may be additional features that can be shown to me, and why not? Its part of the experience!

If this machine is within your budget and you want quality coffee shop drinks, do not hesitate, It’s fantastic!

I will update this review in a couple of weeks following the white glove visit.

Update!

Following the white gloves visit, I can truly say the coffee machine is still absolutely fantastic.

The man arrived and after a brief chat he set-up the machine to its optimal settings. He adjusted the grinder, explained how to get the best from the machine and went into detail regarding descaling and general maintenance. He even gave me a free bag of coffee!

The machine gets used every day and I believe its the best purchase I’ve made this year. Truly excellent coffee and probably the best home coffee maker on the market.

Worst review:

This may be the best reason for Brexit -and that’s coming from an Irish man!

The EU have forced 2016+ models of Oracle (and other relevant Consumer equipment) to have a 20-minute auto-off feature. It’s an absolute joke and Sage are not remotely interested in providing any workaround.

The machine is at its best when convection and conduction have been allowed to take their time and heat all components thoroughly. Yes, it will do the job within a few minutes of being turned on but excellence, which is why any of us would buy this machine, comes after 40 minutes. Certainly the convection-based cup warmer won’t have heated your cups inside of the Euro 20!

So, if, like me, you want your machine ready for ad-hoc perfection throughout the day for business guests etc… you’ll get very frustrated.

It’s all the worse when our fellow enthusiasts in the ‘States & Australia can set their auto-off to as long as 8 HOURS!!! ????????????

Forcing a feature that fundamentally undermines device performance is ridiculous and Users should be allowed to choose when it switches-off.

I am calling on Sage to make a Configuration update available so that the advanced menu allows User’s to change the machine to a different region… so I can use my machine the way I want when I take it on holidays to Australia! ????

Notes about the reviews: 

Having used this machine for a week and been blown away by it, I’m amazed to see the negatives. A recurring theme with the negatives are the auto off due to the EU rules, but it doesn’t sound like there’s much that Sage / Breville can do about that currently. There are some comments in the reviews about the inability to reduce the dosing from 22g per double shot.

Price:

RRP is £1699, but it’s quite often on offer on amazon, click here to see the current offer price

And there you go, the best bean to cup espresso machines 2017, as far as I can tell. If you have any of these machines and you have any comments, please feel free. 

Life is like a box of chocolates, so follow me on Twitter, and that’s all I have to say about that.

 

 

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