If you love coffee, it’s not a question of “do I need a coffee machine?” It’s a question of “which model?” Yes, coffee lovers seriously love coffee. This much we know. But buy the right coffee machine and you’ll fall in love with that as well.

That being said, it’s not easy buying a coffee machine. Coffee drinking is more than a pastime. It’s a whole subculture of specific tastes. Give it a quick google. The number of websites dedicated to coffee drinking will make your eyes spin like a double shot of espresso. There’s so much to get your head around before making an informed decision. That’s why we’re here to help with some need-to-know information.

So which coffee machine is right for you? It’s the ultimate question of taste.

What types of coffee do coffee machines make?

Between various styles and functions, coffee machines make pretty much any coffee you want — espresso, cappuccino, americano, lungo, latte, or straight-up black. The trick is choosing a machine that makes coffee exactly as you like it.

What are the different types of coffee machine?

Whatever your taste or lifestyle, there’s a coffee machine for you:

  • Pod machines — Sometimes called capsule machines, these are automatic contraptions that make espresso, lungo, or ristretto coffee with the push of a button. They use pods, which are packed with perfectly measured ground coffee beans. Just stick the pod in the machine and push the button for delicious coffee. These machines are compact and affordable, and easy to use. Buying pods can mean ongoing costs, but there’s a huge selection of flavours, blends, and strengths available.

  • Bean-to-cup machines — For those who like their coffee to feel a bit more authentic, the bean-to-cup machine is like having your own barista in the kitchen. Pop your beans in the grinder and adjust your settings. It works by blasting the beans with hot water to make a perfect cup of coffee. These are often bigger, pricier models.

  • Semi-automatic machines —The semi-automatic is somewhere between the above models. It gives you some control over the coffee-making process. It’s up to you to grind the coffee, load it up, and tamp. But once you press the button, it takes care of the pressure and temperature. You may also have some control over the water flow. 

Keep these machines in mind when shopping, and you should be able to navigate your way to something that works for you.

What is bar pressure?

It’s worth learning the jargon, or you’ll soon get blinded for coffee-based science. A bar is a metric unit of pressure — so a way to measure the amount of pressure you put on coffee beans. The higher the pressure, the faster the coffee is extracted. Serious bean-heads (AKA coffee experts) will tell you that 9 bars is the optimum pressure for espresso, for instance. Though some machines go all the way up to 19.

What is a milk frother?

These are self-explanatory. It’s a little bonus contraption that froths up milk in just a few seconds, which you can add to your coffee for that more authentic coffee shop taste. It can be added to all types of coffee, from espresso and lungo to cappuccino and americano. Simple, yes. But the question is, does your new coffee machine come with a milk frother or do you need to buy one separately? Machines might come with a steam wand instead. These are a more traditional option. Simply add milk to a separate jug and then use the steam to froth up your milk.

What is the best coffee machine?

We’ll leave that question up to you and your tastebuds. Not to mention whichever machine best suits your kitchen and lifestyle. All we’ve done is grind our way through the web and filter out the very best options for you to consider.

These are the best coffee machines in 2024.

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