Best bean to cup coffee machine – Top 10 Reviewed
If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best bean to cup coffee machine is, then our top pick is the De’Longhi Primadonna Elite
Fancy a Cup o’
As a brit, I know we have a reputation for tea-drinking, but I’m personally becoming enthused by another popular hot beverage.
Take a guess..
Coffee! Don’t worry, I still love my Yorkshire brew, but there is something about the aroma of freshly brewed bean-to-cup coffee.
It appears that half of the UK agrees with me too, with 50% of all British households now owning a bean to cup machine.
You’ve took the first step in coming here, so let’s get on with it and find you a device worth buying!
- De’Longhi Primadonna Elite (top overall pick) -££££
- Sage Barista Express (best choice for Crema lovers) – £££
- De’Longhi Magnifica (best budget pick) – £
- De’Longhi Eleta (lazy milky coffee pick) – ££
- De’Longhi Autentica Cappuccino ££
- Melitta F86/0-100 Barista TS Smart Coffee Machine £££
- Melitta CD Black Pressure Coffee Maker Barista CI Touch ££
- De’Longhi Caffe’ Corso Bean to Cup ££
- Gaggia Velasca £££
- Gaggia Anima ££
Everyone’s getting one
Your neighbours, Andy & Emma, are the proud new owners of what they call ‘their perfect bean to cup machine’.
They claim you can’t go wrong with the top-of-the-range brew set up they’ve just purchased.
But you’re not convinced. With so many espresso makers and coffee machines on the market today, you want to make sure you invest in quality that’s perfect for you, your lifestyle, and your coffee making skills.
And as much as you trust their judgment, you don’t want to be suckered into buying any old coffee machine.
You don’t want to get caught out with an overpriced piece of junk taking up your valuable kitchen counter space.
We hear you.
You want a machine that’s easy to use and makes your style of coffee to perfection – just the way you like it.
We know that you’re no dummy when it comes to research. You want to know exactly what sets each one apart.
Well, here it is. Comprehensive reviews of all of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines. To help you see the features, figure out the best coffee for machines and get the best bean-to-cup experience possible.
No biases here, just a lover of coffee wanting to share what sets each of these apart so you have the power to choose the one that’s perfect for you, your family, and your lifestyle.
So let’s dive in.
How to choose the best bean to cup machine
First, consider what coffee type you like.
If you’re new to the coffee scene, opt for a simple one-touch style.
If you want a more hands-on coffee experience, select a machine with a milk frother so you can learn the art of creating velvety smooth milk texture.
Next, think of your budget.
Machines range from the gold-plated bespoke Siphon Bar that will set you back £15,000.
On the other end of the scale, you could pick up one of the Aldi pod machines second hand for under £30.
Finally, think about your lifestyle.
Are you looking for a compact done-for-you style (quick and easy), or are you looking to cater to lots of guests and coffee tailored specifically to your taste?
What are the benefits of a bean-to-cup machine?
Bean-to-cup machines offer freshly ground coffee when you want it, rather than stale ground beans that don’t produce the oil content required for a balanced brew.
Here’s world-famous chef, Heston Blumenthal to explain:
Ultimately, freshness makes a massive difference to the quality of the coffee flavour.
The bean-to-cup allows you to have freshly ground beans the moment you want a coffee.
This means the oils extracted will allow that deliciously thick caramel crema on every pour.
What's the best way to use a bean-to-cup machine?
The best way to use a bean-to-cup coffee machine is to treat it like you would your partner – with lots of love.
And make sure they clean regularly!
Most high-end coffee makers are designed in such a way that they’re easy to assemble and even easier to pull apart and clean. Some will even automatically descale and clean themselves.
The machines are designed in such a way that they tend to be self-sufficient. It will either alert you when the water is low and when to empty the grounds container or do it itself.
Look after your bean-to-cup machine, and it will look after you.
Why choose a bean-to-cup machine over a cafe or pod experience?
There’s something nostalgic about the buzz of a cafe, having a chin-wag with your mates, and a friendly smile from your local barista.
It’s all fine until you have an annoying loudmouth ruining your morning ambience, or your barista is away, and somebody else makes your coffee…and it’s just not quite right.
Pod machines have been less popular of late because of the plastic wastage and expense at continually buying coffee pod packs.
Ugh. If only you could have the same experience in the comfort of your own home..
Well, now you can.
I love the freshness and convenience of a beans-on-demand style of machine. And with so many different options, designs, and automation, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect one.
Our Top Picks For Best Bean-To-Cup Machine
When selecting the right coffee maker for you, it’s often a good idea to have a sense of where to start.
We’ve thoroughly reviewed 9 bean to cup coffee machines, which you may want to consider below.
De'Longhi Primadonna Elite
A top of the range product.
This bean to cup machine provides an excellent experience and is genuinely versatile.
It has the ability to quickly make café-style drinks. Including long black, Americano, brilliant milky lattes and cappuccino as well as chocolate and iced beverages too!
Its superior design ensures it’s seamless, reliable and the milk carafe fits perfectly in your fridge.
De’Longhi has listened to their customers, and this luxury product now allows for up to 6 individual profiles and a whopping 10 programmed beverages.
The inbuilt forthing system uses luxury LatteCrema technology and a milk jug that plugs into the front of the machine – ahhh, so simple.
Extra bonus: It comes with an extra hot chocolate milk frother carafe!
The water tank can also be used for cold milkshakes.
- Makes any coffee related hot drink you could dream of along with hot chocolate!
- Fully programmable touchscreen and app-controlled Bluetooth functions to start the machine remotely
- High levels of customisation for your favourite drinks
- Has a large detachable water tank and large visual display making it easy to select menu options
- Milk frother knob makes it east to decide how bubbly you want your milk
- The steam wand is close to the body of the machine and only moves left to right. This can make it slightly tricky when frothing milk
- Not the most environmentally friendly or durable as the majority is made from plastic
- The re-heating process is long, and the milk frother will wake your kids and your neighbours
De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM 4200
The De Longhi Magnifica ESAM 4200 is a compact, well-designed bean to cup machine.
No matter your preference, from frothy cappuccino to punchy short black, this beauty delivers.
The burr grinder does an excellent job at chopping those beans into fine grounds, which in turn delivers a fresh brew with full flavours.
As a result, it has the tick of approval from Americano drinkers!
Like a scorching cup of coffee? This one has an inbuilt coffee cup warmer plate that automatically turns on when it’s switched on.
Worried about cleaning?
The Magnifica is easy to clean with an entirely removable brew unit. Simply remove the brewing unit and run under warm water until the liquid runs clear.
It’s highly customisable with 7 different grind coarseness settings and adjustable coffee dispenser.
The only thing left for you to decide is when to drink your coffee!
- A highly popular machie with great user approval ratings vs all the bean to cup coffee machines
- A 1.8L water tank means you can make plenty of coffee for you and your friends
- No mess in the kitchen with an inbuilt descaler and extremely easy-to-clean removable brew unit
- Inbuilt cup warmer
- The steam wand is close to the body of the machine and only moves left to right. This can make it slightly tricky when frothing milk.
- Not the most environmentally friendly or durable as the majority is made from plastic
- The re-heating process is long, and the milk frother will wake your kids and your neighbours
Sage The Barista Express
If precision timing and freshly ground beans are your thing, then Heston Blumenthal will tell you this is the best espresso bean to cup machine for you.
Never waste precious coffee again with a built-in dosing grinder delivering the best amount of coffee beans you need.
Designed to deliver a thick, caramel coloured crema – every black coffee drinker’s dream. All this without white swirls or air bubbles.
For milk lovers, the high-pressure milk frother makes it easy to produce milky and dreamy drinks!
Like your coffee extra hot? The Sage Barista Express includes a separate hot water wand specifically designed for pre-heating cups, delivering the best long black or Americano.
Overall, the Sage delivers a rich, sweet, creamy, and one of the most balanced coffee experiences.
- Barista-quality milk texturing
- Activated by one single touchscreen press
- 18 integrated grind settings
- Digital temp control
- Bonus: Includes a milk frother jug that has a temperature gauge on the outside allowing you to get your milk to the best temperature
- Additional money is required to replace the water filter every couple of months
- Comprehensive set up required and a lot of adjustment before you get the perfect pour
If you’re lazy like me, then this is most likely the most suitable option for you.
Coffee machines have certainly evolved since the pre-ground coffee days to become easier to use and still produce a quality cup of coffee.
The De’Longhi is an excellent example of ease of use with its autocleaning milk carafe.
No time to clean or froth milk? Make your mornings stress free with an intuitive touch control panel that gets you that creamy, silky milk with a simple one-touch process.
It’s the best bean-to-cup science meets barista, and the result is out of this world!
- Caters for all types of coffee drinkers including those who drink decaf
- State of the art auto-cleaning milk carafe and easily removable means no mess in your kitchen
- The extra-large 2L water tank is easily removable from the front of the machine
- Never burn the milk again with an inbuilt latte crema (milk frother) technology
- Long coffee button brews twice which delivers a nice solid long black for those who like to leave with a full travel mug size coffee in the mornings
- If you’re not used to sensor touch technology and selecting menu options, this might be a little tricky for you to operate.
- Requires reading and following of LED instructions as you choose your desired coffee type and milk type
- It’s quite noisy and pulsates the extraction process rather than one smooth, free-flowing shot, so don’t expect to be able to sneak a quiet coffee in
De'Longhi Autentica Cappuccino
Are you always disappointed by your coffee shop’s lack of ability to create an extra hot cup of coffee? Well don’t fear De’Longhi have you covered!
The Autentica is truly a one-touch experience for up to 8 different beverage choices: espresso, long black, cappuccino, latte, macchiato, flat white, and hot milk
If you’re not interested in learning the art of tamping, milk texturing and how coarse or fine to grind your beans, then this might be an excellent option for you.
It’s designed for those who want the experience of a cafe-style americano, latte, or cappuccino without the hassle, coffee shop cues, or complicated steps.
- The milk carafe is double-walled, so you get the perfect milk temperature and a good coffee experience
- Truly a one-touch experience
- It has an adjustable standby option which means you can time your bean to cup machine to be warm and ready when you wake up
- The compact and removable design means the milk frother jug can be removed and stored easily in the fridge
- Hands-free automatic milk frother means you get more time to enjoy your coffee
- 1.4L water tank is not the biggest on the market and is located the back near the coffee beans so it can be awkward to remove
- The compact design means the drip tray is also quite small meaning it needs to be removed and emptied daily if you’re a large family or like several cups of coffee a day
Melitta F86/0-100 Barista TS Smart Coffee Machine
Appreciate the feeling when your coffee shop barista knows exactly how you like your morning coffee?
This machine has a brilliant feature. It’s able to remember up to 8 different coffee preferences, so no need to remember your friends’ coffee orders.
With smart home systems and integrated mobile connectivity, it was only a matter of time before coffee makers offered the same style of service.
If you appreciate top-of-the-range, German engineering, then this is the pick of the bunch.
With two air-tight coffee compartments, it provides a flavorful, fresh cup of coffee.
- Grinds quietly so you can whisper and still be heard.
- The Melitta Connect App feature means it can be managed remotely with your smartphone.
- Helpful tutorials on cleaning and maintenance via the app ensuring you get the most out of your coffee beans and keep your coffee maker clean
- A generous 1.8L tank and separate water nozzle means tea drinkers and coffee drinkers are both satisfied
- It comes with an in-built milk frother and stainless steel milk container. Note: This is not a Thermos container.
- Quite a large machine and takes up a lot of bench space
- Cleaning is easy, but the drip tray is small. It can often overflow and become annoying to empty frequently
- The Bluetooth control via the app is clunky and unreliable. It’s sometimes a real frustration, and there’s no guarantee it will work when you need it.
Melitta CI Black Pressure Coffee Maker Barista CI Touch
If you’re environmentally conscious and are looking for energy-efficient products, then you should take a closer look at this bean-to-cup machine.
It has an inbuilt noise-reduction system and state-of-the-art energy-saving features. The German-engineering is so sophisticated it won a small electrical innovation award.
Its double bean catch is a unique feature, allowing you to mix two separate sets of beans to create your own blend!
A top-of-the-range machine, this is luxury and produces lattes in under 2 minutes.
Using this, you will truly feel like a barista and bean to cup coffee connoisseur, all in the comfort of my own home.
- Brilliant for those wanting a super-strong cup of coffee
- Extremely customizable with variable coffee strength, temperature control and volume and ratio of coffee and milk
- 1.8L water tank and push-button self cleaning.
- It contains a no-mess, built-in milk frother system
- Easy automatic steam cleaning and descaling function keeps your bean-to-cup machine performing at its best
- A great espresso machine and ability to try different flavours and origins with the two-chamber bean container
- Requires a bit of tinkering and set up to get the strongest cup of coffee
- Comprehensive recipes require a fair bit of reading and programming, but once it’s set up, it’s relatively easy to deliver a solid and consistent cup of coffee
De’Longhi Caffe' Corso Bean to Cup
Love the smell of freshly pre-ground coffee in the morning?
Don’t we all!
If you’re one of the espresso fans who love seeing thick creamy crema then pay attention to this review.
The De Longhi is classy, compact and combines modern technology with sleek modern design.
It has an advanced water tank system called “Thermoblock” technology.
The Thermoblock allows water to be heated in real-time by resistance.
This technology makes it possible to heat the water very quickly. So you will have a little wait before your first cup of coffee .
This allows you to get the perfect espresso every time. Even if you’re making two cups at the same time, both will always be at the ideal temperature.
- It’s one of the most affordable espresso machines you can find.
- Simple controls make it easy to operate and an ideal starter espresso machine.
- Small, narrow machine fits easily on most countertops.
- Build quality is much less durable than higher-end machines.
- If you like your espresso shots sharp, this device might not be for you.
There are bean to cup coffee machines, and then there’s the Gaggia Velasca. A luxurious automatic espresso maker made in Italy.
This might be the right choice for those who want the ultimate in-home cafe experience.
It delivers a “tailor-made” style of coffee and allows you to select the grind, shot length, and body according to your taste.
- Makes a brilliant cup of coffee and has programming that allows you to choose how strong you would like your coffee and then remembers it for next time
- Has a secondary catch which holds grounds. Perfect if you want decaf or a different bean variety or origin
- Effortless to clean with an inbuilt, automatic cleaning function.
- A manual milk frother means you can perfect the art of silky smooth milk
- The Gaggia is made of plastic! For an item at a luxury price range, this seems odd.
- Sometimes, the doors of the water tank and coffee grounds do not close perfectly and do not trigger the sensor like it’s supposed to
- No steam pressure control knob, so it causes some splashes of boiling water when it initially starts dispersing from the water tank
- Quite pricey but has quality design capable of producing the quality coffee you’d expect
Gaggia Anima Prestige
A stunning stainless steel quality product, Gaggia certainly doesn’t disappoint on the aesthetics.
This is a brand that knows how to create beautifully crafted, timeless products.
By purchasing a Gaggia, you become a Gaggia Cafe Club member and receive additional benefits like in-house barista training, descaling services, and help with repair and servicing.
- Comes with a removable brew unit making cleaning easy and straightforward
- It has a specialised top-quality ceramic burr grinder which helps to retain the purity of the coffee aromas
- The soft-touch digital screen display makes selecting and preprogramming a breeze
- The water tank is a decent size meaning you aren’t refilling it every five minutes
- The grounds bin also holds a decent amount before needing to be emptied
- The design is slim and looks quite neat on the shelf
- Maintenance and descaling process can be a pain, especially if it demands you do when you want a coffee as the process can take up to 30 minutes.
- There are a few design features that could be improved, like the water tank refill flap which won’t stay open without being held so refilling can be a bit frustrating.
After pouring over thousands of written and instructional video reviews of all the best bean-to-cup coffee machines, there are some clear winners and top-notch contenders.
This article has hopefully given you a greater understanding of the features and benefits.
From deluxe stainless steel and large water tanks to compact hands-on design, there is something for everyone.
After reviewing a ton of different products, in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with top quality, and you pay for what you get.
As a result, I’d highly recommend the De’Longhi Primadonna Elite. Especially if you love making different types of hot drinks, including hot chocolate!
This is an investment your whole family will love for years to come!