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10 Best Coffee Machines For 2021, Tried And Tested

Men's Health UK Logo By Harry Bullmore, Jess Denham of Men's Health UK | Slide 1 of 11: It’s fair to say we’re a nation of coffee drinkers, with Brits guzzling some 95 million cups of the good stuff every day. Not only does it taste great, but studies have shown that living the mug life in moderation can offer up some sweet mental and physical health benefits.So, to save yourself (and your wallet) from regular Starbucks trips, act savvy and snap up an at-home coffee machine. These nifty bits of kit can whip up a tasty brew at the touch of a button or two, all from the comfort of your kitchen. They’ll get you through that 3pm slump when you’re WFH and pep you up before a gnarly squat session.To help you find your perfect coffee consort, the Men’s Health Lab subjected more than 30 of the best bean-to-cup, pod and espresso machines to a series of rigorous taste and performance tests. These were our favourites: Best pod coffee machine: Opal One Nespresso Pod MachineBest bean-to-cup coffee machine: Sage The Oracle TouchBest espresso coffee machine: Beko ManualBest looking pod coffee machine: Grind One Nespresso Pod Coffee MachineBest bean-to-cup coffee machine for families: Krups Evidence PlusBest pod coffee machine for cappuccinos: Sage Creatista Plus Nespresso Coffee MachineBest looking espresso machine: Breville Barista MiniBest pod coffee machine for making coffee quickly: De'Longhi Nespresso Lattissima One Coffee Machine Best bean-to-cup machine for milky coffees: De'Longhi AutenticaBest budget pod coffee machine: Lakeland 2-in-1 Pod Coffee Machine What is the best coffee machine for home use?There are several types of coffee machine and the choice comes down to your taste, lifestyle and budget. To help you decide, let’s run through your options: Bean-to-cupBean-to-cup coffee machines come with a built-in grinder that extracts coffee from whole beans at the touch of a button, presenting you with the freshest beverage possible. Unsurprisingly, they’re the most expensive kind of model. EspressoIf you want to learn how to make coffee the good old-fashioned way, opt for an espresso coffee machine that lets you scoop and tamp the grounds yourself. They take pre-ground coffee, but if you store it correctly, it should taste almost as fresh as beans. Pod or capsuleFor the ultimate ease and convenience, choose a pod coffee machine that takes pre-measured coffee grounds sealed in (you guessed it) pods. There’s no need to commit to one bag of beans or grounds, as brands like Nespresso and Lavazza offer a range of different capsules. Simply pop one in, press a button and wait for your coffee to pour. (If you want to see what sort of pods you can get your hands on, check out our roundup — Best Coffee Pods To Fuel Your Next Workout: 10 Eco-Friendly Options) How do milk frothers work?Pod coffee machines tend to come with automatic milk frothers that foam and pour milk for you. In some cases, you’ll need to buy a separate frothing accessory, which works in a similar way but isn’t built into the machine, meaning it’ll need to be operated separately.Bean-to-cup and espresso machines usually feature a pressurised steam wand that gives you control over the texture of your milk. These produce fine, glossy froth ideal for a flat white, latte or cappuccino, but mastering the technique can take a bit of practice.How we test coffee machinesThe Men’s Health Lab team tried and tested over 30 bean-to-cup, espresso and pod coffee machines to find the best you can buy. Our tester pulled two shots from each model and judged their temperature, crema, aroma and flavour. They enlisted the help of an independent coffee expert to analyse the distinct taste of each espresso pulled from the bean-to-cup and espresso machines. The ideal espresso should be between 60 and 75°C with a robust, chestnut-coloured crema (the frothy layer that sits on top of the shot, like the head on a pint of Guinness). The aroma should be rich and warming, and the flavour should balance acidity with mellowness.If you like milky coffee, rest assured that any milk frothers were used to steam both milk and non-dairy alternatives, with hot, smooth, stable foam the aim of the game.Ready to wake up and smell the coffee? Here are our top 10 coffee machines:

It’s fair to say we’re a nation of coffee drinkers, with Brits guzzling some 95 million cups of the good stuff every day. Not only does it taste great, but studies have shown that living the mug life in moderation can offer up some sweet mental and physical health benefits.

So, to save yourself (and your wallet) from regular Starbucks trips, act savvy and snap up an at-home coffee machine. These nifty bits of kit can whip up a tasty brew at the touch of a button or two, all from the comfort of your kitchen. They’ll get you through that 3pm slump when you’re WFH and pep you up before a gnarly squat session.

To help you find your perfect coffee consort, the Men’s Health Lab subjected more than 30 of the best bean-to-cup, pod and espresso machines to a series of rigorous taste and performance tests.

These were our favourites:

What is the best coffee machine for home use?

There are several types of coffee machine and the choice comes down to your taste, lifestyle and budget. To help you decide, let’s run through your options:

Bean-to-cup

Bean-to-cup coffee machines come with a built-in grinder that extracts coffee from whole beans at the touch of a button, presenting you with the freshest beverage possible. Unsurprisingly, they’re the most expensive kind of model.

Espresso

If you want to learn how to make coffee the good old-fashioned way, opt for an espresso coffee machine that lets you scoop and tamp the grounds yourself. They take pre-ground coffee, but if you store it correctly, it should taste almost as fresh as beans.

Pod or capsule

For the ultimate ease and convenience, choose a pod coffee machine that takes pre-measured coffee grounds sealed in (you guessed it) pods. There’s no need to commit to one bag of beans or grounds, as brands like Nespresso and Lavazza offer a range of different capsules. Simply pop one in, press a button and wait for your coffee to pour.

(If you want to see what sort of pods you can get your hands on, check out our roundup — Best Coffee Pods To Fuel Your Next Workout: 10 Eco-Friendly Options)

How do milk frothers work?

Pod coffee machines tend to come with automatic milk frothers that foam and pour milk for you. In some cases, you’ll need to buy a separate frothing accessory, which works in a similar way but isn’t built into the machine, meaning it’ll need to be operated separately.

Bean-to-cup and espresso machines usually feature a pressurised steam wand that gives you control over the texture of your milk. These produce fine, glossy froth ideal for a flat white, latte or cappuccino, but mastering the technique can take a bit of practice.

How we test coffee machines

The Men’s Health Lab team tried and tested over 30 bean-to-cup, espresso and pod coffee machines to find the best you can buy. Our tester pulled two shots from each model and judged their temperature, crema, aroma and flavour. They enlisted the help of an independent coffee expert to analyse the distinct taste of each espresso pulled from the bean-to-cup and espresso machines.

The ideal espresso should be between 60 and 75°C with a robust, chestnut-coloured crema (the frothy layer that sits on top of the shot, like the head on a pint of Guinness). The aroma should be rich and warming, and the flavour should balance acidity with mellowness.

If you like milky coffee, rest assured that any milk frothers were used to steam both milk and non-dairy alternatives, with hot, smooth, stable foam the aim of the game.

Ready to wake up and smell the coffee? Here are our top 10 coffee machines:

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