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7 best pod coffee machines to save you time and money

Cosmopolitan (UK) Logo By Products tested by Luke Rigg, Harry Bullmore, Jess Denham of Cosmopolitan (UK) | Slide 1 of 8: If you find all-nighters and early starts impossible without a steaming cup of freshly made coffee, it’s high time you invested in a pod machine. They’re the real MVP when it comes to whipping up quick and easy brews, shaving minutes off your morning routine — all you do is pop a pod in the top, push the button, grab your mug and go.Most pod machines have an automatic milk frothing function (great for making cappuccinos) while other brands offer milk frothing accessories to buy separately. The pod capsules also come separately, making it easy to try all the different flavours before deciding your favourite. They’re now easily recyclable too, making them more eco-friendly — music to our ears!Ready to take the plunge into the world of pod coffee machines? There are two main brands to consider. Nespresso makes fab coffee machines, but they’re usually on the spenny side. Look to Lavazza for more affordable options if you don't want to splash out. To help you find the ideal coffee companion, we tried and tested a range of the best pod machines to see which ones are worth buying. Here are the models we rate:Best pod machine: Opal One Nespresso Pod MachineBest for smaller kitchens: De’Longhi Nespresso Lattissima One Coffee Machine Best looking: Smeg Lavazza Modo A Mio Coffee MachineBest budget pod coffee machine: Lakeland 2-in-1 Pod Coffee MachineBest for reusable cups: Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee Machine by MagimixBest for coffee connoisseurs: Dualit 3 in 1 Espressivo Coffee MachineBest for a sweet tooth: Tassimo By Bosch My Way 2 Pod Coffee Machine How do pod coffee machines work?Nothing can compare to the ease of barista service at your favourite coffee shop, but pod coffee machines come close. They won’t spell your name wrong either (looking at you, Starbucks). There are three types of machine: bean-to-cup, espresso and pod. Pod machines are easier to use than bean-to-cup models because you don’t have to faff around grinding your own beans, and they’re simpler than espresso machines as you don’t need to weigh out and tamper your coffee grounds. Instead, pod machines make single-serve coffees using, you guessed it, pods. While many models will have a few variable settings, letting you tinker with the drink-making process until it’s truly *chef’s kiss* bellissimo, the process is largely automatic.To use a pod machine, you’ll need to insert a pod into a designated slot, close the lid (piercing the pod) and select a programme. The machine then pushes water through the pod to extract the coffee. Most models also include an automatic milk frother, if you’re partial to a creamy cappuccino or latte. In summary, pod machines deliver consistent results quickly and efficiently, meaning you can enjoy your go-to brew on the reg with minimal fuss. How much should I pay for a pod coffee machine?Thanks to their simplicity, pod coffee machines tend to be cheaper than their bean-to-cup counterparts, and most espresso models too. The ones we tested cost anywhere between £79 and £649, with the most expensive models offering more control over variables such as extraction, milk texture and temperature.Our winner (the Opal One Nespresso Pod Machine) will only set you back £119. For that comparatively modest price tag, you can enjoy consistently delicious coffee in minutes at the touch of a button. How we testDon’t get us wrong, we love a cuppa, but this test called for a true-blue coffee connoisseur. So, we asked our expert tester to whip up a range of drinks with each machine and judge their taste, aroma, body and crema quality.We took into account how easy each pod machine was to use and what additional functions it offered before settling on our seven favourites. All tests were done twice, too, to rule out any beginner’s luck.

If you find all-nighters and early starts impossible without a steaming cup of freshly made coffee, it’s high time you invested in a pod machine. They’re the real MVP when it comes to whipping up quick and easy brews, shaving minutes off your morning routine — all you do is pop a pod in the top, push the button, grab your mug and go.

Most pod machines have an automatic milk frothing function (great for making cappuccinos) while other brands offer milk frothing accessories to buy separately. The pod capsules also come separately, making it easy to try all the different flavours before deciding your favourite. They’re now easily recyclable too, making them more eco-friendly — music to our ears!

Ready to take the plunge into the world of pod coffee machines? There are two main brands to consider. Nespresso makes fab coffee machines, but they’re usually on the spenny side. Look to Lavazza for more affordable options if you don't want to splash out.

To help you find the ideal coffee companion, we tried and tested a range of the best pod machines to see which ones are worth buying.

Here are the models we rate:

How do pod coffee machines work?

Nothing can compare to the ease of barista service at your favourite coffee shop, but pod coffee machines come close. They won’t spell your name wrong either (looking at you, Starbucks).

There are three types of machine: bean-to-cup, espresso and pod. Pod machines are easier to use than bean-to-cup models because you don’t have to faff around grinding your own beans, and they’re simpler than espresso machines as you don’t need to weigh out and tamper your coffee grounds.

Instead, pod machines make single-serve coffees using, you guessed it, pods. While many models will have a few variable settings, letting you tinker with the drink-making process until it’s truly *chef’s kiss* bellissimo, the process is largely automatic.

To use a pod machine, you’ll need to insert a pod into a designated slot, close the lid (piercing the pod) and select a programme. The machine then pushes water through the pod to extract the coffee. Most models also include an automatic milk frother, if you’re partial to a creamy cappuccino or latte.

In summary, pod machines deliver consistent results quickly and efficiently, meaning you can enjoy your go-to brew on the reg with minimal fuss.

How much should I pay for a pod coffee machine?

Thanks to their simplicity, pod coffee machines tend to be cheaper than their bean-to-cup counterparts, and most espresso models too. The ones we tested cost anywhere between £79 and £649, with the most expensive models offering more control over variables such as extraction, milk texture and temperature.

Our winner (the Opal One Nespresso Pod Machine) will only set you back £119. For that comparatively modest price tag, you can enjoy consistently delicious coffee in minutes at the touch of a button.

How we test

Don’t get us wrong, we love a cuppa, but this test called for a true-blue coffee connoisseur. So, we asked our expert tester to whip up a range of drinks with each machine and judge their taste, aroma, body and crema quality.

We took into account how easy each pod machine was to use and what additional functions it offered before settling on our seven favourites. All tests were done twice, too, to rule out any beginner’s luck.

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