Best Bean To Cup Coffee Machine Reviews
It’s taken a while to get to the exciting bit, but having talked in general about coffee, and last time about coffee beans, now we’re on to the big purchase decision – the bean to cup coffee machine!
As kitchen appliances go, this could be the big one. It’s possible to spend a lot on coffee makers, with some rising into the thousands. Fortunately that’s something that very few people stretch too, although being able to get up towards that thousand pounds can get you a great machine.
A common concern is whether it’s worth the investment at the other end of the scale, if you’re only able to be comfortably spending two or three hundred pounds. It’s a resounding yes in response, which is hopefully great news, and you don’t need to take my word for it either.
That brings me to the best advice I can give you about where to choose your machine, a website that’s reviewed plenty and therefore should know what they’re talking about. Here’s the link to those bean to cup coffee machine reviews where you can spend hours reading, but the important point that’s relevant to us here is that they’ve consistently had a Delonghi machine in their top spot which is generally available to buy on Amazon around the £300 mark.
That tells quite an important story, and as they’re keen to point out, they recommend it based on the value of the machine for the price. In other words, it’s a great machine for the money. As I said a moment ago, being able to spend a thousand pounds will get you a great machine, but you don’t need to if you’re just after good home coffee.
We’re not here to talk about individual machines though – this is more about how the best bean to cup coffee machines take your coffee beans and create a great cup of coffee.
The beans are the perfect place to start our understanding, as they are the tangible part of the process that you physically put into the machine, along with filling a water tank. You fill the bean hopper with your chosen brand of bean, and put the lid on. It’s how the machine keeps things as fresh as possible, as the moment you open that bag of beans, the quality gradually begins to degrade. It’s not a quick process so there’s no immediate problem, but if you’re not using your machine every day, it might be a good idea to partially fill the hopper and store the rest of the bag in an airtight container.
When you make a coffee, the bean to cup machine will take some of the beans from the bottom of the hopper through the grinder. Most machines have adjustable grinders, so you’ll be able to change how coarse or smooth you like your coffee beans to be prepared, and that then gets infused with the water, which is pre-heated before reaching the ground coffee, and that process occurs under pressure, with the water effectively getting forced through the ground coffee.
If you watch the coffee emerge from the nozzles into your cup or mug, you’ll notice that it starts to emerge very dark, almost black, and gradually gets lighter until it’s nearly transparent by the time it’s fully dispensed. You’ll also notice a creamy foam on the surface of the coffee form, known as the crema. That’s a product of the oil in the beans, which is a big separating factor for people who love great coffee at home.
Once your drink is complete, you’ll hear a clunking noise as the machine finishes its cycle, which is the sound of the coffee grounds falling into a container, and that is usually something that needs emptying after five or ten coffees are made.
Other points of note include the fact that some modern bean to cup coffee machines include very good self cleaning functions. If you’ve ever had a sandwich toaster or something similar, you’ll know how much of a pain it can be to clean after use, so imagine what it would be like to try and keep a coffee maker clean if it didn’t have automatic functions to do a lot of the hard work for you.
Generally speaking, a good machine will rinse itself through after each use, clearing through its pipelines and nozzles to prevent a build-up of coffee residue. If you’ve got a really good machine, it might have a milk tank too – that’s especially important to keep clean, so will also use the water to clean itself after milk gets dispensed too.
Periodically, as we mentioned earlier, you’ll need to empty out the grounds, normally from a compartment that pulls out from the body of the machine. A good tip is to make sure you wipe out the container with a cloth after emptying the grounds into the bin – it’s naturally going to be damp in there, and coffee grounds can go mouldy over time so it’s best kept as clean as possible.
Finally, de-scaling is necessary from time to time even if you don’t live in a lime scale prone area. Typically manufacturers produce their own products for this task, and it may be an automatic or manual job to flush it through the system. In general, all that’s important is you complete de-scaling periodically – even if the process varies from machine to machine. Expect it to be something you need to do every four to six weeks, depending on how often you use your machine.
Officially, the advice is always to use the de-scaler liquid or tablets recommended by your manufacturer, but there are a lot on the market. Ideally, you should be using the recommended products, especially during the warranty period, but the chances are that if you find a cheaper alternative by a reputable brand after the guarantee expires, you’ll get similar results if you’re willing to take the risk. With that said, brands like Delonghi don’t charge a lot for their liquids, so you’ll most likely be happy to buy theirs, whereas some other brands charge a lot more.
Overall, understanding how a bean to cup coffee machine can help you to choose your machine in the first place. As we noted about, there are some great bean to cup coffee machine reviews sites on the web to help you make your choice, and plenty of help with the beans to buy too for making a really good home coffee.