From the conventionally used coffee grinder to grind your own coffee and the rather cleaning-intensive stamp-lid coffee machine, to the old-fashioned filter coffee machine, to the “Senseo” coffee pod machine that has been popular in Europe for years, the choice for the coffee lover has come a long way. It is now more likely you will “create” coffee at home just like a barista in a trendy coffee shop.

There are different types of machines for home use on the market:

  • Coffee capsule and coffee pod machines
  • Coffee maker with grinder for coffee beans and a coffee pot
  • Fully automatic coffee machines (with grinder for beans, milk frothing nozzle and often matching cups) for espresso and coffee (or cappuccino).

Tips to watch out for:

Quality of the end product

For the fragrance lover, both the taste and the appearance of the final product are important.


Handling

A coffee maker should be easy to use and robust.

Hygiene is also very important with food products, so the machine parts should be easy to clean.

In addition, the operating volume of the machine is often a decision factor.


Running costs

For the use of coffee beans/powder, coffee pods and coffee capsules, there are the following costs that should be considered.


Environmental friendliness

In order to assess the environmental friendliness of a product, one must take into account possible waste products, cleaning effort and energy consumption.


Space consumption

The footprint for kitchen appliances is often limited, so the mass and weight of the machine is also a crucial point in the selection.

We have selected 3 different types of coffee machines in different price segments for comparison.

1st place

Test Winner:

De’Longhi Magnifica S ECAM

www.delonghi.com

Price: 330 Euro

  • easy handling

  • individually programmable (strength/ quantity)

  • 2-cup function

  • less waste product compared to capsule machines

  • Hot water function

  • Device model is tried and tested

  • good price / performance ratio

  • visually appealing coffee end product in the cup

  • large selection of coffee beans/ coffee powder depending on quality/ price

  • the chromed surface of the draining board is scratchy

  • the milk frothing nozzle is a little slow

This stylish coffee maker consists of a black-silver, stainless steel housing with 4 direct selection buttons and an additional rotary control for coffee strength and quantity.

This is a very robust fully automatic coffee machine with bean grinder for coffee and espresso, with a manual milk frothing nozzle.

The individually adjustable 13-stage bean grinder holds 250 g of coffee beans (an extension for the bean hopper can be purchased separately).

The volume of the grinder during the grinding process is acceptable.

Coffee powder could be used as an alternative.

You can use any type and quality of coffee beans and/or ground coffee powder, depending on your own preference and price range.

The final coffee product in the cup has a light brown foam on the surface.

Additionally, you could also use the manual milk frothing nozzle to get a creamy cappuccino/ latte macchiato.

The cup volume can be programmed up to 180 ml via the cup switch button, but must be reset each time the cup size is changed.

The spout height can be adjusted by a sliding function depending on the height of the cup.

The spout has a 2-cup function (so you can fill 2 cups at the same time).

The machine has an on/off button.

When this is activated, the pipes are automatically flushed with water for cleaning and/or preheating.

The capacity of the water tank is 1.8 litres (makes 12 small cups).

The cleaning of this appliance is relatively easy compared to other fully automatic machines, as the brewing group (spout) can be completely removed and cleaned, which prevents the formation of mould.

In addition, machine parts that need to be cleaned are dishwasher safe.

There is a descaling program that lights up automatically when it is time to use it.

The application steps for this should be taken from the operating instructions supplied.

Descaling is NOT done automatically by the brewing unit – it must be cleaned manually.

A descaling agent is NOT included here!

We would wash all washable parts well before first use and recommend at least 3 cleaning passes with water before grinding/brewing coffee for the first time.

The power of the device is 1450 W and alt. Voltage is 240V.

There is a hot water function that can be adjusted according to the heat level required, i.e. it is also possible to get boiling water only.

According to the manufacturer, the product dimensions are 23.8 x 43 x 35.1 cm and the weight is 9 kilograms.

When a defect occurs in this machine, a red warning triangle flashes.

This device model has already been on the market since 2011 and therefore many positive long-term experience reports can be found about it.

In our opinion, this machine is very robust and of a high build quality.

The appliance can be easily placed on the kitchen worktop, but one should take into account the not insignificant weight of the appliance.

Test winner
2nd place

Tassimo Happy Capsule Machine TAS101 Coffee Maker by Bosch

  • little space consumption

  • simple operation

  • quick and easy cleaning

  • low purchase price

  • over 70 flavours

  • hot coffee in the cup

  • visually appealing coffee end product in the cup

  • Follow-up costs for the capsule

  • Waste volume

  • Strength of the coffee is not adjustable

Price region < 30,00 EUR

The coffee pod machine/capsule machine consists of a shiny plastic housing, which is available in many different colours (black, grey, white, red, pink, cream and also two-colour combinations).

This is a fully automatic coffee machine with “Intellibrew” function (automatic adjustment of settings by scanning a barcode).

A cup is not included with the machine, but conventional coffee cups should fit comfortably under the spout, as the cup pedestal has two height slots into which you can manually insert the pedestal, depending on the height of the cup you are using.

The water tank is very easy to fill.

The capacity of the water tank is 0.7 litres (makes about 2 large coffee cups, or about 10 small espresso cups).

The power is 1400 W.

This appliance has a stand-by mode, i.e. it “sleeps” when the brewing process is not in use (provided the mains plug is connected to the mains).

There is only ONE function button to start the brewing process, or the cleaning cycle.

There is no ON/OFF switch!

The appliance contains dishwasher-safe parts and has a Calc-Clean function (light display).

Descaling and cleaning can be carried out with the cleaning disc included in the delivery.

Simply place the cleaning disc in the machine and start the automatic cleaning process at the push of a button (function button).

Cleaning this device is therefore very easy!

Before enjoying your first cup of coffee, it would be recommended to run the machine through 3 cleaning cycles before inserting a coffee capsule and brewing your first cup.

The product dimensions are 17.5 x 30.5 x 26.5 cm and the weight is 1.5 kilograms.

The device is very narrow and therefore it is very easy to find a small place for the machine.

The description of the machine funktion is largely done by picture diagrams.

This is internationally understandable.

It is easy to use: place the cup under the spout, insert the coffee capsule, close the lid and press the function button.

Everything else is done by the machine.

If you want to make drinks with added milk, first insert the milk capsule and press the function button, then repeat the process with the coffee capsule.

It could hardly be simpler!

The final coffee product in the cup has a light brown foam on the surface.

If you use a milk capsule with it, this adds a white milky foam.

The volume of the brewing process is a tolerable hum.

The matching coffee capsules are made of plastic and are available from various manufacturers (e.g. Jacobs, L’Or, Milka, Cadburys, Costa etc.) in a wide range of flavours (link “Tassimo Cream Collection 3 varieties”). The provider advertises with “over 70 beverage specialties”.

However, for frequent drinkers, the capsules are a significant cost!

Depending on where and which flavour you buy, it is not uncommon for a pack of 16 capsules to cost between 4.00 – 5.00 EUR.

If you want to reduce costs and also product waste, there are suitable reusable plastic capsules available for purchase for the Tassimo machine, which are manually filled with coffee powder and can be easily cleaned after use for the next use.

3rd place

“Russell Hobbs Filter Coffee Maker

  • simple handling

  • more aroma through freshly ground coffee

  • the impact grinder is somewhat quieter than machines with conventional grinders

  • less waste product compared to capsule machines

  • large selection of coffee beans/ coffee powder depending on quality/price

  • The strength of the coffee can be individually adjusted by portioning the beans/powder

  • Minimum brewing quantity of 4 cups

  • the coffee is warm, not hot

  • Coffee end product in the cup is not very visually appealing

Price region < 100.00 EUR

This coffee maker consists of a black plastic housing, with polished stainless steel parts and a litre glass jug with black plastic handle.

This is a filter coffee machine with impact grinder for coffee beans with “Quiet-Brew-Technology” (up to 60% less grinding noise compared to the Russell Hobbs Platinum Mill & brew machine).

The final coffee product in the cup has no foam on the surface (compared to pot coffee).

To make a visually appealing cappucino, or latte macchiato, a separate (not included) milk frother must be used here.

The grinding time of the coffee beans can be adjusted to deliver from 4 – 12 cups.

Experience showed that some coffee beans unfortunately remained unground at settings below 12 cups – but this can be avoided by setting the grind setting to 12 cups for every grind.

You can also use ground coffee powder with this machine!

A measuring spoon is included with the machine.

Recommended – 1 heaped spoonful per cup.

The water tank is very easy to fill via a flap positioned on the device.

For filling, you should use the glass jug so that you can measure the exact amount of cups.

Unfortunately, a coffee quantity of less than 4 cups cannot be brewed.

The capacity of the water tank is 1.5 litres (makes 12 small cups).

Before brewing the first coffee, a cleaning cycle with tap water is recommended.

However, we would additionally wash all washable parts well before putting them into operation and recommend at least 3 cleaning cycles with water.

The power of the device is 1025 W.

This machine has a digital control element for controlling the grinding time, the time (24-hour timer) and the degree of impact grinding (from fine to coarse).

There is an automatic shut-off function for the jug warming plate after 40 minutes, as this is a filter machine with a glass jug and this is a legal requirement.

The appliance contains dishwasher safe parts and has a removable and reusable coffee filter in the impact grinder for cleaning.

It is always recommended to clean the grinder/lid from coffee residues to prevent mold growth.

Cleaning this appliance is not so easy and there is quite a lot of of water required to rinse the parts.

According to the manufacturer, the product dimensions are 36.6 x 31.6 x 22 cm and the weight is 3.4 kilograms.

The appliance is relatively compact and can be placed on the kitchen worktop.

A comprehensible instruction manual is included.

But you could also do the set-up yourself with a little technical skill.