How to Find the BEST Coffee Machine for You

I find that having to drive out of the suburbs just to get my favorite coffee to be such a drag. As much as I love coffee, the costs of just going to the cafe is too high to bear. This is why I looked for a way to get that genuine, cafe-level, coffee-drinking experience without having to leave my house. I did it by getting myself a coffee machine!

The road to finding the best coffee machine aka “THE ONE” was long and winding. So, with a pen and notepad in hand, I took down notes like a scientist or you can imagine me looking like a robot amassing data.

If you might recall, I wrote a piece on the 10 Best Espresso Machines to start your morning right.

In this post however, I will not just be sharing coffee machines, rather, I’ll be sharing with you three pointers namely; coffee source, way of operation, and installation method. These three pointers are what I think will help contribute on helping you find the best coffee machine for your home.

Coffee Source: Coffee Capsules or Beans?

Who ever said that coffee isn’t evolving, think again. Behold, the invention of coffee capsules or K-cups.

Coffee capsules were invented by Mr. John Sylvan in 1995. In its first glorious run, it was just known as K-Cup or Keurig Cups. This certainly was very innovative in a way that it made drinking great tasting coffee so much easier by popping one capsule into a machine and waiting for your cappuccino, latte, or your macchiato without that much human intervention.

Of course, this “school of thought” was challenged by traditionalists who argue that nothing will ever beat the taste of a carefully-prepared coffee.

That said, one of the most important things to help narrow down your search for the perfect coffee machine boils down to whether you would like to have it come from a K-cup or the traditional way of preparing coffee.

Way of Operation: Manual? Automatic? Smart Coffee Machine?

Coffee machines can also be sorted out depending on the level of human intervention it would require for it to operate. There are manual coffee machines, automatic coffee machines, and the more recent fully automatic coffee machines.

In order for you to know which one is the best, here are some of the pros and cons which you can look at for each kind.

Manual Coffee Machine

When one says ‘manual’ coffee machine, they mean that the coffee grounds are put in the machine and then boiled by the machine. The machine will produce the brewed coffee and you just need to put your cup under its spout or pour the coffee jar over to your cup.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t give the coffee a bitter taste due to over brewing
  • You can prepare your coffee just the way you want it.

Cons:

  • Mastering the actual coffee brewing or making an espresso will take time and practice.
  • Needs other tools for preparing coffee such as a puck and a grinder.

Did you know that the rise of coffee machines started in 1954 with the invention of the Wigomat?

The Wigomat was patented by a German national in 1955 by Gottlob Widmann. The Wigomat may look weird next to the modern coffee machines but, you can still see where the designs of the modern coffee machines took off. The Wigomat is a great example of a “manual” coffee machine because it will require you to have a lot of interaction with the machine before you get your brew.

Watch an actual Wigomat in action here:

Automatic Coffee Machine

As time passed technology gave rise to the automatic coffee machines. A great example of which is the very popular Nespresso machine. With a Nespresso coffee machine, all you have to do is pop in the Nespresso capsule, et voila! A cup of your favorite cappuccino in under 5 minutes. Pretty convenient if you are on quite a rush to beat the morning traffic.

Bosch VeroSelection 300 Automatic Coffee Machine

But, if you prefer using actual coffee beans, there are coffee machines that can do the grinding and coffee preparation at the push of a button such as Bosch’s VeroSelection 300.

This Bosch automatic coffee machine allows you to store coffee beans in a large container and its own milk frothing and warming system so you are guaranteed your favorite barista-level coffee at the touch of a button. Or, if you don’t feel like having milk in your coffee and just prefer the taste of coffee in its pure form, you can just do a double-shot espresso all thanks to its two spouts.

Pros:

  • More flexibility at the touch of a button.
  • Simple design.
  • Ease of operation.
  • Fresh coffee every cup because of the built-in grinder.

Cons:

  • Can be expensive.

Smart Coffee Machines

I think that one of the most common sayings these days is, “There’s an app for that.” I’m a tech-geek and I’m pretty updated with all the latest gadgets and even apps on Play Store and Apple Store. Finding out that there are coffee machines that has an app integration made my mind ring bells.

One of the first models or brands that I’ve looked into is the Jura S8 super automatic smart coffee machine.

jura coffee app and coffee machine
Jura S8 and J.O.E. or the Jura Operating Experience

What amazed me with the Jura S8 super automatic smart coffee machine is its ability to save my favorite way of preparing coffee with the use of an app called, the J.O.E. or the Jura Operating Experience. This app is available on Play Store and Apple Store and works on all the Jura smart coffee machines that has the SmartConnect. An original patent of Jura, this app lets you name your very own coffee–Darion’s extra hot, single-shot, latte… Sounds about right!

Can you imagine sending your “order” for coffee to your own coffee machine with your phone or tablet? All it takes is installing the app, saving your settings, and of course, making sure that the coffee machine has beans, water, and milk!

In a rush? Just grab your cup of coffee and go about your day. I think we can all agree that this is the highest level of convenience that a coffee machine can offer.

Pros:

  • Grab and go coffee at the push of a button on its LED screen.
  • App-integrated. Save your favorite coffee and name it your own.
  • Requires very little human interaction in preparing coffee.

Cons:

  • Most expensive option to have.

Installation Methods: Free-Standing Coffee Machines or Built-in Coffee Machines?

This next aspect that one should look into when trying to find the best coffee machine for their home is considering whether you would go for a free-standing coffee machine or a built-in coffee machine.

The choice between the two comes down to what would match the interior looks that you are going for and like the other factors, each option has its own pros and cons.

Free-Standing Coffee Machines

Pros:

  • Moving houses? Bring along your coffee machine with you!
  • Easier to clean.

Cons:

  • Can look like an eye sore.

Built-in Coffee Machines

Pros:

  • Inconspicuous and can be integrated with the interior of your kitchen.

Cons:

  • Requires fitting out by a professional installer.
  • Immovable.
  • May require more regular maintenance checks.

Summary: Which Coffee Machine is the Best?

There is no one answer to the question which coffee machine is the best. However, to help you narrow down your choices these are the several factors, which I think, will help you in finding the answer to this question:

  • Coffee Source: Coffee Capsules or Beans?

  • Way of Operation: Manual? Automatic? Smart Coffee Machine?

  • Installation Methods: Free-Standing Coffee Machines or Built-in Coffee Machines?

Each of these three pointers have its very own pros and cons. So before getting the next coffee machine that every one says is the best, make sure that you have weighed each of these factors carefully.

Aside from these three main factors, there are other factors which could play as well. Like, budget and of course, whether you would like to have a more personal touch to each cup of coffee you drink.

If you have a pretty tight budget but don’t mind learning the art of preparing coffee, I highly suggest going with a manual coffee machine is the best way to go. Going with this option ticks off these two factors because when it comes to the way the machine operates, the manual coffee machine is the cheapest.

The manual coffee machine will also let you have the most control in terms of how you prepare your coffee from grinding the beans, preparing the ground coffee in the coffee basket with the puck, water pressure, water temperature, length of time you brew it, etc. All of these help contribute in the most personal way of preparing your coffee and making it your very own.

Have you found the best coffee machine for you? Do you have some other tips to consider before you made the choice? Let us know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “How to Find the BEST Coffee Machine for You

  1. I had a built-in coffee machine, i really loved it. It blended with my interiors so well… until, well, it broke and the pipes had to be replaced. That wasn’t cheap at all, so i decided yeah, nah, i won’t ever do that again. anyway, the free-standing coffee machine is so much easier to maintain! I’m not expressing my hate towards the built-in coffee machine, I mean, they really look cool and good but why go through the process of the plumbing etc for a coffee machine? I learned the lesson the hard way!

  2. I’ll take the stand of the traditionalists and purists and say that if you’re just going to buy a coffee machine you might as well get ones that can give you fresh from the beans coffee. Although it’s quite expensive than all the other types, you’ll have to pay for quality, after all. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, freshly brewed coffee is what you go to Starbucks for, right? So why go cheap anyway?

  3. I used to have the very ordinary drip, brew coffee. But got so bored of it! So when I came up with the extra money, I got the Nespresso. And let me tell you, man, that one’s life changing! IT literally changed my life for the better. So easy to use and now I know why people love it so much! Coffee in capsules??? Who would’ve thought that they’ll be yummy! OMG SO SO SO GOOD. Heaven sent! For factor, really, convenience and flexibility.

  4. Well, i think that what matters more are the beans that you buy. If you buy crap beans, then you get the crap coffee. That said, I still think that manually pressed coffee is the best. But who’s got time for that? I’m always on the go, always rushing! I do have the starbucks via, but when I’ve switched to the nespresso. I love that all i have to do is fill it with water, pop in the capsule, et voila! All done! Pour the coffee in my travel mug and I’m all set for my meetings! It’s a great choice for everyday great coffee. Purists may counterargue that the taste isn’t the same, well of course, it won’t! I cannot really disagree with people who say that the best coffee are those prepared by baristas. But i guess that’s all just based on personal preference!

  5. Hey Toprated, When i bought my Jura S8, one of the biggest factors i needed to factor in was how much we’d drink coffee on a daily basis. Our family is a huge fan of coffee and other coffee desserts! Jura S8 had that flexibility and the volume. Our family thought that it was a nice compromise between getting the small Jura and the Giga model. Giga was a little exaggerated for our family, S8 is great! Our old folks love the touch screen which makes the coffee prep very easy! No need for complicated operations! Best of luck topratedanything! Love your blog, btw!

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