With a high-quality coffee machine, you ensure a good coffee enjoyment at the push of a button. This is convenient both in the morning when it should go fast, as well as just in between. You have the advantage that your coffee always consists of freshly ground beans, which ensures a particularly good flavour. You also choose – depending on the model – between different coffee specialities and sometimes even several individual settings can save.
But which coffee machines are among the popular devices? If you, too, ask yourself this question, you will find in our comparison 14 fully automatic coffee machines of the top manufacturers Melitta, Jura as well as Bosch, Siemens and other brand companies. In the following guide, you will find out what to look for when buying a coffee machine, which drinks you can make, which settings are possible and much more.
Top 10 Coffee Machines
- THE BEST TASTING COFFEE - Brew a full pot of coffee using your favorite grounds and with brew strength control you can select regular or bold coffee...
- EASY BREW & PRECISE POURING: Pause and serve function allows for pouring a cup at any time during the brew cycle. Special carafe design ensures drip...
- EASY FILLING - Built-in water reservoir for easy and safe water filling. No more dripping or mess on your countertops.
- Specialty brew: Brew super-rich coffee concentrate that you can use to create delicious lattes, macchiato, cappuccinos, and other coffeehouse style...
- Iced coffee: Brew fresh over ice for flavorful iced coffee that's never watered down
- 6 brew sizes: Brew anything from a single cup or travel size to a half carafe or a full carafe in your coffee maker
- What’s in the box: 12-cup glass carafe included with your brewer along with a heating plate to keep coffee hot.
- Brew a cup and a carafe: Use both ground coffee and k-cup pods. Height with handle open-17.63 H inch. Height with drip cover open-18 H inch
- Multiple brew sizes: Brew a 6, 8, 10, or 12-cup carafe and a 6, 8, 10, or 12 ounce cup.
- Brews multiple k-cup pod sizes: (6, 8, 10 ounce) – the most popular k-cup pod brew sizes. Use the 6 ounce brew size to achieve the strongest brew.
- Large 48 ounce water reservoir: Allows you to brew 6+ cups before having to refill, saving you time and simplifying your morning routine. The water...
- Descaling: An important part of cleaning your keurig brewer. This process helps to remove calcium deposits, or scale, that can build up inside a...
- Classic or rich, each brew is flavorful and never bitter with custom brew strengths
- Hotter brewing technology: Advanced boiler for a perfectly hot cup of coffee
- Wake up to hot coffee 24-hour programmable delay brew allows you to prepare your brew up to a day in advance
- COFFEE, LATTES & CAPPUCCINOS: Use any K-Cup pod to brew coffee, or make delicious lattes and cappuccinos.
- SIMPLE BUTTON CONTROLS: Just insert any K-Cup pod and use the button controls to brew delicious coffee, or make hot or iced lattes and cappuccinos.
- LARGE 60oz WATER RESERVOIR: Allows you to brew 6 cups before having to refill, saving you time and simplifying your morning routine. Removable...
- Fits anywhere: Less than 5 inches wide, perfect for small spaces
- Travel mug friendly: Removable drip tray accommodates travel mugs upto 7.0 inches tall and holds a full accidental brew for easy cleanup
- Energy efficient: Auto off feature turns off your coffee maker 90 seconds after your last brew, helping to save energy
- Dose control grinding: Integrated conical burr grinder grinds on demand to deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee directly into the...
- Precise espresso extraction: Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at precisely the right temperature, ensuring optimal Espresso extraction
- Micro foam milk texturing: The steam wand performance allows you to hand texture micro foam milk that enhances flavor and enables creation of latte...
- Programmable timer allows you to set brew time up to 24 hours in Advance
- 2 Hour shut off automatically powers Coffee maker down so you don't have to
- Water window on reservoir for accurate filling; 900 watts programmable Coffee maker
- Brew two ways: Enjoy either a single-serve cup (travel mug not included) or full pot of coffee with the 12-cup carafe.
- Fully programmable: Wake up to a hot cup of coffee with fully programmable functionality and auto-shutoff.
- Adjusts to your cup: Can brew directly into the carafe, a travel mug (not included) or a short cup (not included)
What are coffee machines?
With a fully automatic machine, you can prepare the most diverse types of coffee at the touch of a button – which are depends on the device. The quality always remains the same, once you have found the right setting. For many models, you can namely Mahlgrad, coffee and water volume and the like set individually and often even save. Thus, a coffee machine allows you to prepare your favourite drink quickly and without much effort. The fact that the beans are often freshly ground ensures a high-quality coffee. And if you can then also froth the milk with the device, the coffee enjoyment is perfect.
Coffee Variety: With a coffee machine you can prepare espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiato and many other coffee specialities. Many devices also allow you to prepare decaffeinated coffee or hot water for tea.
Why should I buy a coffee machine?
Before you go to action and buy such a device, you should think in advance about some aspects. After all, it is an investment of several hundred euros or even a four-figure amount. Therefore, you should regularly use the coffee machine, savour its features and enjoy it for a long time. For example, ask yourself:
- Are there any coffee drinkers in my household or in the office or company?
- Are different coffee variants preferred?
- Are the users ready and able to deal with the setting options?
- Is uncomplicated cleaning and hygiene feasible?
You Should Pay Attention
- Quiet model – so that the others are not disturbed at work
- Storage of multiple profiles – for a better automatic process
- Make quick coffee – so that every employee gets his coffee during his lunch break
- Easy to use – the less you can do wrong, the longer the device will last
- Easy cleaning – because it is difficult to find responsible for this task
In general, coffee machines are more expensive for companies than the devices that are to be used in private households. This is significantly related to the daily brewing amount of cups that becomes due. If, on the other hand, it is a rather small company, then the coffee machines presented by renowned top manufacturers from the upper price category presented above are probably quite good for you.
Advantages and disadvantages of fully automatic coffee machines
You may also ask yourself whether it makes sense to use a fully automatic coffee machine. In such a case, it is advisable to compare the advantages and disadvantages of such a device. Some points speak for the use of coffee machines. So you benefit from a better enjoyment, as the coffee beans are always freshly ground. In addition, most models offer a wide range of different coffees. More aroma and less bitter substances are also realized by the short brewing times of the coffee machines. Of course, there are also disadvantages.
So you should always remember that you can usually prepare only single to a maximum of two cups at a time. The preparation of larger quantities in coffee pots is therefore often not possible. Many coffee machines are also very noisy and a lot more expensive than conventional coffee machines, which are usually available for well under 100 euros.
Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of coffee machines at a glance:
- Selection of different coffee specialities
- More aroma and less bitter substances due to short brewing times
- Fast preparation inconsistent quality
- Coffee beans can always be freshly ground
- Often simple intuitive operation
- More environmentally friendly than pad and capsule machines
- Often only one to a maximum of two cups at a time to prepare
- Often quite loud
- Expensive in the purchase and possible repairs
- Regular cleaning necessary
Are there alternatives to the coffee machine?
Another consideration before you buy a fully automatic machine should be in the direction of alternative options. Because maybe a different device fits better to your requirements? We will briefly introduce the most important alternatives to the fully automatic coffee machine.
1. Espresso machine If you are a true espresso lover and mainly enjoy only this coffee drink, maybe a so-called portafilter machine is better suited for you than a coffee machine. Because this is designed for espresso and makes this hot drink using a special brewing process perfectly for you – and with wonderful crema. Although fully automatic coffee machines are able to mimic this process. However, this does not work in detail. So if you value the perfect espresso, you better opt for a portafilter machine.
When is a coffee machine the better decision? If you would like to prepare different coffee variants simply by pressing a button, the fully automatic machine is the better choice than an espresso machine.
2. Coffeemaker A coffee machine is a coffee machine with grinder. Thus, you get a “good old filter coffee” from freshly ground beans, which has a positive effect on the taste quality. Another advantage of the coffee machine is that you can prepare larger quantities at once. And the purchase price is a lot slower than the coffee machine.
Coffee machine yes or no? An important difference to the fully automatic machine is the lower quality because it lacks the pressure and the milk foam. In addition, the selection is limited to only one type of coffee.
3. Pad and capsule machines These devices make the coffee extra fast and easy. Especially the simple handling is to be emphasized here compared to the fully automatic machine. You will also be offered a selection of different coffee variations. Last but not least, pad and capsule machines are cheaper to buy than fully automatic coffee machines.
What speaks against pad and capsule machines? As is well known, taste can not be argued about. But real coffee lovers will certainly not come to the full enjoyment of this type of preparation. Compared to the normal filter coffee pod and capsule machines are also more expensive and louder. In addition, there is plenty of garbage, which makes these devices to small “environmental sinners”.
Low-priced versus high-priced coffee machines
Whether you spend a lot or a small amount of money on such a device, of course, depends first of all on your financial resources. In addition, there are considerations about how often you drink coffee, what requirements you place on the quality of the beverage, whether you prefer different coffees and much more. We will discuss the individual purchase criteria in more detail later. To answer the question of price in general: A coffee machine under 200 euros does not deserve this name. That’s money thrown out. In contrast, a device between 200 and 300 euros is quite feasible. An example of this is the De’Longhi Magnifica S ECAM 22.110.B, which we also present in comparison. It offers you excellent functionality and a good taste experience.
Compared with that, the Krups EA8108 is rather mediocre, but also cheaper, while the Melitta Caffeo Solo plays in the same league as the already mentioned De’Longhi. At the same time, you have to forgo the milk froth system at Melitta. So you can see that the price must always be set in relation to your requirements. The low-priced models meet all the necessary requirements in terms of functionality – because the expected “coffee at the push of a button” is delivered to you in any case. At the same time, you certainly have to compromise on material quality, functionality, looks and extras. Already starting from about 400 euro there are optical improvements and in the devices, more stainless steel is installed as plastic – which plays also in relation to the durability a role.
Often it may also be minor things that you value – perhaps a water tank that can be removed forwards, a larger bean container or a coffee powder tray. Even a clear display, which is intuitive to use, can play a role. Especially with regard to the milk foam, many coffee lovers pay attention to certain gimmicks. So many attach importance to integrated, automatic milk systems, which can be found in coffee machines for the 600 euros already. If the price goes even higher, the brand name, certain filter techniques, the number of speciality coffees and other extras often play a decisive role.
An investment that can pay off: the higher the price scale, the higher the quality of the materials used, the more diverse the functions and the more thoughtful the operation.
Which drinks can you prepare with a coffee machine?
Of course, the coffee variants that you can prepare with a fully automatic coffee machine depend on the appliance. Below we list the most important ones.
- Espresso – quantities can be preset differently
- Espresso Lungo – mild espresso with more water
- Ristretto – extra-strong espresso with less water
- Americano – variant of a “normal” coffee
- Cappuccino – espresso with freshly frothed milk
- Caffé Latte – Espresso with hot milk and milk foam
- Latte macchiato – hot milk and milk froth with espresso on top
- Caffé Crema – Espresso with four times more water (alternatively cream on top)
- Café au lait – double espresso with the same amount of milk
- Decaffeinated coffee – with instant coffee
- Tea – with hot water
What should I look for when buying a coffee machine?
Apart from personal preferences, the financial question certainly also plays a role. As already described above, there are differences between low-priced and higher-priced devices. To give you an additional decision-making aid, we have listed below the most important purchase criteria for fully automatic coffee machines for you: Grinder The grinder of a coffee machine should be of high quality because it is very heavily used. It has the task to grind the coffee beans homogeneously so that the aroma can be extracted evenly. It’s also the key factor in how loud your device is. The grinder is distinguished on the one hand in the material:
- Ceramics are a particularly durable material, which is said to have a long life expectancy. This certainly depends on the material quality and workmanship. At the same time, ceramic voting machines have the reputation of being quieter. In addition, they can not rust.
- Steel is also considered very robust. It is often installed in cheaper coffee machines. Again, it depends on criteria such as the quality of the steel used and how it was processed in the device.
At least as important is the shape of the grinder. Again, you have the choice between two variants:
- In the conical grinder, two parts fit together. This results in a very uniform grinding pattern. The conical grinder works at lower speeds, is robust and durable. As they take up less space, conical grinders are often installed in compact coffee machines.
- The widely used disc grinder works with two discs that lie on top of each other. The lower their distance, the finer the coffee is ground. Also, the size of the slices has an influence – the larger, the faster it is ground and the aroma is better.
- Which grinder is the best? Which material and which form are the best, the spirits argue about. Here you should incorporate your personal preferences and possibly already made experiences. And compare what else the coffee machine has to offer – as explained below.
Brewing The brewing group is considered the heart of a coffee machine. That is why good care and cleaning is particularly important. But you can only do that if the brewing group is removable. Therefore, we recommend that you pay attention to this aspect. The only advantage of a non-removable brew group is that it can not break then.
Pay attention to the material and careful handling: Handle the brewing group carefully. Because when removing and inserting or cleaning, there is a risk that the brew group is damaged. Therefore, high-quality material such as durable plastic or – even better – stainless steel is an advantage.
Milk foam system
Whether your coffee machine is equipped with a milk froth system is a matter of taste and price. If you value it, it makes sense in any case, if the milk foam system is easy to clean – preferably via an automatic function. Often a nozzle – also Cappuccinatore – installed, which also provides good milk foam. In this way, you will even be able to switch between different types of milk. In addition, coffee machines with milk foam system often require more space.
In more and more coffee machines, the thermo block ensures that hot water is supplied to the brew group as well as water vapour for the milk foam. He has some advantages over the classic boiler. So it heats up faster, calcifies slower and can be operated permanently. In addition, you usually achieve more accurate water temperatures with a thermo block. However, should a repair be due, it can be quite expensive.
For the sake of completeness, we will briefly discuss the subject of pumps. This generates the necessary brewing pressure. As a rule, 9 bars are sufficient for this, so that a higher pumping capacity is not absolutely necessary.
The size you should prefer with the water tank depends primarily on how much coffee is drunk daily. So a large water tank with 2-litre capacity or more is certainly useful in offices and large households. For two people who only drink a cup of coffee once a day, a smaller size is sufficient. After all, you should keep in mind that the water can also taste musty and old if it remains too long in the water tank. So it can happen that the smell on the material passes and you have to buy a new tank.
The simple and intuitive operation of a coffee machine is an important aspect. Whether this is done digitally via a large touchscreen or simply via buttons without a display is also a matter of taste. It is therefore recommended to have a look at the operating instructions before buying if this is available online. At least the preparation of a “normal” espresso or latte macchiato should be possible without much study of the instructions. Take a look at the testimonials of other users and decide on the basis of your own needs. If you’re not a techie, for example, a simpler key operation is more useful to you than a lavish digital display or app. If you enjoy technical finesse, you are more likely to go in that direction.
It is clear that you can not get around a regular descaling of the device. If the coffee machine already contains a water filter, you will rarely have to descale it. This also depends on the water hardness in your household.
Caution Follow-up costs: When purchasing a coffee machine, plan about 10 euros per month for the water filter.
Other features This includes aspects such as:
- Preparation of two cups at the same time
- Two bean compartments for selecting two types of coffee
- Additional powder compartment
- cup warmer
- Height-adjustable cup spout
All these features may or may not be important to you. Here you can, for example, consider which drinks from how many people and in which different sizes you would like to prepare daily with the coffee machine.
Which settings are possible with a coffee machine?
Before you get the ideal coffee enjoyment with your new device, you’ll probably have to try a few things. For this purpose, you can make some settings on the coffee machine, of which we would like to briefly explain the most important:
- Grind Degree: This function regulates the respective coffee flavours extracted from the ground bean. As a rule of thumb, the finer the ground, the stronger the coffee. The more grind steps a machine has, the more you can vary. A low number stands for a fine grinding degree and vice versa. Sometimes even a stepless adjustment is possible.
- Amount of coffee powder: The more coffee beans you set on the bean scale, the more coffee powder is ground. At the same time more pressure is spent and the taste more intense.
- Quantity of water: This is the third prerequisite for a successful coffee. The amount of water, together with the degree of grinding and the amount of coffee powder, has a mild or even more intense coffee taste. The more water you use, the milder the coffee becomes.
- Water hardness: The adjustment of the degree of hardness at the coffee machines is usually possible in three or four stages. However, this hardly affects the quality of the beverage but provides for more or less frequently necessary decalcification. The machines automatically report when this becomes necessary. Whereby: The harder the water, the more often you have to descale.
- Temperature: For a good espresso about 90 degrees Celsius are optimal, if necessary, you can adjust the temperature but also up or down accordingly. For the milk, a maximum temperature of 65 degrees Celsius is recommended, otherwise, the taste may change.
- Cleaning program: Generally it is recommended that you clean the coffee machine regularly – once a week is a rule of thumb. If the device has an automatic cleaning program, this is done in a few simple steps. You should also do some manual cleaning, which we explain in more detail in the following section.
How do I properly care for the coffee machine?
To ensure that you enjoy your new coffee machine for a long time, you should treat and clean it properly and regularly. This prevents mould growth and ensures good hygiene. In addition, you will always get the coffee that meets your demands for a good quality, because you remove possible taste-changing substances. Let’s take a closer look at how to maintain the most important parts:
- Grinder: It is recommended to clean the grinder once or twice a month, depending on the frequency of use. It can be easily removed on many machines and then cleaned thoroughly. Although there are also cleaning tablets, these do not replace manual cleaning. But only really remove the coarse parts, otherwise, you jeopardize the warranty. By the way, you should make sure that no stones or the like get into the grinder.
- Brew group: If possible, you should clean the brew group daily. It is best to rinse them under hot water. The more frequently you do this, the sooner you can save on detergents and more scrubbing and scratching, and thus spare the part. Please take care when removing and installing, so that the brewing group will be preserved for a long time.
- Bean container: You should not forget this when cleaning. Because it can accumulate in its oil, which rancid with time. It is sufficient if you wipe the container dry with a household towel. Please refrain entirely from chemical cleaning agents, as they may affect the aroma of the beans.
- Water tank: It is recommended that the water tank be emptied regularly, for example, once a week, rinsed hot, left to dry and then refilled.
- Coffee grounds container and drip tray: Most coffee machines indicate when these containers are filled. At least then you should empty and clean them – with or without detergent.
Which cleaners for coffee machines?
Here are the recommendations that you always use the products that the manufacturers call. If it should be cheap alternatives, it is best always those that are composed exactly like the recommended product. Budget funds are not recommended. Citric acid, for example, can be super clean for a kettle, but too aggressive for some fully automatic machines.
How often do you descale the coffee machine?
Lime settles out of the water every time your fully automatic machine is heated. The higher the hardness of your water, the more lime is contained, which then settles the faster in the machine. There he can block the mechanics and lines and in the worst case lead to a defect. If your device has a descaling program, you can leave the automatic work to you. If such an automatic program does not exist, you should descale the machine at least once a month, depending of course on the water hardness. Again, it is advisable to use the manufacturer recommended descaler – or the cheap and otherwise identical counterpart.
Who makes coffee machines?
There are now numerous manufacturers of coffee machines – this includes both no-name companies as well as established companies. Among the best-known brands are:
Five tips for the correct use of fully automatic coffee machines
Coffee machines are increasingly used. This does not only affect private households but also companies and offices. Earlier, we have already explained the reasons why this is the case. Enclosed we would like to give you some tips to help you get the best possible coffee from your fully automatic machine.
1. Opt for high-quality coffee beans
True to the motto “Come in at the top – come out the bottom”, you should put a lot of emphasis on the selection of coffee beans. If you decide on a low-quality coffee, it may well be the case that the taste and the overall quality of the drink leaves something to be desired. Of course, the tastes are also very different in this area. Pay close attention to brand quality when it comes to selecting coffee beans.
2. Note the degree of grinding of your coffee beans
If the grinder is not adjusted correctly by the automatic coffee machine, it can not provide the best possible coffee enjoyment. So be sure to make the appropriate optimizations. The ground coffee should never be as fine as possible or very coarse. Remember that you find a middle ground, which can ensure that sufficient flavours and aromas are removed from the coffee when it comes to brewing.
3. Use good milk with mixed drinks
Are you a fan of cappuccino, then you should not only pay attention to the corresponding coffee beans but also pour a decent milk in the coffee machine. Remember that the cappuccino is primarily made from milk and therefore has a high content of fat. This substance is known to be a taste carrier. According to many consumers, a cappuccino does not taste too good if it was not prepared with enough fatty milk.
4. The water is important too
Similar to the coffee beans and the milk, it depends on the water when it comes to the preparation of the German popular drink. Many coffee fans, for example, prefer filtered water. To match this, many manufacturers also integrate appropriate filter systems in their own fully automatic coffee machines.
5. Place a high value on the hygiene
With your coffee machine, you prepare a stimulant that you eat. Because of this, it is always recommended that you do not forget the hygiene and cleanliness. So fall next to the coffee grounds and some more residues, which is the case especially when using milk. Also think about the descaling as well as the maintenance intervals, which can exist especially with high-quality devices. In the upper section, we have explained in detail the cleaning and care of a coffee machine.