Did someone just say bring out your inner barista while working an ancient coffee pot? Hey, I love my morning cuppa as much as the next Brit and will take it anyway I can. But if you’re truly in love with the dark drink, then you know there’s no other way to take it but b2c baby. Here are some of the best bean to cup coffee machines in the UK:
1. Best under £500 – 600: Got a hankering for some primo coffee but want it with the least possible faff? Then the Gaggia RI8760/18 Anima Coffee Machine is the best model fit for a queen.
2. Best under £300 – 400: Interested in a bean to cup machine upgrade but don’t want to spend a fortune? The De’Longhi Caffe’ Corso ESAM2800 fits the bill perfectly.
3. Best under £100 – 200: Great coffee is all about the beans, right? The Cuisinart Grind and Brew Automatic Coffee Machine offers you the bare necessities required to enjoy a decent cup every morning at a fraction of the price.
Best bean-to-cup coffee machine buying guide
Bean to cup machines have to be the greatest thing since (and in compliment to) sliced bread. Even with zero barista-ring skills, these super convenient caffeine juicers produce the highest quality coffee.
The on the spot grinding guarantees unmistakable freshness, richness and aromas that no other extraction process can match. And all you have to do is load the beans and water and the rest is automated.
No clean up, easy to use, super efficient and able to whip up one damn great tasting cuppa Joe, it’s easy to see why coffee connoisseurs only speak about bean to cup machines – after emptying all the coffee of course.
Key features and considerations when buying bean to cup coffee machines
i) Machine size and weight
What’s your intended purpose for the unit? How many people will be using the coffee machine on a daily basis? And do you just want something simple or a beast that will impress everyone who looks at it?
All these questions will determine the type of machine you buy. Larger units are more reliable, durable, and effective, but they’re also heavy and bulky.
As with all electrical appliances, anyone who wants more power will need a unit with higher power ratings. The wattage should complement the heating element so you can it max temperatures without burning your coffee.
iii) Bar pressure
The bar pressure determines the final quality of your brew. A lower pressure may not be able to gather all the flavours your beans have to offer leaving you with a rather bitter tasting cup. Connoisseurs advice looking for a machine with a bar pressure of between 8 and 15; especially if you like your coffee milky and frothy.
iv) Tank capacity
Your coffee machine tank capacity will determine how many cups you can make in one go. If it’s for commercial purposes, the workplace, or you just have a large family, you’ll want a coffee machine with a huge capacity.
v) Additional features
You’ve heard of bean to cup. How about taking it a bit further and going bean to cups. You can literally kill two birds with one stone by getting a machine that offers two servings at the same time. This is essential for commercial settings.
Best bean to cup coffee machine reviews
1. BEST UNDER £500 – 600: Gaggia RI8760/18 Anima Coffee Machine
- Exceptional tasting brews
- Ultra easy to use and convenient
- Sleek and compact footprint
- No one button milky drinks
For millions of us who pledge allegiance to the queen, we take our high tea with a strong hint of seriousness. Like I said earlier, a barista is only as good as his equipment. So, what do you do when your coffee habit evolves from a pleasant hot beverage to a lifelong obsession wrought with a never ending thirst for just the right flavour, texture and aromas?
Well, you get the Gaggia RI8760/18 Anima Coffee Machine of course. This smart looking, glossy black beauty boasts of a removable 1.8 litre water tank as well as a fully integrated 250 gram bean hopper – both conveniently accessed from above. Which brings us to what this unit does best –
What it does best
Hmm, how do I put this… The Gaggia RI8760/18 Anima Coffee Machine – there’s a reason that she’s the best bean to cup coffee machine under or around £500 you’ll find in the UK. That’s because the Gaggia Anima appeals to all our lazier instincts.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all want a machine that not only does all the hard work, but also produces barista-quality espressos every time, all the time.
Just looking at the interface, you can tell that very little is required of you – both knowledge-wise and operation-wise too. The clear LCD displays an uncluttered image accompanied by six buttons for selecting brew strength, temperature settings, water, brew types, and many more.
And once you’re done, the cleaning is automatic too!
Flaws but not deal breakers
This is what I call a tall order. I mean, the Gaggia RI8760 is a great unit – a coffee machine fit for the royal highness herself. So as you’d expect, picking out flaws from this beauty was quite difficult. However, there’s always a couple areas that the manufacturer could have improved on.
For instance, they could have made the unit less tedious to maintain. The self cleaning function is great, but it doesn’t work everywhere. So if you want to keep your machine in peak condition, you’ll need to follow the manual closely and use cleaning tablets to clean the interior.
Likewise, I’d recommend opening up the side to clean it at least once every two weeks. It’s a headache to remove and put back together, but it helps in the long run.
What other customers think
If you take a quick look online, you’ll find that almost every person who bought the Gaggia RI8760/18 Anima Coffee Machine says pretty much what I’ve been saying all along. Compared to other high end models, the manufacturer managed to squeeze in a whole lot more features and convenience without exorbitant pricing.
Those who bought it love the fact that you don’t even need to have any barista skills whatsoever to make a splendid cup of coffee. It’s easy to use, holds plenty of beans and a large enough water tank for plenty of refills.
Should you buy it?
Technically, the Gaggia RI8760/18 Anima Coffee Machine can be classified as a hybrid. Not only is it a bean to cup station, it also comes with automatic milk preparation. Sure, it might not have that one-button function for milky drinks. But if you’ve got that hankering for some primo coffee with the least possible faff, then the Gagia Anima is the right b2c machine for you.
2. BEST UNDER £300 – 400: De’Longhi Caffe’ Corso ESAM2800.SB Bean to Cup
- Easy to set up, learn and maintain
- Works with either beans or ground coffee
- Outstanding milk frothing function
- A bit slow brewing some drinks
For coffee lovers who want that authentic taste, bean to cup coffee machines offer the greatest allure. However, the price tags that often come with high end models can be (for lack of a better word) discouraging. That’s why De’longhi clawed tooth and nail to get us a great machine under or around £300.
The De’Longhi Caffe’ Corso ESAM2800 is a compact silver and black 1.8 litre model that comes with an integrated grinder and milk frother as well. What’s more, the unit uses thermoblock technology with a high performance 15 bar pressure pump to make sure you extract al the flavours from your beans.
What it does best
While the De’Longhi Corso ESAM2800.SB Bean to Cup machine isn’t exactly a push and walk away type of deal, you can tell that the manufacturer did their best to maintain the utmost convenience. For starters, the ESAM can be used with either ground coffee or fresh beans – it’s this simple functionality that allows for a one button espresso.
Likewise, the machine uses an ever ready self priming system with an automatic shut off that makes it even easier to use. Another aspect where the ESAM 2800 excels is personalized programs. These rinse and decalcification auto programs can be set to reflect local water hardness.
Flaws but not deal breakers
All in all, the Caffe’ Corso is a marvellous machine that can whip up a respectable cup of coffee. However, there is one major issue that one can’t help but notice. There have been numerous complaints about the brewing speed when using beans. I guess that’s why De’longhi really paid attention to the ground coffee function.
Drinks such as cappuccinos can take as much as 3 minutes from the grinding phase. Sure, this may seem reasonable if you’re happy to wait that long for a well made cup. However, that’s two minutes too long for impatient coffee guzzlers and customers waiting for a quick and instant jolt of caffeine.
What other customers think
When buying a new product, it’s always wise to take into account what previous customers have to say. With the De’Longhi ESAM2800.SB Bean to Cup machine, it wasn’t that hard to get elated buyers.
Comments that really stood out and seemed universal included being pleased with the value for the money. The fact that it’s easy to set up also took centre stage. However, more customers agree that the ground coffee doesn’t taste nearly as good as the beans – but I don’t think that’s the machine’s fault.
Should you buy it?
The ESAM2800 Bean to Cup Machine is definitely a touch call. For a unit under or around £300, it’s great at what it does. Sure, the design of the unit is nothing special and it definitely won’t have your guests’ tongues wagging. But it’s the ease of use and excellent tasting brews that will have everyone asking for tips. So if you’re interested in a bean to cup machine upgrade and don’t want to spend a fortune, the Caffe’ Corso fits the bill perfectly.
3. BEST UNDER £100 – 200: Cuisinart Grind and Brew Automatic Coffee Machine
- Incredibly affordable B2C machine
- Offers a delicious and customizable brew
- Includes thermal carafe that keeps coffee hot for 2 hours
- Massive headache to clean and maintain
- Blade grinder
Ask any experienced coffee connoisseur and they’ll tell you that using fresh, high quality beans is the foundation to the perfect cuppa Joe. The immediate grinding is what really helps retain delicate oils and get the best aromas – The rest; it’s just nothing but machines swishing around hot water.
If you also share the same views with me, then there’s a unit built just for the practical coffee lover. The Cuisinart Grind and Brew Automatic Coffee Machine is a great place to start your caffeine journey – especially since it’s the best you’ll get for under £100 in the UK. So, what makes it the best for the price?
What it does best
Obviously, the unit saves you a whole lot of pounds on the initial purchase. But that’s not why millions of coffee drinkers prefer the cheaper unit. This compact model is actually a fully automated coffee maker that grinds up beans before brewing up about 12 cups in just under 8 minutes. How’s that for performance.
And that’s not all; the model comes with a glass carafe and hot plate that keeps the pot and coffee warm for up to 2 hours. But one feature that we totally didn’t expect to find on a coffee machine under 100 was auto start. This bad boy actually incorporates a programmable auto start that lets you set a timer and have your morning coffee ready even before you wake up.
Flaws but not deal breakers
I know, I know – the Cuisinart Grind and Brew is quite cheap. So it’s only natural that people expect a ton of flaws and weaknesses. Well, I can confidently say that while the machine may be cheap, it is by no means cheaply made. Still, it does lack plenty of the features that other models on this list have.
For one, the unit gets clogged really easily since it grinds beans a bit coarser than others given it has a blade grinder only. Likewise, there’s no self cleaning function which means maintenance is fully manual.
What other customers think
This is the very example of delivering exactly as promised. The manufacturer didn’t oversell on the performance expectations. That’s why most customers knew they were buying an entry level machine with a little more than the basics. Still, the basic features and ease of use makes this unit ideal for newbies. However, you’ll find quite a few connoisseurs with something to say.
Should you buy it?
The Cuisinart Grind and Brew Automatic Coffee Machine combines a blade grinder and a standard drip coffeemaker all in one compact device. It offers everything you need to enjoy freshly ground beans and will ready your cup even before you’re out of bed. If you can overlook the hassle involved with cleaning and slight noise levels, then I’d definitely recommend this machine as your very first caffeine juicer with a solid two thumbs up.
Any coffee aficionado will always tell you that nothing comes close to the taste of a good home-made brew that has been perfected to match your taste and requirements. If you are quite serious about the quality of coffee you drink every day, it is quite a good choice to invest in a good quality machine that allows you to control every aspect of the coffee making process – from grinding coffee beans to brewing them just right to release all the essential oils and fragrance.
What are alternatives?
Here is a list of other great models which have received a lot of positive reviews from the users. For every model, you will find some details of their features, and other pros and perhaps cons so that you can make the best choice while selecting a bean to cup coffee machine for yourself.
1. Delonghi ECAM22.320.SB Fully Automatic Coffee Maker
This is one of the most popular coffee maker that you will ever find in the market and our favourite machine for 2017 (read our full review).
With different advanced settings that allow you to make coffee with an incredibly rich taste, the Delonghi ECAM22.320.SB is a strong contender and you will find it hard to find any other machine that offers equal results!
This model is available on Amazon in a good price range, and can even steam milk for cappuccino. You can use it not only with fresh coffee grinds, but also with pre-ground coffee to get satisfying results.
The integrated bean grinder hardly makes any noise, and comes with 13 adjustable settings. Its arm frother is also of quite high-quality, which means you get a good froth on your cup of coffee.
2. Delonghi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean To Cup Coffee Machine
This machine is quaintly small, but has solid features built inside which can help you to make anything from an americano to a cup of cappuccino.
This coffee machine comes with a milk frother, and has a one-touch button feature which lets you make your tasty coffee recipes in a jiffy (read our full review).
This machine is available at a decent price on Amazon, which is good news for any newbie who is starting to experiment with coffee making process in their homes.
The size is also quite compact, which means it will not take up a lot of space in your kitchen.
The design is simple and quite interactive, which reduces complications of making different recipes.
3. Gaggia Brera Bean To Cup Coffee Machine
Gaggia is a well know coffee making brand, and any true coffee lover will definitely experiment with at least one of its models to enhance their coffee tasting experience (read our full review).
This coffee maker is very versatile.
It can make a wide range of coffee drinks which you can further customise by adjusting the settings so as to get the perfect taste.
This machine has received some negative reviews for breakdowns and cleaning issues.
However, some people might find it difficult to follow the cleaning instructions, so it is better that you take a look into it before making the purchase.
4. Melitta Caffeo Bistro Automatic Bean To Coffee Making Machine
At first sight this coffee maker might seem too expensive, but it offers really high-quality results which not most expensive models can provide!
Also, Amazon often offers amazing deals on this machine, which means you can get it at a discount price as well!
This coffee maker is very convenient to use, and gives greater control to the user in deciding the strength of their coffee.
There are three settings for the grinding process, and you can change them according to the taste you want.
This machine comes with a frother and a whisk, which can create amazing cups of cappuccino. Read our full review.
5. Andrew James Programmable Chrome Filter Coffee Making Machine With Bean Grinder
This coffee maker is available on Amazon for less than £100, and yet it makes it way into the list of the best coffee making machines because of its high-quality basic features. A lot of coffee makers try hard to provide advanced features, but as a result compromise on the effectiveness of their basic settings.
The Andrew James coffee maker comes with its own bean grinding settings, and you can also monitor the water level inside through the transparent panel on the side. The machine is very compact and easy to use in a small kitchen space. Read our full review.
6. Sage Barista Express Cofee Machine by Heston Blumenthal
Heston Blumenthal is known for believing in only the best, so it is not a surprise that one of his coffee machines would make it on the list. A lot of people who want to use Heston-endorsed coffee machines will find this an easy buy because it is less expensive and still provides high-quality results.
This model comes with an in-built conical burr grinder that only grinds a small amount of coffee for every cup. This way, you do not end up with excessive coffee powder, which then loses its fragrance and taste once it loses its freshness quickly.
The machine is also equipped with a PID temperature controller that maintains the right temperature for the water so that the coffee grinds can mix in well, releasing its oils and taste. Read our full review.
7. Melitta E953-101 Caffeo Solo Automatic Coffee Maker With Milk Steamer
This coffee machine is quite decently priced, which means that more coffee enthusiasts will have access to it.
This is not a top ranking coffee maker, but it certainly fares better than most of the models you see nowadays.
Its main winning point is its cool, sleek and elegant design. The design is interactive and the process of brewing different types of coffee is not complicated at all. Read our full review.
8. Delonghi Magnifica ESAM 4000 Cappuccino And Espresso Machine
This model has a lot of well set-up basic features like the drip tray which is quite a pleasant experience for a coffee loving newbie. The drip tray is easy to remove and clean, while the machine operates with single touch so that making coffee is quite quick and easy!
If you have been a coffee aficionado for a long time, you might find this coffee maker inadequate.
However, it is easy to operate basic settings, which makes it a good choice for new coffee lovers who are still learning how to make a good cup of coffee and are looking for something less expensive. Read our full review.
9. Delonghi ECAM 22.110.SB
This fully automatic coffee maker comes under £500 on Amazon. It has an 8-ounce hopper, with bean storage capacity for 16 shots of espresso and an in-built coffee grinder with 13 adjustable settings.
It’s lightweight (9kg only) and has a good frothing arm, which means you can get good quality cappuccino without any hassle! The strength of this machine is its simplicity and ease of use.
This Delonghi model makes great milk based coffee, though its espressos are also quite rich in taste. Read our full review.
10. Sage the Oracle coffee machine by Heston Blumenthal
Sage the Oracle is not very easily accessible, as its price in the market is quite high. But it does make an exceptionally good cup of coffee, so if you do not mind spending a lot of money, you should definitely go for this model.
The Sage is quite popular because of its micro-adjustment details and the sturdy compact build that enhances the look of the kitchen. The model has a stainless steel dual boiler with triple heating system and PID technology, which help you to make the perfect cup of espressos every time. Read our full review.
What tips can you follow while choosing your coffee maker?
When I first started out, looking for a coffee making machine that would give me good tasting coffee, I made a lot of mistakes. I often made the wrong choice, and ended up spending too much money on things that never worked. Over the years though, I learnt a lot from my experience, and here I have provided a list of things you should remember while buying a coffee maker.
1. Never go cheap on the budget front.
A lot of people make the mistake of buying cheapest coffee machines. This is anot a good idea, since cheap machines will break down more, and stop working within a few months. If you buy a coffee maker for a much higher price, you will be making a good investment. The machine will last longer and will have many adjustable settings that will allow you to make the perfect cup of coffee every time.
2. Learn about cleaning process.
A lot of people make mistakes while cleaning their machines and end up breaking them. This is why it is important to go through the manual first. Some coffee makers will require daily cleaning where you have to drain out your filter after every use. Some of them need their chambers wiped clean so that the machine stays hygienic.
3. Multi-cup brewing machines.
It is always a good choice to buy models that can make more than one cup at a time. This way, your cup won’t get cold while you are waiting for the other cup to fill.
4. Read reviews of each model on Amazon.
Amazon allows customers to give their own honest reviews to talk about their experience regarding the coffee makers they have bought. When you read the reviews, you will know which models carry features that you need to make the type of coffee you want. You will also learn about the negative points about any model so that you can avoid buying them.
A lot of people might have some specific questions in mind while looking for a coffee maker, so you can go through the list below and see if any of these answers help you find the right machine for you:
1. Is it always better to use coffee beans?
Yes. Coffee beans freshly grounded contain all the intact oils which release maximum taste. Once it comes in contact with air, the coffee grinds lose their freshness.
2. Do all bean to cup coffee makers make a lot of noise?
If you are using the grinding setting in the machine, it will make noise as the coffee beans are being broken down. However most of these bean to cup coffee machines can make coffee with both grinded beans and pre-ground coffee, so you can always use the latter as the option while making coffee late at night.
3. Are these machines big?
Beans to cup coffee makers are bigger than usual coffee making machines as they contain compartment to grind the beans as well.
4. Can you use these machines in a restaurant?
Nothing stops you from buying these bean to cup coffee machines in any way you want. However, most of these coffee makers are sold for domestic use, so your product’s warranty might become invalid.
5. Why are these machines so expensive?
Most of these machines use advanced systems to operate, and they cost money to build. Also, if you consider the amount of money you would normally spend on coffee every day if you were buying at a bistro, you will be surprised to see that it is much cheaper in the long run to buy an ‘expensive’ domestic bean to cup coffee maker to get high-quality coffee every day!
6. How do you use a bean to cup coffee machine?
If you like making the best quality coffee but don’t like the hassle of grinding beans and tampering grounds, then bean to cup coffee machines are just what the doctor ordered. Bean to cup machines combine the best of both worlds to deliver great coffee even with zero barista skills.
These machines work by incorporating everything you need to make coffee in one handy machine. This includes a grinder which makes short work of the beans to make freshly ground coffee. After that, hot water is passed through the grounds at a pressure of up to 19 bars. You can also add frothy milk before pulling your shot since many B2C machines also come with a built in milk frother.
7. How do you clean bean to cup coffee machines?
Although not after every use, bean to cup coffee machines need to be cleaned out regularly. Once a month is more than enough, especially if your machine has a built-in milk frother. If you’re lucky, your machine will have a one touch cleaning cycle that helps the machine clean itself out. However, you still have to carry out manual cleaning and maintenance.
Start by disassembling the machine so you can clean out each of the removable parts. The first thing you need to clean is the milk frothing system. If left for too long, the milk could build up residue and sour. Soak the pipes and carafe in hot soapy water. Next, clean out the drip tray and grounds container. As for the water reservoir, chances are that there’s some calcium buildup. Use vinegar to decalcify the machine.
8. Where can I buy a bean to cup coffee machine?
Bean to cup coffee machines might just be the best at what they do. They combine plenty of technology and functions to deliver great tasting coffee. Even with zero barista skills, making coffee is always a breeze. As such, you can expect B2C machines to be more expensive than the regular coffee makers. Check out all the different types of bean to cup coffee makers I mentioned in this article.
All this information will help you to choose the best bean to cup coffee machine. Just remember to read as much as you can on each model, and you will have sufficient knowledge to know which machine will work for you the best.