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8 Best Capsule Coffee Machine Reviews

For those of us who are avid coffee drinkers, capsule coffee machines are nothing short of a gift from above. This is especially true for those of us who do not have barista-level coffee preparation skills, but would still love to crank out a nice, piping hot cup of joe without having to wait too long to do it.

When it comes to convenience and ease of use, capsule coffee machines really can’t be beat. That being said, it’s obvious that not all pod machines are created equal; in fact, if you’re not careful, you can purchase a dud of a coffee machine that will cause you more frustration than it’s worth.

Best capsule coffee machine reviews 2017

Model Our score

Price

Sage Nespresso Creatista Plus

4.8 / 5 stars

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Lavazza Jolie

4.7 / 5 stars

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Krups Nespresso Expert

4.6 / 5 stars

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This is the reason why we have invested a truckload of time and energy into finding out which coffee pod machines are truly worth their salt. So, with performance and efficiency in mind, below are the 8 best capsule coffee machines on the market.

1. Nespresso Creatista Plus by Sage

sage nespresso creatista plus review
This highly versatile coffee capsule machine offers a vast selection of different coffee preparations to choose from (e.g., cappuccino, espresso, latte macchiato, etc.), and its sleek design and stainless steel construction looks fantastic on practically any worktop. With a 19-bar pump and super-fast heat up time (just 3 seconds), the Creatista Plus is a highly efficient workhorse that allows you to enjoy barista-style coffee at home. Read full review.

What I like about it:

  • Professional-grade 19-bar pump optimises flavour extraction
  • 8 texture levels, 11 milk temperature settings and 3 coffee volume settings
  • Intuitive user interface with a high-resolution display

2. Lavazza Jolie

lavazza jolie review
Lavazza’s reputation precedes itself, and this coffee capsule machine is just another testament to the company’s stellar legacy. It features a highly compact design with wonderfully simple push-button operation, and by all metrics, this machine makes the proper espresso. You can prepare single or double shots of espresso at the touch of a button, and with 15 bars of pump pressure, you can be assured that the Jolie will unlock the maximum amount of flavour from each capsule. Read full review.

What I like about it:

  • Ultra-compact design saves lots of worktop space
  • Extremely user-friendly operation
  • Very quiet when brewing (only 44 dB!)

3. Nespresso Expert by Krups

With a sleek design and Bluetooth-enabled “smart” technology, the Nespresso Expert by Krups offers you the ability to customise your coffee to suit your particular preferences by way of the handy Nespresso mobile app. This machine can brew four different coffee cup sizes (Ristretto, Espresso, Lungo, and Nespresso Americano), and it features three different temperature settings (medium, hot and extra hot) so that you can prepare your coffee exactly how you like it. In addition, its innovative flat-to-the-wall design gives it a distinct, stylish look. Read full review.

What I like about it:

  • You can personalise your coffee via Bluetooth-enabled smart technology
  • Simple operation with a user-friendly interface
  • 19-bar pump provides professional-level pressure to maximise flavour extraction

4. Lavazza Italian Fantasia Coffee Maker

lavazza fantasia reviewThe Lavazza brand has over 100 years of coffee-specific knowledge and experience under their belt, and their trademark coffee is served in cafes and restaurants around the globe.

If you’re looking for a way to transfer the ultimate Italian-style coffee experience into your home, the Fantasia capsule coffee machine is a must-have.

It features an easy-to-use touch-sensitive control panel that offers several pre-set programmes, but you can also customise its settings as you see fit.

Lavazza is serious about quality control when it comes to coffee, which is one of the reasons why this machine only takes specially designed Lavazza coffee pods.

Once you taste how rich and flavourful the coffee is that comes from this compact machine, you’re not going to want it any other way. Read our full review.

What I like about it:

  • Professional level 15-bar pressure
  • Thermoblock technology prevents overheating
  • 1.2 litre water tank capacity

5. Bosch TAS4504GB Tassimo Joy 2 Hot Drinks and Coffee Machine

bosch tassimo t45This versatile machine expands beyond just making delicious coffee concoctions; it can brew a wide range of fresh beverages such as hot chocolate and tea as well.

In fact, the Bosch Tassimo offers you the ability to create over 40 different drinks from popular brands such as Kenco, Costa, Carte Noir, Oreo, and Cadbury, as well as an impressive range of Twining’s teas.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a beverage-making genius to put together a sumptuous drink with this machine. In fact, its one-button operation really makes drink preparation a no-brainer.

The BRITA water filtration system that is built into the unit is great as it keeps the water clean and contributes to a more flavourful drink.

Read our full review.

What I like about it:

  • Intellibrew bar code technology customizes machine settings to suit your specific drink
  • Simple one-button operation
  • Virtually zero heat-up time and energy-efficient auto-off function

6. Nespresso CitiZ and Milk by Krups XN730540 Coffee Machine

krups nespresso citiz reviewLatte lovers unite! If you’re a fan of milk-based coffee drinks, the Nespresso CitiZ and Milk capsule machine is going to be right up your alley.

It features a cool retro-inspired design, and it is fitted with an integrated milk frother (known as the “Aeroccino”) that enables you to create rich, creamy hot milk for a wide range of milk-based coffee beverages.

The CitiZ and Milk is incredibly user-friendly, featuring two programmable buttons along with automatic flow-stop functionality for espresso and lungo coffee preparations.

With a superb combination of premium functionality and eye-pleasing design, the Krups Nespresso CitiZ is definitely a top choice for the avid espresso enthusiast.

Read our full review.

What I like about it:

  • Integrated milk frother
  • 19-bar pressure pump offers high-performance flavour extraction
  • Removable 1-litre water tank

7. Nescafe Dolce Gusto Mini Me Automatic Coffee Machine Grey by Krups

dolce gusto machine reviewIf you’re looking for a simple and intuitive “plug and play” capsule coffee machine, you can’t go wrong with the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Mini Me.

It offers you the ability to select from 30 different flavour varieties (both hot and cold drinks), which you can pick up at the supermarket, or order online.

Even if you’re brand new to the world of coffee preparation, you will have no problem operating this extremely user-friendly machine.

Simply pop in a pod, select the appropriate volume setting and then move the lever to hot or cold depending upon the type of drink you’re preparing.

The pods for this machine come with their own volume setting recommendations, but you can always adjust this to suit your preference. All in all, the Dolce Gusto makes coffee making as simple as pie. Read our full review.

What I like about it:

  • Professional grade 15-bar pump
  • Automatic “play and select” functionality
  • Comes with a starter pack of 6 coffee pods

8. Leysieffer Kaffee Premium Capsule Machine

leysieffer kaffee coffee capsule machineThe Leysieffer brand is synonymous with high-quality coffee, and this emphasis on quality extends to their namesake capsule coffee makers as well.

The Leysieffer Kaffee Premium capsule machine offers the same type of functionality you will find in professional catering equipment, including a 19-bar pressure pump that can generate the perfect crema every time.

You can feed Leysieffer coffee capsules into this machine with ease, which makes for quick, easy and convenient preparation without any mess.

The intuitive interface of the Leysieffer makes it very user-friendly, which means that you can quickly and easily prepare your coffee with no fuss.

Read our full review.

What I like about it:

  • Excellent balance of pressure, temperature and processing time for optimal richness and flavour
  • 19-bar pressure pump delivers professional-grade results
  • Automatic capsule rejection and programmable automatic shut-off

Most popular coffee pod brands

Nespresso

Nespresso coffee capsule machines range anywhere between £70 to £430 depending upon the features that are included. There are several different manufacturers that produce Nespresso machines including Delongi, Magimix, Krups, and Sage, but a running theme of simplicity is evident across the board in terms of how these machines are designed.

For the most part, there are very few controls or buttons to fuss with; you can simply pop the capsule in the machine, and off it goes. Nespresso offers a vast range of coffee capsules with flavours, lengths and strengths that can suit practically any java lover’s tastes; this is one of the reasons why Nespresso is one of the most recognizable brands in the coffee capsule space.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto

Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsule machines typically feature a compact design, and although they are relatively affordable, the cost of the capsules can really add up over time. The machines range in price from £40 to £145, with feature options that range from all-manual controls to all-digital user interfaces.

You can order capsules for the Dolce Gusto online, but they are also available in supermarkets. There are a wide variety of flavours available, including many of the popular trendy coffee shop drinks such as caramel latte macchiatos, chai tea lattes or chococinos. Each capsule features a barcode that details the required machine settings to make that particular drink, so once you adjust the machine’s controls, the Dolce Gusto will take care of the rest.

Tassimo

Tassimo machines are the “Swiss Army knife” of the capsule machine world, as they can prepare a variety of hot drinks including coffee, tea and hot chocolate. In terms of pump pressure, Tassimo machines rank on the lower end of the scale, as they typically use only 3.3 bars as compared to the 15-19 bars utilised by their counterparts.

One of the neatest things about Tassimo machines is their remarkably handy barcode recognition system, which scans the barcode on the capsules and then automatically adjusts the machine’s settings (e.g., water quantity, brewing time, etc.) to fit each specific beverage. With over 35 different flavours available, there’s a T-disc for practically any hot beverage you want to drink. Prices for the Tassimo range from £40 to £145.

Illy

If there was ever a machine for the espresso purist, it would be the Illy capsule machine. Using what Illy describes as a “two-phase extraction process”, the machine controls the flow of water through an opening in the top of the capsule, and then by infusion the water makes its way through the capsule until it is slowly released through a hole in the bottom.

When this process is all said and done, you have an exquisitely brewed espresso as the finished product. Prices for this machine range from £65 to £140, as some machines include an integrated milk frother or built-in steam wand.

Lavazza a Modo Mio

Lavazza is a 100-plus-year-old company that has achieved legendary status among coffee enthusiasts. Their A Modo Mio capsule machines exclusively focus on espresso-based drinks, but there are some models within their product line that include a built-in milk frother or steam wand for producing milk-based espresso concoctions as well.

Lavazza offers 10 different coffee strengths that feature a wide range of flavors, from full-bodied to floral and everything in between. With 15-bar pressure and a unique capsule piercing system, the A Modo Mio is brilliantly designed to optimise flavour extraction. Prices for these machines range from £45 to £170.

Dualit

Dualit coffee machines are both compact and versatile, as they can accommodate both coffee pods and ground coffee by way of special portafilter attachments. The Dualit NX line of coffee capsules come in more than 10 different coffee blends, and Dualit also offers a variety of tea capsules, including breakfast and herbal teas.

In terms of operation, the machine uses different portafilter attachments based on whether you want to brew capsule coffee or ground coffee. The coffee is first placed into the attachment, and then you connect the attachment to the machine to begin brewing. Dualit coffee machines range in price from £50 to £170.

Senseo

Senseo machines are built for ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pods, which utilise paper instead of plastic filter coverings. These machines are not quite as prevalent in the marketplace as their plastic and aluminum capsule counterparts, but there are still plenty of them available online.

Senseo pods offer a variety of blends and strengths for discerning coffee connoisseurs, and if you’re a fan of milk-based drinks, they also offer pods that combine milk powder and instant coffee to create your favorite concoction.

These machines provide a quicker flow rate of water through the pod, because the paper filter offers far less resistance than what would be typical for plastic or aluminum capsules. This in turn affects brewing pressure, which results in a slightly lower level of flavour extraction. Prices for Senseo coffee pod systems range from £80 to £120.


Buying guide / Key considerations

As we mentioned earlier, not all capsule coffee machines are created equal. You want to ensure that you’re investing your hard-earned money into a machine that will offer solid reliability and consistent performance.

Any of the above mentioned coffee makers can definitely fit the bill in this regard, but we wanted to include some key considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a worthy capsule coffee machine.

1. Ease of use

The whole purpose of capsule coffee machines is to make the coffee making process as easy and convenient as possible. If you’re having to press multiple buttons, flip numerous toggles and crank a few dials around just to get the machine to start up, you’re going to find the coffee making process to be laborious instead of enjoyable. The ideal capsule coffee machine should offer quick, intuitive operation that is easy enough for a 5-year-old to do it.

2. Adequate pump pressure

Without a decent level of pump pressure, your coffee maker will not be able to extract the full amount of flavours from the pods, leaving you with a lackluster cup of joe. Since nobody in their right mind would want that, be sure to select a capsule coffee machine that offers professional-level pump pressure–e.g., at least 15 bars.

3. Hassle-free cleanup

Most avid coffee drinkers are not interested in spending a whole lot of time cleaning up their coffee maker after brewing a cup (or three). Try to find a capsule coffee machine that offers convenient cleanup features such as automatic capsule rejection and wipe-down surfaces.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Why are capsule coffee machines an ideal choice?

A: If the answer could be summed up in one word, it would be “convenience”. Not only is the preparation time a lot quicker, but capsule coffee machines offer significantly less clean-up time as well.

Q: Can a capsule coffee machine make quality espressos?

A: The answer is a resounding “yes”. These machines are specifically designed to provide the right pressure, temperature and brewing time to yield barista-quality results.

Q: Is there anything I should be aware of when buying a capsule coffee machine?

A: Just make sure to double-check what type of pods/capsules are compatible with the machine. You wouldn’t want to purchase a machine that doesn’t offer the particular flavours or drinks that you love the most.

Now that you have a better idea of which capsule coffee machines are a cut above the rest, you can shop for your ideal coffee maker with more confidence. Here’s to an outstanding coffee making experience!

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