The 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 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 10 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. Delonghi EN750.MB Nespresso Lattissima Pro

delonghi lattissima pro reviewDe’Longhi’s reputation always precedes itself, and it’s all because of high-quality coffee makers like the Delonghi EN750 Nespresso Lattissima Pro.

It features Delonghi’s patented Rapid Cappuccino System that is hands down the best in the class of milk frothing solutions. The unit allows discerning coffee lovers to create frothy latte macchiatos and heavenly cappuccinos at the simple touch of a button.

Like the brands leading units, the Lattissima Pro uses coffee pods for quick, clean, fresh, and accurate brewing in no time. Using compatible Nespresso capsules, the Lattissima Pro will let you whip up a wide range of drinks and flavours. And thanks to the innovative, slick, touchscreen interface, users get a clear and convenient way to see exactly what’s going on.

Other convenient features include a removable milk carafe with a capacity of 0.5 L and a removable water tank of 1.3 L. Similarly, the unit also incorporates a drip tray for two cups and an automatic washing cycle for self-cleaning. With its premium, brushed aluminium finish, illuminated screen and designer carafe, you simply can’t miss the Lattissima Pro. Read our full review.

What I like about it:

  • Patented Rapid Cappuccino System is best in its class
  • Automatic cleaning systems for easier maintenance
  • User-friendly interface

6. Dualit 85180 Cafe Cino Coffee Machine

dualit cafe cino reviewDualit has been at the forefront of creating some of the most flexible coffee makers in the UK. I mean, what would you get if you enjoy a cup of tea or a milkshake as much as coffee?

The Dualit 85180 Cafe Cino Coffee Machine expands beyond just brewing delicious coffee concoctions; you can brew a broad range of fresh beverages, hot or cold, to go with your preference.

The Cafe Cino definitely makes work easier thanks to an incredibly thoughtful control panel. By simply twisting the central knob, you can choose between dedicated settings for an array of drinks such as lungo, cappuccino, espresso, and a frothy latte.

The unit also comes with precise dosing control that allows you to extract the perfect measure of espresso for barista-style shots. I also enjoyed the elegant tea pod with a built-in milk frother and a cold milk option for making milkshakes. With its stylish, glossy, black finish and chrome trim, this machine is as professional looking as they come. Read our full review.

What I like about it:

  • Ultralight and compact, space-saving construction
  • Dedicated settings for all types of coffee
  • Precise, dose control for barista-style accuracy

7. De’Longhi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Eclipse Touch Coffee Machine

delonghi dolce gusto eclipse reviewIf you’re looking for a machine that is sure to turn heads and get tongues wagging, then look no further than the De’Longhi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Eclipse Touch Coffee Machine.

True to its name, this machine comes with a unique and stylish eclipse design with a futuristic, premium finish. It features an open/close mechanism that transforms this work of art into a functional coffee maker.

With its intuitive touch technology that allows you to easily control the unit to a maximum 15 bar pump pressure, creating your preferred cup of coffee has never been easier and faster.

What’s more, there’s no mess or fuss thanks to the use of Nescafe’s coffee capsule pods. Along with your favourite coffee blends such as black Americano and frothy latte, the machine can make over 30 different drinks including delightfully hot chocolate all the way to Chai Tea Latte. Delonghi has always been dead serious about their coffee, and now you know it. Read our full review.

What I like about it:

  • Sleek, stylish eclipse design with premium finish
  • 15 bar pressure pump for coffee shop style drinks
  • Intuitive touch technology with ability to make over 30 beverages

8. Lavazza A Modo Mio ESPRIA Plus

lavazza espria plus reviewLavazza is already a globally renown Italian brand whose strong points lie in their unrivalled bean production. Their A Modo Mio ESPRIA Plus is a simple, elegant and compact countertop coffee maker with a weight of 4.5 Kg.

You can easily identify the unit by its premium metallic and silver exterior that creates a modern and sophisticated look. Apart from good looks, Lavazza incorporated advanced technology and some neat features.

This includes a second programmable button that lets you make different coffee drinks at the push of a button. The 15 bar pressure pump also helps make quite the coffee-shop style drink.

The A Modo Mio ESPRIA Plus is also easy to use and only requires you to load the capsules at the top. Likewise, the 0.8-litre water tank can be detached for easy filling. Lastly, users will also love the budget-friendly price range that makes this unit one of the most affordable coffee makers in the UK. Read our full review.

What I like about it:

  • Premium, metal and grey finish creates a modern look
  • Second, programmable button makes work easier
  • Affordable, pocket-friendly price range

9. Kitchen Aid Nespresso Coffee Machine

kitchenaid nespresso coffee machine reviewGlossy, retro, functional, and straightforward unashamedly attention-grabbing, the Nespresso Coffee Machine from Kitchenaid is everything comparable coffee pod machines aren’t.

This unit immediately grabs your eye with its red, hot, retro-inspired design and die-cast zinc and aluminium housing that is as robust as it is attractive.

But aside from good looks, the unit incorporates Nespresso’s pod brewing system which translates to a broader array of flavours and strengths to go with your machine.

Kitchenaid’s coffee maker also stands out with its 19 bar pressure pump that allows you to make thicker, richer, crema and meet all the requirements of an authentic espresso.

Being so costly, it’s only natural that the user-friendliness levels are high. The unit can be controlled using a single dial which turns on the machine and lets you cycle through 6 different drink sizes (25ml, 40ml, 60ml, 90ml, 110ml,130ml). In addition to a detachable, 1.4-litre water reservoir, all it takes to get the water to optimum coffee temperature is 25 quick seconds. Read our full review.

What I like about it:

  • Classic, retro-inspired and attractive exterior
  • Incredibly quick heating time
  • Sturdy, robust and high-quality construction

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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

13. 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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