Wake up and smell the coffee
While we don't consume as much coffee as some nations, such as Italy, France or the UK, we're still pretty snobby when it comes to our morning brew. There are plenty of home espresso machines on the market, but life's too short for bad coffee – so here are the machines that you don't want to wake up to.
The ones to avoid, and how they scored
Espressotoria Adesso ($165)
43%: Poor taste testing, poor milk frother, and uneven coffee temperature
Sunbeam Café Barista EM5000 ($299)
47%: Poor taste test score, and OK milk frothing
Espressotoria Capino ($99)
49%: Poor taste test score, borderline milk frothing, and uneven coffee temperature
Laspressa Espresso Point PC + Frother ($69)
50%: Poor taste test score, only OK milk frothing, very poor for coffee temperature, and can't accommodate larger cups
Sunbeam Multi Capsule Espresso Machine CM2000 ($299)
52%: Poor taste test score, OK milk frothing, uneven coffee temperature consistency
What to look for in a coffee machine
CHOICE coffee expert Chris Barnes says it's important to think about what type of machine will suit your lifestyle before making a purchase.
"For convenience and if you're not too fussy about the coffee, maybe a capsule machine. For maximum convenience (cappuccino at the press of a button) but at a high price, maybe a fully automatic machine. For good espresso, go with a manual or semi-automatic espresso machine, but this can need a bit more practice and skill to get the best results."
And if possible, try a coffee from your preferred machine first: "Some bigger retailers have machines ready for this purpose, or perhaps a friend has the machine at home. But don't forget, store staff (and your friend!) might not be the best barista, so take that into account. With a manual/semi-automatic espresso machine, the user's skill and experience can be just as important as the machine itself."
And don't forget, capsule pods are not easily disposed of in recycling. "They usually end up in landfill which is not great from an environmental point of view," says Chris.
For our reviews, coffee machines are rigorously tested in our labs to find out which ones:
- produce the best tasting coffee
- are easiest to operate
- are best at frothing milk.
Learn how we test coffee machines.
What kind of coffee machine do you need?
For more information read our buying guide, and check our reviews to see which machines won our CHOICE stamp of approval.