Coffee is a staple in many people’s lives. For some it’s even a part of their morning routine. That said, it can also become an expensive part of your routine to maintain. The average British person actually spends £303 on coffee a year, according to a 2018 survey.
That’s around 676 cups a year. Do those numbers sound a bit like your habits? If so, it’s definitely worth looking into your own coffee machine. It’ll save coffee-lovers a significant amount of money in the long run, we promise.
We’ve tested and rounded up the top five straightforward, bean-to-cup coffee machines in 2021- and the majority cost a small lifetime price, equivalent to a single year spent on store-bought coffees!
5 Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines UK 2021
We’ve listed our top 5 winners this year, for more reviews and recommendations, check out our site.
1) Melitta F86/0-100 Barista TS Smart Coffee Machine
Our all time favourite coffee machine has to be the Melitta F86 Barista TS. While the price tag is rather bold, we couldn’t help but award this one with first place. This is the epitome of a smart coffee machine– an actual coffee robot!
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What We Love:
- Smart App Connectivity: Many modernised appliances feature a bespoke, specialist mobile app for the functions of the item, for example LED light bulbs. The Melitta F86 TS Smart has its very own Melitta Connect app, which is available for both Android and iOS. The app allows you to manage and modify coffee profiles, create your own coffee blends/recipes, and includes loads of helpful information videos to clean and maintain your product.
- High Capacity and Convenience: With two large cups to fill up with your favourite beverages, this machine is a great purchase even for families. Even in double-cup mode, the Melitta TS Smart features a convenient pouring system and a height adjustable spout.
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- Smart Memory: This coffee machine actually saves individual beverage preferences for 8 people, while also giving you 4 classic recipes to choose from too. Much more can be done with the app connected and the built-in AI.
- Sensational Overflow: The blends that come pre-set in this coffee machine as well as the ones you can create, are all delicious, velvet-smooth, and absolutely aromatic. This is thanks to the signature Melitta brew specialties, including Best Aroma System Plus, and Intense Aroma. There’s no clunky mechanical noise either, due to the innovative Whisper Grinder. It is likely the best luxurious coffee you can make in the comfort of your own home.
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- Automatic Cleansing and Descaling: One major flaw about having your own coffee machine is the dreaded cleaning period- getting into all those edges is such a hassle. Aside from having handy cleaning tutorials embedded into the app, this coffee machine has the ability to self-clean and descale. This product pack includes a cleaning kit, and a removable brewing unit– which makes it all the more easier to clean. The unit is dishwasher-safe too!
- 21 Pre-Set Authentic Recipes: Including Classic Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, a sharp Flat White blend, the Americano, and Espresso Doppio. Aside these classic recipes, the blend directory includes Café Crème, our personal favourite (the texture is velvety, and the creaminess really is prominent despite coming from a home coffee machine!). There is also functionality to prepare hot water for teas.
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- Auto Bean-Select: The airtight, dual-chamber bean container is designed to automatically set the correct bean for your chosen blend, allowing for a truly personalised coffee experience.
Vivid Touchscreen Display: Not only does a touchscreen completely change the game, making the machine look both luxurious and advanced, it also makes life so much easier by allowing for easy accessibility to functions such as coffee profiles, blends, and more. You don’t need to worry about cleaning buttons either, simply wipe the screen with a damp cloth or a wipe.
While this is an expensive product, we speak later about why we think this is very much worth the price you pay. There are a lot of other high-end coffee machines that may steal the show aesthetically, such as the infamous Jura machines, however, the Melitta TS Smart offers the same functionality and impeccable quality for half the price.
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The price of this coffee machine may have to be the only mentionable drawback here, but we’ve listed other excellent competitors at lower prices in this article.
This machine is available in three colours:
While the price is definitely on the luxury end of the spectrum, it’s worth thinking of this as an investment from a different perspective. If you’re a coffee-lover or find that coffee is a staple part of your daily life, then you may find yourself falling into the statistics from the article we mentioned earlier. If that’s you, you’d be spending around £303 a year on coffee. This is a large, but extremely efficient lifetime investment on a spectacular machine.
In under three years, this coffee machine will have paid for itself!
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2) De’Longhi Eletta – Auto Bean-to-Cup Machine
Hitting second on the list is the Automatic Cappuccino and Espresso machine by De’Longhi. Also in the higher-end of the spectrum, this coffee machine is a strong competitor to the Melitta TS Smart. If there were only a joint first-place!
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We love how excellent the value of this product is, the different in price you pay per cup of coffee with this coffee machine in comparison to your usual Starbucks is pretty darn stark.
Read on to learn more about what makes this such a great choice for your home beverage-brewing system.
What We Love:
- Wide Selection of Coffees: We love the diversity offered by this machine, giving you various coffee options including: single or duo shot espressos, single/duo shot large coffees, CafeLatte, Latte, Latte Macchiato, America, Flat White, and Cappuccino. Our personal favourites are the espresso shots and Latte- the former is a delicious yet powerfully electric coffee shock that wakes you right up in the morning, while the latter is a creamy, indulgent, frothy delight of your favourite beverage.
- Great Value for Money: When you purchase this machine, you’ll find that your cost of coffee per year swoops down from an average of £303 a year to £55! The cost of each cup (assuming you make the most expensive coffee with milk every day), is only 15p- now compare that to the £5 coffees from Starbucks or Costa.
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- Smart Memory: One reason why this machine is such a strong competitor to the Melitta TS Smart is due to the equally excellent AI memory function, which can personalise and memorise your drinks, while also allowing you to customise your drinks entirely to make it YOURS. You can personalise your preferences regarding the milk-to-coffee ratio, drink temperature, and even the aroma intensity!
- Double-Walled LatteCrema Micro-Foam System: The De’Longhi Eletta features an innovative LatteCrema system which helps keep the drinks you make piping hot, with the double-walled insulated cup design- just like it’s been served fresh from a Cafe. The machine also produces a thick, luxurious froth (or steamed milk), to give your drink the extra boost of creaminess.
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- Just Right! Too hot… too cold… De’Longhi! This innovative coffee machine uses something called Thermoblock Technology, which is designed to help suit your individual needs- whether you want it piping hot, or just warm.
- Built-In Grinder and Supported for Ground Beans: You don’t even need to bother yourself in looking for a bean grinder, as the Eletta features a built in whizzing bean grinder- simply throw them in and let the machine buzz away at the beans, giving you a rich, aromatic, freshly ground batch of coffee ready to be brewed. If you prefer, however, you can add pre-ground coffee blends too. Our personal favourites are the pre-ground coffee mixes by Starbucks. They have some delicious flavours during Christmas season, such as vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa.
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- Easy-to-Clean, Removable Brewing Unit: The brewing unit is the true hero when it involves extracting and infusing coffee. While the job of this little component is substantial, the cleaning is not. In fact, it’s the easiest cleaning ever- simply run it under the tap!
We find that the grinder on this coffee machine is slightly noisier than other ones we’ve tried, but it isn’t too obnoxiously loud. It may be worth considering other options if you live in a shared space or a particularly quiet block.
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The price is also rather daunting, but rest assured, this coffee machine will be well worth your money if you choose to go for this one. With coffee costing as little as 10p per cup, you won’t have any regrets.
To summarise, this versatile coffee machine costs around £800, but we found the cheapest genuine product on Amazon, for around £600. For this bold price tag, you get:
- An AI-integrated smart coffee machine with memory
- Short, Regular (Medium), and Tall (Long) coffee options
- Milk warming
- Soft-touch digital display
- Over 8 coffee recipes and blends
- 13 grinder settings (coarse to fine)
- Thermoblock technology to set your heat preference
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3) De’Longhi Magnifica S – Auto Bean-to-Cup Machine
Next on our list of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines is another De’Longhi product (why not, they are the classics). The Magnifica S is an excellent option for people on a lower budget, who drink coffee often, enjoy a high-quality brew, and want to experience the satisfaction of making your own delicious cup of coffee- all on their own.
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Read on to learn about what we think of the Magnifica S and why it’s in our top five best bean to cup coffee machines in the UK, 2021.
What We Love:
- Hypersensitive Touch Control Panel: One thing we’ve noticed when trying out different coffee machines is that the screen/control bar can get a little uncalibrated and difficult to use. The Magnifica S’s touch control panel is very sensitive, which allows the entire coffee brewing process to be quicker and easier. Your fingers will jump from button to button as if they’re flying- the experience is satisfying and reduces the time spent in the morning brewing your beverage.
- Integrated Milk-Frother: We explore at the end of this article all the differences between automatic and manual milk frothers, and the Magnifica S happens to have a manual milk frother built into the coffee machine itself. This is a really handy feature for people who are short on time, or would rather the machine do all the work for them. Milk frothing is essential to many coffee recipes, such as Lattes.
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- Pin-drop Silent Grinder: We were truly amazed at how silent the bean grinder really is. Many bean grinders we’ve tried, especially those are integrated into the actual coffee machine, are quite loud- which isn’t ideal. The Magnifica S crushes your fresh coffee beans into a fine, powder-like grain with little to no noise- despite offering 13 grinder settings! It’s perfect for those of you who are up and out, super early in the morning.
- Classic De’Longhi Design: One of the best things about De-Longhi products is their signature, classic design. We just love how authentic it looks, it’s like bringing a slice of a traditional italian cafe right into your own home, after a holiday to Sicily. The experience is completely unique when using De’Longhi coffee machines.
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- Self-Cleaning System: Despite not being a high-end, luxury coffee machine, this product features a self-cleaning maintenance system. All parts of the machine that come into contact with milk and sugars are cleaned automatically within the mechanics, washed away with hot water and steam. The after-beverage preparation is a significant time-saver and is great for people who are in a rush, or out all day and don’t have time to thoroughly clean their coffee machine after.
One thing we find is pretty commonplace, hence expected, amongst coffee machines is a vivid touchscreen display. We don’t find a proper display here which allows you to access memory and recipes, but that’s what you sacrifice for a lower price. Regardless, the features this coffee machine does offer are spectacular- you will not be disappointed in what you buy.
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It may be worth reading the manual properly to ensure you know what each button does, and how to use the coffee machine. One thing a display and touchscreen does offer is excellent user-friendliness, as the machine usually guides you through everything on-screen.
To summarise, this versatile coffee machine costs around £450, but we found the cheapest genuine product on Amazon, for about £340. For this price, you get:
- A signature one-touch technology, hypersensitive control panel (no LCD display)
- An integrated manual milk frother, so you can be your own barista
- 2 Classical recipes (Espressos) plus many more milk-based coffee recipes
- Single or Dual cups can be brewed simultaneously
- Pin-drop silent bean grinder with 13 grinder settings (coarse to fine)
- Self-cleaning system built into the software
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4) Krups – EA817040 Arabica Digital
Next up on our list of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines is the Krups EA817040 Arabica Digital. There are two buying options here, which we tried out: automatic (digital), and manual. We decided that the best of the two had to be the digital version- which is slightly more expensive, but much more worth the money. The manual machine was also great, but we found other manual coffee machines to be better for the price you pay.
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Read on to learn about our views on the Krups EA817040 Arabica Digital.
What We Love:
- Large Tank Size and Innovative Design: One of the most standout features of this coffee machine was the awesome design- the coffee bean storage was translucent, with a frosted finish. You can see the beans from the outside, which we found was a unique and pretty cool looking design. This coffee machine will definitely catch compliments off whoever sees it in your home! Additionally, you get a generous 1.7 litre water tank included in the product which means you rarely need to refill the tank and can continue making coffees for weeks on end with zero distruption.
- Easy to Clean: The Krups Arabica Digital features an innovative, bespoke AutoClean Pressure System which quickly, easily, and automatically drains the Compact Thermoblock System automatically after each drink you make. This is great at preventing and limiting the build-up of scale, which in turn provides you with greater ease of maintenance and enhanced longevity of your coffee machine.
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- 3-3 Settings Controls: For the price, you benefit from 6 various settings to personalise your coffee/beverage and make it exactly how you want. There are three temperature settings, so you can enjoy your coffee to your taste at any time of the day. Use the hottest for cosy nights at home on a Friday night- tuning into some Netflix with a piping hot cup of Latte. Or, if you’re in a rush, use the cooler settings for a coffee that’s ready to drink straight away. There’s also three bean grinder settings, so you can have your coffee grounded fine, medium, or coarse.
- The Power Grinder: We just had to talk further about the bean grinder- it was spectacular. Despite there not being many grinder settings in comparison to others we’ve talked about, this durable metal conical burr grinder has been mass tested to find that it can last up to 280,000 grinding cycles with NO faults– which is pretty impressive. You don’t need to worry about the machine failing, it’s pretty darn solid. It has also been specially designed to grind up to 20% faster, according to Krups themselves. The bean grinder uses the trademark Krups UltraFlat Tamping system.
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- Manual Frothing Nozzle: There is a manual milk frother integrated into this coffee machine, and while the word nozzle may scare you off a little bit if you’re someone who’s too busy to deeply clean them, don’t worry. The nozzle is designed to be easy to clean, with minimal nooks and crannies, for optimal hygiene.
- Intuitive Controls: The extra-large, vivid LCD screen on the Arabic Digital are really easy to navigate. All you have to do is turn the coffee machine on, and preheating will begin. You can choose various cup sizes and types and place it under the dispenser for your fresh coffee. The height is adjustable too. The LCD display will guide you through the entire process.
The touchscreen can glitch a little bit, we’ve noticed. We aren’t sure if this is a fault common across all of their Arabica Digitals, but even if it is, it’s not bothersome. Other machines have a greater touch sensitivity, such as the De’Longhi Magnifica S- which features the best sensitive display we’ve tried in the price range.
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Other than that, this coffee machine is a very strong competitor and we would absolutely recommend it. Other options may be a shot if you prefer automatic frothing. Grab yours on Amazon while it’s on sale, it’s a snatch!
To summarise, this coffee machine costs around £540, but we found the cheapest genuine product on Amazon, for about £330. For this price, you get:
- An AI coffee machine with a small footprint and generous 1.7L capacity
- A 250 gram see-through bean container
- Guided LCD Display with memory access
- Freedom to store 2 of your favourite recipes
- Easy one-touch manual frothing, built-in
- UltraFlat Tamping System that exerts a force of a whopping 30kg to compress coffee grounds
- Patented Compact Thermoblock System with a 15-bar pump
- Enhanced and lengthened performance AutoClean Pressure System drains the Compact Thermoblock System, limiting scale build-up
- 20% faster grinding than other coffee machines
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5) Beko CEG5311X Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
Finally on our list of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines is the Beko CEG5311X Bean to Cup Coffee Machine. While it is last, it most certainly isn’t least. There are a host of other bean to cup coffee machines which deserve a good review too, but for now, we’re cracking down and narrowing out the cream of the crop.
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We love the affordability and expertise of this coffee machine, giving you a simplistic but excellent product for a reasonable price.
Read on to learn about our views on this coffee machine.
What We Love:
- Sleek, Tidy and Compact Design: The most enticing feature about this coffee machine has to be the excellent, simplistic design. It’s only commendable how well this coffee machine has been designed, with the control panel at the top of the body so you can clearly see it- and just enough room for cups underneath- it will fit into any kitchen space! The dispenser nozzle branded with the Beko signature, and the sleek frother design simply add to the minimalist elegance of this machine.
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- Variety of Pump Pressures: This coffee machine offers you an extensive 19-bars of pressure. The higher the pressure you get, the deeper and richer the aroma and texture of the coffee will be. This is due to the fact that as the oils and fats remain in the brew, at these higher pressures. You get a complete embodiment of your coffee in your beverage. The taste difference between this coffee machine with 19 bars and another with fewer bars is stark. You get a faster, foamier beverage with a full-bodied taste.
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- Removable Water Tank: If you hate having to fill your tank up with a jug every time, don’t worry. With this coffee machine, you won’t have to worry- the tank is removable, so simply remove it and fill it up directly. The capacity of the water reservoir is a solid 1.6 litres, despite being so compact in size.
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- Auto-Rinse Mechanism: You can keep your coffee machine is good condition by activating the built-in rinsing and descaling functions regularly. You can simply select the auto-rinse function when it’s in standby mode to allow the machine to wash itself automatically.
There isn’t an option to save and retrieve memorised recipes, which can be annoying for people who make coffee regularly and don’t have time to spare in the mornings. If you’re a busy person who finds their mornings rushed, look at another coffee machine in this article or on our website. We’ve reviewed loads of coffee machines and we’re sure you’ll find one that suits you.
To summarise, this coffee machine costs around £350, but we found the cheapest genuine product on Amazon, for about £280. For this price, you get:
- An LED Touch-Control Panel at the top with handy features such as auto-rinse
- A compact design, with the tank and bean drawer all in one compact shape
- A patented ‘pre-brew’ and brewing system
- A steam wand integrated
- 1.6-litre removable water reservoir
- Auto-descaling and rinsing built-in functionality
- 19-bar pump pressure for a deep, aromatic beverage
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Why Buy a Bean to Cup Machine, Anyway?
What’s the big deal? Well, if you’re someone who regularly enjoys coffee, or are an enthusiast of it, you’ll be familiar with the importance and significance of coffee beans. However, buying them daily is pretty darn expensive. We mentioned earlier in the article that a survey conducted showed that an average of £303 is spent annually on coffee, per person.
You could go for a semi-automatic, traditional espresso machine if you want- but we much prefer bean-to-cup machines due to their versatility. If you’re a fan of Starbucks and Costa, you may even miss their signature, fancy, delicious blends with vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa. Bean-to-Cup coffee machines allow you to use your own blends in the machine to brew your own beverages, which is great for people who enjoy the pre-ground coffee blends sold by Starbucks (we LOVE them!).
Another reason a Bean-to-Cup coffee machine is the best option for most of us is because barista skills are necessary to be able to work a traditional coffee machine. Not everyone has the time and investment for those skills, so it becomes more convenient to own your own little “coffee robot”, in essence.
Bean to cup coffee machines deliver cafe taste at the touch of a button.
The Main Types of Bean to Cup Machines
There are two types:
- Manual frothing – froth the milk yourself with a steam wand and pour
- Automatic frothing – the machine does it all for you
If you’re interested in the satisfaction you get from the entire experience, a manual frother may the one for you. You get to steam and froth the milk yourself, while also being able to pour and shape the froth to your own preference. The great thing here is that you can control the level of frothiness the milk reaches, as well as decide how much froth you want on your beverage. It’s a further personalised experience.
An automatic frother has all the settings pre-programmed, so you don’t need to do anything. The milk-steaming process is all internal.