Bean to Cup Coffee Machine Reviews
Updated Jan 2020
Welcome to Blackheart’s Coffee. We believe that whole bean coffee tastes better, saves you money and enhances your life and that’s why we exist. Here you’ll benefit from our expertise and find a bean to cup machine that fits seamlessly into your day, your kitchen and your budget. As an Amazon Associate Blackheart’s Coffee may earn from qualifying purchases, this costs you, the customer nothing but helps run this site.
DeLonghi ESAM 4200 is the best coffee machine at the lower price point. Great espresso and a quality burr grinder means a great cup of coffee for you!
Below you’ll find a breakdown of the top whole bean machines in a time saving table, followed by our mini-reviews and the key features to look out for. Bean to cup coffee makers have a wide variety of features and functions, with many brands producing confusingly similar machines.
Top 3 Coffee Machines!
Enter the world of delicious, fresh coffee at home!
Use pre-ground or whole beans in this automatic coffee machine and its easy to use dials and buttons provide a large range off beverage options. With temperature, strength and grind setting choices, this is the machine for those who want ultimate control. The manual milk frother can provide a rich foam and it won’t take you long to get the hang of it.
Why you need a De’Longhi ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Coffee Machine!
- Want total coffee control
- You love high quality coffee
- You want to save precious time
- You want to save your hard earned cash
- You want first-class engineering and technology
- You want to get out of the Starbucks Rat Race and into the modern world of quality home espresso
The De’Longhi ECAM 44.660.B Eletta is ideal for you if:Check Price Here!
With both automatic and manual milk systems, an easy-to-use digital menu and heaps of other features, you can make any coffee beverage with this De’Longhi ECAM – all from whole beans for the best possible taste.
- Want a small, multi-function fresh bean machine
- Love milky coffees as well as espressos
- Want flexibility in your choices
- Want a quiet grinder
- Want to save time and money every day
The ECAM44.660.B Eletta has the looks of a truly high-end machine without the price tag and is capable of making any coffee drink you like. Very easy to use, this machine is perfect for those who have never used a coffee machine before as well as those who simply want expert coffee without having to do anything.
One of Amazon’s leading best sellers, this sleek De’Longhi has everybody raving about it, and at the current price, who can argue? Say GOODBYE to expensive high street coffees and HELLO to delicious, elegant and simply smart De’Longhi beverages.
This is a bean to cup filter coffee drip machine and is designed to make filter coffee rather than espressos or cappuccinos. The difference in just a small thing like integrated bean grinding will make to your coffee will be worth the money.
Reusable, Washable Filter
Sustainable, Environmentally Friendly
Using a reusable, permanent filter that’s easy to clean, you no longer need to worry about changing paper filters constantly or creating more consumer waste in the environment.
The 1.5 litre carafe sits on a warming plate so you don’t need to worry about extra coffee going cold, and can return to it later on in the morning. The programmable timer lets you plan your coffee ahead and it’ll be ready for whenever you need it, this means it’ll be waiting for you when you wake up. Yum.
While this machine is highly capable of grinding beans, if you’re a sometimes decaf drinker then you can select the ‘grind off’ setting and use normal pre-ground coffee to make your drink.
- Want lightning fast expert coffee
- Want to save time
- Want to save money
- Love fully automated machines
- Don’t want to have to clean the machine after each use
- Want the best coffee without becoming a barista
- Want simple, straightforward operation
It’s the most popular coffee machine in its category and it’s easy to see why so many people have chosen it;
- It’s a fantastic price for what you get.
- Stylish, modern design with stainless steel case.
- Easy to use and clean.
- It makes excellent coffee.
Whole Bean Machines are Multi-Function Machines
Bean-to-cup coffee machines have a variety of functions, some more important than others but all useful. Depending on the level of customisation you want (how many of the settings you can alter to your taste) you can find a machine that will suit your needs.
Look out for these KEY features:
All bean-to-cup coffee machines have an integrated bean grinder but they will also have two or more grind settings. This means you can choose a setting between fine and coarsely ground. More on what these means later.
Once you’ve chosen the grind you want, you can often also choose the intensity or strength setting. This will be how strong your coffee is and depends on how long it’s extracted for and other things.
Coffee machines will often allow you to choose the quantity of coffee you want, from a 7g espresso to a larger mug or even two coffees simultaneously.
Type of coffee:
Machines with automatic milk functions may also allow you to choose the type of drink you want, from espresso and Americano to cappuccino and macchiato. You can make these yourself with a manual milk frothing attachment too.
Some coffee machine will have an integrated milk system than will foam milk for you and add it into the coffee that you’ve selected from its screen. This is beneficial because it’s fast and does everything for you. On the other hand, if the coffee machine has the milk frothing attachment as a manual function, you’ll have more freedom, more fun and more flexibility.
Most bean-to-cup coffee makers should have self-cleaning programs that are responsible for cleaning pipes and internal, non-removable systems. Some also have self-descaling programs to keep lime scale from blocking any pipes.
This setting is great if you enjoy different coffees at different times of the day or if there’s more than one person sharing the machine. You can change the settings to what suits you and then save it as your personal setting to select whenever you like.
Adjustable nozzles/spouts are useful because they allow you to use large latte glasses, mugs or tiny espresso cups – all without splashing.
Separate bean and ground compartments: Some bean to cup coffee machines have a separate compartment for pre-ground coffee, so that you don’t always have to use beans. This is important for decaffeinated coffee drinkers who can only use pre-ground beans for decaf.
Many machines feature LCD displays of some form and these can be very descriptive or just show certain icons. Depending on the abilities of the machine, the LCD screen might be very detailed and even feature multiple language settings.
How Much do Bean to Cup Coffee Machines Really Cost?
If you’re the kind of person who has several coffees per week out in places like Starbucks, Costa and Nero, then owning a bean to cup coffee machine will save you hundreds and hundreds of pounds per year.
These machines are investments but still, the best are a lot of money to spend in one go. So instead, let’s take a look at the best home full bean coffee machines under £500.
The Best 5 Coffee Machines for Under £500!
Sage by Heston Blumenthal – the Barista Express
One of the ALL TIME bestsellers in the bean coffee machine industry, the Sage isn’t a run of the mill machine with a celebrity endorsement; it’s a highly specialised domestic investment with a KICK ASS grinder.
- An incredible 18 grind settings
- Accurate, digital water temperature sensor
- Manual milk frother
- Pre-infusion for better taste
- Separate hot water output for long blacks, Americanos and even teas
- Italian 15 bar pump
- Easy to use
The Sage Barista Express is for those who not only want the freshest coffee at the highest quality, but also relish having full control and a wide variety of settings to play around with. As the Sage is fully programmable however, you don’t need to change the settings each time you want a coffee, and can instead choose a pre-set programme at the touch of a button.
You may have noticed this machine labelled as a Breville instead of Sage. It’s the same machine but marketed under Breville in the USA.
High Quality, Authentic Italian Coffee Machine
If there’s one brand out there that every coffee connoisseur aspires to, it’s Gaggia. Owning a Gaggia not only brings first-class coffee into your home, but also makes you feel like you’ve won the lifestyle lottery.
Gaggia Brera’s Features:
- Ceramic grinder
- Easy to use digital control panel
- Wide range of settings
- Automatic <1Watt power saving mode
- Two cup option
- Manual milk frother
- Pre-ground AND whole bean compartments
This Gaggia Brera is for those coffee purists who like to support the original and classic brand and appreciative the best engineering. The Brera is a big name, highly skilled machine for the home that doesn’t cost any more than less experienced brands.
Melitta Caffeo Solo
Italian Quality Coffee Machine
Got an ultra-modern kitchen with razor sharp lines and gleaming edges? A traditional-looking bells and whistles coffee machine probably won’t match your tastes so this is where the sleek Melitta Caffeo Solo comes in.
Stand out, save time, enjoy great coffee.
Caffeo Solo Features:
- Straightforward operation
- Exceptional espresso
- Make one or two cups
- Change cup size option
- Three setting grinder
- Adjustable brew temperature
- 15 bar pressure
No frills, no faff, no endless selector switches; this Melitta Solo makes phenomenal espresso for those who simply love espresso. This is the perfect investment for coffee lovers who aren’t keen on froth, lattes or cappuccinos but still want a high-end bean to cup coffee machine.
De’Longhi Fully Automatic ECAM22.110.SB
Perfect Coffee Every Time!
De’Longhi are guaranteed to make a bean machine suited for you thanks to their massive range. This ECAM22.110.SB is for everyone who loves the look of the Magnifica but wants a manual milk wand for frothy fun.
De’Longhi Fully Automatic Features:
- 13 grind settings
- Whole bean and pre-ground option
- One or two cups
- Adjustable water quantity per cup
- Manual milk wand
- 15 bar pressure
While this is called ‘Fully Automatic’, it actually has a manual milk frother. This is a personal preference as frothing milk is a bit of an art form (but easy to learn) and also a lot of fun. If you want an integrated milk system, check out the De’Longhi Eletta or the Magnifica.
Krups Espresseria EA8150 Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
Great value, amazing coffee!
Sleek and very small for a whole bean coffee maker, the Krups E8108 is primarily an espresso maker for those who want something lightweight that won’t take up too much room. Don’t let the modest size make you think it’s a sub-par machine though.
Krups Espresseria EA8150 Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine:
- 15 bar pressure
- Conical burr grinder
- Adjustable temperature, grind and water volume settings
- Just 798g
- Steaming wand for milk frothing
- Super compact to save space in the kitchen
Ideal for small kitchens or just busy kitchens, this Krups keeps out of your way when not in use and makes lightning fast whole bean coffee at the touch of a button when wanted. The steamer wand gives you manual control over your milk frothing and allows you to make cappuccinos, lattes and macchiatos. This is one of the most affordable full-featured bean-to-cup machines on the market.
What Can You Get For The Money?
Low to mid-range Coffee machines
These bean to cup machines are in the £150-300 price range and are still often good quality coffee machines. They’re for people and families who like a good coffee but aren’t too fussed about the machine being an innovative product by itself.
For the practical person who doesn’t want to invest too much money, these machines should keep going for years but may not have the feel, power or longevity of the more expensive machines. You get for what you pay for but if you only drink coffee a few times a week – but want it to be good – then these machines are a good place to start.
Mid to high-end machines
These types of machines are in the £400-700 range and are usually fully automatic with either a wide range of functions or just a few highly specialised ones. Some have multiple bean compartments and they feature high quality components and grinders with a good range of adjustable settings. They’re fully designed for domestic level use and are usually fairly compact.
Top of the Range
Top of the range whole bean coffee machines tend to be in the £1000s and are art forms as much as they are truly expert coffee makers. Crafted by very experienced engineers and made with the highest possible quality materials, when you buy a top of the range coffee machine you will never have to replace it.
Examples of these include models from Gaggia, Franke, Melitta and Jura. Some of the top of the range machines overlap with professional machines and are great choices for anyone who runs a business from home and entertains clients or even in a small café environment.
Best 3 Top of the Range Machines
Jura Impressa Z9 One Touch
One of the finest things to come out of Switzerland, the Jura Impressa takes your coffee drinking and your kitchen right up to the next level. If you have guests to impress, fantastic whole beans to use and a penchant for the finer things in life, this Jura will really deliver.
Sleeker and more modern than the Franke Flair below (not to mention less pricey), the Jura is for those who want less buttons and dials but 100% coffee quality and design genius.
The Jura Impressa Z9 One Touch’s Features:
- Integrated milk frothing system
- Heats water instantly
- Expert grinder produces grounds in under 5 seconds
- Innovative and easy-read display to choose drink
- Customise water temperature and volume
- 5 programmable coffee strengths
- One Touch operation saves you time and effort
- Highest quality milk coffees in a domestic machine
The Jura’s stunning engineering means that all the selections and programmable options lie within the easy-to-operate digital display. This leaves the body of the machine elegant and truly eye-catching. The Jura is beautiful enough to sit in an art gallery café any day of the week and will take pride of place in your kitchen.
Franke Flair Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
Franke have taken every feature possible in a whole bean coffee maker and slotted them neatly into one utterly capable investment piece. This machine can make every coffee beverage under the sun but then again, most can. It’s not just what the Franke Flair makes that’s so impressive, but how it makes it.
The Franke Flair Bean to Cup Machine’s Features:
- Dual precision grinders
- Remarkably easy operation
- Dual bean hoppers with level sensors
- Automatic cleaning and de-scaling programmes
- 10 selections such as steam and hot water
- LCD display
- Manual milk wand and hot water wand
Read our full review of the Franke Flair here.
De’Longhi PrimaDonna S De Luxe ECAM 28.466.M
De’Longhi’s premium whole bean coffee machine, the PrimaDonna is a sturdy and simple machine with a very wide array of customisable functions. Operation couldn’t be easier with buttons dedicated to each type of coffee as well as an integrated milk system that produces the silky froth required for expert cappuccinos and lattes.
The De’Longhi PrimaDonna’s Features:
- Digital display
- Integrated milk system
- Memory function
- Adjustable temperature, volume and grind settings
- Removable milk section can be stored in fridge when not in use – no more pouring leftover milk out
- De-scaling and cleaning programmes
- Silent grinder with 13 settings
- 15 bar pressure
The De’Longhi PrimaDonna is a full-function coffee machine that is remarkably easy to use, even for those who have never used coffee machines before. You’ll benefit by saving time and money as this fully automated machine makes coffee shop grade espressos, cappuccinos and lattes at the touch of a button. Nothing manual and no effort require from you! Sit back, relax and enjoy this top of the range De’Longhi kitchen angel.
How to Choose the Coffee Machine For You
Because we believe that home appliances should fit seamlessly into your life, we’re committed to giving you the best advice we possibly can. Got a question for us? Get in CONTACT with us!
LISTEN. A bean coffee machine isn’t a temporary item and it shouldn’t need replacing if you buy the right quality. Do you want to know what that means? The machine you buy should last for DECADES. These are investment machines, so don’t balk and go for a cheap flimsy coffee maker – you’ll only have to spend even more money replacing it! SAVE money, SAVE time; get a high quality machine that will serve you every day for decades.
You DON’T have to just pick what one company is selling. There is so much choice that you can choose the EXACT machine that’s suited to you. Love cappuccino? Buy a machine with a milk system! Or even a machine with a dedicated cappuccino button! Got a family of coffee lovers? Get a machine with user memory functions so everyone can have their favourite coffee in seconds. This coffee machine is about YOU.
No intention of learning to froth milk? No problem! Lots of machines have automatic milk foaming systems and the best ones have both automatic and manual. Don’t want to spend time cleaning your machine? Of course you don’t, who does? But well-maintained machines will live much longer and won’t break, that’s why the best machines have automatic cleaning, rinsing and de-scaling programmes. Look out for those functions.
Money is important to all of us, that’s why you don’t want to be wasting it in the local franchised coffee shop. Invest those saved pounds in a state of the art coffee machine and within a year it will have paid for itself. Now that’s a win-win situation!
Where do you go from here?
If you want to know more about coffee machines, coffee beans, pre-ground coffee or anything else about coffee, explore our website further. We have an active blog where we post amazing new coffee trends, tips on how to make the perfect brew and crazy coffee related stories from around the world.
Thanks for reading and remember, coffee one of the small, joyful experiences we have every day; make yours count.