How to choose a coffee machine for home and office – expert reviews

When choosing a coffee machine for home or office, you should pay attention to the type, characteristics and functionality of the device.

How to choose a coffee machine

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We recommend reading an article from an expert on choosing a coffee maker for home and office.

How to choose a coffee machine for home and office: characteristics that you should pay attention to

When choosing a coffee machine for use in your home or office, you should pay attention to the following parameters:

  1. View;

  2. Power;

  3. Pressure;

  4. The main functionality of the device (cappuccinatore, filters, strength regulator, etc.);

  5. Additional functionality of the device (temperature, constant heating function, stand, water level indicator, etc.).

  6. The manufacturer is also important.

Types of coffee machines

The following types of coffee machines are most common:

  1. Carob;

  2. Chaldovye (they are portioned);

  3. Capsule;

  4. Espresso harvesters;

  5. Automatic machines.

Rozhkovy coffee machines (aka 'espresso coffee machines')

Rozhkovy coffee machines

Rozhkovy coffee machines – one of the simplest types of such devices. Therefore, they have a low price, but their functionality is not too wide. Carob machines are designed for making espresso – and no more. Only bar models are equipped with a cappuccino maker or similar 'functional extensions'.

The principle of operation of such machines is quite simple. The coffee powder is compacted into a special tablet. Then hot water passes through it. The finished drink is additionally filtered and put into the cup.

This brewing technology allows you to get delicious coffee with a rich aroma and pleasant texture.

Features of carob coffee machines:

  1. The strength of the drink is regulated by the grinding of the powder. The thinner it is, the more bitter the espresso turns out;

  2. The powder tray holds the amount of coffee for 1-2 cups;

  3. The coffee powder should be tamped down firmly enough. It is much easier to do this using a special accessory – a tamper;

  4. After making coffee, the rest of the powder should be immediately thrown out of the tray (holder) and rinsed thoroughly.

The holder of carob coffee machines can be made of metal or plastic. Metal holders are somewhat more expensive and more difficult to maintain, but provide a pleasant foam, thick consistency and a light creamy taste. Plastic ones are cheaper, but make the coffee watery. Moreover, because of them, the taste of the drink becomes unpleasantly sour.

Advantages

  • Some of the cheapest on the market;

  • They have high productivity (they make coffee quickly);

  • Allows you to prepare delicious coffee;

disadvantages

  • Only espresso is prepared, and models with a cappuccino maker or similar additional functions are expensive;

  • The taste and aroma of the finished drink depend on the degree of grinding, the material of the holder and the user's skills;

  • Requires some skills to pack coffee powder into a holder;

Pod (portioned) coffee machines

Pod (portioned) coffee machines

Pod coffee machines are structurally similar to rozhkovy ones, with the exception of one small change. Instead of powder, a pod is installed in the holder – a compressed coffee tablet. In the future, hot water passes through it, and the finished drink enters the cup.

Therefore, to get a tasty drink, you do not need to make any efforts, nor to understand the intricacies of preparation. Pod manufacturers independently control the blend and the degree of grind. In addition, coffee is hermetically sealed to preserve essential oils, which provide rich flavor and aroma. True, it is impossible to independently adjust the saturation and other organoleptic qualities of the drink.

In addition, some models of pod coffee machines are equipped with a horn adapter, so that they can be used with regular ground coffee. Such a coffee machine is suitable for a person who does not want to spend a lot of time preparing a drink or is not confident in his barista abilities.

Advantages

  • Excellent taste and aroma of the finished drink;

  • Easy to operate and prepare a drink;

  • Relatively low price;

disadvantages

  • A fairly limited range of types of coffee;

  • It will not be possible to independently 'adjust' the taste and aroma of the drink;

  • High cost of a portion of the drink;

Capsule coffee machines

Capsule coffee machines

Structurally, capsule coffee machines are similar to both carob and pod coffee machines. The difference lies in the fact that the ground coffee itself is packed in a special plastic capsule sealed with foil. When preparing a drink, the machine pierces it on both sides, then passes hot water through it.

As is the case with pod coffee machines, the taste and aroma of the drink depends on the manufacturer. It is the capsule manufacturer who controls the blend and grind, as well as the strength and other organoleptic parameters.

The main disadvantage of capsule coffee machines is the lack of cross-compatibility. That is, if the device is designed to work with Nescafe capsules, it will no longer be possible to install Jacobs Tassimo capsules in it. Only a limited number of coffee machine models support capacities from different manufacturers (this is, for example, Xiaomi Scishare).

But there is also an advantage, which lies in the variety of blends. There are capsules that can be used to prepare coffee with milk, a drink with different intensity or aroma (for example, fruit), etc. In addition, many capsule machines allow you to customize the serving size – ristretto, espresso or lungo. Due to the fact that no traces of use remain on the inner tubes or other elements, the flavor ranges of the blends will not mix.

In addition, some models of capsule coffee machines are equipped with a cappuccino maker, which allows you to prepare an aromatic and tasty drink at home without any difficulty.

Capsule coffee machines are suitable for people who are not ready to spend a lot of time preparing a drink. But when buying such a device, it is worth considering the range of available coffees, especially if you want to experiment with blends.

Advantages

  • Variety of blends;

  • Inability to spoil the taste of coffee;

  • Low price;

  • Easy to operate and maintain;

disadvantages

  • Expensive coffee, high cost of a portion of the drink;

  • Limited selection of coffee;

  • Lack of cross-compatibility between coffee brands (in most cases);

Espresso Harvesters

Espresso Harvesters

Another kind of carob machines, but this time with a built-in coffee grinder. Therefore, to prepare a drink, you can 'fill' it with coffee beans.

When choosing an espresso combine, it is worth considering the material from which the built-in coffee grinder is made. Ceramic is recommended as it is highly durable and odorless, so you can change the variety and blend of beans without the risk of 'parasitic' flavors. In addition, particles of coffee powder do not remain on these grinders.

Titanium coated stainless steel burrs are an alternative. They are also durable and practical. But over time, the steel millstones wear out. This not only leads to a coarsening of the grind, but also spoils the taste of the coffee – 'metallic' tints appear in it.

Advantages

  • Easy to operate and maintain (but the holder still has to be cleaned);

  • They are relatively inexpensive;

  • Coffee is made from freshly ground beans, which ensures its bright taste and rich aroma;

disadvantages

  • Similar to carob coffee makers – they require skills in ramming coffee and cleaning the holder after each serving.

  • Espresso machines are suitable for people who drink a lot of coffee. They will also find their place in an office or bar.

Automatic coffee machines

Automatic coffee machines

Household automatic coffee machines are the most versatile solution with the widest functionality. Of course, according to the principle of operation, they are similar to carob, however, they offer much more opportunities for preparing a variety of drinks.

So, among the additional functionality of household automatic coffee machines are:

  1. Built-in cappuccino maker. This device is intended for frothing milk. It is best implemented in DeLonghi coffee machines – there you do not need to move the cup to make cappuccino, the espresso and milk foam are dispensed through one tube;

  2. Panarallo. Functional analogue of a cappuccinatore, as it is intended for whipping milk foam. However, it is a special nozzle on the steam supply pipe, which is lowered into a container with milk;

  3. Possibility of preparing two cups of coffee of different varieties – espresso and cappuccino;

  4. Adjusting the temperature of brewing coffee;

  5. Built-in milk container that keeps it cold for 8 hours;

  6. Automatic cleaning of hydraulic systems;

  7. Built-in coffee grinder;

  8. Automatic cleaning of the holder;

  9. Adjustable height of the cup tray;

  10. Adjustable nozzle spacing (to fit two wide cups).

It is worth remembering that the above functionality is optional, not required. That is, it is not found in all automatic coffee machines. Some models offer more options, some less.

Automatic coffee machines are suitable for people who drink a lot and often coffee. In addition, it is advisable to use them in offices, coffee shops, etc.

Advantages

  • Ease of use;

  • Bright and rich taste;

  • You can use ground and grain coffee;

  • Automatic preparation of coffee and espresso-based drinks;

disadvantages

  • High price. The wider the functionality of the device, the more it costs;

  • Large dimensions;

  • Maintenance is required periodically;

Which coffee machine to choose

When choosing a coffee machine, it is worth starting from how often you plan to drink coffee and which varieties are preferred.

Do you like experimenting with varieties and blends, as well as independently controlling the taste of the drink? A regular espresso machine is the ideal choice. For cappuccino lovers, a model with a cappuccino maker is suitable. An espresso harvester is also a good option.

Don't want to bother making coffee? For fans of one particular variety, a pod coffee machine is suitable. For fans of experiments – capsule. Moreover, it is desirable that it be compatible with capsules from various manufacturers (or at least Nescafe, they have a lot of brands).

Like espresso-based drinks like cappuccino and don't feel like bothering to make them? The ideal choice is an automatic coffee machine. In addition, it is very easy to maintain, even the holder cleans itself.

Main selection criteria

Which coffee machine to choose

When choosing a coffee machine, you should pay attention not only to the principle of operation, but also to several parameters. Among the most important:

  1. Power;

  2. Pressure;

  3. Holder volume;

  4. Serving volume;

  5. Boiler volume for water;

  6. Filters;

  7. Coffee strength regulator;

  8. Cappuccino maker;

  9. Display;

  10. Presence of heated cups;

  11. Water level indicator.

Power is a parameter that determines the performance of the coffee machine. The higher it is, the faster the water heats up. This parameter applies to all types of coffee machines. For home use, models with a power of 700-2000 W are suitable. More – for large offices, coffee shops and bars.

Pressure is a parameter that determines not only the performance of the coffee machine, but also the taste of the finished drink, as well as its strength. The ideal solution would be to purchase a device in which this characteristic can be adjusted in the range from 3 to 20 bar. This will allow you to fully reveal the taste of different types of coffee.

The volume of the holder determines the consumption of coffee. The standard is 5-7 grams per serving of espresso. With a larger holder, the consumption increases significantly, while the taste is not particularly influenced. A smaller volume may well reduce the strength of the coffee.

Serving volume is a parameter that determines the amount of water passed through the holder. Accordingly, the strength of the drink also changes. Typical serving sizes are 20 ml for ristretto, 30 ml for espresso and 50 ml for lungo. For lovers of a variety of coffees, it is recommended to select machines in which this parameter can be adjusted.

The volume of the water boiler is important when it comes to automatic coffee machines. The larger it is, the less often the device will need to be refueled. However, in most coffee machines, heating occurs directly in the container, therefore, with a very high volume of it, performance decreases. The optimal value for this parameter is 1 liter.

Filters for coffee makers are different. First, there are paper filter bags. They are used in 'almost carob' coffee makers, which are now practically not sold or used. Coffee is poured into such filter bags, through which hot water is then supplied.

In no case should you purchase this type of coffee maker. This is due to both the high cost of filter bags and the low quality of the finished drink. It is better to buy an espresso machine for the same money.

The second type of filter is a water filter. It is recommended for use in various types of coffee makers, as it effectively protects against scale on the inner pipes. But most often it is the automatic machines that are equipped with replaceable filter cartridges.

The coffee strength adjuster is commonly found in machines with an integrated grinder (espresso machine). When adjusting the selector, the grind size is selected. So, with very thin coffee, it turns out to be strong, with average – similarly, medium in strength. This regulator is very rare in other types of coffee machines.

The coffee strength regulator is a useful function for those people who prefer to drink this drink not only in the morning, but also during the day.

Milk frother – a device for frothing milk. It can be built into any type of coffee machine. A useful feature for cappuccino lovers.

The display makes it easy to operate the coffee machine, especially if it is multifunctional. For simple models (for example, budget class carob) it is simply not needed – all the necessary operating parameters are set on a panel with regulators. But on vending machines, its presence is of decisive importance – also for indicating the coffee preparation process.

The presence of heated cups is more a matter of convenience. This function can be used in different cases. Firstly, to maintain the optimal temperature of the drink after preparation. Secondly, so that the touch to the cups is pleasant. Finally, to reduce the risk of cracking of dishes due to contact with boiling water.

The water level indicator is a very useful feature. It is highly desirable that the coffee maker be equipped with it, and in any form – both digital for top models of machines, and analog for budget options.

Additional functions of coffee machines

Additional functions of coffee machines

Among the additional functions of coffee machines that make the use of such devices the most enjoyable are:

  1. Automatic switching on by timer;

  2. Setting the coffee temperature 'at the outlet';

  3. Automatic shutdown;

  4. Continuous coffee heating mode;

  5. Non-heating base of the device;

  6. Anti-drip system;

  7. Illumination of the cooking area;

  8. Pre-wetting.

Automatic switching on by timer

Automatic switching on by timer is quite a useful feature. It allows you to set the coffee preparation time. For example, in the morning, so that, when you wake up, immediately drink a cup of fresh, freshly brewed cappuccino.

Setting the coffee outlet temperature

Setting the temperature of the 'outlet' coffee is a convenient function for those who do not like hot drinks. Unfortunately, the selection range is not too large, and when brewed with water colder than 70-80 degrees, the taste of the drink decreases.

Automatic shutdown

Automatic shutdown is a function that determines the safety and energy efficiency of the coffee maker rather than practical qualities. For maximum protection, you should choose models equipped with this feature. But it is worth remembering that then after a long idle time it will need to be turned on again.

Continuous coffee heating mode

The constant coffee heating mode is usually found in the already outdated filter coffee makers (the same ones that use paper filter bags). In other models, for connoisseurs of this invigorating drink, it will be rather useless. The most delicious espresso is freshly made.

Cool base

The cool base of the appliance makes the coffee maker safe. A useful feature, but not really needed if used carefully. However, if there are children in the house, it is required.

Anti-drip system

The anti-drip system prevents the drink from splashing and also from leaking into the stand when a cup is not installed. The function is useful. It is desirable that the coffee maker is equipped with it.

Cooking area lighting is a decorative rather than a practical function.

Pre-wetting the coffee

Pre-soaking coffee is a function that will appeal to connoisseurs of the rich taste and aroma of this drink. Machines equipped with it, shortly before processing coffee (pressed in a holder, in a pod or capsule) with hot water 'pour' it with cold. This pushes carbon dioxide out of the 'tablet', which oxidizes the coffee and degrades its taste. Thus, the aroma will be rich.

Additional functions should be chosen based on your needs.

How much does a coffee machine cost

the cost of coffee machines

The cost of a coffee machine is determined based on its type and functionality.

  1. Carob coffee machines. The cost of such coffee machines starts from 1-2 thousand rubles. But the vast majority of models are in the price range of 4-10 thousand rubles. The cost directly depends on the functionality.
  2. Pod coffee machines. The cost of pod coffee machines starts from several thousand rubles, but the vast majority of models are in the price range of 10-20 thousand rubles. The price depends mainly on the manufacturer, as well as technical characteristics.
  3. Capsule coffee machines. The cost of capsule coffee machines starts from 1-2 thousand rubles. But the vast majority of models are in the price range of 5-10 thousand rubles. The cost depends on the manufacturer and functionality.
  4. Espresso harvesters. Espresso harvesters for home use are rare. In most cases, their cost is 4-10 thousand rubles.
  5. Automatic coffee machines. Automatic coffee machines have the highest price. Their cost starts from 20-25 thousand rubles and is practically unlimited. The more functions a coffee machine has, the more it costs.

The best manufacturers of coffee machines – which company to choose

Among the manufacturers of coffee machines, there are several companies whose products are distinguished by high functionality and reliability:

  1. Bosch – manufactures kitchen appliances. Differs in high reliability, however, it is quite expensive to repair;

  2. Krups is another manufacturer of kitchen appliances. The coffee makers of this company are distinguished by their wide functionality;

  3. Kenwood also manufactures various kitchen appliances. It is the carob coffee makers of this company that are recommended;

  4. Gaggia, Rommelsbacher – specialize in the production of coffee making equipment. The models from these companies are expensive, but they allow you to get a really perfect drink;

  5. Saeco is a manufacturer of automatic coffee machines. The models are distinguished by their high price, which, nevertheless, fully justifies itself.

  6. In addition, in the budget segment, you can pay attention to the models from Philips, and the device from Xiaomi is excellent for brewing coffee in capsules.

Video on choosing a coffee machine


Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.

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