Coffee can make or break a morning. That hot cup of caffeine is so multidimensional — get it right, and it can be euphoric. On the flip side, a poor cup of joe can be a bitter and burnt slurry that you struggle to get through. Earthy is just about OK, but if it tastes like soil, that's where we draw the line.
Over the past two years, we've spent more time in our house, turning our kitchens into quasi-cafes and coffee shops. But despite the current climate, it's the little things that make us feel cosy. Like a proper, Barista-grade beverage in the comfort of our own home. No queues, no need to find a clean table. Just you, your drink, and good company.
Research suggests we drink tens of thousands of cups of coffee in a lifetime, so whether you're drinking in the wee hours of the morning before anyone's up, or having a chit-chat over coffee with friends at home — make every coffee cherry count with a bean-to-cup machine.
Contrary to belief, making a brew from scratch is just as easy as instant. And, once you invest in your machinery, you'll reap the rewards of owning it for years to come. Here are four reasons why you should consider an upgrade.
1. You can serve better quality, barista-style coffee at home
Ever apologised to a guest with the words: "Sorry, is instant OK?" Many of us have been on the opposite end of that question. And, it might come across as a little rude to suddenly object to your host's hospitality. So if you want to end the awkwardness as you spoon soluble freeze-dried java into a cup — this is your chance to upgrade your coffee game.
A bean-to-cup machine provides an opportunity for theatre. From grinding the beans, to tamping and watching the coffee extraction through the group head, become a barista without the need to don a branded apron. Then there's the aroma and the crema. Something you don't get to fully appreciate with granulated coffee.
Of course, we're not going to skim over the initial up-front cost of a professional-looking machine, but if you think about the times you've gone out with pals for pastries and coffee, over time, you'll make your money back.
2. They're super easy to use
You don't need to panic that your coffee maker will be too complicated to use. Many good bean-to-cup machines have automatic pre-programmed options; meaning that you’re often just a few button pushes away from a delicious espresso.
With the BREVILLE VCF153 Barista Max+ Bean to Cup Coffee Machine (opens in new tab), you won’t have to guess what grind size to adjust the machine to either. Let the machine calculate the perfect calibration, with its Intelligent Grind feature. All you need to worry about is making sure you've got an ample biscuit selection, or some cake on hand to accompany your Americano, latte, or cappuccino… You get the point.
Many modern machines tick the boxes for making coffee, but if you're looking for something that is super stylish too, the swanky Siemens EQ 500 (opens in new tab) is the one we'd pick. Chic coffeeSelect Display? Check. OneTouch Double cup to make two drinks at once? Check. AutoMilk with self-cleaning steam functionality? Check! We're sold, and we're sure you'll be too.
3. Make your coffee just how you like it
You might assume that bean-to-cup coffee machines are for a certain type of person. One that likes their coffee in its purest form. Think espresso, Americano, and long blacks. But machines these days come brimming with features, some just as good as the professional apparatus you see in an artisan cafe.
The DELONGHI La Specialista Arte EC9155.MB Bean to Cup Coffee Machine (opens in new tab), for example, has 19-bar pressure, and a memory function so it'll remember your order just like your favourite server from the coffeehouse. Whether you like luscious lattes, creamy caps, or frothy flat whites, the My Latte Art steam wand can create frothy coffee drinks made with milk.
There's often a British phenomenon over the colour of one's tea, but no one talks about different coffee strengths. But, with the MELITTA Purista F230-102 Bean to Cup Coffee Machine (opens in new tab), you can create a mild, medium, or strong shot to suit everyone's taste.
4. It's a sustainable pick
Yes, pod coffee machines are convenient, but if the manufacturer hasn't got their sustainability hat on you can end up with tonnes of plastic and non-recyclable metal destined for landfill. With a bean-to-cup machine — what you see is what you get.
You could make yourself and two friends a coffee by going through three pods' worth of coffee to order, heating the milk each time. Or, you could invest in the PHILIPS LatteGo EP2236/40 Bean To Cup Coffee Machine. (opens in new tab) The latter means you can make three different drinks in quick succession, brewed at the right temperature, with no waste.
And, spent coffee grounds go beyond the kitchen bin. Pucks can be used as compost in the garden, to clean your kitchen, and, even as an exfoliating beauty treatment, if you fancy a bit of R&R after than cup of coffee.
Admittedly, we are going through unprecedented times, so in a period that can seem a little volatile, shouldn't good coffee be our constant? You'll be surprised to know a coffee machine costs less than 50 pence an hour to run a coffee machine on maximum power.
Currys free coffee bean offer
Right now, Currys is offering free coffee beans with selected machines, so you can "espresso" yourself from the get-go. No more off-the-shelf granules that were ground god-knows-ago, these are aromatic beans that you can be proud to pour into your hopper, so hop, skip and jump into the store, or have it delivered at a click of a mouse.
- Spend £350 - £599: get 2 months of free coffee
- Spend £600 - £999: get 6 months of free coffee
- Spend over £1000: get 12 months of free coffee
T&Cs at a glance
Offer ends 10/1/23. Redeem before 10/02/23. Up to 12 bags of ground or coffee beans free when purchasing a bean-to-cup machine over £350. 2 bags free for £350 - £599, 6 bags for £600 - £999 and 12 for over £1000. Free trial renews from £7.99 unless cancelled. Restrictions and other terms apply (opens in new tab).