This page was updated in April 2020.
For any coffee fans, the phrase ‘bean-to-cup’ coffee is one that you’re probably familiar with; it describes the process by which coffee is ground, pressed and made all in one go by a single machine.
Though once constricted to the barista bars of proper coffee shops, there are now machines available to use in the home – many of which are proving hugely popular.
Why buy a bean-to-cup coffee machine?
There are many benefits to be drawn from these machines over, say, coffee pod machines. For a start, the quality of the coffee is almost unparalleled in terms of at-home brewing, as it is freshly ground for each cup, meaning the taste is as aromatic and fresh as it gets.
There’s also the considerable plus of not having to buy new pods for it every few days – a costly and non-eco-friendly endeavour that more and more coffee drinkers are keen to avoid.
Of course, there are multiple options to choose from but, thankfully for you, we’ve already done the hard work, testing out several machines against criteria including design, functionality and ease of cleaning to find the cream (or should we say, crema) of the crop.
Read on to discover the best bean-to-cup coffee machines to buy. For more, visit our reviews section and find over 200 practical buyer’s guides offering unbiased advice on what equipment is worth investing in.
For more on coffee, we’ve reviewed espresso machines, pod machines, cafetières, coffee grinders and reusable coffee cups, too, plus check out our guide to all coffee machine types in our best coffee machines review.
Best bean-to-cup coffee machines
Sage Barista Express by Heston Blumenthal – best mid-range bean-to-cup coffee machine
This machine from reputable electronic brand, Sage, has a mid-range price point and easy-to-use interface, making it a good choice for everyday use if you’re a coffee lover but not quite an aficionado. The challenge is in logging the preset functions as there are lots to choose from. Once you’re set up and away, you will be spoilt for choice, whether you want an espresso with a perfect crema or homemade flat white to rival your favourite coffee shop.
Jura ENA 8 bean-to-cup coffee machine – best bean-to-cup coffee machine for beginners
This is a machine that manages to be both technologically sophisticated and incredibly simple to use. Its big USP is the Bluetooth-powered function, which allows you to use your phone to select your coffee from the comfort of your bed. It has stylish good looks, with a unique sculpted water chamber that is practical and eye-catching. It is a large investment – especially the version that’s finished in aluminium – but with its simple touchscreen functionality, it is suitable for coffee novices as well as budding baristas.
Melitta Caffeo CI bean-to-cup coffee machine – best bean-to-cup coffee machine for busy households
This coffee machine can make two drinks simultaneously, which will be of huge benefit to busy families who have to push to get out of the door in the morning. This is a premium machine that delivers consistently good coffee that’s rich, flavoursome and aromatic with a smooth and reliable crema. We did think the detachable milk container was a little impractical. But, all in all, this machine will give you everything you need to produce professional standard coffees in a convenient way.
Gaggia Anima bean-to-cup coffee machine – best bean-to-cup coffee machine for simplicity
Some coffee machines overwhelm you with choice – the Gaggia Anima isn’t one of them. It is refreshingly minimalist and produces great results, the ‘lungo’ option creating particularly well-balanced coffee without a strong aftertaste. The machine looks good but not flashy. There are some slight downsides, mainly the maintenance requirements and manual approach to some coffee making, but overall this is a simple, reliable machine.
Cuisinart One Cup Grind and Brew coffee maker – best budget bean-to-cup coffee machine
- Available from Cuisinart (£100)
What this machine lacks in bells and whistles it makes up for in the value for money stakes. You will quickly recover your investment costs as this machine comes in at under £100. If you like milky coffee this might not be for you as it doesn’t come with a steam wand. However, if you simply want an unintimidating machine that makes really good coffee at the touch of a button and takes up little room in your kitchen, Cuisinart have ticked all the right boxes.
Gaggia Naviglio coffee machine – best entry-level bean-to-cup coffee machine
The Naviglio is practical, compact and produces great espresso. If you want all the benefits of a bean-to-cup coffee machine but don’t have the inclination to spend time fiddling about with settings, you’ll enjoy the simplicity of this Gaggia machine. It isn’t the most attractive to look at, being made almost entirely of plastic, but it is neutral and minimalist in design. All the main components can be accessed via the front, making it easy to maintain.
How we tested bean-to-cup coffee machines
We reviewed a representative sample of bean-to-cup coffee machines and scored them on the same criteria using our testing matrix. We marked them on the following criteria.
Ease of assembly and packaging
We scored the machines on how easy they were to put together, plus considered packaging and whether there was excessive plastic.
Quality of material
The overall standard of the coffee machine material, be that metal or plastic.
Ease of use
How simple is the mechanism and how helpful is the manual?
Quality of the grind
Does it effectively process the whole coffee beans?
The taste and consistency of coffee, including the freshness, quality of the crema, extraction and strength of flavour.
How many added features are included – is there a milk frother and temperature control; does the machine make different coffee types?
Is the water chamber easy to refill and how often do you need to do it?
How bulky is the bean-to-cup coffee machine?
Ease of cleaning
We scored both everyday wipe cleaning and more intensive deep cleaning for long term maintenance.
Value for money
Does the bean-to-cup coffee machine offer a good return on investment?
Ease of storage
If you want to store your coffee machine in a cupboard rather than leave it out, how easy is it to pack away.
Coffee recipes and tips
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This review was last updated in April 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.