There has, for most of us, always been the luxury of heading out to your local coffee shop to buy a delicious, professionally prepared coffee made by a talented barista. In recent times, more than ever, this hasn’t always been possible and even as the world gets itself back in order, there may still be times that you can’t get to the cafe.
But all is not lost. If you’re stuck at home and craving a coffee, a barista-style coffee machine could be the answer to your dilemma.
What is a barista coffee machine?
When you go to your local Starbucks, you will see a very fancy-looking barista machine sitting on the counter ready to make coffee throughout the duration of the day. These machines are capable of making several different types of coffee and have everything you need to make each cup.
Of course, the machine in Starbucks is a commercial one that can make thousands of cups of coffee a day. Unsurprisingly they are very, very expensive.
But you can get a smaller version, your very own barista coffee machine at home, for anything from under a hundred pounds to ten times that.
The advantage of having one of these appliances at home is that you are able to make coffee shop quality drinks in your own kitchen at a fraction of the price you would pay in Starbucks. And it’s a lot more fun to make your own.
Where other ways of making coffee involve several pieces of equipment, the barista coffee machine is an all-in-one appliance. They are typically much larger and more expensive than other types of coffee machine but their convenience is superior.
Features of a barista coffee machine
The barista coffee machine can look a little complicated at first glance but understanding what features it has can make it look a little less intimidating.
If you’ve never used one of these machines before, and are a coffee lover, investing in a barista coffee machine is the natural progression from pod and filter machines.
- A barista style coffee machine comes with a tool known as a tamper which is used to pack the coffee grounds down evenly. This allows you to produce a much higher quality shot of espresso since the pressurised water won’t easily separate the grounds.
- The steam/frothing wand allows you to create foamy milk which is a staple part of many coffee drinks.
- A coffee maker allows you to make the base of your drink without the hassle of using a separate machine. With a barista machine you can make cappuccino, latte, flat white – any coffee you wish.
- A grinder, as its name may suggest, is a tool that comes with a barista machine that grinds the coffee beans down to extract their aroma and flavour.
Pros and cons of barista coffee machines
If you’ve been considering buying a barista style coffee machine then you’ve probably been trying to weigh up the reasons for and against this. We think that these machines have a lot to offer but there are also a couple of drawbacks to consider.
A barista coffee machine offers convenience over all other coffee-making methods. If you’re in a snip for time, these machines have everything you need right there without any messing around.
What’s more, if you have ever looked at the baristas in your favourite coffee shop and wished you could create something as spectacular as they do, having one of these appliances in your kitchen will allow you to channel your inner barista.
We’ll admit that some of the best baristas in the world have been training for years to make superior cups of coffee. However, they all had to start somewhere and if you’ve got your sights set on being the next Gordon Ramsay of the coffee world, installing a barista coffee machine in your kitchen is a great place to start.
Moreover, these machines offer versatility. Unlike the boring method of boiling the kettle and adding water to instant coffee, a barista coffee machine allows you to make a plethora of different drinks. Not only this, but the modern machines have settings that allow you to customise the drink to your liking.
If you regularly drink coffee or entertain a lot then a machine like this will provide you with the durability needed when everyone wants a different coffee. Three cappuccinos, a mocha and a couple of flat whites? No problem.
The barista coffee machine is designed to withstand a lot of use, hence the reason it is used in commercial settings. But the home versions too can stand up to heavy volume of use. There are also no other coffee machines out there that will deliver the kind of quality you would get from a barista coffee machine.
As much as we’d like it, nothing is perfect and the major drawback with the barista coffee machine is that it is not cheap. Some of the most high-end machines can skyrocket into the thousands, while you’d expect to pay a couple of hundred pounds for an average machine.
However, even if you are shopping on a budget, it is possible to source barista coffee machines under £100. Although, these will typically be smaller and may have less advanced features.
You will also need to keep in mind that, while a barista coffee machine can be used by anyone, there is something of a learning curve involved.
Top baristas pride themselves on knowing just how to tamp their grounds and how to grind the beans to perfection. But there’s a lot of fun to be had in experimenting with your machine so it’s not as much of a disadvantage as you might first think.
Alternatives to a barista coffee machine
If, for some reason, you cannot or don’t wish to buy a barista coffee machine, there are other ways to get a professional coffee in the comfort of your own home. For those trying to be thrifty, this is a great way to save money while obtaining similar results.
Using a cheaper coffee machine without all the mod-cons and a handheld milk frother, you will still be able to create some pretty impressive coffees. However, it is important to keep in mind that, with more equipment, there will be a significantly higher level of work involved in the creation of your drink.
That said, milk frothers and coffee machines are very easy to use and typically don’t take up a lot of space in the kitchen whereas a barista coffee machine needs its own corner of the countertop.
So, should you buy a barista style coffee machine?
If you’re into coffee, like we are, then it seems only natural to want a machine that does it all. If you’re fed up with messing around with various pieces of equipment and wish that you had an all-in-one machine that can create all types of coffee then a barista coffee machine is what you’ve been looking for.
Which coffee machine should I buy?
Glad you asked. We’ve picked out six of the best barista style coffee machines for you to choose from.
A short summary of each machine is below the table.
At a glance – Best barista coffee machines for the home
Fill up your mug and get ready for the most sophisticated coffee experience you’ll ever have. This automatic bean to cup coffee machine has it all, including an integrated bean grinder that ensures you’re always getting fresh grounds, adjustable milk frothing capabilities so you can decide what foam preference best suits your taste buds.
What’s more built-in cleaning cycles with automatic descaling to keep things nice and shiny. The 1.8 litre capacity ensures delicious drinks are never out of reach (or not in sight) while the cup warmer is a lifesaver if you like piping hot cups of coffee – because nobody likes a lukewarm brew.
Make yourself at home with this sleek De’Longhi Magnifica – make EVERYTHING about brewing classic frothy coffee easy from now.
From day-to-day espresso, Americano’s and Lattes, to something a little more special like milchkaffees and cappuccinos the De’Longhi Magnifica is the perfect coffee machine for home. Simply choose your drink from one of the pre-programmed selections – then press go! This really will revolutionise the way you enjoy your coffee.
- Automatic bean to cup coffee machine.
- Makes espresso, cappuccino or any classic coffee.
- integrated Coffee grinder.
- Adjustable milk frother.
- Automatic cleaning with descaling.
- Brew two cups at once.
- 1.8 litres capacity.
- Cup warmer.
Melitta Smart Barista Coffee Machine
The Melitta Smart Café Coffee machine is perfect for the coffee connoisseur. The 21 pre-set coffee specialities each provide their own unique flavour and can be modified to suit your taste with the app.
This means that you never have to worry about not getting your favourite beverage on demand. Furthermore, the touch display will allow you to customise all of these settings as well as keeping track of how much water is being used so there are no surprises when it comes time to refill.
A touch of your finger gives you control over your brew. Want a traditional espresso? How about a rich café crème or latte macchiato? You can make any of these and more with the 1.8 litre versatile capacity and highly adjustable settings for coffee strength, milk frothiness, automatic cleaning & descaling functions on this bean to cup coffee maker
Dressed up in a sleek black design, this appliance is sure to stand out in any kitchen and makes professional quality beverages one or even two cups at a time.
- 21 pre-set coffee specialities.
- 1.8 litres capacity.
- Customise coffee with the app.
- Touch display.
- 5 settings for coffee strength.
- Double cup mode.
- Bean to cup coffee maker.
- Makes espresso, café crème, cappuccino, latte macchiato and more.
- Automatic cleaning.
- Automatic descaling.
In-depth review coming soon.
Swan Retro Pump Espresso Machine
Don’t waste any more time on that old coffee machine where you can’t control the temperature or steam to make a perfect cup of coffee at home. This fantastic value for money appliance from Swan doesn’t just look great with its stylish retro styling, it also comes with everything you need to make a perfect espresso, cappuccino or any other frothy coffee.
You’ll never be without that much loved caffeine fix again, whether it’s morning or night. Plus, this sleek and handy machine is great for those who like their coffee hot-hot or cold-cold. With the steam pressure control you can create your brew how you want it with ease and the milk frother makes frothy milk in a couple of minutes.
Comes in 9 colours to match any kitchen. This machine really is the total package, boasting 15 Bars of Pressure, Steam pressure control and a 1.2L tank that can be used with ESE bags or ground coffee (the better option).
- 15 bars of pressure
- Milk frother.
- 1.2 litre tank.
- Use with ESE bags or ground coffee.
- Steam pressure control.
- Retro styling.
- 2-year warranty.
- 9 different colours.
- Makes 1 or 2 cups.
- Easy to use.
- Hot or cold froth.
In-depth review coming soon.
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