Coffee Machines

Coffee Machines Buying Guide

Did you know that every day, all over the world, around 2 billion cups of coffee are drunk! So choosing the right type of coffee maker has never been more important. Our Coffee Makers Buying Guide will make it much easier for you to purchase the right coffee maker. Just click on a link below, to jump down to further information about the Coffee Maker you're interested in:

Types of Coffee Makers

There are 4 main types of coffee makers:

Bean To Cup

For the coffee connoisseur a bean-to-cup machine is just as the name suggests – literally delivering coffee from freshly ground beans, straight into your cup. Pressing just one button starts the bean-to-cup journey, as the integral, adjustable burr grinder expertly grinds the beans. The ground coffee is then automatically packed tightly and the internal brewing unit pushes hot water through the coffee at professional 15 BAR pressure. The espresso is then delivered straight into your cup, the whole process taking just seconds. Machines include a milk solution such as a traditional frother, using steam to heat and froth milk. Using the frothed milk, espressos can be transformed into Cappuccinos, Latte's or simply enjoy an Americano or Espresso.

Pump Espresso & Cappuccino

A pump machine is the most well-known way to make espressos using a filter holder and espresso ground coffee. Many machines can also be used with Easy Serving Espresso (ESE) pods for added convenience. Ground coffee is inserted into the filter provided, where water is forced through at high pressure (15 BAR) to produce a rich, smooth espresso. Using the traditional frother you can enjoy a Cappuccino or Caffe Latte along with your Americano and Espressos.

Pod

These coffee machines use a disposable plastic pod with either coffee or your chosen drink variety sealed inside. Once you put the pod into the machine, water is heated and forced through the pod releasing the flavour and drink into the cup.

Filter

Filter coffee machines are ideal for making larger quantities of brewed coffee. Water slowly passes through ground coffee using either a paper or reusable filter. As the water flows through it absorbs the flavours and aromas. The filter coffee is then ready to serve from the carafe or pot.

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Good Quality Coffee

It is very important to have good quality coffee in order to make a good quality cup of coffee. Coffee beans are very elastic. To see if they are fresh and good drop one onto the floor: if it bounces, then it is good. In order to see if the powdered or ground coffee you have bought is good, pour a teaspoon of it into an already filled cup of water: if the coffee is good it will remain floating on the top.

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The Right Flavour

The fineness of the coffee grind determines the speed with which the hot water passes through it: the finer the grind, the thicker and bitterer the espresso in the cup. A fine grind is needed to make the perfect espresso whereas a less fine grind results in a 'long' coffee. However, it is also important not to grind the beans too finely nor too coarsely: if the grind is too fine the water runs through it too quickly and the coffee is not extracted as it should be resulting in a weak and non-homogenous drink. On the other hand If the grind is too course the water takes too long to pass through the grinds and it will come out too dark and with a bitter and sour taste.

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The Cup

The cup is very important to get the most out of the espresso you have made as it influences not just the way in which your senses come into contact with it, but also the coffee itself: the temperature and the creaminess of its structure. The cup should be warm in order to maintain the flavour balance of the drink. The inside bottom of the espresso cup should be oval or egg-shaped for it to achieve the perfect creaminess which comes from the fibres and oils of the coffee itself. From the time the espresso leaves the spout to enter your cup, the inner convex movement brings these elements to the top together with the coffee’s aroma. A flat or cone-shaped bottom prevents these important swirling movements. The thickness of the cup is also important. It must be thicker at the bottom in order to keep the temperature, and thinner versus the upper edges so as to pour better over your lips and into your mouth.

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The Temperature

While the shape of the cup is important, its temperature is fundamental. Heat helps to concentrate the aromatic substances of the coffee which differ according to the fineness of the grind. This is why Neapolitans, for centuries the true experts of espresso in all its forms, always ask for it boiling hot and 'in a hot cup'. This is also why most espresso machines in bars and coffee shops store their cups on top of the hot machine.

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Jargon Buster

Crema

The pure coffee extract you find on the top of an espresso, a bit like the head on a glass of beer. It’s full of rich aroma and leaves a lingering flavour.

Bar Pressure

The rate at which the steam is forced through the coffee granules. 15 - 19 bar pressure will provide the best results because the correct speed is essential for getting a crema layer on top of your coffee.

ESE Pod

An Easy Serving Espresso (ESE) Pod is a small packed coffee disk. The pod is placed within a pod adapter in a normal espresso machine or inside the brewing chamber of a pod brewer.

Milk Frother

Allows you to create your own cappuccinos and caffe lattes by using steam to heat and froth the milk.

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Helplines

Supplier Helpline
Delonghi 0844 499 0558
Krups Dolce Gusto 0800 707 6066
Bosch Tassimo 0870 240 0060
Morphy Richards 0844 871 0960

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