Bean-to-cup coffee machines are increasingly popular nowadays due to their suited self-service settings and environmentally friendly features. A good bean-to-cup coffee machine can save a lot of your hard-earned money and give you the ultimate coffee experience just like your favorite coffee shop.
Coffee is the ultimate natural booster for so many of us and to get the perfect brew every day, a good selection of bean-to-cup coffee machines can be beneficial.
An ideal bean-to-cup coffee machine is versatile and compatible with most of the personalized settings needed. Also, it’s very easy to use and thus no arduous task of grinding beans yourself.
Short answer: There are a variety of amazing options of bean-to-cup coffee beans available in the market and considering the best set of specifications and settings, DeLonghi Autentica, Sage The Oracle Touch, and Gaggia Brera has caught my attention as the best ones.
Continue your reading as the later sections have a more detailed review of the products’ specifications.
Benefits of a Bean to Cup Coffee Machine
Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machines is one of the most convenient usable machines for making a regular cup of coffee. They are very to use and does almost everything needed to prepare the coffee. The built-in grinder helps in making all the processes and thus all you need to do is add the coffee beans to the machine.
Bean-to-Cup Coffee machines are versatile and can help you in experiencing an amazing cappuccino, latte, and basic espresso. The machines are not only easy to use but also give a tasty coffee.
Nowadays such types of coffee machines are widely used in homes, offices, and even in small coffee shops due to their feasible features and conveniences offered.
Some of the well-known benefits of the machine include:
The largest point of having a wide portion of customers is that bean to cup coffee machines are easy to use. The easy functionality of the machine negates any need for training or experience and thus you can take off on your coffee-making journey as soon as you want and also at a lower cost.
The built-in grinder of the machine does almost everything with ‘one-touch’ and leaves a clean environment.
Bean-to cup-coffee machine is financially a booster to your coffee budget. Though the upfront cost of such a machine is higher, the productivity is durable and is helpful for the long term. The price of a machine can vary depending on the model you’re opting for and the set of functions in that specific model.
The prices can be as low as $200 and can rise to thousands of dollars. However, for the most basic functions, the mid-priced machines are always the best to choose from, especially for household usage. The expensive ones come with more bells and connectivity functions.
Bean-to-cup coffee machines are friendly to our environment. The pods and capsules used in the daily process of life surely fix your java need but the after-products result in a staggering amount of wastes. This amount of wastage all ends up in the landfill sites polluting the surrounding.
As such, bean-to-cup coffee machines are more friendly to the environment compared to commercial coffee machines. These also don’t require the use of paper filters and plastic cups.
One of the most important things for the drinker is to have the best flavors in their cup. There’s truly nothing better than a freshly brewed cup of joe early in the morning. This is why investing in a good bean-to-cup coffee machine is necessary.
Bean-to-cup coffee machines ensure the quality of your coffee as it helps in building the perfect aroma and texture in your coffee through the grinding process.
How do bean-to-cup coffee machines work?
Bean-to-cup coffee makers are very easy to use and maintain. They have a built-in grinder that allows the machine itself to perform most of the tasks. All you need to do is add beans to the machine and wait. It will grind them, heat the water, and dispense the coffee once you press the button.
The following functions are what make the machine so smooth and easy to run:
The control panel
An intuitive control panel of a bean-to-cup coffee machine helps in doing the work behind the scene. A good bean-to-coffee machine’s control panel is open for adjustable temperature, strength, duration, and other compatible settings.
The main part of controlling this machine is to set the right panel features so that the combinations work for your coffee well and you get the best flavors.
Grinding the beans
This is important as grinding the beans perfectly can have a good effect on your coffee’s aroma and strength. The fineness of the ground depends on the barista and as a general rule, the finer the coffee the longer the brewing time needs to be.
A major advantage of a bean-to-cup coffee machine is that the machine grinds beans on demand and whenever you want the coffee. This is why the coffee tastes fresh just like when using recently grounded coffee beans.
Pumping the water
The final step is to force the hot water through the ground coffee. The water is stored in the water tank of the machine and heated using the thermoblock boiler (if present).
Once heated, the hot water is then pumped through the ground coffee at high pressure. The industry standard for a coffee machine is usually 15 bars of pressure and most of the bean-to-cup coffee machines use this pressure.
After all these processes, your bean-to-cup coffee machine is supposed to produce 1-2 cups of coffee with a strong and rich taste.
Lets’s have a look at the basic differences between a bean-to-cup coffee machine and a traditional one:
|Content||Bean-to-Cup coffee machine||Traditional espresso machine|
|Ease to use||easier than the traditional one||a bit complex than bean-to-cup|
|Consistency of the quality||very consistent||depends on the barista|
|Waste||no room for wastages||produces coffee and milk wastes in the form of coffee grounds and excess milk|
Can you put ground coffee in bean-to-cup coffee machines?
You can use ground coffee in your coffee machine if it has got the ground coffee function. Many coffee machines have perfect alternative coffee-making options. You can set the machine to pre-ground coffee and customize the settings as you want.
Most all the fully automatic bean-to-cup coffee machines offer the choice to use the second option of coffee as ground coffee. However, it’s not advisable sometimes as doing something like this can snatch the freshness of the grounds.
When the beans have been grounded, their shelf life decreases rapidly, you can read about that more here. It’s better to grind the coffee beans a couple of minutes before brewing. Also, it depends on the machine as already mentioned.
If your machine has a separated chamber for the ground coffee you can use that. If it doesn’t have one, then don’t put the coffee into the grinder hopper to avoid issues while grinding.
Things to consider before buying one
There are certain features that you should look for before buying a bean-to-cup machine. I have listed some of the most important settings and features that you’ll be needing in your machine.
Your machine needs to have if you enjoy milk-based coffee varieties. There are three kinds of milk frother that are generally found with the bean-to-cup models.
- An automatic frother
- A steam wand
- A frothing accessory
The automatic frother is a sealed jug with your machine within which the milk is heated and frothed. Usually, the jugs are adjustable and have well-maintained cleaning programs to make sure it stays clean and proper. The steam wand is the most preferred method which is controlled by a dial that opens and closes the steam release valve.
Cleaning is a very important part since bad cleaning means bad coffee. Cleaning coffee machines isn’t something fun as you need to clean all the parts one by one.
An automatic cleaning function can clean your coffee machine in less than 20 minutes. though a few models in your budget can perform this function, however, this is an integral setting and should be highly looked for.
Versatility and personalization allow the coffee drinker to give his/her touch to the drink. Bean-to-cup coffee allows the drinker to adjust the drink size, the strength of the brew and helps in getting the texture he is looking for.
Some models have the ‘save’ option that can remember the settings and so you don’t need to put the options again and again.
Though this isn’t a necessity, however, if you want something more advanced, you can go for the machine that can be controlled by an app.
All the instructions can be given via the app and when all set, the coffee will be prepared even without having your presence.
Best value bean-to-cup coffee machines
I have reviewed a good range of coffee machines to find the best among the lots. To be honest, there are so many amazing options available nowadays that go nicely with the budget, flavor of the coffee, and overall design.
However, personal preference varies so while tasting bean-to-cup coffee varieties you can take notes of taste, crema, and the brewing texture of the drink to get an idea regarding the functionality of the machine.
I have listed down some of the most loved and well-scored machines for helping you with your coffee experience. The areas I have considered while choosing are taste, aroma, crema, and the body.
Best Value- DeLonghi Autentica Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine
- Water tank capacity: 1.4 liters
- Pressure: 15 bar
- Cup capacity: 2
- Milk frother: Yes
Price range: about $560
This is a mid-priced coffee machine from DeLonghi. DeLonghi is well known for its well-built and super-quality coffee machines. The latest model added to the Autentica series is quite handy and easy to use.
It has got an LCD touch screen that is clear and responsive. There are options for both customizable aroma and strength settings for the drinker. The coffee produced by this machine picks a nutty note.
As you may have assumed already, this is an automatic machine that does almost all the work. It also includes a milk carafe that can automatically dispense milk into your mug for milk-based drinks such as cappuccino and latte. I prefer the versatility feature of the machines since not always everyone likes plain black coffee, right?
Here’s the list of some of the pre-programmed coffee drinks that can be made with DeLonghi Autentica:
This machine is a genius in its range and offers tremendous value for money. So even if you can’t buy something pricey, this can offer you almost everything, and trust me on this.
Value for money- 10/10
Ease of use- 10/10
Best Overall- Sage the Oracle Touch
- Water tank capacity: 2.5 liters
- Pressure: 15 bar
- Bean hopper capacity: 280 gram
- Ground capacity: 1 and 2 cup
- Milk steam wand: Yes
Price range: about $2236
The genius Oracle Touch produces coffee with a clever touch, just like a barista-operated machine. All the dosing, tamping, extraction, and milk texturing are done for you. The machine can auto-dose and tamp for you depending on the filter-basket you’re using.
The excellent grinder of the machine allows you to use a finer grind and provides limitless control. The ease of control and maintenance raises the value of the machine to multiple extents.
It makes two cups of coffee in under 90 seconds. There is also scope for a manual function that enables the management of extraction time, the temperature of the milk, and froth.
The handful features of the Oracle are used widely in commercial machines and this is why the machine is expensive than many other bean-to-cup coffee models. Though this may look pricey the functionality of the machine can promise you a better coffee quality each time.
Every drink program on the Oracle allows you to measure your quantity of milk to steam and thus giving you the scope for moderation as well.
You are also provided with certain cleaning equipment such as cleaning tablets, portafilter disk, sharp poker, and Allen keys. You also get conical burrs and cleaner sachets for the milk steamer wand.
If price isn’t an issue for you, I would suggest giving this a try. It’s a good investment equivalent to an expensive car or dress that will satisfy your experience and uplift your confidence.
Value for money- 10/10
Ease of use- 9/10
Budget-Friendly Option- Gaggia Brera
- Removable water tank: 1.2 liters
- Coffee bean capacity: 250 grams
- Dump box capacity: 8 servings
- Thermoblock boiler
- Milk frother: Yes
Price range: about $252
Gaggia Brera is a blessing for people with a tight budget. It is a compact designed bean-to-cup coffee espresso machine that is suitable for your limited space at home and also convenient for traveling or camps.
Though the Brera is simple, it’s quite stylish and easy to use. It allows customization of the drinks at your convenience and also provides control over the grind of the coffee.
Brera offers you a high-quality brewing system with a bean hopper that can hole up to 8 ounces of coffee beans and a flat ceramic burr grinder that helps in preserving more of the coffee’s flavor. 5 different grind sizes options let you choose for preferred customization.
The opti-aroma feature helps you in managing the brew strength among light, medium and strong and thus you can have your perfect espresso recipe.
Last, of all, this is incredibly good value for money. Considering the features and specifications offered by Brera, this is undoubtedly the most budget-friendly investment for a bean-to-cup espresso machine.
Value for money- 10/10
Ease of use- 10/10
Simply put, a good bean-to-cup coffee machine has versatility in its’ features and can be customized according to the drinker’s preference.
I have listed the top three best considering customer reviews on their functionality and specifications. The final decision regarding your pick will depend on your budget and preference.
Make sure to check for the product’s specifications keys and information before purchasing one. If needed do your research as this can ensure a better purchase and thus enhance your coffee-making experience.