A Coffee Blog

How to choose a coffee machine?

When things are changing so rapidly around us and we can’t seem to catch up with the world behind us, all we can do is hold on to timeless things that are familiar to us. One of them is coffee. 

It is always the same, but the technique of its preparation and presentation is constantly evolving. Not so long ago we were treated to regular pour-over coffee by the hosts in the houses we visited. 

Although the drinks prepared in this way are in no way inferior, people soon got tired of sifting through the coffee grounds between their teeth. 

They started trying all kinds of different ways to make coffee. 

The first coffee machines to be used all over the world were French Presses, which were equipped with a spring piston. 

Later, with more and more visits to cafes, people started looking for ways to make coffee at home that resembled the classic Italian one espresso comes as close as possible. 

In search of this, the coffee shop has become an integral part of the coffee ritual for many people.

In the search for the perfect coffee, the Moka pot has become an indispensable part of the coffee ritual for many people around the world. Increasingly accessible to the general public, they gradually transformed from luxury items into a necessity.

And so the question of how to choose the right coffee maker and which criteria should play a role became more and more pressing – until it became a real headache for thousands of us.

To save you from pondering this dilemma, we, the Coffee Friends, will answer this question as comprehensively as possible. 

If you’re a coffee lover of the first type, pour-over drip coffee makers that don’t use pressure in the brewing process are best. 

The coffee made with these machines tends to be more watery (the amount of dissolved coffee particles in such drinks is around 2% – in comparison, a cup of espresso can contain up to 11% dissolved particles), but the taste of the coffee beans can be experienced better.

Filter coffee is characterized by what is known as a “buttery” or silky body and a clean cup. Although the caffeine content of filter coffee is generally higher than that of espresso, espresso lovers tend to avoid filter coffee because its body is perceived as being too light.

Machines that extract coffee under pressure are intended for espresso lovers. 

The coffee prepared in this way is full-bodied, its taste is more concentrated and the aftertaste is much stronger than with filter coffee. 

Such coffee is characterized by stiff espresso foam, a thick, syrupy texture and a slightly cloudy cup, which is an essential part of any espresso drink (this is due to the 11% dissolved coffee particles mentioned earlier).

The following scheme shows the types of coffee machines:

Filter Coffee Machines

The Most Important Features And Components Of Filter Coffee Machines

  • Water capacity from 0.3L to 2L
  • coffee capacity
  • Filters – disposable paper filters are the most common, but reusable ones can also be included, which are made of metal and need to be washed very thoroughly after use
  • Jug – it is usually made of heat-resistant glass or steel. In this case, the jug can also be used as a thermos
  • Hot plate – it heats the jug and keeps the coffee temperature for up to 4 hours

What Do You Need To Know To Use Such A Device?

First of all, you need to find the right degree of coffee grind. Traditionally, it’s slightly coarser than that used for pour-over coffee. 

If your filter machine allows you to regulate the water temperature, set it to 90-94°C. Once you find the right coffee blend and set the water to the right temperature, these machines are very easy to use. 

Simply put the coffee in the machine – it automatically pours the water over the ground coffee and quickly prepares the drink, drop by drop. 

Incidentally, while this is by no means set in stone, the tastiest coffee that can be brewed in a filter machine is usually a light or medium roast.


Advantages Of Filter Machines:

  • Low price. The price of home filter machines and their filters is a snap for many.
  • You can brew more coffee at once – this is very useful if you drink a lot of cups in a row or have a large group of friends over.
  • Heated bowl – it can keep a high coffee temperature in the pot for up to 4 hours. This means that after preparing coffee in the morning, you can pour the coffee out of the pot until midday and don’t have to prepare it again every time
  • Filter devices offer the opportunity to prepare not only coffee but also tea or other herbal teas

Disadvantages Of Filter Machines:

  • As we mentioned earlier, such machines require coffee that has been ground to the correct grain size. So to prepare it properly, you also need a coffee grinder
  • Depending on the device, the preparation of coffee can take between 10 and 15 minutes – compared to other devices, this period of time seems very long. However, given the fact that you can enjoy your coffee for up to 4 hours and prepare several cups at once, the long preparation time is forgivable
  • You cannot prepare milk drinks with these devices
  • You can only adjust the strength of your coffee on the more expensive devices. But we’ll let you in on a secret: You can also adjust the strength of your coffee without a machine by changing the grain size of the ground coffee. If you want a stronger coffee, grind it finer, and if you like it lighter, grind it coarser
  • Filter coffee contains a lot of caffeine. If you don’t tolerate caffeine very well but still enjoy drinking filter coffee, you should drink more water throughout the day. This lowers the caffeine concentration in the blood
  • The properties of filter coffee are not suitable for espresso lovers

The Most Famous Manufacturers Of Filter Machines

  • Philips
  • De’Longhi
  • Melitta
  • Mocca master
  • Bosch
  • Siemens

Moka Pots

The Main Features And Components Of Moka Pots Are These:

  • pot above
  • Screen in the middle with two metal filters at the top and bottom
  • water tank on the floor
  • Size: 3-12 cups

Although this coffee maker does not come with a pressure pump, it is one of the coffee brewing methods that uses pressure to prepare beverages. 

The steam trapped in the pot creates a pressure that pushes the water up through the ground coffee. The coffee extracted in this way is then poured through the holes in the upper chamber.

Coffee brewed in a Moka pot is strong and powerful.

Although the pressure generated in the pot is not enough to make a real espresso (it must be at least 9 bar), the coffee brewed with this method is the closest thing to espresso. 

By the way: If you prepare coffee in a Moka pot with intensely tasting or finely ground coffee beans, we recommend diluting the drink with water.

It is important to emphasize that the principles of this brewing method allow adding warm water to the brewed coffee. This not only softens the over-extracted coffee but also sweetens the drink (this applies to all brewing methods).

Moka pots come in both traditional and electric versions. Traditional Moka pots are placed on gas and induction stovetops, while electric Moka pots come with a timer and thermometer.

With this type of coffee brewing, it is important to remove the pot from the stove as soon as the drink flows through the holes in the upper chamber. 

This prevents the coffee from boiling and thereby losing all of its aromas.


Advantage Of Moka Pots:

  • Good value for money
  • Learning how to operate gives you complete control over the process, so the end result is up to you
  • Easy maintenance
  • No special maintenance is required

Disadvantages Of Moka Pots :

  • Long preparation (up to 15 min)
  • The vessel should be constantly monitored
  • You need a grinder to adjust the strength of the coffee
  • As it is not a real espresso, it can be too light for lovers of this coffee and too strong for fans of filter coffee.

The Most Famous Manufacturer

Espresso Machines

The Main Features And Components Of Espresso Machines Are As Follows:

  • Home espresso machines typically have one brew group, while coffee shop models can have up to three groups
  • Barometer: Some machines have a barometer that shows the pressure reached during coffee making (it should be around 9 bar), while other machines have a second barometer that also shows the boiler pressure. When the barometer reaches 1.1 bar, it means that the machine is already warmed up and can be used to make coffee
  • Thermometer: If your coffee maker offers the possibility to regulate the water temperature, set it to 90-94 °C. With luxury coffee machines, you can also adjust the steam temperature, which means you can adjust the strength of the steam that is blown through the steam pipe
  • Portafilter: ground coffee is put in
  • Steam nozzle (cappuccinatore): It is used to froth milk
  • Pusher: to press the coffee that has been placed in the portafilter
  • milk can

What Should You Know When Using These Devices?

Espresso machines are usually found in cafes and bars. With the help of such coffee machines, you can prepare real espresso. 

Preparing coffee this way requires knowledge and skill, but once you get the hang of it, you can brew your drinks to your individual tastes. 

The main difference between this type of machine and a fully automatic coffee machine is that you have to put the ground coffee in the portafilter yourself. 

For a perfect result, you should use freshly ground coffee, but if you are not an expert, pre-ground coffee works just as well. Some household coffee machines offer the possibility to prepare coffee from special coffee capsules.

 Semi-automatic coffee machines can also froth milk, with the help of a special steam nozzle built into them, but this also requires some skill. 

For this reason, we recommend these coffee machines to those who want to fully immerse themselves in the preparation of their favourite coffee and be responsible for every detail.

Of course, in order to achieve satisfactory results, one should not buy the cheapest machine. The steam jets on home coffee makers are typically not as powerful as those on more expensive machines or those used in bars.

Even if you have the skills, the cheapest option may not be powerful enough to use.

The best place to start is with Lelit coffee machines: Their prices are affordable and the machines themselves are powerful enough to brew all of your favourite beverages.

For even more precision and luxury, consider manufacturers like Rocket Espresso or Nuova Simonelli.

If you drink mostly black coffee and the option of frothing milk isn’t a concern for you, entry-level machines like those from De’Longhi and Sage are for you.


Advantages Of Espresso Machines:

  • Very precise, it allows you to control the entire preparation of the coffee yourself
  • Possibility to prepare any drink like in a cafe (with skills and knowledge)
  • Extremely high quality of the result (with skills and knowledge)
  • Cheaper price when you buy an espresso machine for home use

Disadvantages Of Espresso Machines:

  • You must have the skills and knowledge to practice
  • The preparation of the coffee takes time
  • When the guest company comes, you have to wait until everyone gets coffee, because the preparation requires a lot of manual work
  • Sufficient maintenance is required (especially daily: clean portafilter, steam nozzle, rinse jug every time)

The Most Famous Manufacturers Of Espresso Machines

  • De’Longhi
  • Sage
  • Lelit
  • Rocket Espresso
  • Nuova Simonelli

Combined Coffee Machines

We have good news for anyone who’s already reconciled the idea that they need two coffee makers because they love espresso while their partner prefers filter coffee. 

One of the most spectacular aspects of the 21st century is that the same solution can now work for people with different preferences. 

In this case, the solution is a combination coffee machine that can prepare both espresso and filter coffee.

Depending On The Model Of A Coffee Machine, Its Components And Functions May Differ:

  • Timer – allows you to set the time you want to start making coffee. This feature is particularly useful when you want to find freshly brewed coffee as soon as you wake up
  • Automatic water and coffee dosing
  • Setting the coffee strength
  • Auto flush function – this function flushes the system automatically, but I have to point out that all other cleaning (descaling, solvent flushing of the system) must be done by yourself
  • Steam Tube – after developing your skills you will be able to make a cappuccino or latte and even try to froth coffee milk
  • A water filter that protects the coffee machine from limescale and softens the coffee drink itself
  • LCD Screen – You can monitor the preparation of the coffee and easily change the settings

Advantages Of Combined Coffee Machines:

  • Possibility to prepare both espresso and filter coffee
  • Easy maintenance
  • Automates most coffee preparations
  • Good price

Disadvantages Of Combined Coffee Machines:

  • Steam pipe too weak ( cappuccino machine )
  • Not as precise as a standalone espresso or filter coffee maker
  • A separate grinder is required

The Most Famous Manufacturers Of Combined Coffee Machines

Capsule Coffee Machines

Ingredients And Properties

  • The capsules used are the two most popular capsule systems: Dolce Gusto and Nespresso
  • Pump – When buying a machine, you should pay attention to the strength of the pump
  • Water Capacity – You can choose between 0.5L and 1L. Before you buy, estimate what capacity you need (based on the number of cups you drink per day). Also pay attention to the space for the device – the larger the water capacity, the more space the device will take up.
  • Design – with the rapid popularity of capsules, the range of devices with different designs is growing, so you can find a variant that suits any style of living

What Do You Have To Consider When Buying A Capsule Coffee Machine?

Capsule coffee machines are currently very popular. More and more people are opting for this type of coffee preparation for their home because of the good price-performance ratio and the variety of coffee drinks produced. 

Two different systems and technologies of both the coffee capsules and the machines themselves are worth mentioning in these devices: Dolce Gusto and Nespresso . The first option is cheaper in terms of equipment, both ground and instant coffee are used in the capsules, and there are separate powdered milk capsules for your milk drinks. 

The Dolce Gusto Machines are a real treat because they offer an extremely wide range of coffee drinks with additional flavours. 

Machines with Nespresso technology, on the other hand, are slightly more expensive, only ground coffee is used in their capsules, and devices that can prepare milk drinks use real milk for this. These machines also work at a higher pressure, which is up to 19 bar ( Dolce Gusto machines use a pressure of 15 bar), so the espresso prepared with these machines is of very high quality. 

In addition, Nespresso offers a large selection of espresso and black coffee capsules.

Sweet taste Nespresso
Cheaper coffee machines More expensive coffee machines
15 bar 19 bar
In capsules: instant coffee and ground coffee In capsules: ground
Dairy drinks are made from powdered milk Dairy drinks are made from natural milk
A variety of coffee beverages with a variety of additional flavours A variety of
espresso and black


Advantages Of Capsule Coffee Machines:

  • Good price
  • Ability to prepare real espresso (sufficient pressure is used)
  • Each family member can drink coffee from a different type of capsule
  • compactness
  • Easy maintenance

Disadvantages Of Capsule Coffee Machines:

  • Although the coffee is tightly sealed in a capsule, it is already ground in advance, which leads to a faster loss of taste.
  • High plastic consumption
  • If you decide to use a capsule system, you can only use capsules intended for this purpose
  • The choice of capsules is large, but still smaller than with ground coffee or beans

The Most Famous Manufacturers Of Capsule Coffee Machines

  • De’Longhi
  • Nespresso
  • Krups

Pod Coffee Machines


Ingredients And Their Properties

  • Special coffee pods are used
  • Cooking tracking screen. You can also use it to change the coffee strength settings
  • Models with automatic milk frothing system (Saeco Senseo “Latte Duo HD7855”)

What Do You Have To Consider When Buying A Pad Coffee Machine?

These machines are a cheaper alternative to capsule coffee machines. 

Thanks to rapid technological development, we can now say with a clear conscience that pod coffee machines are on par with capsule machines (even if they prepared a rather weak coffee just a few years ago).

The consistency of the coffee prepared with them is very close to espresso, while the automatic milk frothing system built into some machines elevates them above all price and quality standards.

However, the main disadvantage of the pod coffee makers is the same as the capsule machines – the coffee stored in the pods expires much faster. The best solution, in this case, is to choose a popular manufacturer whose pads usually remain in stock for a very short time,

Pad coffee machines, just like capsule machines, should be bought by people who have little space in their kitchens. 

This coffee machine is also suitable for those who do not want to spend a lot of money on coffee every month. The pods cost less than the capsules, and maintaining such a machine does not require large amounts of accessories.

Advantages Of Pad Coffee Machines:

  • Affordable device price
  • Good coffee pods’ price
  • Coffee prepared with the help of advanced technologies is close to espresso
  • Possibility to change the strength of the coffee
  • Each family member can enjoy coffee from a different pod type

Disadvantages Of Pad Coffee Makers:

  • Fast ageing coffee
  • The quality of the coffee is slightly lower than that of the capsule coffee
  • Compared to capsule coffee machines, the selection of coffee drinks is smaller

The Most Famous Manufacturers Of Pad Coffee Machines

  • Philips
  • Handpresso – these machines are mobile, so you can make coffee in nature, on a trip or even in the car

Fully Automatic Coffee Machines 

Ingredients And Their Properties

  • Grinder: ceramic or steel
  • water tank and water filter
  • Heating element: as with other devices, choose a water temperature of 90C to 94C if possible
  • Pump: 15 or 19 bar
  • Selection of coffee recipes
  • Possibility to create and save own recipes (user profiles)
  • Automatic flushing
  • Waste water tanks – they usually have sensors that tell you when they’re full and it’s time to empty them. I recommend doing this every night, even if the machine doesn’t ask for it, before you go to bed. Also, if you’ve already removed the pod, be careful to discard the thickeners, as the machine will think you’ve done just that and continue counting the portions of coffee used from the start.
  • Depending on the equipment, there is an automatically integrated milk frother or a steam pipe ( cappuccino machine ) for manually beating milk
  • A screen that makes it easy to change settings and keep track of how the coffee is being prepared
  • Coffee funnel with the possibility of adjusting its height


What Do You Have To Consider When Choosing A Fully Automatic Coffee Machine?

Since you buy a coffee maker because you want to drink coffee, you should first think about the built-in coffee recipes. 

If you only drink black coffee, you should opt for a machine without a milk system: this will save you money not only on the coffee machine itself but also on maintenance products.

If you are looking for a coffee machine that is specially designed for preparing milk coffee, you should consider whether you want to froth the milk yourself with a steam nozzle or whether it is more convenient for you to have a machine with an integrated cappuccinatore do it for you.

In the latter case, you should look for a machine with an easy-to-maintain milk system. Different tanks, additional hoses and their connections make maintenance work considerably more difficult.

The possibility of preparing a double portion of your favourite drink, using a double dose of coffee and grinding each dose separately. This feature helps you avoid a coffee that is too weak or watery.

Unlike filter coffee machines, dark roast coffee is best suited for fully automatic coffee machines. Because of the high pressure, fully automatic coffee machines dispense coffee much faster, so coffee with a lighter roast can become uncomfortably sour.

On the other hand, dark roast coffee, which is served quickly, is characterized by a perfect balance of bitterness, acidity and sweetness.

Having considered these key features, you can think about other features: auto-flush, screen, design, and speed and noise.

Built-in coffee machines deserve a separate mention. If you have an integrated oven, microwave or other built-in appliances in your kitchen, purchasing such a coffee machine can also be worth considering. 

Such machines can be connected directly to the water supply, which allows you to save yourself from constantly topping up the water tank. Filling the coffee beans into a built-in machine is also extremely convenient – you don’t have to worry about a suitable location for your coffee machine that is not obstructed from above. 

Besides all the other features, a big advantage of these machines is also their design. 

The large selection of different appliances makes it possible to find the right one for even the most unusual kitchens. 

In addition, it is good to know that the manufacturers, recognizing the growing popularity of built-in appliances, have also invested in their quality. 

The result is a quality that corresponds to that of normal fully automatic coffee machines. 

Unfortunately, these coffee machines are often more expensive than normal machines. Compared to the price of a regular automatic coffee machine with the same capacity and functions, the price of a built-in machine is higher.

In terms of price, fully automatic coffee machines probably offer the widest price range of all types of coffee machines. 

That’s because the price depends on numerous factors, including the materials used in its manufacture and the features available. 

Therefore, if you are on a budget but still want to enjoy a good quality coffee, invest in the above main factors and only then consider the convenience and design aspects.

Advantages Of Fully Automatic Coffee Machines:

  • An integrated grinder so that freshly ground coffee is used
  • Easy to use, no special knowledge required
  • Fast Coffee
  • Possibility of making coffee at the push of a button
  • The pressure used to prepare the coffee (15 or 19 bar) helps the beans to develop their best properties
  • Automatic care programs
  • power saving
  • Possibility of integration in the kitchen
  • Wealth of recipes and the possibility to have own recipes for each family member
  • Possibility to connect the device directly to the water supply
  • Large selection of designs

Disadvantages Of Fully Automatic Coffee Machines :

  • Higher price than other types of coffee machines
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Requires a variety of maintenance programs and maintenance tools

The Best-Known Manufacturers Of Fully Automatic Coffee Machines

  • Jurisprudence
  • De’Longhi
  • Philips
  • wisdom
  • Pleased
  • Honey
  • Siemens
  • Bosch
  • Krups


Now that you know what to look for when choosing a coffee machine in each category, we would like to briefly explain how to choose the category yourself and how to find the perfect coffee for it.

First, ask yourself which is more important to you: the coffee beans or the coffee maker itself.

If you chose the first option, choose a machine that best suits your favourite beans.

For example, lovers of speciality coffee from a single variety can use a filter machine to get the best qualities out of their beans, while fans of strong coffee benefit from devices that work with pressure.

If the machine itself is more important to you, base your selection on your favourite beverage (espresso, strong black coffee, light coffee, drip coffee, latte, or other milky drink).

Once you have decided on a machine, buy the coffee whose taste will develop best in the device you have chosen.

Once you’ve chosen both the machine and the type of coffee, don’t be afraid to experiment.

The best flavours are discovered by those who look for them, and a kilogram of spoiled coffee beans is often better than tons of tasteless coffee that awaits you in the future.

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