Looking for an upgrade on that drip pot of coffee in the mornings? Coffee pod machines make getting a quality cup as easy as pressing a couple of buttons, but choosing the right single serve machine to buy often isn’t as easy.
The price of coffee machines has really come down in the past few years and there are now three major types of coffee machine you can buy.
Pod coffee machines or single serve brewers use Espresso Pods, also called ESE pods (which stands for Easy Serving Espresso). These are just a predefined amount of coffee in a round pod. They tend to be interchangeable, so you can pick the brand you like the most.
Capsule coffee machines are similar, but the coffee comes in cartridge type containers that tend to be specific to certain manufacturers and so are a bit more restrictive.
Bean to cup coffee machines actually grind and make the coffee directly from the raw bean. They are no doubt the best quality, but you will have to shell out about 350 big ones just to get an entry-level model
Tassimo T12 by Bosch
The T12 is a simple, no fuss and coffee machine. At this price, you are not getting all the bells and whistles, but this also makes it really simple to use – one press of a button and you get your coffee, that’s it. It’s pretty tiny so can fit anywhere in your kitchen and, for those of you who tend to only have a few minutes to spare in the morning, heat up time is the shortest of all those on the list. You have to use Tassimo’s T-Discs, but they do tie-ups with brands like Oreo and Costa that give quite a depth to the range available. We tried the latter and it was streets ahead of a standard filter coffee (but not what you get in store) and the Cadbury’s hot chocolate pod was excellent. The drawback is the water tank will only stretch to two medium cups.
Nescafé Dolce Gusto Piccolo
With a name meaning small in Italian, The Piccolo proves you can still get great coffee without splashing out on a huge machine. However, it does suffer from a small water tank which, like the Vivy, will give you a maximum of 2 cups. It’s also only compatible with Nescafé’s Dolce Gusto Pods, though with 30 varieties available we didn’t find this to be too much of a hardship.
Bosch TAS4702UC Tassimo T47
Super easy to use, 60 second prep time and a BRITA filter system thrown in makes the T47 an excellent little machine. It also comes with an INTELLIBREW system that scans the barcode on your pod to find the best brewing temperature, timing etc for that particular drink. Again it only works with the T-Disc system, but it does deliver consistently good results.
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker K-Cup Pod
Keurig is one of the biggest names in single serve coffee pod machines and it would be remiss to not have one of the K-Cup guzzling models in our list. This machine isn’t the top-end maker but what it lacks in over the top features it makes up for in getting all the basics right while being reasonably priced.
With a wide variety of big name K Cups to choose from, including Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks, you’ll be able to find the perfect coffee for your tastes.
Nespresso Vertuo Plus by Krups
The Vertuo Plus is a very good mid-range machine and introduction to Nespresso. You will need to use the Vertuo pods rather than anything generic so that will need to be considered when thinking about running costs, but this machine produces consistently good coffee with no fuss.
Nespresso Lattissima Pro by Delonghi
If you are super serious about your coffee (and you have some money to burn), then the Larrissima Pro could be for you. It’s far larger than any other machine on the list, but the quality of the coffee (and the milk it produces!) are right up there with any coffee shop standard.