What’s the best way to guarantee that your coffee or espresso tastes great? You have to use freshly ground coffee. But with so many options for coffee machines these days, how do you know which one does it best?
First of all, to get the best bean-to-cup coffee machine, you have to splurge a bit. These are super automatic or espresso machines that come with plenty of automated features and levels of adjustability that you can’t pick them up for the price of a regular coffee maker or manual espresso machine.
Secondly, if you are looking for perfect espresso shots and flavor consistency for years to come, they are worth investing in. Take a look at our favorite picks and check out just how much more than a built-in grinder some of these machines have to offer.
Best Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine Reviews
DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica
This is a super automatic coffee machine which means that everything can be fine-tuned and then prepared at the touch of a button. And to make things even better, it also comes with a dual pouring system.
One of the most amazing things about this machine is that it features a bypass doser. This is not something you see in this price range. What’s a bypass doser you ask? It’s a feature found in high-end super automatic coffee makers that allows you to use both ground and whole-bean coffee, all while not having to empty the bean hopper to switch between sources.
The ESAM3300 Magnifica also has a patented cappuccino milk frothing system. It’s capable of rotating up to 180° and therefore allowing you to use milk containers of various sizes. The coffee spigot is also adjustable so you can brew espresso shots or pour yourself a large mug of coffee.
The burr grinder is built-in and doesn’t stick out like on other models; this makes the machine a space saver and easy on the eyes. Although the grinder has a powerful motor, grinding beans doesn’t make a lot of noise.
The user panel is quite intuitive. It has a couple of buttons used for adjustments as well as a standard on-and-off switch. You can use the panel to adjust both water and coffee quantity until you get your preferred taste and boldness.
Maintenance may take a while because the coffee maker is big and has multiple components. However, it is easy to perform since the double boiler is removable. The ESAM3300 also has self-cleaning programs for rinsing and decalcification. [DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica Review].
- Fast and quiet grinding
- Can brew multiple types of coffee-based drinks
- Small footprint
- Small bean holder
Gaggia Brera Espresso Machine
Another super automatic espresso machine, the Gaggia Brera is easy on the eyes and as powerful as they come. It is one of the more affordable models on the market, even though it has great brewing and frothing capabilities.
If you want to customize the flavor of your coffee, you can do that too. The Optidose function lets you choose between light, medium, and strong coffee. How much coffee you brew is also up to you. And in the interest of saving time, your preferences are stored in the memory for the next time you want to brew some coffee.
This espresso machine is capable of back-to-back brewing. That’s mostly because of the Rapid Steam function which allows the coffee machine to heat up a lot faster. This means that brewing and steam operations can quickly be carried out.
The Gaggia Brera has a slot for a water filter but it doesn’t come with one. It is compatible with water filters such as the one from Mavea Intenza which you’ll have to buy separately.
The conical burr grinder is ceramic, which is the high-end option as ceramic blades reduce heat transfer (they don’t heat up like steel blades). This results in more flavorful coffee and guarantees that you won’t get a burnt aftertaste.
What’s even cooler is that the machine automatically adjusts the RPD setting depending on what beans you use – dark, medium, or light roast. This saves you some extra time and it comes in even handier for users with little to no knowledge of coffee bean types.
- Pros Compact design
- Dual pouring system
- Highly customizable brewing settings
- Small footprint
- Heats up fast
- Standby mode
- Small water tank
- The water filter has to be purchased separately
Saeco HD8927/47 PicoBaristo
If you want to experience a high-end super automatic coffee maker, the Saeco PicoBaristo is a solid choice. It’s powerful, sleek, highly customizable, and brews up to 5,000 cups before it needs descaling.
The PicoBaristo is made of stainless steel and hard plastic. It has a bypass doser in case you run out of coffee beans and only have ground coffee available.
It does come with a nearly 2-minute warm-up time which may seem a bit long for some users, especially at this price point. Still, the quality of the coffee and the ease of use more than make up for it.
The large water tank capacity is very nice to have. Adjustability is not an issue; there are five strength settings to choose from, as opposed to the more common three.
You can also play with milk volume, temperature settings, espresso pull length, and more. You can also program three espresso profiles and two milk profiles for cappuccinos and lattes. This machine does everything for you, including adding frothed milk to the freshly brewed espresso to make latte or cappuccino.
You have to switch attachments if you want to pour only hot water for making tea or diluting the espresso to make it more like regular coffee.
- 10 grind levels
- Intuitive LCD screen panel
- Built-in water filter
- 56 oz. water tank
- Requires an attachment to switch to hot water only
Breville BES870XL Semi Automatic
Breville is known for their quality designs, durability, and flavor consistency. The BES870XL semi-automatic espresso maker is held to the same standards although it’s an affordable bean-to-cup coffee machine by Breville’s standard.
This model features a 15-bar Italian pump. It can apply great pressure on the ground coffee to extract maximum flavor. It also does a good job of extracting oils which is why the brews taste so good.
One of its coolest features is the purge function. This allows the machine to automatically adjust the water temperature depending on the fineness of the ground coffee. In combination with the pressure from the pump, the flavor extraction is always spot on.
The tank is quite large at 67 oz. and comes with a handle. The grinder in the BES870XL is a stainless steel conical burr. It features a bean hopper with a capacity of .5 lb.
This is a semi-automatic machine because you have to manually transfer the portafilter from the grinder outlet to the brew head. And don’t forget to press the ground coffee in the portafilter before attaching to the brew head. [Read Full Barista Express Review]
- Highly customizable
- Heat exchange boiler
- High pressure pump
- Large water tank capacity
- Steam wand included
- Not the most user-friendly interface
- A bit loud
Jura 15068 Impressa C65
So, you’re looking for barista-quality coffee at home? You may want to give the Jura Impressa C65 a closer look. It’s not cheap but has a very simple user interface and is capable of high-quality brewing with the right adjustments.
The machine is equipped with a built-in conical burr grinder. Due to its shape and the power of the C65, the beans can be ground in a variety of ways. This not only enables maximum flavor extraction but also allows you to create a wide range of drinks. However, the bean hopper only holds around 7 oz.
The good news is that a bypass doser is also included. This bypasses the grinder for you to use ground coffee instead of coffee beans.
The compact design of the C65 is also a good thing; it’s a space-saving super automatic espresso machine. However, Jura may have made a poor choice in the excessive use of shiny plastic for the casing. If you want to maintain its appeal, you’ll have to wipe the exterior quite often.
When it comes to creamy lattes, the C65 may just be the top dog. It has a very fine foam frother which seems to edge out the competition. It’s not as revolutionary as advertised but it is clear that Jura wanted to pay more attention to the ‘extras’ on this machine.
If you want to adjust the coffee strength, you can choose between 5 and 16 grams per cup. You do this by using the dial next to the bean hopper.
The water filtration system in the machine keeps it running in top shape for a long time. When maintenance time arrives, there are rinsing, cleaning, and descaling programs that do most of the work for you.
- Quality grinder
- Easy to use
- Large water tank
- Fast heating time
- Small bean hopper
- Limited frothing settings
Which is the best bean-to-cup coffee machine? For some people, the automation makes all the difference in the world. But others may prefer to compare prices first. Whichever way you lean, know that when it comes to taste, these coffee makers really deliver.
All bean-to-cup coffee machines are customizable and some pack tons of features in very small packages. The ones we reviewed are among the most popular on the market with the quality of the espresso on par with most professional coffee machines. If you’re looking to up the status of your kitchen, these appliances are one way to do it.