If you are looking for the best high end coffee machines and barista at home coffee experience then the bean to cup coffee machines below are outstanding. True high end coffee comes at a slightly higher cost but you really do get what you pay for here and there is no better way of getting coffee shop coffee at home without spending £10,000+ (reviews of commercial coffee machines coming soon).
As always with MyVirtualCoffeeHouse, clicking on the ‘Best Price’ button will give you the latest UK discounted prices on Amazon and you can compare real owner reviews as you make your decision, don’t just take our word for it!
- Best High End Espresso Coffee Machines
- Best Espresso Coffee Makers
- Premium Espresso Coffee Machines Buyers Guide
- Questions You Should Ask Yourself When Choosing An Espresso Machine:
- Types Of Espresso Machines
- Bean to cup coffee machines, are they the best high end coffee machines you can buy?
Best High End Espresso Coffee Machines
- SWIPE. SELECT. ENJOY: With automation at every stage, simply swipe and select for espresso, long black, latte, flat white or cappuccino and enjoy café quality coffee at home
- DOSE AMOUNT: The integrated conical burr grinder automatically grinds, doses and tamps 22 g of coffee, similar to the commercial machine in your favourite cafe
- PRECISE WATER TEMPERATURE: The Oracle Touch uses digital temperature control (PID) technology, this ensures the temperature is kept at its optimum range coupled with dual stainless-steel boilers and a...
- Hands-free grind and tamp: fully-integrated coffee machine with conical burr grinder automatically grinds, doses and tamps 22 grams of coffee straight into the portafilter.
- Precise espresso extraction: dual stainless steel boilers and heated group head controlled by Digital temperature control (PID), brings water to precisely the right temperature to extract maximum...
- Micro-foam milk texturing with the milk steamer: self-cleaning steam wand, powered by a dedicated boiler, textures milk to your liking and delivers barista-quality micro-foam that enhances flavour and...
- Features dedicated stainless steel boilers for steam and espresso, allowing simultaneous milk texturing and extraction consistently at 93 degrees Celsius
- The brew temperature, pre-infusion pressure and duration are all programmable to set to your taste at the press of a button
- An over pressure valve prevents bitter flavours in the shot and a low pressure pre-infusion allows for an even extraction and a smoother taste
- Clever. Automatic. Customise: intuitive touch screen display simplifies how to make your favourite café coffee in 3 easy steps - grind, brew and milk. You can easily adjust the coffee strength, milk...
- Automatic micro-foam milk texturing: auto steam wand, allows you to adjust the milk temperature and texture to suit your taste. Delivering barista quality micro-foam that enhances the flavour of the...
- Faster heat up time: innovative ThermoJet heating system achieves the optimum extraction temperature in 3 seconds. Ready to make your best coffee without the wait.
- Inbuilt grinder takes you from whole beans to espresso in under a minute
- Automatic hands free dosing, delivers a consistent volume of consistently ground coffee into your filter with one-touch
- Low pressure pre-infusion gently soaks the coffee allowing it to expand prior to its high pressure extraction for a balanced taste
- PRECISE ESPRESSO-EXTRACTION: Low pressure pre-infusion helps ensure all the flavours are drawn out evenly during the extraction for a balanced tasting cup
- MICRO-FOAM MILK TEXTURING: High power 1600 W element delivers sufficient steam to create micro-foam, enhancing flavour and enabling you to produce latte art
- MAINTENANCE INDICATORS: Our machines let you know when they need a little upkeep. Cleaning and Drip Tray alerts make routine maintenance low-maintenance
Best Espresso Coffee Makers
If you are looking for the best of the best, these are the coffee machines for you. High end coffee machines are often commercial class and quality, and for a very good reason, but they also need to fit in your home kitchen. What would I choose?
To be honest, they are all superb and it really depends on how much effort you want to put in. If you want to be a barista at home in your kitchen, there are some great commercial options, but if you want to make the same quality coffee with less effort, there are some excellent automatic coffee machines to be snapped up. Your choice!
1. Heston Blumenthal Dual Boiler Coffee Machine – Best High End Coffee Machines
This is the absolute best high end coffee machine on the market today in this price range. Be your own barista and create amazing tasting coffee to rival the finest cafés. The Dual Boiler™ is for the coffee connoisseur who likes to regulate every step in the espresso process. You can extract espresso and texture milk at the same time, allowing you to capture the delicate aromas of the espresso in your coffee by having both the milk and the expresso ready at the same time.
Find best pricePrecise Espresso Extraction – Dual Stainless steel boilers and heated group head, both regulated by Heston Blumenthal digital temperature control technology (PID), give water at exactly the right temperature, eliminating temperature surfing for flawless espresso quality, shot after shot. The Dual Boiler™ also features an Over Pressure Valve (OPV) helps to prevent bitter flavours in the shot, by limiting the maximum pressure during the extraction – Click here for the full review
2. Melitta Caffeo Bistro Coffee Machine
If you want to spend a little less money but still have one of the best high end coffee machines in your kitchen the Melitta Caffeo Bistro is an excellent choice. The silver Melitta Caffeo Bistro Automatic Bean to Cup Coffee Machine immediately has the appearance of a professional machine with its bulky shape, sleek controls and the sizeable looking milk frother attached to the side. This high end coffee machine would fit right in to a high street coffee house as much as the average home kitchen. If, I am honest with you, this is my personal favourite of all the high end coffee machines, even though it did not win the group test.
Find best priceWith its tough grinder it can create coffee from bean to cup for two different users at a time and guarantees “variety for coffee lovers” through a variety of drinks at a consistently high quality.
It’s this sense of quality and variety that lures buyers who are looking for a more professional, flawless high end coffee machine, but are these qualities coming through in the use of this machine and the final product? – Click here for the full review
For the price, the DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM4200 is the best of all the high end coffee machines available, it really is a great bean to cup coffee machine. The DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM4200 is an automated bean to cup coffee machine that offers an impressive range of features for the dedicated coffee fan.
Not only does this bean to cup high end coffee machine grind coffee beans in order to produce a rich, vibrant flavour, but it also offers you plenty of customisation options to help you tailor every inch of your coffee (e.g. temperature, strength, etc.) to fit your tastes.
Find best priceThe DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM4200 is a must have for any budding barista taking their first steps into domestic bean to cup machines but still getting that great coffee shop taste that only comes from high end coffee machines like the Delonghi. Making an espresso or an americana only requries the touch of a button, and using the traditional milk frother you can make the perfect lungo, latte, cappuccino, or any other milky drink. It produces 15-bar restaurant and coffee house standard drinks in the comfort of your own home, and in the simplest way – Click here for the full review
4. Heston Blumenthal Barista Express Coffee Machine
Heston has done it again and created one of the best high end coffee machines available on the market but this time a true bean to cup coffee machine. Create great tasting espresso – from bean to cup – in no more than a minute. The Barista Express allows you to grind the coffee beans right before extraction, and its interchangeable filters and a large range of automatic or manual operations ensure quality coffee shop style results quicker than you can drink!
Dose-Control Grinding. The integrated conical burr coffee grinder with dose control delivers the perfect amount of coffee on demand, ensuring maximum flavour. Its adjustable grind size and dose let you customise to suit your tastes.
Find best pricePrecise Espresso Extraction. Digital temperature control (PID) delivers water at exactly the right temperature, ensuring the finest espresso extraction. The Sage Razor™ dosing tool trims the puck for a perfect dose and extraction – Click here for the full review
You need to think carefully before buying any high end home or commercial espresso machine, as they are not cheap, and you likely have some very specific requirements in mind, both in terms of where you are going to keep it, and what you need it to be able to deliver.
So, with that in mind, we thought that this guide would help you ask the right questions, so you can make sure you buy the perfect premium coffee machine for your needs.
Questions You Should Ask Yourself When Choosing An Espresso Machine:
- What is your budget?
- Do you want a manual, semi-auto, automatic, or superautomatic machine?
- How much time do have to make your espresso in the morning?
- Do you want a long warranty on your machine?
- How many shots of espresso will you be making in a day?
- Do you want to learn the “art” of being a barista or just push a button to make your espresso?
- Is the quality of the espresso important to you?
- Will you be making lattes, cappuccinos or other milk based drinks that will need a steamer?
- Do you want a built in grinder or will you purchase a grinder separately?
- How much counter space can you devote for your machine?
- What type of boiler do you want?
- Do you want a hot water dispenser for making americanos or tea?
- Is the visual impact of your machine important to you?
- Will you be using fresh ground coffee or would you prefer pre-filled,disposable pods?
- Will your machine be near a sink for easy filling or would you prefer a larger water reservoir for less frequent filling?
Types Of Espresso Machines
Espresso is a great favorite among coffee drinkers, and many fans consider buying their own espresso maker. What gives espresso its “kick” is the technique of forcing a limited quantity of hot water through finely ground coffee at high pressure. This method makes espresso thicker and creamier than traditionally brewed coffee. The pressure used during the brewing process creates the characteristic espresso crema. This method concentrates the caffeine and coffee bean flavor as compared to regular coffee. You can use espresso to make other coffee-based beverages such as lattes, mochas and cappuccinos.
Choosing the right type of espresso maker will depend on your personal preferences and budget. Whether you need the machine for home or business use, you can find one that will match your needs precisely because there is a large selection of espresso machines available in the current marketplace.
Manual Piston Lever Espresso Machine
A piston espresso maker is the original type used by baristas to create high pressure during the extraction process. These machines grace traditional coffee bars where they provide a touch of European charm. The elegant piston lever espresso machine is a great choice for businesses or for homeowners who want to show off their traditional equipment.
As the name implies, this is a manual device with a piston lever that you pull to create pressure. After the boiler heats the water to proper temperature, the barista pulls the lever causing the piston inside the machine to push water from the boiler through the fine coffee grounds. The water proceeds through the filter at which point the barista must lift the lever.
The correct compression of the lever, which requires strong arms, provides the right consistency to the espresso as it drips into the cup. Pulling the lever is the act that creates the high pressure that makes espresso so distinctive.
The piston lever machines are beautiful and they produce authentic espresso, however, they require significant strength to use. For those not blessed with arm strength, they may want to consider another type of espresso machine.
In addition, correctly “pulling a shot” requires skill and practice if you want to produce an espresso like a professional barista.
Steam Espresso Machine
A steam machine also works using pressure just like a manual piston lever espresso maker. However, the steam-powered variety does not require the physical dexterity and strength that you need using a manual machine.
With these espresso makers, the water heats to the evaporation point in an airtight chamber. The steam pushes through the coffee grounds to extract their essence.
One type of steam machine works on the stovetop. There are no moving parts to this type of espresso maker. You simply set the device over a burner to heat up the water. The steam passes through a screen on top of which are the coffee grounds. The steam then moves through a pipe into another chamber where it condenses.
Another type of steam espresso machine uses electricity to heat the water into steam. Otherwise, it works in a similar fashion to the stovetop espresso maker. An electric coil heats the water forcing it as steam through the ground coffee beans. Most of these electric types have a wand that you can use to froth milk when creating cappuccinos, lattes and similar types of drinks.
- A stovetop machine is inexpensive and easy to use.
- An electric type is convenient in situations when you do not have access to a stove or burner.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine
The semi-automatic espresso maker works like the manual piston machine except it uses an electric pump rather than a lever, internal piston and arm power.
Both machines create pressure at eight to nine atmospheres to produce quality espresso. The advantage of the semi-automatic espresso maker is that the user does not need the physical skills required for operating the manual piston lever machine.
Invented by Italian barista Gaggia, the semi-automatic soon became the choice for coffee bars, restaurants and homemakers.
To use this espresso maker, you must first grind the coffee and fill it properly into the portafilter. The ground coffee should be tamped so it is tight and compact in the portafilter to create resistance and pressure when brewing.
Once the portafilter is in place, the users flips the on switch and the machine pumps preheated water at high pressure through the portafilter and coffee.
These espresso makers are easy to learn and use, and they are the most popular type for the home kitchen. They usually also have a steam wand that can be used to steam and froth milk for making cappuccinos and lattes. Some also dispense hot water for making tea and other hot beverages.
What is the difference between a Semi Automatic coffee maker and a Fully Automatic coffee maker?
This is a great question and one that we get asked a lot. The video below explains the differences, and why you might want to consider a semi over a fully automatic machine.
Automatic Espresso Machine
An automatic espresso machine works like the semi-automatic variety but it has programmable settings for making a single or double shot of espresso.
With the automatic type, you still have to grind and tamp the coffee but the extraction process is automated at the press of a button. The machine then brews the coffee and stops automatically when the process is complete.
The amount of water used, temperature and extraction time are all done by the machine for a consistent shot every time.
One of the advantages of this type of espresso maker is that you can quickly make drinks while attending to other tasks. You simply set the machine and then you are free to move on to other work or to entertaining your guests.
Automatic machines are not that popular but they may be a good choice for someone who wants a superautomatic but can’t afford one. People who prefer doing some of the tasks on their own and really learning the proper techniques to making a great shot of espresso will probably want to go with a semi-automatic machine instead.
Superautomatic Espresso Machine
While you might think that an automatic espresso machine does everything on its own but that is not quite right. You still have the option of the superautomatic machine that truly functions on its own.
With these espresso makers, you press the brew button and the machine takes over.
First, it grinds the correct amount of beans and tamps them properly. The machine then heats and dispenses the water forcing it through the ground coffee to create the espresso. The super automatic even disposes of the used coffee grounds by dumping them into an internal container.
In addition to making espresso, a superautomatic machine will allow you to brew a variety of beverages automatically including lattes, cappuccinos and café crema. These systems use computer chips to measure out all the ingredients so that you can choose, for example a strong or weak espresso.
While they have many advantages and features, a super automatic espresso machine can also be quite expensive. Some products will filter water and steam milk, so they are great for those who do not like to do these chores on their own.
The only thing that the user really needs to do other than setting the machine is to clean it periodically. A few products even have self-cleaning capabilities, so they are truly super-automatics.
Bean to cup coffee machines, are they the best high end coffee machines you can buy?
In our opinion, a bean to cup coffee machine is the best high end coffee machine you can buy today for home use, unless of course you want to spend £10,000+ as we mentioned at the beginning of this guide.
They make amazing Barista class coffee and with the integrated coffee bean grinder give you the freshest taste available with the least amount of hassle.
Don’t get us wrong, traditional Barista high end coffee machines like the Heston Blumenthal Dual Boiler coffee machine are amazing but the above bean to cup coffee machines really do offer the best of both worlds, simplicity and the best high end coffee machines at some great prices.
If you are lucky enough to have one of these to use at home everyday, I am truly envious and will be around shortly for a coffee! See you soon.