There is something to be said about having a cup of barista-approved coffee at home, in pyjamas without having to stand in queues or interact with people. It’s the dream, really. You have complete control over the entire process, and can tinker recipes as you please! 

Coffee Machines should be a joy to use not an intimidating piece of machinery you are scared to navigate. Here are some things to ask yourself before you start looking for one.

Question 1: Do you want a machine that does all the work for you, or more control?

An automatic and manual machine might be worlds apart, but it really comes down to personal preference. How involved you want to be in the process depends entirely on you. 

If you’re looking for a quick and convenient option, an automatic machine might be the way to go. These don’t require you to have a huge knowledge-base in terms of temperature and grinding processes.

On the other hand, manual machines allow you to have control over every stage of the process. It’s more exact, requires more time for you to learn different processes to make your own coffee.

Question 2: How many people drink coffee in your home?

Understanding the capacity of the machine is important. Additionally, the more people in your home who drink coffee means there is a higher chance of people liking different kinds of coffee. So you might want to look at a machine with varying flavour options or higher capacities.

If you’re looking at making coffee for a single person, you will be fine with a single multifunction boiler. These can be fantastic alternatives to buying a more expensive twin boiler or heat exchanger models.

Question 3: What type of carafe does it use?

If you’re looking for a drip coffee machine, the type of carafe is something you might want to look at. Glass pots are relatively cheaper than thermal alternatives, because they come with a hotplate to constantly heat up your coffee. Which also means that it goes stale faster. 

Thermal carafes don’t rely on heating plates and keep the contents warm by design. Downside? Not dishwasher friendly and more expensive. 

Question 4: Do you like milk-based drinks?

If you are a fan of lattes and cappuccinos, a machine that comes with a frothing feature might be more your speed. The options are plenty: steam wands, built-in frothers, or even standalone milk frothing devices which you can buy as an accessory.

Question 5: Do you have budget constraints?

Spending more money doesn’t necessarily mean getting a better machine, and vice versa. It’s all about doing your research and understand your requirements, because you really don’t want to end up with a high-power device with functions you will never use.  Also keep in mind maintenance and long-term running costs; which include beans, replacement filters and and pods.

Question 6: What additional features do you want?

You might need to break the bank if you’re looking for too many of these. There are machines enabled with WiFi, auto start, water level indicator, auto-clean etc. Manual coffee makers are perfect starter options, but a few features can be pretty useful. Always in a rush as you leave for work each morning? You might want one that shuts off automatically, one less thing to worry about! 

Question 7: How user-friendly is it?

This is especially important if you are looking to purchase your first coffee machine. Some technological features might be a little overwhelming to understand as opposed to a machine that works with pods — which is one of the easiest options.

A machine with self-cleaning functions might take some stress off your shoulders; unlike others which might require you to disassemble several small parts to clean after each use.