For coffee connoisseurs, weekends mean enough time to faff around with our grind and create the perfect cuppa.
But during regular workdays, the mornings can get quite hectic.
Most of us barely have enough time to shower and beat the commute let alone fiddle with manual coffee makers.
This is where capsule coffee machines come in; when you need your morning dose faster and effortlessly.
These pod systems take all the guesswork out of brewing so you can get the same consistency every time.
Sure, bean lovers might see it as cheating, but there’s no refuting the appeal and benefits of capsule coffee makers.
Especially if you’re short on both time and required barista skills. I mean, even the best bean-to-cup machine won’t help you if you don’t know what you’re doing.
With pods, all you literally have to do is pop in a capsule and press a button to get the ideal cup in seconds. Below are some of the best capsule coffee makers to help get your caffeine fix pronto.
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Sage Nespresso creatista plus coffee machine
Standing out with its high end, refurbished stainless steel design with an inclusive barista style milk jug, you don’t need to look at this beauty twice to know you’re dealing with royalty. It lets you easily create fully authentic, top tier latte art coffee without even leaving your kitchen.
The pump power says it all. Thanks to a 19 bar high performance pump, this coffee maker is able to extract a barista style cup every time; with all the premium aromas and delicate flavours intact. The interface itself is as intuitive and user friendly as it comes. It includes a high resolution display that guides you on all settings, preparations and even maintenance. In addition to the usual espresso –lungo settings, milk lovers have been taken care of with multiple settings for controlling milk temperature, froth quality and even texture levels. It is truly is a dedicated workhorse with a durable, elegant design.
Buy now £360, John Lewis & Partners Price comparison
Krups Nespresso vertuo XN901840 coffee machine
Nespresso has been at the forefront trying to give its customers new and revolutionary ways to brew coffee. And the Nespresso Vertuo Coffee Machine is among its best units yet. The vertuo makes use of Nespresso’s patented extraction tech called Centrifusion. Once you insert your capsule, the technology spins it at speeds of up to 7000 rpm to blend the coffee and water for a rich crema brew.
But the automatic blend recognition has to be where the system excels. Thanks to this intelligent system that uses barcodes on the capsules, each coffee type is easily recognised and the brewing parameters automatically changed for the best results. The interface offers simple, one touch brewing for up to four different cup sizes namely the 414ml full brew, the 230ml mug, the 150ml Lungo and the infamous 40 espresso.
Buy now £115, Currys Price comparison
Lavazza Jolie coffee machine
This machine is arguably the smallest and quietest out of the entire A Modo Mia range. But even though it’s small enough to hide in the kitchen, its colourful design definitely catches the eye.
For such a small machine, it is quite powerful. It’s 10 bar pressure pump allows for decent extraction of flavours and aromas. What’s more, the single push button operation makes preparing your favourite cup a very easy affair. And since the machine incorporates Thermoblock technology, it should take about 35 seconds to heat up the water.
Buy now £69.99, Amazon Price comparison
De'Longhi Nespresso gran lattissima pod coffee machine
We’ll just come right out and say what we’re all thinking. Nespresso is hands down the most ubiquitous coffee capsule brand in the entire market. If you look at most upmarket hotels, chances are you’ll find a lot of these machines in their rooms or lobbies. The Latissima’s attractive and space saving design is just what many shops and hotels find attractive, but I’m sure many UK households will love it too.
In addition to looking good, the Gran Lattissima also performs exceptionally. The capsule machine offers over 25 different blends for different tastes. The single serve system works with Delonghi’s patented automatic cappuccino to make brewing more intuitive. Courtesy of optical sensors, the Latissima easily recognises milk quantity in the jug so as to avoid waste. On a side note, the smaller capsules in the Nespresso system means you might have to use two to make a real espresso.
Buy now £349.99, John Lewis & Partners Price comparison
Krups Nespresso expert coffee machine
This is a comprehensively featured capsule machine from Nespresso with several slightly unnecessary smart functions. If you’re looking to take convenient and effortless brewing to the next level, then look no further. The expert machine lets you make coffee without having to do boring things like stand up, walk, or press buttons.
Thanks to Bluetooth smart tech, this machine pairs easily with your smartphone for simplified machine care, assistance and other advanced functions. This means changing recipes, settings, schedules and drink types all from your phone. One feature worth noting is the speedy Aeroccino system that prepares light and creamy hot or cold milk froth. With an intelligent user interface, LED alerts and a flat-against-the-wall design, the expert machine is definitely inspired by the world of baristas.
Buy now £215.18, John Lewis & Partners Price comparison
Krups Nespresso Essenza mini coffee machine
Are you low on both kitchen space and money but don’t want to give up on your dreams of homemade barista style coffee? Then this is the machine for you. As the name suggests, this is Nespresso’s most compact machine yet. At only 2.3kg, it’s effortlessly portable and will barely take up any space in the kitchen.
But don’t mistake the small size for weakness. With a powerful 19 bar high pressure pump, it can brawl with the best of them. So even if you’ll wait for a while when making multiple cups, each cup will take less than 30 seconds. With programmable one touch buttons for lungo and espresso, the essenza is as intuitive and user friendly as capsule machines get.
Buy now £89.99, Argos Price comparison
Krups Nespresso Inissia XN100140 coffee machine
Here’s another compact coffee machine that closely rivals the Essenza mini in terms of size and price. This particular model stands out from the other smaller models due to its folding tray that accommodates larger glasses.
Like Nespresso’s other larger models, there’s virtually no waiting around for the water to heat up. Juts one press of the button and the water reaches the ideal temperature to make nine coffees in just 25 seconds. It also uses a 19 bar pressure pump for barista style cups of coffee every time.
Buy now £59.99, Currys Price comparison
Nescafe dolce gusto majesto coffee maker
With a unique globule design, this is a compact capsule coffee maker designed for professional use. Unlike most domestic grade coffee makers, the Majesto’s quiet and compact nature makes it ideal for office use. Thanks to the machine’s high pressure system (15 bars) you’re guaranteed professional quality coffee with thick, velvety crema.
At the top is a clear and intuitive interface, with more than 30 premium coffee creations ranging from short to long and black to white. But one feature that really stands out is the internet connection. There are also automated service reminders that tell users when the machine needs maintenance i.e. descaling.
Buy now £165, Viking Direct
Bosch tassimo my way TAS6002GB coffee machine&nbsp;
Buy now £140, Currys Price comparison
Lavazza modomio desea coffee machine
Buy now £199, John Lewis & Partners Price comparison
The verdict: Best pod coffee machines
For a true capsule coffee connoisseur who wants the best of the best and doesn’t mind spending a bit extra for it, the Nespresso Creatista Plus Coffee Machine’s got your name written all over it. It’s a great all-rounder that excels is all the different aspects of coffee brewing that really matter.
If you’ve got minimal coffee needs, you might be more at home with a smaller, lighter duty machine such as the Nespresso vertuo. If you’re on a really tight budget and want the most affordable unit, then we’d recommend the Nespresso essenza mini or Lavazza jolie.
Sam Ellis is editor-in-chief of
Coffee Tea Club
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
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