How to buy the best coffee machine
Whatever your caffeine fix, there's a coffee machine that will turn you into a home barista. And searches for the best type of machine have skyrocketed during the pandemic.
Coffee machines have become the must-have kitchen appliance as most Australian households look for ones that are easy to use and produce cafe-quality espressos every time.
Harvey Norman brand manager of home appliances, Bonnie Sudirwan, gives her verdict on the best coffee machines to keep you at peak caffeination on any budget.
Capsule and pod coffee is the world's most consumed hot caffeine drink - after instant, that is. But selecting a machine is a tough choice.
The Nespresso Creatista Pro from Breville ($949) has a steam wand for perfect microfoam and a colour touch screen for easy beverage selection, Sudirwan says. "You can even pour the espresso and froth the milk at the same time as it has a dual thermo jet heating system."
If you're after a cheap capsule machine, she recommends the De'Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini Solo Capsule Machine ($119).
Bonnie's Best Buy: Lavazza Desea Coffee Machine ($299)
Why? It uses Lavazza coffee that is roasted and packed in Italy just like the coffee used in the Lavazza cafes.
The priciest and an investment piece - only for the serious coffee fan.
"Automatic machines take the guesswork out of coffee amount but you still have to set the grind size," Sudirwan says.
The Jura Z8 ($4499) is a big seller despite the price tag. A sleek metallic affair, it rates well for looks and features a pair of nifty spouts on the front that can pour together to fill two cups - and it's all controlled by a 4.3-inch colour touchscreen.
Bonnie's Best Buy: Breville Oracle Touch Automatic Espresso Machine ($3399)
Why? Swipe and select from a full menu of cafe favourites or create and personalise your own to enjoy authentic cafe-quality coffee.
Manuals require users to measure their ground coffee into a group handle, tamp it, fit it to the group head of their machine and pour through hot water. Some give control over water temperature or automate some elements, such as buttons that will pour a single or double shot.
The Breville Dual Boiler Machine ($1999) features dual boilers, one that allows users to control the brew temperature and one delivering steam pretty much instantaneously.
Bonnie's Best Buy: Sunbeam Barista Max Espresso Machine ($499)
Why? It has an integrated grinder and a steam wand that creates velvety, microfoam milk for your lattes and cappuccinos.
The right glass can make all the difference to your coffee experience.
Sudirwan recommends investing in latte glasses or cappuccino mugs ($30-$40), depending on your style.
Other accessories will depend on the machine you own. If it's a manual machine, you will may need milk jugs, thermometers and tamp mats, each starting from $30. And for those who have a capsule machine, an automatic milk frother ($89) and a capsule storage container or holder ($69) will prove useful.
Bonnie's Best Buy: De'Longhi Coffee Storage Canister ($69)
Why? It protects your beans or ground coffee and will ensure maximum freshness for every cup.
Originally published as How to buy the best coffee machine