Fed up with spending a fortune at Starbucks and Costa? You can get top quality coffee at home without forking out hundreds on a coffee machine. In fact you can get barista-style coffee from machines that cost under £50.
If you can’t start your day without a coffee, you’ll definitely want to have a look at the coffee makers below.
They’re perfect for people who love great coffee but don’t want to blow hundreds of pounds on an expensive coffee machine.
Aeropress Coffee Maker – from £23
The Aeropress may not look like much, but allows you to quickly and easily brew incredibly fresh, smooth coffee at home.
In fact many award-winning baristas use the Aeropress in their coffee shops (but don’t worry – it’s incredibly easy to use, as the video below demonstrates).
The Aeropress gives you a great cup of coffee in under a minute, and gives much more expensive coffee machines a real run for their money.
It’s also portable (you could easily take it with you on holiday) and costs less than £30 – so you really can’t go wrong.
Pros: It creates seriously smooth coffee. It’s quick, easy, portable and cheap.
Cons: It looks like a plastic test tube. You also need to buy filter papers for it – but you can get a pack of 350 filters for under £4. (You can also reuse each filter at least once if you want to, so most people find that a 350 pack of filters lasts them around a year).
Bialetti Coffee Maker – from £18
The Bialetti is a traditional stove-top coffee maker that produces rich and authentic Italian espressos in minutes.
The iconic design of the Bialetti Moka pot hasn’t changed since the 1930s, and there’s a reason for that – it works!
You simply place the Bialetti on one of your oven’s hobs, and as it warms up hot water (pressured by steam) rises from the bottom chamber and filters through ground coffee into the top chamber – creating delicious, authentic Italian-style coffee. See the video below for a demonstration.
Bialettis are normally available to buy in 1 cup, 3 cup, 6 cup and 9 cup sizes. Bear in mind that 1 Bialetti cup = 1 small Italian espresso.
So 3 Bialetti cups = 1 normal sized mug of coffee, 6 Bialetti cups = 2 normal sized mugs of coffee, and so on.
You can get other Italian coffee makers that aren’t made by Bialetti which are slightly cheaper. However in our experience its worth paying a few quid more for a Bialetti – the build quality is better, and they tend to last far longer than their cheaper imitators.
Pros: Makes great, authentic Italian espressos. Excellent value for money. Its iconic, stylish design looks good in the kitchen.
Cons: It takes 3-4 minutes for the coffee to brew on the stove – so it’s not quite as instant as the Aeropress. Also remember the ‘3 Bialetti cups = 1 normal sized cup’ rule.
Chemex Coffee Maker – £42
The Chemex coffee maker was invented back in 1941, by the brilliantly named scientist Dr. Peter Schlumbohm.
Its smart modern design looks great – but the thinking behind the slick design is that the angle of the glass helps create a perfectly brewed cup of coffee.
We’ve found that while the Chemex can certainly deliver smooth flavourful coffee, it does take a little time and effort to develop a technique to get it to make a cup that suits your tastes.
In other words, the Chemex is probably best suited to coffee obsessives rather than casual drinkers.
Pros: It looks like a work of art, and it will give you many years of good coffee.
Cons: You need to be willing to put in a bit of time and effort to get the most out of it. It takes around 5 minutes to brew your coffee. You also need to buy specialist filters (it costs about £5 for 100 filters).
Nescafe Dolce Gusto Mini Me Play & Select – £49.99
This neat little gadget (which normally costs £99.99, but is currently on offer for £50) is an automatic ‘play and select’ coffee machine.
It couldn’t be easier to use. Just buy Nescafe drink ‘pods’ (you can get pods for anything: black espressos, frothy lattes, even teas and hot chocolate), slot them into the machine, and press a button – the machine will create the drink for you.
You can tailor make coffee how you like it and the machine is easy to clean.
And if automatic coffee machines conjure up memories of horrible vending machine coffee, don’t worry – so-called ‘pod’ coffee machines do a decent job of replicating the kind of drinks you get from your local coffee shop.
You can buy Nescafe drink pods online or in the supermarket. Pods tend to work out more expensive than normal coffee, but not massively so (a pack of 16 pods currently costs £3.68 online – that’s 23p a drink).
Pros: Stylish, compact, completely hassle free. Makes over 30 different varieties of coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
Cons: Will only take pods, which works out being (slightly) more expensive.