Looking to give the gift of great coffee, or perhaps buy a luxurious treat for yourself in the pre-Christmas sales? Get our expert insight on some of the most exciting new coffee machines that are hitting the shelves this winter, along with insider tips on choosing the best one for you.
A brand-new coffee machine is a dream come true for many coffee lovers, letting you create the delicious espressos, lattes and cappuccinos you’d expect from a café in the comfort of your own home. They can make the perfect gift, too, if you know what to look for.
To make life simpler for you, we’ve rounded up some of the top new releases worth considering if you’re on the hunt for the perfect coffee machine this Christmas. Find out what they offer versus their rivals and get our expert insight on whether they’re a good bet.
These models are so shiny and new that most of them are currently going through our demanding coffee machine tests, but you can still find out what we expect of them based on our extensive testing knowledge of the brands behind them.
Coffee machine reviews– get our verdict on all the big models, from DeLonghi to Nespresso
New coffee machines to look out for this Christmas
Dualit Bean to Go – £499*
This new compact bean-to-cup coffee machine is the first of its kind from high-end kitchen brand Dualit, which has heritage in ground coffee and capsule machines. It has a smart, minimalist look with a pop-up backlit touch-control panel and a steam wand for frothing milk. Like most bean-to-cup models, it lets you adjust the grind level and dose to fine-tune your coffee.
It’s a decent mid-range price for a bean-to-cup model, and if you buy it from Dualit you get two bags of coffee beans thrown in free of charge, but is it one to add to your wishlist? Read more about what to expect in our expert Dualit Bean to Go preview.
Sage SES500BSS Bambino Plus – £400
Another promising option for luxury coffee fans, the Sage SES500BSS Bambino Plus ground coffee machine is a slick brushed-steel coffee maker for true traditionalists. It’s not cheap – we’ve found Best Buy ground coffee machines for less than £200 – but it does have Sage’s signature automatic steam wand for effortless milk texturing, and Sage says it heats up in just three seconds thanks to a ‘thermojet’ heating system. It also automatically purges the system after use for optimum results when making several espressos in a row – handy for busy Christmas gatherings.
Our official verdict on this machine is due soon, but for now you can read our expert Sage SES500BSS Bambino Plus preview to see whether this ground coffee machine is a festive contender.
Nescafé Dolce Gusto Infinissima – £50
If you’re looking for a stylish and affordable capsule coffee machine to suit your kitchen, your eye might be caught by the Dolce Gusto Infinissima, thanks to its striking figure-of-eight design. It’s the latest in a long line of unusual-looking Dolce Gusto machines, which use Nescafé Dolce Gusto coffee pods. The Dolce Gusto range includes a variety of coffees, teas and hot chocolates, including elaborate options such as caramel macchiato.
Pod machines are ideal if you want a hands-off approach to coffee making, but it’s worth knowing that pods are an expensive way to make coffee at home, compared with using ground coffee or beans, and you’re limited to one type of branded pod. Plus, the pods can be difficult to recycle.
This machine is currently going through our tough tests, but for now you can get the inside track – based on testing many similar machines – in our expert Dolce Gusto Infinissima preview.
Breville One-Touch VCF108 – £150
The One-Touch is a bit of an eye-catcher, thanks to its stylish colour options, including this cream version with rose-gold accents. Unusually for a ground coffee machine, this compact model has an automatic milk frother that dispenses foam straight into your cup for a speedy cappuccino or latte, and has simple pre-set drink options to choose from. This makes it a bit more user friendly for time-starved or inexperienced would-be baristas.
It’s been a while since we’ve tested a Breville coffee machine, and new ground coffee makers have been thin on the ground in recent years, so we’re excited to see how this model fares in our tests. For now, you can read more about it in our expert Breville One Touch CoffeeHouse preview.
Argos Cookworks Espresso Machine (847/7958) – £60
The Argos Cookworks Espresso coffee machine has a cool retro look and a budget-friendly price. It has a steam wand for frothing milk, so you can make espresso-based milky drinks such as cappuccinos, too.
Could this cheap and cheerful coffee machine give the big brands a run for their money? We’ve just tested this model, so you can discover all in the full Argos Cookworks espresso machine review.
How to choose the right coffee machine
The best place to start is by deciding which type of coffee machine best suits you (or your gift recipient). You can then narrow down models within your preferred category to find the best option.
Capsule or pod coffee machines
A capsule coffee machine could be right for you if you want to keep the coffee brewing process as simple as possible – pop in your favourite capsule, press the button, get your coffee. Most can be bought with automatic milk frothers.
Pros: Easy to use, compact and light, often inexpensive to buy.
Cons: Most machines restrict you to one brand of capsules, capsules are more expensive per cup than ground coffee and can be difficult to recycle.
See our top capsule coffee machine picks.
Traditional espresso machines
Traditionalists might prefer a ground coffee machine, where you manually prepare and extract the coffee, and usually froth milk manually with a steam wand, too.
Pros: Flexible coffee options, some cheaper models are very good.
Cons: Take a while to get used to, usually larger than capsule machines.
Discover the best ground coffee machines.
Bean-to-cup coffee machines
Looking for the freshest espresso possible? A bean-to-cup coffee machine could be the perfect gift. Many models automate the brewing process, and some also automate the frothing, for the ultimate at-home barista experience.
Pros: Make fresh coffee with minimal fuss, most have steam wands for milk frothing.
Cons: Often expensive to buy, tend to be large, tricky to keep clean.
See the best bean-to-cup coffee machines.
Get more advice on choosing in our full coffee machine buying guide.
More gift ideas for coffee fans
What to buy for the coffee enthusiast who has everything? Well, they probably don’t quite have everything they need to make great coffee. Here are some more ideas:
- Filter coffee machine – filter coffee is making a slow-and-steady comeback, with pour-over machines often delivering delicious results, while budget-friendly models can still make great coffee without a big investment. See our filter coffee machine reviews for our top picks.
- Coffee grinder – for someone who already has a ground coffee machine, a coffee grinder can be just as good as the bean-to-cup machine experience. Get advice on buying, and our verdict on the best models ,in our round-up of the best coffee grinders for 2018.
- Reusable coffee cup – the perfect eco-friendly gift or stocking-filler, a reusable cup or travel mug will allow you to carry your homemade brew on the go, and resist temptation from coffee shops (or at least mean you get a discount and save a plastic cup). Get the best with our guide to the best reusable coffee cups and mugs.
*Prices correct as of 2 November 2018.