If you are serious about your coffee, then you will know that the bean-to-cup coffee machine has become the ultimate symbol of convenience and quality for at-home brewing. These machines deliver a freshly brewed cup of coffee by grinding whole coffee beans on the spot. If you’re considering investing in a bean-to-cup coffee machine, read on for some advice from Sicelo Champion from leading appliance manufacturer, Miele, on what to look for when making your purchase decision:
1. Grinding mechanism
One of the key features of bean-to-cup machines is their integrated grinder. When shopping , look for machines with adjustable grind settings to tailor that coarseness of fineness of your coffee grounds to suit your taste preferences. Sicelo notes that you can taste the difference when the beans are freshly ground: “The beans stored in Miele coffee machines are freshly ground by our innovative conical grinder for each cup of coffee and then directly above the brew unit. This ensures that no remnants from a previous brewing process remain in the grinder, guaranteeing unadulterated flavour. The conical grinder is very quiet – making it suitable in open-plan living spaces or even in the bedroom.
2. Brewing capacity
Consider the brewing capacity of the machine, especially if you frequently entertain guests or have a large household. Some bean-to-cup machines can brew multiple cups simultaneously, while others are designed for single servings. Make sure the machine you choose aligns with your daily coffee consumption needs. Miele’s coffee machines are designed to make it super easy to make two cups of coffee at a single touch of a button, explains Sicelo: “With the OneTouch for Two function, it couldn’t be easier to prepare two delicious coffee specialties simultaneously at the touch of a button. The relevant programme starts automatically. So you don’t need to wait for one coffee to be ready before preparing the second one – leaving more time for chatting.”
3. Customisation options
The beauty of bean-to-cup coffee machines lies in their ability to cater to individual taste preferences. Look for machines with customisable settings for coffee strength, temperature, and volume. Some advanced models even allow you to save personalised profiles for different users, ensuring a consistently perfect cup every time. Miele’s coffee machines, for example, offer a truly personalised experience, says Sicelo: “You can save the settings for your favourite drink in the user profiles so you don’t have to enter them every time. Up to ten profiles are available. The user profiles contain all the parameters for your favourite drinks: bean type, quantity of coffee, water temperature and quantity, and milk/milk froth quantities if applicable.”
For even more personalised flavour, look for machines that offer the ability to store a selection of different beans, advises Sicelo: “Miele’s patented CoffeeSelectensures maximum enjoyment and top-quality coffee. There are three separate containers for different types of beans – so each coffee specialty is prepared with the right one. You can select the bean types manually or assign them permanently to particular drinks – giving you maximum flexibility. Drinks are always prepared using one type of bean as no remnants remain in the system from previous uses.”
4. Milk frothing capability
For those who enjoy specialty coffee beverages like lattes and cappuccinos, the milk frothing capability is a crucial feature. Some machines come equipped with steam wands for manual frothing, while others have automatic milk frothers. Choose a machine that aligns with your preferred milk frothing method. Miele’s integrated coffee machines provide the most convenient milk jug docking system on the market, says Sicelo: “The convenient EasyClick milk system simply clicks into place at the front and is as easily removed to be filled or cleaned. The milk container is made from high-quality glass. Apart from easy cleaning, glass has the benefit of being transparent, allowing you to see when milk needs replenishing.
5. Maintenance and cleaning
Regular maintenance is essential for the longevity and performance of your bean-to-cup machine. Opt for a model with easy-to-remove and dishwasher-safe components. Machines with self-cleaning functions, descaling alerts, and removable drip trays simplify the cleaning process, ensuring that you can enjoy your coffee without the hassle of intricate maintenance routines.
Says Sicelo: “With ComfortClean, it couldn’t be easier to clean your Miele coffee machine: almost all of the individual components can be cleaned in the dishwasher, including the water container, the drip tray, and the grounds container/waste container. This ensures optimum hygiene and helps to preserve the value of your appliance. Furthermore, the milk pipework and brew unit are cleaned automatically with the AutoClean function – saving you time and giving you more freedom. In addition, you can do away with manual descaling thanks to the machine’s AutoDescale function. With the ComfortClean system, many of the components can be cleaned in the dishwasher.”
6. Brand reputation and reviews
Before making a purchase, research the reputation of the brand and read customer reviews. Reputable brands often provide better customer support, warranty options, and product reliability. Online reviews can offer insights into real-world experiences, helping you make an informed decision. Miele for example, has built its trusted reputation over 125 years, explains Sicelo: “Miele has earned its reputation as a reputable brand through a steadfast commitment to quality and innovation. Renowned for German engineering precision, Miele appliances, including coffee machines, boast exceptional durability and performance. The brand consistently pioneers cutting-edge technologies, ensuring its products remain at the forefront of innovation and efficiency. Miele’s user-friendly designs, comprehensive product range, and responsive customer service contribute to a seamless and satisfying ownership experience. With a focus on sustainability and numerous accolades for excellence, Miele stands as a trusted choice, garnering positive reviews and industry recognition, making it synonymous with reliability and superior craftsmanship.”
7. Size and design
Consider the available counter space in your kitchen and choose a bean-to-cup machine that fits seamlessly into your environment. Additionally, pay attention to the design aesthetics – do you want an integrated or a free-standing coffee machine? Says Sicelo: “Choosing between integrated and freestanding coffee machines depends on individual preferences and kitchen design. Integrated coffee machines seamlessly blend into built-in kitchen cabinetry, offering a sleek and cohesive appearance. They are ideal for those prioritising a streamlined aesthetic and have a fitted kitchen. On the other hand, freestanding coffee machines provide flexibility in placement and are easily movable, making them suitable for various kitchen layouts. They are also available in different colour finishes, namely Obsidian Black, Rose Gold, and Lotus White. The decision ultimately hinges on the desired look, kitchen layout, and your budget. Integrated machines offer a polished, space-efficient appearance, while freestanding machines offer versatility and ease of relocation.”