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Coffee Machine Buying Guide

Built-In and Free Standing Coffee Makers

It is fair to say the UK has fallen in love with coffee. For many, popping into their favourite coffee chain to pick up their regular coffee fix before tackling the day has become the norm. Now you can enjoy barista style coffees from your own personal coffee machine as we have a fabulous range of built in coffee machines and free standing coffee makers available at Appliance House.

Coffee machines produce hot water between 85-92°C. This is the perfect temperature for making coffee. It's not too hot to 'burn' the ground coffee which can result in a bitter taste but it is hot enough to extract the full flavour of the bean. By using a coffee machine, bar pressure is also optimised to create delicious crema. Crema is vital for the creation of a perfect shot of espresso.

With such a vast array of options available on the market we understand finding a coffee machine that is just right for you can be a challenge. We've put together a Coffee Machine Buying Guide to help you choose the best coffee machine for your budget and lifestyle. It covers both freestanding and built-in coffee machine models including pod and capsule coffee machines and bean to cup models. In order to choose a coffee machine that is perfect for your needs you must think about your budget and how much you love coffee!

FAQ's / How to choose the perfect Coffee Machine

What's the difference between a built in coffee machine and freestanding?


As the name suggests, a built in coffee machine is built into the kitchen furniture for a seamless finish. Fitted discreetly into a tall or mid height housing they add elegance to any kitchen interior whilst freeing up valuable worktop space. A built in coffee maker produces hot water and steamed milk meaning you need not limit your drink options. They're perfect for making frothy hot chocolates and a steaming cup of tea too. Built in coffee machines start around £500 for a basic model.

Freestanding coffee machines are a cheaper option. They stand alone on top of your work surface so you'll have greater flexibility on where to position the machine. Many freestanding models use coffee in capsule or pod form. Although freestanding coffee machines cost less to buy compared to an integrated coffee machine, the price of the coffee pods needs to be considered. Coffee pods and capsules are more expensive to buy than coffee beans, plus these outer cases will also create more waste.

If you have a busy schedule a built in, bean to cup or a freestanding pod machine is a great option as you can create delicious coffee with the touch of a button. For those who enjoy perfecting their barista skills, ground coffee machines are a good option. We have more information on all these models below.

Do Coffee Machines Require Regular Maintenance?

Coffee Maker Cleaning

Cleaning coffee machines is actually really easy as the parts can be removed with ease.

You should always use fresh water and run the auto-flush system before making yourself a coffee. This process will remove any air bubbles whilst also pre-heating the pipes prior to use.

Regular cleaning of the machine will ensure every cup of coffee tastes the best it can. Pods and ground coffee deposits should be emptied from the waste bin at regular intervals. Never use detergents to clean your machine, just flush the pipes with clean water after use.

We recommend using de-scaling programmes twice a year or more if you live in a hard water area.

Bean To Cup Coffee Machines

Bean to Cup Coffee Makers

The easiest way to make 'proper' coffee!

If you want to create delicious, fresh coffee at the touch of a button then a bean to cup coffee machine is the best option for you.

  • Built in grinders work on demand and only produce as much coffee as they need meaning every cup of coffee is made from freshly ground beans for the freshest coffee imaginable, essential to achieve a perfect 'crema'.
  • Using sugar coated, flavoured beans is not advisable as it can damage the grinder mechanism. For those who enjoy a caramel latte or similar, simply add your favourite flavoured syrup to your coffee for that extra sweet kick. 
  • Bean-to-cup coffee machines are often easier to use than traditional models as they are controlled by the press of a button, however, they are generally more expensive than ground coffee machines and pod machines.
  • Enjoy an unlimited choice of coffee as they are suitable to use with any coffee beans. Many models also work with ground coffee as well.

Ground Coffee Machines

Ground Coffee Machines

Bring out the barista in you.

If you like to play barista and have complete control over the strength of your coffee then a ground coffee machine could be ideal for you.

  • Significantly cheaper to buy when compared to bean-to-cup machines, you'll also find ground coffee is cheaper than coffee capsules or pods for capsule machines too.
  • Have complete control! You can control the amount of coffee and water you use for each cup and adjust the strength of your coffee to suit your taste.
  • Not ideal for those who simply want to enjoy an excellent quality coffee with minimal effort! You will need patience and persistence to achieve your perfect cup of coffee.

Capsule Coffee Machines

Capsule Coffee Machines

Biggest choice of flavours.

Capsule coffee machines are quick and convenient, great for those who want an easy way to enjoy a good quality coffee in the comfort of their home.

  • Capsule and pod machines are very convenient to use and they are easy to clean.
  • Cheapest machine option but the cost of the coffee is more expensive.
  • They are a great option for those who enjoy a decent coffee every now and again as the sealed capsules help to keep coffee fresh for longer.
  • Limited choice of coffee as you will be restricted to buying pods suitable to your coffee machine brand. However, many brands are now offering a wider selection of flavoured coffees in pod form. You can find coffee infused with vanilla, chocolate and caramel to name a few.
  • Coffee pods and capsules are also more expensive than coffee beans and ground coffee per cup.

Buying Coffee


Coffee looses its freshness very quickly (unless you go for capsules) so little and often is best. Many online stores offer exceptional quality coffee beans from around the world that can be sent on a next day delivery service.

It is best to avoid using sugar coated coffee beans as these can cause damage to the grinding mechanisms in bean to cup coffee machines.

Storing Coffee


Oxygen, light, heat and moisture reduce the storage life and quality of coffee. To prevent the chemical reactions that produce stale beans and lifeless coffee you should always store coffee away from direct sunlight in an opaque, airtight container.

Ideally coffee should be stored at room temperature in a cool, dark location for up to a week or two. If you must keep your beans any longer they can be stored in the fridge or freezer in a completely airtight container.

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