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From basic to barista: The latest coffee machines for that perfect cup of joe

By: Amy Brook-Partridge

Forget plungers and percolators; check out our roundup of automatic machines to make your own barista-style coffee at home.


1. Nespresso is a home-brew favourite – easy to use, and the variety of capsules means there’s plenty of choice. The recently launched Nespresso Inissia machine comes in black, red and limited-edition blue. It has a 700ml water tank, a 25-second heat-up and automatically powers off after nine minutes. Minus points: there’s no George Clooney to serve it to you. RRP HKD $1388.


2. Philips Saeco Poemia manual espresso machine promises to “deliver an authentic Italian espresso every time”. It includes a classic milk-frother, can hold a litre of water and has high bar pressure (15) to extract the ground coffee aroma. It doesn’t have a cup-warmer, so drink up fast. RRP HKD $1398.


3. Bosch VeroCafe is for the serious coffee-drinking household that likes variety. It can prepare multiple types of coffees in consecutive brewing cycles, can accommodate large and small cups, and has a removable 1.7L water tank,and separate containers for beans and ground coffee. RRP HKD $8980.


4. DeLonghi Prima Donna XS ETAM is its slimmest coffee machine, working well in compact kitchens. It has automatic cleaning, an active cup-warmer and a pre-brewing cycle, and can be used with beans or ground coffee. It’s probably easier to say what it doesn’t have (a barista chat function?). This kind of functionality comes at a price, though. RRP SGD $2,499.


5. Gaggenau’s fully automatic CM 450 espresso machine has a continuous-flow heater for immediate coffee gratification, along with warming drawers for your cups. There’s a personalisation function for up to eight brews, so you can programme all your favourite coffees. One small snag is that you then need the flash kitchen to fit around it. Price depends on the installation option chosen.


Questions to ask yourself when choosing your machine…

  • How much coffee does your family drink, and will the water capacity suit your requirements?
  • What types of coffee do you drink, and does the machine have these functions?
  • Will it match the décor of your kitchen?
  • How quickly do you need your coffee?
  • Is it a priority to have a machine that’s easy to clean?