Four espresso machines to spice up your coffee breaks

An espresso or nothing. But not just any one. “A few years ago, the market turned to capsules and pods, today that’s changing. People are turning to something more eco-friendly,” says Lionel Galut, CEO of MaxiCoffee. There is a new interest in coffee beans, which is reflected in the sale of automatic coffee machines with integrated grinders.

“They are growing strongly and the trend has been ongoing for 2-3 years, notes Lionel Galut. 154,000 were sold in 2018 in France.” Also known as an espresso grinder or coffee robot, the automatic machine makes coffee worthy of the pros and freshly ground, in order to appreciate all its aromas. Easy to use, just press a button and you’re done. Its other major asset is its ecological dimension: the harvested marc can be used as compost or fertilizer for plants. No more pyramids of disposable capsules.

While they remain more expensive to buy (300 to 500 euros for a correct appliance) and cumbersome, they are more economical in the long term, at 11 cents per espresso. According to Lionel Galut, it takes about three years to amortize the purchase of such a device, compared to a capsular system. He added: “It theoretically offers the best espresso coffee”, as well as the possibility of making all kinds of dairy drinks.

In addition to automatic machines, there are also traditional manual models with filter holders on the espresso market. Often less expensive (from 150 euros), they are used with ground coffee and/or ESE pods (Easy serving espresso), also called POD. To be completed with a grain mill (manual or electric), to obtain a freshly prepared drink, based on the comments of the first concerned, namely the users, and on the opinions of the professional testers, “20 Minutes” offers you its selection of manual and automatic machines.

Contrary to popular belief, espresso contains less caffeine than filter coffee because it stays in contact with water for a shorter period of time: “It’s a bit like syrup; a coffee concentrate with a more intense taste,” says Sadry-Alexandre Abidi, founder of Café Mokxa. Before buying such a machine, evaluate your espresso habits, your preferred shapes (rather long or tight) and their intensities.

Delonghi BCO 431.S: the most versatile

For those who want to save space (and checkout time), the Delonghi BCO 431.S is both a manual espresso machine and a traditional coffee maker. It can be used for both ground coffee and ESE pods. A steam nozzle is also used to make dairy drinks. In filter mode, it can be programmed 24 hours in advance and the jug is equipped with an anti-drip system. We can only blame it for being a little too limited when it comes to setting up the espresso.

Discover the Delonghi coffee machines on sale now.

Ariete Vintage 1389: the most retro

As its name suggests, one of the main qualities of this manual espresso machine is its vintage look. Green, blue or beige, it will spice up your coffee moments. Thanks to its adaptable mixed filter holder, it can be used with ground coffee or ESE pods. For lactose lovers, Ariete Vintage also includes a steam nozzle, ideal for making cappuccinos and milk froth. The only problem according to one Amazon customer: “Cleaning after each use (…) it spurts out a little bit from everywhere.”

From 119.99 euros.

Melitta Caffeo Solo & Perfect Milk E957: the quality/price ratio

This is an automatic machine with an integrated shredder. Behind its sober and compact design (45.5 x 20 x 20 x 32.5 cm), the Melitta Caffeo Solo appreciates both coffee (long and short) and milk drinks (hot and cold), thanks to its Cappuccinatore system. With its adjustable pouring spout, the machine can handle cups up to 13.5 cm high. “The less: frequent and tedious cleaning, high water consumption, grain tank too small[125 g],” says Yves on Amazon.

The fineness of the grind can be chosen on three levels and the freshly ground coffee is pre-wetted to extract the aromas. For the most meticulous, the intensity of the beverage and its temperature can also be adjusted. It should be noted that at tea or herbal tea time, its nozzle can be used to distribute hot water.

From 340 euros.

Saeco GranBaristo Avanti HD8977/01: the most connected

Aficionado of new technologies, welcome. The Saeco GranBaristo Avanti can be controlled remotely, via smartphone or tablet, thanks to a dedicated application. And it has enough to vary the pleasures: 18 in total. The coffee pre-infusion time is adjustable and each drink can be customized. To each guest (and desire) his coffee. Maintenance is made easier by tutorials housed in the application and the device is supplied with Aquaclean filters, which are designed to guarantee up to 5,000 cups without scale. The only disadvantage is its price.

From 1 410 euros.