Four coffee machines to avoid purchasing

Now we are in the depths on winter, the thought of leaving the house for a barista-quality coffee becomes a little less appealing and perhaps the idea of purchasing your own coffee machine might be on the horizon.

If so, it pays to do your research, because while these machines are becoming much more affordable as they increase in popularity, there are some terrible options on the market.

Luckily, consumer group CHOICE, has tested more than 60 models available for purchase in Australia, and these are the four that received the lowest rating (two pod machines and two non-pod machines.

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Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS 9781
This machine has been reviewed 82 times on the Target website, where it is available for purchase and nearly all of them are positive, giving it a rating of four-and-a-half stars.

However, the team at CHOICE gave in a rating of just 41 per cent and a taste test score of 30 per cent.

According to the CHOICE experts: “Not only did it rate terribly for taste and milk frothing, you have to work for it too – you’ll need to stop the flow of coffee yourself and then ditch the pod immediately, as it has no storage for empties.”

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Breville Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus
The people who have bought this product from The Good Guys were happy enough with their purchase. According to the 126 reviews on the product page, it had a rating of 4.5 stars with mostly positive reviews.

The team at CHOICE, however, gave it a taste test score of 30 per cent and an overall rating of just 46 per cent.

According to the CHOICE experts: “It delivered poor-tasting coffee with a bitter flavour, watery mouthfeel and thin crema. Plus, it rated just average for milk frothing and the coffee temperature consistency was okay at best.”

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Sunbeam Cafe Barista EM5000
Yet another machine with a vast discrepancy between the experts and those that have purchased the machine. This one has 187 reviews on the Kogan site, all mostly positive for a score of 4.5 stars.

Despite being much more expensive than the two machines listed above, it still delivered just 30 per cent on the CHOICE taste test score and was rated 47 per cent overall.

“This semi-automatic model is great at serving up espresso at very consistent temperatures. But it scored a deal-breaking 30 per cent in our blind taste test and rated only okay for milk frothing,” the CHOICE experts said.

Breville Duo-Temp Pro BES810BSS
This machine probably has the smallest gap between what the punters and the experts thought, but that is largely because this machine is a big step up on the other three. According to Appliances Online, this machine has been reviewed 107 times for an average customer rating of 4.6 stars.

The CHOICE experts gave this machine an overall rating of 59 per cent, so much higher than the other three, and it scored 45 per cent on the taste test score.

“It does score very well for milk frothing and consistent coffee temperature, and also packs handy features such as a drip tray with full indicator, cup-warming plate and onboard tamper. Unfortunately, it earned a woeful taste score – our barista experts awarded it just 45 per cent,” they said. 

Do you own a coffee machine? Why do you think the expert opinion is so at odds with the people who have actually purchased these machines? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Ben