HomeLifeA match made in heaven with the perfect coffee machine

A match made in heaven with the perfect coffee machine

It’s Australia’s national obsession – good coffee and where to find it.

While some may quite rightly argue things have gone too far, I think I speak for many when I say I gladly waved farewell to the days of instant coffee in a can.

For true coffee addicts, a home coffee machine is a must, but before taking the plunge, you must first ask yourself some questions.

Read: What is the strongest way to brew coffee?

What are your space and budget restrictions?

Without too much effort, it’s easy to spend close to $10,000 setting up a professional standard coffee machine at home. If that’s your bag go for it, but if a $1000+ does what you want, don’t go in over your head. For me $10,000 buys you a lot of takeaway coffee and you don’t have to clean the machine afterwards.

And if you are considering a coffee maker, for goodness sake take some measurements. Bench space can be at a premium, covering a quarter of it with a virtually immovable appliance makes no sense.

I know of one woman who bought a whiz-bang coffee machine, and then a fabulous coffee shop opened up around the corner and she never used it again. It still sits there to this day, 10 years later.

Read: Five ways to make your coffee more sustainable

Are you comfortable using it?

It might look all shiny and high tech sitting in your kitchen, but if you like coffee but have no idea how to make it, then it’s a waste.

Buy a machine that matches your comfort level as far as operational capabilities go. If you want to press a button or two for a coffee, get an automatic machine. If you like fiddling with the grind, temperature and all the other stuff that goes with your ritual cup of coffee look at a manual machine.

And take into account the amount of cleaning your preferred machine may require. It’s not a convenient ‘at home’ coffee if the machine requires a step short of complete disassembly to take it back to sparkling.

Do you like capsule coffee?

There are machines made specifically for capsule coffee, and indeed consumer advocacy group CHOICE found that pod or capsule coffee machines make up the bulk of home machines in Australia.

Pods have the advantage of being sealed, so the coffee lasts longer, there are many flavours available and the machines are simple and convenient to use.

However, purists tend to avoid them and they are getting a bad rap for the amount of landfill the used pods generate, so swings and roundabouts.

Read: Want to live longer? Have another coffee

Automatic versus manual machines?

Some people love all that shooshing and swirling, and some just want a convenient cup of coffee at home.

Automatic versus manual comes down to personal taste, and there are many pros and cons for both choices.

Automatics are easier to use, but they are generally more expensive. You can program them to your choice, but they are heavy and take up a lot of bench space.

Manuals can extract a better depth of flavour, but are difficult for beginners. With all that sparkling metal they can look like small works of art, but there is a lot of upkeep in maintaining such a flashy visage.

Other features to consider are the adjustable grinder, coffee strength, froth enhancer, cup warming tray, double shot capability, warm-up time, and wifi just in case you need to have a coffee ready to go as soon as you wake up. Phew, I need a coffee to get through all that.

And perhaps considering there are so many variables, how hard is it to repair? Check the warranty when you buy it and ask many probing questions about repair services from the retailer. It’s not convenient if it requires regular maintenance or parts come only from Europe.

For CHOICE’s reviews, check out their home espresso coffee machine reviews and automatic espresso coffee machine reviews.

Do you have a coffee machine at home? Are you happy with your morning cup of coffee or would you switch to another machine if you had the chance? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisherhttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/JanFisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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