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Best bean-to-cup coffee machine 2024: Our favourite tested models for great latte, espresso and cappuccino

Discover our favourite tried and tested bean-to-cup coffee machines for making barista-quality coffee

Manual espresso machines might be the best choice for making barista-quality coffee at home, but they’re not for everyone. In our opinion, there’s a daunting learning curve for beginners. You’ll need to get to grips with grinding beans and tamping coffee just so before you even begin to master the art of pulling perfect espresso shots. You’ll even need to steam the milk yourself, too. If that sounds like far too much effort, then let’s be honest: we think you’re much better off buying the automatic best bean-to-cup machine you can afford.

A bean-to-cup coffee machine is a practical, hassle-free route to good-quality coffee. These machines are capable of grinding and pouring delicious coffee at the press of a button, and you only need to add water and coffee beans to the machine – everything else is taken care of, with no cleaning up required between drinks. More expensive bean-to-cup machines also heat and froth milk to perfection, adding it directly to your cup so you can have tasty milk-based drinks such as cappuccinos or lattes at the touch of a button.

New to bean-to-cup machines? Our handy buying guide breaks down the key things to consider before parting ways with your cash.

Best bean-to-cup coffee machine: At a glance

Best bean-to-cup machine under £400Gaggia Naviglio (~£349)Check price at Amazon
Best high-end bean-to-cup coffee machineDe’Longhi Primadonna Soul (~£1000)Check price at John Lewis
Best affordable, fully automatic bean-to-cup machineDe’Longhi Magnifica Evo One Touch (~£550)Check price at Amazon

How we test bean-to-cup coffee machines

Every coffee machine on this list has been thoroughly tested by our panel of kitchen specialists. We test each machine in our own homes, taking into consideration the ease of assembly, clarity of instructions and how easy it is to get to grips with using the machine. We then make a range of coffees using high-quality beans and comparing models against competitors to find our favourites. We’ll grade the machine on functionality, appearance and how good the resulting coffee is.

Without further ado, read on to discover our pick of the very best bean-to-cup coffee machines that money can buy.

READ NEXT: Best manual espresso, Nespresso and filter coffee machines

The best bean-to-cup coffee machines

1. Gaggia Naviglio: The best bean-to-cup machine under £400

Price when reviewed: £349 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… espresso
  • Not so great for… a completely automated experience

If you want the convenience of a bean-to-cup coffee machine without breaking the bank, we think the Gaggia Naviglio is the best choice. Although it’s relatively inexpensive, it’s great for espresso, making shots that are on a par with machines that cost several hundred pounds more.

We also like that this machine has a manual steam wand to froth milk in a jug to make white coffees, such as latte or cappuccino. This isn’t completely automated, though, which some might dislike. If milk isn’t your thing, you can use its hot water button for making an black Americano.

At this price, the Naviglio is difficult to beat – unless, that is, the De’Longhi Magnifica S Smart (which you’ll find just below) is on offer.

Read our full Gaggia Naviglio review

Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 256 x 440 x 340mm; Water capacity: 1.5l; Cup warmer: N/A; Milk frothing: Yes; Adjustable grind: Yes; Adjustable strength: Yes

2. De’Longhi Magnifica S Smart: The best bean-to-cup machine under £450

Price when reviewed: £480 | Check price at Currys

  • Great for… smaller worktops
  • Not so great for… those who prefer not to tinker

De’Longhi’s little Magnifica S Smart is a brilliant bean-to-cup machine. Ideal for smaller kitchens, it’s slimmer and more stylish than the Gaggia Naviglio, and we think it also feels noticeably less plasticky; it’s also lighter. The clincher, however, is that we found it makes a mean cup of coffee.

Like most machines, it takes a little while to get the very best from it, but it’s both easy to use and to adjust the various settings. Talking of which, by far our favourite feature is the big dial on the front: this allows you to quickly adjust coffee strength. Dial it up to the maximum for a potent morning espresso, or ease it down for a more gentle afternoon shot. In either case, the steam wand allows you to froth milk or just add hot water to create cappuccinos, lattes and americanos with very little effort.

Read our full  De’Longhi Magnifica S Smart review

Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 240 x 440 x 360mm; Water capacity: 1.8l; Cup warmer: N/A; Milk frothing: Yes; Adjustable grind: Yes; Adjustable strength: Yes

Check price at Currys

3. De’Longhi Magnifica Evo One Touch: The best affordable, fully automatic bean-to-cup machine

Price when reviewed: £550 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… ease of use
  • Not so great for… quiet brewing

Doing exactly what it says on the tin, the De’Longhi Magnifica Evo One Touch grinds, brews and froths milk – all at the touch of a button. Sleek and neatly put together, if a little large on the countertop, the Magnifica Evo is controlled via a bright, easy-to-use touchscreen and has a range of adjustable one-touch settings for lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos, espressos and hot water.

In testing, we found the Magnifica Evo produced reliably tasty milk- and water-based coffees, as well as respectable espresso. We did have some minor quibbles with the Magnifica Evo, such as its lack of milk temperature adjustability. Ultimately, though, we found that for a fully automatic bean-to-cup offering, you’d be hard pressed to find another machine with the same quality and basic capabilities at the Magnifica Evo’s price.

Read our full De’Longhi Magnifica Evo One Touch review

Key specs – Dimensions (HWD): 240 x 440 x 360mm; Water capacity: 1.8l; Cup warmer: Yes; Milk frothing: Yes; Adjustable grind: Yes; Adjustable strength: Yes

4. Gaggia Anima: An excellent mid-range bean-to-cup machine

Price when reviewed: £499 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… long espresso
  • Not so great for… novice steam wand users

Move further up the Gaggia range and you’ll find the Anima. Still considerably cheaper than some of the machines on this list, it pulls an excellent long espresso. Unfortunately, you’ll need to master the built-in steam wand if you’re a fan of milky coffee, which might not be everyone’s cup of coffee.

In contrast, we’d argue black coffee drinkers are well catered for, with the option to pour anywhere between 10ml and 230ml of coffee. The espresso isn’t as great as some of the more expensive machines in this list, but the slim, stylish design and good all-round performance nudge it in front of the cheaper models here.

Read our full Gaggia Anima review

Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 221 x 430 x 340mm; Water capacity: 1.8l; Cup warmer: N/A; Milk frothing: Yes; Adjustable grind: Yes; Adjustable strength: Yes

5. Melitta Caffeo Barista TS Smart: Delicious one-touch cappuccinos for under £1,000

Price when reviewed: £719 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… customisation
  • Not so great for… those looking for a more basic machine

Melitta’s Caffeo Barista TS Smart has been one of our favourite bean-to-cup coffee machines for a long time now. The Smart serves up great coffee, with or without milk, while letting you control and customise the whole process of creating coffee-based drinks from your smartphone.

Every Melitta we’ve tested makes great-quality espresso-based drinks, and this particular model has two bean hoppers, allowing you to produce a variety of coffees, opt for a decaf occasionally or experiment with different tasting beans. The milk carafe means that you can whip up milk-based coffee drinks at the touch of a button, and the automatic cleaning and descaling programmes make light work of routine cleaning. If your budget can stretch to it, this is a great bean-to-cup machine for coffee lovers.

Word to the wise: if you’re really not interested in the smart features, then save your cash and opt for the older, standard non-smart TS model if you can get hold of one (we’ve linked to our review of it below). It’s just as great at making coffee, and considerably cheaper, too.

Read our full Melitta Caffeo Barista TS review

Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 470 x 260 x 372mm; Water capacity: 1.8l; Cup warmer: N/A; Milk frothing: Yes; Adjustable grind: Yes; Adjustable strength: Yes

6. De’Longhi Primadonna Soul: The best high-end bean-to-cup coffee machine

Price when reviewed: £1,000 | Check price at John Lewis


  • Great for… an excellent all–rounder
  • Not so great for… those on a budget

A thousand pounds is a lot of money to spend on a bean-to-cup coffee machine, but it’s fair to say that the Primadonna’s performance really stirs our soul. This is a performer that can whip up everything from an espresso to a macchiato in a blink of an eye and do a top-notch job of it. Make no mistake, this is one of the finest machines we’ve ever tested.

The touchscreen is a brilliant addition, too, as it learns each user’s favourite drinks and makes sure they’re top of the list every time. If you want great coffee with almost zero effort, this is a superb choice.

Read our full De’Longhi Primadonna Soul review

Key specs – Dimensions (WDH): 390 x 260 x 485mm; Water capacity: 2.2l; Cup warmer: N/A; Milk frothing: Yes; Adjustable grind: Yes; Adjustable strength: Yes

Check price at John Lewis

How to choose the best bean-to-cup machine for you

Should you buy a bean-to-cup machine?

The coffee machine market is a busy one, and there are so many different formats vying for your attention it can be hard to know which is right for you. It’s widely agreed that manual bean-to-cup machines produce the best-tasting coffee, but these can be messy, time-consuming and require a level of skill.

The next best thing is often an automatic bean-to-cup machine, which does all the hard work of espresso-making for you while still retaining the deliciousness of fresh beans that have been ground and brewed instantly. These are a huge step up from capsule and pod machines, but you’ll pay for the privilege of better-tasting coffee.

How much should I spend?

When shopping for a bean-to-cup machine, consider your budget – most start at around £400 – and what kind of coffee you drink. If you tend towards lattes and other milk-based coffee then you’ll need to decide if you’re happy to steam the milk yourself with an attached wand (this gives the best results, but can be time-consuming and messy) or you can use an integrated milk system (which can be annoying to fill and clean but quick to make coffees).

What other features should I look out for?

Size can also be an issue, so be sure to check the dimensions before buying. Increasingly, bean-to-cup machines include smart tech; this can add to the price and may not be that useful in practice, so think about whether this is a genuine requirement.

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