The term ‘bean-to-cup’ refers to the process of a single machine grinding, pressing, and brewing fresh coffee. These machines are ideal for anyone who enjoys a cup of coffee but doesn’t want to deal with the inconvenience of brewing it.
Espresso connoisseurs are a unique breed of coffee drinkers. They use a more creative and artisanal approach to coffee brewing, worrying over even the tiniest differences in beans, milk, viscosity, and other variables.
What exactly is a bean-to-cup coffee maker?
These machines are designed with one basic objective in mind: to make the freshest coffee possible. The more flavorful the shot is, the fresher the coffee is. Bean-to-cup devices create some of the best at-home coffees by grinding the coffee beans, extracting the flavor, and brewing an espresso.
This high-end performance, however, does not come cheap. Bean-to-cup machines’ finest feature is that they perform practically everything for you, from grinding beans to brewing more complicated coffees, all at the push of a button. There’s also no need to tamp or put milk into cups on most models.
Best bean-to-cup coffee machines
Breville The Oracle Touch
- The Breville Oracle Touch espresso machine with touch screen delivers third wave specialty coffee at home using the 4 keys formula; It has a professional Dual Boiler construction that delivers unparalleled temperature control and simultaneous extraction and steaming
- DOSE CONTROL GRINDING: The integrated precision conical burr grinder automatically grinds, doses and tamps 22 grams of freshly ground coffee, for maximum flavor
- OPTIMAL WATER PRESSURE: The Over Pressure Valve limits the maximum pump pressure throughout extraction, helping prevent bitter flavors; Low pressure pre infusion gradually increases water pressure to gently expand grinds for an even extraction
- PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Achieve balanced tasting espresso with the Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine complete with digital temperature control (PID), delivers water at precisely the right temperature ensuring optimal espresso extraction
- AUTOMATIC MICROFOAM MILK TEXTURING: Self-cleaning steam wand, powered by a dedicated boiler, automatically textures milk to your liking and delivers barista quality microfoam that enhances flavor and is essential for creating latte art at home
This Breville bean-to-cup machine is the top of the line from a company known for its high-quality coffee machines. For single and double shots, this machine employs a portafilter, much like a real espresso machine, with different sized baskets for single and double shots. It allows you to be a little more creative if you want to.
With older or less strong beans, the good grinder may be modified by employing a finer grind. You have nearly complete control over the extraction time, and you can simply customize different parameters for your favorite beverages.
The brushed-metal outside requires some effort to maintain it clear of finger stains, but other than that, the Oracle Touch is hard to criticize. It combines full automation with a wide range of adjustments. Beginner baristas and seasoned coffee professionals alike will find everything they need to brew consistently excellent coffee.
When you place a jug of milk, for example, under the wand, the Oracle monitors the temperature and adjusts the steam pressure.
The only issue we discovered was that the water-tank top-up is located just above the touchscreen controls, making it easy for droplets to fall across the screen. It might also benefit from more non-slip feet when twisting the portafilter into position.
- Easy to operate
- High adjustability
- Five presets
- Consistent coffee taste
- Exceptional milk frother
- Multiple manual settings
- 2.5-liter capacity
De’Longhi La Specialista
- Sensor grinding technology: Exclusive segsing technology delivers precise, consistent grinding and the optimal dose for espresso, every time. Plus, the bean sensor ensures you’ll never run out of beans while grindin
- The smart tamping station: Simply pull the lever to tamp the ground coffee with the right pressure for perfect results. There’s no need to remove the portafilter, so you get to enjoy a mess-free experience, for Espresso Made Right(TM)
- Active temperature control with dual heating system: The best temperature stability for optimal coffee extraction and milk texturing. One thermoblock for extracting coffee and an independent heating system for steaming milk or frothing
- Advanced latte system: Micro-foam frothing for Latte Art or rich froth for cappuccino. Just place your cup under the spout and select flat or foam. Now, you can enjoy your flat hot milk, or the perfect foam to express your latte art creativity
- 1 second quick start: Power the machine on, grind and tamp your dose, then immediately brew authentic espresso – no additional heat up time necessary
The De’Longhi La Specialista semi-automatic espresso machine is designed for coffee enthusiasts who wish to create espresso with a little help. This device combines human operation with intelligent technology that takes care of some of the more difficult parts. In a countertop compact, this bean-to-cup coffee machine has the grandeur of a heavy-duty commercial unit. It’s jam-packed with valuable extras.
The La Specialista is equipped with a dual heating system that maintains temperature control for both coffee extraction and milk steaming. While the coffee is brewing, you may use the separate steam boiler to froth milk at whichever temperature you like.
With its metallic buttons placed against a black backdrop, the control panel has a sleek, industrial aesthetic. The left dial controls the grind size, while the right dial chooses from a menu of pre-programmed espresso, Americano, and coffee beverages. It’s a built-in burr grinder with six grind settings and a bypass that allows you to utilize pre-ground coffee.
To clean the group head and portafilter, all you have to do is press a button. A dregs bin is not included with the machine. For owners who register their devices right away, De’Longhi gives an industry-leading three-year warranty.
- Bean hopper with a capacity of 250g milk frother
- Quick start
- 2-liter water tank capacity
- Produces excellent espressos
- Semi-automatic mode
- Heating systems with two zones
- Integrated tamper detection
- Separate spout for hot water
Gaggia Velasca Prestige
- One touch brewing and frothing: bean-to-cup feature with automatic milk frothing for cappuccinos, baby cappuccinos, and milk froth
- Programmable: programmable brewing options for Espresso and Espresso Lungo, cappuccino, and milk froth, with 3 different temperature settings
- Ceramic burr grinder and brew unit: ceramic burr grinder with 10 fineness settings, 5 brew strength settings, and bean hopper with 10.5oz capacity
- Front loaded water reservoir: features a 54oz capacity and pulls out from the front of the machine, ideal for low hanging cabinets
Gaggia has been making espresso machines since 1938 and certainly understands what they’re doing. The Gaggia Velasca Prestige is a super-automatic coffee maker for espresso aficionados who seek café quality with one-touch ease. It is the polar opposite of the Sage machines in terms of luxury. It has push-button brewing and frothing for specialty drinks that may be customized.
Beverage buttons for espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino, milk froth, and customized beverages are available on the program menu. Coffee volume, milk volume, brew intensity, and two degrees of optional pre-infusion may all be readily set in the one-touch drinks. The espresso lungo option makes a drip-style coffee and can be chosen twice for a stronger cup.
There are five different brew intensities and three different temperature settings to accommodate a variety of beans and user preferences. The Velasca’s espresso is on par with what you’ll get in most restaurants and coffee shops, with a comfortingly old-fashioned, robust flavor, especially when using deeper roasted beans.
- Single-touch specialty drinks
- Front-load compartments
- Compact build
- Ten grind settings
- Cleaning and upkeep are simple
- Reasonable price
- 1.5-liter capacity
- ONE TOUCH: Prepare 15 barista quality specialties including espresso, coffee, cappuccino, flat white and latte macchiato at the touch of a button
- PERFECT ESPRESSO: Ultimate coffee quality thanks to JURA's exclusive Pulse Extraction Process
- CONICAL BURR GRINDER: Fast and precise AromaG3 grinder grinds whole beans to the optimum fineness
- ECO FRIENDLY: JURA is always freshly ground, not capsuled - fresh taste with very limited waste - single serve machine
- CAPACITY: 64 ounce water tank, 10 ounce bean container
Jura produces a broad range of coffee makers, ranging in size from large to small. The Jura S8 is a little machine that packs a punch. It’s also less expensive than other high-end coffee machines. Though it lacks some of the capabilities seen in higher-end coffee makers, it has its own unique attributes that make it a fantastic machine.
You may pick between ristretto, espresso, Americano, latte macchiato, espresso macchiato, flat white, caffè latte, and ‘Milk Foam’ on its own with just a single touch. However, depending on the beverage selected, you may need to manually adjust a lever on the milk dispenser. Perhaps your butler could assist you.
The Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P®) ensures that the espresso produced by the S8 is of the finest possible quality. The P.E.P provides the appropriate extraction time and offers an explosion of flavor in espresso by pulsing hot water through the coffee grounds in brief bursts.
The S8 is equipped with a cutting-edge Aroma G3 grinder that ensures exceptional coffee. Jura made a point of designing a grinder that works swiftly and quietly while preserving the aroma of the coffee beans.
With the S8, Jura makes it simple to use the system and program a drink. Espresso, ristretto, espresso macchiato, flat white, coffee, cappuccino, and caffè latte are among the 15 specialities available. A piece of milk froth, hot water, a dish of milk, or hot water at a lower temperature can be added in addition to that.
You can also quickly modify the quantity of milk or milk foam you want while on the road with the new and enhanced fine foam frother.
- Pulse Extraction Process
- 15-bar pressure
- Automatic milk rinse
- Water hardness may be adjusted, and it’s ready to use wirelessly
- Fine foam milk frothing
- Smart water filter
- 1.9-liter capacity
- FROTHING FOR MILK BEVERAGES: Pannarello wand frothing for cappuccinos & lattes. Wand doubles as a hot water dispenser for americanos & tea.
- EASY ACCESS: The dregs drawer, drip tray, and water tank are all within reach and accessible from the front of the machine for quick and easy cleaning and maintenance.Volts:110V-120V
- USER-FRIENDLY DISPLAY: Push-button controls and an LED display with illuminated icons make for an easy and intuitive experience.Watts:1250 W
- RAPID STEAM TECHNOLOGY: Quick heat up times and robust brewing and steaming operations. Coffee bean capacity : 250 gr
- 1 YEAR WARRANTY: Hassle free 1 year warranty handled by Gaggia directly
As an entry-level espresso machine, the Gaggia Brera is popular. It’s a delight to use and will serve you well as a go-to or stepping stone to more complex brewers. Overall, it is straightforward and simple, with a clean, sleek appearance.
The bean, water, and dregs compartments hold less than comparable models, but this is on purpose.
The Brera is almost as simple to use as a plug-and-play device. The front panel includes a display and four buttons, one of which is the power button. Espresso and long coffee are produced by the two beverage buttons. Press the drink button twice to get a separately ground double shot.
Then there’s the brew strength.
Gaggia’s Optiaroma technology controls this, and you can choose between light, medium, and strong brews. Aside from the strength, you can also choose the volume, with the options being espresso or Lungo. The machine remembers your preferences, which is a nice feature.
Pre-infusion technology is another brewing-related feature. This function essentially soaks your grounds in the internal portafilter post-tamping, pre-shot pulling. The machine aids in full, even saturation and extraction by pre-wetting the grounds.
This step is critical because you cannot pre-infuse the ground yourself. Furthermore, because espresso machines require a fine grind, complete saturation without pre-infusion can be challenging.
It’s simple to make cappuccinos and lattes. For quick heating, the Brera employs Gaggia’s Rapid Steam Technology, allowing you to steam your milk immediately after brewing a shot. Hot water is also dispensed by the steam wand.
The compact Brera, at 12.4 inches tall and with a stainless steel front, is ideal for small spaces. It has easy access to the water tank and dregs drawer from the front, as well as side access to the removable brew group.
The Gaggia Brera makes use of a Pannarello milk frother wand.
This attachment is attached to the wand and automatically directs the airflow. This simplifies the manual frothing process for you.
Maintenance features include an automatic rinse when powering on and off, as well as a descaling alert. The dregs drawer holds enough coffee grounds for eight pucks. The Brera does not come with a water filter, but it will accept a Mavea Intenza filter.
Finally, the Brera has everything you’d expect from a super-automatic espresso machine, including a very user-friendly user interface that allows you to easily fine-tune your espresso to your preferences.
- 15 bar Italian-made pump
- 34 oz water reservoir
- 8.0 oz bean hopper capacity
- Bypass doser for pre-ground coffee
- Ceramic, conical grinder
- Pannarello frothing wand, which doubles as hot water dispenser
- Separate espresso and steam boilers allows you to switch quickly between the two modes
- Pre- and post-brew rinse is automatic
- Auto-off after 1 hour of inactivity
- Spent capsule drawer with 8 capsule capacity
If you like a milk-based coffee such as cappuccino, latte, or macchiato, look for a bean-to-cup coffee maker that has a milk frother. There are three varieties of milk frothers, with the automated one being included in most bean-to-cup machines.
A sealed container, generally plastic or glass, in which milk is frothed and heated is known as an automated frother. In coffee establishments, a steam wand is preferred. This is a long, thin pipe that is connected to the side of a coffee maker and froths milk using steam pressure. The steam release valve is regulated by a dial that opens and shuts.
Last but not least, a frothy accessory. These are separate milk frothers that aren’t connected to the machine. You’ll have to manually froth it.
Smart and advanced controls
Some coffee machines may be operated via a smartphone app. However, you must be prepared by having enough beans in the container, water in the tank, and a cup waiting beneath the spout.
Most bean-to-cup coffee machines let you choose the size of your drink, as well as the strength of the coffee and, in some cases, the scent intensity. You may store these settings on some models so that you can repeat your favorite combinations.
Many bean-to-cup machines include transparent water tanks that allow you to see how much water is left. If you’re buying a coffee maker for the whole family and will be making numerous cups of coffee, opt for one with a large water tank. After a few usages, the last thing you want to do is constantly replenish your water tank.
Cleaning a coffee machine is filthy, and there are a lot of parts to remove, and physically cleaning the interior parts is laborious. In less than 20 minutes, an automated cleaning feature will clean your coffee maker, with some taking less than half that time.
It’s sometimes worth paying a little more for something, and with bean to cup coffee machines, the cheapest isn’t always the best. However, you do not have to go for the most costly one. Learn more about the machine’s features and functionality to ensure you’re getting the perfect equipment for your requirements while staying within your budget.
Is it difficult to clean a bean-to-cup machine?
That is dependent on the unit in question. Some are, while others aren’t. If they have self-cleaning mechanisms or can clean themselves inside without you having to do it, it is a significant plus.
What is the best way to preserve beans to keep them fresh?
Coffee beans lose their freshness soon. To get the most out of them, buy them in bulk and store them in an airtight container. To avoid oils from evaporating and to let you fully appreciate the beans, add the smallest amount of beans necessary to your machine before each usage.
What’s the distinction between bean-to-cup and grind-and-brew coffee?
Bean-to-cup implies that coffee beans are inserted into the machine’s grinder and brewed as soon as a button is pressed. It’s a fast and convenient method to get a cup of freshly made coffee. Espresso coffee is an example of this practice. Grind-and-brew coffee is made with coffee beans that have been pre-ground. This procedure is used, for example, in French Press coffee.
Because everyone’s preferences and demands are different, there is no accurate answer to which is the “best” bean-to-cup coffee machine. The fundamental goal of bean-to-cup is to make the coffee-making process easier while maintaining high-quality espresso.
This is something that the Smeg automated coffee machine excels at, and it’s a sleek, simple, and very practical machine that will keep you energized all day. Check the features and functionality of each machine to ensure that it meets your needs and falls within your budget.
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