Last time, we talked about the high street, and how the big three companies (Costa, Starbucks, and Caffe Nero) are taking over. As we said, there’s a gradual growing threat to their bottom line, and that’s in home coffee machines.
They’re getting better and now are more affordable too. Gone are the times where home coffee got no better than ground coffee in foil bags, the foil bags are still alive and well, but it’s now possible to grind beans to order, and that even means you can buy Starbucks own brand beans to get that flavour you love.
It’s not coffee beans we’re here to talk about today though, its the bean to cup coffee machines themselves. There’s a surprisingly large number of them available already, and the range just keeps growing. You can learn about the ones that are out now at beantocupcoffeemachines.net, where they recommend all sorts of machines and talk a lot about the features of each. Due to the sheer amount of information there, it’s easy to see why we’re not going to try to reinvent the wheel here.
Instead, we’ll talk a little about the big brands, just as we did about the coffee chains you probably frequent on the high street.
As you’ll see on their site, Delonghi are probably the best selling brand, mainly because they’re offering a lot more for your money. What’s more, Amazon seem to discount their machines a lot more than the other brands, especially in the critical run into Christmas. Last year, from Black Friday, the worlds biggest retailer was offering some Delonghi machines at better than half price, which is clearly going to shift a lot of boxes.
Another popular choice is Melitta, particularly their Caffeo Barista machine. It marks a growing trend that’s a departure from older home bean to cup coffee machines, in that it has a fresh milk container included that helps you to froth the milk. They’re a bit more expensive than the plain espresso machines, but are now a lot more popular than just a couple of years ago.
Go back four or five years, and Heston Blumenthal put his name to the UK version of the popular US Breville brand. Rebadged as Sage, many commentators thought the would take over from the popular Delonghi machines. That assault seemed to quickly go quiet and fall away, and now in hindsight, those machines look overpriced and appear not to be as popular as expected.
Worth a quick mention are also Krups, who seem to be gaining ground on some of the more popular brands, but still are somewhat of an underdog. In time, they may well grow into a strong contender, but right now their machines don’t look as smart or well built as some of the bigger companies’ similarly priced offerings.
This is by no means an exhaustive run down of all of the bean to cup brands, but covers the most important players in the UK market. For a relatively small investment, you can now get the coffee shop taste at home. With the average spend in a coffee shop being over £3.50 per person on drinks, it is now a really viable option to have one of these machines at home as an alternative.