Bean To Cup Coffee Machine Brands

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, 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.

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How Often Do You Visit A Coffee Shop?

High street coffee shops are making up a lot of the available space on the high street where the likes of BHS, Woolworths and Our Price once stood. Of course, the news bulletins are bringing news of more and more companies under threat, and surely there’s only so many Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Caffe Nero outlets that the British public need, aren’t there?

So, how often do you visit a coffee shop? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Statistics suggest we’re all heading out more, taking a more European style cafe culture to our hearts, watching the world go by over a cappuccino, latte or espresso.

It’s a remarkable story, with the average coffee shop making an 83% margin on the average drink sold, which is why you’ll often see cheap pastries and cakes on offer to entice you to spend that little bit more. Loyalty cards (or more accurately apps) are also used to bring you in more frequently, helping you to find your nearest store and tempt you with a free drink every so often just by paying by card (which convenient allows them to track your buying behaviour more closely).

This tracking of buying habits and subsequent targeted marketing is nothing new, it’s something that supermarkets have been doing for decades with their loyalty cards.

So, the rise and rise of the coffee shop seems unstoppable, but is it? The next big change isn’t going to come from the high street itself though, it’s going to come from your kitchen. More on that in the next post though, when we talk about our favourite topic – bean to cup coffee machines.

Will these high tech home coffee machines be enough to dent the growth of the huge coffee chains? As Coca Cola invested a fortune buying the Costa Coffee brand, they obviously don’t think so, but is it about continual growth or protecting their spot as the biggest and best known drinks company. It’s clearly no longer just about cold drinks, with the move into hot beverages. Whether its a long term success, time will tell!

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Roasting Your Own Green Coffee Beans

Coffee starts out as berries which turn red when they are ripe for the picking. Usually, these berries are hand-picked and then brought to a machine that separates the pulp from the beans. The green coffee beans are then washed thoroughly and prepared for roasting. Some producers of coffee beans do not roast their green coffee beans but sell them ready for roasting. This is because some individuals prefer to roast their own green coffee beans in their homes or some coffee companies prefer to do their own roasting to be able to control the way the coffee beans are prepared.

How To Roast Green Coffee Beans At Home

Commercial roasters use commercial methods to roast green coffee beans. The length of time that the coffee beans are exposed to roasting dictates how strong the coffee flavour is. Shorter roasting time allows the coffee beans to retain the flavour that specifies where they are grown and produced, such as Hawaiian Kona, Blue Mountain Jamaica, Kenya and Java. If the green coffee beans are roasted for a longer period of time, they lose their intrinsic natural flavour indicative of their origin. Instead, coffee beans roasted for a longer period of time become more full bodied and darker.

Initial roasting time for some coffee drinkers is seven minutes. This kind of roast achieves a light roast wherein the green coffee beans double in size and the flavour achieved is somewhat sour or grassy. Around nine to eleven minutes of roasting, the coffee beans achieve medium roast. This kind of roast gives coffee drinkers a sweeter roast compared to the light roast. The flavour is more full bodied also. In both light and medium roast, the green coffee beans are still dry and just slightly browned. They have not excreted the oil that usually comes out in the darker roasts at these times.

After about 12 – 13 minutes of roasting, the green coffee beans will have turned a slightly darker brown compared to the earlier roasts. At this point in the roasting process, the beans will have started to poop and turn a little bit shiny due to the oils escaping the surface. This dark roast has a richer body and can also be a bit spicy or chocolaty in flavour. After 14 minutes of roasting, the darkest roast is achieved. This tastes primarily of roasted coffee beans rather then the inherent flavours of a specific bean. The green coffee beans at this time are now a very dark brown colour and are oily to touch.

Roasting your very own green coffee beans can be very satisfying for those looking for the perfect cup of coffee according to their tastes.

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