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Compare capsule coffee machines

Find the best pod coffee machine is the right fit for you.

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Our top picks

CHULUX Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer for Single Cup Capsule with 12 Ounce Reservoir

If you’re looking for a capsule coffee maker on a budget, CHULUX is a solid choice. The brewer retails for $39.99 and comes in a lightweight, portable design. You’ll get a tasty cup of coffee within three minutes and enjoy a handy auto shut-off button, so you never have to worry about overheating.

Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker by De’Longhi, Grey

Splurge on this ultra-sleek design, which comes with four espresso capsules and eight regular coffee capsules. Heating is lightning fast — between 20 to 25 seconds — and a motorized brew head makes it super easy to insert capsules.

Keurig K-Select Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

Made by the signature brewing manufacturer Keurig, this coffee maker is ultra quiet and can brew multiple cup sizes (6, 8, 10 and 12 oz). The straightforward design makes the process super easy and you can brew five cups before refilling.

illy Y3.2 iperEspresso Espresso & Coffee Machine

Made by the signature brewing manufacturer Keurig, this coffee maker is ultra quiet and can brew multiple cup sizes (6, 8, 10 and 12 oz). The straightforward design makes the process super easy and you can brew five cups before refilling.

How do capsule coffee machines work?

Capsule coffee machines use capsules or pods of coffee beans wrapped in filter paper. The pods are about the same size and shape as a single-serve UHT milk carton that you might find in a hotel room or on the plane and are sealed to retain freshness for up to nine months.

Capsules are inserted directly into your coffee machine, and they’re pierced to allow hot water to mix with the contents, producing an espresso. There are many different capsule flavors to choose from and these machines don’t require intensive cleaning after every coffee-making session, which makes them a no-fuss, low-maintenance option.

However, with a capsule coffee machine, while you’ll be able to control how diluted you want your shot of coffee, you’ll be restricted to preset options rather than tailoring a perfect cup of coffee. You may also find that the intensity of the coffee flavor is weaker than a professional coffee maker.

If you’re a coffee aficionado, check out our list of the best coffee machines.

Types of capsule coffee machines

  • Capsule-only. Most capsule coffee machines will only operate on capsules or pods. Sufficient for simple home or office use, serious coffee drinkers looking to fully customize their cup of joe may be better off investing in a more elaborate coffee machine.
  • Semiautomatic and capsule. If you’re willing to spend more on a coffee machine that has both semiautomatic and capsule coffee functionalities, you’ll probably find a more satisfying taste and easy machine maintenance.

How to compare capsule coffee machines

Before deciding which coffee machine to purchase, consider the following key factors:

Taste

If you can, try to taste a sample from the coffee machine you’re interested in to make sure you’re satisfied with the crema, aroma, flavours, creaminess and aftertaste. Look for a machine that’s compatible with a range of capsules.

Temperature consistency

If the coffee machine is probably going to be heavily used within a short span of time – for example, if the machine is going to be shared in a large office– look for one that has a high temperature consistency score.

Milk frothing quality

Some capsule coffee machines will use a milk frother, milk-based capsule or coffee capsule with milk poured over it. Decide which you prefer and find out what options your selected machine is compatible with.

Ease of use

How easy to operate are the coffee machine’s functions? Check if filling the water tank is simple and if the machine easy to clean both inside and outside.

Size

Consider how much kitchen-top space you have. For those with little benchtop space, it would be more practical to pick a compact, miniature, portable or storable model.

Customizability

Some models offer personalised functions such as pre-programmable coffee settings, adjustable water and milk temperatures and steam pump rates. More-advanced models let you choose the style and temperature of the froth.

Heat-up and frothing times

If you’ll be sharing the machine with a large number of coffee drinkers, it’s important to consider how efficiently and quickly the machine heats and froths milk.

Recyclable

For those who are concerned about the environment, it’s important to find a coffee machine that allows you to recycle the coffee pods. Some manufacturers have their own recycling scheme.

Capacity

Consider how large the capacity of the drip tray and water tank are. The larger the capacity, the less time you’ll have to spend refilling and maintaining your coffee machine.

Digital display

Is the digital screen easy to read and are the functions easy to control?

Warranty

Look for a coffee machine that has a warranty of at least six months to one year.

Cup-warming plate

If you won’t be drinking your coffee immediately, a machine with a cup-warming plate is a nice addition.

What to watch out for

While capsules are convenient and easy to use they typically cost more per cup than coffee beans. Also, a single coffee machine brand is typically only compatible with its own line of capsules.

Before purchasing your chosen coffee machine, take a taste test from a variety of brands.

Bottom line

Knowing whether a capsule coffee maker is the right purchase for you will take some investigating — especially if you’re a die-hard coffee drinker. Be sure to shop around and see what will best suit your space, budget and taste.

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