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Aussies love their coffee, and if lockdown has taught us anything, it's the importance of having good coffee at home, whenever you want it.
If you're in the market for a home coffee machine, there's a lot to think about before you invest. Here's what to look for, and some of the best machines around:
Pod and capsule machines
These machines are very popular. To use them, you insert a 'pod' or capsule that's sealed in aluminium or plastic in to the machine, which then pierces the capsule to allow hot water to flow through. They're easy to use, don't require much time or effort, and can be small. They can be expensive to run though, and people are becoming increasingly aware that the capsules are wasteful - although some aluminium-based capsules can be recycled.
Made from 54% recycled plastic, this is a slimline machine that makes over 30 different styles of coffee. It's Bluetooth and WI-FI enabled, and is simple to use. It comes with the Aeroccino3 Milk Frother which helps you create creamy hot or cold milk froth for your coffee of choice. It comes with a complementary 12 capsule starter pack as well.
Small but effective, this mini machine has two easy programs for espresso and lungo coffees. It has an adjustable cup support so you can make taller cups when adding milk, and a fast heat-up system and automatic energy saving function.
Automatic espresso machines
These are great for very small kitchens or if you're sharing a machine with lots of people. They're really easy to use, and you use freshly ground beans rather than a capsule. They can be heavy, but make good, quick coffee, and often have a self-cleaning function.
Compact and streamlined, this automatically brews coffee to the perfect temperature, richness and density. The integrated grinder has adjustable settings to grind fresh beans every time to ensure maximum freshness, or it has a second chamber for pre-ground coffee. A manual frother mixes steam and milk to create a rich, creamy froth.
Manual espresso machines
These are ideal if you like to experiment with coffee. They require a bit of skill to use and you often need a separate bean grinder too. They give great flavour though, and can look seriously impressive on a kitchen bench.
If you want cafe-style coffee at home, this is the machine for you. It has a built-in grinder, a three-second heat up time and precise espresso extraction. There's an LCD display with grinding and extracting progress animations so you have all the precise information you need to help you make the perfect coffee.
This compact machine is a traditional espresso machine with a pressurised filter holder. It comes with filters for ground coffee, or you can use compostable espresso pods in it too. It has a steamer wand that makes excellent foamed milk, giving you creamy coffees without the hassle.
Semi-automatic coffee machines
These operate almost like a manual machine, but unlike a manual machine, they automatically cut off the flow of coffee once a pre-set amount has been poured into your cup. They're versatile, cheaper than a fully automatic machine, but do require ongoing maintenance.
This entry level machine is great if you don't want a big, pricey appliance. It lets you pre-set single and double shots of espresso, is quick to use, and has a steam wand so you can froth milk. It looks good on your kitchen bench too.
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