Bean to cup coffee machines

I would go for a semi-automatic machine with a built-in grinder (which is pretty convenient).
These are made by Sage / Solis (there’s a picture in the tread above) or, if you are not fascinated by this particular brand (I know some people aren’t), DeLonghi has also one in the range, it’s called La Specialista and has several versions. It has questionable looks and is quite big, but I am sure your coffee will taste better than from a fully automatic (even if it’s a Jura).

From experience of both an old style Gaggia and the Rancilio Silvia, the Rancilio is a far better machine in terms of build and coffee quality. I have had mine now for around 15 years and I have been very pleased with it. However, you will also need a good coffee grinder to go with it and as it is essentially manual, requires a bit of practice to develop the necessary technique.

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I second this. The manual option gives you the ability to adjust to the changes that affect the final result. That is if you want a particular espresso.
The Silvia is brilliant for the occasional use but has one drawback being a single boiler. I don’t use the steamer so don’t need to wait. So if you want to use the steamer then the dual boiler version is best.
And get the best grinder you can afford.

We have a Gaggia Brera. Makes very good coffee and easy to clean. Fingers crossed it has beenvery reliable.

I’m remaining old school at home in part due to the limited amount of use my coffee machine is subjected to. In the office we have a large automated machine which is fine but it does require regular interventions to keep everything clean (esp milk) and heavy use to ensure the beans aren’t left sitting for long periods.

At home I have a mini Mazzer grinder (doesn’t look very mini to me!) and a Rocket expresso machine with steam wand. Because of London’s awful water quality, my machine has only Volvic bottled water and, touch wood, I have no problems with lime scale - the destroyer of machines in London! It works for me and I appreciate the OP gravitating towards automation. I suspect frequency of use is a significant consideration.


PS I have destroyed two Gaggia’s in the past due to mixture of Britta filtered water and inadequate descaling regime.


The mini mazzer and rocket is an awesome combination. - the connoisseur’s choice! I looked at this kind of set up before getting my btc machine. I decided on convenience in the end, but I still covet that type of set up.

When I got the Sage, did quite a bit if research this as learnt my lesson from the automatic BTC model.

Both Sage and DeLonghi make similar models, but the reviews are always more favourable for the Sage.


Good point. Water quality is a big consideration but can be solved even if it costs. The other investment I would recommend is a timer switch. Leaving the machine on 24/7 reduces heater and thermostat life. Switch on at 5am off at 3pm.
And make sure you can get parts -gaskets - and servicing.
I find the day most enjoyable after two espressos for breakfast.
Good luck

I don’t know where you can buy the Silvia retail now, but Drury Coffee have parts and will maintain them. They supply and maintain Rancilio commercial machines in London, as well as selling excellent coffee.

Really? That’s nice to hear. I have a Solis (which is the same thing with fewer whistles, an older version). It’s good looking and even me can tell the difference of taste with the fully automatic one, which I happily sold away.

I had my Delonghi under a 100 day satisfaction deal, so retuned under that.

Although it turned out to harder than it needed to. Although there were photos for POD at the Promoters site, they denied having received it.

In the end, I had to get PayPal to step in to get it resolved, which they did and it got sorted very quickly after that.

Much prefer the Sage way of making coffee, more control.


It really depends how much automation you want as opposed to full manual control? I have had a Sage Barista Express Impress for almost a year. This machine is ‘semi automatic’, allowing some manual control but lacking programming of drinks as in fully automatic machines. I think Sage coffee machines are well made, quality products at a reasonable price. Coffee is good too!

Only trouble with Sage is I have one of their toasters (excellent tool) and one of their kettles (which is a kettle) already.

Any more Sage and I’m going to look like a Sage Boi…

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Fascinating thread.

Never heard of Sage and just checked them out. Part of the Breville group.

Also checked their range, very snazzy.

Same here. As well as the coffee maker, we also have The Smart Oven Air Fryer.

We found it to be very versatile and it cooks well. Does better toast than our old Dualit Classic toaster.

Since getting it, we haven’t used our main oven since November last year and got rid of the slow cooker and the toaster, giving us more space in the kitchen.


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Dualit is pure style over substance in my limited experience of their toaster and lamentable coffee machine…look great, poor end product.

I guess their kettles would be OK - how hard can it be to boil water?

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We have had 3 different Jura machines over the past 16 years. Also used various Nespresso machines.

Our main one at home for the past 10 years is a Jura Giga 5 with two bean hoppers and two grinders (which can be adjusted for different coarseness/ fineness of grind plus for two different types of beans eg decaf etc). The brew can be variable, ie 0, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%. Makes ristretto, espresso, cappuccino, latte, long coffee, americano. Can make doubles and two cups at a time as it has two spouts. Has water filter which tells you when it needs replacing based on hardness of water & no of use cycles. Also tells you when machine needs a clean.

Altogether reliable, consistent and imo high quality coffee.

Have a separate milk cooler connected by a silicon pipe for drinks needing frothed/steamed/ warmed milk.

Alastair & Andy at Signals have a Professional ( ie bigger) Jura machine, so there is quite a pool of their customers who can comment on their coffee !!

Happy drinking.

A Dualit 4-slice toaster was on our wedding list, much to Mrs Ebor’s disdain. We celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary two days ago and the Dualit is going at least as strongly as we are. Mrs Ebor reluctantly admitted it probably was worth what it cost, and that’s not a phrase that passes her lips often when it comes to my purchases. It’s needed very minor attention once or twice, all of which I’ve done myself, easily.

When our old kettle gave up the ghost this year, I got one of John Lewis’s cheapest but the lid broke after only a few weeks. With my birthday coming up I decided to push the boat out and ask for a Dualit one. Much more impressive build quality and, despite being the same power as the JL on paper, it boils way quicker.



On the topic of coffee beans, I’ve sometimes wondered if the non airtight hopper on my Jura Impressa might be affecting the taste of the end product.

My early morning espressos, and subsequent black coffees throughout the day all taste fine to me, but still … … …

Anyone tried one of those coffee bean containers with a venting valve on top?

Any tips for keeping beans fresh would be very welcome, though there seems to be total disagreement on the interweb as to to merits of fridge or freezer storage. :man_shrugging: :roll_eyes:

At around £3k it should be good, and maybe rather outside the OP’s price range of ‘preferably well below 4 figures’.