Rise of the machines

The growth in the UK coffee market has generated an abundance of gizmos and machines to help the hardened caffeine imbiber brew that perfect cup. In the interests of good taste and stylish kitchens, the Coffee team has tested some of the domestic machines that have recently come on to the market

Dualit espressivo

What a neat machine, available in classy chrome or cream. The Dualit espressivo takes both ground coffee and coffee pods and comes with very clear, easy to follow instructions. However, it takes a long time to make a cup of coffee due to the priming process, which involves putting a mug of hot water through the system before each coffee. We tested two separate machines and both water tanks leaked. Try before you buy.

Kitchen Aid – Artisan espresso machine

The generously sized machine comes with a range of attachments and boasts a double boiler – one for water and one for milk. Unfortunately, the instructions were inscrutable and, despite seeking help from Kitchen Aid’s customer service (no one rang back) – we were unable to set it up. Make sure you get a demonstration.

De’Longhi – Prima Donna

Perfect for a large, modern kitchen – or possibly a space station – with its muted chrome exterior and digital display screens. From caffe latte to cappuccino, and macchiato to just plain latte, this machine does it all at the press of a button. The instructions take a little getting used to, but stick with it.

Fracino Piccino

Another sleek machine and beautiful in black and chrome. It took a bit of time to set up but the instructions were super clear. Simpler than the other machines we tested and worked at the touch of a button.

The only downside was it appears only to take cups or small mugs – so you might have to keep going back for more. Good to go.