What are Bean to Cup Coffee Machines?

by Peter Taylor | Last Updated: 24 June 2021

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What are Bean to Cup Coffee Machines?

It may well be that your only experience with bean to cup is hearing diehard coffee fans talk about it and the fact that most coffee shops use them (think those big machines with the beans loaded on the top).

And in fact, for a while, you would only find these machines in coffee shops and chains. But they are growing more popular and more accessible to home brewers as well. Do you think you need a bean-to-cup coffee machine for your morning cup?

What are bean to cup coffee machines anyway?

Simply put, a bean to cup coffee machine is a machine that does the coffee grinding, pressing, brewing, and pouring all in one machine. You can do all of your coffee preparation in one place, letting you take advantage of using whole fresh coffee beans.

How Much to Bean to Cup Coffee Machines Cost?

Bean-to-cup coffee machines aren’t cheap – home models run anywhere between $400 and over $1,000, with the commercial-scale ones of course costing even more.

The more expensive the model, the more extras you can enjoy though, such as milk frothing, mobile apps, hot water output, and more control over grind, coffee strength, and brewing temperatures.

You really have to consider both your budget and what you want your coffee maker to be able to do before heading out shopping. You really don’t want to spend money on a machine that may be beyond your needs after all!

What are the Advantages of a Bean to Cup Coffee Machine?

Bean-to-cup coffee machines are front-heavy on the expense, but they do have a number of advantages (and assuming you use it a lot, it’ll pay for itself since per cup, it’s cheaper than a pod machine).

The main advantage is that you get the absolute freshest coffee possible. One of the big problems with pre-ground coffee is that it loses a lot of its oils and it goes stale.

Stale coffee certainly won’t kill anyone, but the flavor is definitely not as good, tending to be more bitter and dry. With a bean to cup coffee machine, you get your coffee freshly ground, pressed, and brewed all at once, leading to a fresh and flavorful cup of coffee every time. It also lets you try out different coffee beans and really customize your grinding options.

The other main advantage is ease of use. It sounds like it would be a pain, but the machine does all of the work for you. All you have to do is measure your coffee beans, pour them in, and then set any options you want and let the machine do the work for you. And if you’re really nervy, you can probably stick with defaults and still enjoy a great cup of coffee with no hassle.

Ease and freshness are probably the two big advantages, but there are a few others:

  • Less waste. No pods, no wasted grounds, and no paper filters make these pots more environmentally friendly and save you money in the long run
  • Saves you money. Yes, there’s an upfront cost, but after that, all you have to buy are the beans which mean that you will save money on grounds, filters, and other things
  • Sleek designs. These machines are meant to be used in a variety of kitchens, meaning that you get plenty of different designs to choose from
  • So many options! From the humble and affordable bean to coffee all the way to Wi-fi, apps, milk frothing, and more – what you want from your coffee, you can get!

Once you start using a bean-to-cup coffee maker, it’s hard to go back to the old ground coffee makers or pods, so expect to be using your machine regularly.

What are the Disadvantages of a Bean to Cup Coffee Machine?

As cool as bean-to-cup coffee machines are, there are some things to keep in mind and a few just straight-up disadvantages of them to balance out in your mind.

Of course, the main disadvantage is the price tag. Yes, the machine will likely pay for itself and then some over its lifetime; however, there is still that front-end cost to pay which can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

What are Bean to Cup Coffee Machines?

If you’re on a tight budget, it’s simply not going to work out for you and something like the classic coffee pot may be better.

The other disadvantage is space. Bean-to-cup coffee machines simply take up a lot more space than conventional brewers because they have the grinder built-in which means a larger footprint. This means that if your kitchen isn’t very large or you are simply tight on space, then this will probably not work out for you.

A couple other disadvantages:

  • It needs regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent breakdowns, especially the larger, more commercial ones.
  • Some of them may simply be too complex, meaning that you will pay for features you’ll never use! You can mitigate this by carefully selecting a machine that just suits your needs rather than going for one with all the bells and whistles.

Bean-to-cup coffee machines are cool, but if you don’t have space or money they may not be for you.

Best Bean to Cup Coffee Machines?

This is going to be a matter of complete subjectivity because it will really depend on your budget, space, and needs. But here are some favorites:

  • Breville BES870XL Barista Espresso Bean to Cup Coffee Machine: Very popular, semi-automatic, lots of grinding levels, and more customizing of air foaming with four filter baskets and it tells you when it needs to be cleaned! (and it’s under a thousand bucks which is pretty decent). I have owned this machine for 10 years and is still going strong.
  • De’Longhi Magnifica Super-Automatic Espresso ESAM3300: It’s fairly sleek and compact, with milk frothing, warming trays, and lots of grinding options. It can also be used to steam milk and brew regular old coffee. But it’s expensive – going for nearly two thousand on Amazon.
  • De’Longhi Eletta ECAM 44.660.B: Sleek and luxurious, this one is built for professional and home use. It can brew coffee, macchiatos, ristrettos, and cappuccinos, with an auto milk frother and a latte crema technology. Sheesh! Plush a removable milk carafe and lots of grinding options, and it’s easy to clean and sturdy. At almost two thousand bucks though, it better be all that and then some.
  • Krups EA9010 Automatic Espresso Machine: Pretty and efficient too, with the ability to handle a wide range of mug sizes. It can heat water, heat the cup, and has seventeen coffee recipes, as well as milk frothing and an LCD screen You can even make two cups of coffee at once! But no grind settings, making it less useful for the real finicky coffee drinkers. And unfortunately, it’s fairly pricey for the lack of grind, at around $1700 (assuming you can find it at all – Amazon was sold out last time I looked).

Of course, there are many more bean-to-cup coffee machines out there, so definitely do your homework before buying anything to make sure you like it first and that it is going to suit your needs.


Bean-to-cup coffee machines are pretty cool. It’s nice to be able to grind your own coffee beans and make your own barista-level drinks at home. They are a commitment in space and money, so you better really like your coffee if you are going to invest in one!

Do you have a bean to cup coffee machine and love it or are you thinking about getting one? Let us know your experiences!

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