HOW TO BUY YOUR PERFECT COFFEE MACHINE FOR OFFICE

HOW TO BUY YOUR PERFECT COFFEE MACHINE FOR OFFICE

Time was when making a coffee involved putting the kettle on and unscrewing a jar of Red Mountain, but the boom in outlets selling freshly ground brews has made us a bit more particular. Sales of coffee machines have been growing with a fifth of homes now owning one, according to Mintel. Whether you're about to join them, or your existing machine needs replacing, here's a guide to your options and how much you can expect to pay.

The choices

There are more ways to make coffee than you might realise, but these are the main options:

Filter coffee machines You pour cold water in the top of the machine where it is warmed by a heating element before dripping down through a basket of coffee into a jug below, which is kept warm by a hot plate. You can use any ground coffee.

images.jpgPod or capsule coffee machines The coffee is in a pre-packaged capsule which you put into the machine. When you press a button the pod is pierced and hot water is sent through it and into a waiting mug. These are typically easy to clean, but you tend to be limited to the type of capsule or pod sold by your machine manufacturer. Office coffee

Percolators Ground coffee is inserted above a water chamber. As the water boils it is forced up a tube and down through the coffee back into the compartment below. You can get stove-top versions or electric versions which contain a heating element.

Pump espresso maker These use a thermostatically controlled boiler which heats the water to its optimum temperature for coffee (between 85C and 92C). When this is reached the water passes through the ground coffee at the correct bar pressure. They usually include a tool for steaming milk so can be used for lattes and cappucinos.

Bean-to-cup This machine will grind the coffee beans and then run hot water through them before dispensing your drink. It is essentially a pump espresso maker with a built-in grinder.

The Guardian