No matter if you are an amateur or a connoisseur, home baristas are making sure the culture of coffee is here to stay. Whether it’s that first cup in the morning, rounding off the experience of a meal in the evening, or the many other opportunities one has throughout the day, coffee has become far more than just a drink. And, it is for this reason that we are seeing top notch coffee machines hitting the market for everyday use in our homes.
When it comes to choosing a machine that suits our individual needs, we certainly are spoilt for choice. And, while the great variety is wonderful, it can be a little overwhelming too.
Integrated vs Free Standing
One of the biggest decisions our clients face from a design perspective is whether to go with a sleek integrated machine or an eye popping counter top piece. Usually, the choice between integrated and free standing products does not only depend on the device, but it is also an expression of the taste and lifestyle inspired by the client. While counter top machines can be eye catching making somewhat of a statement, integrated machines can pull off an impressive minimalist effect as they become a part of the kitchen architecture.
As far as functionality goes, integrated machines generally offer bean-to-cup functionality which is why their prices run so high. If you want lattes and americanos with minimal effort, a bean-to-cup is the way to go. In a machine like this, whole coffee beans are poured into the top, and the machine grinds them to make espresso on demand for a fresh barista-style coffee.
With counter top machines, the most popular lot sold today are pod and capsule machines. If you're pushed for time in the mornings, just pop a pod into this machine, press a button and out comes your espresso. You have a choice of coffee beans, which have been pre blended, roasted and ground, then hermetically sealed in a convenient pod for freshness. With coffee pods being the flavour of the season we have cut out a large part of the barista process which has in turn cut down on the size and cost of the machine as well as the amount of cleaning up afterwards. This is not the case for all counter top machines but we certainly do see this in the popular sellers.
As you can see, with so much to take into account, it really comes down to how much of a barista role you’d like to take on in your kitchen. It is important to consider things such as cost, aesthetics, practicality, space and flavour. Are pods your thing? Or would you rather take the extra time to grind and brew a cup from scratch. Is convenient cleaning important? What kind of coffee do you want to make? How much would you need to make? And how quickly would you need to make it?
Once these questions have been answered, you should be well on your way to the perfect cup of coffee right in your own home.