2015 Coffee Machine Reviews
Posted by Canstar Blue May 6th 2015
Are you after the ultimate espresso shot at home? Compare some of the best coffee machines available with our customer satisfaction ratings.
* Overall satisfactionn is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
^ By clicking on a brand or ‘details’ button, you will leave Canstar Blue and be taken to our referral partner to compare. You agree that Canstar Blue’s terms and conditions apply to this referral. If you click on a brand that our referral partner does not cover, you will be taken to a brand page on Canstar Blue.
Canstar Blue research finalised in March 2015, published in May 2015.
See our Ratings Methodology.
ALDI Expressi sweeps our Most Satisfied Customers award for 2015
Buying a coffee before work is something millions of Australians do every day, but this daily pilgrimage to the bean grinder can add up to a pretty gargantuan expense over the course of the year.
As a result, many Aussies are choosing to make their coffee at home instead, and there’s no more convenient way to do so than an espresso coffee machine. Espresso machines offer fast, perfectly-made coffee for considerably less cost than one brewed by your local café, and more than half of the respondents to our most recent survey prefer their homemade espresso to a café-bought coffee.
And the average cost Australians paid for one of these machines? $320. More than two thirds of Aussie bought one because they had that urge to make great quality coffee at home.
With a number of brands having jumped into the market in recent years to try to nail the ultimate home coffee machine, how do you know which coffee machine is best for you? We recently asked more than 800 Aussie consumers about how satisfied they were with their espresso machine, including how it stacked up in value for money, reliability, design and several other areas.
The competition was strong this year, but one brand rose above the rest: ALDI’s Expressi line of espresso coffee machines has won our Most Satisfied Customers award.
ALDI was closely followed by De’Longhi, Caffitaly, Nespresso and Sunbeam – with each of these four companies achieving four stars overall – and three stars were awarded to Breville and NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto.
Four of the rated brands (excluding our award-winner) secured five star ratings in different criteria, suggesting there’s excellent competition in the market – a real advantage to buyers. Read on for a full breakdown of how each brand fared:
Value for money
A big part of an espresso machine’s appeal is that it can be cheaper in the long run than buying your coffee takeaway, and this means that appliance value is an important consideration. ALDI topped our ratings with five stars when it came to how much you get for your dollars spent. Both Caffitaly and Sunbeam achieved four stars, and all other rated brands (De’Longhi, Breville, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto and Nespresso) received three.
Reliability was the biggest contributor to our overall satisfaction scores, and for good reason: everybody wants a coffee machine that works smoothly and consistently. Three brands – ALDI, De’Longhi and Nespresso – were awarded a five star rating coffee machine dependability. The remaining brands all achieved four stars each, reflecting a high standard of quality across the board.
Ease of use
Another big draw for coffee lovers is just how easy it is to use an espresso machine. For some, you simply insert a coffee capsule and press a button to get your desired coffee. That being said, the robust, traditional coffee machines can also be quite simple to operate.
De’Longhi nailed a five star ease of use rating, and was once again followed by some impressive, close competition; all other brands scored four stars for usability.
Ease of cleaning and maintenance
A machine that’s easy to clean and maintain is much easier to live long term. When it came to the ease of maintenance, it was the trio of ALDI, De’Longhi and NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto that topped our ratings with five stars. Just behind were Caffitaly and Nespresso with four-star ratings, as well as Sunbeam and Breville with three.
A product that you use almost every day needs to be well-designed … and one which is easy on the eyes is always a bonus. De’Longhi customers were most satisfied with the design of their machine, securing the brand another five-star rating, whilst notable performances came from ALDI, Caffitaly and Nespresso , all of which achieved four stars for their espresso machine ‘flair’.
After sales service & warranty
Closely tied with the ease of maintenance rating is how well-supported each brand’s machines are following the actual purchase; including customer service, supporting information, warranties and more.
With 14% of Aussies telling us they struggle to work their espresso machine properly, it certainly pays for a company to have a comprehensive and helpful customer service setup. Award-winner ALDI and high achiever Nespresso were the highest achievers in this area, with five-star ratings for their post-sales support. De’Longhi’s and Sunbeam’s customer service earned the two brands four stars apiece, with our other rated brands securing three..
Cost of capsules
One of the biggest complaints of espresso machine lovers is the significant cost of coffee beans/capsules. ALDI customers were most satisfied with the price they paid for coffee, according to our survey, and subsequently this brand achieved our five star rating. Sunbeam managed to score four stars, followed by Breville, De’Longhi, Caffitaly and Nespresso on three stars each; NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto finished on two stars.
Frequently asked questions
Australians are some of the biggest coffee drinkers in the world, but recent years have seen consumption in cafes drop. However, coffee has not become a less favourable option. Instead, the home coffee maker has seen a rise with almost half the homes of those who work over 60 hours a week having a machine and a third of families with one.
And it’s no wonder why coffee is so loved. It can boost your mood and keeps you energised before taking on a busy day. They’re a comfort and a treat, popular in most age groups. Coffee makers are a more affordable option than buying takeaways from coffee shops and those who drink regularly are making the change. Our surveys have found that Australians are happy to take a DIY approach to coffee!
But what are coffees roots and how did it become the loved beverage it is today? BTW – here’s a quick guide to types of coffee.
The coffee maker was conceptualised as part of the Industrial Revolution’s mechanical roster of discoveries during the 1800s. While coffee drinking started during 1100s in the Arabian Peninsula, the Napier Vacuum Machine served as the earliest form of the refined, modern coffee maker in 1840. It involved brewing coffee with the use of steamed and pressurised vacuums from the setup of a glass globe and a cylinder.
Australia opened its doors to the coffee shop culture when three Greek migrant brothers applied their roasting skills at Sydney during the late 1800s. Soon enough, commercial coffee roasting was also shared in Melbourne. Aussies experienced their first machine-made coffees as offered by Italian migrants in the 1950s.
Canstar Blue has many years of surveying on which coffee makers have performed best in the eyes of Aussie consumers – and here are some things that Aussies look for in a coffee machine. For this year, our respondents ranked these brands to be the best in brewing their caffeine fix:
Enjoy a cup of coffee anytime with a machine in the comfort of your home. Your choice of mechanism depends on a number of factors. You can be the constantly on-the-go type who’d appreciate the quickness and sleekness of capsule based machines. Or perhaps you’re the kind who’s picky in processing the flavour subtleties of your ground beans. This is how we use our coffee machines.
Here are the options for any type of coffee drinker:
These are your no-fuss caffeine fixers. By far, they’re the most convenient unit you can find. The next best thing to brewed coffee is an affordable pod based machine which comes in assorted tastes. At a minimum of $100, you can get a pod based coffee machine very affordably.
Automatic espresso machines
A strong shot of pure espresso can get you pumped up for any task. Automatic coffee makers skip the tedious step of measuring ground coffee on a tamper to extract the perfect shot.
They can also unfailingly make you a cup of latte or mocha at a touch of the pre-set button. Be prepared to spend at least $300 in buying this machine, but enjoy the savings as you are spared from takeaway cups at coffee shops.
This machine combines both the bean grinder and brewer in a single appliance unit. It’s advisable for those who’d like the purest taste of their coffee beans fresh from being ground in their own machine. Did you know your coffee beans’ freshness diminishes by at least 20% right after they are grinded and stored for filtering later on?
It’s the priciest among other coffee machines (starting at $1,000), but may be considered as every serious coffee lover’s joy. On a minor downside, bean-to-cup machines need elaborate cleaning every week to take out lodged granules and spills on drip trays.
There are countless ways to prepare an excellent cup of coffee. Read our coffee machine buying guide before you get started. And before purchasing a coffee machine, don’t forget to read our reviews and surveys to further guide you in choosing the unit which fits your lifestyle.
Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 3,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used an espresso machine within the last three years – in this case, 865 Australians.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.