2016 Espresso Coffee Machines Reviewed

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Which brand delivers the ultimate espresso shot at home? Compare coffee machines with our customer satisfaction ratings.

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Most Satisfied Customers | NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto

NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto was a clear winner with Aussie coffee lovers, scoring a near-perfect set of five-star satisfaction results. As you’ll know, NESCAFÉ is one of the world’s biggest names when it comes to coffee – perhaps the biggest of them all – and it seems that reputation is well-deserved.

NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto named No.1 for homemade coffee

It’s no secret that Australia is a nation of coffee lovers, but it’s not all just about picking up your favourite cuppa on the way to work anymore, with home espresso machines becoming increasingly popular and starting to rival the offerings of your local barista. Making your own coffee at home comes with its advantages – most notably the convenience and reduced costs over time – so it’s no wonder that more and more Aussies are getting creative in their kitchens.

But just as you’ll pass several coffee houses on your morning commute, the shops and online retail stores are full of home coffee machines all promoting the tastiest results – and the best value for money. So where do you invest your hard-earned coffee dollar in search of the fullest flavour at home, any time you want? Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction ratings can help you decide which espresso machine is the best bet for your tastebuds, as we’ve surveyed hundreds of consumers to find out what they think of the coffee machines they have recently purchased. Their opinions are reflected by the star ratings above, so if you’re looking for guidance, look no further.

As you can see, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto was a clear winner with Aussie coffee lovers, scoring a near-perfect set of five-star satisfaction results. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to buying a new coffee machine, including how easy it is to operate and how reliable it is. Making your own brew at home is great, but if you’ve ever experienced the frustration of a coffee machine that decides to break down on a cold winter’s morning, you’ll appreciate the importance of investing in a quality appliance that won’t let you down. As you’ll know, NESCAFÉ is one of the world’s biggest names when it comes to coffee – perhaps the biggest of them all – and it seems that reputation is well-deserved.

An honourable mention also goes to ALDI Expressi for earning a five-star review on value for money, while De’Longhi and Nespresso were, like NESCAFÉ, praised for their impressive designs.

The cost of homemade coffee

When it comes to buying an espresso machine for your home, there are a number of things you should ask yourself, all of which relate back to the cost of the initial investment (i.e. the machine itself and any other accessories you choose to buy, such as a milk frother) and the ongoing price of enjoying your favourite cuppa at home (i.e. capsules, milk and sugar).

  • Will you use your coffee machine as often as you think you will?
  • Will your homemade coffee taste as good as your favourite takeaway?
  • Will making coffee at home work out cheaper than buying it every day?

These are all questions we’ve sought to answer for you. First of all, just three out of five (59%) coffee machine owners who took part in our survey said they use their appliance every day, with 37% admitting they don’t use it as much as they thought they would when they first bought it. Small appliances like coffee machines are often impulse purchases, so consider how often you’re really going to use one before diving in.

When it comes to the quality of homemade coffee versus what you could buy from your local restaurant, a significant 57% of survey respondents told us they prefer what they brew-up in their own kitchens. If you get the chance to try a coffee machine before you buy it, that’s definitely a good idea.

That leads us onto the most important question of all – cost. Respondents to our survey spent an average of $345 on their initial coffee machine investment – that is a significant amount of money in anyone’s books. What’s more, they continue to spend an average of $29 per month on capsules, taking their overall costs to a whopping $693 in the first year. Keep in mind this doesn’t include the relatively inexpensive cost of things like milk and sugar.

So does $693 represent good value for money? Well, let’s decide after adding up what you might folk out buying takeaway coffee for a whole year. According to the latest ‘Cappuccino Price Index’ from coffee machine company Gilkatho, the average price of a takeaway cappuccino in Australia is $3.62. The Gold Coast ($3.95) was found to be the most expensive city to a buy a coffee, with Sydney ($3.35) the cheapest, for your information.

If you buy a $3.62 takeaway coffee every working day of the year (that’s 261 days in 2016), you’ll spend an eye-watering $944.82 on your caffeine fix. OK, you might not buy a takeaway coffee every working day, but even if you do so three times per week, that still works out at more than $550 over 12 months.

When you consider that the cost of making homemade coffee will drop to just $348 in the second year ($29 per month on capsules), it certainly seems to be pretty cost-effective to do it yourself.

Two-thirds of survey respondents (67%) said they spend less on takeaway coffee since buying their home espresso machine (you’d hope, so wouldn’t you), but really it all comes down to personal preferences. Buying one or two takeaway coffees each week and making the rest at home is still going to save you money in the long-run.

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Frequently asked questions

Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to 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 coffee machine in the last three years – in this case, 792 people.

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.