Coffee machines come in all shapes and sizes and, if you are a coffee lover, you want the best cup of coffee every time. However, making the perfect cup from whole beans takes a lot of time. Enter the bean to cup coffee machine. This type of coffee maker allows you to make high-quality coffee from beans, with minimal inconvenience. Most importantly, it can do it fast. In a way, the bean to cup coffee machine is the high-end equivalent of a pod coffee machine. Some of the more advanced machines will have pre-programmed recipes to make Lattés, but you can also manually follow guides from the links of Convergent Coffee.
What Are Bean To Cup Coffee Machines?
The best bean to cup coffee machines are easy to operate, fast and versatile. Typically, this type of machine is larger and more expensive than most coffee makers because it combines a coffee grinder, an espresso maker, and a milk frother in one unit. Thus, you can easily whip up an espresso, latte, or cappuccino.
Coffee lovers can opt for simple models that have only basic features or they can look for bean to cup coffee machines that are more complex and allow for more customization.
Are There Any Negatives?
Since these coffee makers consist of basically three coffee appliances, they are pretty large. In fact, you can rarely find a compact unit. Also, because the machines make coffee straight from beans, they are louder than other coffee makers, especially during the grinding process.
How Do Bean To Cup Coffee Machines Work?
The biggest advantage of a bean to cup coffee machine is that it is very easy to use. This particular type has a built-in grinder so you don’t have to grind your beans or buy pre-ground coffee to get a tasty espresso, not like typical coffee makers that require ground coffee. Usually, a bean to cup coffee machine first grinds the beans, then heats water and dispenses it over the freshly ground beans. All this at the touch of a button. With most machines, you can adjust coffee strength if you want to.
If you want to make a latte or cappuccino, you can use the milk frother. Depending on brand and type, the machine can be equipped with a manual frother or an automatic one. Usually, entry-level machines have manual frothers. While manual frothers are easy to use, it takes some time to achieve the perfect milk consistency for cappuccinos or lattes. Automatic frothers are definitely more convenient as the machines froth the milk internally and you get the perfect creamy texture every time. However, oftentimes, the bean to cup coffee machines that feature automatic frothers are on the expensive side.
The Control Panel
Many high-end coffee makers are able to make a delicious and aromatic cup of coffee but, generally, they are not quick nor easy to use, as you have to get used to all the different controls and settings. Although they make high-quality coffee, bean to cup coffee makers are actually easy to use. Their main purpose is to be quick and convenient so the control panel is very intuitive. Many bean to cup coffee machines have a “one-touch” option. However, most also feature controls for temperature, coffee strength, and length.
The control panels vary in features and complexity from brand to brand. Many modern models feature touch screens while the simpler models have just a few intuitive buttons.
Grinding The Beans
Espresso shots require finely-ground coffee beans. As a rule, the finer the grind, the longer the brewing time. Also, to make an aromatic shot of espresso, it is recommended to use freshly ground beans because coffee starts to lose the oils protected by the bean immediately after it is ground. This is why the built-in coffee grinder is so convenient. Since the coffee machine grinds coffee on demand, your espresso shot will taste fresher than if you use pre-ground coffee beans. If necessary, you can adjust grind coarseness beforehand to achieve the perfect espresso shot every time.
Pumping Hot Water Through the Ground Coffee
You cannot make espresso with a regular coffee maker because the machine needs to be able to use a lot of pressure to force the water through a fine grind. Bean to cup coffee machines use the right amount of pressure to be able to do this, typically 15 bars of pressure.
To heat the water, these machines use a type of heating element called thermablock. This special heating element features a valve that pushes water in one direction. The thermablock only heats the water needed by the machine to make the coffee you want, reducing waste and making the brewing process faster.
The End Result
After the brewing process is finished, the bean to cup coffee machine should have given you one or two shots of espresso. Generally, the coffee has a strong taste, a thick consistency, and a rich crema top. As the machine has to go through two steps – grinding and brewing – to make a shot of espresso, you may have to wait a couple of minutes to be able to enjoy your coffee. If you opt for a latte or cappucino even a little longer since you have to froth the milk manually or allow the machine to do it automatically, depending on the model. Some machines can go through all the steps in less than a minute though so this really depends on the brand and model. The quality of the coffee made with a bean to cup coffee machine can vary from brand to brand as well.
Why Should I Buy A Bean To Cup Coffee Machine?
A bean to cup coffee machine is the perfect choice for people who want to be able to make a flavorful espresso shot fast. Since this type of machine has a built-in coffee grinder, it is guaranteed that the coffee won’t lose any flavor so all you have to worry about is the quality of the beans, not the freshness.
Another aspect that makes this type of coffee maker convenient is the fact that it is easy to use. You can literally make any type of espresso-based drink in just a few minutes if not less. The machine takes care of grinding, brews the espresso shot, and then you have the milk frother that allows you to make lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos.
Most bean to cup coffee makers allow you to select coffee strength, length, and temperature so you have full control over coffee taste and temperature despite using such a quick and convenient machine.