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I tried 5 coffee makers priced from $151 to $2,150 — these are the ones worth your money

5 best coffee machines in 2023: Breville, Nespresso, De’Longhi & more.

cups of coffee and coffee saucers on pink background, best coffee and espresso machines, The best coffee machines to buy for every budget — trust me, I tried them (Getty).
The best coffee machines to buy for every budget — trust me, I tried them (Getty).

Coffee, like gasoline, is becoming an expensive fuel: Buying anything from your local Starbucks with less than five dollars becomes more challenging by the year. It took me just one whopping $7 splurge on a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino to make me face a hard truth: Daily coffee shop runs can erode your savings.

Quick Overview
  • Nespresso Vertuo Pop+ Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville

  • Keurig K-Café Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee, Latte and Cappuccino Maker

  • De'Longhi All-In-One Combination Coffee and Espresso Machine

  • Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine

  • Breville The Barista Touch Impress Espresso Machine


And yet, spending a few extra dollars per day on life juice is still no grounds (no pun intended) for most of us coffee addicts to give up our morning ritual. If anything, it’s motivation to save a few cents by making great coffee at home. And finances aside, how great is it to enjoy a quality brew from your own kitchen counter, living room, or patio?

But shopping for and finding a java maker that can rival your local barista is no easy task. Therefore, we’ve decided to try our hand at five popular coffee machines so you don't have to. From Nespresso to Breville, here are five viral coffee machines — with varying functions and price points — that produce top-notch caffeinated drinks that will make, and not break, your morning.

Brewing for efficiency: Affordable, quick, delicious

Nespresso Vertuo Pop

red Vertuo Pop nespresso machine on kitchen counter
Small but mighty, the Vertuo Pop is one of Nespresso's most beloved machines.
  • Price: $170 on Amazon Canada

  • Why it's great: Quality, fuss-free coffee with a compact frame

  • Room for improvement: Limited to Nespresso pods

I live in a condo with a small kitchen, where every inch of counter space is prime real estate. Before anything else, I liked the Nespresso Virtual Pop for its compact, eight-inch-wide frame. I discovered after a few weeks that, pound-for-pound, the Pop is hard to beat.

I had a Nespresso Pixie in the past, which only brewed the brand’s medium-sized coffees at 80ml. The Pop, in contrast, can take pods for 40ml espressos, 80ml doubles, and 230ml medium-sized coffees. Its standout feature is its innovative Centrifusion technology, which uses bar code recognition to automatically adjust the brewing parameters for each length of pod. At first, that sounded like a lot of technobabble to me, but the quality speaks for itself: I’ve used it for strong espresso shots, rich and long vanilla brews, and many flavours in between.

The Pop is not for the DIY, source-my-own-beans-from-Guatemala coffee consumer: It’s for the person who wants quality coffee without the maintenance. You push a button, wait two minutes, drink, and empty the pod receptacle after five to seven uses. It’s a clean and efficient little machine. The one drawback: The Vertuo Pop does not cross-breed, and limits you to Nespresso pods only. That being said, the brand has a long enough menu to keep you entertained for years.

The Nespresso Vertuo Pop+ Coffee and Espresso Machine offers five coffee sizes: Espresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Mug/Coffee, Alto & Cold Brew style coffee.

$170 at Amazon

Keurig K-Café Single Serve Coffee, Latte & Cappuccino Maker

Fast, versatile and tech-friendly, the Single Serve from K-Café punches above its price point.
Fast, versatile and tech-friendly, the Single Serve from K-Café punches above its price point.
  • Price: $151 on Amazon Canada

  • Why it's great: Affordable option for great-tasting and low-maintenance milky coffee drinks

  • Room for improvement: Some Amazon reviewers warn the taste is different to drinks made with "legit espresso"

I have rarely come across a coffee maker that combines ability and affordability more gracefully than this marvel from Keurig K-Café — machines priced under $200 rarely produce milky drinks of such quality.

The K-Café is like a gateway to fancy coffee making: Perfect for the cappuccino-curious consumer. The machine comes with a built-in hot and cold frother for milk and alternatives, and features Barista Mode: A software with step-by-step instructions of how to easily make creamy and delicious lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos. Also handy are the adjustable coffee size and temperature settings, which allow you to be creative. I tried to make my own iced cap. Warning: It’s not the same without the twelve scoops of sugar.

The machine is relatively low maintenance, and can brew 60 oz — about seven regular cups — before needing a refill. The surprisingly sophisticated Keurig app also allows for a few tech perks; like a personalized menu of coffeehouse drinks based on your entries into the Keurig app, the ability to schedule brews, and even the power to prepare coffee remotely.

This unique Keurig allows you to use any K-Cup pod to brew coffee, or make delicious lattes and cappuccinos.

$151 at Amazon

De'Longhi All-In-One Combination Coffee and Espresso Machine

Whether you're in need of a hearty coffee or a quick espresso, the All-In-One has you covered.
Whether you're in need of a hearty coffee or a quick espresso, the All-In-One has you covered.
  • Price: $299 at Walmart Canada

  • Why it's great: Delivers both a quick cup of coffee and the option to play around with settings

  • Room for improvement: Some Walmart shoppers note that finding the perfect heat setting can be tricky

Roughly speaking, there are two types of at-home coffee drinkers: Swanky sippers and caffeine cravers. The cravers primarily drink coffee for the energy jolt, while the sippers do it for the experience. The reason I include the De’Longhi All-In-One on the list is that I’ve seen it be a favourite of both crowds.

On slow weekend mornings, I’m a sipper: I will try various beans, and play around with the machine’s LCD display to brew an espresso, or a frothy latte, or an iced coffee. The All-In-One allows for this level of experimentation, thanks to its powerful 15-bar pressure pump that allows water to flow through tightly packed beans and extract rich flavour. Then, on rushed mornings, when I am tired or late for work, I become a craver who needs caffeine as sustenance. On those days, I can depend on this machine to make me the brewed coffee I require.

The real beauty of the All-In-One, is that it can serve a sipper and a craver at the same time. It takes both grinds and pods, and can brew two separate drinks in under a minute. I recommend this machine if you have the misfortune of living with a fellow coffee drinker whose consumption habits are nothing like yours.

De'Longhi'S All-In-One Combination Coffee and Espresso Machine is a versatile coffee maker designed for all the ways you brew

$299 at Walmart Canada

Brewing as a hobby: Complex, sophisticated and barista-grade

Philips 3200 LatteGO

The Philips 3200 LatteGO makes high-quality lattes and cappuccinos in seconds.
The Philips 3200 LatteGO makes high-quality lattes and cappuccinos in seconds.
  • Price: $1,000 on Amazon Canada

  • Why it's great: Brews near-perfect, barista-quality lattes and cold drinks

  • Room for improvement: Requires hands-on maintenance and time to learn all of its settings

I tried the Philips 3200 LatteGO for the first time on a scorching summer day while in desperate need of a cold drink, and it did not disappoint. The iced coffee function supplemented my caffeine habit for a full week, spewing drinks with the smoothness of a nitro brew and chill of a pressed juice, all with a taste too pure to get lost in the cold temperature.

It’s only after an initial seven-day iced coffee streak that I discovered the LatteGO’s main feature — hint: It’s in the name. The machine generates near-perfect lattes within a minute thanks to its barista-grade milk frother, and then allows its user to manipulate strength, temperature and volume of brew to suit their preferences. On top of that, it comes with a control panel that creates five pre-programmed espresso beverages of varying boldness and sizes. Even more specific is the 12-step ceramic grinder with an aroma seal, which creates flavourful grinds with barely any flavour loss.

With great features comes great responsibility: The 3200 series also requires elite-level maintenance. I recommend frequent, almost daily washing of all parts for best results (they are all dishwasher-safe). You should also allow yourself a few weeks to learn how to properly manipulate the wide range of settings; it’s the only way to take full advantage of its complete arsenal of drinks.

This best-selling coffee maker easily make up to five black and milk-based coffee varieties at the touch of a button.

$1,000 at Amazon

Breville Barista Touch Impress

The Barista Touch Impress makes brews that rival your local shops, and is not for the fair-weather coffee drinker.
The Barista Touch Impress makes brews that rival your local shops, and is not for the fair-weather coffee drinker.
  • Price: $2,150 on Amazon Canada

  • Why it's great: A true professional-grade espresso machine, perfect for a coffee enthusiast

  • Room for improvement: At $2,150, this espresso machine is a financial investment

The Breville The Barista Touch Impress is not only the most expensive item on our list; it’s also the most aptly named. This swiss army knife of a coffee maker is bound to leave a lasting impression on any morning guest. I’ve spotted this very machine behind the counter of several popular coffee shops, including a community staple in Toronto (which I will not name) that is known for its wonderful coffee. It's professional grade.

The machine features a built-in grinder with precise grind settings that can concoct a fine espresso or shred coarse for a poor-over. It comes with a list of pre-programmed café favourites, and a microfoam milk texturing technology that produces a mean cappuccino. The intuitive touch screen display helps make sense of all of the features, but the learning curve is longer than most. Give yourself a solid month of consistent experimentation to become familiar with its quirks and perks.

Of course, at such an elevated price point, the Impress is not for penny pinchers or fairweather consumers; it’s for those who want to challenge themselves in the kitchen by taking their coffee brewing to the next level.

Breville's The Barista Touch Impress Espresso Machine offer step-by-step guidance with real time feedback from the Impress Puck System.

$2,150 at Amazon