Today we’ll talk about it general terms what bean to cup coffee machines are. If you’ve spent some time wondering around our posts and blogs, you’ll know that we’ve talked a lot about the bean to cup coffee machine. We’ve actually highlighted specific brands and we’ve called them by other names. Some folks know them as automatic coffee machines and some of the brands that we’ve discussed here at Coffee Sensei are the Saeco coffee machines and Gaggia coffee machines. Both these manufacturers amongst others make bean to cup coffee machines.
Some of the bean to cup coffee machines that we’ve highlighted in this blog are the DeLonghi Magnifica, the Jura coffee machine, the Saeco Primea, the broad category of coffee vending machines, the Saeco Incanto, the Saeco Odea including the Saeco Odea Go. It is practically very difficult nowadays to go out searching for a cappuccino machine and not find an assortment of the bean to cup coffee machines. So what is it exactly that folks consider to be a bean to cup coffee machine.
Well, thankfully, the name gives away a lot of the information and insight into what this type of machine does. In a nutshell, these type of coffee makers take your beans that you’ve put into some sort of hopper and they grind them and then brew your cup of coffee for you. They’re very handy. You don’t have to worry and fuss with the coffee grind of your beans. Everything is taken care of it for you.
Other names for bean to cup coffee machines
A bean to cup coffee machine is also known as a super automatic espresso machine or a super automatic coffee maker. These machines are used most often to brew espresso based beverages. As mentioned earlier they contain a hopper in which to store your whole beans. The coffee machine then feeds these beans to the grinder where they are ground. From there, the ground beans are sent to the brewing unit where the grounds are tamped and placed into the internal portafilter where the pressurized water is then pushed through them. At the end of this cycle, the brewing unit discards the spent ground beans into the dreg drawer which can usually hold a dozen or more of these spent coffee pucks. This way you don’t have to worry about emptying the drawer of spent coffee grounds every time you use it.
Some of the newer super automatic espresso makers also offer a frothing device. And I’m not just talking about the frothing wand. Many of these machines include milk carafes that are attached to the frothing device and the machine will actually froth the milk for the specified beverage whether that is for a cappuccino or latter for example, and then it will dispense the steamed milk into your mug before or after the espresso pour. These types of super automatic machines will set you back at least a grand though.
Benefits of bean to cup coffee machines
The benefits of these bean to cup coffee machines is that they offer consistency of flavor and quantity of beverage. At least they do to a large degree. They are also super easy to use and offer practically hands free operation. Of course, one of the drawbacks of these bean to cup coffee machines is the expense. Entry level machines will cost you at least a few hundred dollars and you can quickly find yourself spending into the thousands if you want to.
As with most mechanical items, the more moving parts there are the more opportunities for the machine to wear out or break down. I’d wager the same is true for these coffee makers. And lastly, most coffee connoisseurs feel that manual espresso machines create a much better coffee flavor profile, at least in the hands of a skilled barista. I’d agree with this. There is nothing better than a hand crafted espresso beverage where you or your friend have ground the beans, tamped them into the portafilter and judged the amount of water with your own eye. It is a skill that can be learned with just a bit of practice. I’m still using my same manual espresso machine I’ve had for over 5 years now but bean to cup coffee machines are an excellent choice for many folks.