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Coffee machine guide

Brew like a barista with our tips, advice and recipe inspiration.

A selection of coffee machines.
2 fresh cups of hot coffee being made by a coffee machine on a kitchen worktop.

Why we love coffee

We're crazy about coffee in the UK, and we've been enjoying it for centuries now. Although we're traditionally a nation of tea drinkers, coffee is quickly becoming Britain's new favourite beverage.

Coffee is loved the world over as a morning boost. It's also a social drink: most workplaces have some form of 'coffee break', often enjoyed with a sweet treat. 

The Swedes call this Fika, which essentially means 'coffee and cake break'. And with so many coffee machines to choose from, it's easy to make your own amazing brews at home.

Need some inspiration? Find recipe ideas, brewing tips and coffee machine buying advice below.

Our guide to the best coffee machine for your home

Find your perfect coffee with our guide to each type of machine. Whether you'd like to brew barista-style or keep things simple, there's a coffee machine to fit everyone's favourites here. 

Pod coffee machines

Pod machines couldn’t be easier to use. You simply have to add a capsule with your flavour of choice and the machine will do the rest.

Best for: Convenience

Coffee type: Pod

Milk type: Depends on pod

One touch recipes: Depends on pod flavour

Manual milk recipes: No

Automatic milk recipes: No

Personalise: No

Cleaning: Manual

Filter coffee machine

In these machines, water passes through a filter which adds flavour and aroma to your brew. Great if you like black coffee and have a little more time to make it.

Best for: Get togethers and weekends

Coffee type: Ground

Milk type: N/a

One touch recipes: Americano

Manual milk recipes: No

Automatic milk recipes: No

Personalise: No

Cleaning: Manual

CA mug is help under a coffee machine.

Coffee pump machine

Feel like a barista in your own home with a coffee pump machine. Extract all the flavour you’d expect from a coffee shop, without having to leave your kitchen.

Best for: The barista experience

Coffee type: Ground or ESE (easy serving espresso) pod

Milk type: Assisted/Manual frother

One touch recipes: Espresso, double espresso, americano

Manual milk recipes: Yes

Automatic milk recipes: No

Personalise: Yes

Cleaning: Descale

Bean-to-cup machine

Bean-to-cup machines have a built-in coffee grinder, which turns coffee beans into your favourite brew. Ideal for coffee making enthusiasts.

Best for: All coffee from black to milky

Coffee type: Bean or ground

Milk type: Manual, assisted or automatic options

One touch recipes: Espresso, double espresso, long coffee, cappuccino, flat white

Manual milk recipes: Yes

Automatic milk recipes: Yes

Personalise: Yes

Cleaning: Auto rinse and descale, auto milk carafe clean

Shop by coffee type

A fresh cup of coffee is made by a coffee machine.

Latte machines

Milky, frothy and often mistaken for a flat white. A latte has a single shot of espresso, topped with steamed milk and a layer of micro-foam (frothy milk with tiny bubbles).

A mug is held under a coffee machine as it brews a fresh drink.

Cappuccino machines

A cappuccino has less milk, but more froth, than a latte. It often comes with a sprinkling of chocolate too, which might have something to do with why it’s so popular.

A coffee machine brews a fresh drink into a clear glass.

Americano machines

A shot of espresso, infused with water. There’s usually no milk or froth with an americano. Think of it like a diluted espresso that you can enjoy for a little bit longer.

Espresso machines

It’s a small shot of espresso. Simple as that. The taste is strong and flavoursome and there's no bells and whistles like other options. The truest coffee experience you can get.

Coffee machine reviews

Tried and tested by fellow coffee lovers.

Shop by brand

How to make coffee using a traditional machine

In partnership with De'Longhi and Union Coffee.

Making an espresso

Love the full flavour of espresso? Here's how to brew your own cup at home using a traditional coffee machine.

Creating latte art with steamed milk

Ever wondered how baristas create latte art? In this quick guide, we’ll show you how to make your own milk foam masterpieces.

How to make coffee using a bean to cup machine

In partnership with De'Longhi and Union Coffee.

Setting up your machine

Discover how to replicate your favourite coffee shop drinks at home using a bean to cup machine.

Using the milk settings

Tips on how to perfectly froth your milk for creating a latte, flat white or cappuccino.

Barista basics

Coffee beans being tipped out of a fabric bag.

Grinding coffee beans

Use a grinder to crush coffee beans to your desired grind. There are three main types of grind – coarse, medium and fine. Coarser grinds are typically used for French press coffee whereas finer grinds are better for espresso.

 

 

Using a coffee press

When brewing with a coffee press, it’s best to use a coarser grind. Brew with hot but not boiling water for approximately four minutes, then slowly press the plunger down to separate the ground coffee from your brew.

Winter warmer recipes

Brought to you by Nespresso.

Blond chocolate veinnois.

Blond chocolate veinnois.

This one never fails to leave an impression. As if thick, whipped cream floating extravagantly on a 80ml Bianco Leggero isn’t enough, the sprinkling of blond chocolate on top is the encore worth a standing ovation. Bravo!

  1. Extract a 80ml Bianco Leggero in a Lungo view cup.
  2. Get your whipping cream and stir it vigorously to create a thick foam.
  3. Add the whipped cream on top of the coffee. Cut some pieces of blond chocolate Nespresso and display them on the top.
Sweet popcorn cappuccino.

Sweet popcorn cappuccino

Turn your coffee moment into a celebrity as you turn the wow factor up to ten with this little delight. Maple syrup, condensed milk and a popcorn finale all help to transform this cappuccino into a showstopper.

  1. First, use your Aeroccine or Barista device to froth 100 ml of 1.5% fat milk.
  2. Put 1 teaspoon of condensed milk in the bottom of a cappuccino cup.
  3. Gently extract 40ml of Chiaro coffee into the cup and top up with milk foam (roughly the same amount). Scatter popcorn onto the top, and drizzle with maple syrup. 
Gingerbread vennois in a clear glass.

Gingerbread vennois

Oh, doesn’t it look glorious? Sweetened with honey and topped with gingerbread pieces, the striking layers of the coffee and luxuriously whipped cream are reason enough to just stare at it alone.

  1. Extract a 230ml Bianco Forte in a Vertuo mug.
  2. Beat whipping cream until it forms a thick foam. Pipe it into your mug.
  3. Top with smashed pieces of gingerbread (for finer crumbs, you could also use a grater) and a drizzle of honey.

Gifts for coffee lovers

If you're stuck for present ideas, check out these fab gift-worthy options for the coffee lover in your life!

More help and inspiration

Coffee machine and coffee pods.

Coffee pods

You've got the machine, now get the coffee. Visit Sainsbury's and view the full range of coffee products.

Tea lovers and tea gifts

More of a tea person? Check out our guide to tea gifts, afternoon tea and the essentials for making great cuppa.

Baking ingredients.

Go get baking

Whether you're just starting out or an experienced baker, find everything you need to create a showstopper right here.

Why buy at Argos?

Are you or someone you know a coffee connoisseur? Well you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a special selection of products dedicated to all the self-proclaimed bean experts and caffeine enthusiasts. Whether you prefer the slow grind of bean-to-cup models or the fast brew of a coffee-pod machine, you’ll find the perfect gift to treat yourself or someone who appreciates a quality cup of coffee just like you do.

Coffee machines
Whether you need a cup of fresh homemade coffee in the morning or a mid-day pick me up in the office, our coffee machines come in different sizes and offer varied functions, so you can have your desired brew whenever you like, just the way you like it. There’s no doubt the coffee lover you’re gifting is already clued up on the latest machines and methods of making coffee so, we’re here to help you pick the right one. Check out our Nespresso machines, widely loved and wildly recommended, you simply cannot go wrong. They’ll feel like a certified barista with one of our stylish coffee machines sat on their kitchen counter top. Choose from compact designs or more traditional café style models for a coffee making experience like no other!

Coffee making accessories
There’s nothing like a fresh, full-bodied and rich cup of coffee in the morning and if you enjoy a more personal and raw coffee making experience then our coffee grinders are a must-have. Achieve the perfect texture and intensity with our stylish coffee grinders. Enjoy a freshly brewed cup of your favourite coffee bean made precisely how you like it, every time.

Coffee cups
For such a sophisticated drink, it’s only right that you have an equally glamourous cup for your brew to flow in to. Sip your coffee in style with our glass coffee cups for a modern yet chic drinking experience; pair with one of our beautiful placemats and coasters for a look that’s totally Instagram worthy. Or if you prefer the traditional ceramic feel of a coffee cup in your hands, then our mugs would be the perfect finishing touch to complete your experience. Choose from modern or contemporary mug designs for a minimal touch or traditional patterns for a charming and rustic look. For the coffee lovers that are always on the go, get them a trusty travel mug to keep their drink warm and on hand throughout their busy day.