Whether it's fuel for conversation, a morning jump start or evening pick-me-up - some of us just can't do without having a steaming cup of coffee to hand. A cup of instant is all well and good for those looking for a quick fix, but it's never going to replace the richness of flavour you'll get from your very own coffee machine.
There are dozens to choose from in our latest crop, with features like built-in steamers and grinders, to full one-touch 'bean to cup' options. Luckily for you, we've rounded up the most dazzling examples that not only give you delicious coffee, but look great too. It doesn't matter it you're a serious sipper looking for the ideal espresso or an occasional drinker in search of fuss-free lattés, read on to find the right choice for you.
Bean-to-cup coffee machines have really come on in recent years. Previously just capable of making simple espressos, they've graduated to being full-blown automated baristas. Top of the pile in this regard is the Jura Giga 5. Proving that precision Swiss engineering isn't just for timepieces, its swooped profile and clean lines will light up your kitchen, while expert calibration teases unrivalled flavour from every bean.
It really shines when it comes to making lattés thanks to its ability to prepare coffee and milk simultaneously. Even tricky cappuccinos are blended to a silky smooth finish. All with just the touch of a button. The Krups EA8005 also deserves a mention for its combination of compact size, large capacity and thoughtful cup warmer.
The personal touch is hard to beat when it comes to creating your perfect espresso coffee, and classic espresso machines like the Fracino Piccino really deliver. You can decide on your own pressure level, froth your own milk and be involved every step of the way for custom coffee just the way you like it. They're also available in a range of colours to complement your kitchen. For sheer style, Gaggia's Carezza stands out with its gorgeous brushed metal finish and speedy preparation. Many traditional espresso machines are stand-alone, so a quality grinder is essential. Tough, powerful and with cheeky design sensibilities, the multi-hued Bodum range is an ideal starting point.
No grinding, no waiting around: pod coffee machines are the easiest of all to use. Simply load a capsule and watch as your coffee is made in moments. Some machines like the retro-chic Nespresso U even come with attachments to heat and froth milk for an authentic café experience. As a bonus, their compact size means that they can be popped discreetly on your worktop, unlike some of their heavyweight cousins above.
If you haven't quite slaked your caffeine craving or just want to learn more about what options are out there before you commit, then head over to our Coffee Machine Buying Guide for some more information.