Best coffee gadgets & machines


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Erin Lawrence

Philips 4300 espresso automatic, reviewRumour has it coffee has been consumed since the 15th century, which comes as no surprise seeing as it tastes good, gives us a morning (or afternoon/evening) boost, and comes in countless varieties and flavors so we can all find a kind that is perfect for us. Over the years, companies have developed revolutionary coffee gadgets and machines that take our java experience even farther, and many of them have become staples in our daily routines. Here are the best ones we’ve reviewed.

Philips 4300 Automatic Espresso Machine

Philips has been making excellent tech gadgets for years, and one of my favorites is the Philips 4300 Automatic Espresso Machine. This machine can make eight drinks including Espresso, Cappuccino, Coffee, Ristretto, Latte Macchiato, Café au Lait, Americano, and Café crema. The control panel is well set-up and self-explanatory, and there are many customizations you can make to each drink including more or less water, more or less milk (if applicable), and the strength of the brew. While it is possible to use pre-ground coffee beans, the machine conveniently has a built-in ceramic burr grinder and allows users to choose from 12 different grind options (from coarse to fine). The water tank holds 1.8L so it doesn’t need to be changed out after every use, and cleaning this device is actually super simple compared to typical coffee makers. Even though the $1400CAD ($899US) price tag is a bit high, this device is worth it.

Ember Mug 2

Unless the goal is some variation of cold brew or iced coffee, coffee MUST be hot – no exceptions! Lukewarm and chilled coffee just isn’t the same, but we’ve all experienced our coffee sitting too long and cooling down. Luckily, though, we no longer have to microwave it or make a fresh cup of coffee; instead, the Ember Mug 2 can solve the issue for us. This rechargeable mug can detect the temperature of a liquid and relays this information to an app on a smartphone. The app then allows users to set a temperature to keep the liquid between 120°F (50°C) and 145°F (62.5°C), and the mug can keep coffee hot for up to 90 minutes before needing a recharge via the included coaster that plugs into a normal outlet. The Ember Mug 2 comes in a 10-ounce version, which costs about $169CAD ($129US) and a 14-ounce version, which costs $199CAD ($149US).

Breville Nespresso Pixie

Like Keurig, Nespresso has been a game changer in the coffee making industry. The Breville Nespresso Pixie is another one of the best coffee gadgets we have reviewed, as it is compact yet able to make all kinds of espresso and coffee drinks. Nespresso coffee capsules come in countless flavors, roasts, and strengths, and the machine allows users to make exactly the desired amount of their chosen beverage they want. It takes under 30 seconds to heat up, and within another 30 seconds you can have a double shot of espresso ready for consumption. The water tank holds up to 24 ounces, so it does not need to be refilled after every use, and the machine comes with a little bin where you can discard used capsules. While this machine typically costs around $199CAD ($149US), Amazon and other retailers routinely discount it closer to $149CAD ($109US).

Cuisinart Brew Central Programmable Drip Coffee Maker

cuisinart, coffee maker, review, brew central, how,The word “programmable” makes me happy, as it hints that my life will be made easier in some way. With the Cuisinart Brew Central Coffee Maker, users can program the machine to brew fresh coffee at a specific time of the day. This is fantastic for those of us who start our day at a set time every morning and like our “cuppa Joe” to be ready for us. This coffee maker is simple to use, seeing as you just have to put coffee grounds and water into it and set the time. The device takes about 8 minutes to make a full pot, but the convenient “Brew Pause” feature lets you grab a cup of coffee before replacing the carafe and letting it finish its cycle. With various filter options, the ability to make however many cups of coffee you want, and just the overall convenience, this coffee maker is highly recommended. You can get one for around $125CAD ($95US).

De’Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini 

Many coffee and espresso machines are big, bulky, and just take up a lot of room. The De’Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini, though, is a good size, lightweight, and simple to use. Once plugged in and turned on, the machine will start to heat the water in the 20-ounce tank and is ready to use in under 30 seconds. After inserting a Nespresso capsule and setting the preferred size, the machine can make a double shot of espresso in around 45 seconds. The crema quality is quite impressive on this little machine, and it turns off automatically after 9 minutes of non-use. Our favorite part about this machine is it is one of the quietest ones we have tried, as there are no loud buzzing, clicking, or grinding sounds other machines make. Amazon sells these for around $179CAD ($129US).

Wacaco Nanopresso

wacaco nanopresso espresso portableMany of us who are on-the-go a lot still want our daily shot of espresso, and the Wacaco Nanopresso can make it for us. Weighing under one pound and measuring around 6 inches long, the compact device only needs ground espresso beans, boiling water, and just a bit of hand strength. With a few twists and pumps, the machine can spout out a single shot of fresh espresso into the included drinking cup, and the crema quality is notably impressive for such a small device. This product costs around $85CAD ($70US).

S’ip By S’well Travel Mug

Another coffee mug we must mention is the S’ip By S’well Travel Mug. While the build of these pretty much looks like a typical cylindrical thermos, they are available in various colors and are made with durable, double-walled stainless steel that is BPA-free. The 16-ounce travel mug comes with a very strong lid to prevent spills, and it does an impressive job of keeping coffee hot for around three hours. These travel mugs can also be used for cold liquids and can be found for around $32CAD ($24US).

Handpresso Auto Capsule

The Handpresso Auto Capsule is a strong competitor to the Wacaco Nanopresso, as the small size and preferable convenience factor that both feature definitely make them deserve spots on this list. The Handpresso Auto Capsule utilizes Nespresso coffee capsules, theoretically saving you from a coffee ground mess in your car. This device is small enough to fit in a cup holder and utilizes power through a car’s cigarette lighter. It is simple to use, as you just need to put an ounce or so of mineralized water into the machine, insert a Nespresso capsule, and turn it on. After a few minutes and flipping it over once, you have your espresso shot in the provided cup. The Handpresso website sells these for around $240CAD ($180US).

Keurig K-Mini Plus

Keurig has undoubtedly become one of the most popular go-to companies when looking for a stellar coffee maker, and its K-Mini Plus is another one of the best devices we have found. Setup is as easy as it gets and you can have your first cup of java in just a few minutes. To use, just turn it on, add water, insert a K-cup of your choice, put a mug on the tray, shut the lid tightly, and press the brew button. It will heat up itself and then just like that, in about 50-60 seconds, your cup of coffee is ready! It doesn’t have a lot of the frills that other coffee machines have and only makes one cup of coffee at a time, but that’s actually perfect for users looking for a small machine that can brew up delicious drip coffee. These sell for around $89CAD ($67US).

Nespresso Vertuo Next by De’Longhi

Nespresso, vertuo, virtuo, next, espresso, coffee, machine, reviewThe Nespresso Vertuo Next by De’Longhi is another great machine. Instead of typical Nespresso capsules, it uses capsules specifically made for the Vertuo line. (Want to learn the difference between Vertuo and regular Nespresso? We’ve written about it here.) This machine uses centrifugal force, meaning it is stronger than many other machines on the market today, but it isn’t overly loud at all. This device holds up to 1L of water and only has one button on it, making it extremely easy to use – open the lid, insert a capsule, close the lid, and press the button. This device makes a large cup of coffee in about two minutes, while a shot of espresso takes about one minute. This coffee machine retails for about $219CAD ($170US), but may come at a lower price based on retailer or color option.

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