Did you know that 1 in every 4 Australians say that they cannot survive a day without having coffee? Based on a McCrindle survey, about 86% of the respondents said that their weekday routine includes making coffee at home. This finding perhaps explains why there are several coffee machines available in the market, from entry-level to high-end ranges.
Capsule or pod coffee machines, in particular, are increasingly popular in Australia, thanks to the convenience they offer. But capsule coffee machines are as varied as our favourite coffee blends. And so, to help everyday coffee drinkers like me, I’ll be reviewing five of the best coffee machines in Australia and the things you need to consider when buying a new one.
Top 5 Best Capsule Coffee Machines in Australia for 2023
Coffee drinkers, young and old, love the idea of how capsule coffee machines can make espresso or cappuccino out of sealed coffee pods with just a press of a button. With these smart appliances, they can skip café queues and sip good coffee with consistent quality every time, any time.
If you’re planning on furnishing your bench with one, make your decision-making easier by comparing one machine from another. Here’s a table highlighting the features and specifications of five of the best capsule coffee machines in Australia:
|Image||Model||Dimensions (WxDxH)||Weight||Pump Pressure*||Tank Capacity**||Preset Functions||Where to Buy|
|15 x 32 x 25 cm||4.3kg||19 bar||1L (water)|
|Check on Amazon AU|
|12 x 33 x 21 cm||2.5kg||10 bar||6L (water)||Espresso|
|Check on Amazon AU|
|43 x 14 x 33 cm||4.4kg||19 bar||1.8L (water)||Espresso|
|Check on Amazon AU|
|11 x 33 x 21 cm||2.3kg||19 bar||600ml (water)||Espresso|
|Check on Amazon AU|
|36 x 18 x 32 cm||3.2kg||15 bar||1L (water)||Hot and Cold||Check on Amazon AU|
* Pump pressure is the amount of pressure released to push hot water toward the pierced capsule or pod to extract coffee. The higher the pump pressure, the better the flavour.
** Coffee machine models without milk tank capacity mean that the machine either works with compatible milk capsules or needs a separate milk frother.
De’Longhi Nespresso Lattissima One White
Right from unboxing, the white Lattissima One is already gaining plus points. This pod coffee machine is a truly chic addition to any benchtop, from its chrome lever to the matte and glossy finish. Compared with other regular capsule coffee machines, this one has a smaller footprint and a height less than the usual 30cm, so you can easily slide it under most cupboards.
Setting it up is also easy. The milk frothing system, however, needs to be assembled and disassembled after use. But everything else, including the water tank, sliding drip tray and used capsule container, is pretty much straightforward.
Aside from its looks, I love how operating and cleaning it is super easy, too. The tanks have level indicators, so you know exactly how much water or milk to pour in. Its three preset options (latte, cappuccino and espresso) allow users to brew various types of coffee without fuss.
Lifting the capsule container lid also automatically removes the used capsule and slides it down the holder below, which can store up to 10 pods. The water tank is easy to handwash, while the milk system is dishwasher safe. The machine comes with a descaling alert as well.
Lattissima One doesn’t fall short on performance either. Aside from its powerful 19-bar pressure, it also has a Thermoblock system that heats your water in just 25 seconds! To save energy, it also shuts off automatically 9 minutes after brewing. The in-built sensor also detects the exact amount of milk inside the container, so the machine can use it all to avoid wastage.
For experienced coffee drinkers, they’ll surely enjoy tinkering with this machine’s customisable coffee volume function. This feature lets users do away with the preset options and play barista at home!
This capsule espresso machine is premium in every way, even its price. But for avid coffee drinkers who love visiting artisan coffee shops, the Lattissima One may be a worthy investment that, in the long run, can help them save time and reduce coffee expenses.
Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Capsule Coffee Machine Red
The Lavazza Jolie is among the best capsule coffee machines in Australia because of three factors: ease of use, reasonable cost and compact size. It is even among the lowest-priced models in the Lavazza coffee machine range. So, if you are a first-time user or not into expensive appliances, this budget pod coffee machine is for you.
But even if it’s affordable, that doesn’t mean it’s substandard. Its Italian looks alone, featuring rounded corners and a smooth ABS-coated exterior, showcase how well-made this machine is. It even won the German Design Award in 2019 and the Reddot Design Award in 2018.
Aside from the striking red model, it also comes in white, black and silver. Any of these can jazz up your kitchen countertop. Customers are also raving about how quiet this pod coffee machine is. And because it’s compact, singles, couples or small families can enjoy flavourful espressos at home.
Quite surprisingly, despite its compact size, the Jolie boasts a 6L water tank capacity, which is way more than most capsule machines. It’s great for making several cups without having to refill often, for sure. Plus, there’s only one multi-function button to press, whether you’re turning the machine on/off or making short or long espresso. You can entertain guests while the capsule espresso machine activates the auto-shutoff function after 9 minutes of inactivity.
The lack of automated volume settings means it’s harder to achieve flavour consistency. This Jolie model does not come with a milk frother, too. So, for your lattes and cappuccinos, you might want to purchase a separate milk frother or get the Lavazza Jolie & Milk machine. Still, coffee drinkers who love custom-made brews prefer manual operation. And, there is no need for a milk frother if you like espresso drinks more.
Cleaning up the Lavazza Jolie is also quick and easy. Unlike other coffee machines, all of Jolie’s removable parts are dishwasher-safe. Its drip tray is adjustable as well to suit small or big cups and avoid splatters. There’s also a 5-capsule container for storing used pods after brewing. The machine lacks a descaling indicator, though. However, the process is easy to do every 2 to 3 months with Lavazza’s descaling solution.
Lavazza Jolie is compatible with the A Modo Mio coffee capsules. The range, however, offers distinctive espresso blends only and is not as expansive as other coffee machine brands. While it may seem limited to some, the machine’s value-for-money quality makes it a rare gem.
Breville Nespresso Vertuo Plus Silver
The Breville espresso machine is easy to use and designed to produce flavourful coffee, making it a perfect match for both first-time users and serious coffee drinkers. Compared with the other espresso machines mentioned in this review, the Breville Nespresso Vertuo Plus has a large 1.8L water tank, which is ideal for making coffee to share at home or in the office. The tank also swivels into three different positions, so it’s easy to fit in any bench space or corner.
While most capsule coffee machines typically brew espresso in two different sizes, Vertuo Plus can make four to suit varying coffee cravings. Its four-level drip tray allows you to place cups or mugs of any size close to the spout to avoid splatters. This coffee machine also features one-touch operation and fast heat-up time from 20 to 25 seconds.
The magic of the Vertuo Plus is in its brewing cycle. Its unique coffee pod, for instance, has a printed barcode that the machine reads to identify the right amount of water to use for brewing. Also, instead of puncturing the pod seal once, this espresso maker adds 18 more holes around the edge, allowing maximum extraction and enhanced coffee flavour. And it doesn’t stop there. After brewing, the pod is spun at 7,000rpm to remove any excess water inside before ejecting it to the used pod container.
The compatible capsule, called Vertuo Nespresso, used by this machine is larger than the Original Nespresso pods. It contains more coffee inside, which explains the full-flavoured coffee and rich crema. However, this also means that the capsules are more expensive and can take up more space. Also, considering that this machine does not include a milk frother, users who prefer creamier blends may opt for a 2-in-1 appliance that has almost the same price.
De’Longhi Essenza Mini White
Simplicity at its finest. This description summarises the features and looks of the white De’Longhi Essenza Mini. If you are the type of user who does not like appliances with multiple buttons or unnecessary features, then this is the coffee machine for you. A Red Dot Awardee for product design in 2017, this unit boasts a shape and colour that suit modern trends and style. Its small size also makes it easy to carry and fit in any kitchen size.
What I like about this machine is that despite its mini size and low cost, it doesn’t fall short performance-wise. It works with the same Original Nespresso capsules, has the same pressure power and produces the same coffee drinks that more expensive machines make. This espresso machine will surely be at the top of your list if cost-efficiency is a priority.
Thanks to its user-friendly design, coffee drinkers who are always in a rush will enjoy having this coffee machine on their benchtop. With De’Longhi Essenza Mini, you only have two buttons to think about: espresso (40ml) and lungo (110ml). Then to adjust the flavour of your coffee, just press and hold either button until you reach your desired drink volume. This machine automatically shuts off on its own 9 minutes after brewing. It also works on eco mode after 3 minutes of non-use to save energy.
While it’s a great coffee machine, it also has flaws. For instance, its small 600ml water tank may require frequent refilling if you’re using this for serving a big group. Also, you need to remove its drip tray every time before brewing with tall glasses or large mugs. It does not have an in-built milk system, so you may need to buy a separate frother. And while it’s easy to clean, it doesn’t have a descaling alert. So, you may have to create a schedule for descaling to keep track.
Nescafé Dolce Gusto Movenza Brushed Black
If you are into efficient appliances with an ingenious design, the Nescafé Dolce Gusto Movenza might be the coffee machine for you! Aside from being affordable, it also has the most inventive, almost out-of-this-world, look. Instead of a regular box-like machine, this one folds and opens up like a clamshell – a smart design that also protects the inside from dust and other particles.
Beginners to pod coffee machines will also appreciate its easy-to-follow manual and straightforward operation. There are only three touch buttons to choose from: hot water, cold water and volume selector. These indicators are all printed on your selected capsule, so you can easily brew any coffee flavour without the instruction manual.
There is no milk frother included in this machine, but it works with enough pump pressure to make milk froths out of select Dolce Gusto kits like cappuccino. And for some users who do not like cleaning extra machine parts, the absence of an in-built milk frother may not be a problem. Moreover, Dolce Gusto pods cater to most types of users, from coffee fans to chocolate lovers to and tea drinkers. These pods may not be appealing to serious espresso drinkers and Nespresso fans who prefer machines that work with more coffee pod options.
The shape of this modern machine may also be problematic for some users. While beautiful, its rounded sides may be difficult to flush against the wall and fit in tight corners. Also, you have to place it somewhere with enough clearance, so the machine can open up easily without hitting your wall-mounted cabinets.
Things to Consider When Buying a Capsule Coffee Machine
No one wants to buy an appliance and later find out that it’s not what they needed. It’s a total waste of money and space for home and business users alike. So, aside from comparing different pod coffee machine brands, I’m listing down other things that you need to consider before finally making that purchase.
If you are buying one for office use, an espresso machine with 1.5 to 2L is ideal, so you don’t have to refill the tank as frequently. For small households or personal use, compact machines with less than a litre capacity are best. If you only have coffee in the morning and a limited bench space at home, mini coffee machines are more ideal.
Functionality and ease of use
Are you looking for a machine that brews espresso? Or do you need a machine with milk frother? A bit of research can help you answer these questions. Instruction manuals online or product demo videos can come in handy. These resources can help you assess whether the espresso machine you like is also easy to assemble, quick to operate and effortless to clean. For coffee aficionados, product research can also help them understand the unique features of every machine.
Product specifications include the machines’ dimensions, power requirements, pump pressure, colour options and more. It is necessary to know and understand these product points, especially if you are buying the machine online. But, for easier decision-making and first-hand product information from staff, shopping in-store is a better idea.
Coffee machine price
The good thing about pod coffee machines is that they come in a wide range of price points. Even users on a budget can find low-cost alternatives that meet their needs. Also, high-end brands manufacture compact or mini machines that work with the same coffee pods. So, when weighing your options, consider coffee machines from reputable manufacturers that make good coffee but don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Pod variety, price and accessibility
Remember that each machine from different manufacturers or brands usually works with a specific pod type. So, when buying a coffee machine, make sure to consider the following:
- Are you a coffee fanatic? Then, consider checking out Nespresso pod flavours that you like and matching them with a compatible machine. Or are you the type who prefers variety? Then, perhaps machines that use coffee, chocolate and tea Dolce Gusto capsules will work best for you.
- Try to compare the price points of different pods. Are they cheaper than your daily coffee from a café? Will you save more if you buy them in bulk?
- You might also consider how easy or difficult it is to get your regular supply of capsules. Are they available online? Will the shipping cost be expensive? Do grocery stores offer them at special prices?
You are buying a pod coffee machine for convenience. So, make sure that cleaning and care won’t affect that purpose. Check the online manual on how to clean the parts of your chosen coffee machine. Confirm which ones are dishwasher safe and for handwashing. Make sure that the instructions for descaling are easy to understand, and you know how to get a descaler solution if available.
If you plan to upgrade your coffee drinking experience sometime soon, you might want to check out what add-on accessories can you add to your coffee machine. Is a capsule dispenser necessary? Do you need a separate milk frother? How about a travel mug for your coffee to go? Make a list of your other coffee needs then match it with the brands’ available accessories.
Waste control and recyclability
It takes about 150 to 500 years for the aluminium and plastic materials of coffee pods to break down in the landfill. It’s then imperative to choose your machine based on its recycling scheme. Choose the one with a defined recycling system that you can easily do and follow. Also, consider choosing coffee capsules made of compostable materials. This way, you can process used capsules in your composting bin at home without parcelling up them up for collection or taking them to designated recycling points.
Warranty, spare parts and after-purchase services
Make sure that you read and agree with the warranty conditions of your selected machine in your region. Take note on how to reach their office and also, in case of replacement, if they have spare parts available. When the warranty expires, try to contact customer service first and confirm your service options to avoid unnecessary charges.
FAQs About Capsule Coffee Machines
For more specific information about pod coffee machines, here’s an FAQ list to help you out:
Do coffee pods fit all machines?
The brief answer is no. Capsules come in as many shapes as machines. Thus, you must know which coffee capsule works with your chosen appliance. While this is not an exhaustive list (and newer machines are likely to introduce other coffee capsule types), I’ve created a table comparing the pods mentioned in this review and their features for easier comparison:
|Capsule Type||Shape||Size (WxH)||Material||Compatible Machine||Recyclable (Yes or No)|
|Original Nespresso||V-shaped||37mmx30mm||Aluminium and food-grade plastic||All Original Nespresso machines like the Lattissima One and Essenza Mini||Yes|
|Vertuo Nespresso||Dome-shaped||Size depends on coffee type (espresso, double espresso, gran lungo, mug, alto)||Aluminium, food-grade plastic and barcoded rim||All Vertuo Nespresso machines like the Nespresso Vertuo Plus||Yes|
|Caffitaly||Soft U-shaped||45mmx25mm||Soft plastic||All Grinders Café Espresso machines like Flinders S22||No|
|Dolce Gusto||Strong U-shaped||54mmx36mm||Soft and hard plastic||All Nescafe Dolce Gusto machines like Movenza||Yes|
Can I use a coffee pod twice?
Some users agree that yes, you can use the pods twice. To do this, put the capsule back into the machine and follow the same procedure as you did with the first cup. The second cup may not be as flavourful though and will taste slightly watered down. However, this tactic will help you save money and minimise waste. It’s also perfectly fine if you prefer to use the capsules once. Just remember that no matter how you use these pods, make sure to properly dispose of them or have collection units gather them for recycling.
Are Nespresso pods single or double shot?
Currently, there are two types of Nespresso pods available in the market. The first type is the small and V-shaped Original Nespresso pod that contains about 7g of coffee good for making single-shot espresso (less water) and lungo (more water). This pod works with all compatible Original Nespresso machines.
The newer Vertuo Nespresso machines work with the second type of Nespresso pods. The Vertuo Nespresso pods are dome-shaped and contain more coffee than their Original Nespresso counterparts. With these coffee pods, users can make double-shot espressos or gran lungos using just one single-serve capsule.
Australians love their coffee! A consumer study even confirmed that 84% of its respondents expressed their willingness to spend for coffee weekly. This report made me conclude that the white De’Longhi Nespresso Lattissima One can easily win the hearts of most coffee drinkers, whether they are avid or first-time users. Despite its high upfront cost, this pod coffee machine justifies it with its high-quality features, ease of use and premium design.
With the Lattissima One on your benchtop, you can enjoy a different blend every day and forget about queuing for your morning pick-me-up. Also, considering that most Original Nespresso capsules cost less than a dollar, frequent coffee shop goers can significantly save money with this machine in the long run.
Still, the best capsule coffee machine depends on what you need. Make the most of this revolutionary appliance by studying its unique functions and matching it with your budget, kitchen space and coffee choices. I hope this review helps you make the right choice and find the espresso machine that works for you. As for me, I think it’s the right time to treat myself to a good cup of coffee!