About Built-in Coffee Machines
The popularity of built-in coffee machines has been on a rapid rise lately. This is mainly because built-in household appliances in general are now the go-to for the majority of people keen on creating a modern look in their home. The features offered by built-in appliances are the same as those found in countertop devices, yet the former endow the interior of the kitchen with a sense of unity and a certain “cleanliness” — it’s as if they’re sort of hidden, while still being easy to access.
If you plan on installing built-in appliances in your kitchen, the option of purchasing a built-in coffee machine is bound to cross your mind too. Which sort of coffee machine is better though: a built-in or a countertop one? If you decide to go for the first type, how should you go about choosing a built-in coffee machine that’s best suited to your needs? Which aspects of these appliances deserve special attention? We’ll try and answer all of these questions below.
Built-in Coffee Machines vs. Countertop Coffee Machines
Here at Coffee Friend, our clients often ask us for advice when trying to choose between a built-in coffee machine and a countertop one. The truth is that the choice is all yours — but to make the correct decision, you’ll have to find out the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
The number of countertop models available on the market currently trumps the number of built-in machines. Furthermore, the first ones can cost as little as several hundred pounds, so they’re perfect for coffee lovers on a budget. A built-in coffee machine, on the other hand, will require you to invest at least 1000 pounds.
Countertop coffee machines tend to be particularly compact, so if your kitchen’s on the smaller side, this type of appliance is probably your best bet. It’s also worth mentioning that replacing a built-in coffee machine with a new one some time in the future is bound to be tricky: you’ll have to look for a similar appliance with near identical dimensions or try and adapt the niche that’s already in your kitchen to the new coffee machine in some way or another.
However, if your kitchen is already equipped with built-in appliances (and if it’s spacious enough), a built-in coffee machine is guaranteed to be a great choice. First of all, it’ll fit seamlessly into the interior of any kitchen and will look great regardless of its style. Secondly, you won’t have to spend a second trying to decide where your coffee machine would best be placed. Last but certainly not least, built-in coffee machines are usually premium appliances, so they’re likely to be equipped with the most innovative technologies and features.
What Should You Consider When Choosing a Built-in Coffee Machine?
Whether you’re thinking of purchasing a built-in or a countertop machine, the key aspects for you to consider remain the exact same. Let’s go ahead and find out what they are!
Coffee Drinks Brewed by the Built-in Coffee Machine
It’s certainly true that most built-in coffee machines are capable of brewing milk-based drinks and other well-known coffee beverages alongside classic recipes like espresso and black coffee — however, you should still make sure that the appliance you’re keen on purchasing can brew your favourite drink (or that it at least gives you a chance to prepare that drink yourself), be it ristretto, latte macchiato or flat white.
Milk System of the Built-in Coffee Machine
Make sure to consider the milk system of your chosen built-in coffee machine — it should be as convenient as possible. Some built-in appliances are equipped with an integrated steam wand that enables you to froth milk yourself, but does not produce milk foam automatically. This type of machine is perfect for the lovers of black coffee who still treat themselves to a milk-based drink from time to time. However, if you’re a sworn fan of milk foam or you’d like to present your guests with some splendid milk-based beverages, a coffee machine with an automatic milk system would be a much better choice for you.
There are two types of automatic milk systems found in built-in coffee machines: one type is characterised by an external milk container, while the other is distinguished by the presence of a milk tube. In the first case, there’s a milk container on the outside of the appliance that can be connected to the machine. When the container is not in use, it has to be stored in the fridge. In the second case, a tube is connected to the appliance: you can immerse it in the container that comes with the machine or even put it straight into a milk carton (this is particularly convenient as there’s no dishes to be done afterwards!). These tubes are hidden inside the machine, so they’re not visible from the outside. They must be stored in the fridge when they’re not in use too.
Operation of the Built-in Coffee Machine
Don’t forget to consider the way in which your chosen built-in coffee machine is operated. This includes, first and foremost, the type of display and the kind of operation. Your appliance may be equipped with a black-and-white text display or a colour screen containing both icons and text. The machine can also be operated with the help of buttons or it may boast a touch-sensitive panel. Simply make sure that operating the machine will be as convenient and pleasant as possible.
Some built-in coffee machines can be controlled via a dedicated smart app straight from your smart device. This offers a whole new level of convenience, especially when it comes to adjusting settings or running maintenance programs. If you’re looking for maximum comfort, you should definitely choose a model with a smart app.
Flavour Adjustment Options Found in the Built-in Coffee Machine
The extent of the options of adjusting the brewing process equals the extent to which you can adjust the flavour of your drinks. Consider the grinds, temperatures, strength levels, milk foam quantities that you can choose. It’ll help you determine whether your chosen built-in coffee machine will truly be capable of preparing coffee just the way you like it.
User Profiles and the Option of Creating Recipes
When searching for the perfect built-in coffee machine, ask yourself whether your preferred model boasts separate user profiles, as well as the option of creating and saving personal recipes.
Separate user profiles will come in handy if the members of your family all have different tastes when it comes to coffee. Your loved ones are bound to appreciate the opportunity to create their own profiles and save their preferred recipe settings.
Instead of boasting separate user profiles, some coffee machines allow their users to create a certain number of personal recipes, so that both you and your family members can get creative and save their newly-discovered favourites.
Some built-in models are equipped with unique features. Make sure to consider them when comparing different coffee machines, as these features may just be the thing that sways you one way or the other.
For example, if you’re a fan of strong coffee, you’ll definitely love the Aroma Double Shot function, which lets you brew some extra strong coffee at the touch of a button and with no added bitterness. Your drink will be brewed over two separate cycles, each of them starting with the grinding of a large amount of coffee.
If you enjoy sipping large quantities of coffee in the company of your family or friends, look for the jug function — it’ll enable you to brew lots of delicious coffee all at once. Forget all about standing in front of your coffee machine and brewing cup after cup: simply place a jug under the coffee spout, press a button and watch the jug fill up.
If you have several favourite bean varieties, you might want to choose a coffee machine with a couple of bean containers. A model like this means there’s no need for you to argue with your loved ones over which coffee beans you’ll be using that day. This feature also lets you use different beans for different recipes. It’s no secret, after all, that while some beans are best suited for a cup of espresso, others may only reveal their true beauty in a milk-based drink.
Modern technologies keep on evolving — and this is exactly why taking these and other unique features into account is so worthwhile when looking for the ideal built-in coffee machine for your home.
Design of the Built-in Coffee Machine
Last but not least, there’s the design of your built-in coffee machine. Choose one that goes well with the overall style of your kitchen — it may have a modern, classic or vintage look. Don’t forget that the same model can come in several different colours: perhaps a traditional black appliance would look best in your kitchen or maybe your home is best suited for a silver or even white model.
If you’ve already looked through the Coffee Friend’s built-in coffee machine assortment, yet still feel plagued by questions and doubts, reach out to our consultants: they’re always ready to help you discover the perfect brewing companion!