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The burgeoning coffee culture and our favourite at home coffee maker picks

By Natasha Heard on 30th October 2020

Though notoriously not fussy about coffee compared to other countries in the past, standards have certainly risen in the last decade with more coffee shops than ever gracing the streets of the UK and the café culture firmly cemented in our lives.

Then came along Covid and those opportunities to grab our favourite freshly brewed cup of gloriously scented coffee on the way to work or during an outing with a friend completely disappeared. Instant coffee can’t cut the mustard, we have standards now, remember? No longer do us Brits rely on a spoonful of instant coffee to satiate our needs, our appetite for fine coffee has been whetted and we can no longer accept a sub-standard offering from the jar, or a vending machine for that matter.

The coffee market grows at an estimated 10% year on year in the UK with 95 million cups being consumed each day, and while you may think that it’s those long hours at work that sees the most coffee being drunk, it’s actually at home where people are indulging. Taking 65% of the share, coffee drinking at home is booming, and it’s largely thanks to a dazzling assortment of professional-looking coffee machines that have filled the market in recent years.

Coffee Machine
95 million cups are consumed each day in the UK

Homes are now filled with these gleaming machines ready to serve us up a cup of the good stuff, many paired with a milk steamer to provide us with that coffee shop cappuccino in a flash, sprinkle a dusting of chocolate or cinnamon on top and you are your very own barista. We have truly started to take pride in our coffee drinking, making a feature of the drink by creating dedicated drinks stations in our kitchens.

The options out there are more competitive with each browse and the contraptions more advanced too, so if you want to join the club or make an upgrade to an existing machine, you may ask yourself: ‘where do I start?’ For a modern, stylish and smart option, an Italian Sage coffee maker is your best bet. Combining good looks and total sophistication, the selection of simple to use machines out there is plentiful so we’ve had a look around for you and picked out three of our favourites if you are looking for a little inspiration.

Coffee machine Sage “the Bambino Plus SES500SST” – £399

Image credit: coffeefriend.co.uk

Perfect for the solo coffee drinker in the house, the Sage Bambino Plus edition is small but certainly effective. Ideal if you are looking to tuck this appliance in neatly, the coffee machine uses 54mm portafilter and 19g of coffee to produce a delightfully aromatic drink. A high-quality steam wand provides the perfect opportunity to work up some latte art if you like to get creative with your coffee and a smart ThermoJet heating system means that you can start whipping up your favourite drink in a mere three seconds. The compact silver coffee maker would look great sitting at any drinks station and provides a smooth, creamy coffee – bliss.

Coffee machine Sage “the Barista Pro SES878BTR” – £699

Image credit: coffeefriend.co.uk

The brand-new Sage Barista Pro is available adorned in black or silver and really looks the part, but what is more important is the level of coffee it can whip up. A wide LCD screen showcases all the important information you need to get started and you can use the existing settings or customise to your taste. The ever-helpful heating system is perfect for the impatient among us and espresso mode and milk frothing mode can be switched up with ease. There are 30 different levels on the integrated conical grinder and the portion size can be adjusted too, while a digital temperature controller (PID) ensures optimal water temperature – essential for top-notch coffee preparation – and ground coffee is moistened using low pressure. This machine is certainly created with that perfect cup of coffee in mind every single time.

Coffee machine Sage “the Oracle Touch SES990” – £1,999

Image credit: coffeefriend.co.uk

If you are looking to invest a little more into your coffee-making, then the name of this product should give you an inkling of its abilities. The Oracle Touch uses a touch screen so that you can select your desired drink in a flash; latte, cappuccino, flat white, americano? Not a problem! You can update your preferences too to ensure your desired strength is produced each time, a digital temperature controller is at hand, all that’s left for you to do is practice your latte art skills.