The daily grind: Choosing the right coffee machine for your morning ritual

Not all coffee habits are created equal, so make sure you’re picking the right coffee machine for your homeFrom countertop espresso maker to low-tech moka pot, here’s how to raise your home barista game 

If your most enduring relationship is with your friendly, neighbourhood barista, you probably don’t trust anyone – yourself included – to make a flat white. These days though, there are so many great home coffee machines around that, unless you’re a fanatic about your bean to water ratio, you can make great coffee from the comfort of your home – and you get to stay in your PJs to have it.

Which coffee machine is best for your home?

The cold brew machine

Certain coffee lovers obsess over cold brew coffee. Why? Because the process leaves some acids intact that hot coffee doesn’t. This means the end result is smooth, full of flavour and can be drunk a couple of days later and still taste fresh. It does have a higher ratio of coffee to water so beware of the extra caffeine.
Try: Ice Drip Portable Cold Brew coffee machine 

The espresso stovetop

Just like Giuseppe used to make back in the Turin, this is a time-honoured classic for those who like small, yet strong espressos. There’s a romance to this that all other machines lack – it’s like watching a classic black and white Sophia Loren movie. It’s also lo-fi, but it means you have to stand close to the stove while you make it. Also, there is no facility for whipping up a latte.
Try: Bialetti Moka Alpina espresso coffee maker

A go-anywhere machine

For those hard-core coffee lovers caught out in the middle of nowhere far away from cafes, who have to resort to emergency measures to avoid coffee from a jar, a battery-powered machine is the answer.
Try: Makita 18V coffee maker

Espresso machine

When you like to be in total control over how strong your coffee dose is and how much foam you want on your latte, the home espresso machine will have you delivering a flat white almost as good as a professional barista. Of course, the machines within this category can start at a few hundred dollars and go all the way to thousands.
Try: Sunbeam Barista Max Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino coffee machine

Capsule machine

If you’re a creature of habit who likes exactly the same dose of coffee each and every time, this is your machine. Put the aluminium coffee-filled pod into the machine and it’ll dispense a measured amount of coffee.
Try: De’Longhi Nespresso Vertuo Capsule coffee machine

Manual and semi-automatic espresso machine

These are ideal for the budding barista who wants to do the work for the great coffee. You can get fairly simple versions that don’t take up much bench space, through to getting some serious hardware that looks like you mean business. You will need to know what you’re doing – or be prepared to learn.
Try: Sunbeam Café Series Duo Manual Espresso coffee machine

The filter coffee machine

If you care less about the just brewed quality of your coffee and more about access to many hot coffees within easy reach throughout the day, the filter coffee machine is for you. Make a brew in the morning and it’ll be there ready and waiting for you to refill your cup without delay.
Try: Technivorm Moccamaster filter machine.

2024’s top 3 coffee machines

    1.  Sunbeam Barista Max Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino coffee machine, $630, Amazon
    2. Bialetti Moka Alpina Espresso coffee maker, $56.41, Amazon
    3. DeLonghi Nespresso Vertuo Capsule coffee machine, $166.34, Amazon

The best coffee machines in New Zealand

 1. Sunbeam Barista Max | Espresso, Latte and Cappuccino Coffee Machine

from $630 at Amazon

Best for: Those who just want great coffee made simple 

For those who crave a creamy, velvety morning latte, the Barista Max comes kitted out with a powerful professional grade stainless steel steam wand, meaning achieving the perfect microfoam for lattes and cappuccinos is a breeze. With a 2.8L capacity, this will keep you filling cups of java all day long.

Key features:

  • Auto-shot control to measure the exact amount of water needed
  • A cool-touch barista-grade steam wand
  • Tap-and-go one-touch grinder

Available at:


2. The Bialetti Moka Alpina Espresso coffee maker

from $62 at Amazon

Best for: Those who love the slow ritual of making a morning coffee 

We love the Swiss yodeller or Robin Hood vibes of the classic Bialetti Moka Alpina Espresso three-cup coffee maker. It comes in green, red and silver – and it’s currently on sale.

Key features:

  • Gas stovetop compatible
  • Easy to clean
  • Traditional Italian Moka design

Available at:


3. Ice Drip Coffee Maker

 from $242 at Amazon

Best for: Cold-brew lovers who take their coffee making seriously 

With a built-in glass filter and fine holes, the gentle, slow extraction process from the Ice Drip Coffee Maker results in coffee that is exceptionally smooth, rich, and aromatic. Made from sleek silver stainless steel and borosilicate glass, it looks more like a sleek science-lab addition than a coffee machine. Bonus: It can also be used to extract tea.

Key features:

  • Can withstand temperatures of -120°C
  • Stylish ergonomic design
  • 4-6 cup capacity
  • Great gift for coffee lovers

Available at:


4. De’Longhi Nespresso Vertuo Capsule coffee machine

from $166 at Amazon

Best for: Convenience-lovers who want good coffee at the touch of a button 

You only have to wait moments for this compact pod machine to heat up. It lends itself to a full range of coffee pods, from milder fruity espressos to large mugs of joe, all at the easy touch of a button.

Key features:

  • Extraction technology spins up to 7000 times per minute
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Coffee capsule ejects after brewing
  • Free capsule delivery service

Available at:


 5. Makita 18V coffee maker

from $219 at Mitre 10

Best for: Those who need good, strong coffee while on the go

From the work-site to the beach, knowing you’ll have freshly brewed coffee wherever you go with the Makita 18 volt coffee maker is reassuring. It’s powered by an 18V battery or using the car charger, meaning brewing is easy. And with a sealed coffee cup, you don’t have to worry about it spilling in the passenger seat.

Key features:

  • Dedicated sealed coffee cup
  • Can charge using the car battery or through the AC
  • Brews a 160ml shot in five minutes
  • Terminal protection cover

Available at:


6. Technivorm Moccamaster filter machine

from $595 at Coffee Supreme

Best for: Vintage-lovers who like to get hands-on with their brew 

It’s safety (and aesthetics) first with the wonderfully retro filter machine, thanks to a hotplate that switches off automatically after 40 minutes. Moccamaster coffee machines have been handmade in The Netherlands since 1964, so you know you’re in good hands. Coming in a range of chic shades like pink, pastel blue, pepper yellow and even turquoise, it’ll brighten your morning before you’ve even had your first sip.

Key features:

  • A 5-6 minute brew time
  • Automatically switches off the hotplate after 40 minutes
  • Two temperature settings
  • First set of paper filters included

Available at:


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