If you see these three machines on the shelf, leave them there.
If you’re thinking about swapping your pricey café habit for the homemade version, you’ll find some stunning machines for your kitchen bench in our test results. Out of the 50 we’ve put through their paces, there are 18 that get our Consumer Recommended tick.
But there are also three we found so disappointing we’ve stamped them with our ‘Don’t Buy’ label. No matter how cheap you find them for sale, we say you shouldn’t bother with them – they’ll only turn making a flat white into a faff.
Here they are:
Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS
At just $99, it’s the cheapest machine in our test but the coffee that this capsule model makes tastes terrible. While it's inexpensive and easy to use, the milk capsules do a poor job of frothing milk. We gave it an overall score of just 51%.
Sunbeam Barista Plus EMM5400SS
A poor performance in our test might be expected from the dinky Dolce Gusto above. But we found this Sunbeam machine that costs about $600 did even worse. Once again, we weren’t impressed by the taste of the coffee. Sunbeam coffee machines also rate badly for predicted reliability. We gave it an overall score of 49%.
Sunbeam Café Barista EM5000
Right at the very bottom of our test results lingers another Sunbeam machine. It’s a cheaper model at $285, but that’s still a lot to pay for a brew we rated as terrible.
Members who have left reviews of this machine on our website think we’ve been a bit harsh with our rating. One of the members, Nick, reckoned it was alright if you could get it on sale. And Toni said, “the coffee tastes as good as some cafes”. We’ll have to agree to disagree. It’s an overall score of 46% from us.
So that’s what you shouldn’t buy. What should you buy?