Here is “The 2020 Guide to Coffee Machines Under R10 000 in South Africa”. Yes we know that times are tough, but don’t you still want a little “something special” in your life? Something that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and something to look forward to in the late afternoon when energy levels sag. Perhaps something that can make a warm steamed milk for a hot chocolate drink before bedtime. Your “something special” may be a coffee machine!

Not any coffee machine though…. most of us just don’t have the extra cash to splash out. So, what can you buy without heavily denting your credit card or having to refinance your home? What coffee machine can you buy for less than R10 000 in 2020?

Well, you are spoiled for choice because you can buy coffee capsule machines, manual espresso coffee machines, filter coffee machines and automatic coffee machines. So, what are they and what are their differences? What are their pros and cons? Read on and we’ll explain each and give you our top 3 choices in each category (in no particular order). All prices and suppliers correct on 8 August 2020.

Our Top 3 Filter Coffee Machines

These simple coffee makers use a few scoops of ground coffee, a filter coffee basket with a fine material sieve or filter paper, and gravity to draw hot water through the coffee to extract the final brew.

Pros:

  • Low price
  • Simple to operate
  • Can produce 12 cups of coffee at a time

Cons:

  • Can be messy when removing used grounds
  • Ground coffee needs to be stored well to avoid staleness
  • Difficult to brew small quantities (although the Moccamaster offers single cups)

 

We like:

Defy Inox Filter Coffee MachineThe Defy Inox 1.8l

Offering a 12-cup capacity with an LCD display and anti-drip function. Always important in a gravity fed machine as dripping onto the base is messy.

This coffee machine has a detachable easy clean filter and automatic start and shut off functions. We like its stainless-steel finish which strikes us as durable and easy to clean. Taking of durability, it comes with a two-year warranty.

Currently sold at: Makro for R699.00 (inclusive of VAT)

 

The Moccmaster Filter Coffee MachineThe Technivorm Moccamaster Cup-One

For the person who needs a single serve coffee, and who doesn’t want to use a coffee plunger, there is an alternative. The Moccamaster coffee machine can make a single cup of filter coffee in around four minutes. With a removable cup holder that allows you to fit different size cups under the brewing nozzle, the Moccamaster also shuts off automatically after brewing.

We like the innovation here, especially the copper boiling element that heats water to between 92º to 96º C  in rapid fashion and the fact that the manufacturer believes so much in the quality of their coffee machine that they offer a hefty 5-year limited warranty.

Currently sold at: Yuppiechef for R2899.00 (inclusive of VAT)

 

Avenia Filter Coffee MachineThe Avenia Pourover

The machine we prefer for heavier use is the Avenia. Constructed from stainless steel, it is simple to operate and rugged in its durability. Supplied with two glass bowls and two heating plates, it can not only produce 2 litres of coffee in 7 minutes but also keep the coffee hot. It is recommended for more commercial use in offices, hotels and restaurants and is easy to operate and clean.

A one-year warranty is offered by most suppliers.

Currently sold at: Pierre Lotti Coffee for R4502.00 (inclusive of VAT)

 

Our Top 3 Coffee Capsule Machines

We are conflicted about including this category in our review because we don’t like the environmental negatives that we believe coffee capsules create. On the other hand, we too pollute the atmosphere when we drive to the office each day and so our hypocrisy is admitted. We’ll review the category but let’s just say we don’t sell any coffee capsule machines in our company.

Using small pre-packed and self-contained coffee capsules that are inserted into the machine, these coffee machines have:

Pros:

  • Hassle free single cup operation
  • Many different coffee types to choose from
  • Relatively low cost for the coffee machine

Cons:

  • Capsule cost is far higher than the equivalent amount of coffee to make a filter coffee or coffee from beans
  • Environmental considerations of capsule disposal (most go to landfill and most are not easily biodegradable)

 

We like:

Nespresso Gran Latissima Coffee Capsule MachineThe Nespresso Gran Latissima

No review of coffee capsule machines would be complete without looking at the Nespresso range. Quality abounds and we like the Gran Latissima because we know how important milk-based coffee drinks are to the majority of coffee drinkers. Thank you to Starbucks for popularising cappuccino and latte.

This coffee machine offers ease of use and a useful 500ml milk flask with a 1 litre water tank that feeds a rapid heating boiler for quick coffee preparation. Seven coffee options also endear it to us as does its Class A energy efficiency rating.

Currently sold at: Hirsh’s for R5599.99 (inclusive of VAT)

 

Francis Francis Y1.1 Coffee Capsule MachineThe Francis Francis Y1.1 by Illy

The Francis Francis Y1.1 by Illy is our “most unique looking” coffee capsule machine choice. Offering a completely different look, the capsule machine provides a spacious cup warming area and a machine that you would associate with Illy quality.

This includes programmable volumes, auto-stop functionality, auto capsule ejection after use (no mess) and auto decalcification alert. You’ll need to use Illy Hypo capsules in this machine.

The machine is covered by a 1-year walk-in warranty.

Currently sold at: Illy for R3105.00 (inclusive of VAT)

 

 

Nespresso Essenza and AeroccinoThe Nespresso Essenza and Aerocinno

Somewhere between the on-board milk offering of the Gran Latissima and the coffee quality from the Illy Francis Francis Y1.1, sits our third choice which is the Nespresso Essenza. This time with the Aerocinno milk frothing device as a stand-alone.

The Essenza is small, compact but capable of producing two cup sizes but with the standard 19 bar pump pressure. The auto-stop and auto shut-off function after 9 minutes put it in the league of far more expensive coffee capsule makers.

Add the Aerocinno where you simply pour in 120ml of milk to make hot frothed milk in seconds and you can make cappuccino or latte with relative ease.

Currently sold (as a bundle) at: Hirsh’s for R2699.99 (inclusive of VAT)

Our Top 3 Manual Espresso Machines

There will always be a place for the manual espresso coffee machine because the joy a barista feels when striving for the perfect hand made coffee is immeasurable. Here we need to think about the grinder as well and it is where we fast run into the price ceiling of R10 000.

Pros:

  • There is nothing like feeing you are in control of your coffee making
  • The ability to really differentiate your coffee making
  • Enjoying both the coffee and the milk preparation components

Cons:

  • It is a fully manual process that requires you to train yourself into great coffee making (is that really a con?)
  • The need in most cases to buy a grinder and a coffee machine and increasing costs
  • Longer preparation time

First, we look at the grinders and can only really come up with one that we like. There are others of course and maybe we missed another two good ones, but here is our choice.

 

We like:

Severin Coffee GrinderThe Severin Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

To come in under R10 000 for both a grinder and a coffee machine means compromise and so we’re going with one grinder and looking for a price/quality trade-off. Our choice is the Severin. We like the conical burr grinder with its 10 grind settings that take you from French press through to espresso grinds.

With a 150g hopper and the detachable ground coffee container that can hold around 100g of ground coffee, you are good to make coffee with ease.

Currently sold at: Cape Coffee Beans for R3105.00 (inclusive of VAT)

 

 

With that settled we need to find a barista machine for under R6895.00 and we are not spoiled for choice in this price range. We also have to leave a few Rands on the table for a tamper and a knock box if we are to be the consummate barista professionals we aspire to when buying a manual espresso machine.

We like:

De Longhi Dedica Espresso Coffee MachineThe De Longhi Dedica

This is indeed a compact machine with the ability to set temperature and length of water run. It comes with a steam wand for making frothed or steamed milk.

Not to be outdone by professional models, this compact home machine also has a cup warmer and an auto-off function for energy saving. With a 1.1 litre water tank you can also make 1 or 2 cups at the same time and get enough steam for milk frothing and warming.

Currently sold at: Yuppiechef for R4069.00 (inclusive of VAT)

 

 

SMEG Espresso Coffee MachineThe SMEG Espresso Coffee Machine

So, we are on the ropes price wise with our second choice… but we can just bring grinder and machine in under R10 000. We had to include the SMEG on its features an of course the characteristic retro SMEG look.

It is just packed full of features like a water hardness and descaling indicator, 1 litre water tank, milk frother, coffee temperature and flow stop settings and options for 1 or 2 cups and even coffee pads. It also comes with a tamper… so if you can get a slight discount and are prepared to use your waste bin as a knock box we come in at the very limit.

Currently sold at: Metro Home Centre for R6499.00 (inclusive of VAT)

 

Breville Barista Espresso MachineThe Breville Barista Express

No review of the manual espresso coffee machine market would be complete without looking at the all-in-one Breville Barista Express. The machine scores well on Amazon.com with 4.5 stars (+6000 reviews) as we write this.

Behind this machine you’ll really look the part. The grinder is a conical burr grinder and the coffee brewing part has everything you need such as a good pressure pump, consistent temperature control, pre-infusion capability, two filter options and a well sized 2 litre removable water tank (always useful).

We just wished it came with a knock box (you need to buy that separately) because that would bring the machine and all accessories in at under R10 000, but then again, just use the lid of your bin to do the grounds disposal if R10 000 is the limit.

Currently sold at: @Home for R9999.00 (inclusive of VAT)

Our Top 3 Automatic Coffee Machines

There is something very satisfying about just pressing a single button and coming back to a well- prepared coffee. No effort needed besides topping up coffee beans, water and milk.

Today’s automatics have really hit the coffee shop quality ceiling and of course offer coffee at a fraction of the price. If we assume that the water, electricity, beans and milk for your cappuccino cost R5, then the saving on your R30 coffee shop coffee means your R10 000 machine is paid off after 400 cups. For a small family that is in around 6 months. Not bad at all!

So, what does an automatic coffee machine bring you?

Pros:

  • Simplicity – most are one touch cappuccino makers
  • Speed of coffee making
  • One-stop shop with very little mess (you will have to maintain it though)

Cons:

  • They are more expensive than many other coffee makers
  • You will need to service them at intervals
  • There is more user maintenance needed such as brewer cleaning, milk frother cleaning etc (but these are usually automated to make them simple)

 

We like:

Siemens EQ.600 Automatic Coffee MachineThe Siemens EQ.6

You’ll have to shop around to get this feature packed German engineered coffee machine for less than R10 000. It offers full automation and one touch espresso, espresso macchiato, americano, cappuccino, latte macchiato, caffe latte, flat white, cafe cortado, milk foam, warm milk, and hot water.

Coffee is made using the constant brewing temperature provide by its proprietary SensoFlow system. You can select two different grind and brew processes to change the strength and characteristics of your coffee. Milk settings can also be altered to suit your exacting needs.

The machine also has some features not usually found on models under R10 000, notably ceramic grinding blades. Then we like the auto steam clean after every use and the very intuitive and easy to use display.

Currently sold at: www.loot.co.za for R9999.00 (inclusive of VAT)

 

De Longhi Magnifica Coffee MachineThe DeLonghi Magnifica Automatic Espresso

The well known DeLonghi range delivers its Magnifica into our selection. Compact and very suitable for homes, the bean container holds 200g and it has options for a ground coffee to be added manually. As with many other automatics, DeLonghi makes cleaning easy with automated rinse, clean and descaling programmes.

The grinder is a conical steel burr grinder with multiple settings for different grind profiles and it can offer single and double cups at the same time.

Currently sold at: Makro for R8499.00 (inclusive of VAT)

 

Philips Series 3200 Automatic Espresso MachineThe Philips Series 3200 Automatic Espresso Machine

Our final choice is made by Philips – no stranger to the world of quality electrical goods.

We like the special touches in this machine like the flat ceramic grinder blades and slightly bigger bean hopper at 275g. Control over your drinks is set out on an easy to use display and allows for 3 coffee strengths (and 12 grind settings), 3 volume settings and 3 milk foam settings.

The machine ceaning is realy simple and parts like milk container are easily removed. A big positive is that milk is dispensed direct from the milk container so there are no tubes to clean. With a 250ml mik canister and 1.8l water tank, this machine will prove a reliable and useful addition to any kitchen.

Currently sold at: Makro for R8499.00 (inclusive of VAT)

 

So there we have it. Four categories of coffee machine that are very different from each other and our top three choices in each category. You may differ in what you consider to be a great coffee machine and we’d appreciate hearing what you think! Drop us a line at reviews@frontiercoffee.co.za to share your views or call us to get new ideas and advice. Please always look at your needs before deciding which would be your top choice when buying one.

Happy coffee drinking whatever type, brand and model of coffee machine you decide to buy!