Best coffee machines in Australia: The top home espresso machines in 2024

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

If you're like any of us here at TechRadar, drinking instant coffee makes you feel like Rocky chugging raw eggs before a run on the train tracks – tough and ready to face the day, but not the tasty, heartwarming brew you're looking for. On the other end of the cost-taste spectrum, you've got the bank account-crippling but taste bud-invigorating cafe coffee that tastes so good it's almost worth the money. 

Investing in one of the best coffee machines can mean the perfect balance between taste and money spent, cutting out the takeaway cold brews while not attacking your mouth with a cup of coffee that would be more fitting around a colonial campfire.You deserve better than that. So, if like us hard-working coffee lovers here at TechRadar you look forward to your daily coffee(s), do it the right way.

While we think any of the machines below are worth purchasing, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself to find the one for you: how much free space you have, how much time, how you like your coffee and, of course, your budget. Your answers are going to heavily factor into which coffee machine you choose.

We know what you're thinking. We’re talking about saving money, while introducing you to coffee machines that range from just under AU$200 to well over AU$1,000. 

Even on the lower end, coffee machines aren't cheap. Having said that, let's say you buy AU$5 barista-made coffee three times a week. In just one year, that's AU$780. Heck, a large instant coffee that takes you two months to use (rookie numbers) still adds up by the end of the year.

Point being: a coffee machine is worth it.

The main consideration when it comes to which type of machine is right for you is time. Or more specifically, effort. How much of a coffee connoisseur (ahem snob) are you? Does the coffee-making process excite you? Do you want to meticulously grind your beans, steam the milk and work on your latte art? Or, do you want to get the best-tasting coffee you can in as little time as possible? Both are valid, but you don't want to be stuck with a machine that needs time to brew the perfect cup of joe when you barely have time to breathe in the morning. Nor do you want a full automated pod machine if you want to be more hands-on.

Whether you like your coffee black or white, tall or short, hot or cold, there's a coffee machine out there for you. We've done the hard work so that you can just sit back and choose which one is for you. And don't worry, we've tried and tested them all – though not all at once. We don't drink that much coffee.

Written By
Joel Burgess
Written By
Joel Burgess

Joel has been the in-house benchmark monkey for the Australian TechRadar team and Australia’s two biggest tech magazines (APC and TechLife) since 2014. 

In between compiling giant spreadsheets of the top performing laptops, Joel has developed a keen interest in getting granular with consumer hardware. If he’s not pushing a gaming rig to its limits, he’ll be pressure testing the latest home coffee machine or digging into the science behind air purifiers.

The quick list

Want to cut to the chase and find out what the best coffee machines are? Below is a list of the best devices for different needs and budgets, offering a more detailed review of every pick for anyone who wants to dig a little deeper, along with our price comparison tool to help you find the best deals on the best machines.

The best coffee machines 2024

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best coffee machines in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

Best overall

The Breville Barista Touch Impress coffee machine with coffee cup pouring espresso.

Image Credit: Future (Image credit: Future)

1. Breville the Barista Touch Impress

The best manual coffee machine for all skill levels

Reasons to buy

+
Cafe-level coffee
+
Auto dose grinder
+
Automatic milk frothing 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

If you want better coffee at home, but don’t really have the time or motivation to learn how to be a barista, then Breville’s new Barista Touch Impress is built specifically for you. The company has done a lot of research into the main pain-points of manual coffee machines for first-time users and has pieced together a set of clever technologies into a machine that requires no existing coffee knowledge or barista experience.

The Breville Barista Touch Impress combines the user-friendly assisted tamping and auto-dosing of the 2022 Barista Express Impress with the intuitive touchscreen and automatic milk frothing of the Barista Touch to make the simplest manual coffee machine for first-time users available. 

The integrated grinder and tamping mechanism gives you feedback on how much coffee is going into your basket and the touchscreen provides prompts on exactly what settings you need to change in order to grind the perfect amount at the optimum coarseness. When this info is combined with advice on what to do if the shot takes too long or finishes early, you get a coffee grinding feedback system that can easily be dialled-in for excellent coffee by anyone after just one run of the machine.

It’s also excellent at making cafe-level milk, whether you know how to froth it or not. The Barista Touch Impress is best at turning full-cream cow’s milk into perfectly aerated coffee milk, but one of the headline features is that the new Auto MilQ system comes with customised steam presets that allow you to make great oat, soy or almond milks for your coffee as well. The automatic wand and temperature gauge combine to deliver good quality milk without you having to learn any milk folding techniques. 

When you combine all these features you get excellent manual-machine level coffee that anyone can easily make by following prompts and pushing a few buttons. If you are a trained barista using a dual-boiler manual machine it’s possible to make better coffee faster… but the difference isn’t big enough to not be tempted by all the added conveniences of the Barista Touch Impress. 

It’s expensive, but there isn’t another device around that you can use without any skill that’ll make better coffee, which makes the Barista Touch Impress the best all-round home coffee machine for everyone in our eyes. 

Best pod machine

The Morning Machine pouring a coffee shot

Image Credit: Future (Image credit: Future)

2. The Morning Machine

A pod coffee machine that makes café level espresso shots

Reasons to buy

+
Cafe-level coffee
+
Great single-origin selection
+
Easy pod machine

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs a better milk solution

Pod coffee is an amazingly convenient solution for instant espresso at home, but, as convenient as it is, there’s always been a noticeable difference between it and what you can get from a café. That’s not really the case any more thanks to The Morning Machine, a Singaporean start-up coffee company that’s brought the pod machine into the home-barista era. 

The Morning Machine is the first pod machine to offer customisable pressure and temperature controls, advanced brewing functionalities and a set of scales for getting the perfect output. These features allow independent single origin coffee roasters to customise a brew schedule for the pods they sell in the Morning marketplace, a combination that delivers a level of flavour that hasn’t been possible from pods before. 

The pod machine is connected to a smartphone app that allows you to order or schedule coffee pods from a wide range of Australian and international coffee roasters and then select and make the coffee using a routine customised by the roaster — All at the push of a button. 

The company has partnered with Subliminal which offers a coffee foaming stick, but you have to heat the milk on a stove first, so it’s not the same level of ease currently. There is a crowdfunding campaign for a milk heating and foaming jug called the NanoFoamer Pro, but this won’t be available till later in the year… so you’ll have to look to a third party if you need milk straight away. 

Even with this caveat this machine offers enough of an improvement over standard coffee pods to be well worth the top pod machine position. When you consider the level of coffee produced and the minimal effort involved in setup, it may actually be even better than a manual machine for tasting a wide range of single origin coffee. 

Best budget machine

Breville The Barista Express

Image Credit: Future (Image credit: Breville)

3. Breville The Barista Express

The best home coffee machine for baristas on a budget

Reasons to buy

+
Cafe-level coffee
+
Auto dose grinder
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
Milk wand slow

If you’re here, you are probably looking to up your home coffee game and for those willing to learn a bit of the craft you can get home coffee machines that are good enough to never have to leave the house for coffee again. 

The Barista Express has been the best entry level espresso machine on the market for some time now and there’s a number of reasons why. In a nutshell, it was one of the first to be able to do everything you need to make cafe quality at home, without costing too much.  

The first killer feature of the Barista express is the grinder. A good grinder is critical for espresso as you need to grind beans fine enough to create the pressure for great coffee. The Barista Express grinder has a generous hopper, ample grind-size settings and an adjustable grind amount that lets you set-and-forget for perfect dosage at the push of a button. 

The Barista Express has an easily accessible magnetic mounted tamper to compress and level the grinds and full size group head that can deliver up to 15 bar of pressure to the 54mm portafilter. This is enough pressure to produce good crema from even slightly stale beans (when grinded finely) and the pressure gauge makes it simple to understand if you have the right coarseness and amount of coffee for any shot. It even preallocates shot volumes so you don’t end up with too much coffee if you get the grind dose wrong. 

The Breville Barista Express is a single boiler machine, which means you will have to wait till you're finished a shot before you can start frothing milk. It even takes about 10 or so seconds after turning on the steamer to get up a full head of steam, but once going there’s enough pressure to fold milk like a pro.

For anyone wanting café level coffee there’s no better value first step than the Breville Barista Express. It is a manual machine so for the best results you will have to learn a little about coffee making, but this machine turns a complicated ‘art’ into a more-than-manageable process to do at home.

Best one cup pod machine

Lavazza Deséa

Image Credit: Future (Image credit: Future)

4. Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa

A pod coffee machine that makes it all in the one mug.

Reasons to buy

+
Convenient
+
Fast
+
Easy cleaning

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited flavour potential
-
Fewer coffee options

If you’re going for a pod coffee machine, especially a top dollar one, then you can safely assume that convenience is up there with your most important considerations — and what could be more convenient than a coffee assembled directly in the mug you’re going to drink from? 

While your leading pod coffee machines will generally come with a dedicated milk frothing machine, they’re usually only large enough to make milk for one coffee, so Lavazza’s decision to froth milk directly in the mug and then add the coffee shot to it is actually pretty ingenious.  

Simply add the amount of milk you want to the included Deséa mug (it has levels for different styles of coffee), insert a pod into the top chamber and press the corresponding coffee button and you’ll end up with the finished product in about a minute. 

The output was a little hot for us, but considering the number of people who need to singe the top layer of their tastebuds in order to enjoy a coffee, it’s likely to be about the temperature that most people would want. It even has a temperature boost button for anyone planning on waiting a bit before drinking their coffee. 

There are three presets for espresso sizes and a free pour button, in addition to three milk coffee options and a setting for just frothing hot or cold milk. These options should include enough variety to please most and the coffee pods taste pretty good against other pod machines. 

It’s worth pointing out that there’s still a big difference in flavour between this and what you can make on today’s best manual coffee machines for the home, but the Deséa is a lot less effort. 

If you want to use your own mugs or you're making more than one coffee, the Deséa mug might seem redundant and unappealing. That said, it’s not the end of the world to transfer the coffee into a different mug. You still get the benefit of a dishwasher safe milk frothing glass. A welcome change for anyone who’s tried to clean caked milk from around the heating element in a milk frother. 

The milk texturing and steam heating system is all contained in a removable lid for the Deséa glass mug, which makes it easy to take out and clean. The system does a good job of adding texture to milk, for an automatic machine and the cup size is generous enough to have as much milk as you’d want. 

While the range of pods isn't the most extensive and there doesn't seem to be any recycling programs available for spent pods, you can at least set up convenient recurring subscriptions for around $0.70 per coffee pod. 

Best Nespresso pod machine

Pod Nespresso machine on white bench

Image Credit: Future (Image credit: Nespresso)

5. Nespresso Vertuo Pop

Nespresso's big pod system in an even more compact form

Reasons to buy

+
Convenient
+
Fast
+
More environmentally aware

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited flavour potential
-
Pods are expensive

Nespresso added this sleek Vertuo coffee machine to its line-up in March 2023. The colourful Pop range is big on personality while minimising the overall footprint of the coffee machine for those kitchens tight on space. The Vertuo Pop is made from 35% recycled plastic and the company has done a fair bit of work to make it easier to recycle used capsules and reduce the overall environmental impact of the system. 

Nespresso is still expensive as far as coffee goes, costing about the same per shot as beans from your premium local roaster. The Vertuo range of coffee pods were also designed to cater to individuals who prefer a more ‘Americano’ style coffee that can fill a 414ml cup without milk. So if you’ve got a Nespresso Classic machine and you like local flat whites then there’s really no need to switch.   

There’s only 7.2 grams of coffee in a standard 40ml Nespresso Vertuo capsule, which is roughly a third the amount of coffee a café would use to produce a similar shot. Nespresso has done a great job in stretching the flavour of these shots, but these kinds of proportions are only going to be able to take you so far towards good tasting coffee. If you’re looking for café quality coffee at home, you'll have to look elsewhere. 

The Pop range does offer a pro mode that will reduce the volume of coffee output depending on the type of pod to give you a more intense shot of flavour that will be better for coffee enjoyed with milk. I tested the pop with the new Bianco Piccolo range that, according to Nespresso, was designed for the Australian coffee palette, but even this more concentrated blend just doesn’t deliver the same viscosity and flavour as something made with 18g of coffee (or more) per shot. 

The Vertuo Pop delivers coffee is still a major step forward from instant and many plunger coffees and you can get it for a fraction of the price of a manual or automatic bean-to-cup device. It's also exceptionally simple to use, fast and doesn’t require any oversight, so there’s plenty to like.