We had such a positive response to “The 2021 Guide to Coffee Machines Under R10 000 in South Africa” that we are publishing our 2022 guide just for you!
Times remain tough, but we all need that little “something special” in our lives, and decent coffee is exactly that!
Getting decent coffee is not as easy as it sounds though. When we put our imported Dallmayr coffee through various coffee machines, we get very different results! So, not all coffee machines are the same and when you buy one, we don’t want you to have to sell a kidney (that’s illegal by the way!) nor end up disappointed. What coffee machine can you buy for less than R10 000 in 2022?
We look here at coffee capsule machines, manual espresso coffee machines, filter coffee machines, and automatic coffee machines. So, what are they and what are their differences? What do we like about them and what do we think could be better? 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 were correct on 11 January 2022.
Our Top 3 Filter Coffee Machines
Simple to use, these coffee makers require you to add a few scoops of ground coffee into a filter coffee basket with a fine material sieve or filter paper. The machine drips hot water over the ground coffee and voila… the clear hot water turns into coffee!
- Low price
- Simple to operate
- Can produce up to12 cups of coffee at a time
- Can be messy when removing used grounds
- Ground coffee needs to be stored well to avoid staleness
- Difficult to brew small quantities (try using a plunger like Bodum if you want a single cup)
In 2021 we picked the Defy Inox 1.8l filter coffee machine. We liked its 24-month warranty and anti-drip feature. We still do… but this year we take the economy into account and opt for the Safeway filter coffee machine. It comes with a reusable filter and a jug warmer. A simple yet solid coffee maker at a really great price.
Currently sold at Clicks for R449.00 (inclusive of VAT)
Russel Hobbs Elegance
The Technivorm Moccanmaster Cup-One was our pick in 2021, but this year we are going with this Russel Hobbs model.
Why? We like the fact that it has a re-useable filter and the anti-drip mechanism allows you to pour a cup while the machine is still brewing (sometimes you just cannot wait!). The auto switch on function allows you to arrive at the machine with one eye still closed, hair in a mess… and have a pot of coffee ready for you!
Currently sold at Takealot for R798.00 (inclusive of VAT)
The Avenia Pourover
Again, we stick with the 2021 choice. It is a commercial machine and we like the stainless steel look and feel. It looks clean and it is easy to keep clean.
Operating it is a breeze and it is built for higher usage environments. It will make 2l of coffee in 7 minutes and keep 4l of coffee hot using an extra heating pad on top of the machine. You’ll find this machine will make coffee making easy in offices, hotels, and restaurants.
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:
- Hassle free single cup operation
- Many different coffee types to choose from
- Relatively low cost for the coffee machine
- 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)
The 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-liter 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 R6999.99 (inclusive of VAT)
The 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)
The Nespresso Essenza and Aerocinno
Somewhere between the onboard 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 R2999.99 (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 handmade 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.
- 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
- 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.
The 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 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 R2199.00 (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.
The 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-liter 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 R3899.00 (inclusive of VAT)
The SMEG Espresso Coffee Machine
So, we are on the ropes price-wise with our second choice… but we can just bring the grinder and machine in under R10 000. We had to include the SMEG on its features and of course, the characteristic retro SMEG look.
It is just packed full of features like a water hardness and descaling indicator, 1-liter water tank, milk frother, coffee temperature, and flow stop settings, and options for 1 or 2 cups and even coffee pods. 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 R7499.00 (inclusive of VAT)
Our Top Automatic Coffee Machine
There is something very satisfying about just pressing a single button and coming back to a well-prepared coffee. No effort is 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?
- 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)
- 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)
The 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 cleaning is really simple and parts like milk containers are easily removed. A big positive is that milk is dispensed directly from the milk container so there are no tubes to clean. With a 250ml milk 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 machines 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 email@example.com 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, or model of coffee machine you decide to buy!