Sage the Oracle
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Let’s admit it we all love coffee! Most of us are even addicted to it and we drink it each and every day, in the morning preferably, and strong at that. There has been a recent trend I have noticed that most of us tend to go to our local coffee shop to get our daily dose of java, however that can get pretty costly and it is extremely worthy to invest in a quality coffee maker for your house or office to decrease your everyday coffee costs.
If you make simple math you will see that the machine will pay for itself in a short period of time. Also, you don’t have to worry about it, since most of the machines will deliver the same quality of coffee that your local barista makes.
However, there are a wide variety of types of coffee makers or machines you can choose from, and it can get a little frustrating to choose the one that fits your needs the most. There are drip coffee makers, espresso machines, pot coffee makers, and so on, and also all of them need ground coffee to pump out java, meaning you have to invest in a grinder as well to make your daily coffee.
However, to make everything simple for you coffee machine manufacturers have developed some excellent machines that have grinders integrated into their bodies to deliver you a fully automated coffee making process. While some may argue that this is pointless since you can buy ground coffee, we know that the taste and smell of freshly ground coffee is simply priceless. Having ground coffee stays in the package for even hours will take the essential flavors and taste go away, so this is the best possible solution to drink an amazing cup of coffee every single day.
Then again there are different types of coffee makers with integrated grinders, some of them make your simple but solid drip coffee and the others can make your artisan espresso, and there are a few other factors you should check out before buying a single cup coffee maker with grinder. Today I’m going to inform you about what should you be careful and know about a coffee maker with a built-in grinder before buying it, without further ado, let’s get on with it.
As I mentioned earlier you can get a coffee maker with grinder or as I like to call them 2-in-1 machines for simplicity’s sake, in two types, and this will decision will depend on your personal taste, preference and budget, since you will see that these two types are two different animals and initial costs vary a lot.
If you choose to buy a 2-in-1 espresso machine you probably know a lot about coffee and want to produce different specialty drinks. However, you should also be prepared and have to know that these machines can cost a lot, and they are called automatic, or super-automatic espresso machines. On top of that they require tons of maintenance, such as regular cleaning, descaling, and tons of other tricks, this also leads to the learning curve that you have to take over before starting to produce heavenly drinks. But then again with this kind of machine you have tons of freedom to provide different drinks and to prepare them to fit your preference since there are tons of factors that you can experiment with.
Some of these factors may include the grinder settings, which is essential in espresso brewing and it is one of the hardest parts of making pristine espresso, also this is what separates the pros from the amateurs. You will be aware of the moisture in no time without using any instrument in no time. If you want to make milky drinks like cappuccinos and lattes, you will also need to learn about how to control the steam want and froth the milk, but some super-automatic machines do this alone, so it will depend.
Next up we have the drip coffee machine, and in my opinion, this is a fail-safe choice and you will get good coffee every single time. A simple and delicious classic cup of coffee every single time consistently, there is not a lot of maintenance apart from the regular cleaning and overall are cheaper than espresso machines. The most advantageous part of 2-in-1 drip coffee machines is that you can brew more than one cup of coffee at once, and you are not limited to a single or two shots of espresso at once since some machines brew a full pot of coffee. But that is as far as customization of your drink goes, maybe some machines offer coffee strength selection but that is it.
Before buying a 2-in-1 coffee machine you should also check the dimensions that you can accommodate in your kitchen or your office countertop since most of these machines are heavy and not as portable as you would like. Make sure to measure the height width and depth of the machine carefully and see if it would fit into your intended space, and also make sure to leave some free space for maintenance and other stuff.
After you have taken care of the dimensions, take a look at the hopper size specs of the machine you are planning to buy. While you may think that this is not as important, it is, since you can place larger batches of coffee in the hopper which will keep it fresh and ready to go at all times.
Like any coffee connoisseur can tell you, your coffee will be as good as your water’s purity. So check if the machine has built-in filters and if not consider installing one to your water source. If the machine that you intend to buy has a built-in water filter, you will also have to check out if it is a replaceable or a permanent one. This is also pretty crucial, since the replaceable filters will be nuisance time and time again, and on top of that it is not as environment-friendly. However, opting for a machine with a built-in permanent filter that only requires cleaning from time to time, will be the best choice for you and the environment, and we should be really careful about that.
This is one of the most important things you should check out after you have decided what kind of machine you want to buy. While most of the manufacturers will state that their machine is very easy to clean and maintain it is not the case every time, and you should check out user reviews and buying guides, to give you a good idea of how the process goes, and whether or not it is worth the hassle. A good way to check out how the cleaning process goes is to check out various YouTube videos and if you can’t find one for your machine, reading the user-manual will tell you exactly how the process is intended to go.
We got the first part of our 2-in-1 machines out of the way, now for the second part, the grinder. There are generally two types of grinders you may spot out in the market that may use some different materials and I want to give you some good information to make sure that you choose the one that fits your needs the most, but the type and the material of the grinder will also affect the price of the coffee machine.
This is the simplest and the most common choice of grinder you can get, and most of the people think that this is the only way that coffee is ground. These grinders work by utilizing blades that spin fast enough to crush the beans of your coffee, and these are the cheapest ones you can get. While this may be good enough for your drip coffee, they won’t deliver the needed consistency for your artisan espresso, and due to the heat and friction they may spoil your beans and take away the taste, which is no Bueno. But for a drip coffee machine, this is the most popular choice and it will be pretty good enough without raising the costs, oh, and without forgetting these are also louder than the others.
First off I should mention that these types of grinders are pretty costly, however, they deliver premium and consistent grinding every single time. Essentially these grinders have a spinning disc grinds the beans against a disc that stays still. This is essentially pretty slow, however, it is very consistent and you can achieve perfect results every single time without worrying about it. Like I said earlier the disadvantages of this type of grinder are its speed and cost, but for those that are very nitpicky about their coffee this is the perfect choice
This is also very important to know before buying a grinder, as the material of the burr or the blade will affect your coffee. Steel will naturally be able to hold up better than other materials however, some baristas argue that the steel heats up quicker and affects the taste of the coffee by striping the essential oils and flavors from the beans. However, there is nothing proven here, and while it may affect it is not a big difference, and steel is generally cheaper than ceramic.
This is also considered a premium or a luxury choice, and I think coffee ground in a ceramic grinder tastes just a tad better than the steel ones, but the difference is not significant and an untrained mouth will not notice any difference. Some argue that there is no difference after all, but if you have the funds, why not go for the premium choice.
First off, we are going to take a look at the Breville the Barista Express, which is an amazing machine delivering solid 2-in-1 espresso machine experience complete with a burr grinder. While it may look pretty expensive for an espresso machine with a built-in burr grinder it is an entry-level model. But if you can afford it this semi-automatic model will deliver the coffee of your dreams.
Like a proper 2-in-1, the Breville the Barista Express is extremely easy to use, however, you should still take a learning curve when you first take this machine into your hands. What is even more important this machine gives you plenty of freedom when it comes to controlling the results of your coffee.
However, my favorite feature of the Breville the Barista Express is that it has a heat exchange boiler system that allows you to steam milk and brew espresso at the same time, without losing pressure and maintaining a consistent temperature. It is worth stating that the burr-grinder delivers excellent and consistent grinds every time and allows you to customize the size of your grind precisely.
It delivers perfect espresso every single time, and I was seriously impressed with the results, the steam wand was excellent as well as it was able to froth the milk properly, delivering creamy milk every single time. On top of that, the device is extra durable and very easy to clean, and you will know exactly when you have to steam the device. The cleaning kit just makes things easier than ever and the company has even made a video on how to clean it.
Next up we have an excellent single-cup coffee maker with grinder in our hands, and it is a drip coffee maker, coming in form Viante, the Mini Grind, and Brew. The biggest feature of this model is that it is pretty cheap and it is the most aesthetically pleasing machine in our list, and on top of that it delivers great brews every single time, this mini brewer delivers everything you may look for.
First, off I have to state that the Viante Mini Grind and Brew is a compact machine measuring just 8×6.5×10.5-inches in total and weighs just 5-pounds in total. This means that you can place it anywhere you like, giving you plenty of freedom when decorating your kitchen. It is also worth mentioning that the Viante Mini Grind and Brew has a pretty sleek and modern design with its stainless steel front panel and shape that looks very aesthetically pleasing.
The Viante Mini Grind and Brew have a built-in blade grinder that is pretty fast, and it does a good job of not overheating the beans and delivering a good grinding performance consistently, for a blade grinder at least. The washable filter sits inside the brewing unit, and the whole unit is removable, making cleaning and maintaining extremely easy to do so.
The Viante Mini Grind and Brew allows you to deliver great and excellent drip coffee throughout the day properly, and it also allows you to select the strength of your coffee.
Next up we have a super-automatic bean to cup espresso machine and is, in fact, one of the most impressive machines I have ever seen delivering pretty consistent results every time, the Saeco Incanto Carafe. This automated machine will brew excellent drinks and you don’t have to take a learning curve because this machine is capable of delicious drinks on its own just by the press of a button.
First off I want to talk about the quality of this product and I have to mention the premium Italian craftsmanship and materials used in this machine, you will notice the durability and robustness of this device right from the get-go and you don’t have to worry about anything at all. On top of that its ceramic burr grinders deliver perfect results every single time, and like I have mentioned earlier in this article, ceramic burr grinders are top of the class and are the best option for consistent grinding.
My favorite feature of this coffee machine is its Aqua Clean filter that will filter your water properly and ensures that every single cup stays the same. On top of that, we know that hard and unfiltered water can impact the lifetime of your machine.
The water reservoir of this machine can hold up to 54 ounces of water and the bean hopper has a capacity of up to 9 ounces of beans. In addition to all this, the Saeco Incanto Carafe is extremely programmable, including brew strength, grind size, water temperature, the length of the brewing and many more features.
Moving on we have a premium drip coffee maker coming up, the Cuisinart DGB-900BC. It is an excellent choice and it is a perfect choice for those that value their coffee. This 2-in-1 machine has also a burr grinder, plenty of programmable features, strength control dial, number of cups selector and many more features that will make it your favorite drip coffee maker in the market.
The Cuisinart DGB-900BC has a pretty pleasing design language coming up, as it has an elegant shape with a pretty minimal aesthetic vibe to it, it is tall and narrow, with rounded edges making it perfect. On top, you will see the transparent hopper, and it works great with the overall design, the device altogether measures 7.8×12.7×15.8-inches and weighs about 15 pounds in total. It is also worth mentioning that the whole device can be disassembled for easy cleaning and making your job way easier.
One of my favorite features of the Cuisinart DGB-900BC is that it is extremely easy to use, almost fool-proof to be exact. Everything is marked, and brewing coffee is easier than ever. On top of that, the addition of the burr grinder sets this device apart from its competition, as it delivers consistent results every single time.
The grind control feature is also perfect, so you can choose how many cups of coffee the machine brews and it is also pre-programmable, meaning that you can wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, and the strength selector just takes things to another level.
De’Longhi is one of the best espresso machine makers in the market, and we know that Italians know their espresso, and this time around the manufacturer has delivered a solid super-automatic machine making things even easier with the Magnifica. This machine is extremely easy to use, has perfect craftsmanship, is very easy to clean, a specialized call center with coffee machine specialists and many more.
I will dive straight into the features and performance of the De’Longhi Magnifica. This machine is extremely powerful and it delivers perfect espresso thanks to its professional-grade 15 bar pump that ensures the proper pressure to pump out delicious espresso day in day out, you can easily make espresso equal to that of your local barista.
My favorite feature is that the device is very easy to use and has one-touch controls that make brewing coffee an automated process, even for complicated milky drinks like cappuccinos, you just need to press a button, and put the pitcher with milk and it will froth it to perfection. However, my favorite thing about this device was that I could grind my beans precisely, and brew perfect espresso every morning, making me fall in love with this Italian beauty.
Like I said the De’Longhi Magnifica is very solid and delivers a full support team that will answer all your questions, and on top of that you also get a two-year guarantee with the product.
Black+Decker may not be a well-known brand in the coffee machine business since the brand is better known for its excellent power tools and home improvement tools. However, in recent years they have started providing some excellent kitchen appliances and that is why I have decided to include the Black+Decker CM5000B, which is also the cheapest machine in this list and delivers some excellent results despite its price suggesting otherwise.
The Black+Decker CM5000B is a very compact machine that will fit in every kitchen measuring 15.5×13.5×10-inches in total and has a weight of about 9 and a half pounds. It has a pretty pleasing design, which is very simplistic, and looks like it is ready to get its hands dirty and comes in 4 various finishes you can choose from including Red, White, Gray, Black and Gray, and Black.
This excellent 2-in-1 coffee maker has plenty of interesting features you can choose from including QuickTouch programming, which will allow you to control the device correctly and select the intended functioning without much thought. On top of that, the Black+Decker CM5000B has a 24-hour programmable auto brew feature, that allows you to wake up to freshly brewed drip coffee. THe sneak-a-cup option allows you to take a cup of coffee mid-brew without stopping the whole process.
Moving on we have another super-automatic espresso machine, the KRUPS EA8298 Espresseria. This machine is extremely easy to use and has very simple maintenance that even an amateur can do properly in just a few moments. On top of all that it has an integrated milk frother that means you can brew cappuccinos with the press of a button, the conical burr grinder delivers great grinding experience and the drinks from this machine are truly professional.
The KRUPS EA8298 Espresseria has a very interesting design that looks pretty good in my opinion with its hardened plastic body that has a black glossy finish on top of it. However, if you expect it to feel like a high-quality premium machine you will be disappointed, but then again, it is not realistic, since this is an entry-level super-automatic machine, and it has to make some compromise to deliver excellent performance.
You don’t need any words to describe how to use the KRUPS EA8298 Espresseria, as it is extremely easy to do so. It has a great set of simple buttons and functions but its digital display allows you to get the best possible brewing experience without complicating things. The rotary dial that is located right beneath the screen allows you to brew drinks without employing much thought.
The burr grinder delivers a solid grinding experience and it is very easy to brew a perfect cappuccino just by selecting the drink, and that makes this device one of the most convenient in the market.
Nearing the end of our list I have included a highly rated drip coffee maker with an integrated conical burr grinder in this list the Capresso 465 CoffeeTeam. We have seen another machine just like this on our list, however, this one is about half its price and delivers good quality coffee every single time. On top of that, it comes with a stainless steel carafe and you can pump out java for the whole office.
First off let’s talk about the design of the Capresso 465 CoffeeTeam which is pretty excellent in my opinion and is pretty versatile, what I mean by that is that you can put this coffee machine in every kitchen and it will fit right in with the design. It is also worth mentioning that it is pretty compact and will fit in most places, as it measures 9.75×9.5×15.5-inches in total and weighs about 9 pounds. It also has mainly a stainless steel construction that makes it very durable, and it will be by your side for a very long time.
The included stainless steel carafe makes the job easier as well, as it can keep the coffee hot for a long time, meaning that you can brew once for the whole day. However, my favorite feature of this device is its conical burr grinder that increases the quality of your coffee by delivering consistent grinds every time. It will pump out all the aromas and scents from your beans and the coffee will come out delicious.
Coupled with its excellent safety features, you can’t go wrong with the Capresso 465 CoffeeTeam.
As far as bean-to-cup espresso machines go, Italians make the best ones, and the Gaggia Velasca is no different. It is a great automatic machine that delivers great espresso, it is extra easy to maintain, is pretty compact and it delivers the most value for its price in this list, an ultra-capable machine without costing an arm and a leg.
The Gaggia Velasca has a luxury feel and look to it, with its matte-black hardened plastic body and an arched front panel that will look perfect in every kitchen. It is also pretty compact as it measures just 13.5×10.25×17-inches in total so it will fit under most cupboards and you can get creative with its placement. On the front panel of the device, you will notice a nice display that has some nice one-touch buttons around it, and the steam wand that delivers ample fun.
The hopper of this device has a capacity for 10-ounces of coffee beans, that is pretty good and there you will also spot the grinder controls that are needed for adjusting the grind coarseness. The control panel will provide you plenty of options to brew the perfect cup of espresso and you can also regulate the strength of your brew.
The single-shot espresso from this machine came out perfectly with tons of cream up top and just the right taste and scent. It was neither acidic nor overly burnt the temperature came just right and overall it was perfect. The steam wand was good as well and you can produce amazing drinks with this machine.
I have saved the best for last and I can quite comfortably say that this is the best bean-to-cup coffee machine you can get in the market produced by the UK manufacturer Sage by Heston Blumenthal, the Oracle. Even the name of this product is mighty and it delivers one of the best brewing experiences around, offering excellent espresso, a great mechanical feeling, automatic frothing and some great extra features making this your favorite coffee machine.
I want to start this by saying that the Sage the Oracle is a very expensive machine, but if you can afford it and want the best in the market, this is it. While this device is pretty large and bulky and it will need its own space to operate, and it will be all worth it in my opinion. This device is very well designed, however, and looks pretty good and powerful, thanks to its full stainless steel construction and finish that gives it an industrial vibe.
The initial setup of the Sage the Oracle is extremely easy since you can do it on your own in just a few minutes. The day-to-day operation of the Sage the Oracle is really excellent as you can brew an excellent cup of espresso in just a few moments as the device heats up pretty fast and this semi-automatic machine delivers tremendous espresso every single time, and thanks to its settings you can customize the taste, strength, and texture of your coffee perfectly.
Everything is perfect with this device, except its height, but it is a small price to pay in the journey to great espresso.
A: While there is no clear cut answer to this answer since the freshness is subjective and will depend on a lot of factors. However, for the sake of answering we will define fresh coffee by stating that it is a coffee that has not lost its caffeine, taste, and smell. If we go by that standard ground coffee will stay fresh for about a week, before going stale, but in my opinion, it can last just a few hours before losing its qualities.
A: I can comfortably answer this by stating that that coffee beans have gone bad when they smell a little musty, and once you brew your coffee you will notice that it smells a little dull and lifeless.
A: Well there is no clear cut answer to this question, but I can comfortably say that most of the Italian automatic espresso machines are built to perfection. But also some American machines are not so far behind in quality.
There you have it my java loving friends, I hope that I have provided you some much needed information about how a single cup coffee maker with grinder or a 2-in-1 or a bean to cup machine works, what you should know before buying one and what are some of the best options on the market.