Are integrated coffee machines any good?
The majority of built-in coffee machines are just a form of filter machine or bean to cup machine but don’t take up room on your kitchen worktop. There isn’t much to separate the two in terms of efficiency, as most will deliver a similar taste.
The only limitation may be the cup size you can use. As they are built-in, the space to put your cups will be pretty enclosed rather than sitting on an open drip tray. For this reason, standard sized cups are the best option, and taller or broader mugs may be difficult to negotiate.
How do I clean a built-in coffee machine?
The water, coffee bean and milk container will likely all be removable for easy refilling, so can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher if they are dishwasher safe.
Some of those we reviewed are self-cleaning, so every time they are turned on and off, they will clean themselves by circulating hot water and steam throughout the internal parts and the milk frother. There may still be the need to programme a clean in every so often, however.
Those which aren’t self-cleaning will have their own settings you can manually choose; it is just a matter of remembering to do it pretty much daily if it is used all the time.
Like any other electrical coffee machine, it will need descaling periodically too. How often this needs doing depends on the device, how it works and what kind of water you are using. Hard tap water will allow limescale to build up faster, and filtered bottled water could prolong the build-up.
Do I need to plumb my integrated coffee machine in?
All of those we have reviewed do not need plumbing in, so there is a removable water tank which you refill with tap or bottled water. This makes installation easier, and may also open up the options for positioning of the coffee machine if you’ve not yet decided on placement.
Those which need plumbing in are usually a bit more restricted in terms of placement, but it could be an option if you don’t want to refill a tank every few uses.
Tanks are available ranging from a 1L capacity to almost 3L, so if refilling is an issue or you make a lot of coffee, a large capacity tank may be easier than getting a plumbed-in device.