Sure, George Clooney might root for the Nespresso, but the Morning coffee machine is what I'd imagine David Gandy uses every morning... if he had one of the best pod coffee machines. Anyway, daydream over — you want the deets, I'll give you them.
The Morning coffee machine is slicker than your average pod machine, it's rated our best small coffee maker for a reason. So if you've turned your nose up at a capsule coffee machine before because of its large size, read on to reconsider this pod machine if a bean-to-cup gadget is out of budget or too big for your kitchen scheme.
The market is saturated with pods ranging from fruity to spicy to biscuity, so why should you treat them the same? With the Morning coffee machine, you can adapt several variables to create a truly multifaceted drink with a depth of flavor.
Morning Coffee Machine | $384 / £349
Welcome to the future of coffee. With this machine, you can customize your coffee way beyond length and what syrup you'd like, if any. Truly experience the taste of coffee right from the pod. By making small tweaks to the machine, you can have cafe-grade coffee that rivals the taste of freshly-ground beans.
TLDR: What I thought of the Morning Coffee Machine
Unlike some other pod machines, which have limited compatibility, we loved the broad range of capsules you can insert into this machine. It's a great way to explore different roasts and blends from independent specialty roasters. Plus, the packaging of these coffee caps is super up our street. They even have a roaster that does a "half-caff" — a 50:50 blend of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee — which is perfect for someone like me who wants the subtle buzz without my heart going at 100 miles an hour.
Testing the Morning Coffee Machine
There's a big misconception that pod machines are a little basic. When using this coffee machine, you can calibrate how much water you make your drink with. The precision controls in the console allow you to switch up the volume, pressure, water temperature, coffee flow rate, infusion time, and blooming cycles. It even registers when you've placed your cup in position and how much your coffee weighs. Def a strong contender in the pod or bean-to-cup machine debate.
Even after you've made your coffee, the machine collects data and sends it to your app to keep you updated on water filter info and tips on how to extend the life of your machine. Oh, and you can either manually push a button or set your app to make it for you.
The app is where you can really geek out and see the roaster's recommendations on making the perfect brew. Yes, you can push and go, but if you want to create a *chef's kiss* creation, take some notes from the pros. There are tons of ways to brew a pod that allow you to customize the strength and flavor profile to taste. If you're not a coffee drinker, fear not, as this machine also has a dedicated tea pod setting for gently brewing chai and matcha.
Christina and Millie, our head of reviews, analyzed this coffee maker in Real Homes' test kitchen. This large-scale facility allows staff from Future Plc to review a wide selection of products at the same time, comparing and contrasting features. There are no white lab coats involved though. If anything, we're in tracksuits, sneakers, and comfies to ensure we're set for the job at hand. Oh, and a good Spotify playlist is essential!
The (really) techy stuff
This is the part where we list the specifications, but honestly, this machine astounds us with how smart it is. For the sake of the review, we'll keep things relatively short, though each feature warrants a whole review in itself.
• Weight: 9.9 lb / 4.5 kg
• Dimensions: L40.2 cm x W10.2 cm x H25.5 cm
• Water tank capacity: 28.7 fl oz / 850 ml
• Used capsule bin capacity: 8–10 capsules
• Adjustable cup height: 15 cm (with drip tray), 25 cm (without drip tray)
• OLED interface: 128 x 32 display
• Capsule compatibility: Nespresso OriginalLine capsules and third-party compatible capsules
• Mobile app: Works with iOS devices running version 10.0 and later, and Android devices running version 5.0 and later.
• Cost to run per hour: 19c / 44p
• Max pressure: 20 bar
• Pump: 20 MPa, 120 V, 60 Hz or 230 V, 50 Hz
• Output control: 1 g steps 1 g~250 g
• Temperature control: 75°C–98°C, in 1°C increments
• Connectivity: Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
First impressions of the Morning coffee machine
NGL, there was an audible chorus of oohs and ahhs when we pulled this one out of the packaging. We were sent the black model, but it comes in an equally appealing (and of course, Instagrammable) white, too, if you're looking for that modern clean girl/Scandi aesthetic when buying the best coffee machine to suit your kitchen.
Unboxing the Morning coffee machine
Often when we get to our Reading test kitchen, a few of my colleagues may have already set up a few coffee machines, so on this occasion, I wasn't able to get a pic of the unboxing process, but if you want to manage expectations on how much plastic packaging it contains, or what you need to do to assemble the Morning coffee machine, watch this helpful video they've uploaded on Instagram. Complete with cute lo-fi music for all the fuzzy coffee shop feels.
How to use the Morning coffee machine
First of all, you'll want to clean your coffee machine. This involves running a purge program. Then, it's time to fill it with water. The neat thing here is that it comes with an inbuilt TDS meter. Which, if you read our ZeroWater review, you'll know this stands for total dissolved solids. So whether you live in a hard water area with high mineral content or not, the coffee machine will cleverly calibrate your tap or filtered water to optimal brewing levels.
Once you're all set, insert your capsule, and move on to the more sciencey part of osmosis and extraction.
Making espresso using the Morning coffee machine
We thought we'd start the day, quite literally, with a short, strong espresso. It's the foundation for all coffee-flavored beverages and was super easy to make. As you can see in the video below, it takes about 10 seconds (once you insert the capsule in the chute), and my colleague and I were pleasantly surprised by the cute beep it made to tell us when it was ready.
"Ooh, that's a nice sound," says Molly Cleary, ecommerce editor of our sister site Ideal Home. This wasn't staged... it really was a candid moment that I just happened to catch on camera.
Above, I shot a quick snap of how easy it is to place the capsules into the coffee machine and where you can expect to find the spent pods. As a Nespresso-compatible machine, you can recycle your used caps and use the coffee grounds for gardening (hello window box), or how about using coffee to clean your kitchen? (Spoiler alert: it works.)
How to descale the Morning coffee machine?
The manufacturers recommend cleaning your coffee machine at least once a year. It's quite intuitive in the sense that it'll prompt you to descale the machine after 600 cups. You may use existing descaling products in the market, including the Nespresso Descaling Kit or the Caffenu Descaling Kit — both of which you can get on Amazon.
How does it compare to other coffee machines?
Generally speaking, the good thing with a pod coffee machine is that you get consistent coffee every time. This is because a pod contains a uniform amount of ground coffee, and the settings on most home machines often don't allow you to play around with the settings as much as the Morning coffee machine does.
Having evaluated this against all the other machines I've tested, this is definitely one of the more high-tech appliances, and where innovation might be appreciated by some buyers, it may irritate others.
If you just want a good-looking machine, with decent ethical coffee, go for the Hotel Chocolat Podster (read our Podster review for more information). It still ticks the boxes for that clean aesthetic, and if you use its Rabot Estate pods you'll be using coffee blends developed ethically by cacao roasters.
Looking for an elegant machine with a built-in milk frother? The Breville One-Touch CoffeeHouse II or Nespresso Latissma (second left above) might suit your morning routine a little better.
Should you buy the Morning coffee machine?
If you're a foodie that finds yourself tweaking recipes over and over again until they're just right, you'll love this machine. It allows you to evaluate all the nuances and tasting notes and modify your drink as you see fit. You might recognize a bit more of a balanced flavor (less acidity) and a better mouthfeel if you're really savoring it.
However, if you're not that type (and just see any coffee as fuel), it might not be for you, and you could get away with a simpler and cheaper machine if we're being brutally honest.
Best looking one-touch pod coffee machine
Type: Pod machine
Pressure: 19 bar
Capacity: 0.7 liters
Dimensions: L13.8" x W6.3" x H9.3"
Temperature: 70°C (optimized temperature for best-tasting results)
Power: 1140 W–1365 W
Colors: Charcoal and copper/rose gold
Best hybrid machine for ground coffee or pods
Type: Ground coffee or Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pods
Pressure: 19 bar
Capacity: 1.4-liter water reservoir / 0.6-liter milk reservoir
Dimensions: 32.4cm x 22.1cm x 37.1cm
Color options: White, navy, or gray
Settings: Pre-set espresso, latte & cappuccino, manual milk frother, manual espresso, cleaning
Best small-scale pod coffee machine with milk frother
Dimensions: H10.07” x W6.05” x D12.75”
Weight: 9.3 pounds
Pump Pressure: 19-bar pump pressure system
Heating Prep Time: 25–40 seconds
Warranty: Two years
About this review and the reviewer
Christina Chrysostomou is our ecommerce editor and resident foodie. You're bound to hear from her on a Monday morning telling you about the latest culinary adventure, whether it's trying out a restaurant she'd finally got a reservation for or stumbling across a food market in London or Essex. Her favorite coffee shop is Monmouth Coffee in Borough Market, though if she's in Spitalfields she opts for a spicy Masala Chai from Chai Guys.