Krups GVX 231 Burr Coffee Grinder - £39 from amazon.co.uk
For the nearest-to-perfect cup of coffee, there’s no way round it: you need to grind fresh from the bean. You’ll also need this machine, with its 17 settings from coarse to fine and the chance to pre-select the number of cups - from two to 12 - to cut down on waste.
Morphy Richards Red Accents Espresso Machine - £99.99 from morphyrichards.co.uk
However good freshly ground is, if you, like most people, are rather short on time first thing in the morning, then also having the option to pop in a coffee pod is quite appealing. Step forward this ‘best of both worlds’ machine, which gives you access to the ready-to-go coffee market but maintains its roots with a twin fresh coffee dispenser that operates and maintains a 15-bar pressure (the one Baristas boast about being ideal).
Aeropress - £25 from unionroasted.com
Those cafetiere/plunger based coffee machines make way too much mess, but thankfully there is an ingenious way to make extra smooth filter coffee more tidily. Many experts are backing this manually operated device as the best way to create a decent coffee in under 30 seconds; just load up your coffee in the chamber, stick in some hot water, wait 10 seconds and press the plunger. As you push, air pressure forces the brew through a filter and into your cup - without any of that dripping and splashing.
Krups milk frother - £97.50 from thecookskitchen.com
With three separate settings, this automatic milk frother delivers the ideal milk/froth solution for both latte and cappuccino based beverages - also pretty good for a hot chocolate on these ever-chillier winter nights.
The Barista Express - £549.99 from sageappliances.co.uk
There are loads of higher priced coffee machines, but this one from Heston Blumenthal’s range of appliances sets a new standard at a price point that’ll have the competition scratching their heads. The features on this machine include an 18-setting grinder, pressure gauge and steamer - and a pretty sleek look, too.
La Pavoni Europiccola machine - £390 from lecafeshop.co.uk
Based on an original 1950’s design, this is as much a work of art as it is for practical work. Of course, the iconic machine really can deliver on taste though, with a few modern adjustments to ease it into the 21st century. The best choice for those who value design taste as much as the taste of their coffee.
App of the week - Baristame Free on Google Play: take expert advice on exactly how to put together the layers of your espresso-based brew, from pouring, to optimum temperatures and all manner of other information (beans, origins and brewing methods). Your caffeine hit with the hit of a button.
Top 10 Paid Apps
1 Minecraft - Pocket Edition
2 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
3 Five Nights at Freddy’s
4 The Chase
5 Tipping Point
6 Maps for Kindle Fire
7 Nav for Google Maps
8 Worms 3
10 OfficeSuite Professional 7
Top 10 Free Apps
2 Cat Simulator
3 Pirate Bash
4 Prime Instant Video
5 BBC iPlayer
6 Candy Crush Saga
7 Spotify Music
8 Facebook Messenger
9 Cookie Jam
10 Solitaire TriPeaks
(Both charts courtesy of amazon.co.uk)