The 7 Best Built-in Coffee Machines. Our Picks
Imagine loading groceries into the fridge and getting a home-cooked meal in a couple of minutes. The fantasy isn't that far off, especially when it comes to coffee. We've gone from manual pour-over kits to superautomatic espresso makers. But now, the built-in systems have displaced the latter at the peak of the coffee brewing evolution. Nearly invisible, fully automated, and extremely customizable, they replace live-in baristas.
If you're ready to go all-in with your caffeine addiction, here's a look at seven great built-in options for your personal cafe.
Bosch Built-in Coffee Machine
- Brand: BOSCH
- Color: Stainless Steel
- Item Weight: 36.7 Pounds
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 14.84 x 23.39 x 17.92 inches
- Wattage: 1600 watts
- Features: 1. Within Minutes Prepare Espressos,Cappuccinos,Lattes,And More
2. Consistent Brewing Temperature For A Better Tasting Coffee
3. 5/8 Gal. Water Container
4. 17.6 Oz. Bean Container
Let's open our shortlist with a thing of beauty that has all the bells and whistles you could dream of. It's the ultimate bean-to-cup machine that can whip up an espresso, latte, macchiato, or cappuccino at a press of a button or a command from your smartphone. The Home Connect App is there to take you on a global java tour, operate the coffee machine, and even take a list of orders for your guests to be fulfilled with minimal fuss. Your job is to replace a full cup with an empty one, and the coffee maker will do the rest.
This built-in coffee maker review wouldn't be complete if I failed to mention this model doesn't need to be plumbed. Instead, you get a largish removable water tank you can refill in the sink. The brew group, bean hopper, and milk tank are easily accessible and removable too, and most parts are dishwasher-safe, making cleaning a breeze. And the long list of automatic self-cleaning features ensures the machine stays safe and sound for a long time.
It would take a while to go over every feature of this Bosch built-in coffee maker, so I'll mention a couple of personal favorites. For one, the bean hopper is large enough to fit a pound of whole beans, and the lid is airtight, so your favorite blend will remain fresh and aromatic for a few weeks. For another, you can program and save up to eight custom coffee drinks to be brewed at a single press of a button. It's especially neat if your house is full of caffeine addicts with peculiar tastes.
Sure, this machine is an investment with a price tag of $3,000, but you get precise control over coffee strength, volume, temperature, ceramic burr grinder settings, and more!
Thermador TCM24PS 24″
- Brand Name: Thermador
- Item Weight: 0.01 ounces
- Part Number: TCM24RS
- Batteries Required? No
- Features: 1. 24 Inch Fully Automatic Built-in Coffee Machine
2. LCD Color Screen
3. Built-in Water Filter
4. Drip Tray Sensor
Another state-of-the-art coffee system can become a cherry on top of your cutting-edge kitchen design. The sleek cover hides a superautomatic bean-to-cup coffee maker that's coupled with an adjustable ceramic disk grinding system. So you can find the right setting for every blend and enjoy the intense aroma and flavor of freshly ground coffee. Unlike steel models, the ceramic grinder is less prone to heating and breaking, so you won't have to worry about replacement parts for years to come.
For around $4,000, you get a one-size-fits-all solution to all your hot beverage needs. You can pull a shot or whip up an extra-large cappuccino at a single click of a button. And the tea lovers of the household won't be disappointed either! Besides, all pre-programmed drinks are customizable with temperature, strength, and volume settings. If you're not into crafting personalized drinks and want your every cuppa extra-strong, you can simply add an extra shot to every brew.
Thermador TCM24PS is the plumbed version of a built-in coffee system complete with an AquaStop Plus protection system to prevent messy accidents. You can also go with a TCM24TS that comes with an internal water reservoir. Both models are chock-full of neat self-cleaning features that run hot water and steam rinse cycles at turn-on and turn-off. It might seem excessive, but automated cleaning takes no time and keeps your shots delicious and safe.
Smeg CMSU6451X 24″
- Brand: Smeg
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 23.4 x 17.9 inches
- Item Weight: 65 pounds
- Item model number: CMSU6451X
There's something about the clean elegance of this machine that speaks to me. It could be the buttons or the brushed stainless steel cover, but the overall design is love at first sight for me. And the variety of coffee customization options earn extra brownie points. You get to choose among three coffee lengths, five strength levels, and three temperature settings. With that much flexibility, you can find the ideal combination for any bean or blend.
The superautomatic coffee machine is super-easy to operate with an option to brew one or two cups at a time, programmable switch-on, and automatic standby mode. The stainless steel milk jug is there for cappuccino and latte lovers, along with water and steam self-cleaning features that will keep the internal systems clean as a whistle. You can even treat yourself to a cup of tea or use the hot water feature to make instant oatmeal or cocoa.
The removable 60 oz water tank is the one feature I'd trade in for a water line connection to make my life easier. I would also prefer the machine with a front-loading bean hopper, as getting access through the top isn't as comfortable. It might not work for you if there isn't enough space in your kitchen.
I love the clean style and high-quality craftsmanship, but when you have to dish out $5,000, you'd better be sure you've chosen the right coffee machine.
Gaggenau 200 Series
- Brand Name: Gaggenau
- Model Info: CM210710
- Color: Stainless
- Features: 1. 24 Inch Fully Automatic Stainless Steel Built-in Coffee Machine
2. Adjustable Brewing Chamber
3. Aroma-Whirl Brewing Technology
4. Conical Grinding Gear
The 200 series by Gaggenau comes with plenty of options, but I'm partial to the CMP250132 model that's probably the most customizable of them all. Sure, some settings, like grind size, are pretty standard, but the ability to choose among eight coffee strengths is anything but. Besides temperature and brew volume, you can also change the coffee-to-milk ratio and save your preferences among eight custom brew slots. Once programmed, each can be brewed at a press of a button.
With this beauty, you get twelve drink options at your fingertips, including hot water for tea or cocoa, warm milk, and milk froth, as well as a variety of coffee and espresso-based beverages, like cappuccino, latte, and macchiato. All twelve can be brewed one or two at a time thanks to a double spout of adjustable height that's also a hot water and milk froth dispenser.
All the bells and whistles are hidden behind the front panel that you can swing open to reveal the water tank, bean hopper, milk reservoir, and waste grounds container. I'm especially impressed with a ceramic burr grinder. It accommodates two ground coffee containers for different varieties and comes with an empty-grinding feature to flush out the finest particles of every batch before loading the new beans. The other cleaning features are equally impressive, with automatic cleaning at turn on and turn off and the emptying cycle to get the machine prepped for shipping or vacation.
Miele CVA 6800 Built-in Coffee System
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Brand: Miele
- Color: Stainless steel
- Item Weight: 50 Pounds
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 21.12 x 23.43 x 17.93 inches
- Features: 1. Plumbed-In Water Connection
2. Dual Dispensing Spouts
3. Grinder Bypass
This model is a stand-out among the high-performance coffee machines lineup. It comes with all the great features you'd expect from an espresso machine built-in and adds a few more that take the experience to the next level.
For instance, you might be happy with a removable drip tray to fit your travel mug, but Miele equips this system with a CupSensor that identifies the cup's height and positions the spout at an ideal distance for pouring. The EasyClick milk system is another smart design solution that lets you insert and remove the milk reservoir without messing with the front panel. And when you go for deep cleaning, you can swing open the whole front section of the machine for easy access. These small changes can make a world of difference to your everyday coffee drinking ritual.
Convenience is great, but does it produce good coffee? It sure does! The Miele built-in coffee system is equipped with a grinder that works up just enough grounds for every brew. And you can take it any way, from regular coffee to espresso, cappuccino, and latte. The customization options let you program and save up to ten personal favorites to enjoy at a click of a button. Finally, the double spout works great for brewing two drinks at once if you want to enjoy a cuppa with your partner or wrap up a dinner party.
Diadema Built-in Multifunction Coffee Machine
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Brand: Diadema Srl
- Colour: Polished metal
- Item weight: 350 Grams
- Item dimensions LxWxH: 46 x 59.5 x 32 centimeters
- Power / Wattage: 1000 watts
- Voltage: 240 Volts
- Features: 1. Programmable time setting and auto-on/off
2. Touch control
3. Steam and coffee temperature regulation
4. Preheating and fast heating setting
5. Water and coffee beans missing warning
If you want even more variety and control for your coffee creations, this built-in system will be right up your alley. Instead of hiding all automated functions behind the front cover, this machine opens access to both spouts and a steam wand. It looks elegant and professional, lending a cafe aesthetic to your kitchen and providing you with room for barista-grade experimentation.
Pod compatibility is another stand-out feature that drew my attention. While other models on this list work exclusively with whole-bean java, others allow for ground coffee. But Diadema is the only one to work with capsules. It should work with Nespresso, Illy, and Lavazza pods and non-branded capsules that fit inside the holder. This provides you with an option to sneak a quick cuppa without messing with the controls or waiting for an espresso shot, and you can enjoy your favorite flavored or decaf coffee without reloading the hopper.
Other features are pretty standard for built-in coffee systems, including an integrated stainless steel burr grinder, double spouts for brewing two drinks at once, and a hot water supply for steeping tea or making cocoa. Grinder settings and drink volume are customizable, and the automatic features include low water and bean level warnings and automatic turn on and turn off.
If you decide on this machine, be careful to choose the right model for your electric grid. Diadema is a European brand, so you'll see 110V and 220-240V options on offer.
Jenn-Air JJB6424HM Built-in Coffee Machine
- Product Dimensions: 16 x 24 x 18 inches
- Item Weight: 63 pounds
- Brand: Jenn-Air
- Features: 1. Adjustable Coffee Strength
2. Coffee/Espresso Brewing
3. Whole-Bean Coffee Grinder
4. Ground Coffee Compatibility
5. Frothing System with Integrated Milk Container
The sleekest and classiest of them all is Jenn Air built-in coffee system. It looks truly luxurious in a black or silver finish, and its cover conceals everything from an impressive water tank to a hidden accessories compartment for storing your coffee knick-knacks out of sight but close at hand.
By this point, it's unlikely the list of features will surprise you. Still, the machine comes with a built-in grinder with seven settings. Brew customization options don't end there, as you can also tweak temperature, brew volume and strength. You can even switch between coffee and espresso without adding a second coffee maker to your kitchen setup. And the automatic frother provides the delicate soft microfoam to top your barista-grade cappuccinos and lattes.
The brains of this coffee system are impressive too. You can program auto-shutoff and turn-on to get a cuppa ready when you wake up or get home after work. And the indicators will let you know when you need to top up the bean hopper and water reservoir or empty the waste grounds container.
My favorite among the features is a pre-heat cycle that passes hot water through the machine and your cup to get the system primed for brewing. This extra step ensures the beans produce the most aromatic and intense brew to be enjoyed piping hot.
Why Choose Built-in Kitchen Coffee Machines?
If you're still wondering why anyone would part with thousands of dollars for a simple coffee machine, you don't realize the full potential built-in models provide. Let me share three core benefits that speak to most coffee lovers:
- Built-in appliances are perfect for a sleek kitchen design. They are every minimalist's dream, as nothing breaks up the straight lines of your kitchen counter, and a restrained color palette in white, black, or steel works well with most modern designs.
- They save countertop space. You will love the empty kitchen counters, as the machine fits neatly into a cabinet space. Moreover, some models come equipped with a built-in storage pocket for all your coffee accessories, removing the clutter.
- You get customized coffee at the press of the button. The superautomatic coffee machine experience removes the guesswork and provides the ultimate customization power at once. After you taste-test the offerings, you can program your favorites and enjoy them whenever you're in the mood, fast and effortless
Considering these benefits, you'd think every coffee lover would go for a built-in coffee system, but they don't. And they have some good reasons too:
- The prices are exorbitant. The cheapest model on this list is still around $3,000. While it's on par with the prices of the high-end espresso makers like Jura, you could buy almost a hundred pour-over kits for that kind of money. Add installation, maintenance, and cleaning solutions into the mix, and splurging on a daily cafe trip won't seem so extravagant anymore.
- Plumbed built-in coffee machines are a pain to install. You'll need to call for a certified plumber to connect the device to the water line. Otherwise, you risk spills everywhere, including the cabinets. You could also mess up the machine you've spent a fortune on.
- Built-in systems are challenging to build into your kitchen. For one, the sizes aren't standardized, as you would expect, so replacing one machine with another without ripping out the cabinets isn't always an option. Besides, you have to account for electricity and water lines and ventilation to make the design look seamless.
Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? That's for you to decide, and if you choose to go with a built-in coffee system, you'll need some help making sense of their features.
How to Choose the Right Built-in Coffee Machine
The price tag is often the critical deciding factor when you're choosing built-in kitchen appliances. Most models on this list are $3,000 and above because they rely on high-end materials, top-notch build quality, and cutting-edge electronics. Don't go looking for a cheaper built-in machine, as it's unlikely to last long and is more than likely to cause troubles within the first year of purchase.
Don't forget to check out the best built-in coffee machines reviews and specs for beverage options and customization capabilities. You want a machine that produces delicious coffee and espresso. The latter can be turned into half a dozen drinks, from cafe americano to latte macchiato. And customization options will let you find the right grind size, volume, strength, and temperature for your favorite blend to bring out the aromatics and flavor.
Once you've made a list of your java requirements, make sure you have space. While these beauties save the countertop space, they need plenty of room inside the cabinets, so kitchen renovation is the best time to plan for installing a built-in coffee system. At this point, you can take care of water and electricity line connections and WiFi and LAN Internet access, if necessary.
Plumbing System vs Water Reservoir
There's nothing worse than missing your morning shot of brain juice because your coffee maker ran out of water in the middle of pulling a shot. Even if some models come with low water level indicators, disconnecting the reservoir to refill it at the tap can be a pain. That's especially true for a household or office full of coffee addicts who go through the largest of tanks several times per day. If that's the case for you, a plumbed coffee machine is a prime choice. It will never run out of water, and you won't deal with the mess of lugging water to and from the sink, spilling droplets all over the counters and the floor.
The obvious downside to buying a coffee machine with a water line is the need for professional help during installation and repairs. In most cases, you won't be able to put in a plumbed model without the use of specialized tools and equipment. And that will add to the price tag of the machine and take extra time.
Another disadvantage you'll face is the need to use a water filter system. While it's true most coffee makers are best used with bottled or filtered water, you can get away with a cheap pitcher-style filter for a model with a water reservoir. But if you go with a plumbed machine, you'll need to connect a filter unit to the water line, and these systems are usually more expensive, once again driving up the total investment.
For now, I can only test and share built-in coffee machines reviews and dream of the time my kitchen is large enough to fit one. Hopefully, my overview and advice help you find the perfect option for your home cafe. All seven models on this shortlist are great in their own right, though I'd go with the ever-versatile Gaggenau or the easy-to-use and reliable Miele if pressed. And Smeg remains my favorite when it comes to looks.
Do Built-in Coffee Makers Need Plumbing?Many do, though some models come with an internal water reservoir you can fill or offer both options for you to choose from.
Why Are Built-in Coffee Machines so Expensive?Most are complex superautomatic bean-to-cup systems that include a grinder, frother, pump, and everything else necessary to make a mean cuppa, and that sort of craftsmanship always comes at premium rates.
Where Should I Put My Built-in Coffee Maker?Anywhere you like to have your coffee, though installation will be easier if electricity and water lines are within reach.
What’s the Best Built-in Coffee System?The one that fits your needs to a T. Gaggenau and Miele are two personal favorites of mine, but you might have better luck with Smeg or Jenn-Air.