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Best Built-In Coffee Systems for the Busy Home

By Johanne

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the coffee maker is what keeps it pumping. But as delicious as the taste and scent of freshly ground coffee might be, many of us are put off by the sheer mess of grinding, brewing and frothing that the perfect espresso / cappuccino / latte requires.

Many designers are looking to the integrated coffee makers to give their clients a gourmet, custom blend coffee experience at the touch of a button. Thankfully, Miele, Bosch, Thermador and Wolf all offer options that combine elegant design with powerful performance. Features include filtered water, integrated milk frothing, memorized personal selection, or even multiple beverages at once.

If you want your day to start with the perfect cup of coffee with the minimum of fuss, here’s our guide to selecting the perfect built in coffee machine for your home.

Firstly, let’s take a quick look at some of the features that you’ll want to consider:

Plumbed vs. standalone. Most manufacturers offer both types depending on whether you want to invest in new plumbing or prefer to stay low tech. If you’re installing a new kitchen, adding plumbing for an integrated coffee machine is easy to do, but if you’re adding a coffeemaker to an existing kitchen design, opting for the standalone version is simpler, cheaper and doesn’t disrupt existing cabinetry. Bear in mind that if you have a standalone version, you will need to fill the water dispenser at least once daily (more if you are passionate coffee drinkers) and empty the drip trays, so a nearby source of water and a sink is a must.

Dispenser height. If you have a favorite coffee mug, you’ll need to check that it will fit under the dispenser before you buy your machine. While most machines have adjustable dispenser heights, most are geared towards the smaller espresso and 8-12oz size. Some newer models that have carafe options will support larger coffee cup sizes, so if in doubt, take your cup with you to the showroom.

Variable Grind. All of the machines feature the ability to customize your grind size to your personal preferences, but if you want to make changes frequently, opt for a machine that has grind size as ‘front end’ setting, rather than having to open up the machine to move a switch.

Memorized User Settings. If you are a household of avid coffee drinkers with varied personal preferences, look for machines that offer a saved user settings feature. It may seem like a luxury, but when you need multiple different coffees to get everyone out of the house in the morning, the speed and convenience of the one touch option will be a lifesaver.

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Miele PureLine M-Touch Series CVA6805 (Plumbed)

Miele have been leading the field in integrated coffee makers for the last ten years, and they continue to excel with their latest offering. The Miele PureLine M-Touch offers an easy-to-navigate touch screen technology, integrated milk frother, plumbed in convenience and the ability to program up to 10 user profiles.

It’s sleek look is available in four colorways to complement any kitchen and while the $3,799 price tag may seem expensive, Miele is known great service and reliable appliances that stand the test of time. This plumbed version means that you never have to worry about refilling a water tank, but for existing kitchens, there are standalone models available that have an easy access front fill capability.

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Wolf EC24 (Standalone)

If you’re looking for an easy to use model, customizable drinks and an integrated frothing system without the hassle of plumbing it it, look no further than Wolf. The machine is feature rich, rigorously tested and backed by Wolf’s exceptional 24/7 customer support. To see it in action, plan a visit to the Riggs Distributing Wolf & Sub Zero showroom in Burlingame where you can test it out.

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Bosch BCM8450UC (Standalone)

If customizing your coffee to your specific taste is important, the Bosch BCM8450UC is the machine for you. It boasts the patented Aromaswirl technology, promising to give you the Italian coffeehouse experience without the expensive flight. Its push button interface and digital display make customizing your coffee simple, and lets you use both whole bean or ready ground coffee. The water tank is filled from above, so check with your designer to make sure you have necessary access.

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Thermador TCM24RS (Plumbed)

Thermador has long been a powerhouse in the high end kitchen appliance space, and that reputation continues into its built in coffee machine. Fans of barista made coffees will delight in the integrated milk frother, producing perfectly steamed lattes and cappuccinos at the touch of a button. It’s the only machine that boasts an integrated water filter, so if water quality is high on your wish list, the Thermidor is well worth considering.

So which should you go for? While all of the options we listed are good choices, it eventually comes down to how hands-off you want to be, how much you want to spend, and which look you prefer. No matter what you choose, you can look forward to mess free, stress free coffee in the comfort of your own home!