Dropping complexity to focus on making espresso, the Beko Bean To Cup Coffee Machine CEG5301 is a very simple appliance. While it lacks the ability to froth milk, it’s well priced, easy to use and gets the basics right.
- Easy to use
- Decent espresso
- No milk frothing
- UKRRP: £279
- TypeA bean-to-cup coffee machine that holds 125g of coffee (half a regular bag) and turns it into espresso.
- DrinksWill make any drink that requires hot water, such as an espresso, a longer shot of espresso or a long black or Americano. There’s no milk frothing here.
Bean-to-cup coffee machines may be the first word in simplicity, but many tend to be quite big in size and can be quite complex to set up and use. Not so with the Beko Bean To Cup Coffee Machine CEG5301: this appliance ditches milk frothing to focus on simple, basic espresso.
Much smaller than the competition and well priced, too, the Beko CEG5301 is a great choice for those who want their coffee simple but good.
Design and features
- Compact size
- Simple controls
- Can handle hot water as well as espresso
By virtue of having so many features built in, bean-to-cup coffee machines tend to be a lot larger than their manual counterparts. Since the Beko Bean To Cup Coffee Machine CEG5301 is a far simpler beast, it’s also much smaller. At 380 x 236 x 436mm, it isn’t much bigger than a large capsule machine, such as the Nespresso Vertuo Next.
Most bean-to-cup machines follow a standard layout. At the top you’ll find the hopper for the beans. Beko’s model can hold 125g, which is around half a regular bag of coffee. There’s a grinder adjustment here, too, which allows for a fine to coarser grind, depending on the beans you use.
A 1.5-litre water reservoir can be found round the back. It pulls up easily enough, so you can quickly fill it under a tap and replace it.
Once you’ve powered on the machine, the touch controls light up to display the options on offer: there are buttons for strong espresso (a regular shot) and mild espresso (the same amount of coffee but a double-shot’s worth of hot water) and a hot water button. That’s it.
This makes this the easiest bean-to-cup coffee machine to use; the controls are very similar to those on the Nespresso CitiZ machine.
The Beko Bean To Cup Coffee Machine CEG5301 has default dispense amounts for each button, including the hot water button. You can override these defaults by pressing and holding each button and then releasing it once you have your desired amount of liquid.
The advantage of this system is that you can set levels for your own mugs, making it easy to make an Americano (hot water with a shot of espresso added at the end), for example, with just a couple of taps.
You can move the spout up and down manually, with the maximum lift allowing for cups up to 12.7cm tall – this covers larger mugs with ease.
- Slightly foamy crema
- Decent taste
- Good temperature
The first shot of espresso made will likely be a little watery. The second shot onwards, once the beans are in the grinder, delivers the right amount of coffee. What’s important here is the length of time the coffee takes to pour and the colour of it as it comes out. You’re after a rich honey look to the stream and the slowest pour. For me, I had to tighten the grind up to get the desired result.
Delivered at 66.6ºC, the final temperature of my coffee was a tad warmer than what you’d want from an espresso, but not too hot.
The crema here had good colour, although its finish was slightly foamier, rather than the oilier finish of a more expensive machine. The taste, too, was decent: the richness and pronounced acidity of my test beans were present. A minor complaint is that the espresso was a little more bitter than that from the best machines, but the overall quality and result was certainly pleasing.
- Rinses automatically
- Cleaning solution in the box
- Easy to clean the brew unit
The Beko Bean To Cup Coffee Machine CEG5301 is compact and as such very easy to maintain and clean. Used coffee grounds drop into the bin, which is accessed by pulling out the drip tray. Coffee grounds break up a little as they come out – you don’t get neat hockey pucks. Even so, the bin is easy to empty and clean, as is the drip tray.
Open the side of the coffee machine and the small brew unit unclips and can be removed for easy cleaning. I recommend tackling this every time you empty the bin.
Once a month you’ll receive a notification that it’s time to clean the machine using the powder that’s supplied in the box – you get three sachets to get you started. It’s worth doing this when prompted to keep the Beko Bean To Cup Coffee Machine CEG5301 in the best shape.
Finally, when you turn the machine on and off, it rinses the spout automatically, so you’re ready to go.
Should you buy it?
For those who want simplicity and mostly black coffee, this machine gets all of the basics right and turns coffee beans into quality espresso.
If you want the absolute best coffee and a wider choice of drinks, including milk-based ones, there are better (but more expensive) options out there.
For those who want a simple espresso that’s made well, but prefer beans to pods, the Beko Bean To Cup Coffee Machine CEG5301 impresses. Compact, well priced and very easy to use, this simple machine focuses on delivering good coffee. If you’re after something that can make a wider variety of drinks, then check out my guide to the best coffee machines.
No, this model can only make espresso; it has no milk-frothing function.
The hopper can hold 125g of beans – half a normal supermarket bag of beans.