Hot, black and wet coffee drinkers need not apply: this is a machine for enthusiasts who’ll get value out of being able to toggle settings for the perfect brew.
- App control
- Can personalise recipes
- Only makes coffee
- Can’t switch off chimes
- Pod machineWorks with Nespresso pods
- App controlled Get greater control over your brew through the smartphone app
- Customisable brewing methodsVarious brew modes to tweak the outcome to your liking
For coffee connoisseurs, it’s all about flavour: you only have to search for pour-over brewing to get lost in a world of pre-wetting and blooming to realise that.
Marrying some of those messy and time-consuming artisan techniques with the convenience of a pod coffee machine, The Morning Machine aims to deliver flavour without fuss.
The 10 ‘ready to brew’ recipes range from Bloom & Brew to a Mini Filter Brew that produces a smooth cup of coffee. However, it’s not quite as suitable for those who enjoy a longer coffee: the most it’ll dispense with one of the standard recipes is 120g, or a personalised brew goes up to 150g, meaning you’ll need to top up your cup with hot water. Nespresso pod compatibility means that there’s a wide range of coffees to choose from, official and otherwise.
Design and features
- Dial and OLED screen control
- Manual or app operation
- Cup platform light
Plenty sets The Morning Machine apart from other pod coffee machines design-wise.
The first notable feature is the manual controls: comprising an OLED touch screen flanked by two icons: one for going back to the previous screen and the other for selecting options. This is complemented by a rotating dial around the screen for scrolling through menus. It takes a bit of getting used to, especially when setting up the WiFi for the app, or remembering which buttons to hold down for dispensing hot water, purging the machine or going into the settings menu. This part of the machine is also home to a light that shines down on the cup platform when it’s in operation: a thoughtful touch for watching the crema form.
The cup platform itself sits on top of a built-in weighing scale, which is how The Morning Machine can measure out its gram-perfect doses. This needs to be calibrated for the best results, and recalibrated from time to time: rather annoyingly, you’ll need a 100g weight for it, which isn’t included.
The rest of the machine is sleek and compact, with a small, squarish 850ml water tank at the back, lever on top, which lifts up for inserting a pod, and a used pod container concealed inside. You can either insert a pod, and scroll through the menu manually and press start, or select your coffee from the app, with the option to control the weight from 20-150g, and temperature from 75°C to 98°C.
- Excellent coffee brewing
- Can save favourite combinations
- Easily adjustable settings
One of the most appealing aspects of The Morning Machine is that you can easily experiment with different flavours by altering the brewing process while using the same variety of pods.
The espresso pods I was using to test (Cafepod’s Supercharger Espresso) promised a full-bodied taste with notes of roasted chestnuts and spiciness. I brewed this pod a few different ways: starting with the Short Dark Roast setting. This produced a strong-tasting, slightly syrupy espresso with a thick crema on top. Some of the nutty notes were present, but the dark roast made the overall flavour overwhelming for someone more used to drinking longer coffee.
I found the Kyoto-style Drip setting more to my taste: this produced an aromatic coffee with subtle nutty notes that allowed the spiciness to shine, with a consistent crema every time. The Classic setting produced a similar effect: a good one to choose if you’re not sure how to get the best out of the capsules you’re using.
I only encountered a few frustrations when using The Morning Machine. One is that saving your favourite settings means that another recipe has to be lost from the machine as it can only hold 10.
The other is that the machine’s cup recognition isn’t always reliable, so sometimes you have to manually instruct it to brew even if you’re controlling it via the app. Plus, while there is an eco mode, it’s set to 10 minutes, so you’ll have to adjust it to its minimum of 2 minutes if you’re keen to save energy. The chimes made by the machine also appear to have no option for turning them off.
Should you buy it?
If you love the idea of brewing artisan coffee at home, but don’t have the time or inclination to learn all the specialist skills that go with making it this pod machine is for you.
If you enjoy a good cup of coffee but don’t really differentiate between subtle flavours, then this pod machine could be overkill for you.
While it’s pricier than your average Nespresso pod-compatible coffee machine, The Morning Machine brings a lot to the table that cheaper models don’t.
In this aspect, it’s a great way to broaden your coffee experiences without buying lots of kit, or scouring blogs for hints and tips.
Although it’s a shame there’s no capability for warming and frothing milk, it’s understandable: milk can suffocate the delicate aromas this machine seeks to bring out. At present, there’s a lack of comparable capsule machines that incorporate as many different brewing techniques, but if the price tag is higher than your budget, a good option instead would be the Nespresso CitiZ. Alternatively, the Nespresso Atelier is a similar price point and includes milk frothing.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every coffee machine we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main coffee machine for the review period
Tested for at least a week
We roast our own beans for regular coffee machines, so we can fairly compare each machine; pod machines are tested with a variety of compatible capsules
Depending on capabilities, we test each machine’s ability to make espresso and cappuccino
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It will work with original Nespresso and compatible pods.
No, it uses pods only.