I tested coffee machines under £50 – the bargain winner made a better cappuccino than Costa and is a perfect Xmas gift | The Sun

THERE are few things better in the morning than grabbing a freshly brewed coffee from your local cafe.

But with the price of a small latte at Costa costing £3.50, it's a pricey habit.

For those who want a cheaper option to perk themselves up in the morning, pod coffee machines are a ­winner.

But are they worth the money?

Consumer reporter Olivia Marshall tests four machines under £50 and rates each out of five for design, value and taste.

Delonghi Dolce Gusto Infinissima

  • £49.99, Robert Dyas

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It's hard to fault this super easy-to-use machine.

Despite being lightweight, all the mechanisms seem really well-made and sturdy.

I tend to be pretty heavy-handed with gadgets when I'm figuring out how to use them, but I never worried about breaking anything.

The water tank was easy to remove and fill and it wasn't noisy either.

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As a huge iced coffee fan, I was also thrilled to learn that you can make cold drinks as well as hot.

It made a delicious cappuccino using the compatible coffee pods.

You can pick two boxes of these pods up from Tesco for £7 if you have a Clubcard, or they cost £4.40 each.

But they can cost up to £5 a box at Waitrose, so they're pretty pricey.

  • Design: 9/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Taste: 10/10
  • Overall: 26/30


  • £34.99 at John Lewis

This coffee machine is super compact and was easy to manoeuvre around the countertop.

But I did have some trouble figuring out how to use it and had to find a YouTube video to help me.

Even then, I kept struggling to fit the pod into the compartment.

But once I was up and running, I found the machine to be really efficient.

My cappuccino, which I made using Costa's compatible pods, was prepared quickly and perfectly.

I'd swap a coffee shop beverage for one made by this machine at home without feeling like I'm missing out.

In other words, it could be a nice Christmas gift for a coffee lover if you haven't finished your festive shopping yet.

I picked up three bags of these pods for £10 at Tesco using my Clubcard, otherwise they would have been £4.12 each.

If you're feeling festive, you can also get Baileys latte macchiato pods from Ocado for £5.

  • Design: 8/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Taste: 10/10
  • Overall: 27/30

Nescafe Dolce Gusto De'Longhi Mini Me

  • £45 at Argos

This little machine is perfect for smaller kitchens and is the most user-friendly gadget of all those I tested.

Unfortunately, the water tank leaked all over my kitchen floor and worktops as I carried it from the sink back to the machine.

I'm not sure if this was a fault with my gadget, or a wider issue with this particular model.

I also found it to have quite a flimsy feel and it looked quite plastic and not as sleek as the other machines I tested.

That said, working out how to make a tasty cappuccino with this machine was pretty simple and straightforward.

If you're set on buying a Delonghi Dolce Guston machine, it would be worth forking out a little more for the Infinissima.

  • Design: 6/10
  • Value: 6/10
  • Taste: 10/10
  • Overall: 22/30

Philips Sublime L'OR

  • £49.99 at Amazon

This machine took up a lot more room in my kitchen than the other gadgets.

But it's really sleek and stylish in appearance, and is definitely a gadget you'd want to show off to your friends.

This machine lets you brew two single espressos at once, or a double espresso in one cup.

It's compatible with L'OR capsules as well as Nespresso pods.

The pods are also pretty cheap, coming in at £2.50 at Tesco with a Clubcard, or £3.50 without.

I used a Supremo pod and I found it to be a little too strong, but I'm sure for those who love a strong coffee, it would hit the spot.

At Morrisons, you can pick up two boxes of ten pods for £5.50 and you don't need to be signed up to its loyalty scheme.

It's perfect in appearance and easy to use, but it's just too big for my small kitchen.

But with a price tag pushing £50, I think some of the cheaper models are just as effective.

  • Design: 9/10
  • Value: 6/10
  • Taste: 10/10
  • Overall: 25/30

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Plus, reporter James Flanders tried own-brand Nespresso pod dupes – one supermarket beat the signature brand and is half price

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