Beko’s bean-to-cup machine is improbable worth: it makes nice espresso and froths milk to barista high quality. Nevertheless, it may be complicated to make use of – which isn’t helped by the skinny handbook.
With a one-touch LED management panel, 19 bar strain, a pre-brewing system, a steam wand and two espresso power ranges, the Beko bean-to-cup espresso machine packs in lots for its worth level.
However does it ship? We drank numerous espresso to seek out out.
Design and construct
1.5 litre detachable water tank
125g bean hopper capability
The Beko bean-to-cup is just about an oblong black field with a stainless-steel façade. At 38cm excessive, it’s not as tall as different bean-to-cups and, at 23.6cm vast and 43.6cm deep, its footprint is smaller than related machines. However it’s nonetheless a major presence in your worktop.
A method that Beko has saved prices down is clear at a look: its design is considerably primary. This isn’t a espresso machine that makes an announcement in your kitchen. It’s purposeful, sensible and missing in type prospers. Nonetheless, in opposition to the precise backdrop, it has a sure minimalist enchantment.
The 1.5-litre water tank is on the again. You’ll be able to take away it to fill from the faucet and the lid attaches with a swing hinge, so there’s no likelihood you’ll lose it or ship it skating throughout your countertop accidentally.
The bean hopper is on the prime of the machine, above the grinder, as you’d anticipate. It has a snug-fitting, smoky-plastic, pull-off lid, and can take 125g of beans, with the choice to decide on between 5 totally different grinder settings. As is frequent with bean to cup machines, you possibly can solely flip the dial to change the grinding settings whereas the grinder is definitely working.
The façade of the machine hosts the spout, the steam wand, and the detachable drip tray. The spout is adjustable up and down; in case you take away the drip tray, you have got the peak to dispense right into a latte glass, which is a characteristic you don’t get with another machines.
The steam wand swings outwards to the precise, and there’s the clearance to make use of a steel jug beneath. As for the drip tray, it has a steel grid, a plastic base, and pulls out to disclose the espresso grinds drawer behind.
It’s not too heavy a machine – about 7.5kg – however it’s a little unwieldy to unpack. Within the field are three descaler packets, a pin wheel, a brush and a material, alongside the handbook. The handbook is just a little sparse, however extra about that later.
The facet of the machine hosts the hatch for the filter, which is simple to entry.
Two espresso strengths
Scorching water dispense
You management the machine utilizing an LED touchscreen on prime. The ability button is on the left, adopted by 4 illuminated icons: steam, sizzling water (which dispenses by way of steam wand), robust espresso and gentle espresso.
Different icons will illuminate to provide you with a warning when you might want to refill the water tank, the espresso bean hopper, empty the grinds drawer or descale.
Alex Greenwood / Foundry
19 bar strain
On first use, after filling the water tank, you might want to clear the machine by urgent the new water button. That is quite simple and uncomplicated for a machine of this sort. There’s no particular processes or tablets you might want to use to flush out the pipes.
Clearly, you might want to fill the bean hopper. The handbook doesn’t let you know the amount of beans it might probably maintain, so it’s important to gauge roughly what number of it is going to take so the lid will match again on correctly.
When switched on, the machine will auto-rinse into the drip tray. We discovered this implies you might want to empty the drip tray very often or depart a vessel beneath the spout, as it is going to rinse itself out periodically in case you depart it on.
You then put your cup beneath the spout and select both robust or gentle espresso by urgent and holding the button to set the quantity of espresso you need. When the machine has allotted the suitable quantity, from 25ml to 250ml, you launch the button, it is going to beep twice, and thus set the quantity for subsequent time. This additionally works for the new water button.
The again of the spout will gentle up whereas it’s making espresso, and the grinds find yourself within the grind drawer.
And that 19 bar strain actually delivers. The espresso is nice. It smells and tastes good, with a wealthy Guinness color and a good crema. It’s espresso store high quality.
Though its operation appears simple, issues can come up if somebody tries to make use of the machine with out realizing precisely what they’re doing. It is rather simple to press a few buttons and discover that you simply’ve reset the portions. Not like pricier machines, which can point out the set espresso power that’s been set, Beko’s machine doesn’t present any such suggestions.
Nor will you get numerous assist from the handbook. Extra detailed recommendation would have been reassuring at this level.
After a mistake alongside these strains, we had points attempting to reset the memorised quantity and have been by no means positive if it had been put proper. In our expertise, in case you attempt to right an error, you may make it worse. Given the equipment’s worth level, it wouldn’t be an enormous shock to seek out that its inner mechanism is a bit delicate.
Alex Greenwood / Foundry
Utilizing the steam wand
Brief heat-up time
To make a latte or cappuccino, first make your espresso, then press the steam button with the wand pointing to the drip tray. The residual water within the wand will drain whereas the purple gentle flashes. When the purple gentle stops, knock the wand sideways and place your milk container beneath to steam your milk. The additional heating course of to supply the steam doesn’t take lengthy.
The steamed milk is splendidly frothy and light-weight.
Our assumption was that you simply press the steam button once more to cease it however as soon as once more, we needed to determine it out with trial and error. The handbook doesn’t present step-by-step directions on working the machine on a day-to-day foundation after it’s arrange.
Totally different modes
The Beko has three totally different modes: default, eco (power saving) and velocity (quicker brewing).
You alter the modes by urgent the ability button for 5 seconds in standby mode. Then the new water, robust espresso and gentle espresso buttons will flash. You then press the new water button for the eco mode, robust espresso for velocity mode, and gentle espresso for the default setting. Two beeps will sound and set the mode.
Value and availability
There are three variations of Beko’s bean-to-cup machine within the vary. All are significantly decrease in worth – by tons of of kilos – than different obtainable bean-to-cup machines. You’ll be able to browse the total vary on the Beko website. Probably the most inexpensive mannequin (£199) doesn’t have a steam wand. The mid-range mannequin that we examined does (£224) and at last, there’s a bean-to-cup with an built-in milk cup (£249). There’s not a lot worth benefit from shopping for at any particular retailer, however be sure to’re getting the mannequin you need.
There’s even a extra environmentally pleasant possibility, the BioCoffee mannequin, the place upcycled espresso grounds have been used to make elements of the drip tray and product housing. It’s obtainable on the time of writing from Currys for £189.
The Beko bean-to-cup is exceptionally priced, makes nice espresso and steams milk properly. For that, we’ve given it a robust rating. Nonetheless, and maybe inevitably, there are compromises to be made due to its worth level. It may be complicated to make use of and maybe temperamental. We’d suggest cautious remedy in case you purchase one.