That morning coffee you inhale every morning isn’t just a beverage. It’s a life support system. Take it away and your entire body ceases to live.
So it makes sense to ensure you can brew a good cup of coffee from the comfort of your own home.
Not only does this save you from shelling out lots of money on expensive coffee at nice cafes in Singapore like Common Man Coffee Roasters, it also means you get your coffee fix before you leave the house in the morning, thus sparing thousands of innocent MRT commuters from your wrath.
So how exactly do you go about making your own brew? Here are some coffee machines and contraptions to get you started.
Top 5 coffee machines in Singapore
|Coffee machine||Set up cost||Cost per cup|
|Bialetti Moka Pot||$44||Estimated $2.10*|
|Hario V60 Dripper and Server set||$69||Estimated $2.10*|
|Nescafe Dolce Gusto Lumio||$139||$0.12 to $0.66|
|Nespresso Pixie coffee machine||$244.80||$0.68 to $0.82|
|Jura S8 bean-to-cup coffee machine||$2,950||Estimated $2.10*|
*Based on $14 for a 200g bag of ground or whole coffee beans, with each cup using 30g.
Bialetti Moka Pot ($44)
Strictly speaking, moka pots do not brew espresso, as true espresso needs to be made at a certain pressure.
But that doesn’t mean they’re not legit. In fact, virtually every family in Italy has an iconic Bialetti Moka Pot on their stoves, and the resulting coffee is very satisfying even if it doesn’t technically qualify as “real” espresso.
Moka pots also offer one of cheapest, easiest and most environmentally friendly ways to brew coffee as there are no coffee filters or capsules involved.
You’ll have to use ground coffee (coarser grinds work better with moka pots and will be less bitter), but there is no need to buy premium coffee from Bialetti if you’re just testing out your new machine. Any ground coffee will do.
To use it, unscrew the botton half of your moka pot, fill the base with water and put your coffee grounds into the little tray above it. Then stick the moka pot on your stove until it starts bubbling with coffee. That’s it.
Choose your moka pot according to how many cups of coffee you’re likely to be brewing each time you use it. There are itty bitty 1-cup moka pots for solo coffee drinkers, family-size mokas that brew up to 12 cups and everything in between.
Price: $44 for basic 1-cup Bialetti Moka
Hario V60 Dripper and Server Set ($69)
The Hario V60 is a classic contraption that you can use to make pourover filtered coffee with no fuss. The brew is reportedly smooth and clean, retaining the beans’ flavour notes. For detailed instructions on how to make the perfect filtered coffee, here’s a preparation guide.
While the dripper and server set is $69, if you just want to pourover your good old mug, you can simply get the dripper only.
You’d also need to get coffee filter paper, which you can that load the ground coffee in and pour hot water over. Currently, Hook Coffee is having a promotion on a Hario V60 starter kit, which consists of a dripper, 10 filter papers, a brew guide and 200g of whole or ground coffee beans for your first purchase. Or, you can keep a lookout for sales at Tokyu Hands Singapore, which stocks the widest range of Hario products.
Price: $69 for Hario V60 Dipper and Server Set
Nescafe Dolce Gusto Lumio ($139)
The Nescafe Dolce Gusto would look equally home in some hipster cafe as in a corporate boardroom. This is one stylish machine. While it doesn’t have as many functions as Nespresso machines, it is cheaper and straightforward to use.
To brew coffee using this machine, you’ll need to purchase Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsules. Simply stick them in the coffee machine, adjust your settings and let the machine do its magic. Make sure you read the packaging of your capsules first, as some need to be prepared using specific settings.
Milk and froth are not prepared separately by another contraption in the Dolce Gusto system. Instead, you just pop in a cappuccino or macchiato capsule and everything is prepared inside the machine. This makes coffee super fast and convenient to prepare, but also means that if you’re particular about using real milk, the brews containing milk are going to feel a bit too “instant”.
One plus is that you can make cold brews using the Dolce Gusto, which you generally can’t do with Nespresso machines.
They have a decent range of coffee flavours, but there is definitely a focus on American- rather than Italian-style coffee, so you will find flavours like green tea latte. If you’re a fan of Starbucks-type coffee, that would be a plus.
Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsules are affordable, at $0.12 to $0.66 per capsule.
As you might already have noticed, capsule-based coffee machines like the Nescafe Dolce Gusto also produce plastic waste with every single cup you brew as the capsules cannot be recycled. Definitely something to think about before you buy.
Price: $139 for Nescafe Dolce Gusto Lumio coffee machine
Nespresso Pixie coffee machine ($244.80)
As far as single-serve espresso machines go, Nespresso is definitely the leader of the pack.
All Nespresso machines work by popping in a capsule, selecting your desired settings and letting the machine do the work.
The Nespresso Pixie gets its name because it’s tiny, which makes it ideal for tiny kitchens or cramped office tables.
With two brew sizes, namely single or double shot, the Pixie brews legitimate espresso, and it does so very well. If you want to make a cappuccino, you can do so by using an espresso capsule and then adding the milk separately, frothing it with the nozzle of the Pixie or by using a milk frother purchased separately.
Nespresso has a wide range of 24 coffee types and flavours, which is great if you like to try different brews.
The capsules are affordable but not exactly cheap at $0.68 to $0.82.
They do, however, create a lot of waste, so don’t forget to recycle them by participating in Nespresso’s recycling programme. You can collect your used capsules and then drop them off at any Nespresso boutique in Singapore for recycling. Alternatively, pass your used capsules to the delivery man when he delivers your next order of capsules.
Jura S8 bean-to-cup coffee machine ($2,950)
So, you want to feel like a real barista at home and brew your coffee from freshly roasted beans, rather than a capsule?
The Jura S8 is an automatic coffee machine that gives the home connoisseur quite a bit of control over the brew.
First, you pour your coffee beans into the top of the machine, where they are ground. You can decide how coarse you want the grind size to be according to the type of coffee you’re making.
Next, using a touchscreen, you select your settings, stick your cup underneath and let the machine do the work. The Jura S8 has an impressive range of settings which enable you to customise coffee strength, temperature and coffee style.
For coffee nerds, the Jura coffee machine is a convenient alternative to grinding and brewing the beans manually. You’re also not stuck using beans or pods produced by the company. Any coffee beans, no matter how expensive or cheap, are fair game.
Coffee bean delivery in Singapore
Decent coffee connoisseurs would know that coffee beans are best consumed immediately after roasting, and even better, ground on the spot. There are several homegrown brands such as Hook Coffee and Nylon Coffee Roasters that deliver coffee beans to your doorstep, be in home or office.
Hook Coffee’s main draw is coffee beans that are delivered within 7 days of roasting. Each flavour has its own quirky name that gives a hint of the ingredients used in the roast, such as Panama Oh Nana, Pruno Mars and Speculose Your Mind. They also have ground coffee in Nespresso-compatible pods. Prices start from $14 for a 200g bag.
Nylon Coffee Roasters is another popular roaster that works with sustainable coffee producers to bring beans from countries such as Guatemala and Honduras. Their beans have a more premium pricing from $20 for a 200g bag of whole or ground coffee beans. They offer free local shipping over $100 and ship worldwide.
As can be seen in the table above, the cost per cup of fresh ground and whole coffee beans is higher than instant pods and capsules. But hey, for that proper caffeine kick and fresh aroma, we’d say you get what you pay for.
Have you ever owned a coffee machine? Share your favourite models in the comments!