How we review coffee machines, appliances and other products at olive
Here at olive, we have high standards. We demand a lot from the products we test and only the best are ever featured in our buyer’s guides.
Everything is tried, tested and scored against criteria not only designed to challenge the products, but reflect the everyday needs of consumers, so that you can feel confident you’re choosing from the strongest products on the market for your budget.
Whether it’s the best gins to buy, the best coffee machines for making barista-style coffee in your own kitchen or for our in-depth wine guides, our reviews experts put a carefully researched cross-section of products through their paces to find those that perform above and beyond, are value-for-money and will look great in your kitchen.
Discover more food inspiration from olive including restaurant reviews, plenty of drinks and recipes, from comforting classics with innovative twists, to the perfect bakes, cakes and ideas for special occasions. Mindful slow-cooking and ideas to support your gut health are also available, with tips from our health editor and qualified nutritionist, Tracey Raye.
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You will find tried-and-tested expert advice on our site through buyer’s guides, individual product reviews, gifts guides and taste tests.
Every product category is extensively researched to include products that are newly launched or well-reviewed stalwarts from luxury brands, budget-friendly brands and everything in between.
After being scored against a strict set of criteria, all are awarded out of 5 stars. Products must achieve at least 3/5 stars to feature in our buyer’s guides and only the best of the best achieve 5/5 status.
All products tested for potential inclusion in our guides are done so impartially to ensure that only the top performers feature, so the advice we offer is unbiased and trusted to help you make an informed decision.
All our testers are experienced food and appliance experts specialising in products that make the kitchen the centre of a home and food an everyday pleasure. Read more about our team of expert testers below.
We use a matrix system during testing and score each product across a series of core and contributing criteria. The average score decides the product’s overall star rating.
Equipment, gadgets and appliances
Performance, value for money, design, safety and sustainability credentials; the five core criteria that our expert reviews team score on when testing everything from nifty gadgets, kitchen equipment, gifts and home appliances.
Once unboxed and set-up, products are put through their paces in controlled conditions using the same triple-tested seasonal recipes from the olive test kitchen, plus a collection of ingredient quantities designed to assess the appliance’s ability to perform beyond everyday tasks.
Food and alcohol products
All edible products for our taste tests are tested ‘blind’ by an independent panel, meaning the branding, price and product name are unknown. The criteria is personalised and standardised to the specific category, but flavour and texture are always core to the taster’s consideration.
Alex Crossley: Digital Editor of olive. Alex not only manages the website but is a prolific travel writer and olive’s oracle for foodie recommendations, having extensively explored Europe and beyond. She has achieved a distinction in WSET (Wine & Spirit Trust) Level 2 awards in Wines and Spirits and was named winner of New Digital Talent of the Year at the PPA Digital Awards 2018.
Hannah Guinness: Sub editor and drinks writer. Hannah has been with olive since 2017 and has over eight years’ of experience contributing to food and lifestyle magazines. She regularly writes bar and restaurant reviews, food features and recipes and has WSET Level 1 Award in spirits.
Tracey Raye: Group health editor for olive and BBC Good Food. Tracey MSc is a registered nutritionist and oversees all the nutrition, health and fitness related content and writes a monthly health column in the magazine.
Lucy Roxburgh: Before becoming reviews and eCommerce editor of olive and BBC Good Food, Lucy trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine and also worked as a private chef. She now works with our expert freelancers to produce new content, along with writing gift guides and food reviews.
Anya Gilbert: Senior digital reviews writer for olive and BBC Good Food, Anya specialises in putting coffee machines through their paces but has tested everything from stand mixers and food processors to juicers to bring readers impartial and up to date advice on the products really worth their money. She’s always on the lookout for new launches.
Lydia Anderson: Digital reviews writer for olive and BBC Good Food, Lydia hales from the Good Housekeeping institute and is an experienced product tester, committed to finding the very best products on the market, from cooking equipment and utensils to large kitchen appliances.
Celeste Wong: olive’s resident coffee connoisseur, Celeste has held top positions in leading artisan cafés all over the world for over a decade and has been listed as one of London’s top five baristas in The Financial Times, noted for her excellence and coffee expertise in many publications. Celeste also has her own brand of coffee beans with fellow coffee roaster and consultant Dumo Mathema.
Discover some of our reviews
Best bean-to-cup machines
Best coffee pod machines
Best espresso machines
Best ice cream makers
Best ever coffee recipes
Best reusable coffee cups
Espresso martini recipe
Coffee cocktail recipes
Best non-alcoholic beers
Coffee cocktail recipes