Smeg bean-to-cup coffee machine summary
Luxury home appliances brand Smeg has long been respected for its statement gadgets that ooze Italian style and boast excellent build-quality. But lacking from its retro 1950’s collection was a bean-to-cup coffee machine – until now. The new BCC01 and BCC02 bean-to-cup coffee machines carry the same synonymous soft lines in a surprisingly compact footprint and are available in four colours.
We tested the BCC02 which offers a milk steam wand that’s adjustable by 45-degrees for use directly in a cup, mug or traditional milk steamer jug. This bean-to-cup machine really is compact – neither heavy nor over-dominating on a kitchen countertop and this is a huge positive when weighed against other models. We want one in our own kitchen.
Read our full guide to the best bean-to-cup coffee machines
What was the Smeg BCC02 bean-to-cup coffee machine like to use?
Packaging is plastic-free and the lightweight body is easy to lift up and out from the box onto the countertop. The frontage and removeable drip tray both have a brushed metal finish, practical for repelling greasy fingermarks.
This type of coffee machine is traditionally bulky and boxy, but in contrast, Smeg’s BCC02 is smaller than an average microwave. And this is a game-changer that makes it a great choice for anyone with less kitchen space.
It’s advisable to connect the power cord before filling the water tanks for the first time. The positioning also means the machine can be pushed right back against the wall when the water tank is full. We were actually able to fit a whole dinner plate in front of the machine by removing the drip tray, so that makes additional space for preparing meals.
Filling the bean hopper is a simple affair. The lid lifts up and off from the top. Grind level is adjustable depending on your coffee preferences. For example, espresso lovers would want a fine grind.
Eight functions are then selectable from two menus by an interface of four buttons. We needed the instructions to initially guide us on the sequences but then it was easy to select ristretto, espresso, coffee, hot water, light ristretto, light espresso, long coffee and steam functions. Above this were five alert icons to nudge the user of basic things like when the water or bean tanks are empty, but also for when the machine needs descaling.
Rather than the drip tray being adjustable, the dispenser itself moved up or down to accommodate mugs of different sizes.
Warm-up was quick and the grinding process surprisingly quiet. Once brewed, the espresso was dark and full-bodied, boasting an excellent aroma and hazelnut-coloured topping of crema.
For making a traditional cappuccino, we steamed milk directly in a cup and were impressed with the efficiency with which it frothed the milk, creating the swirl with oat milk as well as cow’s milk.
olive’s take: should you buy the Smeg BCC02 bean-to-cup coffee machine?
On a practical level, it’s a compact and versatile bean-to-cup coffee machine that’s intuitive to use for both black coffee or milky coffee drinkers. The functions are quiet and the process from grinding to brewing, quick. For the price, it’s great value for money.
In this instance, it doesn’t feel like you pay above and beyond for the Smeg name. This machine is smaller than its competitors and would make an enviable, eye-catching additional to any countertop if you’re after a mostly hands-off coffee making experience.
Cord length: 1 metre
Water tank: 1.4-litre
Drip tray: single height, removable
Coffee functions: Ristretto, Espresso, Coffee, Hot water, Light Ristretto, Light Espresso, Long coffee,
Dimensions: H43.3 x W18 x D33.6cm
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