Super automatic coffee machines are all the rage for that early morning espresso or cappuccino crave. We review the Bosch Coffee Machine as they have done quite a major update to their current coffee system, both on the outside facia and on the new color UI system.
Will the new Bosch BCM8450UC be a worthy competitor to our current favorite, the Miele CVA6800?
Let’s take a look.
Bosch Coffee Machine Review
Bosch’s built-in unit claims to do just about anything an expert barista can do, without the hassle of leaving your house, placing that slightly-too-complicated order, and risking having them get your name wrong yet again.
Less happily, this unmatched convenience and perfect morning coffee comes at a price. Even if you spend $5 a day on that perfect half-sweet almond hazelnut mocha frappuccino, it will still be the better part of two years before the Bosch Built-In Coffee Machine pays for itself. (Of course, if you have two people in the household with a coffee addiction, reaching that point will take less than a year.)
Ease and Convenience
Bosch touts one of the most luxurious features is that you can use the device’s app to give the machine instructions.
Imagine ordering a shot of espresso while still half-asleep and drowsy-warm in bed in the morning, and having it ready (and the kitchen full of its delightful aroma) by the time you get up.
While this Bosch Automatic Coffee System can be run from Bosch’s mobile application, so much setup is required that you are unlikely to solely fire up the machine from your phone. You still have to put a cup under the spout. You still have to put milk in the machine. You still have to clean the machine when it is done.
However, the app is impressive in that it offers a easy way to browse the different modes and drink recipes. No other built-in coffee machine right now offers this level of information accessible from a tablet or smartphone.
New Color UX Control Panel
Bosch’s new menu system looks amazing in use. The pictures are in full color, the animations are smooth. Everything just screams quality.
One thing we found a bit odd and counter-intuitive is the way you control your selections. There is a flat circular cut out in the center of the machine that you can spin around with your finger and that is what controls your selections.
Why they left this flush with the machine and didn’t raise this up and give it some kind of bezel or knurling we can’t even begin to fathom. In fact, on our first use of this machine it took us a minute to figure out just how to make our selection.
Some engineer was patting himself on the back a little too prematurely on this design element.
Other than that, the selection flow works great. It’s actually our favorite update they’ve made on this machine.
The Bosch coffee system does automatically clean the milk steaming system after each use by using a jet of steam.
The unit also has a self-cleaning process that takes about five minutes, and a longer descaling program. If you have time for it, the 26-minute “Calc’nClean” program combines the two. In case you haven’t remembered to run them lately, the machine will remind you with a displayed notification.
If your household has two or more coffee drinkers, you’ll love the OneTouch DoubleCup feature. The unit can make two drinks at once, eliminating those early-morning debates over who needs to wait those extra few minutes for their coffee.
Customizability and Quality of the Coffee
Of course, the big question here is whether it can pull a decent shot, since that’s what really matters. Fortunately, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
The designers weren’t too distracted by all the bells and whistles to remember the real point of a coffee machine, and their care and diligence shows.
This unit has programs that allow it to make seven different coffee-based drinks: ristretto, espresso, espresso macchiato, coffee, cappuccino, latte macchiato, and café latte. Each of these comes with automatic settings. Want a little more milk in your latte macchiato? Prefer slightly less scalding-hot drinks? The ability to adjust the values to suit your own tastes and preferences helps ensure you’ll get a good cup every time.
Different grinding settings allow you to choose whether you prefer finely or coarsely ground coffee, helping you achieve the perfect grind regardless of whether you’re using light or dark roast beans.
The Aroma Double shot function also contributes to helping you make the perfect cup; its two-stage action gives you strong coffee without the bitterness that can come from overbrewing.
Miele Coffee System CVA6800
Miele’s been making built-in coffee systems for a long time. Their current machine is their 5th generation design and safe to say it is refined indeed. Like the Bosch, the Miele CVA6800 is a non-plumbed coffee machine that accepts whole beans.
It can make two separate cappuccinos at once, sports an automatically lowering spout, automatic cleaning on its milking and brewing systems and an impressive color touch screen experience as well. While the Bosch goes for more color pictures and flashy animations, the Miele is far more surgical in its appearance.
Everything is well thought out. The Milk system clicks in with a satisfying noise. The fit and finish is hard to rival. The machine never seems to stop cleaning itself. This can be considered a positive and a negative, the downside being the drip tray requires constant dumping.
This machine will make Cappuccinos, Lattes, Macchiatos, Espresso or Coffee. It allows for up to 10 customized user profiles.
The Miele is the highest priced though, and forget about finding it at a discount. It sells currently for $3,299.
Wolf’s coffee system is relatively new. They share the internals with a few other manufacturers at the moment, most notably Jenn-air and Smeg. It’s a non-plumbed machine with a surprisingly small reservoir. The milk system is also self-contained, like the Miele system, but is not nearly as intuitive as all the controls for changing the milk consistency are located on the canister itself.
Clean-up of the milk canister on this machine is also a little more tedious than the other machines. It does, however pull a very hot and consistent espresso shot. The burr grinder has 13 different grind levels and works very well.
It’s roll-out installation application with built in storage on the sides is interesting as well, allowing you to store and hide certain items behind the machine and out of sight.
The control panel is not intuitive and results in many customers requiring repeat training sessions with the appliance sales person. If you only wish to pull espressos you should be fine, but a more complicated drink requires patience.
Overall the machine is a solid build, but where Wolf really loses us is the price. At around $3,200. it is a hard sell next to the more grown up and polished Miele.
The Bosch Coffee System has an impressive UI and color screen. It looks and functions in a very futuristic and forward thinking way.
We find the milk system a tad clunky and not well thought-out in contrast to some of it’s competitors more thoughtful milk canister systems. It works better than the Wolf / Smeg machines but is not as easy to use as the Miele canister system.
Make no mistake, this is a giant leapfrog of improvement over the old Bosch Benvenuto Coffee Machine, which we rated and truly detested. This new machine is rethought both on the outside and the inside and we are impressed.
Cleaning on this machine is also a bit tedious, although we are happy that the machine is automatically rinsing itself more often than the previous model.
The Bosch Coffee System can be purchased today for around $3,099.