The Morning Machine review: a pod coffee maker like no other

A pod coffee machine with a difference

5 Star Rating
morning coffee machine on a kitchen countertop
(Image: © Future / Helen McCue)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Morning Machine is a huge step in the right direction for pod coffee. It works closely with specialty roasters to deliver coffee with a flavor and crema that exceeds what you’ll get from most pod coffee makers. It gives the user unprecedented control over settings, but it could be overkill for many fans of pod coffee.


  • +

    Easily adjustable settings

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    Bespoke brew profiles for specialty pods

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    Coffee has a more nuanced flavor than Nespresso


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    Lacks the simplicity of a one-button pod machine

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    No integrated milk frother

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    Small pod bin

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Pod coffee machines are the most convenient and mess-free home coffee appliances. But if you’re in the market for one of the best coffee makers, sometimes you must choose between flavor and convenience.

Most of the best pod coffee machines have a single-button configuration that does not allow users to adjust the coffee dispensed. While arguably that’s part of the draw, it can sometimes frustrate users and wish for a little more in terms of adjustable settings.

The Morning Machine is paving the way for a new era in pod coffee brewing. It offers numerous adjustable settings, and the brand has worked with specialty roasters to create bespoke brew recipes for hundreds of coffees, all available through a simple app. This machine promises to bridge the gap between the convenience of pods and the desire to adjust settings and have an element of control over your morning cup of Joe. Read on to see what we thought when we gave it a go, and head to our best single serve coffee makers guide for more.

Helen McCue
Helen McCue

Helen tried out the Morning Machine in her own home for a week. She experimented with a variety of pods and brew recipes. Having reviewed plenty of Nespresso pod machines in her career, she was able to draw comparisons between Nespresso machines and the Morning Machine, which uses Nespresso-compatible pods.

The Morning Machine: Price & Availability

The Morning machine is competitively priced because it offers much more functionality than similar Nespresso pod machines. You can buy it directly from Morning or through distributors such as END CLOTHING for a list price of $445/ £395/ AU$599.

Granted, the price tag is expensive compared to some of the cheapest Nespresso Original machines that use the same pods. But when compared to the flashier Nespresso Vertuo line, like the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista, it starts to look very reasonable, even without the ability to heat and froth milk.

Score: 5 out of 5

Morning Machine: Setup

The Morning Machine got off to a good start regarding first impressions. The packaging was mostly easy-to-recycle cardboard, and the machine lifted out of the box virtually, fully assembled, and ready to go.

All we had to do was position the cup support in place, and, rather satisfyingly, a magnet pulls it into the correct spot once it’s close. Then, it’s just a case of filling the water container and plugging it in.

Cup support and water tank removed

(Image credit: Future)

First, though, we downloaded the app and followed the steps to connect the machine to the app. When it comes to kitchen appliances, app connectivity is often a bit of a gimmick and doesn't add much in the way of functionality, but in the case of the Morning Machine, the app is integral. While you can use it without the app, in doing so, you’ll miss out on a lot of functions, but more on that later.

The manual advises completing a purge before use. This just means dispensing hot water to clean out the inside of the machine. It’s a simple process completed automatically after holding the back button for a few seconds.

We had a slight issue to begin with. The display kept telling us the water flow was restricted, and it couldn’t complete the purge. It turns out we needed to update the firmware, and once we did, everything worked as expected.

morning coffee Machine with capsules

(Image credit: Future)

Morning Machine: key specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
Capacity27 ounces
DimensionsH10 x W4 x D15.8 inches

The Morning Machine: Design

Our review unit had a matte black finish. It looks sleek and modern on the counter. It’s slim enough to tuck into a corner but looks nice, so you won’t feel the need to hide it away. 

The removable water tank sits at the back of the coffee machine and has a flip-up lid so you can fill it in place. A lift-up lever on top reveals the pod slot, and used pods are automatically ejected into the bin below every time the machine is opened. 

Inserting pod into the morning coffee maker

(Image credit: Future)

The used pod bin is quite small. Nevertheless, it can hold 8-10 pods, so most people only need to empty it every few days. It’s easy to access, just remove the cup support, and it pulls out like a drawer. The hardware is intuitive, and it only takes minutes to find your way around the machine.

Removing used pods in the morning coffee maker

(Image credit: Future)

With the cup support, there’s space for a three ¾ inch cup. But by removing it, you can use a cup up to 5 inches tall.

On the front, a circular OLED screen is surrounded by a rotatable wheel. The wheel allows you to scroll through the menus. Meanwhile, there’s a back button and a confirm button on the front of the screen.

The on-screen menu contains 10 ready-to-brew recipes, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Inside the app, you can set up your own recipe or select a coffee roaster, then brew coffee exactly to their specifications for the particular pod you’re using. 

using the morning coffee maker app

(Image credit: Future / Helen McCue)

For each bespoke coffee roaster recipe, you can still tweak all the settings, such as the volume of coffee, temperature, and bloom settings. Other adjustable settings include being able to change the pressure levels for the three brew phases, but this is where a lot of people will start to feel out of their depth. And arguably, if you’re a capsule coffee drinker, the likelihood that you’ll want to delve into this level of detail and control is probably quite low.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

The Morning Machine: Performance

Turning the dial surrounding the screen wakes up the coffee machine. Once you’ve put a new pod in and selected your coffee, it takes an average of 20 seconds to heat up from cold and begin brewing. As you’d expect from a pod machine, coffee is quickly dispensed. However, the actual time will depend on the recipe and volume of coffee.

The temperature of the coffee dispensed varies quite drastically depending on the recipe used. We measured temperatures between 125 - 170F/ 52 - 77C. What’s more, in the app, the brew temperature is adjustable between 167- 208F/ 75 - 98C, which will then impact the final temperature.

It’s not a noisy coffee maker. We measured the noise level at a maximum of 68dB, but for most of the brew, it was in the fifties, which is pleasantly quiet. Then, there’s a gentle musical tone at the end to alert you that the coffee is ready. 

We tried both the standard on-screen recipes and the ones in the app. For the standard ready-to-brew recipes we found, we kept referring back to the manual to describe what each recipe is best suited to and the type of coffee brewed. It’s far easier to use the recipes in the app. 

Because there are bespoke recipes for a huge range of pods from specialty roasters, it seems mad not to make the most of this. This app is user-friendly, and adjusting things like coffee volume and brew temperature is easy. As we already mentioned, fine-tuning settings like the pressure level of various brewing processes is easy but probably a step beyond what most people will want to adjust. That said, it’s easy enough to play around with.

brewing a coffee with the morning coffee maker

(Image credit: Future)

Flavor and crema

The flavor of the coffee pods we tried during this review was noticeably more nuanced than we’ve ever experienced from a Nespresso machine used with Nespresso pods. The coffee was less bitter and often fruitier, which made a refreshing change to the numerous drab, bitter coffees we’ve tried from other capsule coffee machines.

However, coffee is still in a pod, so it doesn’t compare to freshly ground beans. Even with the array of adjustable settings, there’s no amount of tweaking that’ll deliver a shot of coffee that can compare to a shot of fresh coffee from a good espresso machine. That said, if you want the convenience of pods but still care about flavor, this is probably the best machine on the market. It allows you to play around with the options to get the most out of the capsule.

In terms of crema, it is possible to get a better, thicker crema than we’ve seen from most other pod coffee machines. But as with flavor, it can’t produce the same thick, rich crema you can get from an espresso machine.

watching the morning coffee maker brew a coffee

(Image credit: Future)


Cleaning is quick and easy. There’s nothing more to do than emptying and rinsing out the used pod container and the drip tray beneath it. The cup support needs an occasional rinse and wipe down.

The brew unit can be cleaned using a cleaner pod once a month, and there’s an automated setting to do this within the maintenance menu. Similarly, when prompted to descale, there’s a setting within the maintenance menu that automatically performs the function, but you’ll need a descaling solution.

Score: 5 out of 5

Should you buy the Morning Machine?

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Score card
Price & availabilityA mid level price tag that’s justifiable given the range of customizable settings on offer.★★★★★
DesignMachine looks good, feels sturdy, and combined with the app it offers excellent functionality, but it may be over complicated for a some.★★★★½
PerformanceProduced some of the best coffee we've tasted from a capsule machine.★★★★★

Buy it if...

You like the convenience of pod coffee

If you currently have a pod coffee machine and enjoy the convenience, but you hanker for a bit more control over the drinks dispensed, this machine will be a great upgrade. It will allow you to adjust your drinks without mastering any barista skills.

You want the optimum flavor your pod can deliver

The app has a bespoke brew profile for a huge range of pods. So you can be sure that whatever pod you choose, the coffee is brewed as intended by the roaster so that you can enjoy the best flavor possible.

You’re interested in specialty coffees

Specialty coffee from smaller roasters doesn’t have to be limited to espresso machines. The Morning machine and app allow you to enjoy and experiment with coffee from smaller specialty roasters. 

Don't buy it if...

You want one-touch coffee

Don’t get us wrong—you can conveniently dispense coffee via the app or the options on the screen. But if you just want to press one button and let the machine take care of the rest, you’ll be missing the point of this machine.

You’re trying to minimize waste

Pod coffee, by definition, creates more waste than buying coffee beans or pre-ground coffee. Yes, there are recycling options and even compostable pods, but if you’re trying to reduce and minimize waste, you’d be better off avoiding pods altogether.

You like very long coffee

Even if you dispense the maximum 150g (5.3oz) water and 120g (4.2oz) coffee, you’ll still only get a 9.5-oz drink. This is something to consider if your usual coffee order is a super-sized cup.

How does the Morning Machine compare?

We recently reviewed the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista, a highly regarded pod coffee machine. It’s expensive and bulky, but it offers the latest and best pod brewing technology from this titan brand.

Meanwhile, the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista will undoubtedly please those seeking an integrated barista quality milk frother. It offers zero control when it comes to the coffee brew process. Without even the option to change the drink volume, there’s no comparison regarding adjustable settings. The Morning Machine is, without a doubt, the one to buy if you want control over the coffee dispensed into your cup. And since it’s around half the price of the Breville model, you can buy a standalone milk frother if you enjoy a milky coffee recipe.

How I tested the Morning Machine

I used the Morning Machine instead of my usual espresso machine to make daily coffees in my home. The brand sent me four different pods from specialty roasters, and I brewed them using the recommended brew profiles in the app and some of the standard recipes on the main menu.

I played around with all the adjustable settings and did some side-by-side tastings to understand the differences between different brew profiles and settings. Although my usual machine is an espresso machine, I’ve reviewed many Nespresso machines and have often felt frustrated by the lack of adjustable settings. 

So, while I won’t let go of my trusty espresso machine and specialty coffee subscription, I enjoyed using the Morning Machine, which takes pod coffee in a new direction.

Read more about how we test.

  • First reviewed: March 2024
Helen McCue
TTR Contributor, Vacuums

Helen, with a degree in Home Economics and a background in the food industry, transitioned to a career at the Good Housekeeping Institute in 2007. She specializes in testing and reviewing household appliances and offering advice in various publications. She enjoys gardening, working out, and DIY projects in her free time.