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7 of the Best Retro Coffee Makers by Ariete, Swan and Smeg and More

Last Updated on August 12, 2021 by YourBestCoffeeMachine

Just looking at these vintage retro coffee makers gives you that 50s vibe─joyful and playful. Retro machines, not necessarily limited to coffee makers, come in pastel colors that make them stand out. In fact, the pastel colors, along with its other features, such as silver knobs, give these coffee machines that 50s look. Having retro-looking appliances in your home is a great way to spruce it up and to give it a hip personality. And, adding a vintage retro coffee maker seems to be a good place to start.

Yes, there are plenty of vintage retro coffee machines out there that you can surely fall in love with. How will you ever decide which one is best for you? To help, we have listed 7 vintage retro coffee machines available in the market today. These machines aren’t just pleasing to the eyes, but they can brew an awesome cup of coffee, as well.

And if you are looking for a coffee maker that does a little bit more – have a look at the 3 in 1 combos on offer below! Definitely a space saver and multi tasker extraordinaire!


Swan Retro Espresso Coffee Machine

Retro-Coffee-Machine-Swan-Retro-Espresso-Coffee-Machine

Dimensions (Metric): ‎44.6 x 41.9 x 29.6 cm; 7.45 Kilograms

Dimensions (Imperial): 17.56 x 16.5 x 11.65 inches; 16.39 pounds

We give this one 4.5 stars – amazing retro styling, but not perfect.

Swan Retro Coffee Makers – What We Love

The Swan Retro Espresso SK22150 Vintage Coffee Maker uses 20 Bars of pressure and a self-priming system to create the best possible flavorful coffee in just minutes. This stylish retro coffee machine can also hold up to 1.7 litres (57 liquid ounces) in its detachable water reservoir so that you can make up to two cups of coffee at once.

The manual version requires a lot more refined skillset to operate which is great if you love the process involved. But if you’re like us and like to keep things simple, then you’ll love the semi-automatic because it has only three buttons – perfect for beginners and busy people alike!

Many users loved the professional spoon and coffee presser for superb control over the quality of your coffee. The Swan vintage coffee maker is compact and lightweight; a lot smaller than many other coffee machines in the market so you won’t break your back moving it and it won’t take up too much valuable bench space.

In our opinion, this is one of the best vintage espresso machines based on our review of worldwide research and use of it. We did note that some reviewers found the quality of the coffee produced was weak but those complaints seemed few and far between.

We also love the versatility of the machine as it has the capacity to make an assortment of coffee recipes, including lattes, cappuccinos, etc. You will also love the classic milk frother for making a variety of caffeinated drinks, including a cup of hot chocolate for that cold morning whether you’re in Glasgow, Scotland or Denver in the USA. 

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Swan Espresso Machine – the Not So Good

The milk wand is pretty short, so you cannot heat up more than 600ml of milk at once. In our view that isn’t really a drawback as we recommend creating enough foam for just two cups of espresso at a time. That way your coffee doesn’t get cold before you are ready with the milk. 

Seeing as this retro style machine comes with a portafilter with two spouts, which means you can have as much as two espressos at the same time, the milk frothing capacity is also the perfect fit.

We do recommend that you thoroughly clean the tank once you receive your purchase to avoid having a plastic taste in your coffee, which was an issue in some trials.

You can have this coffee machine in manual or semi-automatic options. In the UK you are spoiled for choice with 9 color options although it seems not all colors are available in the semi-automatic option.

Another downside from our research is that the machine gets a bit noisy during operations. If that isn’t an issue for you though, then this is definitely a machine to love.

Don’t forget to buy a coffee grinder (or pre ground coffee) though as this retro coffee maker is only compatible with ground coffee or Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pods. It does not come with a great amount of customization to control areas such as temperature so if you are very particular about your coffee brew this may not be the machine for you.

Cleaning the Swan Retro Espresso Machine

Cleaning your gorgeous coffee machine is also easy but must be done daily. For a more rigorous cleaning, consider descaling every two months. Most users found the machine easy to clean.

Our Conclusion

You will love that that the Swan Vintage Coffee Machine is easy to use and easy to clean. For the aesthetically focussed in the UK, it comes in over nine colors but color options overseas are more limited. Compared to other options, the coffee quality may not be as good as other machines but then this does come down to personal preference.

Overall, this is one of the most stylish vintage retro espresso makers and is an excellent choice for beginners.

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Retro-Coffee-Machine-Swan-Retro-Espresso-Coffee-Machine

 Smeg Retro Coffee Machine

Retro-Coffee-Machine-Swan-Retro-Espresso-Coffee-Machine
Retro-Coffee-Machine-Swan-Retro-Espresso-Coffee-Machine

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Dimensions (Metric): ‎25.6 x 24.5 x 36.1 cm; 3.4 Kilograms

Dimensions (Imperial): 17 x 13 x 11.25 inches; 7.48 pounds

4.5 stars – Great filter coffee maker with cute retro styling, but expensive compared to other filter coffee makers

No article about retro style coffee makers would be complete without mentioning Smeg – the undisputed titans of retro styled kitchen appliances! Although we do have to note that his model isn’t a true retro espresso machine we couldn’t help but includ it because it does make a great cup of coffee.

What we love about the Smeg Coffee Maker

Whether you’re searching for a suitable machine to start your day in Seattle without succumbing to the urge to visit a coffee shop, or just looking for a cute coffee maker to adorn your counter top, the Smeg Retro Coffee Machine is an excellent choice. It comes with an auto-start mode, so that your coffee is ready for you at the start of the day. If you’re in the United Kingdom, this model comes with more colour options to choose from, including Black, Pastel Green, Cream, Red, Pastel Blue, and White. In the United States and elsewhere your choices are more limited.

It also comes with the traditional anti-drip and anti-slip design for a mess-free operation. You will also love the user-friendly panel that allows you to customize both the water level and water temperature to make the ideal coffee for your palate. On the upside, this stylish vintage machine comes with all the functions you expect of a modern device, including a digital LED display and buttons. 

It has a whopping 1.4 litre (47 fluid ounces) water reservoir which gives you enough to make up to 10 cups of coffee. It even comes with the ability to brew a specific smaller amount so you don’t waste coffee or energy. 

One thing we loved about this coffee maker is its reusable filter, which is a great eco friendly option but which is also super easy to clean (although other parts of the machine are perhaps not so easy – see below). It has a 60 minute keep warm function which is longer than many other machines (a couple of buyers said it didn’t work that well although most seemed to think it was good).

The stylish coffee maker also comes with an alarm light indicator that tells you when it’s time to clean your machine so that’s one thing you can take off your list of things to remember! 

Finally, we do love that you can purchase this stylish coffee maker in 4 scrumptious colors, including cream, pastel green, red and stainless steel. When searching for a gorgeous vintage coffee maker to impress your friends and have delicious cups of coffee, in our view this is a great choice. 

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Smeg Filter Coffee Machine – the Downsides

One of the downsides to this retro coffee maker according to users (and they weren’t all in agreement on this), is that you might have a tricky time when filling up the water reservoir. With the lid opening up so close to the top of the water reservoir, it can be difficult to get your jug or carafe lined up so that the water ends up in the reservoir and not on your bench. However if you use a water bottle or other narrow necked filling device, this isn’t an issue. 

We also didn’t love that the tamper was made of plastic and expected something with more heft to it as the standard one that comes with the machine feels a bit finicky. Sometimes this made it challenging to pack the coffee grounds tightly into the filter holder. 

Some reviewers thought the machine felt a bit cheap – with many plastic components – which was disappointing given the price. And do not expect advanced customizability, such as controlling the flow rate and temperature of the water.

Cleaning the Smeg Coffee Pot

As with many other machines, it’s not the easiest coffee maker to maintain, and you might have to descale it frequently if your water quality is hard.  Smeg recommends descaling it every 2 weeks which seems a lot compared to many other similarly priced machines. Here’s a video showing what is required so you can decide if it’s worth the effort for the good looks this machine provides.

Summary

Overall, lovers of Smeg styling will probably forgive the downsides. If you’re really focussed on the quality of the coffee, but don’t have the money to splurge on what is just a really good looking filter coffee machine, then this is not the model for you. However, if you’re keen to treat yourself, then given the quality of coffee and overall reviews of this cute Smeg Retro Coffee Machine (about 75% of people worldwide rate it at 5 stars taking everything into account), then we say go for it!

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Ariete 1389 Retro Espresso Machine

Overall we give this one 4 stars – losing points as it seems it’s not so easy to use in the real world!

Ariete has a wide selection of vintage coffee machines which makes them one of the go-to brands if you are looking for a retro-looking appliance. Their espresso machine now comes in gorgeous retro colors – pastel blue, pastel green and beige. However, the biggest complaint by actual users is that it’s not the easiest to use – especially the steamer. But if you’re after a great flavored coffee and don’t mind putting in some work to master the steam wand, then

This is a compact espresso machine but still manages to deliver 15 bars of pressurised water to produce a full-bodied espresso – great for getting fully caffeinated in the morning! Some users reported however that all of this pressure produced a mess but to be honest, we’re not sure if that’s just user error as it’s not a common complaint.

The model has been updated from the model we reviewed some years ago. It now has a dual function filter which means you can now use 1 cup of powdered coffee OR pods which we think is a great upgrade.

It can accommodate up to two cups at a time. Additionally, it allows the user to use their favourite mug, thanks to its removable cup holder. Maintaining it is easy too, because it comes with a removable drip tray. And, the best feature may be its milk frother, which will give you the creaminess that you desire.

This model is not currently available in the US, if you live there, try the similar Klarstein Esspressionata Gusto. For those of you in the UK you’ll be pleased to know it now comes in gorgeous retro colours – blue, green and beige.

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MaxiMatic 3-in-1 Deluxe Toaster Oven/Griddle/Coffee Maker

Dimensions (US): 19.25 x 11.75 x 11.5 inches; 14.8 Pounds

Dimensions (Metric): 50.8 x 33.02 x 29.21 cm; 6.4 Kilograms

4.5 stars based on our research into user reviews

Retro Coffee Maker Plus – Everything to Love

If you’re looking for something more versatile than just a coffee machine, then this retro vintage coffee maker definitely brings out the retro feel but is a heavy hitter in terms of function!

Right now it’s available in red or blue and there are cheaper models, although our research suggests they’re not quite as good. You might think for a minute that this coffee maker is too big, considering that it comes with a toaster and griddle, but in reality, it is quite compact. In fact, the added toaster and griddle feature makes it perfect for small kitchens or even dorm rooms.

The griddle is non-stick, so you can easily fry your morning bacon on it, and then you can use the toaster to toast biscuits or bread (you have the option of a 1 or 2 slice version).

For us however, the important feature is, of course, the coffee maker. The coffee maker can make up to 4 cups at one time (some reviewers felt this was misleading – seems to depend on your cup size), and it comes with the Pause ’N Serve feature. For even more convenience, it comes with a reusable filter that helps to reduce waste.

Controlling this epic, retro machine is extremely easy, thanks to its super convenient control centre that allows you to adjust the heat, time and function selection. Additionally, the toaster comes with a 15-minute timer and an indicator bell to let you know when your coffee is ready.

Downsides to this Multi function Breakfast Center

Looking at all of the reviews (about 70% of which were 5 star) there were some complaints about the size. If you’re using a large loaf of bread, then you won’t fit 4 slices in the toaster.

Some people didn’t like the plastic components and thought it was cheaply made. However, overall we come back to the fact that 70% of people gave it 5 stars considering all of these factors. Do consider the dimensions above though and what sort of food you’re likely to be cooking in it. If you like a huge loaf of bread, then this might only be a machine for 1 making it great for a college dorm room.

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Or if you’re after a family sized model (because bigger is better right?), the Nostalgia Retro 3-in-1 Family Size Electric Breakfast Station, Coffeemaker, Griddle, Toaster Oven is your go to choice. It offers all of the features of the Maximatic Breakfast Center, but also includes a 4 slice toaster.

It comes with a 30 minute automatic shutoff feature for safety and a glass lid for the non stick griddle. It’s easy to clean and safe. You also have another choice in color here with red (the pic below) being offered rather than just the blue. Although in the UK, you have the option of black, black or … black.

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Illy Francis Francis X1 Coffee Machine

This coffee machine looks very traditional and allows you to use fresh ground coffee. You can easily control the volume to get just the right espresso that fits your taste. Illy’s X1 coffee machine is designed by Italian architect Luca Trazzi. It comes with a metal casing, which is available in vari-ous colors. This retro coffee machine is perfect for those who drink coffee and cappuccinos every day.

Or consider our review of the Francis Francis Illy X7 1 if you love the statement styling of these Illy machines.


Nespresso Pixie Coffee Machine

This retro coffee machine is more compact due to its redesigned Aeroccino base. It fits perfectly in smaller rooms and it’s simple to use, as well. It comes with 2 automatic buttons that are programmable, allowing you to quickly brew a cup of coffee.

Thanks to the Aeroccino technology, you can make various milk-based beverages. If you wish to use a different cup, you can, because it has a folding cup tray allowing for more versatility. Its high-pressure pump and heat control system will allow you to have professional, barista style, hot coffee in just 25 seconds. This coffee machine also comes with an energy-saving mode, thanks to its auto-off feature that shuts off in 9 minutes of inactivity.


Russell Hobbs CM3100RDR Retro Coffee Maker

Remember the 50s diner with the simple retro coffee machine? This Russell Hobbs coffee machine is incredibly simple, yet looks completely retro. If you are looking for something a little less complicated, and you simply want a cup of freshly brewed coffee, then this is a great choice. It prides itself with its advanced showered technology that enables the machine to better extract the flavour and aroma of the coffee.

Additionally, it drenches every grain of coffee and the waste is automatically reduced because of this feature. It has a Keep Warm feature that gives you hot coffee until your 3rd cup! Two more essential features that this Russell Hobbs machine comes with are a Brewing Progress Coffee Gauge that helps monitor the brewing progress and how long it keeps warm and a Pause and Pour feature that will interrupt the brewing process if you want to pour the coffee onto your cup.


Conclusion – Swan makes our favorite retro coffee makers

Finding a great retro coffee machine may sound tricky, but it’s good to know that there are plenty in the market today thanks to the continuing popularity of vintage looking appliances. We hope that our guide of the best retro vintage coffee machines helps you to choose the best one for you.

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