The Grind One might be the chicest coffee machine on the market - but does it live up to the hype?

We know it brings a luxe aesthetic to your worktop, but we discover if it’s all style and no substance

The Grind One Pod Coffee Machine
(Image credit: GRIND)
Ideal Home Verdict

If you’ve been looking for a machine which matches the classic stainless steel Italian espresso chic, but don’t have space to spare, then this is a dream. The settings themselves are simplistic at best but if all you want is a stylish machine that makes smooth-as-anything black coffee made using the convenience of pods then the Grind One may be your perfect match.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Looks great on your countertop

  • +

    Easy to use

  • +

    Adjustable tray for long drinks

  • +

    Gorgeous tasting coffee

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    On the more expensive side for a pod machine

  • -

    Shows fingermarks so requires frequent cleaning

  • -

    Some leakage as you get rid of pods

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If, like me, you're a convert to the ease of pod machines, then you’ll know there are two issues to contend with. Firstly, there’s the eco issue of one-use aluminium pods and, secondly…let’s face it, even the best pod coffee machines leave something to be desired in terms of aesthetics. The majority of these are small, plastic-coated objects and though sometimes there's a new colourway, usually, you're stuck with just black.

The Grind One gets rid of both of these problems right away. Grind’s own pods are plastic-free and compostable, so you can chuck them in with your food waste without a second thought. Then there’s the looks. This Stockholm-designed (the Scandis really do have the best design creds) is a stylish stainless steel geometric machine with a very satisfying lever to open the inlet to drop in or remove pods and just one simple logo on the front, in the same Millennial pink as the Insta-favourite pod tins that you will no doubt have alongside it.

Unfortunately, the Grind One does come at a price - £249.00, to be exact, which certainly errs on the mildly expensive side of pod machines. So to help you decide whether this is really one of the best coffee machines, price tag and all, I’ve put the hours in. I’ve been testing out one of the machines for the past couple of months to see how well it works, whether it’s as good at making coffee as it is at adding style to a worktop, and how it holds up after daily use.

The Grind One product specs

The GRIND One machine

(Image credit: GRIND)
  • Model name: Grind One by Sjöstrand
  • Capacity: 1.2 litres
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Wattage: 1200-1400 W
  • Guarantee: One year free repairs
  • Dimensions: H336 x W186 x D259mm
  • Recipes: Espresso, Long Espresso

Who tested The Grind One coffee machine?

Thea Babington-Stitt
Thea Babbington-Stitt

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Assistant Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for nearly 10 years. 

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors

Thea tested The Grind One for several months at home before coming to the conclusions in this review.

Unboxing and first impressions

Grind really knows how to commit to a look - and I’m here for it. The Grind One machine’s box was the brand’s trademark pale pink, and there was a nifty ribbon handle meaning I could easily carry it from where it was delivered. There’s no way to get me in a worse mood than have me lugging around an impossible-to-carry large square box, so things were off to a good start. 

There really wasn’t any excess packaging, either, just two cardboard supports inside. There were a few items wrapped in plastic, but every piece of the packaging is fully recyclable which is always a plus. 

Testing The GRIND One Coffee Machine at home

(Image credit: Future)

You receive the machine itself, a pink aluminium tin for your pods, and three boxes of coffee to get you started. There are bundles you can buy if you want to add in one of the best milk frothers or some merch but, hey, I’m a girl on the go, I don’t always have time to froth my oak milk to perfection. And, when I do, I still don’t because it’s just one other thing to wash up.

Testing The GRIND One Coffee Machine at home

(Image credit: Future)

When plugging in this machine I noticed that the power cord is quite short. I only have a tiny kitchen, but if you have a bigger space then you might run into issues. Consulting the start-up guide, I was instructed to allow the water from the tank to run through the machine once before inserting a pod. 

There are a few reviews on Amazon that say they can't get this machine to work, and I think this step might be the reason behind some of those annoyances. If you don't run a whole tank of water through this machine when you first use it, it can't start to operate.

The GRIND One coffee machine

(Image credit: Future)

Once that's done, insert your chosen pod by lifting the lever, popping it in and then lowering the lever back into place. You'll feel the pod sink down to where it needs to be and be punctured. Then select either the espresso or the espresso lungo button, and the light on your chosen coffee type will start blinking. That's all you need to do in terms of operation, leaving you to the important job of watching your coffee start to dispense.

The machine was oh-so-simple to set up. All I needed to do was insert the power cord and slot in the drip tray. Before first use, the brand advises you to run 4-6 cups of water though the machine but, other than that, you’re good to go.

What's it like to use?

Making espresso

The Grind One Machine couldn’t really be much more easy to use. The brand advises running water through without a pod before each use in order to flush and prepare the machine.

I only did this on occasion with my former Nespresso machine (whether I was meant to or not is another story as I cannot wholly swear either way what the instructions were - I have no-one to blame but myself). But although it sounds like a faff, I do like knowing that the machine is being rinsed before each use and hopefully prolonging its lifetime in the process. Plus, if you use the same cup for the rinse cycle as your coffee (emptying in between) your cup is perfectly warmed in preparation for your hot drink and helps keep your coffee hotter for longer as a result. 

Testing The GRIND One Coffee Machine at home

(Image credit: Future)

To make your coffee you simply insert the pods by pulling the (very satisfying) lever to open the pod inlet, drop the pod in, close the lever and press one of the two buttons on the front of the machine which correspond to the short and long drinks offerings - a 40ml espresso and a 100ml coffee.

Both of these buttons have a handy memory function, so you can shorten or lengthen each cup depending on the length of your press and the machine will make drinks to these preferences until you manually change them. I like fairly long Americanos and like relying on its memory to ensure these, but also enjoy that it’s intuitive for guests to be able to adjust to their liking.

Testing The GRIND One Coffee Machine at home

(Image credit: Future)

If, however, you’re especially picky about your coffee length it may annoy you that you won’t be alerted that your preferences have changed, or that you can’t set a standard for the machine to revert to.

As for the taste of the coffee, I must applaud Grind. I’ve been a fan of their pods for quite some time, and have used them in a number of other machines. However, perhaps because this product was made with them in mind, the coffee tastes so much smoother, deeper and downright tastier than anything else I’ve made it in. I’ve not used any other brands with the Grind One but it is Nespresso compatible, so you can continue to use your favourite pods.


Getting to the pod drawer is simply a matter of removing the drip tray and pulling out the container. The manual does advise to empty the pod insert into the waste pod container after each use in order to prevent damage to the machine, but as it can fit 15 capsules you won’t find yourself continually having to empty the container. 

Over the couple of months I've been using the machine I’ve had no issues with any pods getting stuck in the insert unlike some other machines I’ve owned or used. However, I have found that every time I go to empty the container, as well as the pods there is always a few millimetres worth of watery coffee liquid, whether  I empty straight after use or wait a couple of days. So it can be annoying to have to empty liquid out along with your used pods, especially if, like me, you avoid liquids in your bin as much as possible. 

Similarly, the stainless steel does show use. I have to clean it fairly often to keep it free of blemishes and while these are easily removed with a damp cloth and simple cleaning products, it might irritate some people.

Should you buy The Grind One coffee machine?

All in all I’m a big fan of the Grind One pod machine. In fact, while I used to tuck my previous machines into a corner of my kitchen, I’ve reorganised things so this is on display - definitely a first for me. In terms of the coffee, as long as all you want is an espresso or a black coffee then this does the trick. It’s a matter of a flick of a switch and the push of the button each time, so you can get your caffeine fix without hassle. Plus, it tastes seriously good. If you’re looking for lattes or cappuccinos, then you should look into a separate milk frother, or buy a machine with all the functions you desire. 

The biggest issue for me is the liquid in the waste pod container and I feel for just under £250.00 this shouldn’t be something you have to deal with. If you want a seriously stylish machine that makes pods taste amazing then this is one for you, but if you’re on more of a budget it could be worth looking at some cheaper options.

How we test

Thea tested this coffee machine in line with how we test products that we recommend across Ideal Home, which involved using this machine at home for several months.

Thea Babington-Stitt
Managing Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Managing Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for around 10 years.

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.