I have always been one for gadgets but have generally resisted buying a coffee machine. They seem quite expensive for what they do and the ones with the ready mix cartridges do produce a nice, but not authentic, coffee. Not only that but the cartridges are super expensive to buy and for an artificial coffee (IE one produced by powder and chemicals) it just doesn't seem worth it.
You can also buy a steaming wand for your home too. This is smaller version to what the baristas use to prepare milk in the coffee shops. A friend of mine, Lee, has one at his home. Which I was quite impressed by but it took ages to produce a steamed and frothed milk for our cappuccinos it was also a bit tricky to use. So whilst it did produce a nice coffee the preparation time taken was just too long for me, I was looking for a little bit of luxury I can fit into my already busy days and don't have too much time to spare.
Luckily I stumbled across something that seemed to fit the bill – a milk frother. Simply put, you pop your milk into the frother, turn it on, wait about 1-2 minutes and you have a nice frothy milk for your cappuccino or latte. I like this because it's simple to use and I can use the frothed milk to make my instant coffee a bit tastier if I'm even more pushed for time than usual.
I got myself a dualit milk frother from this site and some cappuccino mugs to start making my own cappuccinos at home. I have to say I'm quite impressed. It isn't as good as the ones prepared by baristas but its still very nice and a bit more special than the norm for a working day. Best of all it works out cheaper than buying coffees throughout the day as you can the same milk frother as mine for about £35, which over the course of a few weeks you could easily spend on coffees from Costa or the like. If you'd like to get your own milk frother I picked mine up from MilkFrotherWorld.co.uk.