I am excited to launch this section on my blog where I would be posting review on products- primarily kitchen and cooking related appliances . Kicking off this section with the review of this really sensational , larger than life kind of kitchen tool, which is too good to be real. For a non-coffee drinker to end up evaluating a coffee machine may mean either a disaster of an review or a real unbiased opinion on the process of making the coffee as I would not be falling over the end result as much as I would be taking keen interest on the process of making it...I hope it is the latter..
The coffee machine I got an opportunity to review was the top end machine available currently in India. The machine is fully loaded with most varieties of coffee pre-configured. It is branded by Philips and originally made by Saeco which is a company from Italy.
The machine as you see in the picture has an outlet with 2 spouts to help you make 2 coffee cups at a time. The bean case at the top lets you brew both coffee beans as well as filter coffee powder.
The jar for milk lets you hold a good amount of milk good enough for 10 cups of coffee. The machine is equipped with a 15 bar pump to grind your coffee into smooth crema which is the true extract of real coffee. It makes about 30 ml of coffee concoction in each suction. The water container is a separate section which lets you hold water - about 200 ml which is again sufficient for 10 cups of coffee at a time.
There are few press functions which let you make few varieties of the coffee. There are some auto coffee functions pre-built on the dashboard.
There is also a tray at the bottom to collect the coffee drips. It is ex tractable and hence easy to clean
Characteristics to Consider
User Friendliness (3/5)
For a microwave user the machine is extremely easy to follow on instructions. For the non starters and technology averse folks it may be a little intimidating to follow the steps. A little bit of practice and you would be good to go on your own
Considering India being largely a tea drinker's paradise, this may sound like a not so required device. This product is apt for small offices, home offices and also for the teetotaler's bar. For coffee drinkers and connoisseurs this is a gift indeed. The economics work out such that you would end up recovering the cost of a good quality coffee within 6 months for the most expensive variant of this machine.
The ups on this machine are definitely on the basis of its ability to clean itself up even in the case of hard water usage. The machine requires minimal maintenance as it collects the coffee waste in a separate bucket which can be discarded in the form of small disks which do not make much mess. The tray to collect the drip is also removable and can easily be washed. There are configurations that allow you to clean the complete internal system automatically which is a huge plus.
The lows are in terms of certain rules to follow like the need to always use purified water and cold milk etc. But these are minor distractions
The highest variant is priced at 5 times the cost of the second best currently available in India. This may lead one to think either east or west while picking the products. Either case you will have a winner considering the need you have at hand. If required for home / regular use, you may easily settle for the non automatic variant without compromising on the taste or output. For the fully automatic version you will enjoy a mini party at ease and recover the costs in a few weeks of treating your friends to special occasions.
I have already recommended this a few coffee loving friends. This is an appliance that may adorn your mini bar and give an edge to your baked cookies and coffee cakes. I definitely would ask you to take plunge of your mornings greet happily with a hot cuppa.
Coffee Variants Made and Tasted
1) Cappucino - automatic - 5*
2) Cold Coffee - 3*
3) Expresso Shots - 5*
4) Mild Cafe Latte - 5*
5) Cafe Mocha (Added chocolate sauce later) - 4*
6) Dip Tea - 3*
7) Hot Chocolate - Milk Frothing mixed with chocolate sauce - 4*