Get Your Perfect Coffee Made At Home
1. illy Francis Francis X7.1
Francesco Illy invented the first automatic coffee machine in 1935. Since then, Illy has become one of the most respected names and is available in 131 countries.
With its vintage style, this looks the coolest of the lot. It’s got one button to switch it on and one to make coffee, so it’s easy to use.
Fabio: “Illy does a very good job, but these pods do create some of the smoky flavours you associate with lower quality beans. It’s quite rich.”
A great looking, modern machine that channels old-school Italian style, and is super simple to use.
2. Lavazza A Modo Mio Favola Plus
Three-quarters of coffee-buying Italians choose Lavazza beans. They’ve teamed up with Swedish appliances giant AEG to challenge market dominators Nespresso in the pod-to-cup stakes.
It may not look inspiring, but it’s a solid appliance and no hassle at all to use: drop in the pod and choose between short or long coffee.
Fabio: “It tastes over-roasted, which gives it a slight rubbery flavour. But it has a good amount of crema — the foam layer at the top of an espresso.”
It heats water faster than a kettle and will give you a cup of coffee in under 30 seconds, but it’s not the tastiest of the lot.
3. Gran Gaggia
In 1977, Italian company Gaggia became the first to develop an espresso machine for home use. Now owned by Philips, its larger pro-use machines are still favourites with baristas.
This takes ESE pods — like little teabags — or ground coffee, which gives you the option of using top quality stuff. It’s not automatic though.
Fabio: “It’s fresh, the colour is nice and it tastes good. It’s not as good as a professional machine, but I’m pleasantly surprised by it.”
As close as you’ll get to café coffee in your own kitchen. It requires a tad more effort, but it’s well worth it for the taste.
4. Nespresso U
In the past decade, Nespresso has shifted more than 20 billion capsules – thanks in no small part to a certain George Clooney and a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign.
It’s sleek, simple and would fit into the smallest of kitchens. You just drop in a capsule, which makes it easy to use, but gives you less control.
Fabio: “It doesn’t have a rubber or smoky taste, which is good. I can see why people like it so much but it is quite watery and thin.”
A nifty little device — especially at that price — and the massive range of flavours means there’s a pod to suit every taste.
5. DeLonghi Motivo
Making affordable appliances turned DeLonghi into a billion-dollar monster. It’s now got its sights set firmly on the home coffee machine market.
This takes ESE pods or pre-ground coffee and comes with more manual controls than the others. It suggests using Kimbo coffee capsules.
Fabio: “You know when you chew a paracetamol tablet by mistake? That’s what I’m getting. The coffee’s not great, but I think that’s down to the pod.”
The manual controls mean you could potentially make a perfect cup of coffee, or end up with a thin, watery mess.