- November 11, 2011 12:01 pm
- Nick Broughall
There are two types of people who buy home coffee machines: Those who are out of time and want a quick, easy and cost-effective solution; or those who want to take time to enjoy a quality coffee at home. The Nespresso Lattissima+ from DeLonghi is the perfect machine for group one.
The Lattissima+ is almost Apple-like in its simplicity. From the design to the usability, there is absolutely no barrier to entry – once you unbox the machine and plug it in you are ready to go.
The Lattissima+ is a completely automated coffee solution. It will make you everything and anything – including milk based drinks – at the press of a button. It consists of the pod mechanism, a water tank at the back, and an ingenious milk container that removes from the machine’s body so you can stick it in the fridge or the top shelf of your dishwasher.
There are four buttons on top of the machine (five if you count the power button), which dictate your coffee selection. Long and short espressos, as well as long and short milk drinks are on offer. Each option is completely customisable to suit your cup size by simply holding down the button and releasing it when you have the desired quantity of milk and/or coffee. Once your coffee has been brewed, a dedicated button on the milk frother will send hot water and steam through the system to keep it clean before you pull it off to store in the fridge. You’ll definitely want to customise the coffee size and strength, but if you use different sized coffee cups, it may be worth investing in a new set so you can make sure you always have the right quantity set every time.
The frother itself is another level of ingenuity. Rather than steam all the milk kept in the container, it draws up the required level for each coffee, steaming and frothing as it goes, so no milk is wasted, and you can place the remaining milk in the fridge. An adjustable knob lets you dictate the level of froth desired, while the whole thing pulls apart for easy cleaning twice a week in the dishwasher.
The Nespresso coffee pods slot cleanly into the top compartment of the Lattissima+, before being ejected into a removable container. Because there’s no mess – all the coffee remains in the pod – all you need to do is empty the container into the bin every few days, depending on how much coffee you drink.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. Because it froths the milk into the cup before the coffee is added, the end result has a thick layer of frothed milk on top with no mixed coffee, which is hardly ideal for caffeine addicts who like their coffee’s nicely stylised by their local barista. It’s also more of a froth than the milky cream you get on top of a professional latte or flat white.
There’s also no way to adjust the temperature of the milk or coffee, so drinkers who like their drinks extra hot or lukewarm have no control over these settings, unlike manual machines with steam arms.
But overall, the Lattissima+ isn’t about that. It’s all about simplicity in coffee making, where all you need are the pods, some water and some milk to make a respectable coffee. While the end result won’t impress coffee snobs, it’s certainly good enough for a large proportion of homes who don’t want to drink Blend 43 anymore.
Like: Simplicity. It’s as basic as you hope for. Easy to clean and store milk as well.
Dislike: The milk ends up a bit frothy rather than creamy and is not mixed through the coffee.
Nick Broughall is the Australian Editor of TechRadar.com, where he gets to indulge his passion for geekery and the lastest technology. He is also the Editor of EFTM.com.au, where he gets to indulge his passion for manliness, from sampling fine liquor to the joys of growing a beard. It's a pretty good life, really.