Pod vs pod: let the battle begin!
Capsule coffee machines can be great for a quick cuppa when you're in a hurry, and in our testing we've come across some models that perform just as well as manual and semi-automatic machines when it comes to taste.
Here, we put the recently-released Lavazza Minu and Espressotoria Adesso capsule machines, both available from Coles, to the test.
The Lavazza is a manual machine, so it has to be switched off by hand once you're finished with it. It's compact and weighs 2.9kg; however, its water reservoir only has a 500mL capacity. It can accommodate larger cups easily but you're not able to program the amount of coffee delivered into your cup. It takes only 30 seconds to warm up and another 30 seconds to make the coffee.
The Espressotoria is a semi-automatic machine – it switches itself off once your coffee is made. It's a bit bulkier than the Lavazza, weighing in at 5kg, but it also has double the water reservoir capacity. It accommodates larger cups, and by simply holding the coffee button you can program the amount of coffee you'd like. It takes 35 seconds to warm up and only 15 seconds to make the coffee, which we think is too fast to make a really good cup of coffee.
We recruited 10 CHOICE staff members to taste the coffee from each machine. In the Lavazza we used Deciso capsules and in the Espressotoria we used Vittoria Coffee Espresso capsules.
Tasters ranked the coffee from the Lavazza as 'OK' overall, describing the taste as:
- slightly bitter
- slightly burnt.
Tasters ranked the coffee from the Espressotoria as 'poor', describing it as:
- lacking flavour.
When making four consecutive cups of coffee, the first cup from the Lavazza was much cooler than the following three cups. Consistency in coffee temperature was a bit better with the Espressotoria.
We purchased the optional milk frother for the Espressotoria. It made froth that was too hard with large air bubbles. The milk burned to the bottom of the jug and took some serious scrubbing to remove.
Ease of use
Both these machines are easy to use – simply pop the capsule in place, turn on the switch or pull down the lever and press a button, then remove the spent capsule once the coffee is made. The water containers are easy to fill, remove and replace. The drip trays are small, but it's very easy to clean the plastic exteriors of these machines if there's overflow.
These machines are easily accessible in your local supermarkets if you're thinking of ditching instant coffee and trying out a capsule machine. You can experiment with the range of capsule flavours that are available for each, but when it comes to taste the Lavazza was more acceptable to our tasters than the Espressotoria.