Friday, 8 May 2015

KitchenAid Nespresso coffee machine

I am a self-confessed teaholic, but I do enjoy my daily cup of coffee as well. My husband is Italian, and as you know, the coffee culture in Italy is unequalled. Despite having a decent bean-to-cup machine at home, we often enjoy a cup of coffee out. In fact, I am really looking forward to our coffee mornings together, when we take our younger son to school, and have a cup of latte in a cafe before my husband heading to work. This is our time without kids, when we can have an adult conversation. Our coffee machine is getting older and more temperamental, and I have been thinking of getting a replacement. Luckily, I was offered to test a KitchenAid Nespresso coffee machine as well as some new flavours from their coffee range. This helped me to make up my mind regarding our next coffee machine purchase.

Nespresso and KitchenAid don't need any introductions, as both are well known as design icons. They have recently teamed up to create a new espresso machine, and it was launched back in January 2015.
It is a very stylish, sleek, modern-looking kitchen gadget which will look great in any kitchen.

Nespresso sources a range of 23 Grand Crus from the world's top coffees. Whether you love a ristretto, espresso or lungo, the calibrations on the machine will suit any taste and preference with an easy selection from the LED indicator.
The water heats up in 25 seconds, so you don't have to wait long for a cup of coffee.
 It features aluminium and zinc die-cast elements and comes in 6 different colours: Onyx Black, Candy Apple, Empire Red, Medallion Silver, Frosted Pearl and Almond Cream.

The design is definitely a talking point. For the time I had a Nespresso at home for testing, I kept bringing friends over to the kitchen and doing a pitch.

KitchenAid Nespresso is quite heavy at 8.9kg, so once you have chosen a spot for it in your kitchen, that's it. It's not too easy to put it in and out of the cupboard, but then why would you? It looks great in the kitchen.
It is also very easy to operate, even for techie-challenged folks like me. The handle which opens and closes the capsule compartment, reminds of the vintage and retro slot machines.
There are six drink settings, and the next time you make coffee, the clever gadget will remember which setting you have used the most over the last eleven uses.

I liked the ease of cleaning the gadget, just pull out the tray with the used capsules. This used capsule container can hold up to 14 capsules.
The 1.4 litre tank is easy to fill with water and keep clean, though  as it is at the back of the machine, it is good to check if there is enough water before you start making a new cup of coffee. I've been caught unawares a couple of times, when the water has ran out.

The machine is priced at £309 for the non-milk version and £349 for the version which comes with a milk frother, Aeroccino. I've just seen it on offer at Lakeland.

 I will give you a short comparison between KitchenAid Nespresso and a bean-to-cup type of machine that we have (DeLonghi) as well as pros and cons.

KitchenAid Nespresso Bean-to-cup machine
Milk/frother function Unavailble/ you need to buy
an Aeroccino milk frother
Coffee variety Limited to compatible pods/good choice
of 23+

No limit: use any variety of beans
or ground coffee
Size/weight More compact/quite heavy at 8.9kg/
not easily moved
Takes a lot of space on the counter/
very heavy & bulky/hard to move
Water tank capacity 1.4 litres about the same
Design Very stylish, modern, 10/10, a winner More functional than stylish
Ease of cleaning Very easy disposal of used capsules After a while cleaning becomes an
issue, as coffee granules get all
over the place inside rather than
the intended basket; a real pain
to clean

I have tried most of the varieties of Nespresso capsules which I received with the machine, and it is an impressive range. The capsules all come in different colours, so it is quite easy to find which one is which after looking at the menu. Each coffee has its own personality and profile on the menu, and the names read like a book on the exploration of the world: Roma, Livanto, Indriya from India etc - or a musical score - Arpeggio, Capriccio, Fortissimo Lungo... I bet people who were giving names to the range of Nespresso capsules, had great fun doing it.
I prefer the lower intensity of coffees and more fruity flavours.

I have also tasted some of the latest additions to the range. Nespresso took the three most popular Grand Crus, one each from the Intenso, Espresso and Lungo ranges, and replicated them as decaf versions: Arpeggio Decaffeinato, Volluto Decaffeinato and Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato.
Volluto Decaffeinato  was my favourite of the three, it was smooth, sweet and well-rounded, with the fruity undertones.

When combined with a frothy milk (with the help of Aeroccino), you can make a delicious latte or cappuccino.

Disclosure: I received a KitchenAid Nespresso on loan for the purposes of testing and reviewing. All opinions are mine.