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Don't wait too Longhi for a cup of fresh coffee
DeLonghi ICM 2B
Member Name: masterchef98
DeLonghi ICM 2B
Advantages: Good price and easy to use
Disadvantages: Not a disadvantage for me, but it doesn't have any fancy features
Over the years I have had 3 filter coffee machines. We like fresh filtered coffee but I've always thought of cafetieres as too fiddly to wash up so prefer the electric coffee machines. Despite George Clooney's best efforts I have no desire to spend hundreds of pounds on a posh machine and then be tied into a certain brand of coffee so we stick to the simple ones.
My first machine was a DeLonghi which looked just like this one but was presumably an older version as it does not perform exactly the same. After about 3 years of daily use it went to coffee machine heaven and I got a Russell Hobbs that I never liked, so when I accidently dropped and smashed the jug I decided it was time to get a new one and went for this DeLonghi as we'd liked the one we had the first time and this was available for £14.99 in Currys sale (reduced from £19.99) with free delivery.
What you get is a smart looking machine which takes up slightly more space on your worktop than a normal kettle would. To make your fresh coffee you need to follow four steps;
1. Insert your filter and ground coffee. A permanent washable filter comes with the machine, previously we have only used paper filters but being a bit more environmentally conscious these days I am now mainly using the permanent filter and just use paper ones (available in John Lewis and most supermarkets) when I forget or don't get chance to wash it out. The only difference I have found (apart from having to wash up) is that a little coffee ground sediment comes through the permanent one but this certainly doesn't render the coffee undrinkable. You can use pretty much any ground coffee in the machine, compared with pod machines you have free choice over any type of coffee and also the strength in terms of how much you use. A scoop comes with the machine and for me I like one scoop per mug but my partner likes 2 per mug so if we're only making it for ourselves we can do it how we like.
2. Fill with water. I measure the cold water in the jug as it does come with a measuring gauge on the side, this is in cups rather than mugs but you get used to how much you need so know what mark to go to. There is also a clear gauge on each side of the water compartment so you could measure as you were pouring in if you prefer. Or you could measure it in your cup or mug but I would still pour it in from the jug if you don't want water all over the worktop, there is still a little spillage if I am in a rush.
3. Put jug back on hotplate. With my new machine I always make sure the outside of the jug is dry before I put it back on the hotplate to avoid water / coffee scorch marks on the hotplate. They haven't noticeably affected the perfomance on my previous machines but just look bad. With our first DeLonghi and the Russell Hobbs it was a little tricky to get the jug back in just the right place, and if you got it wrong the water wouldn't filter through to the jug and the machine would overflow. Happily on the new model it just slots straight in and we've been using it for months now with no problems at all.
4. Switch the coffee machine on. There is absolutely nothing fancy on this machine, just an on / off switch. The amount of time it takes depends on how much coffee you are making, but one mug can be made in a couple of minutes. The hotplate is on whenever the machine is on and will keep the coffee warm although some evaporation does occur and you get a more brewed coffee, personally I'd like to drink it within an hour of it being brewed. With our previous machines the coffee actually came though slightly colder than we'd like and leaving it on the hotplate for a bit after filtering heated it up, but with this model the coffee comes through hotter anyway.
All in all I think this machine is great. We were happy with our first DeLonghi model although there were a couple of flaws which have now been ironed out. Whether this one will last longer than the first I don't know, but personally as it gets used every single day, normally more than once and only cost me £15 if it lasts 3 years I will consider that good value. On workdays I filter two mugs of coffee to take to work in my flask, and it certainly works out cheaper than trips to the coffee shop!
I would definitely recommend this as an easy to use, no-frills, filter coffee maker.
Summary: Recommended simple machine
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