We got a new kitchen earlier this year and had promised ourselves we would treat ourselves to a new "proper coffee" machine, having previously had a pod system. We chose this product for several reasons. Firstly, it is nice and compact without sacrificing on design - it really does look great with the sleek stainless steel design it conjures up the industrial, coffee shop look at home. It also matches well with our other shiny steel and chrome kitchen appliances and fittings. Another reason was because of the '3-in-1' functionality. What this means it that not only can it be used like a standard espresso machine, where you add the ground coffee, tamp it and draw the water through. It also has the option to be used with two different types of pod for extra convenience and comes with the fittings to enable this - there is nothing extra to buy. We actually found that the machine works better with the pods than with the usual coffee, which also makes it far easier to clean. With the espresso function we have found it is very sensitive to the type of grind on the coffee and that makes it hard to get right. It also suffers quite badly with limescale build up as we live in a hard water area so we have to descale it every couple of weeks to keep it working well. There is also lower pressure than we would like in the milk frother, which makes it hard to make cappuccinos which guests sometimes want when they come over.
I was recently wanting a coffee machine which would make me all kinds of coffees, something simple in which I could use several types of coffee and which matched my kitchen without being too big and cumbersome.
I liked the style of this Dualit machine, and was almost instantly sold as it didn't seem to be too tricky to use. Armed with the coffee pods and several packets os coffees, I took it home to try out.
Apparently with this coffee machine you can be a barista.. It claims to have a unique pure pour spout to ensure professional extraction, an easy froth nozzle for coffee shop quality cappuccinos and lattes and a Thermabloc and pump to keep things at optimum temperature.
THE MACHINE ITSELF...
The machine is nice and compact and so doesn't take up too much bench space, and on the front it simply has a turn mechanism from coffee making to off to milk frother. At the sides of this are two switches, one being the coffee of/steam button and the other being the steam/water selector. Both have lights above them showing the temperature and whether the power is on or off. There is a filter holder into which can be put coffee pods, capsules or ground coffee. The machine also comes with measuring devices so that you can get the right amount of coffee. To fill the machine with the necessary water, simply take off the water tank at the back of the machine, fill and then follow the instructions.
It also comes complete with a free frothing jug which is basically a metal jug but just the right size for putting under froth nozzle and steam wand, to make the milk nice and frothy for a cappuccino.
The instructions themselves are very easy to follow and are a series of pictures and text. In fact, even if you didn't want to follow the written instructions, just by following the pictures, you could, in theory make a good cup of coffee.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE MACHINE...
I followed the instructions to the letter even down to flushing it all out befre use, and prepared myself for the perfect cup of coffee. The coffee went into the dispensing unit power was on and off we went. Indeed, the light told me when the water was hot and I turned the switch to coffee and out it came, slowly, and with the right amount of coffee machine noises. All well and good. Nice coffee if a bit on the cold side. However I put this down to it being a cappuccino and there being too much milk, although this should have warmed up.
One major issue is that I never seemed to have any water in the back of the machine and the water tray always needed emptying. This I assumed was normal until several weeks later I noticed that far from the water being heated at the back of the machine it was coming straight through into the water tray.
I have enlisted the help of several people and to no avail. The water does not filter through to the coffee and I feel almost aquatic my benches are so wet.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY...
This is available from most department stores and costs more than £100
Not a simple machine to use. The instructions are clear but it just does not deliver. I have spent weeks drinking weak coffee, and wiping benches.
Definitely one to return to the manufacturer and not to buy again.
Thanks for reading