Product Type: Dualit coffee machines
Newest Review: ... factor in the decision was that the espressivo can use your choice of ground coffee, or coffee bags ("pods") if your prefer ... more
A beautiful machine, for beautiful coffee
Member Name: 79million
Advantages: Looks, value, quality
Disadvantages: None I can see
I've had my Espressivo for a year now, having got it last Christmas, along with a nice burr grinder. In my job, coffee is a bit of a necessity, and so I have acquired a taste for a nice cup. Coffee at home is a labour of love. If you want good coffee, do not expect it to be quick or easy - adjust your expectations please. Coffee is something people spend their lives trying to perfect, like wine making for example. What I would say is that if what you're producing is not what you hoped, then you're doing it wrong, not the machine. Check out a website like coffeegeeks, or read a good book to learn more on making your own coffee.
Dualit have an excellent reputation for quality and durability, which seems to be well deserved. This item has a one year guarantee. Dualit also have an excellent market for spare parts and repairs, so this is not something that will just be chucked out if something goes wrong out of guarantee.
So, on to the specifics. It comes in a large sturdy box, very well packaged. Inside is the machine itself, as well as the 1.5L completely removable water tank (easy cleaning), handle/arm, three different sockets (for ESE pod, single shot, or double shot), cover for milk frother, plastic tamper, coffee measurer, and cleaning kit. It has a UK three pin plug, with a good long black cable. The stainless steel with chrome finish make it a beautiful object to have on your kitchen counter - you won't be wanting to put this away between uses!
When you switch it on you'll hear the self priming 15 bar pressure pump kick in, which is fairly loud. This may be a concern if you'll be using it while your loved one/kids/flatmates/gran are in bed asleep, but it isn't for me. It only actually makes noise when it's switched on, making coffee, or frothing milk. You'll want to leave it on for a little while to let the cup warming area on top do it's job - I turn it on then have my shower, so that when I get out it's perfect. It does actually work within under two minutes if you're in a hurry, but for good coffee, you shouldn't be!
Regarding coffee, so much is dependent on the beans, roast, grinding, water, milk, and most importantly knowledge of the user, that it's difficult to judge the machine in this way. What I can say is that it generates enough pressure to get a good crema, and I can make lovely coffee using it. I mostly drink americanos, but I have done capuccinos, macchiatos and lattes, as well as of course espressos. The milk frother works well, though it also takes some learning and practice to get good with it. It makes a lovely rich hot chocolate for those winter evenings.
Afterwards you will need to empty the handle, wipe the machine, possibly empty the drip tray (depending on how much spillage there was), and wipe down the machine's front (depending on how anal you are!). If you used the milk frother then you need to wipe it down too. That's not really more than a minute's work.
To make nice coffees at home with this you will also need a metal milk jug with a clip on thermometer. I would also recommend a water filter, good kettle, and of course some nice fresh roast beans and a burr grinder. You could also use ESE pods (a standard sized 'teabag' like sachet of coffee) that are produced by a number of different companies, and take a bit of the effort and mess out of the equation, but they can never taste as good.
In my year of owning this machine, I have only had one slight problem with it, and this was my fault, when I let it run dry, causing an airlock (which the machine fixed itself). So all in all a great machine.
Summary: A great domestic coffee machine
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