* Prices may differ from that shown
This is not a cheap machine - and before reading any further please consider the ongoing cost of having one of these - 10 capsules is £2.90, and delivery is £4 - you can only buy these over the phone, on-line, or at one of very few boutiques in the UK, including the centre of London.
Having said this, if you are a real coffee lover this is worth it.
- Set-up -
Very easy to set-up and you get an introductory pack in the box, including a folder to keep your invoices etc. in, and you get a free sample of each coffee capsule with your purchase. You will have a small brochure of what you can order for your machine, I would recommend you identify what kind of strength you enjoy and sample a range of these in your first order - I like the really strong ones and these days only really order Ristretto, Arpeggio, and the Decaffeinated capsules.
- Ordering -
Ordering the coffee is very easy, whether you do it online or over the phone. I would recommend going for large orders as this will cut down on the delivery costs, and although you may end up spending around £100 each time you wont have to spend this again for a few months (depending on your rate of consumption of course!) They often have limited edition capsules and if you order over the phone they will recommend them based on what you have ordered (i.e. if you order strong capsules they will recommend the limited edition if it is strong also).
The delivery staff are very friendly, and always deliver at the same time - delivery tends to be around 3 working days after you place your order. Note that you can also order recycling bags for your used capsules and they will be collected on your next delivery - your capsules will get mouldy while you are waiting so keep them somewhere sealed between collections.
- Using the machine -
This machine is extremely simple to use - you switch it on, wait for it to warm up and the buttons will light up when it is ready. Simply put your cup under the dispenser, press the button for espresso, lungo, cappucino, or latte and come back when it has finished. Once the coffee has dispensed lift up the capsule cover and the used capsule will drop into a tray that is slotted inside the machine - once this is full you simply pull it out and dispose of the capsules.
If you want a milky coffee you will need to attach the milk reservoir (this is also very easy to do) and the machine will do the rest. You can also set the milk to the level of foam you would like.
You have the option to set the volume of each coffee to your liking, this is simple although may take you a few attepts to get it to your liking, however once this is done it is programmed until you reset it (this is fully explained in the instructions).
There is also a hot water dispenser on the machine so you can make tea, or use it to make americanos rather than the lungo option the machine offers.
Lastly, unlike many machines there is no mess - you don't spill coffee grounds everywhere because it is all contained in the capsule, and the dispensed coffee does not spill, or leak out onto your worktop once caught in the drip tray.
- Cleaning the machine -
Cleaning the machine is easy, and should be done often. Drips from the dispenser go into a drip tray and do not leak out of the machine unlike others I have owned. The milk reservoir is difficult to clean and should also be done regularly - this will be easiest if you have a dishwasher, but can be frustrating if you are just washing it up in the sink. Nespresso also sell descaling products which are not particularly cheap, but is necessary to do once a month to keep your machine performing at its optimum.
- Coffee -
Most importantly perhaps, is that the coffee you get from this machine is of a very high standard. After buying this machine my partner and I noticed a significant reduction in the amount of coffee we bought outside of our home - we live 2 minutes from a Costa which we used to visit regularly, however the espresso from our machine is often of a higher quality than the high street options.
The machine has 19 bar pressure, which is reflected in the quality of the coffee which always has excellent crema. The decaffeinated option is also very good - you barely notice the difference which was a pleasant surprise.
- Overall -
I would definitely recommend this machine to anyone who loves coffee, and can afford to maintain the Nespresso habit! You will never want to go back to a ground coffee machine again!
For many years I have been a regular coffee drinker. When I wake up in the morning I have one thing on my mind, "Must. Make. Coffee.". I've had countless amounts of coffee makers, from the bog standard to the ridiculously expensive. Most have done the job well, with the exception of a few, but at last I have found my perfect coffee machine. Okay, it does have some flaws, but this machine makes the best coffee out of all the others I have owned- and that's what's important isn't it?
Being a Nespresso coffee maker, it uses Nespresso capsules rather than coffee beans. If you're a regular coffee drinker, you'll know how much of a relief this can be. This machine is so simple: choose the coffee capsule, place it into the machine, then press the button.
You can choose between espresso, cappuccino, latte and lungo, so it offers as many coffee types as most high-end coffee makers. There are 16 varieties of capsules provided by Nespresso, so you will never get bored of the taste of the coffee. I personally prefer the Capriccio, which is an average-strength, rich tasting shot. If you're looking for something stronger (Ristretto), or something weaker (Cosi), then the options are available for you! The capsules cost around 27p from the Nespresso website, so you really cannot complain about the price.
The milk-foam that this machine produces is fantastic. As I've mentioned, I've owned (and worked with) many coffee machines in the past, and this certainly gets the milk right. As with most professional coffee makers, milk foam is used to get the cappuccinos and lattes spot on. It is basically steamed milk, but it tastes fantastic and perfects the texture of the coffee. My personal favourite is the latte, so the milk is important- and it always delivers. The milk is easy to pour into the machine, as you simply put it in a detachable carton that slots onto the side of the machine. This ensures that you can keep the milk fresh, and to top this off you can simply machine wash the container after each time you use it!
On top of the fantastic milk system, this machine also succeeds when it comes to design. At 26cm high, and 20.5cm wide, this sleek-looking coffee machine will look perfectly in place in any kitchen, and in fact add a touch of class to it's surroundings. I own the black and white coloured machine, and it looks beautiful in my kitchen. I always offer people a coffee when they come to my house, and everyone comments on the quality of it.
The machine has a standard drip-trip that is very easy to detach to empty, and a 1.2 litre water reservoir, meaning you only need to fill it up after a few coffees. The machine has a water-level indicator too to make your job even easier. There is a clean button on the machine, which empties and cleans the pipes, so this is especially useful for those not wanting the hassle of disassembling a coffee machine to clean up!
My one issue with the machine would be it's price. This is a top-end, high quality coffee machine, and to be honest does justify the price level. However, it isn't for those just wanting a simple method of making a coffee on a morning. It should be considered a 'luxury' coffee maker, because many wont want to break the bank for the sake of an easy coffee.
Nonetheless, this machine really is fantastic. The wide variety of quality coffees means that you'll get the most out of this maker, and you'll rarely be disappointed with the outcome. There are different strength coffees for those wanting something stronger or weaker, and the milk foam really adds that final touch to a beautiful latte or cappuccino. To top it off, the machine is easily refilled and cleaned, so there is no messing around taking it apart!
Overall, this is a great product that coffee-lovers should seriously consider.
Being French, I love my coffee and cannot get enough of it, and in the past few years, I started drinking latte coffees but began with a standard espresso machine (where you put ground coffee in) and in order to get the perfect latte, I had to warm milk in a saucepan and then froth it with a manual milk frother - great results but very time consuming!
And so for Christmas, my husband got me the best present in the whole wild world: a Nespresso Lattissima machine! You can imagine my excitement at the sight of that... This coffee machine basically does it all for me, all I have to do is press a button and the most perfect latte comes out...
~~~ THE MACHINE: Overview~~~
The machine is very nice looking for a start and very smart. There is a switch at the back to turn it on and off but you can also use the stand-by button at the front, which saves up to 98% energy.
The top of the machine keeps warm and you can keep your glasses on top.
On the top left of the machine, there is a steam nozzle for hot water, which can be removed to 'plug' in the milk container.
~~~ THE MILK CONTAINER ~~~
The container can hold half a litre of milk and the best thing is that you can simply take it out and keep it in the fridge. The milk should be changed every other day and the container washed at least once a week (it is dishwasher proof).
There is an adjustable nozzle that neatly fits within the container, and you will spend the first few times of using the machine in a panic as you forget to put the nozzle in the glass!
At the top of the container, you can adjust the froth, which I think is brilliant... You can go from simply warm milk to very frothy milk.
I would advise using full fat milk, which is naughty but makes all the difference.
The downside to this is that the tube needs to be rinsed after you are finished with it, but that literally takes 12 seconds. You just need to press the 'Clean' button for a few seconds and hot water comes out of the nozzle.
~~~ THE FUNCTIONS ~~~
With the Lattissima machine, you can make 4 different coffees:
- Espresso (40ml): A small cup of black coffee, looking foamy and delicious
- Lungo (110ml): A larger cup of black coffee, also looking luscious and foamy
- Cappuccino (110ml): The milk goes in first and is followed by coffee, making a deliciously frothy drink, on which it would be rude not to add a little chocolate powder! Please note that the cappuccino makes quite small quantities.
- Latte Machiato (350ml): The milk also goes in first, depending on how frothy you like it, when the coffee follows, it will make the most beautiful combination as the coffee gently fights its way through the milk, leaving a gentle layer of milk at the bottom of the glass, on top of which the coffee sits nicely and is topped by the most gorgeous froth...
The machine warms up in one minute, which is very good.
- You can add a drop of milk to your lungo by pressing the latte button and pressing it again when you have enough milk.
- You can adjust the drinks to fit your glasses and tastes, e.g. for latte, press the latte button for a few seconds, the milk will come out (keep your finger pressed until you have enough), then remove your finger and press it again (and keep pressed) for the coffee to follow. Simply release when you have the right amount. This sets the latte button to your liking.
~~~ THE COFFEE ~~~
The Lattissima machine uses capsules, following the Nespresso concept, which most people are becoming familiar with nowadays. They are small capsules, which you insert at the top of the machine by opening a small lid and placing the capsule in, when you close the lid, the capsule clicks in properly and by the time you open the lid again, it will drop the used capsule into a container. No need to do anything really! The small container can be removed from the front of the machine; it normally holds at least 12 or 15 empty capsules.
**Note: You need to close the lid quite firmly to ensure that the capsule is locked in, otherwise, it will fall into the container, in which case it can be recuperated (it will be the one without holes in!).
Depending on what gadgets you buy with your machine (it is easy to get carried away!), you can find out which are the best capsule for which coffee type (latte, lungo...). All capsules come into various strength and are colours coded, there are for instance some special Lungo capsules, however, it is fine to use other ones for it. You can also look on the Nespresso website, where they can direct your tastes to the perfect capsule...
~~~ THE PRICE ~~~
If you are lucky enough to find it on offer on Amazon for example, you might be able to get one for £190, however they are normally more expensive, they sell for £269 from the Nespresso website. It is worth every penny in my view.
There are many local shops which will sell the machine and you might get a voucher towards your next purchase of capsules with it.
Capsules can be bought online or in Nespresso boutiques, but there are not many around (although they are worth visiting if you find one, it must be what heaven looks like!). In the UK, they are based in London, Birmingham and Manchester only.
The capsules can seem quite expensive at 27p to 31p each depending how much coffee you drink, but if you think how much a coffee shop charges you for a nice latte, it is a bargain!
~~~ THE COLOURS ~~~
The De'Longhi Lattissima EN660 machine comes in Creamy white and in Red.
The EN670 model is black and the EN680 comes in Satin Chrome and is a little more expensive.
~~~ CONS ~~~
I suppose it is only fair to find some disadvantages, but these are somewhat irrelevant compared to the advantages!
- All mugs and glasses do not fit with the machine, so it is worth buying proper Latte glasses as an investment, or you can buy some quite cheap ones as well which look good as long as they are transparent.
- Depending which area you live in, you might need to descale your machine more often than you would wish, this depends on hard water.
- The first latte coffee is not always very hot as you turn the machine on, in which case it is worth warming your glass with hot water first.
- You will get addicted!
Three years ago my mother put me through the weird purchasing experience of the Nespresso Empire. Briefly after a short period the Magimix branded coffee machine broke and despite its lengthy guarantee Nespresso denied liability. As a kind gesture in the form of a £50 voucher that Nespresso sent us, we purchased the later machine in the form of a Krups (£100) armed with an additional milk frother jug that proved to be a better design than the actual coffee machine; like the one that broke, the Krups still retained the annoying habit of having to stop the coffee flowing manually. In 2008 my mother spied a mother of a machine that nailed the two smaller machines to the ground; the Delonghi Lattissima EN660 and that cost her £229. House of Frasers also gave her three free boxes of Nespresso Allegro pods, which would ordinarily have cost £30 extra. Since then, well...she uses it most of the time whilst I have a Nespresso coffee from time to time. Prices range from £245 and upwards and the House of Fraser price we paid wasn't initially advertised on the internet. This is a long review.
The good news is that, at last Nespresso have realised what the consumer wants and you'll get automatic flow where you don't have to push the button to stop the flow of the coffee. It is a pity then that the buyer has to spend an excess of £200 to get this feature alone however.
Out of the box the Lattissima EN 660 is quite a large looking beast and mirrors the same size as my Tesco Value crock-pot. In reality it looks like a luxurious all in black three tier box of chocolates. Other colours are available such as all in chrome, brushed stainless steel, red and black combo or all in black. Delonghi also have other colours available but its best to check what's available to UK buyers. The first tier below the coffee drip tap is where the excess pods go after they have been used (nothing new here for those who own existing Krups or Magimix coffee machines) and below that a pull out drip tray where a glass or cup can be put on for the coffee to drop into. Below that sits the 1.2 litre water tank, which like a drawer slides in and out for filling or cleaning. A lot of different parts come with this machine and it has a thick user manual supplied with it and much of it I found quite easy to understand except the main control guide that has 4 functions for that perfect cup. If you spend a little more money the Lattissima EN 680 model has a cup-warming feature, and that seems a bit stingy on Nespresso's part not to put the same element on the base plate where the cup sits on the EN 660 model. However the more you use the machine, the more logical it gets.
Even if you haven't owned a Nespresso coffee machine before, it is very easy to locate the different parts of this machine even though the build quality is generally excellent there are some parts to this machine that could be easier to locate. Like the Magimix and Krups basic machines, the Lattissima has the same-brushed metal pull up hook and insert coffee pod area that keeps the coffee pod inside the machine before it is ready to force the water through the pod. Unlike our past Nespresso machines, the 1.2 water tank is a lot bigger and it is easy to fill due to its open nature on one side of the drawer by water jug. It wouldn't be hard to install a filter in there though. A handy gauge on the right hand side at the front below the main company name shows if there is enough water added two different colours are shown. However the indication hole is so small it is sometimes difficult to see in poor light conditions and if you have the all in black machine like we have, when the water is full, the indication hole doesn't pop up making it look like a black band has come up which on our all in black machine, makes it harder to see. When the water goes low, the indicator turns red; over fill the tank however and the water can come out seeping at the bottom of the machine! What a pity there is no warning for that aside from excess water on your work top!
When the water is filled, the Lattissima has a main switch located on the back of the machine. The top of the machine it is rubber coated to protect cups from being damaged. However the casing is ribbed to warm up cups in use; it is a pity that for all the heat it gives off, cups don't generally get that warmed up and again the 680 model would have a hotter surface for warming up cups. Once the machine is switched on you'll be greeted by white decals lighting up at you, casting the machine with a high-class feel from its all one colour buttons ready to be activated. Once it is powered up it only takes seconds for the Lattissima to heat up cold water and once it is ready the buttons on the front stop flashing and stay lit permanently until you make your choice.
However this is all fine and dandy if you just want a black coffee. In general you can use any size of cup that has a narrow diameter of around 7.5 cm. Any bigger and it won't be able to be fitted on the machine. If you have a taller mug with the same diameter however, the drip tray can be slid in under the pod refuse bin and you have the lower base to where the cup can be installed. It is a pity that for all it is flush fitting in its design, the pod refuse bin has no handle on it and those that find gripping things difficult may find it difficult to grip the bin to release it, effectively without taking the drip tray out which has an additional red float that rises up to show that it needs emptying.
If however you want frothed milk here is where the fun begins! An additional curved plastic milk frother tank has a few features on it but you have to be patient to put it all together because it will need constant cleaning after it is used to prevent the milk tubes from being scaled and going rotten.
For a start there are five parts to the milk jug that need a watchful eye; the first being the lid which isn't as air tight as the manual suggests and it also further suggests that its size is ideal for storing in the fridge. Not if you have strong onion about and pouring the excess milk out of the tank can be messy due to no lip provided. Secondly there are two tubes; the feeder tube, which is all clear plastic, and a second drop down tube that deposits the steamed milk into the cup from the side of the tank; both are easy to remove and install after cleaning. Thirdly there is a nozzle lock on the back of the milk tank that sits looking rather vulnerable. I broke ours on the first couple of weeks of ownership not knowing that all it needs is a gentle push onto the front of the Lattissima rather than brute force! Fourthly, a water dispersal flow tap is also provided if you want hot water streaming through rather than pressured steam to heat up the milk in the milk jug; Delonghi have missed an opportunity here to put a space on the machine where the tap can go when its not in used, otherwise you'll be liable to lose it. Lastly there is what I feel one of the more important factors on this machine and the milk jug; the froth regulator which is available in three different strengths; dry froth like dry milk "fluff," single hot steamed milk and a little bit thicker on consistency, almost ideal for hot chocolate. All of these parts are however dishwasher safe.
Frankly for all the fuss I find that the more traditional Espresso machine is easier to use! It is true that whilst traditional tampers and grinds can be messy, cleaning a milk frothing arm isn't half as time consuming as the milk tank on the Lattissima. For a start the so called milk froth on its dry "fluff" doesn't produce as much long lasting Starbucks (to quote a name of many) airy froth to my preference and doesn't keep its body well and evaporates after a few seconds. At least the hot steamed milk does what it suggests and puts out hot milk as intended but its easier just to heat up milk in the microwave! The last setting of something in between is good enough for hot chocolate and is a happy medium where the heavy froth lasts all the way to the base of the cup.
The control pad has four easy to clean light touch buttons and they all allow the choice of small cup to large cup coffees with or without milk. From time to time you can catch the Lattissima out however if you don't use a standard Espresso cup and manual intervention to top up the cup with more coffee regardless of whether the machine will remember the size the next time you use the machine. If you want a Latte straight off you press the buttons on the left hand side and the machine will deposit the first pod of coffee into the mug, then in spurts the desired milk content; then another pod can be dropped in for the second shot if preferred and the milk button can be pushed again. I try to keep a straight face when this happens but it always reminds me of the dodgy drinks machine we used to have at school. Because the milk spout is adjustable you have to be careful that the milk doesn't spurt proud of the mug as it can narrowly miss the cup rim and flies off onto the easy to remove metal plate surrounds on the machine. You also need to stand away a bit otherwise you may be burnt with flying drops of hot milk when it flows out.
So in use its no surprise for me to say that the Lattissima makes a fine cup of coffee - but the froth isn't as strong or as long lasting as the machine at the coffee shop I used to work at produces.
Whilst it is magic to watch the machine in action, it whirs and moans a bit and its not as if you can make a cup of coffee on the quiet unless all doors are closed in your kitchen! It does weigh around 4kg so it is quite heavy and ideally needs a place that will sit permanently in your kitchen. It does however possess a 1.2 metre power cord.
And when all is said and done (as Abba sang) the Lattissima is also a bit pernickety when it needs to be cleaned out. The cleaning kit consists of capsules and descaling powder and as a kit is priced between £9 and £16 direct from Nespresso for this machine. Having to press two buttons at the front and then wait for one side to light up before the other side buttons light up needs patience. Quite why a "clean" button isn't available on the machine is beyond my comprehension as it would be a lot easier to control. Once the buttons have been activated and the machine filled with fresh water the Lattissima has to be flushed twice before it can be used again. Of course if you don't have the manual to hand, you can always watch a cleaning video of which Nespresso show free of charge online.
Whilst it adds to the experience of so many different and tasty brands of coffee on offer courtesy of Nescafe, the Empire of Nespresso can be expensive to run because of its associated coffee pods and the prices that they command. If you're an Nespresso owner and fed up of manually pressing the buttons on your basic machine, the Lattissima is a good step up, but maintenance and high cost will be against you. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2009
I have gone through a fair number of automatic coffee machines in the last few years. Flavia, Tassimo, Senseo, plus a couple of bean to cup offerings. In fairness all of them can make an Ok drink, the Flavia and Tassimo even offer tea and hot chocolate in addition to coffee, but frankly Nespresso just blows them all out of the kitchen! For a consistent, exceptional quality, rich espresso or larger 'lungo' cup of coffee you can not go wrong with Nespresso.
The Lattissima adds another dimension, as it can also make a cappuccino to rival some of the best cafes in Italy, at the push of a button! The foam is made by steaming fresh milk under pressure, just like a professional machine, and the result is a perfect, lingering, velvety froth. Into this goes a shot of espresso, at whatever strength you prefer (there are 9 strengths across 16 varieties), and it produces an incredible cappuccino every time.
The machine comes with the milk container which you store in the fridge when not in use, and it can go in the dishwasher when required. It also comes with an espresso cup & saucer, a recipe glass, and a selection of the Grand Cru capsules.
The Lattissima is very easy to use. You just choose a capsule, place it in the top of the machine, pull the lever down, (plug in the milk container if required) and press the appropriate button. If your cups are larger than the pre-programmed volumes, the machine can be simply programmed to deliver a full cup every time. Just press and hold the button until your cup is full, it will remember your preference and fill to that level automatically next time!
The creamy white or red front of the EN660 makes it a stylish accessory for any kitchen, absolutely deserving of its place on the worktop. Even the shiny, recyclable aluminium capsules look amazing. A different colour for each flavour, they really do look stunning and complement the style and character of Nespresso.
A small complaint would be that between every milk based drink you have to press and hold a, 'cleaning' button on the milk container. This triggers a process which removes excess water from the pipes, an important step in ensuring you get consistently good froth every time. I find the button a nuisance to hold for 12 seconds. It would be fine if you pressed it once and it just did it, but having to hold it is a bit of an inconvenience. The machine can also seem a tad loud as the water is pumped under 19bar of pressure through the coffee.
If you enjoy an excellent coffee, that looks, smells and tastes consistently perfect, and appreciate the option to choose a strength and taste to suit your mood, buy a Nespresso machine, and you will not be disappointed. For simplicity, consistency and outstading quality I have not found anything to match the results of this machine for the home.
Removable Water Reservoir - Reservoir Capacity: 1.2 Liter - Pressure Pump: 19 bar - Adjustable drip tray - Illuminated keys and automatic controls - Milk Carafe: .5 Litre