* Prices may differ from that shown
I've had this now for about 2 months and I can truly say I wish that I bought this earlier! I guess like many, I had never heard about Krups until I was on holiday in the south of france. I tend to go into these kitchen stores around France as they offer great products that you either don't get, or don't see in england. This was where I found my new gem! We replaced our older Nestle one, it took up alot of space, diddn't look great, and was just a pain to make coffee really! Most of the time we just wouldn't use it as we just couldn't be bothered!! Now coffee has been easier to make than ever, this Krups machine is thin, it looks great, and makes great coffee! The white/cream look look great on our granite work surface and most of the time I don't even know it's there are is really is small! I really don't know what else to say, so i'll get onto the pros and cons! PROS: Super thin, it looks great and the contrast of the white/cream looks super sleek against each other. It makes great coffee and it makes it so easy to do so! CONS: I really don't feel like there are any with this, my only con is that I didn't buy this earlier!!
Just before Christmas I found myself having to buy a new Nespresso coffee machine, well I guess that I should say my husband had to buy a new one for me. The reason we (he) had to buy a new machine when our previous one was actually less than a year old and in perfect working order is that it met with an accident, or it in other words it met with my mother-in-law! For some absolutely unknown reason she was carrying it across the kitchen and dropped it onto our stone flagged kitchen floor, needless to say it didn't survive the fall. I couldn't even bring myself to ask her why on earth she was carrying it across the kitchen, I was just way too mad that she'd dropped it and broken it. My husband fortunately came to the rescue; he poured me a large glass of wine, offered to buy me a new Nespresso machine the next day, and cleared away the pieces of the broken Nespresso machine. I was initially just going to replace it with the exact same model as I'd had no problems with it at all. However I did take this opportunity to see if there was a different model that I fancied instead this time around. I knew from shopping for our last machine that the stumbling block would be the colour, I specifically wanted a cream machine to fit in with all of my other cream kitchen appliances, and last time we bought the only Nespresso machine that was available in cream at that time. This time though there was a choice of machines in cream, about four I think. I decided to go for the 'U' in what Nespresso call pure cream. The 'U' machine was also available in orange, black or brown. It was £119, and Nespresso also had an offer on whereby you got £40.00 worth of credit to spend on Nespresso capsules, so I guess that you could say that it was just £79. I have to say that I'm a little bit disappointed with the colour though, whilst we were buying it my husband kept saying to me that it looked more like white rather than cream, I was still a bit ratty and annoyed from the previous night and kept insisting to him that it was actually cream as it said 'pure cream' on the box. However once we got it home and unpacked it and compared it to my other kitchen appliances I have to admit that it's a very very pale cream, and it does look kinda white! It doesn't look too bad next to my cream Kitchen Aid products; the stand mixer, blender and food processor, as these are a light cream anyway. However when I put it next to my cream Dualit products; the toaster and kettle, then it does look white as the Dualit cream is more of a dark cream colour. We've kept it anyway as it is across the kitchen from my toaster and kettle and so it doesn't stick out quite so much as being more white than cream. This particular Nespresso machine is made by Krups, and came with a 2 year guarantee, obviously this isn't going to include dropping your machine from a great height onto a stone flagged kitchen floor! As with all Nespresso machines you can only use Nespresso capsules in it. The machine itself came with a starter set of 16 different Nespresso capsules, one of each variety that they sell. This is a good set if you've never tried Nespresso capsules before as it enables you to figure out which ones you actually like before you go ahead and buy more, as the boxes of capsules to buy come in packets of 10. Nespresso also release limited edition capsules throughout the year; typically one for the spring, one for the autumn, and then their winter Variations - 3 different 'flavoured' coffee capsules. The winter 2012 Variations are Hazelnut, Macadamia Nut and Coconut. The Hazelnut and the Macadamia Nut are delicious and I spent my £40 credit on these. The coconut is nasty, way too sweet and sickly. The 'U' is a very slim and sleek machine, it has a moveable water tank which you can either position at the back of the machine or swivel round and position on either side. This makes it ideal to fit in a slim space (with the water tank at the back), or on a shallow shelf or surface (if you swivel the water tank around to the side), You can choose the side which works best for your kitchen set up, for instance put the flat side of the machine against a wall or cupboard, and then swivel the tank around into the empty space on the other side. I've swiveled the water tank around to the right hand side on mine as so that I can see at a quick glance when it needs topping up, and I've then got the opposite side of the machine flush with a tall kitchen cupboard. The removeable water tank holds 0.8l of water. I always use bottled water as I think that it makes for a better tasting espresso, and also I've been told that your machine will need less cleaning and descaling if you stick to bottled water. The cream finish of the machine is very easy to wipe over and keep clean, I just wipe mine over with a damp cloth. The machine has a kind of pure and simple, yet a fairly classy look and would look perfect in any kitchen setting, I've got a fairly retro styled kitchen and this fits into my kitchen perfectly. Looks wise I'm more than happy with my 'U', apart from the slight colour issue! There's cable storage underneath the machine so that you don't have to have loads of cable trailing over your worktop if it isn't necessary, mine is situated right next to a plug socket and so I have the majority of the cable wound underneath the machine which helps to add to the sleek and streamlined look. This is fully automatic, and it's the easiest Nespresso machine that I've ever used. You basically ensure that there is water in the water tank, and then plug the machine in, this will then start to heat the machine up. The 'U' has 3 different LED soft touch buttons on the top so that you can choose either a Ristretto cup size - 25ml, or Espresso cup size - 40ml, or a Lungo cup size - 110ml, for any of the different coffee capsules. Each LED soft touch button is slightly bigger than the next, so it's easy to remember which is which - the biggest button is for the largest drink size - the Lungo 110ml. Whilst the machine is heating up the LED button will flash, once the machine has heated up, (probably less than 20 seconds, I've never actually timed it but it's definitely very quick) then the LED light will be static. Then just choose the cup size that you want by pressing the relevant LED, drop a coffee capsule into the capsule holder, insert your cup under the spout, slide the capsule holder closed and your coffee will start to dispense. Once the coffee has finished pouring then the machine will automatically eject the capsule into the used capsule container inside the machine. You can then slide the capsule holder open, insert another capsule, and pour another coffee. A couple of features that I really like are that the machine remembers the setting, i.e. cup size that you use the most, and it will always set itself to that one each time you turn it on. I always use the Lungo cup size 110ml to make a latte or a cappuccino. If you want to choose a different cup size then it is just a case of selecting the relevant button once the LED button is static. Another feature that I like is the ability to pour more than the pre-set cup sizes, if you want to do this then once the coffee flow has stopped you have 3 or 4 seconds to restart the flow before the capsule ejects itself, all you need to do to restart the coffee flow is press any of the LED buttons and the coffee flow will restart, then press the LED button again to stop it and the capsule will automatically eject. The machine will automatically turn itself off after 9 minutes of inactivity, I like this as I do sometimes forget to unplug it after I've used it, because it doesn't have an on/off switch it is easy to just end up leaving it on and not actually unplugging it to turn it off. The 'U' enables you to use larger cups or glasses as well as smaller espresso cups. If you are using the smaller espresso cups then you would place your cup on the cup support at the front of the machine. If you are using larger cups or glasses the the cup support is completely removeable, and so you place your cup or glass on the work surface. The cup support attaches with little circular magnets, and there are also small circular magnets on each side of the machine so that you can place the cup support against the side of the machine out of the way. I've actually just stored the cup support in a kitchen drawer as I pour a Lungo into a large cup or glass to make a latte or a cappuccino the majority of the time and so I have no real need for the cup support. If you do use the cup support it does have a drip tray, but I have to say that the spout doesn't leak any coffee drips whatsoever anyway, I've not seen a single solitary drip on the work surface under the spout and I use my machine 3 or 4 times a day. The used capsule container within the machine has a maximum capacity of 13 capsules, and I just empty mine every couple of days. It's simple to empty, you just pull out the container using the little knob on the front of it and the used capsules will be contained in the basket, and then under the basket there's a container which will have coffee drips in which will just need a quick rinse under the hot tap. Slide them both back in again and you're good to go again. The 'U' produces a perfect espresso every single time, all of the espressos have the creamy 'crema' layer on the top, and they have that gorgeous freshly brewed coffee aroma. You can choose to drink the espresso on its own or to make a latte or cappuccino. If you want to make a latte or a cappuccino then I would recommend the more intense capsules, with at least a flavour strength of 8 or above, ideally a 10. I use Ristretto capsules, the black ones, which are a 10, for a latte or a cappuccino and these are perfect. I've found that the milder capsules don't really cut it for a latte or a cappuccino as it's just like drinking hot milk! However if I choose to drink an espresso then I find that I prefer a slightly less strong capsule, I use Livanto capsules, the bronze ones, which are a 6, for an espresso. The capsules are not necessarily cheap, they are between 30-40 pence per capsule depending on the flavour, however if you compare that to what you would pay in a coffee shop for an espresso or a latte or cappuccino then it is a considerable saving. They are definitely taste wise on a par with a coffee shop offering, and so long as you are not drinking an excessive quantity then I don't really think that the cost is a huge issue. If you're actually still reading! then the 'U' gets a big thumbs up and 5 stars from me, and I'd definitely recommend it. I do have slight colour issues with mine, but that's purely down to wanting to match it to my other kitchen appliances, and if you choose appliances from different manufacturers then you have to accept that the colours may not always match. Overall though for effectively £79 (taking into account the £40 offer to spend on capsules) I think that it's a bargain.
Short name: Krups XN250140