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There's no doubt about it. Toast is a staple in our breakfasts, not just here in the United Kingdom, but the world too. Naturally, the business in manufacturing toasters is very profitable. So many toasters can do so many neat little tricks, that most of us don't even need. DeLonghi's CT04R is a old (i've had mine for almost a decade), but reliable and effective toaster, that does the most important job we all want our toasters to do, which is to toast bread (confused yet?)
The toaster is very cleverly designed. The silver colour and curved body gives it a modern look, while the 1950's style dials and buttons give it a retro look. The side of the toaster has the DeLonghi logo, which has been attached in a way that it's part of the toaster, instead of something being stuck or etched on. It's also quite heavy, so it is actually stable on the kitchen top (I'm not too sure if this was intentional). The sound of the pop to signify the bread has been toasted is audible, but could be louder. As for the features, the main thing about this toaster is that it can toast 4 slices of bread, not 2 like many others. One of the pull down slots pushes down two slices, while the other slot pulls down the other two. It's good to think DeLonghi have thought about just one person wanting to have toast instead of a whole family as this not only saves empty spaces getting burnt but electricity too. For those that toast smaller items such as crumpets or waffles, the pull down slots can be pushed up to raise the items, which makes it easier to take them out of the hot spaces. Another handy feature is the browning control. A dial, with numbers 1 to 5 on top, can change the amount of time the toast is cooked for. Selecting option 1 gives warm bread, while option 5 can burn it to a very black crisp. Again, a handy feature as not everybody likes their bread to be crispy as most others would have it. The ability to reheat toast from the simple touch of a button is possible on the CT04R. I've often neglected toast or simply just forgot I've made some, so this is a clever, money saving feature, as it eliminates tossing the bread in the bin and makes the microwave obsolete (in terms of warming bread). For those that buy bread products in bulk and freeze them, a defrost feature is also included, which can be handy when the microwave doesn't do the job properly for you. The water dripping from the heat doesn't cause a problem to any of the electrical circuits of the toast, so there really is no need to worry about using the CT04R to defrost. If it does, you can simply press the cancel button to pop the toast back up, which can also be used during the toasting and reheating features. Finally, DeLonghi have fitted the CT04R with 2 removable and sliding crumb trays, which are a breeze to clean.
So we have a brilliant toaster here. No doubt about that. Where it does hurt is the price. Back in 2003, when I picked this up, the toaster was going in between £60-£70. Unfortunately, that figure is still representative of the price today. I was lucky enough to get this for zilch via free Argos vouchers, although I would have never have parted my money for it. As it's old, it's definitely out of the Argos catalogue and most other shops for that matter too. A rare item on the high street is always easy to find on the internet sites, although most don't even seem to stock it. It's probably going to have to be an eBay job if you can't find any online stockists.
After almost a decade, this has still been going strong for me. I packed it away once to buy some newer DeLonghi toasters which were plagued by malfunctions, before I finally went back to this. A very reliable toaster, but it if you can afford it.
This is a good, basic and stylish toaster for everyday use and good value for money. The sleek shape and slightly retro 50s diner look to the controls means it looks good on a worksurface. And it works well too! Having had a run of "last for about eight months and then stop working" toasters, I have used this one daily for over two years and it is proving to be a lot more robust. The controls are easy, although one minor criticism is that I find the settings for toast colour are a little low - they run from 1-6 and I always have to set it at 4 or above to get medium colour on an average slice of bread. I don't use the defrost setting for bread but I do for thicker items such as crumpets or breakfast muffins from the freezer and it works well - toasting throughout without any sogginess that can sometimes happen with less efficient toasters. The handiest feature is the reheat button which I often use.
Well, not as impressed with the Delonghi toaster as I have been with the Delonghi kettle. It certainly looks stylish and has the convenience of being able to toast 4 slices at a time. It has a dial on the front that goes from 1-5 for you to select how brown you would like you toast. This isn't very accurate and also varies depending on what you are toasting, they need to come up with a more accurate guide. The cancel button is a good feature though as I have often wanted to stop it as the toast was getting too brown. It also has a defrost button which I personally don't use, the bread defrosts as it is cooking on the main setting so I don't see the need to use it. The crumb tray is handy, but you also need to tip it upside down to get all the crumbs out. Altogether, I'm sure there are better 4 slice toasters out there that aren't as expensive.
The Argento range is now a design statement in its own right / The design with it's exclusive non-marking finish will add that extra bit of style to any kitchen / 4 slice variable browning control, variable width slots, hi-rise facility, re-heat feature, safety touch, 2 slide-out crumb trays, non marking matt silver finish / Short name: DeLonghi CT04R