p40-43 coffee makers Which Septe

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					Coffee makers
For the best coffee, you
need an espresso machine;
it gives a more intense hit
than a filter machine
or cafetiere. (You can
dilute espresso to get
‘normal’ coffee but you
lose the superior flavour.)

These are for enthusiasts,
and there's a fair amount
of preparation involved:
measuring and inserting
coffee, and adding water.
  The machine heats water
at high pressure (you'll
hear it hiss) and forces it
through the coffee. Then,
glugging away, it drips
espresso into your cup.
  Most models can also                                                                                              1 Briel
heat and froth milk for                                                                                                 TRADITIONAL
latte or cappuccino.
  There are several parts to
wash but most machines
                                           BEST BUYS
are easy enough to use.                The range of coffee machines                                         Bodum’s is quirky and eye-
  Pricier traditional                  is vast, catering for every                                          catching: this is definitely the
models often include                   budget from around £50 to         is pleasingly simple to use. For   machine to buy if you want
grinders, which let you                well over £600. But price is no   example, cappuccino froth is       something striking.
make a fresher brew than               guide to quality: for example,    easy to make: the steam pipe          Its main section’s egg-like
ground coffee. Separate                the £650 Siemens (14)             works quickly and lets you         metal-and-glass casing
grinders cost from £20.                machine we tested is nowhere      make a stiff foam, doubling        warms cups, houses the
                                       near as good as any of our Best   the volume of milk.                well-conceived controls and
POD-ONLY MACHINES                      Buys, which start at £90.            Interestingly, it makes         contains the filter. The outer
If you're less particular                                                better espresso using pods         part contains the water
about taste and short on               TRADITIONAL                       than any of the dedicated          reservoir, which can be
time, try a 'pod' machine.             All our Best Buys in this         pod machines do. So it’s           replaced by a two-litre
These use pre-prepared                 category make high-quality        still an excellent choice if you   mineral water bottle. Mineral
packages instead of                    espresso. They’re brilliant at    sometimes want your coffee         water won’t improve the taste
ground coffee. There's a               extracting flavour from the       in a hurry and with minimum        – it’s just there for the benefit
touch of the vending                   coffee grounds and produce a      fuss. The type of pod it uses is   of the image-conscious.
machine about them but                 good crema (the froth that        called ESE, which is available        At £400 from Comet, the
they're simple to use.                 floats on top of espresso).       in a wider choice of flavours      Bodum is expensive, but
   The drawback is that                   After supping several          than other types of pod.           we were intrigued by this
                                                                                                                                                PHOTOGRAPHY JOHN TRENHOLM

you're stuck with the                  mediocre offerings from              And, best of all, this          unusual design and keen to
flavours available as pods.            rival machines, we found the      machine is an absolute             see whether its coffee was as
To get around this, buy a              Briel (1). Its espresso tastes    bargain at just £145 from          interesting. Happily, it was:
traditional espresso                   full and round, and has a         independent retailers.             the excellent espresso has a
machine that can use both              golden crema which is intense        Our second Best Buy –           dark and intense aroma and
ground coffee and pods                 and solid; the aroma is strong,   the Bodum (2) – is a quite         its taste is wonderful and
(these have a rating for               rich and smooth.                  different proposition.             thick, with no bitterness.
‘Pods’ in our table, p43).                This neat and compact          Where the Briel’s design is           You can either use the
                                       machine, in black and silver,     unobtrusive and subtle, the        machine’s predetermined dose

40 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 5 W H I C H ?
 Espresso machines don’t have many functions but some of
 the switches and controls are a bit confusing for novices.
   This Briel keeps it simple, with dials to switch on the power
 and begin the brewing process. A separate knob at the side
 controls the steam pipe for making cappuccino. Meanwhile,
 the Bodum (2) has helpful individual buttons which light
 up to indicate what function is being used.
   Less useful are the minimalist switches used on the retro-
 styled FrancisFrancis (15). These switches are unmarked
 so their purpose isn’t obvious without referring to the
 instruction book, and it’s not clear whether they’re on or off.

                               Clockwise from
                               right: indicators
                               on the Bodum
                               machine; the
                               the simply
                               designed Briel.

                                                                                                                        2 Bodum

                                             MAKING CAPPUCCINO
                                             Like this Bodum, all the         with semi-skimmed milk.          hear a high-pitched whining.
                                             espresso machines can make       Switch your machine to its       Stop if it growls, as that
of water or use its manual                   hot and frothy milk to convert   cappuccino setting and put       means the milk is nearing
setting to choose the amount.                espresso into cappuccino.        the steam pipe into the jug.     boiling point and will go flat.
The pre-set amount is quite                      Make the espresso first.        Turn on the pipe and let        When it’s ready, pour the
slight and we preferred a more               Next, turn on the steam pipe     the steam blow on to the         hot milk into the espresso
diluted espresso using the                   to let any trapped water flow    milk’s surface. Move the jug     and spoon on the froth.
manual setting (you can store                through before starting. Then    gently up and down to fold
your preferred amount in the                 fill a small jug to one third    air into the milk. You want to
Bodum’s memory). It does
also take ESE pods, but they
produce rather average
espresso on this machine.
   If you’re a cappuccino lover,
though, this is the Best Buy to
go for. Its frothing action is
extremely efficient: it triples
the volume of milk and makes
for a lovely cappuccino.
   If you would prefer
                                                                                                                To make cappuccino,
something a little less flashy                                                                                  you need a machine
– in both looks and cost –                                                                                      that froths milk well
the Morphy Richards (3) will
suit you perfectly. There are
plenty of more glamorous
machines around, from the
retro-styled Kenwood (7) and
multicoloured FrancisFrancis
(15) to the Siemens (14),
with its digital display. But it’s
great to be able to recommend
one of the simplest and

cheaper models.                                                                                                We’ve got five Briel
   The Morphy Richards, just                                                                                   Versatile Due coffee
£90 in Currys or £100 from                                                                                     makers to give away.
Comet, makes great-tasting
espresso with a good, dark-
                                                                          3 Morphy Richards                    See p56 for details

                                                                                                          WHICH? SEPTEMBER 2005            41

                                                                            gold crema, and a creamy,           POD-ONLY MACHINES
                                                                            warm aroma. It’s easy to use,       We found that you get far
                                                                            with clear, uncomplicated           better results using pods in the
                                                                            instructions.                       traditional machines than in
                                                                               Our only criticism is that       pod-only machines. We
                                                                            making froth for cappuccino is      recommend the traditional
                                                                            a little trickier than with other   Briel (1) even if you never
                                                                            machines. You can’t adjust the      want to use ground coffee.
                                                                            pressure in the steam pipe so          However, if the Briel’s £145
                                                                            it’s a bit difficult to control.    price tag seems too steep, go
                                                                            Nevertheless, we managed to         for the pod-only £100 Krups
                                                                            make some pleasantly airy           (17). It’s small and light,
                                                                            foam and, overall, we really        delightfully easy to use and
                                                                            like this machine (though it        has virtually nothing that
                                                                            doesn’t work with pods).            needs cleaning. Its espresso is
                                                                               The Gaggia (4) narrowly          crisp and sparkly with a rich,
                                                                            misses out on being a Best Buy      sweet, spicy taste. It lacks the
                                                                            because it’s a chore to clean       burn and bite of a full, strong,
                                                                            and prepare for use, and a bit      espresso, but is good overall.
                                                                            wobbly. It’s still worth            It’s available in ‘titanium’ from
                                                                            considering, though; it makes       John Lewis or ‘ivory’ (as
                                                                            excellent espresso with both        pictured) from Harrods.
                                                                            ground coffee and coffee               The Magimix (18) machine
                                                                            beans. It’s £399 from               looks similar to the Krups but
                                                                            independent retailers.              its espresso is rather dull.

                                      17 Krups                                                                  MODEL
                                                                                                                1 Briel Versatile Due ES 38C-TB
                                                                                                                2 Bodum Granos 3020
This Krups and the Magimix                 varieties of Nespresso are                                           3 Morphy Richards Roma 47505
(18) take Nespresso pods,                  available, but they don’t all                                        4 Gaggia Paros
which look similar to UHT milk             fit in all the machines.
                                                                                                                5 KitchenAid Artisan 5KES100
capsules. The Philips (19) and                Both types of pod are more
some of the traditional machines           expensive than ground coffee:                                        6 DeLonghi Magnifica EAM3200S
use Easy Serving Espresso (ESE)            pods cost around 25p a cup,                                          7 Kenwood Café Retro ES550
pods, which resemble teabags.              ground coffee costs around           Top: an ESE pod
  ESE pods offer the widest                11p a cup. And both use huge         of coffee                       8 Gaggia Classic
                                                                                Bottom: Nespresso
range of flavours. Different               amounts of wasteful packaging.                                       9 Krups F88042 Vivo
                                                                                coffee capsules
                                                                                                                10 DeLonghi BAR 14
                                                                                                                11 Gaggia Cubika
TABLE NOTES                            transparent water tank, cup-         beans. Pods Overall rating for      12 Russell Hobbs Pump Espresso 11767
We tested best-selling and newly       warmers and water level gauge.       espresso made with ESE pods
launched models from leading                                                in traditional machines.            13 Morphy Richards Café Rico
brands. We looked at a wide price      Convenience                          Frothing Appearance and volume      14 Siemens T 64001
range to see whether more money        Setting up This covers clarity of    of frothed milk.
                                                                                                                15 FrancisFrancis XI
gets you a better coffee maker.        instructions, ease of filling the
                                       tank and adding coffee or pods.      SCORE                               16 DeLonghi BCO 65BS
Specification                                                               Ignores price and is based on:
                                                                            Quality of coffee         60%
Size S denotes small, M medium         Quality of coffee
                                                                            Convenience               30%
and L large. Pod type The brand        Looks, Aroma, Taste Our verdict on
of pod required. (The traditional      espresso made with dark roast        Features                  10%        machines
models that use pods all use ESE.)     Arabica ground coffee for the
Two cups These machines can            espresso machines and with           KEY
make two espressos at a time.          recommended pods for the pod         w       q      s        u      d    17 Krups Nespresso
Features A measure of how many         machines. Beans For machines         Best                        Worst   18 Magimix Nespresso M100
desirable features there are, such     with grinders, overall rating for
                                                                                Best Buy                        19 Philips Senseo HD 7810
as milk frothers, a removable,         espresso using dark-roast Arabica

42 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 5 W H I C H ?
                                                                                                                                    COFFEE MAKERS

          How to make the perfect espresso
        There's a lot of jargon                should be rich, firm and            coffee isn’t packed down, the          the espresso in about 17
        associated with coffee.                creamy enough to float              water will flow too quickly            to 25 seconds. Warm your
        But worry not – wired on               on top of your coffee until         and won’t extract the flavour.         cups while this is happening
        caffeine and with the finest           you finish. It's crucial in           For the best flavour, your           to keep the coffee hot and
        Arabica flowing through our            enhancing the smell and             machine should dispense                preserve its flavour.
        veins, we can explain all.             taste of the drink; in fact,
                                               without it you're just
        THE SCIENCE BIT                        drinking strong coffee.
        Coffee beans contain
        essential oils which are               THE FINER POINTS
        released after the beans               To get the perfect brew, we
        are roasted and finely                 recommend Arabica beans,
        ground. Your coffee machine            which give warmth and
        creates pressure which forces          thickness. Choose a blend
        water through the tightly              with 15 per cent Robusta
        packed coffee grounds to               beans for extra intensity.
        extract the oils’ flavour.             Make sure the beans are
          As water is ‘expressed’              finely ground.
        through the coffee grounds,              Then press, or 'tamp', the
        the oils are agitated and              grounds into the filter holder      Left: the crema produced by
        create a layer of crema.               to create a barrier for the         a good machine Right: an
        This is a golden froth that            water to flow through. If the       espresso from a poor machine

                  Specification                                 Convenience                              Quality of coffee                         Score

Price      Size          Weight        Two       Features    Setting    Cleaning     Looks     Aroma        Taste       Beans    Pods   Frothing    (%)
 (£)                      (kg)         cups                    up

145         S              3              y            q        w             q        w         q           w                      q        q      76
400         M             10.5            y            q        q             s        q         q           w                      s        w      73
 90         M             8.1             y            q        q             s        q         q           q                               s      70
399         L             10.5            y            q        s             s        q         w           w            q         s        q      67
499         L             11.8            y            q        w             w        s         s           s                      s        q      67
380         L             10              y            q        w             q        s         s           s            q                  d      66
145         M              7              y            s        q             q        q         q           q                      q        u      65
299         S              8              y            q        s             s        s         q           q                      q        s      64
 80         S             2.5             y            s        u             q        s         q           q                               q      63
 50         S              3              y            s        w             q        u         u           u                               w      56
129         S              5              y            q        s             q        u         u           u                      q        s      55
 70         S              3              y            q        q             q        s         s           s                               d      48
 55         L             5.7                          u        s             q        u         u           s                               s      46
650         L             11                           u        s             s        d         u           u            w                  d      45
375         M              7              y            s        u             s        u         u           s                      q        u      42
 50         L             4.5                          u        s             s        u         u           u                               w      39

                                       Specification                                    Convenience                      Quality of coffee         Score

  Price           Size           Weight         Pod          Two       Features      Setting     Cleaning        Looks        Aroma      Taste      (%)
   (£)                            (kg)          type         cups                      up

  100              S               3          Nespresso                       u         w            w              q           q            s      67
  120              S               3          Nespresso                       u         w            w              q           s            u      58
   50              M               2            ESE                           s         w            w              q           u            s      55

                                                                                                                        WHICH? SEPTEMBER 2005         43

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