BEING particular about how your coffee is made is no bad thing. Discernment is a means to an end – and when you want to make yourself a coffee on a glorious Sunday afternoon, just because you can, you want to have one that’s rightly made.
It’s a confusing world of coffee machines out there, so we’ve picked a selection of five that range from the professional home kit to the convenient coffee-at-the-touch-of-a-button.
A MODO MIO FAVOLA, AEG AND LAVAZZA
This very new espresso machine is the next generation of the neon range of A Modo Mio. With a capsule system developed with the University of Turin, particular attention has been paid to creating the perfect espresso and “crema” – the foam that every well-shot espresso should have. This is the most compact machine, and has a steam arm for milk when you’re craving a macchiato.
SPEEDSTER, KEES VAN DER WESTEN
“This machine delivers everything you’d hope for in an Italian-style espresso,” says Jeremy Challender, trainer at Prufrock café in Clerkenwell. The reason? This professional-grade home device maintains pressure, and gives the user a lot of control. “It keeps the caramel flavour of the coffee, and the right amount of acidity so it’s not bitter.” He recommends that the user takes a few classes before attempting to use the machine.
Approx £5,100, www.espressoworks.co.uk
CLASSIC RI8161, GAGGIA
True to its name, this machine is a classic. Its brass components keep the drinks at a constant temperature, the steam nozzle does a good job of frothing the milk. For me, this is the machine equivalent of using a stove-pot Moka: nostalgic, reliable and functional.
It may be surprising to learn that the Ledbury in Notting Hill, the double Michelin starred eatery also awarded the Restaurant of the Year Award this week, has used Nespresso coffee machines for a year and a half. “Finishing a meal with a quality coffee that consumers know and are familiar with ensures that the customer’s experience at the restaurant is consistently excellent,” says Stephen Quinn, the Ledbury’s manager. The home machines, which are more convenience-focused, are for the Italian die-hards who want their classics. This model, the Latissima+, is about quality-coffee-at-speed. At the touch of a button, you can have your espresso, lungo (a “long” espresso), cappuccino (but never after 11am, if you’re a true Italian), and silky latte.
LA MARZOCCO GS/3
“The Marzocco GS/3 is frickin’ awesome,” says Cameron McClure, owner of Flat White coffee House in Soho, though he admits that it may be too complicated for those craving an average cup of joe: “it’s essentially a home machine, but it’s ludicrous”. And ludicrous it is. Strictly for the aficionado, the spec talks about “steam power” and “performance recovery” and gives the option of water reservoir or plumb-in options. This lives in the realm of coffee-divinity.
Approx £5,700, www.mulmar.com