You might already know of my on-again off-again relationship with my boomerang coffee machine … I blogged about it over here.
No wonder I was thrilled when Nescafé sent me a Dolce Gusto Circolo coffee machine as part of my prize for winning the 2014 Eat Drink Blog Writing Competition for Australian food bloggers. So thrilled, that I want to tell you all about it. Nescafé didn’t ask me to: I just love this little red rocket and I need to share.
Apart from the thrill of lifting the brand new machine from its box (trust me, that’s a highlight in itself during a year of buying nothing new), I was chuffed to find three boxes of capsules included. Yes, this is a capsule system machine, but it’s a little different.
Let me explain.
Firstly, this machine looks like no other. Perhaps it’s her sleek, Ferrari Red curves, but I can’t help but see some shared design DNA with the Atomic stovetop coffee machines of the 50s and 60s. For me, it’s a very contemporary look with a barely perceptible nod to retro.
She packs a lot of grunt (15 bars of pressure – for the tech-heads) into a smallish footprint. There’s a big water tank that nestles in behind and an LED lightshow for the adjustable water volume. There are hot and cold water buttons and an adjustable height on the drip tray that means she even accommodates my big fugly travel mug. Her cup space is LED-lit and you can see through to the water tank to easily check levels.
She’s Ferrari fast. She’s ready to pump out your favourite brew within thirty seconds. And she’s easy …. simple (diagramatic) instructions on the various capsules give you your volumes.
My favourite thing about her is that the “milk” varieties (think: cappuccino, chocoletto, latte) come with their own milk capsules, which means no separate frothing of the milk. That means no cleaning of the milk frother. Yay! Not everyone will love the powdered milk taste. I do, and these milky hot beverages will be a “sometimes” treat for me, rather than an every day experience. The fact that I can have a steaming soul-feeding hot cappuccino or hot chocolate ready to sip in less than a minute (snappier than boiling the kettle) is a big win.
I’m not sure what purists will make of the espresso coffee flavours. So far, we’ve tried the Ristretto and it’s passed muster with a good thick crema and plenty of flavour depth.
I think the secret is finding the capsule varieties that suit your taste. There are at least fifteen types to choose from including decaf, skinny cappuccino, latte machiatto, cappuccino ice and even a cold peach tea. The capsules are available at some supermarkets or online.
Downsides? Some of the capsule varieties have added sugar (in the milk capsules). That might be a consideration if you drink a lot of coffee/hot beverages (I don’t) or you have specific dietary considerations (I should have). The boxes of capsules take up a fair amount of pantry space … I’ll only be stocking two or three varieties at once. I prefer to keep it simple anyway. Do I look like a café?
The general consensus in our little household is that the Circolo is a winner. We love that she’s going to be living with us. Thank you again, Nescafé, for supporting Aussie bloggers.
Have you tried the capsule system coffee machines? What do you think? Love or loathe?