Coffee Myths Debunked

Coffee lessens the effect of alcohol

After a heavy night of drinking, you may head straight for your coffee machine to make your favourite brew and whilst coffee will help to make you feel more mentally alert, it will not reverse any of the negative side effects of alcohol.

If you are still intoxicated, it will not help you retain the power of cognitive thinking, though it may help you to stop passing out. Still, caffeine may help you feel more alert but this does not mean that you are actually alert, your reaction times will be much slower than that if you were sober, so coffee should never be used as a method to sober up.

Coffee and addiciton

Many people try to avoid coffee or limit themselves to just a few cups a week as they believe it will make them addicted to caffeine. This is never the case, coffee addiction is similar to an addiction to shopping or the soaps, there a no serious side effects.

If you are a regular coffee drinker and you stop drinking coffee or reduce your intake, you feel drowsy to begin with and may even develop a short temper and experience a few minor headaches. However, these effects are very little and not long lasting at all, a couple of days at the most and then the body will adjust without caffeine.

Surprisingly, caffeine does not have any permanent effect on the body, all effects are immediate and phase out pretty quickly.

Coffee causes cancer

This is perhaps the biggest myth we felt the need to debunk. Previous studies have revealed that there is no connection between cancer and coffee, so you can put your mind at rest. On a side note, it also does not prevent cancer. Simply, coffee has no influence on cancer, negative or positive.

The darker the bean, the stronger the coffee

This is not at all true. The reality is that the strength of a coffee is mostly dependant on the ratio of coffee to water that you use and how long they stay in contact for. Colour doesn’t come into it and whilst many of you may think that a darker roast means a stronger brew, this is not the right mind-set. A lot of brewing methods produce stronger coffee than others, and in regards to caffeine levels, cafetière coffee actually has higher levels than an espresso.

Top Cleaning Tips: How to Clean Your Coffee Machine

Undoubtedly, one of the most frustrating aspects of owning a Coffee Machine is the cleaning process. However, it is also an essential aspect. Descaling your Coffee Machine on a regular basis will ensure that it continues to produce fantastic tasting brews. it will also extend the life of your machine.

Here’s our best tips for how to clean your Coffee Machine.

Espresso Machine

You should thoroughly clean your Espresso Machine this way, at least three or four times a year. Let’s say every season as a minimum.

To clean, use one litre of water mixed with two tablespoons of citric acid, add an extra tablespoon in if you’re using hard water. The water should be about water temperature, though this is not too important. As long as it’s not freezing or boiling, it’s fine.

Once you have mixed the citric acid solution, heat it in the tank of your Espresso Machine and process a brew. Ensure to do this for the machine’s steam arm too, no little pipes can be missed, everything needs to be descaled! Continue to brew until all of the solution has been used. Viola, your machine will be glistening like new and your kitchen will smell wonderful.

Capsule Machine

Take some descaling liquid solution and mix with half a litre of water. Add the solution into the machine’s water tank. Place an empty jug under the cup holder and switch the machine on.

Select the machine’s maximum power if you are able to do so and boil the solution as your machine would with water normally. Once the water has boiled, wait two minutes before removing both the jug and tank, rinsing them both with warm water. Fill the tank with another litre of water, place the jug back underneath the cup holder and again select max power. Brew some more hot water, leave for two minutes before brewing some cold water. Leave the machine for two minutes again. Clean the exterior with a damp cloth and you’re good to brew again.

Bean-to-Cup Machine

Bean-to-Cup Machines are a little more tricky than other Coffee Machines to clean and this process should be carried out every few weeks, alongside a daily cleaning schedule. What parts require cleaning of your machine depends on what type of Bean-to-Cup Machine you use and what parts of that machine are removable.

For the bulk of the machine, place an empty jug under the drinks dispenser. Take 50ml of cappuccino cleaner, many brands have their own specialist cleaning solution so be sure to google this, though any regular cleaner will do just fine if the expense is too much. Add the cappuccino cleaner to one litre of cold water.

Next, simply select the relevant cleaning cyce of your machine, such as milk system clean. Repeat this for all cleaning steps and your machine will be as good as new.

When it comes to descaling, you should aim to do this at least once a month. You’ll need some descaling liquid and your machine’s instruction manual. Failure to read this and failure to clean your machine regularly will effect the performance of your machine. It may also effect the quality of your brew whilst putting your health at risk.

Sweet Tooth Coffee: Chocolate coffee recipes

The thing we love about Coffee Machines is just how versatile they are. They’re perfect for making a whole load of tasty drinks and as much as we love our traditional Espressos and Cappuccinos and so on, we were looking for something to satisfy our sweet tooth.

Many of our experts love coffee and love chocolate and much like sea salt and caramel, they’re two flavours that are a match made in Heaven. Our experts got to work and scoured the net for the best recipes and put them to the test, they weren’t disappointed and neither will you.

They gave us their top chocolate coffee recipes:

Sweet Coconut Dream

For this delightful combination you will need; chocolate sauce, coconut syrup, 50 ml of milk (whatever type you usually use is fine), desiccated coconut and an espresso.

Simply pour the chocolate sauce into a glass, followed by a dash of the coconut syrup.

Using your machine’s milk frother, create a milk foam and then add the produce to the glass, followed by your freshly made espresso. Any espresso machine with a steam arm will work here. We used the De’Longhi EC 680 though, if you are on the search for a reasonably priced Espresso Machine with its own milk frother.

Chocolate Orange

chocolate-1902403_960_720Oh my word, this was the favourite by a country mile and received rave reviews from everybody who tried it. If you’ve got a sweet tooth then this drink may just be your new downfall…sorry in advance!

You will need the juice from half an orange, four to five chunks (or one small bar) of chocolate – sweet, semisweet, dark milk, whatever takes your fancy and dark roast beans or ground coffee.

Take the juice from the orange and pour it into a large glass followed by the chocolate. Using your Bean-to-Cup machine (our experts used the De’Longhi Autentica), produce your dark roast brew and pour into the same glass, stirring well until the chocolate is all melted. Delicious!

Mocha Hot Chocolate


They say beauty lies in simplicity and this recipe is proof.

For this beauty, you will need an espresso and some hot chocolate…that’s it. Well, Espresso Capsule and two Hot Chocolate Capsules compatible with a Nespresso Machine. Produce the hot chocolate using the two capsules followed by the espresso, simply misk the two together and enjoy!


For this alternative yet delicious brew you will need 500ml of whipping cream (and a strong arm), 80ml of chocolate syrup, a dash of chocolate sauce, an espresso, cocoa powder and some cinnamon.

To begin, whip the cream with the chocolate syrup before adding the chocolate sauce into an espresso cup, ensuring that the base of the cup is fully covered. Add some cinnamon over the chocolate before brewing the actual espresso. Once the espresso is brewed, mix in with the chocolate sauce and cinnamon before topping with the chocolatey whipped cream, dusting with cinnamon. You’ll never regret this recipe.

May Favourites: Our Top Five Coffee Machine Recipes

With all the talk of the General Election, May seems like a million miles away and June is going by in the blink of an eye. Summer is finally upon is and it’s time to enjoy our favorite brews in the sunshine. Though, as far as away ago as May seems, we can’t forget our favorite drinks of the month in a hurry.

Nowadays, you can use your Coffee Machine to take make far than just a plain Espresso or basic Cappuccino. Our experts wasted no time in trying a whole manner of recipes on a number of different machines and told us their favorite.

We listed their favourite five Coffee Machine recipes and you’ve just got to try them.

Perfect Cappuccino


So forget about the basic cappuccino and try the Perfect Cappucino. The first of our favourite Coffee Machine recipes in May.

You will need; one freshly made espresso, hot and frothed milk, a sprinkling of cocoa powder and your desired amount of sugar. Any Espresso Coffee Machine with steam arm, or that is capable of frothing milk will do just fine, we used the De’Longhi Scultura ECZ351BG.

Simply prepare an espresso and pour into a pre-heated cup (the Scultura’s cup warmer came to perfect use here). Then froth the forth the milk, between 50-60ml should do the trick here. Once the milk is frothed, pour the steamed milk into the espresso before topping with the froth. Add sugar to taste – if that’s your jig, and dust with cocoa powder. And if you aren’t a chocolatey person, try cinnamon!

Orange Coffee

Coffee and citrus are a match made in heaven when it comes to this recipe, your taste buds will certainly be tantalized.

For this dreamy concoction you will need; an espresso, minced orange zest, one shot of cognac, whipped cream and sugar to taste. Simply use your Coffee Machine to knock up an espresso before mixing with orange zest, sugar and cognac. Next, add the whipped cream and if you’re entertaining guests, orange peel to decorate.

Creamy Brownie Coffee


If you’re a dessert lover, then you’re going to want to keep on reading. For this beautiful mix you will need either one medium roast capsule, whether it be Tassimo, Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, you name it, any will do the trick. And if you don’t have a Capsule Coffee Machine, any medium roast beans or medium roast ground coffee will do the trick with a Bean-to-Cup Machine. We used both the Nespresso by Magimix Expert M500 Smart Coffee Machine or the De’Longhi ESAM2800 Cafe Corso Bean to Cup Coffee and the results were perfect each time.

Along with some medium roast coffee, you’re going to need one teaspoon of brown sugar, one tablespoon of whipped cream and half a brownie, homemade or shop bought.

Simply prepare your brew as you normally would, using the medium roast capsule, beans or ground mix and then sweeten with brown sugar. Next, add whipping cream on top of the coffee and sprinkle with the crumbled brownie. Such a simple yet delicious Coffee Machine recipe so indulge and enjoy!

Warm Mocktail

If you’re after something a little different than your typical brew, this warm mocktail is a must try. You will need a Chai Tea-Latte Pod (there are many pods compatible with Nespresso Machines and Dolce Gusto do a fabulous range that can be used with the likes of De’Longhi’s Jovia EDG250.B) and a Grande Mild Capsule, a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon and some icing sugar.

Simply prepare the two capsules as you would normally, minus any milk and then sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and the icing sugar. A delicious alternative brew that will certainly quench your thirst.


Swiss Alp Latte

This is perfect for the warm weather and if you’re looking for a cold drink to enjoy as a treat, be sure to read on. For this beauty, you will need; 250ml whole or semi-skimmed milk, one espresso, 15g of dark chocolate and four ice cubes.

Place the chocolate chips or chunks into the bottom of the glass before preparing an espresso and pouring it over the chocolate. Stir in the espresso until the chocolate is fully melted followed by the ice cubes to ensure the espresso goes cold. Using your Coffee Machine’s Aeroccino or Milk Frother, froth some cold milk foam to pour into the glass atop of that delicious chocolate espresso.

The Five Best Retro Coffee Machines

When it comes to kitchen appliances nowadays, for some, their appearance is just as important as their performance. An unaesthetically pleasing appliance can throw the whole theme of the kitchen right off, even more so if they don’t match.

Retro-style kitchens are the must-have at the moment and as a result, a number of leading kitchen technology brands have released some brilliant retro-esque appliances. And of course, what kitchen isn’t complete without a Coffee Machine?

Our experts tried and tested a range of retro looking Coffee Machines on the market and gave us their verdict. We’ve compiled a list of five of the best Retro Coffee Machines, not just in appearance but in price and performance.


DeLonghi ECOV311.BG Vintage Icona Espresso

DeLonghi always deliver when it comes to coffee machines and they’ve done it again with the Vintage Icona Espresso. This pump machine follows the trend of vintage and retro concepts to deliver the tools needed to create thr quality of coffee you thought only Baristas could manage.

The machine sports advanced technology that guarantees a perfect and authentic Italian espresso. And if espressos aren’t your thing, the “Cappuccino System” combines steam, air and milk producing a rich and creamy froth for delicate cappuccino.

With two separate thermostats, you are able to control water and steam temperatures separately and the machine can be used with either ground coffee, or the Easy Serving Espresso pods. Though, be sure to bear in mind that it is only capable of producing two cups at once, so if multiple cups are needed at the same time, if you may wish to look elsewhere. However, thanks to its self-priming system, the machine is always ready for use so making extra cups will take no time at all. And with an auto-off function, the machine is energy efficient.

Boasting a removable 1.4 litre tank and removable drip tray, the machine is easy to clean meaning that maintenance requires little effort. Available in cream, the machine is purchasable from £159.99, the cheapest price we found.


Ascaso Dream Versatile Coffee Machine

This Coffee Machine promises to take your coffee to the next and it does not just that but with its flawless retro appearance, it will help take your kitchen to the next level. It is available in a range of colours including Meadow Green, Red Gloss, Matte Black, Matte Cream, Matte White, Sun Yellow, Orange Gloss, Matte Chocolate and Polished Aluminium.

Ascaso’s Dream Coffee Machine comes with a cup warmer meaning that if you do become preoccupied whilst brewing your coffee, it will still be warm when you return. The removable 1.3 litre water tank and inox tray both make for easy cleaning.

The dream machine certainly lives up to its ‘versatile’ title and is capable of using ground coffee, pods and pads. Sporting a milk frother, you’re able to make the creamiest cappuccinos if espressos aren’t your thing. Its solenoid anti drip valve stops dripping after the coffee is brewed maximising its excellent taste.

The machine comes with a two year warranty and is able to buy from £489.00 from new, or there are several second-hand machines available for £299.00 if you aren’t looking to spend that much.



Ariete Vintage Espresso Machine

Granted, upon first appearance this Ariete release does resemble something of a sewing machine, however, it is the latest member in the successful range of Toasters, Kettles and Coffee Machines in RetroStyle. The Vintage Espresso and Cappuccino promises to be no different and duly delivers.

With its 15 bar pression, filter holder pods and two powder cups and milk frother, you can prepare coffee and cappuccinos in the comfort of your own home, as intense and as creamy as the ones in Starbucks.

The 0.9 litre tank is removable, as is the drip tray which means cleaning is a breeze. The standby function makes for great energy efficient and at just 4kg, the machine is incredibly lightweight. Available in Mint Green, Light Blue and Vintage Beige, the choice is yours. For just £179.00, you can’t go wrong at all.


Smeg ECF01CRUK 50’s Retro Style Espresso Coffee Machine

When it comes aesthetic kitchen appliances, no-one does it quite like Smeg. Their Retro Style Espresso Coffee Machine which comes with a choice of Cream, Black, Red or Pastel Blue is as brilliant in appearance as it is in performance.

With 15 bar professional pressure and three buttons including a one-cup button, a two-cup button and steam option, you can make Barista quality coffee at home for you and a guest. With a 1-litre removable water tank and water filter as well as a descaling light indicator, cleaning has never been easier.

The cord length of just 1-metre may seem short to some but the machine itself has a net weight of just 5 kg meaning that moving the machine is easy if necessary. At £279.00, it’s a tad more expensive than the DeLonghi and Ariete but it’s well worth the extra expense.


KitchenAid Nespresso Artisan Coffee Machine

It’s no secret that KitchenAid produce some excellent cake mixers but how do they fair when it comes to Coffee Machines? Pretty well as it goes. The Nespresso Artisan comes in a sleek finish and in a range of colours; Almond Cream, Candy Apple, Onyx Black, Medallion Silver, Empire Red and Frosted Pearl so you’re sure to be able to find something that matches your kitchen.

With a 19 bar high pressure system, quality coffee is guaranteed and with this machine all of the hard work is done for you. There is six pre-programmed cup sizes, an emptying mode for care and a descaling mode meaning maintenance is minimal.

It is able to produce variable strengths of coffee to taste meaning you can always brew the perfect cup for you, from ristretto to lungo. And with a heat-up time of just 30 seconds, that morning rush is no more, plus the automatic shut off will put your mind at ease. The 1.4 litre removable tank is easy to fill and clean and allows multiple servings for you and any guests. The cheapest price we found is £247.20, an investment that is more than worth it.

The Best Nespresso-Compatible Coffee Pods for Making Iced Coffee Drinks


The last week of May saw the UK bask in some beautiful weather and we hope to see a lot more of it throughout the summer. Though, as glorious as the sunshine may be, it can sometimes mean that you don’t fancy your usual brew of coffee and would rather opt for a cold drink. Iced Coffee is our saviour.

Make the most of your Capsule Coffee Machine, ditch the soft drinks and make a delicious Iced Coffee or Frappuccino. To make things easy for you, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best pods for making cold drinks and even partnered them with our favorite recipes.

Roma Capsule: Iced Cappuccino

This recipe is so basic but also so tasty. You will need three Roma capsules, sugar, 250ml of full-fat milk and any of the following; a generous punch of ground cinnamon, a pinch of cacao powder, or a pinch of ground nutmeg. A Coffee Machine with a steam arm or Aeroccino milk frother is also needed (you can find coffee machines with such features here).

Prepare the three Roma capsules as you would normally and sweeten with sugar to taste. Pour this into a jug with 200ml of the cold milk and leave in the fridge for around ten minutes. Whilst this is cooling, froth the remaining milk using the steam arm of your Nespresso machine or the Aeroccino milk frother.

To finish, pour the chilled coffee into two glasses and add the frothed milk to each glass. Sprinkle with either cinnamon, cacao, or nutmeg. We highly recommend cacao but the decision is yours!

Dulsao do Brazil: Iced Citric Coffee

This recipe is even more simple than the last! All you need is a capsule of Dulsao do Brazil, two teaspoons of cane sugar, one lemon and some ice.

To start, place a glass in the fridge and then prepare your espresso. Then add to shaker with ice cubes, juice from the lemon and the cane sugar. Shake until the mixture is creamy and you’re ready to be refreshed!

Grand Cru Kazaar: Iced Chocolate Coffee

This is a fabulous take on a chocolate milkshake. The ingredients you need are; two Grand Cru Kazaar capsules, 150ml of milk, two squeezes of macaron syrup, two chocolate ice cream scoops and some crushed ice.

Simply froth the milk with whatever method you will be using. Once you’ve got that cloud like foam, add the syrup before making two espressos with the Grand Cru Kazaar capsules. Add said espressos into shaker with the chocolate ice cream and shake well. Add the crushed ice into a tall glass, add the contents of the shaker followed by the foam and enjoy!


Grand Cru Vivalto Lungo: Iced Latino Café Latte

The only latte to make our top-five but it’s more than deserving of its place.

For this delicious Iced Latino Café Latte, you will need a capsule of Grand Cru Vivalto Lungo, two squeezes of vanilla syrup, 100ml of milk (whatever milk you normally use is fine) and crushed ice.

Add the vanilla syrup into a large glass and fill roughly three-quarters with crushed ice. Next, pour the Vivalto Lungo on top. Use either the Aeroccino or steam arm to froth the 75ml of the milk. Pour the cold milk into the glass and then add the milk froth.

Ristretto Grand Cru: Apricot Iced Coffee

The Ristretto Grand Cru is one of our favorite capsules as it is so versatile, it can also be used to make the Iced Cappuccino and Iced Citric Coffee. We love the chocolatey drinks but fruit-based drinks are all in.

You will need one Ristretto Grand Cru capsule, 50ml of apricot nectar, tablespoon of condensed milk, some crushed ice and a teaspoon of soft brow sugar.

Prepare the capsule as you would normally and pour into a shaker with crushed ice. Add in the condensed milk and shake vigorously before. Then add the apricot nectar and shake again. Pour into a small glass and dust with some brown sugar.


NESCAFE Dolce Gusto Oblo by Krups Review

When it came to light that manufacturing giants Krups would be partnering with Dolce Gusto on a range of capsule machines, we were very excited to see the results. Whilst Krups have been restricted in their design work, by the likes of Nespresso, we are yet to be disappointed in a Krups machine. The Oblo is no exception.

Key Features

  • Outstanding design work in a range of colours makes the Oblo one of the most stylish, attractive machines on the market.
  • Incredibly compact at just 31cm tall and 24cm wide; it will fit into any kitchen and can be stored with ease.
  • Dismantling the Oblo takes no time at all for cleaning purposes and it is superbly tactile when reassembling.
  • 15 bar pressure and an 800ml tank. These aren’t the most impressive pumps and water tanks we’ve encountered. Though, in a machine this size, they are truly exceptional.
  • Quick start guide ensures the user can make use of the machine directly from the box. No lengthy initialising or first use process – the Oblo is the ‘plug in and play’ option as far as coffee machines are concerned.
  • A two year guarantee, a starter variety pack of pods and incredibly cost effective capsule packs (around £4.00 for 16) means the overall cost of the Oblo doesn’t stack up over time.
  • Hot and Iced drink varieties available including Chai Tea, Iced Coffee and more traditional coffee and tea beverages.


For such impressive design and product flexibility, you might expect the Oblo to cost much more than the comparative Tassimo or Nespresso machines but you’d be wrong. The Oblo is widely available at a reasonable £89.99. We advise paying full retail in order to guarantee receipt of the warranty however.

Across the course of a year, assuming you use the Oblo three times a day, you’ll be looking at £89.99 initial investment and around £70.00 in capsules for the 12 month period. You won’t get better coffee on demand for less without considering a filter machine. And even then the filter sheets and ground beans can be costly.


For all the Oblo’s positives; ergonomics clearly didn’t feature in the design process of the machine sadly. The rear mounted water tank is removable for filling but it is an awkward shape to put under a tap. As a result of this, jug filling can be problematic due to the strange placement of the opening.

Equally, the machine doesn’t feel particularly well built in places. The outer shell and mechanics of the Oblo are substantial but the capsule piercing and ejection system feel rather flimsy. They  will no doubt require additional pressure over time. Some customer reviews do explain the issues with the ejection system at length – it’s best to be delicate.

Finally, larger cups are unlikely to fit under the Oblo’s spout due to the restricted space underneath the dispense nozzle. Purchasing cups to fit the Oblo shouldn’t be an expensive issue but it’s an issue that shouldn’t be presented in the first place.

Magimix Nespresso Inissia Review

We’ve long been impressed by the Nespresso capsule systems and Magimix have put their own slant on the Inissia design to produce a truly superb offering. Though, only if you’re a fan of capsule coffee and nothing else. You don’t expect to be producing Espressos manually or grinding your own beans with a capsule machine but many combination machines now offer capsule compatibility. Can you really justify the limitation?

Key Features

  • Easily the lightest machine in the entire Nespresso range making the Magimix easy to move, store and clean. Despite the pronounced, rear mounted water tank, it’s one of the most compact machines on the market.
  • The water tank itself is quite small at just 700ml but it produces more cups than you might expect.
  • 19 bar pump pressure makes for one of the most impressive small systems you’ll find on the market. You won’t have any complaints about the coffee delivered we can assure you!
  • 22 Grand Cru pods, plus limited edition and third party capsules, give Nespresso one of the widest ranges of products on the market.
  • You will find 16 capsules in the machine bundle. Generally, this is a variety pack giving you the chance to try out several blends and bean varieties before settling on a favourite.
  • Colours available: Summer Sun (orange), Grey, Black and Cream. Restrictive albeit still something for every kitchen
  • The inclusion of the Aeroccino milk frother, at additional cost, makes the Magimix much more versatile. The Espresso and Lungo drinks its produces can be converted into Lattes and Cappuccinos.


Always a difficult thing with capsule machines; you expect them to be closer to the lower end of the market but the more the machine offers, the more it costs, which makes sense. The Magimix Inissia costs £89.99 as an individual item and the bundled package with the Aeroccino will set you back £129.99.

That price is still lower than many capsule machines on the market and sits marginally higher than the top end filter coffee machines. The Inissia occupies a very comfortable place in the market and easily justifies its price tag.


Although Krups also made a variation of the Inissia machine, in our opinion the Magimix steals the limelight. This is owing to superior heating times and impressive pump system.

Different types of Nespresso capsules are being launched all the time so you’re sure to be spoilt for choice.

The addition of the Aeroccino adds an exciting new dimension to this machine. You can now produce stunning, coffee-shop style milk in seconds.

Krups Nespresso Pixie Review

We are big Krups fans and love everything they do for the Nespresso brand. Even without being biased, they have truly outdone themselves with their take on the Pixie capsule machine. Nothing is wasted on this, it’s efficient, compact and produces excellent coffee in an instant.

Key Features

  • 19 bar pump pressure makes for the perfect brew every time. The Pixie comes to temperature incredibly quickly making for a fast, satisfying coffee. One minute, 25 seconds is the average brewing time.
  • 1 litre water tank capacity makes for several cups without constant re-filling. The top up process is simple thanks to a removable tank with a secure lid to avoid spillage.
  • The Pixie auto shuts down after nine minutes of inactivity, and can be restarted in seconds. This saves a small fortune on electricity if you forget to deactivate it.
  • By registering the machine, you can also opt in for a free recycling service provided by Nespresso. They will collect the capsules and re-use them as part of their eco-friendly scheme.
  • Two year warranty is included but a replacement service is not, Krups will offer a temporary replacement whilst your machine is serviced
  • 16 capsules are included with the machine, this is a variety pack to give you a fair impression of the Nespresso range.
  • 96% of buyers surveyed gave the Pixie between four and five stars. If you can’t trust someone who bought the machine then who can you trust!?
  • The Krups model also comes with a function that allows the user to preset their chosen dispense strength and volume. This means you can personalise your machine to your preference.
  • Removeable side panels allow the user to colour code the machine to their décor. You simply slide the inserts out and exchange them for alternatives (purchased separately).


The Krups name comes with a bigger price tag than the comparative Magimix model but you are getting more machine for your money, despite their similar appearance. The machine alone will set you back around £139.99, however, this is good value for money when you consider the robust design is able to withstand years of heavy usage.

As is common with most capsule coffee machines, there is no milk frothing option with the Pixie. That said, the Nespresso recommended Aeroccino is available from £49.99.


The customer satisfaction on offer with the Krups machine is beyond comparision; no other Nespresso machine comes close to the technology and convenience offered. As capsule machines go, it’s one of the most stylish and ergonomic on the market.

We do like the Pixie as a concept and the Krups model is by far and away the best option for Nespresso coffee. If you’re looking for a reliable, durable machine that will allow you to enjoy a range of capsule coffees, this one is for you.

Gaggia Brera Bean to Cup Review

A high-end Italian coffee machine brand, it’s no secret that Brera are renowned for producing the best commercial machines on the market. Now, thanks to the introduction of the Gaggia model, one of the best bean to cup machines in the world is available to purchase. It’s never been easier to make rich and smooth espressos from the comfort of your own home whenever you like.

Key Features

  • Incredibly compact, the Brera would undoubtedly fit into any kitchen comfortably. It wouldn’t look out of place in a modern or classic styled room thanks to its retro styling.
  • As a Bean-to-Cup machine; the Brera comes equipped with an impressive built in grinder. This is adjustable if you wish to produce a finer or coarser grind, simply toggle the dial.
  • Setting up the Brera couldn’t be easier, the machine comes with a small screen that features clear symbols and indicators for you to follow. In total, four buttons adorn the machine: Power, espresso, full cup and strength of brew (3 stages).
  • A milk foaming wand is mounted on the front of the machine and is flexible enough for use with a fairly sizeable jug. However, we recommend a smaller vessel if you have one available.


Despite being a high-end model, the Gaggia is surprisingly affordable, available for around £379.99 from Amazon. Bean-to-cup machines promote a more authentic coffee experience, inline with the taste you would expect from Starbucks or Costa. These types of machines always command a premium mark-up but are well worth the investment.


The Gaggia Bera is a simple to use bean-to-cup machine with sophisticated peripherals and an iconic design. It allows easy access to the water tank and coffee grind waste via the front of the machine.

Gaggia Brera is the bean-to-cup, super-automatic espresso machine that delivers supreme coffee, all from the comfort of your own kitchen. Compact and light, this espresso machine boasts electronic controls, an LED display, a 250g bean chopper and a 15 bar pressure pump. A truly barista-like experience!

Its integrated ceramic coffee grinder gives you the freedom to choose from five different ground coffee options. The easy-to-remove brewing unit, stainless steel boiler and 1.2 litre water tank ensures a super-automatic espresso machine is easy to clean.

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