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To me, the highlight of a long cycle ride is a stop for a great cup of coffee (and possibly some cake). For the rare occasion I am not out on my bike, I have a cheap filter coffee machine at home and am tempted to buy a Nespresso machine. I don't know anything about them, what to look for or even if they are any good.

How can I get something which makes a cup of coffee akin to what I get in my favourite cafes without spending the earth?

53 comments

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Roberj4 [221 posts] 2 years ago
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I have an Nespresso which does make great hassle free coffee, the machine looks nice/modern in any kitchen, easy to look after - I do recommend it. However until recently you were stuck with purchasing the 'pods' direct from Nespresso only, which is a pain but I believe the patent elapsed last year resulting in Nespresso going to court to keep the patent in place, but this failed. Effectively allowing other company's (Whitards for one) to produce their own 'pods' to fit which is the way to go.

2 points to consider in my opinion:

1. Don't buy the machine with the attached 'frother' it's £150+! As part of the whole unit if milk spills over onto the base it's a nightmare to keep clean. After a few months our frother started to burn the milk and was awkward to clean inside the unit which eventually didn't froth the milk that well.

Buy the stand alone Nespresso machine £70 (I believe there is still a great January offer including pods as a start up package making the machine virtually free!) Then buy Bodum's own milk frother jug £16 (Amazon) which works by warming the milk in your microwave then 'hand pump' to create 'froth' - this works so well!! Far better than Nespresso's frother.

2. Nespresso v Stand alone Italian Coffee machine. Well this depends on how many coffees you make a day, for how many people? One £50 pod order from Nespresso on average ever month does build up over the year then your well on your way to buying a £500-600 machine or even a 'Rocket' machine £1k plus over two years.

But as a 'pod' system the Nespresso is the best.

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James Warrener [1083 posts] 2 years ago
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I went from a De Longhi to a Dolce Gusto and don't regret it at all.

I loved the process of making coffee and even cleaning the old machine, but for time pressure a pod system wins hands down.

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adamtaylor [61 posts] 2 years ago
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The Nespresso machines are extremely handy. If you just want something to press and go, they'll do you fine. The coffee is alright too.

I suppose one could argue there's a certain lack of charm to the machines and you might be as well served with a simple cafetiere, depending on what type(s) of coffee you prefer.

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newtonuk [62 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a DeLonghi Lattisima Plus machine that uses the Nespresso pods. Milk based coffee drinks are a doddle with it and if you just want straight coffee, it's as straight forward as any other Nespresso machine.

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Fringe [1047 posts] 2 years ago
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An 'Aeropress' or a 'Bialetti Moka Express'. All the coffee making fun you'll ever need, and maybe a grinder if you want to buy beans rather than ground.

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Simon_MacMichael [2466 posts] 2 years ago
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Got a Nespresso machine (Magimix Essenza) for Christmas, best present ever, simple and quick to use and minimal cleaning up. Also got the standalone Aeroccino 3 for the milk, no complaints whatsoever with that, comes with two small whisks (attach magnetically), one great for frothy milk, the other for latte-style milk. Thoroughly recommend.

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 2 years ago
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Nespresso stands for "Not espresso". Don't go there.

If you have less than £500 to spend, or less than 5square metres of counter space, DON'T buy a coffee machine / all-in-one / espresso machine. You will regret it.

Buy a grinder, eg iberital MC2:

http://www.happydonkey.co.uk/iberital-mc2-grinders/

And an aeropress:

http://www.hasbean.co.uk/products/aerobie-aeropress

And MOST IMPORTANT, good whole beans - for ease get a subscription, e.g.:

http://www.hasbean.co.uk/collections/subscriptions/products/the-twelve-m...

If you MUST have espresso, you MUST read this:

http://coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine

But note that the coffee, and the grinder, are more important than the machine!

Give me a £2000 espresso machine, pre-ground coffee, or a whirlyblade grinder, and if you ask me to produce something drinkable, I'll struggle. Give me a £200 machine, a £200 grinder, and £10 of beans, and I'll fix you a coffee!

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stuke [335 posts] 2 years ago
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I've got a Tassimo T20 which I'm very happy with. I went for it due to the huge variation of coffees, teas or hot chocolates you can choose from, it made it easier to justify to the missus if she can use it as well (non-coffee drinker). Our local Tesco stocks the majority of the range and if you buy in bulk from the Tassimo website its pretty much the same price.

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VeloPeo [333 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a Nespresso Pixie bought for me as a birthday present last year. I also have a small Gaggia espresso machine that I've had for years

My main problem with the Gaggia is that I drink coffee at home only at weekends, or when working at home, my wife doesn't touch coffee. That meant a bag of espresso was going off before I had a chance to use most of it.

You'll get 7/10, reliable decent coffee from a Nespresso. It's ideal for me 'cos of the pods - the cost per coffee is higher but it's costing me less as I'm no longer throwing stuff out. I'd get better espresso from the Gaggia but the Nespresso is a very happy compromise.

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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Buy a moka, they're cheap and they also look cool too.

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Roberj4 [221 posts] 2 years ago
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Everyone has great points here. Does it come down to how much time you have or how involved you want to be make the ultimate cup of coffee. When it comes down to cost and convenience the pod system works well and at approx 25-30p a pod it certainly beats paying £3+ at Costa for a cup of shitte.

I've also heard the AeroPress gets great reviews to!

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700c [975 posts] 2 years ago
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I got a basic Philips auto bean to cup machine last year and it makes very good coffee very quickly and easily..provided the beans are decent and fresh..

You pay for the convenience, however. You can get can get as good if not better results through an espresso machine plus grinder with practice, but more of a faff..

Both options will beat nespresso hands down -if you really want something as good as your local café..

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glynr36 [637 posts] 2 years ago
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I replaced my Nesspresso with an Illy Y1, much better coffee and cheaper to buy the pods.

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Gkam84 [9092 posts] 2 years ago
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Coffee machine's......PFFFFT.

Get a kettle, a cafetiere, a decent thermometer, a grinder and some nice beans.

Although, you could just buy that new Azera stuff, its passable

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Fringe [1047 posts] 2 years ago
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Or drink tea.

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Lungsofa74yearold [287 posts] 2 years ago
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Wow - I had no idea making a cup of coffee could be so involved (not to mention expensive)  4

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8o8 finch@m [15 posts] 2 years ago
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Go for the nespresso.... And go for the expensive one.... They are awesome !!!

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Flying Scot [921 posts] 2 years ago
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Real men don't use pods......but a small De Longhi with a milk steamer wand, that way you can buy your coffee in bulk, from anywhere and won't be discarding pods all over the place. Good for 2 cups at once, if you need more, it becomes a massive investment in money and space.

And you get to be a Junior Barista, as the process is exactly the same.

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bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
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Nespresso is a weird one - it's eay to turn your nose up at it, especially because, well, Nestlé. But a lot of top, top kitchens use them because they can guarantee a good - not the best, but good - coffee, without the need for a good barista to be employed. And it's quick, doesn't take up precious room in the kitchen, and it's easy to clean up.

Anyway, I use an Aeropress - best coffee this side of using a proper espresso machine, and some may argue that it gives you a better long black/americano anyway.
The keys to using it well are, as has been mentioned already - good beans, a good burr grinder, and also as Gkam alluded to (but sadly uses the wrong device to make his coffee  3 ) getting the temperature right.
You want the water to be between 80 and 90 degrees, and you can argue for an awfully long time about the exact right temperature. After years of burning my hang on my kettle to see if the water was about right, I bought a kettle that has a controllable thermostat. It's more expensive than a normal kettle, but being able to set the temp is ace.

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tomturcan [66 posts] 2 years ago
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Try "La Pavoni" for a true Italian classic.

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700c [975 posts] 2 years ago
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To the OP - if your local café uses an espresso machine, then the only way to properly replicate that at home is by using an espresso machine..

They don't have to be *that* expensive, but you will need to spend a bit to fulfil your brief, I'm afraid.. Using nespresso/ cafetierre/ Aeropress etc may give acceptable results, but probably won't make coffee 'akin to your favourite café'

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zzgavin [193 posts] 2 years ago
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Freshness of beans and grind is the most important factor, regardless of method of brewing the coffee. I use an aeropress at work, which makes a decent cup. At home we've got a Rancilio Silvia machine and a Rancilio Rocky grinder, they make a very fine espresso. Next step up would be a double boiler, but we've not got the space, nor need for that. It's about the same as a decent crank for the pair, but worth it, I think.
That said if you drink a few coffees a week using a nespresso machine, then they are a good buy.

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Ghedebrav [1100 posts] 2 years ago
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I go to Carluccio's in Piccadilly Station, Manchester (I work next door). Decent double espresso for a mere quid.

Or if I'm feeling flash, the incomparable Caffiene & Co. - their espresso is in a different league to that of the chains, practically a different drink altogether (back to the point above about the quality of the beans, the grind, and the roast).

The point being here that unless you're willing to splash a LOT of cash and spend time learning to use the machine and seek out the best ingredients, you're better off going to yer favourite coffee joint, have someone else make it for you and relax with a paper. No cleaning up afterward either! Money well spent, if you ask me.

Unless of course you're not after espresso, in which case I cannot help you. As also noted above, Nespresso is not espresso, no matter how dazzlingly handsome George Clooney looks when he's hawking the stuff in them cheesy ads.

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Simon_MacMichael [2466 posts] 2 years ago
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Looks like we've stumbled across another of those issues that divides cyclists.

Thank heavens Rapha don't sell an espresso machine.

Oh wait, what's that?

http://www.rapha.cc/rocket-espresso-for-rapha?locale=UK

Of course, if you don't want to shell out €1,800 - and it's worth noting that since it's sold out, 200 people did - you can buy a Senseo machine and get change from £30 then pick up compatible pods at Lidl for the equivalent of 9p each...

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Simon_MacMichael [2466 posts] 2 years ago
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700c wrote:

Using nespresso/ cafetierre/ Aeropress etc may give acceptable results, but probably won't make coffee 'akin to your favourite café'

Have to disagree... a Nespresso cappuccino isn't going to hold a candle to one you can get in Italy... but switching from froth to hot milk mode is the closest I've come in the UK to a grand crème like you'd get in France  36

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VeloPeo [333 posts] 2 years ago
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You tarts put milk in coffee?

Jesus wept  3

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Low Speed Wobble [156 posts] 2 years ago
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+1 farrell & fringe

I have a Nespresso machine, it's fine for consistently 'good' and convenient coffee. But for the real deal I use a traditional Bialetti Stovetop pot and freshly ground beans. It puts the passion back into making a cup. And we're all about passion in everything we do, right? (and the whole house smells fabulous for a long time after too).

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deblemund [263 posts] 2 years ago
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This is all very well but should you drink your espresso, Nespresso, moka, press, instant or drip after riding on:

1. handbuilts; or
2. Kysriums?

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KiwiMike [1237 posts] 2 years ago
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Dualit Espressivo. £50 on ebay, great little machines. We make about 5-10 cups a day for last 4 years no problems.

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lolol [202 posts] 2 years ago
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Domestic coffee machines rarely produce enough pressure to make a truly good espresso, the Aeropress is probably the best you can do at home, or a classic plunger

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