Clean your coffee machines

Everyday Maintenance of Nespresso Machines

  • Before doing anything else, flush some water through the machines internal circuits. To do this set the machine to the ‘lungo’ programme and run it without inserting a coffee-pod.
  • If you usually make more than one coffee each day, it is always a good idea to flush the machine’s internal circuits between each coffee you make.
  • Remove any water left in the reservoir and refill it every morning with clean water to ensure good-tasting coffee.
  • Don’t place your machine in very warm or very cool areas. The coffee is very sensitive to such variations in temperature.
  • If you have a milk warmer, clean it thoroughly after each use. Milk residue dries very quickly when left uncleaned, not very hygienic at all.

Cleaning other parts of Nespresso Machines

  • The container for used coffee-pods should be emptied frequently, to prevent a blockage in the machine.

  • The best way to clean the machine’s exterior is with warm water, using a little detergent to remove any coffee stains. But be careful not to wet the electric components.

Decalcifying your machine

It is inevitable that lime will accumulate in your machine over time, a problem that needs to be taken care of straight away.

According to Nespresso, the machines should be decalcified every 6 months, and by doing so regularly you will prolong the life of your machine and guarantee a better flavour.

If you are registered as a member of the Nespresso Club, you will get regular alerts reminding you when to do this.

How do you decalcify a Nespresso machine?

  • Add a decalcifying liquid to the water reservoir and flush it through the machine’s interior.
  • At the same time, place the special decalcifying filter in the coffee-pod stand.

Cleaning your Senseo

  • You should try and get into a routine of cleaning your machine daily.
  • Senseo machines are small with few small fiddly pieces, so you can clean it really quite quickly.
  • Don’t leave used coffee pods in the pod holder! As these spread germs and bacteria.
  • You should use a damp cloth to clean the machine’s exterior.
  • The machine’s internal circuits should be cleaned once a month, following these instructions:
    • Refill the water reservoir with clean water and add a couple of capfuls of vinegar.
    • Then pass the mixture through the machine.
    • Once you’ve completed these steps, fill the reservoir again with clean water and pass this through the machine again. You can use a large dish or bowl to collect all of the water. T

The water

If you live in a hard-water area, try to use filtered water to fill your coffee machine because calc is one of the major causes of coffee-pod machine breakdowns.

You may also consider using mineral water to prepare coffee with your Senseo.

Storing your Senseo coffee-pods

The storage of Senseo coffee-pods is very important, as these types of ESE pods are more exposed to external elements than other coffee-pods such as Nespresso, Tassimo or Dolce Gusto pods.

Always keep your pods in a sealed container, which is as airtight as possible Another important tip: don’t keep different flavoured capsules in the same container.

Lavazza Pods and Coffee Machines

Lavazza a Modo Mio; Pods and Coffee Machines

Lavazza a Modo Mio is a new product buy Lavazza (the multinational Italian coffee company) aimed to compete with Tassimo y Nespresso.

Here, we will assess the key aspects of this new product.

Appearance a Modo Mio

 Reduced size

  • The machine is just 20.5cm wide. This reduced size, however doesn’t diminish the large number of functions that it incorporates: a 1litre water reservoir, a milk-steamer, a container for used coffee-pods of a reasonable size and a cup shelf.
  • Something else that sets this machine apart from the rest is its retro design, with a polished finish in red and chrome or black and white.
  • The machine, made of plastic, may seem less robust than those by Nespresso, but by no means does it look cheap.

Operation Lavazza a Modo Mio

Its operation is very simple

  • The coffee machine takes around 40 seconds to get started. You just pop the coffee-pods into the machine, position the lever and push the button.
  • It takes around 35 seconds to re-fill the water reservoir and prepare a large espresso, which is a little longer than the Tassimo and Nespresso.
  • The quantity of coffee and the temperature are regulated automatically.
  • The basic machines are manually operated; you can stop the flow of coffee when you like.

The more advanced machines include an automatic system that programmes the quantity of coffee according to the type of coffee.

  • The machine is very easy to clean. The used pods fall directly into a container for the used pods that can hold up to 10 pods. The left over water goes into a separate tray.

Each piece that makes up the machine can be removed and cleaned individually.

Capsules Lavazza a Modo Mio

  • The flavour and quality of the coffee in the Lavazza coffee-pods is of a really high standard, just as good as any other pod coffees.
  • Lavazza offers four generic groups of coffee-pods and flavours; light, medium, strong and decaffeinated, all made of 100% Arabica bean.
  • Apart from the espresso coffee you can also prepare latte macchiato and cappuccino using the milk steamer.
  • The machine’s milk steamer is very easy to use and heats the milk with relative ease.
  • The only problem with it is that it is a little short. It is perfect for use with small cups but is a little difficult with larger mugs and cups. You can control the steam using a knob on the side of the machine. The steamer also makes hot water to use for teas and infusions, though the water does come out somewhat slowly and I’m not sure if it’s really worth the hassle.

 

Lavazza Blue Coffee Machines and Capsules: An assessment

The single-serve coffee machines Lavazza Blue are the ideal machines for homes and offices that make a lot of espressos, cappuccinos and café latte.

Features of Lavazza’s most complete single-serve coffee machine to date.

A completely-automated coffee machine; you control it with 4 buttons and an electronic display. You can programme the temperature, quantity of coffee etc.

The machines only work with Lavazza Blue pods, which are bought pre-filled and vacuum-packed with the perfect amount of ground and pressed coffee.

Control panel and digital lever to control the coffee machine.

lavazza blue

The control panel has four buttons: espresso, coffee, steamer and stop. It is really easy to program and control the coffee-making process using the lever. You just have to select the type of coffee you’d like, put in the pod and press the start button.

Produces a great cappuccino

This machine is ideal for making cappuccinos. It has a heater just to produce the steam, so you are always guaranteed the amount and quality of steam you need. You can use the same steamer to heat water.

You can use the same steamer to heat water.

Coffee: Reviews and Comparisons

Nespresso, Senseo, Tassimo, Dolce Gusto: Reviews and Comparisons

Here we will take a look at the main advantages and disadvantages of each coffee-pod maker.

Coffee-pod Maker from Tassimo Bosch

Advantages: 

  • Variety of brands. This is one of Tassimo’s strong points. In contrast to Nespresso and Dolce Gusto, who for example only offer Nestle products, Tassimo have various brands on offer (Milka, Starbucks, Carte Noire).
  • Variety of products. Tassimo offer a variety of different products to suit every taste. Their range includes espresso,cappuccino, latte, hot chocolate and teas.

Disadvantages

  • The espresso machine itself, manufactured by Bosch, is very sturdy, but in comparison to Dolce Gusto it doesn’t have as much control over the coffee. The machine is semi-automatic, using the individual barcode on each capsule to ‘monitor’ the coffee-making process, but it doesn’t have the benefits of a fully automatic machine.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine

Advantages:

  • The machine’s simplicity and robustness.Dolce Gusto uses a very sturdy machine, manufactured by Krups. It works with a single lever, allowing you to adjust the amount of coffee and chocolate to your own taste.
  • The hot chocolate and cappuccino. The coffee is not it’s best product, especially for the most selective of coffee-lovers (the coffee is very good in any case) but the hot chocolate is excellent. 
  • Buying pods is very easy. They are sold in all major outlets and you can also order them online or over the phone.

 Disadvantages

  • There is only one brand of coffee to choose from, namely Nescafé.If you aren’t a fan of this variety, there are no alternatives. 
  • In comparison with Nespresso, the quality of the final product is not so high. Not only due of the quality of the coffee itself but also due to the system of preparation (less pressure, the type of capsule).

Philips Senseo Coffee Pod Machines

Advantages

  • The price of the machine and its pods. This is Senseo’s greatest advantage; the price of the machine and pods is considerably lower than those of other brands.
  • Senseo is an ideal single-serve system for anyone who wants decent quality coffee at a reasonable price. 
  • Brand guarantee. Senseo Philips a well-known and prestigious brand.
  • The machine, manufactured by Phillips, is very simple,not too big and it isn’t complicated to use or maintain.

Disadvantages

  • The final product, the coffee, isn’t the best. The machine doesn’t exert the same amount of pressure as other coffee-pod machines, such as Nespresso or Dolce Gusto. The ESE pod system also means that you have to remove the used capsules from the machine manually.

Nespresso Coffee Machines

Advantages 

  • Variety and quality of the Café Gourmet capsules.Nespresso offers a range of gourmet-quality coffee. There are various blends, of various origins.
  • The range of machines. Nespresso works with the market’s best brands – Krups, Siemens, Delonghi etc. Unlike Dolce Gusto and Tassimo, who only have a single model, Nespresso offers an extensive range, from manual coffeemakers to completely automatic coffee-pod machines. 
  • For coffee-lovers, who appreciate really good coffee, Nespresso is without a doubt the most appropriate single-serve system.

Disavantages 

  • There are no milk capsules available, whereas Dolce Gusto and Tassimo sell specific pods to make latte and offer milk-based coffees, with individual pods of milk. By way of compensation, Nespresso do sell a milk-heater called Aeroccino, which you can use to warm up milk or prepare cappuccino.
  • Distribution – this is Nespresso’s great disadvantage, buying the pods. They offer you two ways to buy them, either going to one of their Nespresso shops, which can only be found in larger cities, or ordering them online.  
  • The price of the pods is somewhat higher than Dolce Gusto and Tassimo, and much higher than Senseo.