Melitta Barista TS Smart Review

by Nick Harman - Sunday April 15, 2018 6:04 pm

Why share space with people pretending to write screenplays on their MacBook’s, when you can make yourself an ‘amaaaayzing!!’ coffee at home with Melitta?

‘£3.75! For a coffee! Are you having a laugh?’ I’m not the best client of coffee shops. I resent paying that kind of money for a hot beverage and while I think the new McDonalds TV ad for coffee is quite brilliant in every way, and their prices fair, there isn’t a Maccy D I can walk to easily.

So, at both home and in the office, I’ve tried all kinds of coffee machines and with various degrees of success. On the whole, I’d come to the conclusion that capsule machines, such as Nespresso and Lavazza, worked best for espresso shots, which is my preferred way to drink coffee.

Not anymore though, we were sent a Melitta Barista TS Smart® to try out and now we’re in love, as well as a lot better off financially.

That’s partly because as it’s a loaner we didn’t have to shell out the £1000+ it actually costs, but also because we’ve been saving around £20 a day between us on not buying coffee.

Set up for a coffee cup

This bean to cup machine really looks the business and has a pretty small footprint. It might be a little large for some kitchens, but it’s not excessively big. As an office machine, it fits nicely into small areas.

As we unboxed it, and then gathered round making small ‘coo!’ and ‘wow!’ noises of appreciation at its stylish looks, we initially thought it might be a tad complicated to work. Lots of touch screen action later, we found it remarkably easy and intuitive.

The manual says it can make 21 different coffee specialities as presets, from espresso through to flat white, and it has a memory function to immortalise your own creations.

So, we quickly set it up, which actually required no more effort than filling up the water reservoir, putting milk in the milk chamber and shovelling coffee beans into the hopper.

Oh yes, the beans, we didn’t have any of those, so thirty minutes later after a trip to Tesco Metro, we were all set to go. You can actually put two types of bean in at the same time using two compartments, so drinkers can either blend both or choose their favourite bean. The lid is Aromasafe, which Melitta says keeps the beans fresher for longer.

You can also set the water type you have by using a supplied tester. We couldn’t be bothered with all that as we were getting very thirsty, so we set it to ‘hard’ as this is London and all the water is always hard, isn’t it?

The preset coffee varieties of espresso, café crème, cappuccino and latte macchiato etc can be selected. You can also select warm milk, frothed milk or hot water really simply and conveniently with the One Touch screen.

With everything set, we pressed go for a Cappuccino.

Taking the grind out of great coffee

We expected a lot of noise as the grinder swung into action, but it was in fact surprisingly quiet. The coffee was soon coming out and then after came a proper frothing noise as the milk was automatically steamed and added.

Everyone got a cup, the machine can pour two cups at a time with both milk and water using the same delivery tube, although the water reservoir is a bit on the small side and soon needed refilling. For the average home, it’s almost certainly big enough though.

The milk unit stands alone, so it can be kept in the fridge if you don’t intend making coffee for another few hours or it’s a warm day. Debate over the coffee taste centred on the beans we’d used, some liked them, some did not, but all agreed the coffee came out looking great and very ‘barista’. Nothing else we’ve tested came close to this.

Smart Phone Coffee

Mad excitement was then generated when we found out the machine could be managed from a smartphone via Bluetooth. The settings, personal coffee profiles and the creation of your own blends can all be selected on an app and sent to the machine from across the room. If it could only wheel the finished coffee across too, it would be just perfect.

The machine automatically cleans itself, which is great, but the drip tray is very shallow and so if you let it clean too many times without emptying the tray it can overflow. Other tech warns you when your bean stash is running low which is handy.

Coffee conclusion

If you get through a lot of coffee a day, this machine is going to be your new bestie. Unlike some bean to cup machines it’s relatively compact, gets going in minutes and is so easy to understand and operate you could have the world’s heaviest hangover and still get your wakeup call in moments in the morning.

Downside. It’s not exactly cheap but think of the savings over time. And let’s face it, you can’t Bluetooth a real barista.

Find out more at Melitta’s website

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