With his old and beloved Lavazza A Modo Mio now showing its considerable age, Nick is delighted to road test the new Lavazza Idola
We’ve been through a lot my old A Modo Mio and me. For many years it’s faithfully dispensed expressos to get me out of the house at unfeasibly early hours, it’s picked me up from mid-morning slumps and its delivered coffees all round to finally power dinner guests out the door.
I love Lavazza’s coffee, it’s not always easy to find their full range of coffee pods on sale in shops – but online is easier. I certainly prefer their coffee to N*****sso’s.
My old Modo Mio looks its years now though. Its simple lines seem dated, its lack of coffee brewing options archaic.
So what have Lavazza been up to in the intervening years?Well the Lavazza Idola is the answer. It’s one of a range of new machines and sits where my old Modo Mio used to be, around mid-level.
It doesn’t have the milk options of the Lavazza Desea nor is it as small as the Lavazza Tiny. But for me, and I think many people, it’s just right.
In addition to making the machine better looking while still compact – it has sexy curves, more chrome, a glossier finish and comes in three colours; red, black and white – Lavazza have clearly thought about how to make the machines even better technically, and it shows.
One other thing that annoyed me about the old Modo Mio was the on/off switch being located on the side. My tightly packed countertop meant I had to always pull the machine out to get my hand to the switch.
The Idola has the power button on the front, where it should always be. It forms part of a simple, elegantly backlit, interface: There are clear, touch sensitive, easy wipe clean, buttons – Power on/off and four brew choices – Espresso, Short Espresso, Long Coffee and Free Dose Coffee.
The latter, the Free Dose, is a very good new feature. Basically, when pressed it delivers boiling hot water, about a mugful, although you can stop the flow at any time by pressing the button again.
This means you can have exactly the amount of coffee you want. Previously I would have to also boil a kettle to add enough water to get the kind of long drink I sometimes desired.
You can also vary the temperature of the water with another button A simple press increases the temperature in increments, so if you like a scalding hot coffee – you’ve got it.
Other useful new features are an audible warning with flashing light to tell you when the empty pod container is full, and another audible warning if you try to operate the machine without any water in the reservoir.
This latter is very important because on the old Modo Mio when the reservoir was empty, and I didn’t notice and tried using it, I tended to get an airlock which stopped the Modo Mio working and it was very hard to rectify. No more worries about that with the new Idola.
And on the reservoir front, the new machine has a larger capacity 1.1 litre tank which is an improvement. You can also detach the tank from the machine to take it to the tap, although I fill mine directly with filtered water from a jug to cut down on calcium build up.
On that point, the Idola alerts you when descaling is necessary, which is usually about every two months in an average water hardness area.
Simply add descaling agent to a full reservoir and run the programme. This will send a lot of hot water through, so do make sure you have something large to catch the water when it comes out.
Coffee quality comes from the coffee itself of course, the pod design and the machine’s mechanics. The Idola forces the hot water through the pod at optimum high pressure to get the right crema and does it reliably time after time.
Lavazza will now also be offering seven Lavazza Eco Caps from November 2019. Passionale, Qualita Rossa, Intenso, Lungo Dolce, Dek Cremoso, Tierra Organic and Delisiozo.
These are 100% industrially compostable coffee capsules that, if correctly processed, biodegrade in 180 days. A pack costs £4.40
Lavazza say these caps have undergone extensive research to retain the flavour and maximise shelf life to prevent waste.
I already cut open my used caps to get the old coffee out to add to my compost bin and this will make it easier.
With this upgrade to what has been a very good and reliable machine for me it’s now a sad goodbye the old Lavazza Modo Mio and hello Lavazza Idola.
I know this going to be a long and beautiful relationship.You can buy the Lavazaa Idola from: