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    Reviewed: Nespresso Latissima Touch

    I love good coffee but cannot justify splurging on a high-end fully-automatic machine, so I’ve settled for more affordable models that offer a decent brew. In the past, I’ve had a Starbucks Barista home espresso machine and a CBTL Kaldi with accompanying milk frother. Late last year, I was persuaded to try out a latte macchiato at a Nespresso pop-up store, and that sealed the deal for the Latissima Touch. Here’s my long-term review.

    DESIGN: 4/5

    The Nespresso Latissima Touch is the newest addition to the Nespresso line of coffee machines and has a built-in milk dispenser. It comes in black, gray, or white with chrome accents on the coffee capsule lever on top and the drip trays below. It is compact and industrial-looking, and sits nicely on the kitchen counter without taking up too much space.

    Made of hard plastic materials, the Latissima Touch weighs only 4.5kg and can be easily stowed out of the way when not in use. In front, on the left-hand side, is a round nozzle for dispensing coffee above which is a lever that you lift to access the capsule container. Below the round coffee outlet is the used capsule drawer which can take about 9-10 capsules. Underneath that is a drip tray that you can push in to accommodate tall drinks.

    On the right-hand side, the top surface contains the on/off button, 2 LED indicators for descaling and cleaning, and six tactile beverage buttons. In front, there is a steam connector door that you slide open to attach the milk container. Below this a platform inside which is the descaling pipe.

    The milk container itself is cleverly designed with durable plastic parts attached to the lid that are easy to dismantle and clean. There’s a connector to attach the container to the machine, an aspiration tube to suck the milk up through the spout, a milk froth regulator knob, and a cleaning button.

    At the rear is the clear plastic water reservoir. To fill up, you can just flip the lid up and pour water in, or you can lift the entire water tank out.

    HARDWARE: 4/5

    At the heart of the Nespresso Latissima Touch is the thermoblock heating system that quickly heats up cold water in just a matter of seconds. It then keeps the water temperature at optimal levels so you can instanly prepare single serve cups of your favorite coffee drinks. Its extraction system delivers 19 bars of water pressure for consistent quality coffee.

    Meanwhile, the automatic capuccino system heats the milk and creates dense and rich foam that can be adjusted to your preferred thickness. It also includes a cleaning system that rinses out the pipes to prevent milk build-up that can cause contamination and clogging.

    USER EXPERIENCE: 4.5/5

    The machine ships out with a water hardness test strip so you can program the machine appropriately. Apparently, soft water with lesser dissolved minerals extracts flavors and nutrients better. Hard water, on the other hand, means scale will build up faster inside the machine, requiring more frequent maintenance.

    After that one-time setting, all you need to do is pop in your choice of coffee capsule, attach the milk container, and wait about 25 seconds for the machine to heat up. Once the lights stop blinking, you lightly touch the beverage button for your drink.

    The factory settings for the six beverage buttons are: Espresso – 40ml; Lungo – 110ml; Capuccino – 40ml coffee/50ml milk; Latte Macchiato – 40ml coffee/150ml milk; Creamy Latte – 40ml coffee/150ml milk; and Warm Milk – 120ml. These can, of course, be customized to taste.

    After a milk drink has been dispensed, the Clean indicator lights up and you will need to press the Clean button on the milk container lid to rinse it out. You can then detach the container and store it in the fridge for the next drink.

    The machine automatically switches off after 9 minutes.

    Nespresso machines take only Nespresso coffee capsules, so that’s a consumable that you will need to replenish regularly to enjoy your daily brew. There are a multitude of choices ranging from light to medium to dark roasts, and flavors ranging from fruity to caramely to spicy. You can also get the decaffeinated version of your favorite roasts.

    For those concerned about the sustainability impact of single-use aluminum capsules, Nespresso has a recycling program where used pods are turned into costume jewelry and home décor by a local women’s group.

    VALUE: 3.5/5

    On the Nespresso online store, the Latissima Touch is currently listed at PHP 27,000. However, it is occasionally offered as part of a promo or discounted package, so if you’re in no rush, you can just keep an eye out for that.

    Nespresso capsules cost between PHP 30 to PHP 40 and come in boxes of 10s. Add to that the price of fresh milk, and your outlay for each mug of coffee you make should be around PHP 50. Not cheap, but not a bad price for coffee just the way you want it.

    Specifications:

    • Weight: 4.5kg
    • Height: 25.8cm
    • Removable water tank: 0.9L
    • Removable fresh milk container: 0.35L
    • Used capsule container: 9
    • Dimensions (WxDxH): 17.3 x 32 x 25.8cm
    • Folding drip tray for taller mugs
    • One-touch recipe preparations
    • Automatic power off after 9mins
    • Automatic standby after 30mins
    • Max pressure: 19bar

    What’s Hot:

    • Compact, easy to use
    • Consistently good coffee

    What’s Not:

    • There are cheaper machines
    • Only takes Nespresso pods

    Bottomline:

    It’s like having a personal home barista.

    Reviewed by Maribelle Alba
    Also published in Gadgets Magazine July 2020

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