As a compact pod machine, the Lattissima Pro’s biggest lure is its fresh milk carafe with automatic foaming function – an idea borrowed from the usually bigger and bulkier bean-to-cup models. While other pod machines rely on milk pods or wands to achieve their frothy topping, the Lattissima Pro makes cappuccinos, latte macchiatos and babyccinos (warm milk froth, no coffee) with just one touch of its screen.
Pod-wise, there’s 22 Grand Crus in the Nespresso range, plus limited editions. So while you’re buying into just one pod type, the Lattissima Pro’s six preset drink options – the other three are espresso, lungo, ristretto – offers up a wealth of combinations. Plus, other companies make compatible pods.
You can also personalise your drinks by varying the amount of milk, froth and coffee using the digital display, and the machine will remember the altered amounts – although this can always be returned to factory settings.
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There’s real emphasis on quality in the design – from the brushed aluminium finish to the metal drip tray and drop-down espresso cup support, which are reassuringly substantial without being gratuitously heavy. A hot water spout – used during descaling and for making tea – is also thoughtfully concealed in a recess at the side with its own door. This fits in the same place as the milk carafe – both click in and can be removed easily.
Its features have been thoughtfully considered, too. An internal bin for used pods means there’s no need to empty after every drink, while the water tank has a hinged lid that helps to stop spills and splashes between the sink and the machine.
A short cable (45cm) means you might have trouble positioning it where you want to, but if you’re lucky enough to be able to site it right next to a socket, you can take advantage of the cable store underneath for a neat finish.
At 6.5kg, you probably won’t want to be moving it around frequently, but its small footprint ensures that it takes up minimal space on the worktop. It could be a great swap for an older bean-to-cup machine that hogs all the room.
Thanks to a fast-heating thermoblock that's ready to make coffee in 25 seconds – or 40 for milk drinks – the Lattissima Pro is a good morning companion. The water tank is a generous size compared to the machine’s dimensions and it’s simple to fill.
Making a drink is as easy as switching it on, inserting a pod, closing the lever to hold it in place, and, if applicable, attaching the milk carafe (which needs to be stored in the fridge), before choosing the right button for your drink. The cup platform isn’t restricted by obstacles, so you can use any size of cup, and the milk carafe spout can also be moved and pointed into the cup, so there’s no chance of missing or dripping down the side. A sturdy drop-down support adapts it easily for espresso cups.
The touchscreen menu is pretty intuitive once you’re aware of what the drink symbols mean – the name of the drink pops up on the screen, but only after you’ve selected the button. It’s also simple to scroll through the different settings for descaling and rinsing. However, the machine has to clean the milk spout after every use, which, if you’re making a round of cappuccinos, can be pretty time-consuming. It’s as simple as turning a wheel to emit steam and residue, but it does lengthen the process.
Maintenance-wise, the milk carafe also has to be disassembled and popped in the dishwasher every couple of days, which can be a chore. Plus, if you’re washing it by hand, the small sections are fiddly – it splits into five parts and the carafe will need a brush for a thorough clean.
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A maximum 19 bar of pressure produces a velvety, aromatic crema from the Nespresso Grand Crus pods, which are pierced in several places to allow plenty of water to be forced through. The resulting coffee is excellent and not discernably different from freshly ground beans.
It’s a similar story with the Lattissima Pro’s milk froth, which is of good, firm consistency at maximum strength – it can be tailored to suit by turning the wheel on top of the carafe – and especially impressive on the latte macchiato setting. The volume is less on a standard cappuccino, so milky drinks fans may find themselves boosting it.
This is a machine for people who love lattes, so if you’re mainly an espresso drinker, it’s probably not worth the extra expense of the milk carafe. It’s worth trying the coffee beforehand, as the Nespresso pods are a little pricier than some systems, at 29-35p each. It also comes with a two-year guarantee.
A coffee machine that could easily replace café visits if you usually drink straight cappuccinos or lattes. Definitely worth upgrading to if you already enjoy the Nespresso system.
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