- Gorgeous build and classy styling
- Self-rinsing and easily deep-cleaned
- Intuitive operation
- Great-tasting espresso
- Milk flask is an expensive extra
- No Americano preset
- Review Price: £749.00
- Bean-to-cup operation
- Automatic milk frother
- Automatic self-rinsing
- Height-adjustable nozzles (80-135mm)
- 1.3-litre removable water reservoir
- 200g bean storage
- Ground coffee chute
- W241 x H360 x D460mm
What is the Miele CM5500?
The Miele CM5500 (and the CM5300, which is the same model all in black) is the Swiss company’s entry-level coffee machine. However, its position in the range is an indication of its size rather than a lack of features. This is still an all-singing, all-dancing bean-to-cup machine offering touch operation, self-rinsing, and automated maintenance instructions.
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Miele CM5500 – Design and features
Miele has a very definite style for its coffee machines, so the CM5 models just look like shrunken versions of the CM6 and CM7 series. It still isn’t exactly small, due to a front-to-back depth of 460mm, but there’s no space wasted in the design.
While the CM5300 is a very sober black, the CM5500 has a fascia that Miele describes as rose gold – I’d say it’s more a soft copper. It’s as gorgeously built as we’ve come to expect from the Swiss appliance maestro, and looks classy, if not exactly jaw-dropping.
The front panel has touch controls, with one-touch presets for espresso, coffee, cappuccino and latte macchiato. The menu gives access to further presets for ristretto, caffè latte, long coffee, hot water, hot milk and milk froth. As we found with the Miele CM6310, there’s no option for an Americano, so you’ll have to concoct one yourself from the espresso and hot water presets.
You can adjust the height of the nozzle head to fit different sizes of mug or cup – the height range is 80-135mm – and there are twin nozzles for pouring two drinks (of the same type) at once.
A flexible milk tube can be attached to the right side of the head and fed into a milk container for drinks that need frothing. Unfortunately, there’s no container supplied; while the more expensive Miele models come with a milk flask, it’s an optional extra (£64.99) for the CM5 series.
The water reservoir holds 1.3 litres, which sounds pretty handy, but some of the water is used for the self-rinsing function. It’s easily removed, though, and has a handy carry handle.
At the top right is the cover for the bean grinder, which can hold nearly all of an average bag of beans; it has a rubber seal to keep them fresh. Next to it is a small chute that delivers a dose of ground coffee, which is handy as a back-up.
A large door on the right side of the machine hides the removable brewing unit alongside storage space for the milk tube – although you can just leave the tube attached to the nozzle head, with the free end clipped into the drip-tray cover. There’s also a dial for adjusting the grinding coarseness.
Miele CM5500 – What’s it like to use?
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As with the CM6, the CM5500’s touch control is very responsive, and the interface is extremely intuitive. Maintenance instructions are flagged up on the display when needed – if the drip tray needs emptying, more beans are needed, or the water reservoir has to be refilled, for example. You’re also prompted to descale when necessary, and even reminded to clip the milk tube into the drip tray after use.
If there are more than one or two coffee drinkers in the house, however, you’ll find the reservoir needs filling quite often; and the drip tray similarly in need of regular emptying. So get used to seeing those notifications.
Refilling, emptying and cleaning are all really simple, though. The drip tray and the catcher for the discarded coffee grounds both slide out together and are dishwasher-safe. The water reservoir has a hinged handle and can be removed from either the top or side. Around once a week you should ideally take the brewing unit out to give it a rinse.
Even after a couple of months of quite heavy daily use, my review unit still looks almost as good as new.
Miele CM5500 – How does the coffee taste?
With the grinder tuned lightly to my taste, I found the CM5500 could pour out a mighty fine espresso. Even straight from the box it wasn’t too bad, with a beautifully thick crema and full-bodied taste from my test beans. You won’t find a much better-tasting espresso than this.
Just as we found with the CM6310, though, the milky drinks don’t quite hit the same heights. Taste can’t be faulted, but the milk froth is a little too foamy rather than silky. If you’re hoping for that glossy finish on your latte, you won’t find it here.
Why buy the Miele CM5500?
The CM5500 is a beautifully built bean-to-cup machine that’s simple to use, easily cleaned and makes a great cup of coffee.
If an Americano is your go-to choice, however, you might prefer a machine that can make one as a preset. The relatively small water reservoir also means this isn’t one for households with numerous coffee drinkers, who’d be better served by the larger Miele CM6310.
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A beautifully made, easy-to-use bean-to-cup coffee machine – but it isn’t cheap.