A few years ago I watched with envy as my cousin bought one of those fancy espresso machines that makes any coffee drink with the push of a single button, including milk-based ones like lattes. We have a more labor intensive one that is fine, but it requires a lot more work.
That machine was used quite a bit initially then less and less and now resides on a shelf in our garage. Not many lattes have been made in the garage. So when Jim and I want lattes we head up the road to support our local Starbucks. My latte habit is not daily, but Jim’s is, which can get pricey even with their rewards program.
After being at our friend’s house over the weekend and listening to them profess their love for their new Keurig coffee machine (one button, are you seeing a trend here?) I started wondering if it made sense for us to get a fancy “press one button” espresso machine. Even if they are really expensive we would probably break even in less than a year of use.
My criteria were simple. First it has to be easy, otherwise Jim will not use it. Second we need to be able to quickly switch between decaf (me) and regular (Jim). Finally, the lattes should be good — nice foam, good temp. We aren’t complete coffee snobs, but I can tell a good latte from a bad one.
Through my research I discovered a range of machines, expensive, more expensive, so outrageously expensive we couldn’t even consider them and one that was about a third of the price of the rest, Nespresso & Delonghi Lattissima Plus. Since I wanted to be thorough with my research I watched YouTube videos on how simple the Lattissima was to use, but wondered what is the difference between this machine and the bigger, fancier, more pricey ones.
Today, Will and I set out to find out at the closest Sur La Table. After a long conversation with the very helpful saleswomen, I determined that basically the difference is the Lattissima uses premade capsules that must be purchased from Nespresso and the other machines allow you to pick your beans of choice from any that you can find. While this may be a drawback it is actually a benefit for us, remember the decaf and regular criteria. The other machines have fancy screens and allow you to make very fine adjustments to each cup, but did we need all that? Plus they are exponentially more expensive.
So I made the educated and financially responsible decision to bring home a Lattissima in navy (Jim thinks I should have gotten silver, so we may exchange it) and promptly made my first latte by pushing one button, standing back and watching. Then when Jim got home I made one for him. We have a bit of refining to do, like programming the right amount of milk and coffee for the different size options, but it makes great foam.
If you are in the neighborhood, come by and I will make you a fabulous latte, cappuccino or espresso but I may need to rest after all that hard work.