In the summer I’m definitely a morning person, but the 6am starts in the winter when it’s baltic and pitch black outside just don’t get easier. After too many coffee shop trips over the years I’ve definitely spoilt myself, the instant stuff just ain’t cutting it no more and I’m a bit of a coffee snob. Not only that, but there’s something so nice about a warm cup of coffee that actually tastes good in the comfort of your own home.
I was a barista during my final year at uni (sadly I never mastered latte art), so I knew when it came to a coffee machine at home I wanted to use freshly ground coffee, have the ability to steam milk and create an amazing latte or espresso. The De’Longhi EC 685.M* ticks all the boxes. We’ve had the machine for just over a month now, it’s definitely a luxury and takes more effort than simply pouring hot water over instant coffee – but it’s worth it!
Ease of use
I don’t think the instructions that come with the machine are particularly useful, in the end I took to google for help to make sure everything was set up correctly. The whole process took me about 20 minutes. I got the hang of using the machine after a few attempts, now it takes me no more than 5 minutes (including prep and cleaning the appliance afterwards) to make two cappuccinos. Before getting a coffee machine I worried that the time difference between this and instant coffee would mean I didn’t want to use it in the morning, but that’s just not been the case, I use this every single day without fail. The extra effort for a good coffee is a thousand percent worth it. The machine has a heat up time of 40 seconds which is one of the main reasons it’s such a quick process from start to finish.
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One of the best things about this machine is that you can literally make every hot drink, I usually just stick to a flat white/ cappuccino but you can even make tea! You can use both coffee pods or ground coffee, we always buy freshly ground coffee because it definitely makes for a better end result, plus the environmental impact of the pods isn’t great which is another reason we wanted a machine that took ground coffee. We don’t have a particularly big kitchen so we had to consider the size of the machine, this is only 15cm wide so it really is small and compact.
The steamer at the side of the machine has a feature so you can switch between hot milk and cappuccino, the cappuccino dial makes the milk perfectly frothy while the hot milk feature makes silky smooth milk perfect for a flat white. We bought this small milk jug and it’s
Tips for the perfect coffee at home
Through trail and error I’ve noticed there are a couple of things you can do to get an even better coffee at home. Something small that makes a massive difference is to warm up your cup before you add the coffee. You can do this by leaving the cup at the top of the machine, but for even better results I fill the cup to the brim with hot water, then empty it just before I add the coffee. This makes the coffee stay warmer for longer and in general it just tastes better.
Another thing I’ve started doing is storing the ground coffee in an air tight container. As soon as the coffee is ground from the bean it starts to lose its flavour and change, so it’s definitely worth having a dedicated place for your coffee. I would also say buy freshly ground so you get that amazing flavour from your coffee too. When it comes to the milk I’ve found it’s best to use a small milk jug with the machine so it’s easier to steam, you can’t steam more than a jug full at one time and will have to wait if you have a large jug, we bought this small milk jug and it’s perfect.
As you can tell, I’m pretty smitten with my new gadget and definitely think it’s worth the investment if you are a coffee lover. I love having a little station set up and I like that I’m able to try different types of coffee and make an experience out of it every single day.
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