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Coffee pod machines; To the test.

Byline: CHRIS HASLAM

They promise faff-free quality coffee in an instant, but just how good are the five leading coffee pod systems?

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

Pressure: As a rule the higher the pressure (measured in bars), the better the quality of the espresso.

Milk: For drinks like cappuccino you will need a proper steam arm. Automatic systems are convenient but you might be disappointed with the powdered or UHT milk-filled pods.

Pods v grounds: Pods are convenient and clean, but cost more...

Nespresso M190 CitiZ, pounds 149 (www.johnlewis.com, 0845 604 9049)

Superb space-saving 19-bar machine that produces smooth and perfectly-made espresso. The used pod is ejected into a container at the back. But the pods are expensive and only available online.

Pods: 25p each

8/10

Nescafe Dolce Gusto, pounds 99.99 (www.krups.co.uk, 0845 602 1454)

Using powdered milk and coffee pods you can make seven drinks - from latte macchiato to espresso. Sadly the pods are messy and the machine feels plasticky.

Pods: 12.2p each 5/10

Bosch Tassimo TAS4011, pounds 89.95 (www.tassimo.co.uk, 01242 236101)

Makes tea, coffees, and hot chocolate using plastic T-discs. Espresso and chocolate were great, but the milky coffee and tea were both under par.

Pods: 20.5p-24p each 6/10

Modo Mio, pounds 119 (www.lavazzamodomio.co.uk, 0800 599 9200)

This 15-bar machine is a doddle to use; even steaming milk was easy. The espresso was as good as the Nespresso, with cheap pods which you can get in supermarkets.

Pods: 22.4p each 9/10

Senseo Latte Select, pounds 150 (www.philips.co.uk, 0800 331 6016)

Well-made machine with water and milk containers for filter and latte-style drinks. The teabag-like pods are the cheapest on test but the coffee is more filter-style than creamy espresso.

Pods: 11.7p each 7/10

Tested by CHRIS HASLAM
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 27, 2009
Words:312
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