Friday, 30 December 2011


It's hard to ignore the phenomenon commonly referred to as "coffee" when one is living in Melbourne, but I think our household managed to hold itself back way longer than average. However, even we had to succumb in the face of Christmas shopping season discounts. Most notably, Aldi offering a home coffee machine for a mere $80!
We had a look at the Aldi machine and decided it's not for us. Then we stumbled upon a Nesspresso machine (the one with Clooney in its ads), and between us being overenthusiastic and the the saleslady trying for commission we were under the impression you can get their entirely automated (just press a button!) coffee and frothing machine for $200. Alas, that was not the case; the asking price was $500.
So we had second thoughts, and realized there is not much of a difference between the Aldi coffee machine for $80 and the Nesspresso one for $500, especially when you throw in an extra $20 to get the Aldi frother. Most notably, both machines use very similarly styled coffee capsules as their ammo, and both require similar style maintenance (that is, almost nothing other than pressing the "clean" button from time to time).
So we went and bought the Aldi machine. That is, we went several times, because it took a while till the shops had them in stock. Since then we never looked back: our otherwise coffee immune household became caffeine addicted, even if we are not talking about common Melbourne grade addictions: ours is just a few coffees per week. However, an addiction it still is: when we went for our Christmas holidays this year, we took our coffee machine (and frother) with us. After all, we still had the original packaging, so it was dead easy!
Addicted, as per the above holiday photo - QED.

Now that addiction has been established, allow me a few words concerning the quality of the coffee produced by the Aldi machine.
No, it is not of the same quality you would get at a proper coffee place. It is definitely inferior to that, probably the result of the capsules' coffee coupled with the machine's inability to deliver the pressures and temperatures of a pro machine. However, if you ask me, the Aldi machine still beats most of the inferior coffee places and is at least on par with the majority of consumer home coffee machines. It is excellent value for money, to put things explicitly, regardless of whether you're talking running costs or just the initial cost.
Currently, Aldi sells some eight varieties of coffee capsules. However, if you look overseas (say, here) you will see additional milk and drinking chocolate capsules on offer; I assume these would land at the Lucky Country shortly. What I was unable to find thus far are decaf capsules for the Aldi machine (capsules of which are available for Clooney's Nesspresso): having those on board would mean I'd be able to enjoy the taste of coffee without the side effects that come along with such an addiction. Yes, I know decaf is blasphemy, but let me make it clear - I drink coffee because of the taste and the ritual, not because of some quest to attain legal drugs.


Uri said...

I think the low end of the Nespresso machines is always ~$200 (US) here - probably to encourage picking up one at the Duty Free.

Did you really take it on vacation? why?!

Moshe Reuveni said...

It appears the cheaper Nesspressos cost $200 here, too (their RRP is a bit higher, but you never pay the RRP). The $500 machine is visibly superior.
As for taking the machine on holiday: why not? It's easy to pack, there's plenty of space at the back of the car, and we had nice coffee along the way. Made our way, with nice and frothy soy milk...
That said, this past week has been too hot for coffee. Tomorrow's forecast: 40...