It was my birthday and all I wanted (besides cuddles and kisses from my loved ones) was a coffee machine. And down to Harvey Norman I went after reading the many reviews online about the machines on offer in my area. I bought the Map Bella Capsule Coffee Machine which came in a combo with a Perfecto Frother.
You can buy different faceplates (to match your decor) I bought the original black one because my other appliances are black and stainless steel. It’s very easy to use: first prep it as per the booklet. Then when you want to make a cuppa, you just fill the tank with water, load the capsule into the machine, pop a cup underneath and press the button for your desired size. If you want heated or frothed milk then pour milk into the frother and turn it on before you start brewing your coffee, as the frother takes a few seconds longer than the coffee machine.
Flavours I bought and love:
Venezia (strong), Portofino (medium) and Milano (mild) coffee blends, and the Belgian hot chocolate (from left to right, above). They also have a decaf but I don’t drink decaf, so I haven’t yet tried that one.
I don’t know how to describe the tastes but they are just right, delicious and very enjoyable. For now I use a chocolate shaker from one of the instant sachet packets of another brand. When I find a nice small stainless steel shaker I’ll buy one.
Quiet, and froths to the perfect temperature. I don’t like hot, hot beverage. I hate waiting and I don’t like having to blow before I can sip. So this frother is perfect for me. It heats, froths and texturizes. It comes with two whisks. One produces extra frothing and the other normal frothing. I don’t like too frothy, so I use the heating whisk and store the frothing one in the lid (the whisk that has the springy thingy… see above).
From my experiments, the frother works best with hi-lo milk and that would allow you to make enough for 2 cups of coffee without spilling over when frothing. Skim milk was just too messy. Experiment, experiment!
Now I need to have a go at making all the different types of coffees. Fun!!! Here’s a chart of the various coffees you can try making.
More information about the Map Bella Coffee Machine can be found at www.mapcoffee.com.au.
A screenshot of Map’s informative website.
Things I thought about when choosing what to buy:
- How often do I want coffee? At least a cup per day, since I work all week. I can get extra kicks at the office. They have a coffee van that drops in once a week, a couple of cafes a couple of blocks away and now there’s a capsule coffee machine on site (I won’t mention this very famous brand associated with a very famous gentleman, lol, but all I can say is I don’t like the flavours from that brand).
- How often am I happy to clean this machine? I’m not. I don’t want to have to clean. If I have to, I want to only spend 2-3 minutes cleaning.
- How many cups do I plan to make per session? I rarely have coffee lovers over. So it’s going to be me and the Scientist, and once in a while a couple of extra mouths.
- How much space do I have on my bench? Quite a lot, but I don’t want anything big. Big means more work!
- What colour? Stainless steel and black, will match everything else.
- What I don’t want? I knew I already disliked the very famous coffee as mentioned above, so I ruled out their machines from the very start. I was open to any other very good and highly rated machine.
- Is a frother a must have? Yes, but I don’t care for an attached one. I’d take a cheaper but better machine if it came with a detached frother!
And so I did. I chose a low-maintenance machine, a capsule one which everyone was buzzing about online already. And now I enjoy a fine coffee at less than 70c per cup compared to sh*t cafe coffee and sh*t coffee from a van, $4.00 to $5.00 per cup, us being in Perth and all!
I totally recommend this combo for anyone wanting something small, easy to use, low-maintenance and at a fair price. So far it’s been good value for money. Being a minimalist-wannabe and a busy bee, I don’t have time to muck around with big machines that require multiple parts and extra servicing.
Map Bella Capsule Coffee machine: I rate it 4.5/5. I would have given it a 5 if the machine was less noisy.
Perfecto Frother: I rate it 4.5/5. Although I usually only make coffee for 1 or 2 of us, I would have loved if the capacity could have been at least for 4 drinks.
The Map Bella Capsule Coffee Machine and Perfecto Frother is available from a Harvey Norman near you at $298 (EDIT: selling at $179.00 in April 2013) and the capsules/pods cost $6.50 per 10 pack (the chocolate one is $7.50). (EDIT: Capsules also sold under other brands at Woolworths, including Gloria Jeans branding.) I used a voucher, so I paid less. For a small-ish fee I increased warranty on the machine… just in case.
Disclaimer: I bought this machine with my own ca$h and a very well earned voucher. I did not get any kind of compensation for writing this review, other than the pleasure gained from drinking god-damn good coffee!