18 December 2014

FEATURE: A Christmas Kitchen

Deck the kitchen...

You might lust after the very latest in technological wonderment this Christmas, buying as you do whatever tablet, smartphone and swartwatch your bank account will allow. But spare a thought for your dear old kitchen, won't you? The kitchen can take quite a hammering over the festive period, what with the extra time you have off work, all those family members piling in, and not to mention the large amount of "figgy pudding" carol singers will demand of you (whatever the hell that is). And so, here's some kitchen gadgets to make your foody-room that little bit more awesome.

Braun Spin Juicer J500

Are you thinking what we're thinking? CHRISTMAS COCKTAILS! Well, if not... maybe just some punch? Whatever you're drinking this holiday season, nothing says 'effort made' quite like freshly squeezed juice. And nothing says 'freshly squeezed juice' quite like the Braun Spin Juicer J500.

Designed to completely pulverise whatever fruit you put into it in under 15 seconds, the Braun Spin Juicer J500 features a few nice little touches which makes it really stand out from other juicers we've used before. Firstly there is an extra wide feed tube on the top, meaning you can drop in fruit whole, such as complete apples and peeled oranges. The spout also features an innovative little anti-drip device, meaning that once slapped back into the body of the juicer it won't be dripping all over your kitchen counter for the rest of the morning.

The included jug is pretty great as it not only can be filled with several glasses worth of juice, but it also features an anti-foam lip to make sure only the juiciest of juice escapes. All told, this is a great device to have around the house during Christmas... and yes, the parts are dishwasher proof. Double score!

Around £100

Kenwood kMix Pop Art Collective

For when a functional, clean and well-ordered kitchen just isn't enough, the Kenwood kMix Pop Art Collective lets you colour-coordinate as well. The range includes a kettle, toaster, blender, food processor, coffee machine, and hand mixer; with each coming in one of several pretty bright and very noticeable colours.

To test the range we were sent the kettle and the toaster in bright red, and despite the whole range seeming to be quite small and cheap (maybe its the bright colours - to us they tend not to announce 'classy') both products are very well made in metal. It seems that Kenwood wanted to create the opportunity for people to mix and match the appliances they need for their kitchens, either getting all of the same colour or mixing colours that go. Either way our fears were dispelled.

The toaster and kettle certainly do what it says on the tin, and we were very impressed at the speed at which the kettle boils water and the toaster... erm... toasted. Select what you want, pick your colours, and you're laughing (or rather Ho-Ho-Ho-ing).

Toaster And Kettle £59.99 each, rest of range varies up to £399

Bosch Tassimo Vivy

It really wouldn't be Christmas Eve without staying up super late to see if you can spot the big man himself flying about overhead. And nothing helps you stay up late better than a good dosing of coffee. Hot damn, do we love a cup of Joe here at The Test Pit, and we're glad to have been sent a Tassimo Vivy to test following last Christmas' Coffee Special.

The Tassimo Vivy is what you might refer to as a 'Pod' coffee machine, meaning that you add specially designed coffee pods to it, as opposed to adding ground coffee. What makes this particular Pod machine different is that each of the pods has a unique bar code printed on it, informing the machine which drink it is you're making. That way the Tassimo knows exactly how much water to filter through the pod. Furthermore, Tassimo have entered into partnership with Costa Coffee so the hot black stuff that comes from this machine will have a more familiar taste (if you frequent a Costa. Screw you , Starbucks-ers!).

The convenience of the pod machine is well documented on this site, and although we would call ourselves coffee snobs, we do love how easy it is to drop in a pod and hit a switch. And, as the coffee comes straight from Costa, the taste is pretty awesome. MERRY CHRISTMAS NO SLEEP FOR US EVER EVER!


BONUS: Costa Ceramic Coffee Cups

Following one Costa product with another, the coffee giant has released ceramic versions of this year's festive coffee cups. The range, which to all intents and purposes looks very much like their cardboard cousins, includes a reindeer, a snowman, an elf and a cheeky wee Santa.

A perfect gift for coffee lovers (hint hint), these cups are greatly insulating and include a rubber top which also looks just like the plastic top of a takeaway cup. We really love these things and it lets you recreate the Costa experience when at home. All you need now is some easy listening piped throughout your house and someone asking you if you'd like any cakes or muffins with your coffee.

Dream. Come. True.


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