25 May 2018

REVIEW: Melitta C1 Touch Bean-to-cup Coffee Machine

Hello, old bean.

We do love coffee here at Test Pit Towers, but as we regard ourselves as coffee snobs, preparing a decent cup can often be a faff. Enter Melitta with their latest clever all-in-one brewer, the C1 Touch Bean-to-cup Coffee Machine. We've BEAN checking it out. Arf!

First up, the Melitta C1 Touch Bean-to-cup Coffee Machine is not a small kitchen appliance. This thing will take up a chunk of your precious kitchen counter (or office desk space), as it not only brews, but also grinds beans and steams milk.

As complicated as it looks, the Melitta C1 Touch is actually remarkably simple to operate, using just a single twist knob and button to programme the drinks. Beans are poured into the reservoir on (or rather, two reservoirs, allowing you fill it with two different kinds of beans), the water is placed into the left side, and milk can be added optionally in the separate, fridge-friendly, jug. The grinder can be removed to clean, as can the underside drip tray and spent grounds catcher.

From powering this thing up, you get the sense that it has been very well designed. There really isn't much waiting around from hitting the power switch to being able to select your drink. Tap the touch buttons along the top edge to choose from espresso, cafe creme, cappuccino, and cafe macchiato, while other kinds of coffee, as well as just water and milk, can be accessed by setting into the machine's memory your favourite drink. So no need to fiddle about each and every time you want something specific. On the top there is also a port to pour in pre-ground coffee, so if you're short of beans and have some grounds laying around in the fridge, you're sorted.

Milk operation is also refreshingly simple, as this is often a pain in the bum with some machines, being messy and complicated. You merely pour in the milk to the jug, hook up the rubber pipe, and the machine will suck up and instantly warm the milk when a drink such as cappuccino is selected. Oh, and the Melitta C1 Touch Bean-to-cup Coffee Machine makes damn fine milk froth - something very important to us. One small thing to also note is how quiet the grinder is. We were massively impressed at how little noise was produced, even when tackling large and well-roasted beans. Just a small thing, but if you're brewing up a cup of Joe first thing, and don't want to disturb others in the house, it's great.

We tested it with several varieties of beans, at several different grind levels (you can easily alter the grind size on top). Everything tasted gorgeous, aided in no small way by the water filter that comes with the machine, to be implanted inside the water reservoir. Straight espresso was clean with plenty of thick crema, and even the hot water was hot enough to make tea with. An all-rounder indeed.

So this thing is pretty great - with just a couple of downsides. First, as mentioned above, is the size. We might be picky, but we prefer machines like this to be as small as possible, and we feel the Melitta C1 Touch Bean-to-cup Coffee Machine could have been a tad tighter in the dimension department. Also, the price... expect to pay around £550 for this particular model, meaning it is definitely priced right out of most people's budget. However, if you have the cash to splash on something like this, we heartily recommend it

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