THE DAILY SHOT
Nothing beats a cup of java to kick-start the morning. guided by Henri Koh, senior barista and trainer at Etre Bon Gallery and Academy, figures out which coffee machine does it best.
HOW IT WORKS An automated espresso machine makes espresso from whole beans at a touch. The beans are ground on the spot in a built-in grinder before hot water is flushed through them for your coffee. The machine comes with a milk frother to make cappuccino (equal parts of espresso and milk) or cafe latte (one part espresso to two parts milk) – you foam or warm the milk before adding espresso to it. JURA ENA 7 $1,650, from Tangs Orchard and Takashimaya D.S. Bean container: 125g Water tank: 1.1 litres BREWING THE COFFEE The most user-friendly on all counts. The LCD screen and buttons on the top of the machine are easier to see and reach than those of the other machines, which are on the front. Buttons are clearly labelled by coffee type – espresso, long black, cappuccino and latte, and on-screen instructions are clear. I also liked that I could programme how much coffee I wanted – press and hold the coffee button until the words “Enough Coffee” appear on the display, release the button to dispense the coffee, then press it again to stop when there’s enough. The machine then stores my preferred amount. It is also the least noisy machine, whether grinding the beans or making a shot. Its height-adjustable spout fits cups up to 11.1cm tall. FROTHING THE MILK It was the most simple to make a milky coffee with – great for cappuccino and cafe latte lovers. The frother connects to a tube that draws milk directly out of the carton, to be heated and dispensed into my cup. I could then place the cup under the coffee spout to add my espresso shot. It made the best cappuccino of the lot, with a fine and smooth foam. CLEANING UP Being the smallest and most compact, it was easiest to rinse out the brewing unit (the drip tray and dump box that holds used coffee grounds). But I would have liked it better if the water tank at the back of the machine was easier to remove. EXTRA FEATURES Like the De’longhi Magnifica, it has a compartment for ground coffee to give you the flexibility of using ready grounds. But it’s the only one without a cup warmer. VERDICT Easiest to use and produces the best foam, making it the star of the lot.