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Dr Adam Cooper (London, UK)

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Philips Saeco Intelia Focus HD8751/88 Automatic Bean to Cup Espresso Machine
Philips Saeco Intelia Focus HD8751/88 Automatic Bean to Cup Espresso Machine
Offered by ComNeTec
Price: £359.95

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking coffee machine, 22 Mar. 2013
Bought this elsewhere (appliances direct) for under £200 at Christmas - bargain of the century. This delivers a cracking espresso shot every single time. I am a part time coffee geek so know a bit about coffee but am not a hobbyist, but as far as I am concerned this delivers artisan quality coffee every single time. In particular the steam wand is amazing, if you remove the panarello and steam your milk directly with the metal wand (I also remove the handle too) you get the best microfoam ever... (look on YouTube for how to videos, but essentially get a stainless steel jug, some good semi skimmed milk, put the tip into the milk and steam until the jug is too hold to touch).

You have sufficient control over the grind to make a difference and you will taste the difference between different coffee beans. The only downside is the regular cleaning :( but heck there's a certain joy to be had in being made to work just a little for such consistently great coffee. I 100% recommend anyone to buy this. After 3 months I can report absolutely no problems even in the very hard water area of East Sussex, though I do need to de calc every 3 weeks (buy the 3 pack of Saeco - it works wonders), which means spending about £4 (per bottle) to do that. I worked out that to drink 45 coffees a month between me and my wife using high quality Union coffee from e.g. Ocado, with all the cleaning and milk costs etc is about £0.44 a cup, vs about £2.20 to £2.50 for a coffee from our local Small Batch Coffee cafe. So basically we are saving about £2 a cup each time, getting the same experience. After 100 cups the machine has paid for itself which is where we are today! A free coffee machine (sort of). Maybe I should open up a cafe with it... :) To be clear in a direct comparison between a coffee made with this machine and a flat white from my local artisan cafe, I cannot tell the difference. Simples.

We also use the tea making facility which means you don't really need a kettle anymore - and (I think) it's more energy efficient for boiling water than the kettle (would need to check this properly)

Downsides... the only thing is that it's not drop dead gorgeous to look at but even then the plastic it is made from is recyclable so even that can't be faulted... it's a bit big? But then the laws of physics do have to be obeyed... um, trying hard to think of any other problems... there are some fiddly parts to clean, which you need to do once a week, but it takes like 5 mins and as I say it is worth it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2013 5:55 PM GMT

TP-Link TL-PA211KIT AV200 Nano 200Mbps Powerline Adapter - Twin Pack
TP-Link TL-PA211KIT AV200 Nano 200Mbps Powerline Adapter - Twin Pack

5.0 out of 5 stars Mad easy to use, 27 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I literally took them out of the box, plugged in the 2 ethernet cables that came with them into the broadband modem and the smart blu ray player, synced as described by other reviewers and boom! done. Dead quick and dead easy. 100% recommended so far.

Bad News From Israel
Bad News From Israel
by Greg Philo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you read the Economist, then read something else - this., 27 Feb. 2005
This review is from: Bad News From Israel (Paperback)
I am a social scientist used to reading studies which use many of the methods applied here to study the impact of BBC news stories on the understandings and perceptions of the public to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
I can't comment on how balanced the history of the conflict is, as it is laid out in the first part of the book. However it is clear to me as a left-oriented scientist, that they went very far including perspectives from both sides to fill out the more recent contested versions of history. Ultra-right wing Netanyahu is given air as are pro-palestinian accounts. It is hard to feel that the Palestinians (who on the BBC rarely get a fair picture presented) are over-supported here, though pro-Israeli's may feel so since they are part of a dominant cultural camp in that respect.
The title here is in response to the Economists review of this book which slated it using 'quotes' from the book which do not exist. I suggest that you read this book rather than the economist, which I have never rated as a serious intellectual journal anyway.

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