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4.3 out of 5 stars15
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 5 August 2012
Melitta E 970-102 Caffeo CIAfter years of coffe pad and capsule machines, including the best on the market, we were fed up of the lack of choice of coffee and the relative inflexibility. And the cost per cup especially for capsules in the latte macchiato role was quite high. And of course the material rubbish/waste was significant - not eco friendly.

So, time for change. We wanted a machine which was easy to maintain, flexible, simple yet flexible to use and above all that made decent coffee. Our research took us to the German press (we read the language perfectly) and the test published by an independent review magazine in December 2011 short listed 5 machines including the far more expensive Miele, de longhi and Jura. The Melitta Caffeo ci came out first; not bad against such fierce competition so we tried it in the shop and bought one.

What a brilliant decision. Let me take you through it so you can sense the pleasure we have from this device. First, to set it up is a doddle. Plug and play. Set the language to English (or whatever you want it seems). The water tank holds enough for normal use and to refill takes seconds as the tank is removable and so just pop it under the cold tap. To use a the water filter in our area is a must and can set the water hardness in the intuitive LCD menu. To fit the filter use the tool provided which also doubles as the ground coffee measure - more on that later. Next, fill the holders with fresh coffee beans. Yes - holders as there are two allowing you to have different coffees at flick of a lever. So if one person wants espresso (which we also use for latte and for cappuccino) and another wants a caffe creme from different beans, there is no fussing with having the wrong kind of bean loaded - you can have both.

Now the fun bit. The machine has a simple dial up menu which allows you to specify and store the strength and milk mix of the various coffees for up to 4 people. So, you can spend a while finding out how much coffee,(and how strong as it offers a choice of 4 strengths) how much milk and milk foam for the various drinks each person likes. Then store the results under each persons name.

Now to the milk. The simple and hygenic way this works was a major attraction for us. It is definingly simple. Just pour a liter of milk of your choice into the provided milk box, which fits easily in the fridge when not in use. Connect the milk pipe and it's good to go.

Now make your coffee(s); two of the same kind at the same time if you will! Just press the right button and the delivery tray and cups (which you can warm up on the plate on top of the machine) are then lit up by LED lights. It makes cappuccino the right way round; coffee first then milk. Latte produces the classic foam/coffee/milk layering. Obviously espresso and straight coffee come as they are. If you want to use pre ground coffee (this gives you a third choice over the beans) then place a single measure using the spoon provided into the special opening and the machine will recognize it. In this case only one cup at a time can be made.

To clean the milk system just connect the milk pipe to the drip tray and press the quick clean button. It flushes with hot water and then with steam. Pop the milk box back into the fridge.

The drip tray does fill up quickly but it's so easy to empty and rinse under the tap; the coffee grouts holder is a separate box on the drip tray and also very easy to empty. If you forget to empty there is a visual float and it will aso remind you in the display.

A brilliant innovation is that the entire brewing unit can be taken out for cleaning (or replacement I guess in the very long term) by slipping off the side panel and the whole unit then comes out with one lever movement. Rinse it under running water, shake it dry and replace. And the milk dispenser unit and pipe come off easily and you can then run them under the tap and use the provided brush to clean inside the pipe if you want.

We clean the milk system properly every week (or when the machine tells us to) using the Melitta approved sterilizing fluid which came with the machine. It costs little and keeps it all hygenic. From time to time (every couple of hundred cups I think) the machine tells you it's time to use a cleaning tablet. This drops into the ground coffee input and makes sure the interior workings are freed from coffee residue. Dead easy and takes very little time.

As to the coffee taste. Well that's as subjective as your choice of beans and milk and mixtures you decide are right for you - each to their own in this flexible machine. Each of us here has found just what they want but we still experiment with differnt beans; you can't do that so well with pad or capsule and of course the cost per cup is lower than those when taken over the full life cycle. And there's no rubbish from capsules etc. It's a win- win.

We are really delighted with this machine. It won the tough German competition and rightly so. We commend it to anyone looking for a great, flexible, easy to use and clean, intuitive coffee machine at a very sensible price.
44 comments|21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 January 2015
I have now had this machine over a week and I am so so happy with it. I spent weeks researching coffee machines to find the one that best suited my needs. I wanted a machine that did everything at a touch of a button. I really didn't want to do the steaming milk process and pretend I am a barista in my own home. This fit the bill.
This machine offers the following coffee options; espresso, cafe crema, cappuccino, latte macchiato, hot water and warm or forthy milk. You can adjust the strength of the coffee with great ease, press the coffee button. It ranges from 1 bean to 4 beans. As a guide they say 2 is normal strength. I personally enjoy strong coffee so I leave it on 4 beans for everything unless it's evening and I might drop to the 3 bean.
There are two coffee wells, so you can have two types of beans at your disposal. An ease flip of the latch and the well is swapped over.
The milk container comes with the machine and is attached via a tube. You get a spare so altogether you have 2 tubes. The milk container is a brilliant size and slots straight into the side of your fridge.
You can adjust the heat of the coffee through settings which are so easy to follow.
You can preset 4 users which is an amazing function. This allows you to tailor your coffee so for example with a cappuccino you can set how much coffee (ml) and the strength and then how much frothy milk. Don't be scared to posh around for your optimum drink. I made terrible coffee for the first two days during my attempt to find the perfect settings. A week later and I don't have to adjust a thing.
When the machine turns on it does an automatic rinse. It also does one when it is switched off. When you make a milky drink it asks you if you want to 'easy clean' which flushes the milk tube and faucet. It navigates through for you as to what you need to do so it is so easy to follow.
You can adjust the grind but I'll be honest it's already set at the optimum so I've not even played with that!
It looks so sleek and professional, like you're in a coffee shop. It's not loud at all. You can put coffee glasses on the top and it looks fab. There is an led under the faucet which just looks cool!
The machine is easy to dismantle for eg to clean the coffee chamber. I rinse it once a week under running water and let it drip dry. The water vessel is so easy to remove and put back in.
The box contains various full size cleaning fluids and there are clear instructions in the manual detailing the process but it's all automatic so it's not hard at all.
I have used two different coffee beans and I can tell you now if you get bad coffee with this machine it's definitely the coffee bean. I bought an ASDA brand bean which was okay but not amazing. I wouldn't buy again. I brought it to compare it to Lavazza Espresso beans which are hands down my favourite at the moment. My parents aren't the biggest coffee drinkers but even they could taste the difference and I can say they are slowly becoming coffee converts.
This is a superb buy. For obvious I cannot comment on its durability so I will just have to wait and see.
I could not recommend this enough to coffee drinkers who want an easy to use machine but good tasting coffee. The crema is just beautiful from this machine.
Oh before I forget there are a few comments about the drip tray. Yes it needs emptying often but when you think about how it rinses twice in one use (on and off rinsing) it really isn't that bad. I must say only those lazy folks would raise this as a complaint on a too notch coffee machine. My advice don't be lazy, get into a habit of emptying more frequently than when it tells you and if you're really lazy move the machine nearer your sink so it's closer to empty the drip tray!!! I've had it a week and I don't even realise I'm emptying when I do do it!
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on 19 December 2014
Not perfect but very good! I've had a few coffee machines over the years, the most common fault is they don't tend to last to long, usually just after the guarantee has just run out. The last one was a very expensive Delonghi top of the tree machine which lasted ten months without a single problem, then it broke and was sent away for repair and was returned in good order, it worked fine until just out of two warranty had expired then the milk system wouldn't work properly then after another couple of months the coffee system packed in so instead of an expensive repair I decided to get this Melitta.
I've had it for a couple of months now and I am very pleased so far, I like the way the machine operates and you can fine tune the coffee and milk delivery to what each individual requires with amount of coffee, milk and froth and a memory for setting up standard drinks. As has already been mentioned by another reviewer the water tray is smaller in capacity than the Delonghi, but is not such a problem because if you don't empty it regularly it begins to smell. The milk system is much better and less of a fiddle than the Delonghi to keep clean and has a higher temperature also.
Overall I am very satisfied so far, I'll see how long it lasts before the problems set in, hopefully not.
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on 25 February 2012
We had this coffee maker as a wedding gift - something we would never spend so much money on ourselves. It makes fab coffee and is very cleverly programmable. It is however like having a child in the house because it demands so much attention:

It rinses itself when you turn it on and when it automatically turns itself off, so the drip/dregs tray needs emptying every 8 cups or so - an easy task but still rather too regular. It tells you when it needs descaling - every 100 cups apparently - again not a hard task but about 8 mins of time and a special sachet of descaler. Then it surprises you because it needs cleaning (a tablet that goes through a different bit to the descaler). The good bit is that it talks you through all this very well, the bad bit is that it all seems to come round quite quickly. We don't use the provided water filter as it would take up space in the smallish water reservoir, we use our own filter instead (also saves buying yet another consumable item). We're not fans of milky coffees so haven't even tried the milk attachment so I can only imagine how many more cleaning demands and consumable items that would invite!

All in all it's a great machine, but be prepared for the time in maintenance and expenditure on consumable items.
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on 30 September 2013
If you are an avid coffee lover like me then you know how frustrating it can be while you wait for the coffee to brew in the cafetierre or come to the boil in the Italian style makers, or for the water to heat up again so that you can froth up your milk under the nozzle of your 'all in one' maker.
Well, allow me to let you in on a secret........... THE MELITTA CAFFEO IS WONDERFUL!!! No more waiting, watching, faffing around with filter papers, grinding OR frothing cos this sweet thing does it all for you in a couple of minutes.
Yes, it's true. Just fill up with beans (you can have two on the go at the same time); fill up the water reserve (it has it's own filter cartridge); fill up the milk jug; press the button that will deliver you your perfect espresso, cappuccino or latte and watch it works it's magic. It's not too noisy either, even when it's grinding your beans.
And when you are done it reminds you to give it a clean..........and that's just another quick button press!
Even the other half will be able to rustle you up a coffee without a hint of a moan or a sigh!
Oh, and if you fancy a change then it will deliver hot water for a cuppa and frothy milk for hot chocolate or Horlicks.
OK, it's not cheap but as long as it is reliable (yet to be confirmed as I've only had it a week) then it is well worth it and, let's say it, "You're worth it too"!! :-)
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on 27 June 2015
I've wanted a Bean to cup machine for a while now and have been looking at various brands and models some of which are over £1k.
I finally settled on the Melitta E970-102 as the price was right (an offer at under £600), reviews are good and it's as featured as machines a fair bit more expensive. I've had it for around 6 months now so thought I'd add my findings.

Good:
Its fast to warm up / get ready so no need to leave it on.
Custom programs allow you to tweak the strength and size to your taste and cup.
You can dispense up to 250ml of hot water from a separate spout so no coffee residue, I use this to heat my cups.
Easy cleaning programs to keep things working, I like the steaming after milk use.
Milk frothing is excellent

No deal breakers, but worth noting:
As mentioned by others, lots of water waste requiring frequent emptying. (keeps things clean though)
Dual coffee chamber is no use to me as I only use 1 bean type, The Dark roast beans I like don't always flow well. All other beans I have tried worked fine. (I've tried most easy to get a hold of brands/ varieties: Illy, Lavazza etc) so its likely the beans.
Its not small.
Makes drinking coffee way to easy :)
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on 28 January 2016
My wife is beginning to think of me as a coffee machine geek. This is our third bean to cup machine. I have now used it for more than 6 months, and having found reviews helpful in deciding on purchases in the past, though I would commit my thoughts. Service, price and delivery from Amazon excellent. The machine, (we bought white) is cosmetically terrific, compact and easy to access as a counter top machine. Manual good, useful set of starter kit cleaners and spares provided. Coffee generally good taste, individual settings memorised is useful. The machine display is excellent and informative, for example guiding you through cleaning routines. Good range of height adjustments for the nozzles. The integrated milk flask works well and can be conveniently stored in the fridge.
The cons; as with most machines coffee could be hotter, despite some adjustability in the menus. Compared to my last deLonghi machine, this has only one boiler, so there is a wait between coffee and milk delivery, (its short). We have a problem with the bean hopper; the brand we use regularly appears to have "bigger" beans than others, and as such the chute into the grinder is often blocked and beans do not feed through correctly, so despite the hopper being full we get the refill beans message which requires some manual poking of beans into the grinder. As with other machines, it wastes lots of water during each cycle meaning you refill the water jug frequently. Cleaning is pretty straightforward and it is easy to remove the machinery for a thorough clean.
Thus far, it has been entirely reliable, (famous last words, I know), its easy to operate, smart and coffee including milk drinks are pretty good. Would I buy another next time; possibly, but would be tempted to go back to a mid range deLonghi with double boilers, which I think made better coffee but was more tedious to care for especially the milk systems. Hope this is helpful to others!
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on 4 February 2015
Got this after an enormous amount of research when our old £1700 Jura J9 TFT died . Easily surpasses the Jura in quality and convenience despite costing 1/3rd as much. Fantastic quality , creamy espressos, a much nicer Americano setting (well, caffe creme) and noticeably higher temperatures than the jura. The milk frothing system and associated easy-clean is very well thought out. Having 2 kinds of beans and 4 personalised settings is just plain useful. Plus, their customer service actually exists and can be reached on the phone ! Only item on my wish list is an alarm with auto-power-on so that my espresso can be ready when i come down to the kitchen in the morning !
Will update this review after a year / 1000 coffees, whichever comes first. So far, extremely happy.
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on 7 February 2015
The first one that arrived had a problem with the thermostat resulting in coffee that was warm at best. This unit was returned and its replacement had a different fault: when you turn on the unit for the first time and install the water filter the machine runs a rinse program. Unfortunately our machine was stuck in this program and even after 15litres (seriously) wouldn't complete. This meant you could't use the machine at all as no other functions are available. This issue and the thermostat are apparently common faults - but its hard to find this as most information / reviews are in german (we found lots of comments about both issues in a popular german coffee forum - google translate is your friend). We returned the replacement one and bought a top end delonghi. Its a shame as the unit itself looks superb with an excellent finish, way above other products at this price.

Excellent service from Amazon in quickly despatching a replacement and then arranging collection / refund for both units.
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on 2 May 2016
Perfect coffee every time. I previously owned a drip filter machine that would grind the beans and that was pretty good. Not long after I holidayed to Italy and tried the coffee out while I was there and it was so much better. After much research trying to figure out why, I concluded it was due to it being prepared with espresso machines, the brewing method is far more refined it would seem.

Immediately I could see that I appeared to be right. The black nectar this thing produces is great; it's super convenient for making milk-based drinks too. The personalisation system is also fantastic! You have multiple slots you can customise for all the different drink buttons, allowing you to choose the brewing temperature, the amount of water coffee or milk in the cup and the strength of the coffee.

Unlike other reviewers, I do not find the frequent need to empty the drip tray a problem and find such a complaint to be laughable. The alternative is terrible tasting coffee because the plumbing of the system is not clean. The emptying of the tray is super simple too; takes less than 30 seconds.

I love how it handles the used bean grinds too. It collects on a tray on top of the drip tray and you can just empty it at the same time as the drip tray. You can tell it packs the grinds really tightly too because after they've been disposed, they stay a completely nearly perfectly cylindrical shape. The grinds are very fine too, to be expected for espresso brewing usage. Produces a great crema layer on espressos and cafe crema.

This machine takes all the labour out of making a good coffee, doubly so if you regularly drink cappucinos/lattes.
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