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94 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good coffee maker
This is a nice little coffee maker - a good addition to the kitchen of any coffee lover. I'm a bit fed up of the coffee makers that only use pods (like the Nespresso machines), so it's good to find a machine that makes a decent drink from ground coffee. I've used espresso makers in the past that have just been too complicated to bother with long-term, but this is...
Published on 2 Jan. 2013 by Miss Marple

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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please don't buy one and let Russell Hobbs know that it is good service to allow you to replace the main seal when it fails.
This is not acceptable. Bought the machine 14months ago and the seal between the filter holder and the machine is leaking badly. Russell Hobbs inform me that they do not supply replacement seals and an authorised repairer also assures me that Russell Hobbs will not even supply them with the seal. All Russell Hobbs can offer is a 44% discount on a replacement. Sorry, but...
Published 9 months ago by Barry Wright


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94 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good coffee maker, 2 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Russell Hobbs 18623 Espresso Coffee Maker (Kitchen & Home)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nice little coffee maker - a good addition to the kitchen of any coffee lover. I'm a bit fed up of the coffee makers that only use pods (like the Nespresso machines), so it's good to find a machine that makes a decent drink from ground coffee. I've used espresso makers in the past that have just been too complicated to bother with long-term, but this is mercifully simple to set up and use. It has a drip tray to keep things clean, a cup warmer (if you're feeling very fancy!) and the all-important milk frother. This means that you can do the full range of drinks, from espressos to lattes and so on. It looks nice out on the surface and I suspect the neutral design means it would suit most kitchens. Choose a decent coffee and you'll get a very good drink from this. Recommended.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please don't buy one and let Russell Hobbs know that it is good service to allow you to replace the main seal when it fails., 16 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Russell Hobbs 18623 Espresso Coffee Maker (Kitchen & Home)
This is not acceptable. Bought the machine 14months ago and the seal between the filter holder and the machine is leaking badly. Russell Hobbs inform me that they do not supply replacement seals and an authorised repairer also assures me that Russell Hobbs will not even supply them with the seal. All Russell Hobbs can offer is a 44% discount on a replacement. Sorry, but I'm not going to buy a new machine every 14 months even at their offer price. I'm buying a Gaggia Classic. Gaggia supply every conceivable spare part. In fact you could probably build one FROM the spares they are happy to supply. Come on Russell Hobbs. Get your act together and provide a unit that can have such a basic replaceable item like the essential seal available to buy.
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82 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coffee whatever your preference., 8 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Russell Hobbs 18623 Espresso Coffee Maker (Kitchen & Home)
Bought this after reading the reviews on here and I'm delighted I did. This machine is solid, easy to use (and clean!) and produces delicious, coffee-house quality espresso, cappuccino & lattes every time.

It's important to read the instructions properly before you start using it as there seems to have been some confusion on the part of another reviewer regarding the milk frother. I have no difficulty in producing piping hot milk for cappuccinos and lattes and even use it to make hot chocolate for my little ones (they've not quite graduated to coffee yet!)

The espressos I get from this have a lovely crema layer and are really nice and hot. A huge bugbear of mine is tepid coffee but that's not an issue with this. I was also tickled by the two espresso cups that come with it,although I normally end up leaving them sitting on top of the machine as decoration since my cupboards are overflowing with espresso cups at the moment.

I was considering the Gaggia Cubik Plus but it doesn't get a great score on a well-known consumer testing site and the reviews on here are mixed. I'm so glad I didn't decide to be a coffee snob and go for the Gaggia as I'd just have been buying it for the name and I can't imagine any machine being better than this at this price.
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127 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars View from a coffee machine novice, 7 Jan. 2013
By 
Steven (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Russell Hobbs 18623 Espresso Coffee Maker (Kitchen & Home)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although I wouldn't call myself a coffee connoisseur by any means, I do drink cafetiere ground coffee daily and had been interested in getting an espresso machine for a while. I'd been put off by the bewildering assortment of models available and the variation in performance, complexity and price. I'd also not wanted to be committed to a particular type of `pod' from one manufacturer, and the thought of cleaning a professional-grade coffee machine on a daily basis hadn't been particularly appealing. I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to try the Russell Hobbs Allure, and was eager to see whether it was worth replacing my trusty Bodum cafetiere or if a dedicated espresso machine would end up just being too much fuss.

I've been using it daily now for a week, here's what I've found;

LOOKS & BUILD QUALITY

The stainless steel finish gives a timeless style (unlike some of the more `fashionable' coloured machines available that I daresay might look dated quickly), and there's a pleasing heavy-duty weight to the unit itself. The various components, particularly the coffee filter, are reassuringly sturdy and the whole thing feels very well built. As you can see from the product photography it's not a gimmicky shape and should fit in well with most kitchen design styles. It's not too big, and sits unobtrusively underneath my kitchen wall units. It's certainly a nice addition in that regard. I can't really comment on reliability having only used it for a week, but the build quality suggests it's a durable and dependable machine.

OPERATION & COFFEE QUALITY

Operating is easy - fill the filter with ground coffee, (it comes with a scoop and tamper so you get the right amount and can gently tamp it down), lock it onto the machine and wait for it to build up temperature. Once it's ready you simply flick the dial and it sets off steaming and dripping the coffee through the filter into your cup (two of which come in the box). When the cup is about 3/4s of the way full, flick the dial back and it stems the flow, slowly filling the cup to the top and producing the crema layer. And that's it. So there was nothing at all to worry about as an espresso machine novice. The whole process takes a few minutes at most.

It's very noisy when operated, both in warming up and dispensing the coffee, but this is quite understandable and acceptable considering the 15-bar pressure used to create the espresso - and I'd guess it's just as noisy as other machines of the same pressure calibre.

Of the coffees I've made so far with the Russell Hobbs Allure (using Illy Espresso ground coffee) I've had amazing tasting espressos and lattes, much nicer than I've ever had at home - and I must say at a few coffee shops as well. Oh and the smell is excellent too. While I haven't used coffee pods yet, I was pleased to see it has the option, so if I ever want to try those out it's capable of using them.

CLEANING

It's a breeze to clean, far easier than I was expecting. The coffee filter is easily removed for a daily rinse/wipe, while the drip tray and froth nozzle are straight-forward and quick to clean as well. I'd envisioned (in my ignorance) a major cleaning job after each coffee made, but this couldn't have been more wrong. With such a simply cleaned machine it perfectly lends itself to daily use, and takes roughly the same amount of time as a cafetiere.

OVERALL

In conclusion, I'd highly recommend the Russell Hobbs Allure to anyone looking to take the next step from cafetiere or instant coffee. Easy to use, easy to clean and great results - I can't ask for more than that. If, like me, you were on the fence about getting an espresso machine then I'd say this one is well worth taking a chance on. All in all it's a well-priced and capable machine. Have I ditched my Bodum cafetiere? Yes, it's safely tucked away at the back of a cupboard now and I can't see it emerging any time soon.

While more experienced and demanding coffee aficionados should perhaps look a bit further up the price ranges at fresh bean grinding machines, for me the Russell Hobbs Allure is just perfect.
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good coffee-maker / machine, 17 Jan. 2013
By 
S. Lindgren - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Russell Hobbs 18623 Espresso Coffee Maker (Kitchen & Home)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been jaded about a lot of these home coffee-makers for some time. The plain fact is, far too many of them aren't all that great, especially many of the pod-based types which rarely seem to produce anything special as far as I'm concerned. Frankly, I can often do better with a jar of instant coffee than some of those things. So it's good to have one here that you can use proper ground coffee in, and end up with something you actually can tailor to what you want to drink and not what some large corporation dictates. It does take pods too though if you are so inclined.

So. It's not the smallest coffee maker in the world, but it's not outrageous & should fit most spaces short of very small galley kitchens or similar. Build quality is reassuringly solid, with nice weighty controls; the brushed stainless steel is durable, the appearence is clearly form-following-function rather than being overtly 'styled' so it suits a wide range of situations, and the water tank is a sensible size. You can find larger ones, so if you need multiple large cups all at once you may need to look elsewhere, but for most regular use (1-2 cups) it's fine. It does make a racket when in use. I like that. I suspect it's partly contrived, although it does operate at a respectable pressure, but I like it anyway.

It's a doddle to to clean, the daily-use components are easily extracted, although the drip-tray is a little fiddly for people with larger hands. Not something to get worked up about. I haven't used the cup-warmer regularly, but the milk-frother seems pretty effective for a home machine (certainly for one at this price), so you've got a wide range of possible drink options to hand. Better still, unlike a few of these machines I've owned or had a cup from, it actually boils the water properly. So if you feed it with a quality coffee, you get a quality drink. Which is ultimately what matters. I'm not interested in owning a coffee-maker as a lifestyle statement, what I want is a good cup of coffee. For the money? Best I've encountered, and better than quite a few more at a much higher price. Highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant!!, 15 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Russell Hobbs 18623 Espresso Coffee Maker (Kitchen & Home)
I received this as a birthday gift, I had seen reviews about time taken to make a cup of coffee but I cannot see the problem. The machine is ready to go after about 15 seconds, the coffee (two espressos?) comes thru at the same speed of my local costas.

Obviously you need good coffee to start with and Im lucky to have a local barn that roasts its own beans.

One large cup half filled and topped up with boiling velvet milk......heaven!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silver machine - super machine!, 15 Nov. 2013
By 
Aidan Farr (Svendborg, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Russell Hobbs 18623 Espresso Coffee Maker (Kitchen & Home)
Quality product with a classic and easily maintained finish. This espresso machine makes coffee that you will not be disappointed with. Everything works perfectly, and, as the machine uses ground coffee instead of pods, it is very affordable. We found, as others have before us, that there was only one fault: the machine vibrates so much that you have to hold the cups still manually. Why, oh why, didn't someone in the design department think of putting a silicon mat on top of the drip tray, or some sort of small silicone inlay in the drip tray, to keep the cups steady? Then the machine would have been worth 6 stars!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just a waste of time, 1 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Russell Hobbs 18623 Espresso Coffee Maker (Kitchen & Home)
absolutely awful .Sometimes it works ,others it sort of works, then stops working for a day or two and sort of works again.

I've cleaned the machine, the filters ,used a decscaler. Just a waste of time.

Going back today with full refund.

Amazon, as usual, brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Irons, vacuums and toasters, 6 Aug. 2014
By 
M. J. Hartley (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Russell Hobbs 18623 Espresso Coffee Maker (Kitchen & Home)
Obviously, this doesn't come with all of the fancy features that your high-end machines do, but Russell Hobbs are not espresso machine specialists; they also manufacture irons, vacuums and toasters, so with this machine, you get what you pay for.

But what you do get here is a decent, albeit basic espresso machine that will deliver exceptional coffee, provided you know what you are doing. This is 100% manual with absolutely no hand-holding. It isn't quite as simple as your pod machines which just require the press of a button; these things require some knowledge and a few trial runs to get your coffee how you like it. Obviously, there's a lot more to it than just flipping switches and turning dials to get great coffee, but that's wandering into coffee-geek territory and will all come with experience. Just make sure you start with decent, fresh coffee and half of your work is done.

I've been using this machine for around 6 months now. I'd say I use it around 2-3 times a week to make myself a decent brew on my days off. I admit, I went with this Russell Hobbs espresso maker initially because of the price-tag and was a little wary (I didn't want to shell out a fortune for the odd coffee at home), but I have no regrets so far. Sure, it'd be nice to have a Gaggia logo in my kitchen, but they all pretty much do the same thing: pump hot water through coffee grinds, which this thing does very well. It even gives you a three-second pre-infusion, which a lot of high-end machines don't even do.

It takes around half an hour to heat up to a level which gives you optimal performance. There's an indicator light on the front which blatantly lies to you by telling you that the machine is good to go around 20 seconds after switching it on; somewhat true, but not giving it time to heat up will "shock" your coffee and drastically alter the flavour, so be patient and let your machine get nice and hot.

The steam-wand on this thing is, in my opinion, faultless (once you remove that silly rubber adapter). It rotates 360° on a ball joint. It can be harder to get bigger milk jugs under there due to the machine's general low profile, but a 330ml milk jug fits very nicely under it and is more than adequate for two drinks. Steaming is a lot slower than on a commercial machine. To steam around 250ml of cold milk will take you around a minute, but it always gives good results that I feel can rival the machine I use at work. Again, this comes with experience.

The portafilter does feel a little light and lifeless, but treat it kindly and you shouldn't have any problems. It comes with two filter sizes: single/double. Both of these filters are pressurised, which gives you a little more freedom and is more forgiving on your coffee quality. In other words, it will give similar results on very different coffee grinds.

Now, for a couple of negatives. The water tank feels quite cheap; a tiny bit of mishandling could result in a devastating crack and I believe Russell Hobbs don't supply spares for this item any more. Also, the reviews speak the truth: this thing is pretty loud and vibrates a little as you pour. Your shot glasses will dance as your espresso pours, so keep an eye on it. Your espresso will also keep on pouring until your water tank is empty as there is no option to program your pour in any way; it's simply on or off, so unless you want a coffee puddle in your kitchen, keep an eye on it and switch it off when you have a good amount of espresso.

Overall: great machine if you look after it, does it's job very well but comes with a learning curve, great for the odd-day-coffee-drinker, excellent value. If you're reading this and considering it, give it a shot. Spend the extra money you will save on a good grinder and the other equipment you're going to need.

Happy brewing!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value, 28 Aug. 2013
By 
Helen (Keith, Moray) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Russell Hobbs 18623 Espresso Coffee Maker (Kitchen & Home)
Good value price coffee maker that makes strong expresso using 15 bar pressure. You can also make cappuccino by frothing and heating milk with the steamer wand at the right hand side,

Makes a good quality cup of coffee is well made and very good for the price

Delivery was quick, item was well packaged and no problems with the item which we have had for two years now,
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Russell Hobbs 18623 Espresso Coffee Maker
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