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Customer Review

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good coffee machine, 5 Nov. 2013
This review is from: AEG A Modo Mio Favola Lavazza Espresso Coffee Machine 0.9 L, 1300 W - Love Red/Ice White (Kitchen & Home)
I actually bought this coffee machine from Groupon but obviously came here first to read the reviews. The reviews up to now didn't have as much detail as I'd like so here goes another with a bit of extra information.

I bought the White/Purple machine for £75 from Groupon. Please note this is for the standard Favola, not the Favola Plus which has some extra features (measured/programmable shots).

The machine looks good first off and is heavy enough to make you feel like it is a quality product. The instructions on its use are pretty short and simple and probably don't provide you with enough information, particularly for frothing milk. Basically you fill the tank up, turn it on, shove a pod in and press go. Then press the same button again to stop once you've got your required amount of espresso. Lift the pod handle again to allow the used pod to drop into the bin below. That's pretty much it for preparing the espresso.

The pods themselves come in a wide variety of strengths and they are all great to be honest. You get one or two of the full range in the box to see what you like. I like strong coffee but some of the stronger ones are very strong. Compared to the Nespresso pods, I find these much better as even the strongest nespresso pod doesn't taste very strong to me. I am tending to stick to the Appassionatamente (red) and Delisiozamente (Yellow), my wife who likes a lighter coffee prefers the Caffe Crema Lungo Dolcemente (Orange/Brown). Having said that the Decaf pod (blue) is also very good. I get the pods from Tesco Direct, delivered to my nearest store free for £3.50 a box (16 pods), much better than nespresso's prices. I also have a few different flavoured Monin syrups for adding for speciality coffees (saves on Starbucks).

So onto frothing for those that don't just drink espresso. You need to switch to the milk frothing option by pressing the steam button on the right hand side and wait for it to stop flashing and turn solid. Once this has happened I aim the wand into the drip tray and purge the water from the wand by giving it a quick blast. The knob on the side controls the steam....just turn it the whole way towards you. What the instructions or description don't tell you is that this machine has a pannarello wand, this type of wand is on most smaller and cheaper espresso machines nowadays. What you can't see very easily is that there is an air hole on the back of the wand that you need to keep just at the surface of the milk to get a good milk froth, you'll hear the slurpy noise when you get it right. This takes quite a bit of practice but once you've got the hang of it you'll be producing good milk for cappuccinos and lattes etc. Once you've got enough froth in the (stainless steel) jug you are using (you need to buy one) then plunge the air hole under the surface of the milk and continue to heat the milk without the slurping noise...if you can get a good roll (whirlpool effect) on the milk then great. Keep going until the jug is so hot you can barely touch it...until it hurts basically! A few taps to knock out the big bubbles and then some swirling to get the milk looking like wet paint and with practice you should get a good rich steamed milk. Always wipe down and purge the steam wand again after use. You can use about 1/2 a pint of milk for a big cup of coffee, use a pint jug for this.

If you are making lattes and cappuccinos I do the espresso first and the milk second. You will need to use heated cups otherwise you'll have to down your drink immediately as it'll be cold quickly. I do 30-60 seconds in the microwave depending on the number of cups.

Cleaning the machine. This is dead easy, run the coffee cycle with no pod to clean out the machine of any coffee debris. Blast the steam wand out for a while. Empty and wash out the bin and drip tray. You'll find you empty the drip tray quite a lot as it fills up quickly with what I assume is the machine self cleaning after use. Every so often you should run a decalcifying product through it to keep it tip top.

So all in all this is a great machine once you get the hang of it....and do spend the time experimenting with the steam wand, it is worth it in the end if you practice and get it right. The are loads of videos on youtube about how to froth properly with a pannarello wand so take a bit of time investing in these otherwise you'll get fed up quickly with the machine as you're not doing it properly!!
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