Last December, I made my mind up to buy a new coffee machine at home to eliminate the hassle of morning queues and overpriced beans. Actually it took me years to come to this decision, and up to the last minute, I was hesitant that I was making the right “investment”
You see, I am a lazy person, and I wholeheartedly believed that one of the joys of coffee is that it is served to you. It was like a small gift you buy yourself in order to move on with your long day ahead.
But all of that has changed when I set foot inside the elite Nespresso shop at DownTown Katameya Mall in New Cairo. I walked with the intention of “getting an idea”, and I was careful not to fall into branding and marketing tricks. But my plans failed to withstand as I was asked to try a cup of coffee and was hit by its rich flavor and aroma. And as I was sipping the personally crafted coffee, their sales rep was talking me through their impressive variety of coffee machines. And there it was waiting for me, I laid my eyes on her and I could instantly see her gleaming on a carefully chosen corner at my kitchen: The Nespresso U-Milk.
My eyes sparkled and the impulsive buyer in me was screaming her lungs out. Nonetheless I politely thanked the sales rep, went home and did my online research about the advantages, disadvantages, and customer reviews. I left the store the next day with the box in my hand and a goofy smile on my face.
The Nespresso U-Milk constitutes of three parts all seamlessly attached: The transparent container for water (holds up to 0.8L), the main body in which you insert the ready-made capsules from the top (it produces three different sizes of coffee cups: ristretto, espresso, and lungo), and the Aeroccino, which is the milk frother.
But the U-Milk isn’t just a coffee maker with a classic-chic design. It’s very efficient. Making a cup of coffee will take less than 40 seconds: You open the pod’s lid, insert your desired capsule, then choose your desired coffee cup size. The extraction process will automatically start and your cup will be filled with the welcoming scent of hot coffee.
One of the best things about Nespresso coffee is that they offer a wide selection of flavors, blends, and intensity (and yes, they have decaf!). You will never get bored trying them out. I must admit that some of these blends don’t really differ that much, especially when they are masked with milk in a latte or a cappuccino. But rest assured that with the right selection of the capsule and the right setting from the U-milk, you will have your most favorite cup of coffee just the way you like it, every time.
The milk frother is also awesome, although it can take up to 90 secs to froth the milk for a large cup. It has two settings, and with a press of a button and your desired quantity of milk, you can either have mostly-foam for a cappuccino or mostly-milk for a latte. And you can also have your foam and keep the milk cold with a long-press. It also works considerably well with skimmed milk.
Its only problem is that it is high-maintenance. And by that I mean you have to wash the Aeroccino immediately after each time of use and it is not preferable that you leave the milk too long in it after it has frothed. Otherwise the inner body of the frother might get “stained” and the frothing won’t be as consistent as it should be.
Having looked into other coffee machines, I believe that this one hits a perfect balance between control and automation. Some people like to choose every small aspect of their coffee: the beans, the brewing, the roasting, the steamer and the quantity of milk (if any). Others don’t want to have that kind of overwhelming choices yet don’t want to compromise on the quality of their coffee. And the U-Milk does exactly that all under 3 minutes.
The U-Milk is one of my personal favorite purchases. And every morning with minimal effort, I consistently get my medium-intensity cappuccino and would be ready for whatever my day shall bring. So yes, even if you like to have your coffee in a cafe, you will never know the pleasure of making your own coffee until you try it with a machine that is designed to make that a pleasurable experience.