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OK, maybe I was wrong about coffee machines

Words by Nathan Irvine

Something's brewing

For the best part of a decade I've been dabbling in coffee. More specifically, I've been trying to become a home barista. I've bought numerous bean grinders (manual and electric), filters and contraptions - from V60 drippers to an Aeropress. All of this in an effort to make that clean cup of coffee you find at these fancy independent cafes.

I've sworn off coffee machines for the longest time. I've tried them before, and unless you're willing to drop a metric ton of cash on a specialised barista one, it's pointless as they can never measure up to the real thing. Well, that's what I thought until I tried a new one recently. Specifically, the De'Longhi Dedica Style EC 685.M.

De'Longhi Instant barista style

Mr Bean

I've used mass produced, high street coffee machines before, so I know a thing or two about them. What I've found is that no matter the quality of the bean, they never seem to capture that coffee house quality. More than anything they come out with a metallic taste and with coffee bean residue at the bottom. And yes, I realise this makes me sound like a coffee snob. But bear with me.

The De'Longhi Dedica Style is really simple to use. Top up the water tank. Add your ground beans to the filter. Lock it into place and press the button for an instant how cup of Joe. Easy.

I like black coffee and trust the excellent Three Coffee to deliver the goods when it comes to flavoursome beans. Putting them through this Dedica Style machine felt like sacrilege, but it's the perfect test to see what it could do.

There was a nail-biting wait to see what it could do. I was immediately thinking about the trusty V60 drip cup that was nearby - I should've just used that instead. Once the coffee settled with a nice thin line of crema on the top it was taste time.

The smell was spot-on and it looked inviting. But would the mechanical process ruin the taste? No. No it did not. In fact, I was delighted to find that it had served up a relatively fuss-free, delicious coffee. Now gritty residue - just a clean cup of coffee that's packed with flavour.

I'm now exclusively reaching for the Dedica Style machine for my morning fix as the other equipment gathers dust. It's worth mentioning that the milk frother - used for my better half - is really easy to use and makes an amazing latte style coffee too.

So yeah, maybe I was wrong about coffee machines after all.

The De'Longhi Dedica Style EC 685.M is available now from AED 699.

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