A $99 coffee pod machine: Lavazza’s Simpla reviewed

Once this is done, the machine will whirr into action, the thermoblock heating the water pushing through the machine and the punctured capsule, with the coffee being pushed out into a glass below.

Good luck, though, if you want more than an espresso to drink, because even though the Lavazza A Modo Mio system does have a single “long” variety in its pods, the design of the Simpla is such that it’s impossible to put anything bigger than an espresso glass between the chin drip-tray of the machine and the spout.

Other machines let you remove the chin or move one of the trays out of the way, but if you do this on the Simpla, it will just reveal a drip tray, which depending on how much you use your coffee machine, may either be filled with water, coffee drops, or just black plastic.

Either way, you can’t put your coffee cup here — not safely, anyway — and if you want to make something longer, you’ll either need to remove the drip guard or hold the mug there yourself.

But that’s nothing compared to the one huge flaw we found with the Simpla, and this stems from how simple the Simpla is to use.

With only one button, the Simpla should be a cinch to use, and it is, except for one big issue: when you press the button, rather than measure an espresso sized amount of coffee and pour that length for you in the cup, the machine will keep going until you press the espresso button again.

Now most people don’t know the correct measurement for an espresso (hint: it’s around 50ml), and since most espresso or coffee glasses don’t have that measurement printed along the sides so you can measure it yourself, it’s highly likely you’ll either press the button too early and get too strong a length, or press it too late and find you have too diluted a cup.

Lavazza actually calls this a “manual-dose coffee button” in its marketing material, saying that it “allows you to choose the amount of coffee you would like,” which is all well and good, but since espressos are made with a certain length in mind to make the coffee taste good, a cut off switch would have been more logical than a “manual-dose coffee button.”

After further testing, we found there was a cut off switch, but it was only for around 110ml, which is the long or “lungo” coffee, which only one Lavazza A Modo Mio pod caters for.

Given that this machine is supposed to be easy to use and for novice espresso drinkers, we’re not sure why there’s no cut off switch for an espresso, since that’s most of what Lavazza’s coffee capsule range caters to.


Leave a pod running for too long and the coffee will begin to look like this, and not taste very good at that.


Lavazza’s $99 machine does manage to find a place in the coffee world, providing a not too expensive way for coffee novices to get an easy cup of espresso. It even comes at around $100 less than the nearest Nespresso machine.

That said, the hundred buck price does come with a flaw of its own, and if you do end up with this, make sure you watch the machine while you’re running an espresso through it, otherwise you might end up with more mess and less taste than you bargained for.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Inexpensive machine; Water tank is easy to fill up and replace; Lavazza capsules can be found in most supermarkets;
Espresso release button doesn't stop at an espresso, and runs a long coffee until you press stop; Design of the machine is such that you can only put small espresso glasses under the spout, and most mugs simply will not fit;