Encapsulated coffee machines have been hitting lower price points lately, but what if you want the best of the best of the best? DeLonghi and Nespresso have teamed up to show just what is possible with a new Lattissima, built for people who really, really, really love a cup.
A new machine designed for the Nespresso range of pods, the Lattissima Pro is the new model and the most premium machine in the Nespresso range of coffee pod machines.
The new kitchen appliance brings with it a new sense of style, bigger tanks, and a touchscreen, which is something you don’t generally see in pod-based machines.
The water tank in the Lattissima Pro holds more water than the previous generation, which potentially translates into more cups of coffee, with 1.3 litres available here, which will also be used in conjunction with the 500ml milk tank, both of which are removable.
Nespresso’s range of coffee pods is taken here, and the spent capsule tray holds a maximum of 16 pods.
Just like it is in every Nespresso coffee pod machine we’ve seen up to now, there is a 19 bar pump here, working in conjunction with a Thermoblock to heat the water.
Something that is different, however, is the connection port for the milk frothing system, which not only allows DeLonghi’s “Latte Crema System” milk frother to be plugged in, but when unplugged, can also support an included hot water spout, which will dispense hot water instead of textured milk.
Controls for the machine are handled through a light-up tactile button panel, which includes three espresso varieties — ristretto, espresso, and lungo — as well as two milk-based coffee styles, letting you make cappuccino and a latte macchiato (what basically equates to a really tall cappuccino).
A hot milk option is also available, as is one for hot water when the aforementioned water spout is plugged in.
A white light is built into the Nespresso unit, lighting up the glass or cup, and a foldable drip tray is here, too.
Designed and built by DeLonghi, the Lattissima Pro is the new high-end and flagship Nespresso machine coming to market right about now.
Encased in a brushed aluminium casing, and sporting a big water tank capable of making several cups of coffee, the machine is pretty much geared at the Nespresso lover who is going for the most convenient cup they possibly can have, with an automatic milk preparation system capable of creating a cappuccino or latte macchiato with only one button pressed.
Setting it up in our retro GadgetGuy kitchen, the Lattissima Pro is certainly a good looking unit, with a slick and shiny look, and a design that almost resembles a softened cube. Everything is built into the shape, and so you won’t have any parts extruding from the machine like you do on the Nespresso UMilk, but you can remove elements for storage in other places, such as putting the milk frother in the fridge to keep your supply of milk cold and fresh.
In a first for a Nespresso machine, there’s a screen here, able to guide you through the few menus of product, as well as inform you precisely what style of drink you can make.
Using the machine doesn’t really require an LCD screen, truth be told, but it’s a premium feature that no other Nespresso machine has, and very few coffee machines at that.
In fact, to use the Lattissima Pro, you just need to follow the same basic directions that most of the machines rely on: stick the pod in, select the coffee length, and then let the Thermoblock go to work, pulling in water from the 1.3 litre tank on the back, puncturing the Nespresso aluminium pod, and pushing out liquid joe through the spout at the front of the machine.
As with all Nespresso machines, the result here is the same and bang on with what we normally see, with a lovely crema to the cup in either the ristretto (short), espresso (medium), or lungo (long) settings when used with a pod rated for use on those settings.
At the time of publishing, Nespresso had 22 always available varieties of coffee pods, which it calls “Grand Crus,” each designed to produce the exact same cup — and consequently taste — of coffee each time you make it.
But the Lattissima Pro has another trick, and that is to automatically make milk-based coffee drinks for you, something that you can do manually with an Aeroccino magnetic frother by hand on other Nespresso units.
On this model, though, you can give those hands a rest, and simply by filling up the removable milk container and then plugging it in, the Lattissima Pro can texture the milk (a process that creates foamy milk), and then proceed with making the espresso and pouring that in, a process that makes — in this instance — a cappuccino.
This happens in the head of the milk unit, while keeping the milk in the bottle at a separate temperature, which means it can be removed and refrigerated immediately after without any obvious bacterial build-up.
A taller drink can also be made, with the latte macchiato the only other milk based coffee drink you can automatically make from the machine. Fortunately, both of these settings can be programmed for varied amounts of coffee or milk, allowing you, the customer, to define how much milk or espresso your milk based drinks have.
Nespresso and DeLonghi also provide a third milk variety here, though it’s less about coffee and more just about warm milk in general. If you like a latte or maybe a babycino for the kids, you can press the Lattissima Pro’s “warm milk” button, and you’ll find only warm milk comes out, with a second button press stopping the warm milk dispensing in its tracks.
For a latte, this means you can heat up — and foam, if you choose — the warm milk for whatever amount you prefer, stopping it when you’re ready, and then making an espresso using the espresso buttons on the Lattissima Pro.
DeLonghi has also engineered the amount of milk froth to be defined with a knob on top of the unit.
All the way to the left makes it flat, while the opposite way makes the froth so stiff that you’ll need a spoon to get it out of the glass when you’re drinking. It’s a good inclusion, too, as it means that milk-based coffees can be easily defined for anyone making the beverage, which is a big deal since every person has a different tolerance of frothy milk.
Also of note on the milk side of things is the cleaning function, and after any time you’ve used the milk frother, you’ll find the LCD screen of the Lattissima Pro lights up to remind you to clean it. This is a very simple action, and we’re actually impressed DeLonghi has built this into the unit.
To clean, simply grab a spare glass and throw it under the spouts for both the coffee machine and the milk frother. Then turn the knob past the frothiest milk style into cleaning mode.
This will start up the “milk rinsing” mode, which together with steam and hot water, pushes all the remaining milk from the frothing spout, as well as pushing out any residual coffee grounds.
It’s a great function, and when it’s done, you can simply switch the milk frother back a regular setting, before throwing the milk bottle back in the fridge to stay cool for up to two days.
We’re told you should be able to buy spare milk bottles, too, so if you have a desire to keep soy milk and regular milk in the fridge for use in the machine, a spare bottle will help here.
One final positive for the machine is the inclusion of a water spout which turns the Lattissima Pro into a tea maker.
Sure, you could argue that tea pods can make a simple cup of tea possible, but we’ll take clean hot water and a tea bag any day over the overpriced tea pods, which don’t pack in as much value as you might think.
The Lattissima’s hot water spout is hidden on the right side off the machine, hiding in its little space just behind a flap, and to make it work, you simply get it out and plug it into the provided connection normally occupied by the milk frother.
When this is plugged in, the milk coffee options will switch off, and the bottom-most function will light up, denoted as “hot water.” Simply place a glass or mug under this, and hit the button when you want the machine to dispense hot water, hitting again when you’re done.
We did run into a problem you may encounter with the Lattissima Pro, and it really depends on what Nespresso machine you had before it, if any at all.
If you had one of the CitiZ, Lattissima, or Maestria machines, and you’re used to popping the pod in first, and then hitting the coffee button, the Lattissima Pro will operate just the same.
But the U and UMilk machines work in reverse, and if you press the button first, and then expect to pop the pod in, you’ll be surprised to find the coffee machine whirr into action, beginning to make your coffee before you’re able to stick the pod in.
If this happens to you — and it happened to us — you may find a frothy cappuccino made with water instead of coffee.
Thankfully, you can stop the cappuccino or latte macchiato settings in their tracks by hitting the button again, and a second later, it will switch off and wait for your next action.
It’s also not as playful a machine as say the Maestria, Nespresso’s other flagship model which is less about simplicity and more about letting you fiddle with the settings and be a sort of makeshift barista.
The Maestria not only has a completely different look and a traditional milk frothing wand, but also lets you control the amount of water used to make a short or long, which is something that isn’t as easily controlled on the Lattissima Pro.
One other issue is the price, and with a recommended retail price of $899, the Nespresso Lattissima Pro is not a cheap coffee machine.
The inclusion of the water spout helps to make this machine better value than its siblings, and the build quality is higher than any Nespresso unit we’ve seen prior, but at nearly a grand, it’s really only for people who drink a ton of milk drinks or offices that want something to replace the cafe on the corner.
While it’s not cheap, the Nespresso’s latest machine is an excellent addition to a coffee loving kitchen, and the Lattissima Pro is the best representation of convenient espresso we’ve seen yet, with a quick and easy milk-based drink possible here from a one button press.
Nearly a grand is a lot to pay, but if you can’t live without Nespresso in your life, and you’re over frothing the milk yourself and have the cash to spare, this is one addition to your kitchen you’ll want. Recommended.