Woolworths’ $99 coffee pod machine reviewed

The first attempt by Woolworths to push into the growing coffee pod market, the Caffitaly takes a European machine and brings it into supermarkets for an inexpensive price, hitting below the $100 price tag that so few manufacturers have tried to reach.

Features

Imported from Europe, the Woolworths coffee capsule machine is actually made by Caffita as the S14, designed in Italy for the Caffitaly system of coffee pods, which is available in Australia from both Woolworths, Gloria Jean’s, and under the MAP brand of pods from Officeworks, Target, and Harvey Norman, among others.

The boxes include 16 pods and retail for between five and eight dollars, and are mostly based on coffee blends, but can also include types of tea and hot chocolate.

The black Caffitaly S14 is a reasonably bulky machine, almost as big as a real coffee machine and the pricey Nespresso Maestria.

Caffitaly’s S14 machine is built with a 15 bar pump, the same rated amount of pressure on offer from the Nescafe Dolce Gusto machines, but under the 19 bar pump the Nespresso machines are rated for.

The S14 weighs roughly four kilograms and features a water tank capable of holding 1.2 litres of water, as well as a spend capsule compartment which should hold roughly 10 capsules. You will have to empty it from time to time, as spent capsules still have coffee grounds in them and will grow mould.

At the back of the unit, there is also a small hatch to allow you to refill the water tank in case you don’t want to pull it out.

There are three buttons on this coffee machine for three sizes of coffee, and there is a lone plug coming out of the appliance for powering it.

A milk frother is also available, though it does not come with the Caffitaly S14 and can be purchased as an accessory.

Performance

In the past year or two since we started taking a good hard look at coffee machines, we have become familiar with a variety of the appliances, trying various systems, all of which cost over $150.

So when a $99 machine comes along, you have to wonder if it can really take on the competition.

Aesthetics are a matter of taste for everyone, but if there’s one thing we can say about the S14, it’s that it is no small machine, nor is it one that had the backing of a big design firm behind it: it’s big, black, and reasonably bulky.

Larger than both the Nespresso U and Nescafe Gusto, it comes close to matching the $799 Maestria in size, although it omits much of the style, going instead for a very generic appliance look in black, accented with a chrome handle and cup tray.

Despite this rather generic look, it is reasonably sturdy, even thought it has been built out of plastic, and won’t fall over if you lean on it or push slightly, so that’s a positive thing.

Like all other pod machines, the use of the machine is simple: fill up the removable water tank at the back, switch the machine on, pull back the pod door lever, drop a pod in, place your glass or mug under the spout at the front of the machine, close the level and lock the pod in place, and then hit what size coffee you’d like to make.

Three sizes are available: A or “single shot espresso” (30ml), B or “double shot espresso” (60ml), and C’s “long black (roughly 200ml).

Alternatively, you can program the buttons to release the amount you want most, by holding the button down while the coffee is dispensing, so you can make the button for double shots release a little more, if you don’t really care much about doubles.

1 2 Next

  1. Life is to short for bad coffee. This makes bad coffee. Therefore you are wasting your life if you have one of these. It is cheap. It is nasty. It will be in your bin within 2 years and you will never remember it.

  2. I bought one. Yes, the first taste was a little bitter but a bit of an experiment with the volume of water and the different pods (climbing expresso is my pod of choice) produced a great taste that compares favourably with nespresso for a cheaper price.

  3. I got one of these machines a few weeks ago. My mum has a nespresso one…I like mine much more…it’s quieter and quicker. The only thing I like more about hers is there is a wider selection of coffee flavours

  4. Got one on a Wool is special for $39.00 if you spent over $200 on groceries. Works fine but some of the pods are pretty bitter. I’m told Gloria Jean are same as Woolies, but my experience is that they’re higher quality. I don’t think they are as good as Espresso but certainly the machine was too good a price to miss. Hasn’t missed a beat and for the price has been a great intro into capsule machines. How can the others charge the prices when this little machine is so inexpensive? From my observations Espresso works much the same so I guess George Cooley & John Malkovich must have cost a packet. Great ads though. 🙂

  5. Hi I have a Woolies coffee machine & i love the coffee but I seem to be having trouble with the cocoa pods I have both the Gloria Jean pods & the Map pods, both are not working I put the pod in but the machine doesn’t seem to be working
    the red light comes on & no chocolate comes out the pod doesn’t seem to have been pierced & it gets stuck in the capsule holder. Any ideas!!!

  6. got one on my birthday love it so far woolies where i live sell the machine and the frother together as a set and i can buy a pod holder from there too and also they had the descaler love the coffee kids love the hot chocolate.
    got it beacause it take woolies select and gloria jean but if it also takes map ones too will go buy some of them to try 🙂

  7. Taken three machines back in a Day !Water dosent heat,water wont flow through and Lights Flashing.Faulty Batch im thinking Lady at Woolworths Has told us they have had Many of them Back.We ended u getting a Refund. Cheap and poorly made, my advice never Buy one.~!

  8. Just got coffee machine. Love it . Went to woolworths to buy descaler, but they dont stock it so off to Harvey norman.
    Can some one tell me what other pods you can use in it Map?? Tried the aldi ones but ended up with grains in bottom of cup

    1. just hold your finger on your usual coffee button until it overides the red one that is flashing, had this problem a few times

  9. This machine is unbelievable. Coffee tastes great, can make a cappuccino with the frother that is just as good, if not better than the Cafe’s around Liverpool. I save so much money on a daily basis the wife and I who regularly have 2 to 3 coffees a day. Can’t recommend it enough.

  10. Your review tried the double expresso and long black options without a specific lungo pod. I watched the Utube instruction on the Caffitaly S14 and if you select button 3 (long black) it dispenses a lot of water, its the selection for tea and cocoa pods as well. With a regular pod it will develop the bitter overbrewed taste, the lungo pods are coarser grind and are more suited to this option. I use the short black and add milk for a flat white and to my taste no bitterness at all. Cheers.

  11. This is an attempt by Woolies to claw back some of the coffee market that had been lost to Aldi with their $89 pod coffee machine that has been on sale for a while.

    These machines are being sold at a loss, they make their money back in over priced coffee. This is the same thing that happens with printers.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Overall
Value for money
Performance
Ease of Use
Design
Final Score

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.