Customer Reviews: DeLonghi Silver Lattissima Plus Nespresso Capsule System
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on October 5, 2013
Quite frankly I am perplexed and not sure if I like the Latissima Plus or not.

First the positives.

First, the process is fully automated, though it helps to follow the instructions as per manual to avoid initial frustrations. The entire process is simple. Just insert the pod and press one of the four buttons to get your drink. The machine does the rest.

Second, there is an ability to customize your drinks. The machine comes with the pre-set amounts of water and milk that is used in the process of creating drinks. If you do not feel that those factory pre-sets fit your expectations, then you can customize the amounts of water or water and milk up to certain limits. You do that by pressing and holding down the button of the drink you want to create until you get to the desired amount of selected liquid (either water or milk) then let go off the button. The machine will use that amount next time. So you can customize all four drink types to your liking, within the limits. I experimented with those amounts without using the coffee pods, just water and milk trying to get where I wanted to be.

Third, the machine has a small footprint and is not tall, so it can fit neatly under the cabinets.

Fourth, using the pod based system helps you avoid the messiness that may come with the non-pod systems. I think most of the people who buy this machine look for the convenience. Who has the time in the morning to take several steps and clean the mess when using the non-pod machine.

Now to the caveats or potential negatives.

First, the customization has its limits. The maximum amount of coffee per drink is 200 ml. Same with milk, 200 ml only. That means the maximum amount of your latte cannot be more than 400 ml. Ask yourself, what's your preferred size of latte?

Second, milk based stuff is not necessarily hot. It is not cold when it is made, but the milk portion is not hot, just barely warm. So depending on your personal preference you may or may not feel that the drink is hot enough for you. Again, ask yourself how do you like your latte?

Third, the pods are small. That means the amount of coffee per drink is limited to what's in the pod. I tried the top strength pod (number 10) and did not feel that it reached my maximum tolerance level in terms of amount caffeine per drink. Possibly adding another drink or two on the top of the first one would solve the problem, but then the cost could add up to what you would end up paying in the coffee house. If you like strong coffee, try first the strongest pod at the store to make sure it is strong enough for you before you move forward with the purchase.

Fourth, the pods again. I am not sure if I want to limit myself to one source only for my coffee needs. With this machine you need to go to the manufacturer's website and register yourself in order to get your pods. The minimum order is 50 pods and the price range from about 65 to 70 cents per pod plus the $6.95 shipping fee. My concern is that the pods are unique to the manufacturer, so your choice of coffee is limited to what the manufacturer offers, second the manufacturer controls the pricing. While their coffee is generally good, I do like to have choices in terms of selection and pricing.

Overall you're getting what you're paying for. For about 360 dollars you will get what looks like a quality machine with an automated process that has its limits, including the temperature of the milk based drinks, the maximum size of the drinks and the full dependence on the manufacturer for your coffee supplies. I realized that if I want more flexibility and more independence, I just have to pay more. There is a reason why fully automated espresso makers can cost thousands of dollars.

So at the end it will come down to the budget and your definition what do you expect from your espresso/latte/cappuccino maker. How do you like your espresso or latte? If you are OK with the features as described above, then this looks like a solid choice. If you want more, then look for a different machine and end up paying more to get what you truly want.
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on April 24, 2014
It has come to my attention that there has been countless reviews both praising and being critical about the Lattissima Plus. I will be focusing on both ends of the spectrum.

The Lattissima has been highly praised for the one–button creation of milk-based drinks. To some, this may be worth the premium over the more rudimentary models such as the Citiz Milk, Pixie, and Escenza.

This review serves several purposes:
1. To help the reader choose between the different models
2. To elaborate upon the pros and cons of the Lattissima Plus
3. To give some tips on more effective operation of the machine
4. To address common concerns and issues users are currently facing while operating the machine

This is a long review. I suggest skipping to the conclusion if you do not wish to dwell into the specifics.

= Comparison Between Models =
The Nespresso range consists of two main categories: milk and non-milk models. Regardless of the choice, all machines (except Lattissima+, elaborated later) use a very similar single-thermal heating block design of for brewing the espresso shot. This is important to note, especially when choosing between different models. Unlike purchasing a traditional, more expensive espresso machine that uses coffee grounds, purchasing a Nespresso machine involves much less critical consideration. One only has to decide which functionality is of more importance, and how much more will one be willing to pay for that.

For example, do you like milk-based drinks? Or do you prefer single shot pure expresso? Do you value a more convenient integrated one-button coffee solution, or would you prefer a modular system of making milk-based drinks such as the Citiz Milk?

All the different machines are at different price points, along with different degrees of convenience when producing that cup of coffee. I will not be elaborating on prices of the machines because it is always subject to price fluctuations, however I will touch upon the main functionalities and classifications of the machines.

Non-Milk Models: Inissia, Pixie, Essenza.
Modular Milk Models (Aeroccino): U, Citiz, Gran Masteria.
Fully Intergrated Milk Models: Lattissima+, Maestria.

Focusing on the milk models, the category is divided between models with the modular Aeroccino container, and those with the integrated milk function. (Refer to classification of models above)

The main point of differentiation between the fully integrated versus the modular milk models, is that the integrated milk frother produces milk with much finer microfoam compared to the modular Aeroccino. Further, the integrated model has the capability to greatly customise the frothy-ness of the milk, simply by turning a knob. This is customization is limited with the Aeroccino to just changing the frothing wands at the base of the unit. However, it does not offer as fine a degree of customization as the integrated solution.

Unlike the Aeroccino, the milk container in the Lattissima does not require daily cleaning. Instead, the whole module can be put in a fridge after you have dispensed your drink. Highly convenient. The Aeroccino however, has to be cleaned shortly after use. It also has to be cleaned thoroughly; otherwise the milk remnants might get burnt at the base of the unit upon subsequent use.

One might argue that the Lattissima’s price point is justified because it uses two thermal heating blocks - one for the coffee, and one for the milk. It is the only machine in the Nespresso range with such a feature.

So you have to decide how much of a premium you want to pay for that added convenience of having the Lattissima. Do you mind washing the milk container daily for the modular milk models? Do you prefer milk with a finer consistency? Do you value the one-touch convenience of producing highly customisable cappuccino? Or would you rather spend time brewing coffee, heating up milk, and crafting the cappuccino manually?

Personally I upgraded from the CitiZ & Milk model, after finding the Lattissima Plus on sale. I find that added convenience to be well worth the premium paid for the Lattissima

= Pros =
I believe that much of the pros have been covered in other reviews. However, one of the biggest plus points I see in the Lattissima is the ease of use of the machine.
As mentioned earlier, the biggest selling point of this machine is the automatic creation of milk-based drinks.
In terms of the size of the machine, it does not have a very big footprint, and sits comfortably on my countertop. I can even fit it inside a bookshelf.
Compared to other models, the Lattissima has a rather large water tank. This allows me to refill the machine only once every two or so days.
On a similar note, the Lattissima also has a relatively large used capsule container. Something which I find convenient because I do not have to empty as often compared to my CitiZ model.
The machine also dispenses warm milk, something that I find useful especially when wanting a cup of hot chocolate in the middle of the night. A plus point, is that I can even have frothed milk! Something a microwave can never accomplish.

= Cons =
Although I have lavished this machine with much praise, there are some quirks about it which irritates me at times. One of them would be the drip. Because I have been so spoilt by the convenience of the machine, it pains me to have to constantly clear the drip tray. After brewing from the capsule, and pulling the usual empty shot of water to clean the system, the Lattissima tends to drip for a good 10 seconds after the shot. Although this leaves only a small amount of excess water in the drip tray, it annoys me because it eventually leaves water stains both on metal top of the tray and below it. This may not be a major point of consideration to some who are less fussy. I have dealt with Nespresso customer service in Europe specifically to address the drip issue. They have been more than helpful in offering an explanation for the occurrence, but not a solution. Nespresso claims it to be part of the normal operation of the machine. Oh well.

= Coffee taste. Intensity. Costs. =
After building up a tolerance for caffeine over the years, I find that one capsule of the strongest blend available, Ristretto, is not enough to wake me up. I often find myself dispensing two capsules, just to make a strong cappuccino. This is highly subjective, so I strongly urge you to head down to a Nespresso boutique to try out the three strongest flavours available: Ristretto (10), Dharkan (11), Kazaar (12). Arpeggio (9) is another mild favourite. Personally, I find two capsules of Ristretto being sufficient to wake me up on normal days. Two Kazaars when hung over; one Arpeggio after dinner; one Dharkan with vanilla bean ice cream. With taste being highly subjective, is best for you to try out the flavours yourself.

An additional point to note, is that these costs add up. If you consume quite a few capsules a day, because you find a coffee not sufficiently strong enough, you might want to do a serious cost analysis of your consumption. Capsule prices vary across jurisdictions, and depending on what country you live in, it may be cheaper to just go to a coffee shop for your caffeine fix.

Now here are some tips on more effective operation of the machine.

= Hot coffee. =
There have been concerns about the coffee dispensed not being hot enough. Well I certainly do not like my coffee being so hot that I have to wait 10 minutes to even take a sip (McCafe, Starbucks). I do however, appreciate a certain degree of temperature in that brew. One way to produce a decent hot coffee, is to run the system once through before placing in the capsule. Closing the lever, pressing the espresso button once while there are no capsules in the machine, does this. I often dispense the hot water directly into the cup that I am about to use. This not only pre-heats the cup to a desired warmness, it also warms up the internals of the machine.

= Hot milk. =
There also has been some discussion about the milk not being hot enough. This is a valid concern, something I face when making the occasional midnight hot chocolate. One way to alleviate this problem is by preheating the system, similar to what we have done previously. Again, with the milk system loaded in the Lattissima, hold down the clean button for 10 seconds. The system will make a noise loud enough to wake the dead, and it will also spew out hot steam. This not only heats up the internals of the second thermal heating block that is used for the milk, it also heats up the cup. The milk should be sufficiently steaming hot right now.

Personally, before making a decent cappuccino, I run the system with hot water once, and also activate the steam system prior to pulling a capsule through the system. The steam also heats up the walls of the cup, not just the base. This ensures a more than sufficient temperature to the drink.

= Generic Capsules =
On a separate side issue. This relates to the use of generic capsules. Particularly, about the incompatibility of some generic capsules. This is of interest because of the vast availability of viable alternate capsules currently in the marketplace. Not only do generic capsules give you the opportunity to use your own beans, it also does so at a significantly lower price point compared Nespresso capsules. Further, some may argue that it is more environmentally friendly because of the reusability of the capsules, resulting in less wastage in aluminium.

Back to point, as with all generic items, you cannot expect it to be fully compatible with the machine. This is because the Nespresso business model is similar to that of razors and even printer cartridges, although some may argue that the price of the machine itself is not highly subsidised to offset the high cost of the capsules. You cannot fully blame Nespresso for having a machine that doesn’t work well with generics, but you can read online reviews to find the best generics that do work. Personally, I do not use generics because I find them troublesome – both in terms of compatibility, and the inconsistent taste. It might be the case that Nespresso’s hyperactive marketing strategies may have got the best of me.

Particularly promising, is the fact that Nespresso’s stronghold on these capsule patents have just recently expired in 2011. Further, a recent development in the European Union, has mandated that Nespresso tone down its use of controversial anti-competitive modifications to the machines, which had the sole intent making generics incompatible with the system. I find it very encouraging, and may even purchase a few generics to try out in the near future.

= Water Leakage =
there has been reports about water leaking at the base of the machine. Fortunately, I did not encounter this problem with my machine. I would strongly recommend anyone facing this issue to stop using the machine immediately, and call the customer service hotline. Water leaking out of electrical appliance is nothing to be taken lightly. I am sure the customer service agents would take the appropriate measures. They have been very helpful on the occasions that I have talked with them.

= Conclusion =
It is hard to choose the right coffee machine with so many available different functions. However, within the Nespresso range, the Lattissima is the only fully integrated, automatic, milk–based coffee machine. Further, the integrated milk frothing solution is better than the Aerocinno because of the reduced cleanup times, and higher customisability to the frothiness of the milk. The Lattissima also has a small footprint, a large water tank, and a large used capsule container. It can even dispense hot milk on the fly. The system however, does have an annoying habit of dripping small amounts of water after use. Consumers may not only find the capsules costly, but also find it restrictive, to find themselves confined within the closed ecosystem of Nespresso capsules. However, the market may see some changes in the near future due to anti-competitive regulation concerning these capsules in the European union – making it easier for generics to enter. Although it appears on several reviews about the machine dispensing lukewarm coffee and milk, I find that with the proper measures taken, the Lattissima is more than capable of producing a piping hot cup of coffee. I am giving the Lattissima four out of five stars. It would have been perfect if it were not for the annoying drip issue, something which they seemed to have recognised, and dealt with in the modular U system. I hope to see this implemented in future iterations of the Lattissima.
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on April 30, 2013
I'm a full-fledged coffee addict. That doesn't mean I'm the expert or aficionado that many other reviewers are, but I do know what I like in my cup and I like it often. A frequent Starbucks customer, the local baristas were used to my love of espresso, but when visiting a different store I always got the "you want *how* many shots?" look. Many people complain that Starbucks burns their coffee, and in many cases they're right... but some stores do know how to make it correctly. Of course I've also had espresso at other places made with fancier machines, and most are better than the best cups I could get at starbucks, but not any cheaper. I digress... my point is that I drink a lot of espresso, and I have developed a taste for it that requires a good pull.

I decided to try to cut back on some starbucks expenses without giving up my addiction. Driving to the store and paying the premium to have someone else prepare it was adding up to quite a hefty chunk of my budget. I wanted to save money, so buying a grinder for several hundred dollars and an espresso machine for several hundred more than that just wasn't an option. I wanted something that could deliver the taste and caffeine I crave, but actually saved me money. Enter the Lattissima Plus!

At 60-67 cents per shot, Nespresso cups are not exactly cheap, but they are about half the cost of starbucks on a per-shot basis. Buy them from the Nespresso club site directly to get that price. I personally started with the intro offer from the club which came with 200 cups for about $125. Shipping was fast and I got to try out all the main flavors. One note, though - there are 4 or 5 sleeves (10 cups per sleeve) of *decaf* varieties in that starter pack... you might not want that so choose accordingly.

As for the machine, I couldn't be happier. I've run about 150 shots through it at this point and haven't had a single issue. It's easy enough to adjust the volume of each type of shot to your preferences, including both the espresso and the optional milk. I don't take a lot of milk so adjusting this was key for me. I've found that setting the froth level to the highest setting and using 2% milk provides just the right amount of froth for me. skim froths more, whole froths less. Adjust to your taste :).

Cleaning the machine is incredibly easy. I've made a routine of it, emptying the bins and cleaning the frother after each use. It adds maybe 2 minutes to the time it takes to prepare a couple of drinks. I can prepare both my favorite recipe and my wife's, then do the basic cleaning in a total of about 6 minutes. A couple times per week I clean it more thoroughly, taking all of 5 extra minutes. much faster ( and cheaper) than driving to a coffee shop, AND I get more control over how the drink is made. I couldn't be happier.

We all like our coffee a little bit different, but here's my favorite (and my wife's) recipes if you'd like to try them:

4-shot mocha cappuccino: 2% milk in the container, one scoop of nestle quick in the cup (better IMO than the ghirardelli syrup). I like the Rosabaya blend the best, you'll need 4 of those cups. In a large coffee cup, start with one cappuccino pull. This will add the milk and one shot of espresso. Stir slightly, then add three more shots, one at a time. Another light stir and optionally top with a small amount of whipped cream.

brain defogger: I tried this once after a sleepless night and it was great... but it's a lot of caffeine so keep that in mind. two tablespoons of ghirardelli white mocha syrup. 6 shots of your favorite 4-6 intensity blend on top of that and stir. put in a 7th shot and hit the cappuccino button (again with 2% milk). another light stir and enjoy! The espresso really does well with very little flavoring or milk. This filled a 20-ounce travel mug to the top :)

double caramel macchiato: 2% milk, one tbsp of ghirardelli caramel sauce per shot (2 in this case). In a large cup, start with the syrup then add a macchiato pull. This is a more tame drink, so my wife prefers an intensity 3 or 4 variety. One extra shot, a light stir, and you're done!

It sounds easy, and it is :). It's fun to experiment with the different blends and combinations of flavors to find exactly what you like. I highly recommend this product!
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on March 16, 2013
I would have given it a 5 star rating if it was not for below.
I have had my Lattissima for about 7 months now. I love the drinks it makes.
About 1 month ago, the milk started not frothing well. This got worse until it didn't froth at all. I cleaned and descaled it twice. This did not help, so I called customer service who said it was the milk frother which is in the black lid you see in the picture on top of the milk container. They said I needed to buy a new lid. I told them that it was under warranty and they said that piece was "an accessory" and not covered by the warranty. I told them I could not understand how an integral part of the machine, without which it cannot function, was not considered part of the machine. I got this reply,

" I regret to hear that you are unhappy with our warranty.

It is true that spare parts are not covered under warranty; this information can be found in the user manual that came with your machine.

If in the future you need a spare part, it will have to be purchased.

I do understand your frustration with the policy and will forward your feedback to management."

Interestingly. nowhere on their website, is the lid for sale.
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on December 13, 2011
The Lattisima Plus Nespresso Capsule machine produces the best expresso and "lungos" (large lattes) I've ever tasted. Further the machine is fool-proof and even cleans itself. At $399 it's a screaming bargain, and both Amazon and the major kitchen stores such as Sur La Table have it at that price throughout this Christmas season. Don't even THINK about getting some other machine!!! It blows away high-end machines costing $2,000+ (I know because I taste tested it against 2 other Neospresso machines and a $2000+ German Meile in Sur La Table) and can be cleaned and ready for use within a minute. It has a button that steam cleans the tubing; the milk container is designed to store in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it; and it comes up to full pressure (19 bars!) within a minute. From that point on, just drop in a capsule (about $.57 cents each -- 20 different varieties available from Nespresso within 2 days for a $7.95 delivery fee), press down one lever to pierce the capsule, and press one of 4 buttons: expresso, cappuccinno, "lungo" (double-shot expresso_, or "Latte Macchiato" (large latte with lots of foam). Further, when I taste-tested the coffee, it not only beat the other machines but it blew away the cappuccinos made by any of the chain stores such as Starbucks. The latte macciatos are my paricular favorite made with either skim milk or a 50/50 blend of nonfat chocolate milk and nonfate white milk; and the lungos are also terrific. Be sure to make these coffees with the lungo pods, otherwise the results are too thin. Through adjustments you can vary the size of the cups and the stiffness of the foam. Without any ado, it can produce foam stiff enough to support a teaspoon on top if you like that style as I do. So far, my only complaint is that I'm drinking too much coffee; and that the coffee is not available from even the kitchen specialty stores. A HINT: This is one of the only cases where I didn't buy a high-end product from Amazon, because Sur La Table offers life-time service or exchange on it. However, after going through about 100 cups, nothing appears to be in danger of breaking.
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on April 18, 2013
I had cafe mochas in the morning on a trip to Vienna and I bought this thing hoping to recreate that magic. It succeeded and I am definately hooked.

TIP: If you like chocolate, get some Ghirardelli Barista Chocolate chips (sold on Amazon in a big box). Add a tablespoon of the tiny sized chips to a cup, use an Arpeggio cartridge and some whole milk with foam level turned all the way down. Press the Latte button and stir rapidly and constantly while the machine runs in order to melt and dissolve the chocolate. My wife adds sweetener but I don't. The result is a rich, heavenly mocha and I can't imagine the morning without one.

Making the drink is very easy and very fast. Cleanup is beyond simple. Stick a used cup under the spout and press the clean button for about 8 seconds. Put the detachable milk box back in the fridge and you are done. The milk box pulls apart easily and all parts go in the dishwasher so you can sanitize it periodically.
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It's amazing that a machine with such a small footprint can produce such a great variety of coffee beverages. When you take into consideration the 16 coffee bean blends, plus several special release blends; add an infinite variety of water-to-bean ratios; an infinite variety of milk proportions and foam thicknesses--well, it provokes excitement each time you turn it on.

It is so easy to use and so easy to clean! But, I have to say, that if the choice of coffee was poor or the quality of the coffee was less than superb, "easy" would have no bearing on how well we liked this machine.

You can use the machine with or without adding milk. And the milk container can detach and be stored in the frig. The machine is programmed to create espresso and lungo portions, plus you can re-program it easily to create anything in between. When not using the milk frother, you will be extremely happy with the crema: It is thick, rich and luxurious.

This is our second Nespresso machine: We also have a CitiZ in a "60's" (kind of old-fashioned) white color to match the style of our kitchen, Citiz in Creamy White. We still use it, because very often we don't feel the need to add milk and just crave an espresso shot. We keep both machines on the kitchen counters. They do not look well together. We've left the CitiZ in its long-time, more prominent position because its older look lends charm to the kitchen. The Lattissima is tucked in a corner and while it is "stylish" it is also not conspicuous. Our Lattissima machine is white (and black); the white matches KitchenAide and Cuisinart white.

I also have a Gaggia for Illy Espresso Machine, and compared to this Lattissima machine, it is clumsy looking, clumsy in the way it froths milk and difficult and time-consuming to clean the frothing wand.

The Lattissima is easy to learn how to use. We've never had any issues with either of the Nespresso machines. Customer Service is always helpful and cheerful. Periodically someone will call and ask if all is well with our machines and do we have any questions. There is a great, interesting, full-color magazine produced by Nespresso also. It is available online or hard copy through the mail.

We buy our capsules from Nespresso online. We order a four-five month supply at a time to maximize the value of their flat-rate shipping charge. They have never messed up an order. Shipping is very quick. Of course, we have our favorite blends, but we are fond of all the blends and always try to keep all 16+ blends on hand.

The only fault I can think of--and it's so minor, I feel that I'm clutching at straws in mentioning it: There are always a few straggling drips of coffee after the brewing ends. But because you need to have some kind of cup available to catch the water residue involved in the cleaning process, it's no big deal to switch out your coffee cup for your cleaning cup. We didn't have to search too hard to find a little cup that (kind of) matched the machine, and that's what we routinely keep positioned under the brewer spout when not actually brewing.
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on November 1, 2013
I have been using my Lattissima for about three months now, and I have a couple of thoughts for those researching if to buy this system.

Some things to confirm based on other reviews:

1. I like the taste of the coffee. I am primarily a latte girl, and the lattes taste great. I haven't been to a coffee shop in three months! I used all of the nespresso caps that came with the system, and then I ordered some nespresso compatible caps. They were not nearly as good, and I'm back to the nespresso for good now.

2. Foam: several reviews talk about the foam dial being "a joke." And, it is. There is A LOT of foam on top of each latte. I scoop off at least a quarter cup of foam each morning, and I have it set on the lowest setting.

3. Temp: if you are making a latte, the temperature is not nearly hot enough for me. This, like the foam, isn't a big deal. I put it in the microwave for a minute, but other reviews are right, the latte comes out as lukewarm at best.

4. Buy a descaling kit right away (two to a package) from Nespresso. I needed one after about 3 months of use.

Overall, I wouldn't trade my new morning ritual for anything. The cost of the coffee isn't even a thought when I enjoy it so much. Just my two cents on a few of the questions I had going into the purchase.
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on March 12, 2014
I got the Latissima Plus for valentines day (a red one). I had been using the Breville k cup machine, which was fine. I hated that I was putting plastic k cups into the garbage. The Latissima Plus let's me make the beautiful espresso drinks I would buy at a coffee chain. What I love is the ease of filling/storing/using the milk container to make beautiful froth to your personal liking. The milk container clicks right into the machine, when your finished, take it off and put the remainder in the fridge. Heat up time is maybe a minute from the off setting. I also love the selection of coffee available in the capsules and that the capsules are recyclable! It's a compact machine that produces beautiful results, with a fabulous assortment of fine coffees and espresso. You will never find a k cup coffee to even compare to the Nespresso coffee lineup. Buy the capsules at for 50 to 70 cents a cup! Make your espresso drinks at home for a fraction of the cost with no tip jar, waiting, or gas! I love this machine!
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on November 25, 2012
The flavor was excellent and it was great that you cld use your own milk unlike other pod machines. The problem is that it's not hot enough. I considered keeping it and just heating it in the microwave each time but that is unacceptable for a $300+ machine.
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