Contributed by Antara Ray
For a while now, I have been an avid user of a regular Philips coffee maker – one funnel filter, one control button to switch on/off, one electric cord to plug and play – simplicity at its best. However, when the Philips Saeco Intelia Espresso Maker came in for a review, in all its space-age glory with LED display et.al, I gulped. Given up as a technological retard at best, by friends and family, any signs of electronic intelligence scare the living daylights out of me. Luckily though, with this espresso machine, the Philips group sends a barista along for a user demo. In fact, I would urge you opt for a detailed demo because this suave looking and compact machine has intricate functions you would never imagine. Also, it isnt complicated at all, as I eventually discovered. I, for one, am bowled over. Here is why.
[quote type=”center”]In the truest sense of the phrase, the machine delivers end-to-end.[/quote]
[box type=”info”] Simplicity!
Choose your input – roasted coffee beans or plain coffee powder (the standard quantity to be loaded per batch is about 42 coffee beans or 7 gms of powder, for which the supplied measuring spoon comes handy) then use it to make an Italian Espresso, the universally favorite Cappuccino or an all American Black coffee. These apart, you could also use the additional spouts to froth milk or generate steaming water. [/box]
An array of controls helps choose not just the type of coffee or the number of espresso shots required, but also the strength, temperature and brewing time of the coffee. This custom-feature comes as a boon to people like me who are rather particular about their coffee. The main spout is vertically adjustable to suit the y-axis dimensions of a coffee cup. Although, I did notice the Philips Saeco Intelia requires a wide mouthed cup for a cappuccino, since it needs to fit under both the espresso and milk spouts.
The good souls at Philips seem to have an eye for finer details. The machine, for example, uses a ceramic grinder that prevents friction induced ‘burning’ of the coffee. Further, the machine grinds coffee beans afresh each time you opt for a coffee. The Intellia respects your coffee and cares to ensure it tastes its best. Most definitely better than any store bought coffee I ever had, if you ask me – aromatic, balanced and refreshing, not burnt bitter, not muddy, and definitely not stale. I am trying my best to avoid cliches and yet I am tempted to say.
[quote type=”center”]The Intellia not only comes with a brilliant mind driving it, it also has a heart to match.[/quote]
This range starts at INR 74,995, which is mayhaps slightly uppish for the average Indian consumer, but then hey, who am I to judge how passionate one can get for a good espresso?