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Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

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  • Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

    After seeing a lot of the pre-availability marketing hype (including a very expensive glossy junkmail letterbox drop) proclaiming the $79 Aldi Expressi machine would go on sale 26th November I thought I would buy one to see what its like.

    I went into a local Aldi store mid afternoon on the day of the release to find that every second person in the store had one in their trolly.

    I asked a staff member how many they had sold today and he said "3 pallets full". At the time there were just another 5 boxes there so I guess they would have sold those within the hour.

    After I finished roasting tonight I opened it up and asked myself...

    "Can you get something drinkable out of a $79 capsule machine?"

    Pictures and thoughts follow.

  • #2
    Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

    Here is the box.

    Not suprisingly the large "Swiss Engineered" logo appears heavily on multiple sides of the box and in all the promotional material.
    ...the "made in China" is a little more subtle.










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    • #3
      Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

      Taking it out of the box the first impression was this looks and feels fairly well built and certainly better than I expected for the low $79 price tag.

      Nice glossy cases, some stainless bits and just enough packaging to keep it safe during transport.

      The few components are pretty obvious and all align and click into place pretty well.

      The water tank (below) holds 1 litre.








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      • #4
        Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

        So that the machine works with short and tall cups the "height adjustable drip tray" can be used or removed as needed. Clever, simple design.

        At the short height a 240ml take-away cup just fits under the spout.

        With the extension ring removed a 360ml (12oz) takeawy cup fits with ease.




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        • #5
          Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

          The Expressi manual is pretty good.

          It has 4 languages on each page but each only has a paragraph of content. Instead of loads of text that no one will read they have gone for lots of pictures to tell the story.

          The manual also shows how to set the volume of the small and large shot buttons. Default settings are 50ml for the small and 100ml for the large cup.




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          • #6
            Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

            I was surprised by the Espressi cleaning schedule.

            * Rinse once after every drink.
            * Run their detergent/cleaner through it every 10 days
            * Use their descaler once a month

            Quite high considering the capsules containing the grounds are throwaway items.


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            • #7
              Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

              Expressi capsules.

              Aldi obviously sell this machine cheap because you have to buy the capsules from them forever more. Nespresso did the same in the early days and then as they gained market share (or maybe when George Cluney started doing their ads) the prices of the machine slowly moved upwards.

              The Expressi range has 9 different colour coded capsules in a range of coffee styles and "strengths".

              I purchased 3 different ones:

              * Expressi Amalfi - Lungo (long black style, default 100ml)
              * Expressi Reggio - Espresso
              * Expressi Milano - Espresso

              Each box contains 16 capsules and are seemingly cheap at $5.99 each pack.

              Well, they seem cheap until you calculate the amount of coffee in each.

              $48.00 per kilogram - Amalfi
              $52.00 per kilogram - Regio & Milano

              Thats a better kilo rate than Nespresso pods but still more expensive than BeanBay prices for fresh roasted coffee including express delivery anywhere in Australia.


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              • #8
                Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

                Its not just the expesive kilo rate of capsules that annoy me, its the obsene amount of unnecessary landfill that they use in their packaging.

                First there is the glossy cardboard box (which can be recycled) and then you have the plastic capsule with a paper filter inside.

                Each capsule weighs less than 1.4g but that translates to at least 7 times more waste just in plastic than using a valve foil bag to ship a kilo of coffee.

                I cannot imagine how many million of these a year will endup at the tip.


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                • #9
                  Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

                  After a single use, the top gets 4 puncture holes and the bottom a single hole in the center.


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                  • #10
                    Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

                    Inside you will find 7-8grams of coffee and a paper filter "welded" to the bottom of the plastic capsule.

                    The capsules have a slight swell before use.  I assume they are packed promptly after grinding and the degassing of the coffee causes the swell.

                    The grind was slightly course compared to a typical espresso grind level.


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                    • #11
                      Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

                      At a guess, the capsules for the longer drinks have a little more coffee in them and the "stronger" ones have both robusta and are darker. 

                      The two espresso ones were 7.2g each and the lungo was 7.8 grams.

                      The "strength" that they refer to appears to be mostly the roast depth. 

                      You can see the colour variations of the three capsules (top to bottom) Strength 4, 9, 10


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                      • #12
                        Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

                        While the manual warns that the temperature could be up to 90C at the spout I didnt see anything like that in testing.

                        Using the hot water function only produced 60C water.


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                        • #13
                          Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

                          I managed nearly 74C with one espresso capsule and another only 68C.

                          These are much lower than the accepted temperature for good espresso extraction of 90C-95C.




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                          • #14
                            Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

                            At the end of the pour, the 40ml espresso shot (above) looked like this.

                            I cannot ever remember seeing such a pale crema on a coffee.

                            ...and the taste? Disgusting!

                            Without exaggeration this might be the single worst espresso Ive ever had the misfortune to taste. My first Expressi shot was full of char flavours followed by a cringing bitterness that made me pull some pretty odd faces.

                            In fact just looking at this picture 5 hours later Im still pulling similar faces as my senses recall the cruel torture (seriously!)

                            The lungo was not as bad. Certainly it wasnt good but it was more diluted and I only screwed-up my nose before tipping it down the sink.

                            I cannot imagine how much sugar and milk you would have to put into either of these to make it drinkable.



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                            • #15
                              Re: Aldi Expressi Coffee Machine Review - (Lots of pictures)

                              So after washing out my mouth with a shot from the Giotto I thought I would try packing my own capsule.

                              I cut the top off a capsule, tipped-out the contents and refilled it with fresh coffee from the grinder. It failed as the Expressi machine groaned trying to push the water through.

                              Second attempt was after an adjustment to the grinder and this time it worked... well... coffee came out.




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