The Maestria coffee maker; web dev Jimmy shows us his skills with the tubes of pods; look! It's got a face!
When the Nespresso Maestria arrived at House and Home HQ for a month-long trial, caffeine-addicted staffers eagerly gathered around, only too eager to get a go of its creamy, dreamy ways. Launching at Nespresso boutiques at Brown Thomas Cork and Dublin next month, there are two new models available, the Maestria and the Grand Maestria and they're not cheap: €399 and €549 apiece. We got the cheaper of the two to test for our 30 day trial period.
What's new? Well, the coffee pods ain't. You can use the same pods in these babies you use across the range so that's a point in its favour. Editor Dara was quick to note a move from the more usual architectural Nespresso stying to a much more retro look. Have they been influenced by the huge success of the whole vintage Magimix/Kitchenaid thing, we wonder?
We got two sets of pods to try and off we went. It's worth pointing out for novices that the manual sort of assumes you'll already know how to use these and we didn't - so definitely aim to watch a demo in-store before you buy. Once we got past that little hiccup, we whizzed through our pod packs in double quick time, making ourselves a selection of espressos, americanos and then some more double espressos as production deadlines loomed.
All-in-all, what did the team think?
Dara, House and Home editor
"The machine certainly looks good. I like how they're tapping into the vintage trend with the shape and enamelled feel. It's well thought out in general - the tank at the back is well designed with a good lip; it's impossible to spill water from it. It could do with a longer cable and a cable tidy in the base would be good. It's very easy to empty but it's not so intuitive on set-up - you'd need to be shown how to use it."
Jimmy, web developer
"The coffee was good but the pods ran out really quickly. The machine was hard to set up though to be fair I didn't read the instructions. I liked the look of the machine in general but I did think the chromed metal parts looked a little cheap."
Naoimh, editorial assistant
"It looks very good! The machine is very sleek and chic but the coffee can be a bit lukewarm - it definitely makes smaller coffees better. You get a better flavour that way."
Amber, web editor
"I'm a coffee lover but I wasn't crazy about the flavour of the Nespresso pods; I felt it was a bit strong. The machine looks nice and will suit a lot of kitchens - it's very neat."
All-in-all? We like the look of the Maestria machine: it's glossy, space-saving and stylishly designed - and most importantly, as marketing co-ordinator Kirstie pointed out, it looks like it has a little face. But we're not so crazy on the coffee itself. While it's fine for espresso, it doesn't really deliver so well for larger drinks and to get a really hot result, you'd need to add boiling water or milk for a proper cafe experience.
Do you have a Nespresso maker? How do you use yours? Are we missing a trick with our trial version? Please leave us a comment - we'd love to hear from you.