Melitta Barista TS SMART Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine F860-100 Review

On opening the box and unpacking the Melitta Barsita TS Smart Bean to Cup Coffee Machine I was surprised by both its size and build quality. The machine is large (37x47x25cm also weighs over 10kg) and arguably the biggest coffee machine I’ve ever owned, although this is a downfall it can be easily overlooked as it’s both stylish and well made. It’s German engineering at its best and if you want the best, you’ve got to be willing to pay for it.

Included in the box are the machine, an insulated stainless steel milk container, 22cm silicone tube, measuring spoon, filter cartridge key, Filterpatrone Pro Aqua filter, diagnostic water hardness dipstick, nylon cleaning brush, cleaning kit (1 Perfect Clean Descaler tablet, 250ml Milk System cleaning fluid and 250ml Anti-Calc Descaler), a recipe leaflet and manual.

The initial setup is extremely straightforward, you fill the water container on the left side of the unit, fill and attach the milk container, fill the machine with coffee beans, and then you’re good to go! Now it’s just the matter of plugging the machine in and turning the switch on. There is a short setup on the 7x5cm display that is above the coffee output, this is where you can control how you’d prefer your drink. Whether its weak or strong, with more or less water, and last of all if you would like the beans to come from either coffee bin one or two.

With a high-resolution colour display, the touch sensitive TFT screen makes the Barista TS easy to use. With one touch ‘buttons’ for four classic coffee recipes (espresso, café crème, cappuccino and latte macchiato) plus an additional 17 coffees to choose from including lungo, flat white and espresso macchiato. There are also one-touch options for warm milk, frothed milk and hot water. The custom programming, temperature control and frothing functions really take the guesswork out of brewing.

Stylish and packed with advanced technology the Barista TS dispenses coffee, milk and hot water in one place, so there’s no need to move your cup while it’s creating your chosen drink. The outlet is also height adjustable (up to 14cm high) so you can easily fit a latte glass under the nozzles, and there’s an integrated warm LED light so you can see your cup filling even if the kitchen lights off. Also, the super-efficient grinding mechanism is whisper quiet, so it won’t disturb the household/workplace while you wait for your drink.

For those who like a fresh cup first thing in the morning the Melitta Connect app (which links your smartphone or tablet to the machine) lets you select, design and brew the perfect cup of coffee from the comfort of your own bed, sofa, or for me personally from the comfort of my own wheelchair. Simply download the Melitta Connect app, follow the instructions and connect via Bluetooth, then select the menu and create your own coffee specialities and save up to eight personal preferences into the my coffee profiles memory with the utmost ease.

One of the first things I noticed was that there are two hoppers, this means you can use two varieties or strengths of coffee beans at once which is convenient for coffee lovers/enthusiasts. The different beans can be used for different drinks, espresso beans tend to be stronger so you can add those to one chamber and perhaps add some other less strong beans to the other chamber for a milder drink. The machine will automatically use the correct bean type based on your selection. I personably prefer the Melitta Coffee BellaCrema LaCrema whole beans (strength 3), the medium roasting gives a full-bodied taste and well-balanced body. Its delicate, golden brown crema crowns to an authentic coffee aroma and pure pleasure, and the Melitta BellaCrema Espresso whole beans (strength 4) which delivers a full body and an intensely aromatic flavour provides a rich aroma which is completed by a fine, caramel coloured crema. Both are available online from available from Amazon and other retailers.

While the innovative aroma plus system helps to preserve the flavour of your beans until they’re ground. It only grinds what’s needed for each coffee requested at that time, and it alerts your mobile phone if the hopper needs topping up. It can also make two coffees at once. There’s even an integrated coffee chute that lets you spoon pre-ground coffee directly into the machine if you ever run out of beans. The Melitta Barista TS Smart bean-to-cup machine will prompt you if the hopper is running low on coffee beans and practical tutorials coach you through cleaning and maintenance programmes when it’s time.

Summary

The Melitta Barista TS Smart bean-to-cup Bluetooth coffee machine really does make barista-style coffee at home, so no more trips to Starbucks or Costa! It really is the best bean to cup coffee machine I’ve encountered, and it doesn’t generate plastic waste like Nespresso machines. It makes excellent coffee and is very versatile. Its default recipes can be modified to suit your own pallet, which means that it is easy to get a great cup every time.

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