Lavazza Deséa – black or milk capsule coffee maker with extras (review)

The Lavazza Deséa is the next step up from the Lavazza Jolie and Milk specially designed for Espresso and milk coffees. It is the mark of a great machine when it can make an excellent coffee using standard settings out of the box.

The next step up means it has a little more intelligence (five milk-based recipes or four different coffee doses) and options via a touch button interface. It still uses the Lavazza A Modo Mio capsule system, but milk is steamed and frothed by a magnetic stirrer in a glass mixing mug.

Lavazza Deséa – intelligent capsule coffee maker

Lavazza WebsiteLavazza site and Product page
Price$299 (black or cream) on special 8/11/21 for $259
FromAll good CE retailers
WarrantyOne year ACL
Country of manufacturePoland
CompanyEst 1895 in Turin in 1895 by Luigi Lavazza. Initially run from a small grocery store at Via San Tommaso, today it is run by the third and fourth generations of the Lavazza family.
MoreCybershack Guide How to make good coffee at home  

First impression – a little overwhelming, but read the instructions

It is not the most elegant, with a significant proboscis  (nose) housing the touch buttons. You have to wonder how it makes milk from the glass mug. Well, it is streamed and frothed in the glass mug.

Given you will use it a few times daily, it is 280 (H) x 380 (D) x 145 (W) x 4.5kg, so it sits neatly on the bench. The water reservoir is at the back so leave a little room to remove and refill it. At the top is a large chrome tongue-like lever that you lift to insert a Pod – you need to have about 45mm height to do that.

At the front is an adjustable drip tray for two cup-heights. The lower setting accommodates the milk mixing cup and standard cups, and the top setting is for very small cups. The tray does not hold much wastewater (it does not need to with the milk cup).

Let’s start with Espresso – excellent

Here you use an appropriately-sized standard coffee cup.

The left side has four touch buttons for single (30ml), double (60ml), long black (approx. 100ml) and free dose (press to start/stop). Given that you are using the same capsule, the single dose is best for Espresso or milk coffee – the double tends to make it a bit watery. You can also program dose sizes. If you want a double dose, consecutively use two pods.

Now milk coffee – far better than a servo coffee

The right side has four touch buttons for Cappuccino (standard), Cappuccino (large), Milk Macchiato (more like a Café au Lait) and hot/cold frothed milk. It heats milk to about 65° using steam – quite different from Jolie and Milk induction heating.

In the centre are power (from sleep), temperature boost and froth control. You use the glass mixing mug for this, and once done, optionally pour it into a coffee cup. It steam heats and froths the milk first, then releases a shot of coffee into the mug. It is quiet at about 45dB.

The Milk Macchiato and low froth settings are the go if you like a large flat white. We tested with full cream milk, skinny milk, lactose-free, Almond, Oat, Soy and more – all are fine but best if the milk is straight from the fridge.

Make sure you only fill the milk to the cup size you need. Once it has been steam heated and frothed, it should go not back in the fridge. It has three marking levels – cappuccino, large cappuccino, and Latte Macchiato/frothed milk.

Coffee Pods

Lavazza Coffee has been around since 1895. Although the range is a lot narrower than the much copied Nestle style Pod, it makes excellent coffee. Interestingly, Lavazza uses 7.5g doses versus 4g in other brand pods. It guarantees that the Pod contains just ground coffee – no fillers, fats (for flavour), extenders and sodium. It also ensures consistency of the Pod. If it cannot, then it will introduce a newly named style.

It comes with a nine-pod variety starter pack to determine what suits you. We started making 60ml extractions, but the coffee was weak and watery. Use a 30ml single shot to make a far better cup. I suspect that the 10-bar water pressure gets almost everything out of the Pod on the first extraction, and Crema on top is excellent.

For milk coffee, we suggest 10+ intensity coffees. For Espresso (black), you can go to a lower intensity to avoid any potential bitterness. There are Decaf pods that make pretty good black coffee.

Interestingly, we settled on Passionale (11/13) for daytime and a Dek Cremoso Decaf (7/13) for the night. Although when I want a strong shot, I go for the Cream E Gusto 12/13.

Now a hint. These usually sell for about $11 for 16 pods – 69 cents each. Both Coles and Woolworths have specials, and you will find them up to half-price at least every other month. So, after you find the one you like, wait for the specials and buy up big.

Maintenance

  • Descale light glows when its time
  • Low water reservoir warning
  • Empty used Pods

The glass mug and stirrer are dishwasher safe but remember to clean after use – at least under hot water as steam dilutes the milk.

Cybershack view – Lavazza Deséa – capsule coffee maker makes a great black or milk coffee

Our primary test for capsule machines is how easy is it to make good coffee. After all, it is pretty hard to stuff up a capsule machine coffee.

But you can – the wrong Pod/coffee type, using double water for a single pod, and with milk either too much or too little froth – and let’s not go down the ideal temperature path.

The Lavazza Deséa is initially a little daunting with all the buttons, but any half-intelligent person can master it – the first coffee was excellent.

There are more tutorials on the site

$299 (on special $259)
8.7

Features

9.0/10

Value

9.5/10

Performance

9.0/10

Ease of use

8.5/10

Design

7.7/10

Pros

  • Stylish with a prominent proboscis
  • Low maintenance – occasional descale
  • Excellent Lavazza Pod coffee choices
  • Compact size
  • Vastly better than a servo $1 cup!

Cons

  • Pods are expensive so wait for the supermarket specials


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