Thursday, June 06, 2013

Lavazza A Modo Mio at Melbourne International Coffee Expo

There are a number of things that I like the smell of, but don’t want to taste. Firecrackers, roasting woodchips, Krispy Kreme donuts and coffee. All these things smell so intoxicating, and until recently, I wouldn’t want to taste any of them. However, I can now strike coffee off that list. I’m a tea drinker, but for the past year, I’ve slowly been getting into coffee. Previously I used to drink coffee very rarely, maybe after a dinner or at breakfast in a cafĂ©. Now, I’ve become a 3-4 cups a week drinker of coffee. Whereas I used to find the taste of coffee very bitter and unpleasant, I now find coffee to be smooth and full of flavour. This was the same with chocolate. Once upon a time I was a Cadbury’s milk chocolate eater. There’s nothing wrong with milk chocolate but nowadays I find it rather awful and won’t touch it. My taste buds have migrated to dark chocolates, with their smooth, buttery texture and wonderful flavour profiles. I’m currently sitting at about 70% cocoa solid chocolates and still find the 80-90% chocolate too bitter for my liking but I’m experimenting. With my coffee intake, I still favour single shots with milk in it, no sugar, so I still get the flavour but in a weaker hit. Having been deciding whether to buy a coffee machine (a Nespresso), it was fortunate that I was invited to the Lavazza A Modo Mio class at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo, as I got to learn about how to use the machine properly, and take one home to use. How lucky is that.

At the Lavazza A Modo Mio class, I learnt that A Modo Mio means “My Way”, which instantly made me think of Frank Sinatra of course. Or if you’re a youngster, you might think of Usher. However, in this case, the “My Way” refers to how you want your coffee. The Lavazza capsule coffee machines are called A Modo Mio because of the flexibility of how you can enjoy your coffee. The machines come in many forms, but their basic premise is they take a coffee capsule and do the rest of the work to give you a perfect cup of coffee every time. There are 8 coffee blends, made using Arabica and Robusta beans in different combinations and roasting methods. I cannot remember any of the names as they’re rather long and complicated. Instead I just use the colours as a guide. I like the light brown one, which is a medium flavoured blend, and the purple one, which is really smooth.

To use the machine, it’s as simple as putting a capsule into the machine and pressing a button. You then wait 30 seconds or so and out comes this rich, fragrant espresso coffee. I was pleasantly surprised how nice the coffee is. Of course it won’t taste like something that comes out of a $50,000 machine made by a barista, but for something so convenient and relatively inexpensive, it’s a good result that I’m very happy with. The machine I got also has this automatic milk frother. You just put the milk into the jug and it does the steaming and stirring all for you. Then, you pour the milk for either a latte or cappuccino into your espresso or espresso lungo (a more diluted espresso). The maintenance of the machine is really simple. You need to occasionally clean out the water jug, and if the coffee dispensing or milk frother tips get clogged, just clean them out with hot water. Every few days when the drip tray fills up, you just tip it all out into the sink.

Price wise, I believe the machines are about $200-$300 and the capsules work out to be between 50 cents to 80 cents depending on the flavour. I was informed that there’s 7.5 grams of coffee in each capsule, which according to Google is 0.5 grams more than the European Standards for defining a cup of coffee. The capsules themselves contain a quadruple layer of foil so aren’t that easy to accidentally rip. When you put it into the machine, it punctures 16 holes in the capsule, which allows the water to flow through. These capsules are unique to the machine and you can’t use another brand.

Here’s a video showing how you make a cup of coffee. It really is this easy as I have timed myself and in under 5 minutes I have a cup of cappuccino ready while my soft boiled eggs are cooking in my Aldi egg cooker.

Overall, I really love the Lavazza A Modo Mio machine. It’s really easy to use and produces a quality of coffee that I’m happy with. I think if you’re a hardcore coffee drinker, this is not for you. You probably won’t be considering this anyway. Otherwise if you’re a general coffee lover or new to coffee like me, this machine is perfect. Obviously, there will be obvious comparisons to the Nespresso machines. As I’ve never used a Nespresso before, I can’t do a direct comparison, but I’m sure they’re just as easy to use and also produce a good result. It’s just down to you trying them out and seeing which one you like more. While the Lavazza machine may not be the original, it doesn’t mean that it will be inferior. In fact, the engineers have probably seen some of the issues and corrected them. Look how Apple were the innovators, but nowadays Samsung has possibly superseded them in the smart phone stakes. As long as your product makes the experience easier for the user, that is what matters. So while Nespresso has George Clooney, Lavazza does have 110 years of coffee experience behind them. It makes for more choice for the consumer, which is a good thing. I’ll drink to that…my A Modo Mio cappuccino.

I attended the Lavazza coffee class and received a Lavazza A Modo Mio machine courtesy of Lavazza.


  1. I am not a coffee drinker and find it quite fascinating how much people are addicted to coffee in Melbourne. Tea all the way for me :)

  2. Great post! I love the technical and detailed approach you took the reviewing the machine, including how to use/clean it and how to fit it into your daily breakfast routine. :)

    I have a Nespresso machine at home, and as you say, I imagine the Lavazza A Modo Mio machine would be quite similar. I find it's a good machine for a quick coffee at home :)

  3. Great post - I especially love the fact that this machine has a milk frother. Time to start my research on purchasing one!

  4. Apart from providing coffee machines and coffee pods, they also provide accessories like coffee brewers, paper goods, snacks, janitorial supplies, etc.