Dr Coffee F11 Review
Jack Simpson brings us this Dr Coffee F11 review and examines whether it’s well suited to your commercial setup or even your home. Find out below…
I hope I am not giving anything away when I say that the Dr Coffee F11 coffee machine is a serious piece of kit.
You would probably be expecting that, given the price. Any machine that boasts a quadruple-figure price tag brings with it a certain amount of expectation. This is a premium coffee machine, which promises “flawlessly brewed, exquisitely rich drinks of the perfect texture day in and day out”. But does it live up to that high billing?
First of all, who (or what) is Dr Coffee? Well, they are a company that was bound to appear sooner or later – a Chinese entrant into the European-dominated coffee market. They were founded in 2016 by Wang Yanfei, and initially targeted the commercial market, selling to hotels and offices, but now their products are available around the world to a domestic market.
In a market with so many traditional companies, it is exciting to see a new business looking to shake things up a bit, so I jumped at the chance of reviewing the Dr Coffee F11 “Big Plus”. A bean-to-cup coffee machine that is designed for commercial premises, but available to have in your home.
In this review, we will be first looking at the specifications and features of the Dr Coffee F11 to see what it promises, before then putting it to the test by walking you through what it is like to use it to make coffee. Then we will conduct our all-important taste test, before delivering our final verdict.
With its huge price tag there are high expectations for this machine – will it live up to them? Let’s find out.
Dr Coffee F11 Specs And Features
Before we get into what the Dr Coffee F11 can do, let’s take a moment to consider what it looks like.
Well, you don’t get the name “Big Plus” by being a dainty little unit… The F11 measures a whopping 41cm x 50cm x 58cm (width, depth, height) and weighs 17kg. This is a machine that will dominate your countertop, so we would advise that you make sure you have the space before you purchase it.
It is a nice looking machine – obviously it looks very sturdy, something this large and heavy was always going to, but there is a subtle elegance to it as well. The chrome finish to the main section of the unit is stylish, and the angular shape to the entire unit seems to exude confidence. This is a machine that will get the job done.
The water tank is huge – comfortably the biggest that I have seen on a bean-to-cup coffee machine – with a capacity of 8 litres. You will get plenty of coffee out of this machine before you need to think about filling it up again.
That goes for the coffee too – with a 1kg coffee bean tank, you will be able to make coffee after coffee after filling it up once. You can also load pre-ground coffee directly into the machine if you would prefer – around 70 servings worth.
Just below the coffee bean tank is the grinder – a ceramic burr grinder that will grind the coffee beans down to a uniform size. Burr grinders are always the best grinders you can get for a consistent grind. There are 9 different grind-size options, so you can get the exact sized grounds to fit your drink.
The brewing system within the F11 is fitted with two separate heating elements. This is critical to producing drinks quickly, as it can be heating the water to brew the coffee, at the same time as it heats and froths your milk. It can then add both elements to your cup at the same time, rather than having to complete one process before starting the next. This is vital if you have a number of people wanting drinks at the same time.
The brewing system is incredibly versatile, able to switch between low and high pressure brewing – high for drinks like espresso, low for longer coffees.
It also helps to open up the range of drinks that the machine can produce, which totals a whopping 24 – a huge amount for one machine. These are all accessible at the touch of a button – the 7.1 inch colour touch screen panel displays all of the available drinks – all you have to do is scroll through and select the one that you want. There is even the option to display adverts if you plan to use this machine in a commercial setting, or even link it to a paying system if you would like to take payments directly.
Another attribute that contributes towards this fantastic selection of drinks is the dosing range – from 7 to 16 grams. This means that, not only can it make many different coffees, but it can also alter the strength of your drink and make a strong coffee really strong.
The milk system is incredibly versatile too. From light microfoam to dense, creamy foam, the Dr Coffee F11 can do it all. Everything is pre-programmed into the machine, so it will automatically create the ideal milk for whichever drink you are making. The temperature is adjustable, so you can get your drinks exactly how you like them.
In terms of cleaning, you don’t really have anything to worry about here – the milk system has an in-built rinsing function which you can activate at the touch of a button. The rest of the system can also be cleaned like this, and for the outside of the machine, a quick wipe down with a cloth is all you’ll need. There is even a descaling programme that you can activate using the main user interface.
Using The Dr Coffee F11
You will have noticed something from the description of the specifications and features; everything about the design of the Dr Coffee F11 is geared towards one thing – ease of use. That’s the aim at least – let’s now take a look to see if it lives up to those expectations.
The best way to convey what it is like to use the F11 is to walk you through the process of making a drink, step-by-step. Let’s go for a latte to make use of all of the features.
First you will need to make sure that the water tank has enough water in it. As we mentioned earlier, the water tank has a huge capacity, so as such it is a little cumbersome to move and refill. The good news, though, is that you don’t need to do this very often as once it is full it lasts a long time.
Next up, you’ll need coffee. The coffee bean tank, which is again huge, is airtight. This is absolutely essential to good coffee as it ensures that the coffee is kept fresh before it is used. As such, you may as well fill it up to the maximum capacity every time you refill, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be compromising on the quality of your coffee.
Once that is done, you can place your coffee under the spout at the front of the machine, on top of the drip tray. The spout itself is adjustable, up to 16cm, so you can move it up and down to fit the height of your cup, reducing the possibility of spillage or splashing.
Next, you will need to select your drink of choice. There are 24 to choose from, so deciding which one you fancy is probably the most difficult part of the entire process! In order to select the drink, you need to scroll through the menu using the touch screen display. It is very simple and intuitive to use. When you come across your drink, simply press the icon.
The machine will then kick into life, first dispensing the correct dose, then grinding and brewing. For our latte, the milk system will begin to work – heating and frothing the milk to the required standard.
When this is done, the two components will be dispensed into our cup to create a beautiful latte. All that is left for us to do is to take our drink and enjoy!
Once you are up and running, and you know the coffee and the water tanks are sufficiently full, all that this process entails is: put your cup down and press the correct button. It really is that simple.
Dr Coffee F11 Taste Test
Now that we have established just how easy it is to use the Dr Coffee F11, we need to ascertain whether it makes good coffee. You don’t spend this much money on a machine only to have a substandard drink at the end of it, do you?
Well, I have some good news for you. This machine produces really great coffee – it is one of the best fully automatic coffee machines that I have ever used. The coffee is brewed to perfection – giving a lovely crema on espressos and smooth, rich tasting longer coffees. The milk is done really well as well, getting the right balance of density and temperature no matter what drink you select.
The range of drinks is what really separates this machine from much of the competition – the pre-programmed selection is vast, so you can cater for so many different tastes. The quality and range is so much better than you might expect from an automatic machine.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Dr Coffee F11. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect, having not had any experience of this company before, but I will admit to being a little wary of an automatic machine – they can often produce drinks that are a bit metallic tasting, losing the freshness that makes coffee great.
That is not the case here though – the quality, and the range of drinks, is really good.
This all comes at a price, of course. A price that will put off many people that are looking for a domestic coffee machine. This has been designed for commercial use, and it is priced as such – an investment, rather than an appliance.
If it fits your budget, though, and you are after a fully automatic coffee machine that offers a huge selection of drinks without compromising on quality, then this could be the machine for you. I am struggling to come up with too many reasons why you wouldn’t want this, if you could afford it and have the space for it.
For an office or other business, it is a great option to show your employees, as well as prospective clients and customers, that quality matters to you. If you’re going to do things, you’re going to do them well. That’s exactly the mindset that the Dr Coffee F11 represents. Second best simply won’t do.