Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Review
Our Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie review is in… see what our editor Jack Simpson thought of this classic coffee machine.
Italian coffee giants Lavazza are not ones for resting on their laurels. Having been established in Turin in 1895, they have kept themselves at the forefront of the industry with their innovation and creativity – from that small family business, they now employ 3,800 people and have revenues of over $2 billion, but are still run by the same family.
It was somewhat surprising, therefore, that the pod coffee revolution seemed to take place without them. This has been the biggest change in the way we make coffee in our homes, and yet, their forays into the market have always felt a bit half-hearted – leaving it to Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, and Tassimo.
We should have known that their backseat in this market wasn’t going to last. While they have been making machines for a while now, it seems that they are really committing to that side of the business, with new products being released. Today we are going to look at a classic – the Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie.
Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie Specifications
Okay, let’s get into it. Before we look at what it can do, let’s just take a moment to consider the aesthetics of it. It has a really crisp, clean feel of understated elegance. I love the smooth curves around the top of the machine, and the chrome handle really stands out against the solid black. It’s a great looking coffee maker that would look at home in almost any kitchen.
In terms of its size, it measures 36cm x 25cm x 25cm, which may seem a little large, but the additional milk frother on the back/side of the coffee maker gives the dimensions a slightly misleading figure. In reality, there is still plenty of space within those dimensions – you could store the pods or cups there so you have everything you need in one place. I’m confident that it will fit onto your worktop without making the area look too cluttered – this is smaller than you think it is!
As such, the water tank only has capacity for 0.6 litres, which is quite small, even for a pod coffee machine. However, it is not really a problem, as the tank is really easy to remove in order to fill up, or you can even just take off the lid and pour water in if you can reach around to the back (this will depend on where you have placed it). I found this to be the easiest way, and had a little jug on hand to use to fill it up.
There are two buttons on the top of the machine, one for espresso and one for lungo. These also act as the ‘on’ switch, which you’ll need to press to wake up the machine to give it a chance to heat up.
Then, there’s the integrated ‘MilkEasy’ milk frother. There are three different settings – hot milk, hot frothed milk and cold frothed milk, all controlled by one button (the different settings are triggered depending on how long you hold the button down for). It can froth up to 180ml of milk. The frothing is done by a small magnetic whisk which clips on to the bottom of the cylinder – if you want the milk heated and not frothed, you can simply remove the whisk.
To clean this machine, you can simply remove most of the parts, which are all dishwasher safe. This includes the pod collection compartment, the drip tray, the water tank, and the milk frother’s lid and whisk. The frother itself is non-stick, so easily rinsed and wiped.
What It’s Like To Use The Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie
I mentioned at the start of this article that Lavazza’s forays into the pod coffee market have always been dwarfed by the success of Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, and Tassimo. Well, when I used this machine I couldn’t help but notice the similarity between the user experience from one of these coffee pod behemoths – it is very similar to a Nespresso machine. In case you have never used a Nespresso machine before, I’ll walk you through the process of making a coffee with the Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie.
First of all, press one of the buttons on the top of the machine to turn the machine on. It will begin heating up, which takes around 35 seconds. In the meantime, you’ll need to make sure that there is enough water in the tank to make your coffee. As I mentioned above, I found it easiest to pour water directly into the tank by taking off the lid and using a jug of water, while leaving the tank in situ.
Next, you load the pod. This is done by raising the chrome lever, which will open up the pod compartment. Then you simply place the pod into the holder, and lower the lever again. The machine is then fully loaded and ready to go.
Now, you will need to select what size drink you want to make by pressing one of the buttons on the top of the machine – the small one for an espresso, the larger one for a lungo. It is strongly recommended that you follow the guidelines that are on the pods themselves – the flavour and amount of coffee will have been carefully chosen to suit the size of the drink (i.e. the amount of water it is made with), so you will get a better tasting coffee if you follow the instructions.
Your coffee is being made now, but if you are having frothed milk with it, now is the time to get that ready. Simply pour the required amount of milk into the frother, pop the lid on and press the button. If you prefer cold milk, you should hold the button down for 3 seconds, and if you don’t want the milk frothed at all, just take out the magnetic whisk.
Ideally, your milk and your coffee will be ready at the same time (it won’t take you very long at all to perfect the timing for this), so now all you need to do is add the milk and the coffee together to make your drink. Having the two made separately gives you some scope to try out your coffee art, which is worth persevering with if you really want to add that WOW factor to your coffee!
Those of you that have experienced a Nespresso machine will surely be nodding in agreement with me by now – the two are very similar in terms of operation. If you have ever used a Nespresso machine before, I would think that you are already trained to use this machine!
One of the big appeals of a pod coffee machine is the uniform nature of the results. Pod in, press a button, drink comes out. There is very little that can go wrong, and therefore there’s very little variation in the taste. The general rule for this type of machine is, the better the pod, the better the drink.
This is where Lavazza really focus their attention – making great coffee. Their Modo Mio range produces fantastic coffees, arguably the best on the market. You get a fantastic crema from the espresso, and a wonderfully strong and smooth lungo. With the milk frother, you can make some fantastic ‘milky’ coffees, like lattes and cappuccinos, all with fresh milk, and frothed the same every time. I will note here that you can also buy milk pods from which you can make these coffees, but I really would recommend using the frother for the best possible taste.
In terms of the pods themselves, Lavazza don’t have the exclusive rights to produce them so you can pick up pods from other manufacturers that are compatible with their Modo Mio range. As with most machines, I wholeheartedly encourage experimentation with different types of pod, but I do so with a word of caution: as we’ve mentioned, the Lavazza machines haven’t yet hit the popularity of some of the other options, so there are far fewer options of these ‘other’ pods, and some from companies that I haven’t heard of before! The good news is, though, that the official pods are really great.
This is a machine that is befitting of the Lavazza name, it really is. It is, of course, helped by the high quality pods that they produce to go with it to make really delicious coffee at the touch of a button.
The milk frother is a great addition to the earlier models and is, again, so easy to use to create fantastic results. If you are a trained barista, you may find that you don’t have as much control over your milk as you might like, but for the rest of us, it is such a treat to be able to make these shop-quality drinks in our own homes.
The main drawback for this machine is the slightly limited selection of pods that are available for it. There is some real quality there, but not the range that you might get for some of the other machines in terms of taste and price. That shouldn’t put you off, though, as I’m certain you’ll be able to make your favourite coffees with the pods that are available.
All in all, this is a great machine, with which you can easily make a whole host of fantastic coffees and at a very competitive price considering its features. I have a feeling that Lavazza are going to make a big impression on this particular section of the coffee industry over the next few years, so this is a great way to get onboard now!