Lavazza Modo Mio Espressgo review
How much do you love coffee? How long can you go without needing another hit of espresso? If the answer isn't very long at all and you're on the road a lot then the Lavazza Modo Mio Espressgo might just be the ticket: it's an espresso coffee machine designed specifically for the car.
Given how quickly all those service station stops can add up, the Espressgo's £120 cover price and the fact it uses those proper Lavazza capsules sounds appealing. But do you really need it? We went for a drive to find out.
In the car
Designed to fit in a standard cup holder - the kind normally found by the gear stick in your car - the tall and cylindrical Espressgo houses a powerful pressurised coffee machine inside.
The design, although fairly cluttered to look at, is incredibly simple. The power cable that plugs into your car's cigarette lighter conveniently wraps itself around the bottom half of the shaft, while the top part of this coffee-lover's gadget houses a power button, pouring switch, pressure gauge and the cap to remove to fill the device with water and load it with coffee.
In keeping with most car interiors, the Espressgo is matte black with a small white coffee cup that sits on the top of device. Simple, but effective.
Unscrew the cap and you reveal a water reservoir enough for a Lungo cup of coffee (around double that of a normal espresso, which is fitting for the cup size) and a shelf to place a standard Lavazza Modo Mio coffee capsule.
Lavazza offers 10 different kinds of capsules, providing plenty of choice when it comes to your favourite brew. Having it as a capsule saves you spilling freshly ground coffee all over your car in a random lay-by on the A34.
However, the capsules are a lot more expensive than instant coffee, at around £3.89 for 16. That makes it approximately 24p per cup on the go, but that's a far cry better than the £2.40 you'll pay in the service station.
It also means that if you have a Modo Mio coffee machine in your house already, you can use the same capsules. Winner.
Making the coffee is very easy and takes about three minutes from inception to completion. Load the machine with water - which is something to think about, as you'll need to carry a bottle around - place the capsule in the right spot, plug the Espressgo into your car and wait.
The pressure builds until the machine beeps three times which is your cue to unplug it and then turn it upside down. So you don't accidentally cover yourself in coffee, the machine is designed to not release the hot coffee until you've completely turned the machine upside down, and unless you know this (we didn't even after skimming the instructions) you'll be certain that you've broken it.
Once you do work it out the coffee pours out at a gentle pace and you are good to enjoy what the machine has made. Just remember to turn the machine upside down.
Now taste. Ah yes, full marks here, as the Espressgo makes a lovely cup of coffee with a good crema and strong taste. It's much like what you'd get if you had made it from one of the company's kitchen worktop coffee machines.
However if you've got a car full of people then the limited size is only suited to one cup at a time. Any more and your passengers will be waiting around for a few minutes.
But cleaning the Espressgo is easy: a rinse on the roadside will do the trick, or a more thorough clean in the kitchen sink will see it look spick and span once again.
The controls can be fiddly to start with and the poor instructions don't make your life much easier, but once you crack it the Espressgo is logical to use and makes a cracking cup of espresso.
We like the cleanliness of using the capsules and the expense is far less than you'd have to fork out at a service station per cup. The quality is most likely better than anywhere you'd stop off too - unless you know of some award-winning road side baristas that we don't.
The Espressgo's size is limited to one cup per capsule, so it's best suited to the solo traveller, and if you like a taller cup of coffee, such as an Americano, then it's best to look elsewhere.
All that said, if you like your strong coffee, are on the road a lot, and are fed up with the poor cups you'll find in service stations or cafes, then the Espressgo is almost certainly going to be the best gadget you've ever bought.