(Pocket-lint) - It’ll cost you more than a return trip to a coffee plantation in Columbia, but can the all-singing Star Trek inspiring Siemens deliver a truly memorable macchiato?
With its blue neon LEDs and piano black finish it would be a cold heart that didn’t lust after the EQ.7. Its stunning looks are more top-end tech than kitchen appliance - which is just as well, because at 30cm wide it’s going to take pride of place wherever you put it in the kitchen.
Turn it on and a host of neon blue LEDs light up the machine like it’s the Tate Modern. Sounds cheesy but trust us, it looks fantastic and while it has no bearing on the quality of the coffee, this reviewer doesn’t mind a bit of a show … especially for £1300.
The crisp LCD screen and simple horizontal scrolling menu holds your hand and guides you through set-up. It prompts to fill with water, beans or coffee grounds before automatically rinsing the system and offering a choice of espresso, white coffee, macchiato, cappuccino, hot water, hot milk and your own pre-programmable choice.
For black coffee the dispenser arm stays central, while for milky drinks it cleverly flips 180º to the right so both coffee and milk can be poured into the same cup. Both milk and coffee arms also slide up and down to accommodate different sized cups.
As you’d expect from a top of the range machine the espresso was rich, smooth and came with a luscious crema. The grinder does a fantastic job as we didn’t notice a huge difference between beans and pre-ground coffee … apart from the extra noise.
We’ve tried dozens of milk frothers, and almost all have been fiddly or disappointing. Not so the EQ.7. It comes with a separate insulated milk container (keep it in the fridge until you need it) and two tubes connecting it all together. Choose a cappuccino and the pump will suck up milk, blast with steam, froth, heat and dispense in less than 20 seconds. Fancy a white coffee, then the machine will give you a splash of piping hot milk before filling with espresso and hot water.
There’s always a danger with fully automatic machines that the coffee tastes like it’s straight from a vending machine. Thankfully the EQ.7 produces top notch froth that keeps its shape right to the bottom of the cup and makes the very best of the espresso.
If you’ve not guessed, we love this coffee machine … but it isn’t perfect. We appreciate the automatic cleaning system, but by squirting water through the system every time you use it the drip tray fills up extremely quickly. And it isn’t the easiest thing to remove - you have to take the whole base of the machine out and it’s pretty cumbersome to clean in the sink.
This is effortlessly cool, beautifully made and delivers a first rate cappuccino at the push of a button. No less than we’d hope for £1300!