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17 May 2019

Lavazza Desea: the coffee machine that froths milk straight into your mug

Lavazza's new compact all-in-one coffee machine does away with a separate frother, but will it make for a seamless brewing experience?

Unlike many rival pod machines, the Desea - which works with Lavazza coffee capsules - has a built-in milk frothing cup for one-touch coffee brewing.

If you enjoy the convenience of capsules but don't fancy faffing around with a separate milk frother to make your morning latte, this Lavazza machine could be a good fit.

At £200, it's towards the pricey end of the spectrum for a capsule coffee machine, but it could be worth it if it creates velvety foam without fuss.

Find out if it's one to get in a froth about in our Lavazza Desea first look review.

Lavazza Desea: what's exciting about it?

Pod coffee machines tend to be simple to use, with minimal controls, which is part of their appeal. However, this can limit the range of coffees you can make.

In recent years we've seen more models with extra functionality, allowing you to customise your drink to suit your tastes. The Lavazza continues this trend, with options to up the frothiness of your drink, and make it hotter too.

Built-in automatic milk frothing

The Desea has a built-in whisk that froths milk in the slide-in glass jug, and then dispenses coffee straight into it. It looks good, and Lavazza thinks it makes a stylish mug too, although its large size might make you feel rather hobbit-like.

Other coffee machines with automatic frothing tend to have a small milk carafe that sits on the side of the machine. Milk is then sucked into the machine and dispensed into your cup as froth. This can lead to milk wastage if you judge your quantities wrong, and it's one more container to clean too.

Some machines come with a standalone frothing accessory, although this means you have to take the extra step of frothing your milk and adding it to your coffee. Others, such as Dolce Gusto coffee machines, use milk pods instead.

You can see how other capsule machines with automatic frothing fare in our independent tests by checking our coffee machine reviews.

Pre-programmed drink options

Lavazza doesn't want you tapping frantically at the Desea for too long if you're parched, so you'll find a selection of pre-set drink sizes and options on the control panel.

You can pick between three different types of black coffee (espresso, short espresso and long coffee) and five milky options (cappuccino, large cappuccino, latte macchiato, hot milk froth and cold milk froth).

This isn't groundbreaking, although there is a good range of options to choose from.

Custom dose, froth and temperature settings

If you want to fine-tune your drink to your favourite mug size, you can save custom drink lengths on the Desea (although only for black coffees).

The Desea allows you to adjust the temperature of your drink and increase the frothiness level. It's quite a common feature, but it's handy if you like an extra-foamy cappuccino.

Other machines with similar features include the Nespresso Expert and Creatista models.

For more advice on choosing between the different capsule machine brands, see our full guide to capsule coffee machines.

Nespresso Lattissima Touch review - see how Nespresso's auto milk-frothing machine fared in our tests

Choosing the right coffee machine for you

Pod coffee machines are very popular. Although they're often cheap upfront, they can cost more in the long run as the coffee pods are pricier than using beans or ground coffee.

  • Ground coffee machines - use fine-ground coffee to make your drink, which you'll need to measure out first. There's a wide variety of ground coffee machines available at a range of different price points. They can take a bit of practice, but you'll have ultimate control over your drink.
  • Bean-to-cup coffee machines - these coffee machines might turn your head if you're looking to make the freshest espresso possible. Bean-to-cup coffee machines grind coffee beans from scratch for each drink, and usually take care of the rest too, but they can be very expensive.

For help choosing the right machine for you, and features to look for, head to our full coffee machines buying guide.

Discover the exceptional machines that make the tastiest coffees in our round-up of the best coffee machines, based on our independent tests.