Knowing which single serve coffee machine to opt for is tricky and a big part of the buying decision is knowing which ecosystem you want to belong to. If you like the Italian Lavazza coffee the Lavazza A Modo Mio ecosystem would suit you. But if you enjoy the flavours of Lavazza coffee and also enjoy speciality hot or cold drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos or flat whites, then the AEG A Modo Mio Favola Cappuccino Coffee Machine could be the authentic Italian experience you're looking for.
Design & Features
The AEG Favola Cappuccino is a mid-sized coffee machine and its squareness and sweeping lines produce a pleasing design. However, the detachable milk frother accessory which inserts into the right hand side of the machine extends the dimensions by nearly 40% in width, which does make it slightly more space-taking on your work surface. The design is mostly well thought out with regard to usability, like the neatness of used capsules dropping into a drawer (max capacity of 12 capsules) within the Favola Cappuccino. This drawer is located on top of a large plastic drip tray which is very necessary as small amounts of water drip from the spout when frothing milk, there is even a float to alert the user when it's getting full. AEG also impress with an adjustable spout and lots of LED lighting. All four of the control buttons illuminate via white and orange LEDs and there are LEDs installed within the cup compartment that shine down upon the cup as it brews. All helpful additions on dim kitchen worktops; plus it looks cool.
How It Works
The AEG Favola Cappuccino takes a respectable 20-30 seconds to heat up from turning on. The 1 litre detachable water tank is located at the back of the machine and does have a plastic top so that debris can't fall into the water. Capsules are inserted into the top of the machine which is revealed by pulling up the stainless steel lever, and when this is pushed down it clamps the capsule in place to be brewed. This design is easy to use, but if you have the AEG Favola Cappuccino under a kitchen worktop the lever may need to be pulled up higher than space can accommodate. The length of time it takes to brew is acceptable, around 15-20 seconds for an espresso. We've seen quicker coffee machines, but as we can walk away from this one and let it finish whatever we've instructed it to do, unlike the AEG Éspria, which required baby sitting.
Many single serve coffee machines just sport the one button, but none of the four buttons here are redundant. The two on the left control the output of coffee and, by default out of the box, one outputs espresso and the other a long espresso. However, if you're like us and the long espresso setting is not needed, you can change the button setting to brew an americano instead. This is possible because the buttons can be re-programmed, which is achieved by holding them down, initiating the brewing process and only letting go the button when the desired amount of drink is achieved, this setting is then conveniently saved onto the corresponding button. The two buttons on the right of the spout control the milk frothing, one for cappuccinos and one for lattes. And if you hold down on either for a few seconds it won't heat the milk and will just froth it. Brilliant for milkshakes and iced coffee drinks.
Quality & Value
The quality of the espresso produced from the 15 bars of pressure is sensational, with a good near 1cm of crema every time. The milk frother takes the task of frothing and heating milk on its own, without you needing to do anything other than fill it with milk. This level of automation makes the experience highly consistent, but most importantly the combination of a motorised whisk and steam wand, serves its purpose prestigiously, with the milk achieving a creamy body with lots of foam. AEG include a large selection of Lavazza capsules to sample with the machine.
We can honestly say that if you are a fan of Italian coffee you'll definitely find many blends from Lavazza you'll enjoy. Our favourite is the Lavazza Dolcemente Caffè Crema. It's smooth and well rounded, with notes of sweet nectar and a fruity undertone - it's a perfectly matched espresso base for a cappuccino or latte, that keeps its flavours intact and bold even following dilution from the frothed milk. The Intensamente is our second favourite offering from Lavazza; if we felt like a bold kick, we'd opt for this delicately intense blend with spicy undertones. The price for each Lavazza A Modo Mio capsule works out at about 24p, so is a significant saving from going to a coffee shop. This is roughly the same cost per capsule as the Tassimo varieties, but many online multi-buy deals for A Modo Mio capsules pop up from time to time making them substantially cheaper.
In relation to speciality drinks, they do require a touch more 'hands-on' as opposed to coffee machines which take UHT milk capsules. We do prefer the taste of real milk and it actually gives the experience of using this machine a kind of charm. The novel enjoyment of tapping the milk jar onto a hard surface to remove bubbles - then pouring the milk and gradually seeing your drink come to life can be very enjoyable.
What the AEG Favola Cappuccino coffee machine enables is variety without compromising quality. First and foremost the espresso this machine dispenses is sensational, but the fact is that the automatic milk frother does a tremendous job too. The combination of the two delivers authentic Italian styled barista quality based speciality drinks in hot or cold forms. And, let's face it, if you're a regular at coffee shops, this could be a friendly addition to your wallet too over the long haul.