Granted, this may not be the best froth-topped cappuccino you’ve ever seen, but considering it’s the first one I’ve ever made, I’m pretty damn chipper about the whole damn thing.

I spent a long time deciding which coffee machine to buy my mother for Christmas. We’ve been through quite a few chez Wilkins over the years. There have been Turkish coffee pots, which left everyone spitting out grounds, and filter machines – which always seemed to be running out of filters, and percolators, and a Gaggia which only my father could work so it went with him in the divorce, more cafetieres/French presses than you could shake a stick at, and a wretched giant new De Longhi we can’t get to work properly.

So, because I knew lil’sis & I would get no peace until we had sorted the vexed coffee-making problem, I asked Twitter what I should buy a technophobe coffee lover for her daily cup. Unable to buy a Starbucks franchise for her small village (thanks guys, very helpful suggestion),  I reckon 85% of people suggested a Nespresso machine.

Because my mother does not relish a fait accompli, I met her at Selfridges a fortnight ago at their Nespresso boutique so she could taste the coffee, see how the machine worked &, hopefully, choose her capsules.

And hurrah! She approved. I wasn’t surprised: the coffee IS good, and the machine is a doddle. You simply turn it on, press a button, wait for a light to stop flashing,  insert a pre-filled and sealed coffee capsule, pull a lever, put a cup under the nozzle and press the button. That is all. Coffee!

Whilst my eye was first caught by the Citiz machines that come with an integrated milk frother, (and are cheaper too) we decided that my mother might have problems gripped the wide ridged barrel of the milk frother, as it has no handle. So I went for a simple coffee only machine, and a separate Aeroccino machine.

It is so ludicrously simple for frothing milk that even my mother can use it. You simply fill it with milk to a clearly defined mark on the inside of the jug, pop on the lid, press a button once until it goes red for hot froth, and for a few seconds moreuntil it turns blue for cold froth for iced coffee. Comprehensively idiot-proof.

My only gripe? Selfridges seem to have forgotten to pack George Clooney in my  Nespresso bag.

Nespresso CitiZ by Magimix M190, Retro White £147.00
Aeroccino £79.00

The capsules work out at about 29p each. I did the math, and it works out favourably with buying and grinding beans yourself.

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Thank you for this update-my husband has been dropping hints like a lead balloon and since he bought me a Weston scarf for Christmas I will be buying him a Nespresso for our anniversary at te end of January! Ssshhhh just don’t let on to the fact that I actually listen to him when he talks gadgets! Appreciated. R x


Ha, ha! I hope Selfridges gave you a reduction for forgetting to pack George Clooney! Seriously, it looks great. Have a good New Year. x


I agree that Nespresso machines are simple to use and make okish coffee … but I really hate to think about all those plastic pods (hundreds a year just from one household) that will be going into landfill. What’s wrong with delicious beans chosen from a local deli and taken home in a brown paper bag? Supports local shops and saves the environment.


@Jane B: The packaging issue was my first thought too.




I am not a coffee drinker myself but this seems a very valid concern so I looked into it. This is what I learnt:

The nespresso capsules are made from 80 – 90% recycled aluminium. They can then be recycled themselves.

I think that goes some way to allaying concerns about mountains of little plastic capsules….


wow that looks really nice.


I bought one of those kitch retro looking “FrancesFrances!” machines about ten years ago for my Hubby’s 40th and its still going strong. Never had any probs with it.
I have to de-scale reg as I live in hard water area but apart from that it been fab.
Enjoy your coffee!
And Happy New Year too BTW


Thanks for the post – helped me decide that it’s worth buying a nespresso – even if I don’t get George Clooney!

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