Would you believe that up until very recently, I was extremely hesitant to suggest this very normal query to house guests? Any person that has visited my home for several decades now, has been politely coerced into sharing a cup of tea instead, (or hot chocolate) and with good reason:
My confession: I am a tea drinker.
Having been a tea drinker always, (and not even a very good one at that; a herbal one only), I have artfully dodged the embarrassment of not being able to even make a cup of coffee at all - for years.
I have never understood the whole coffee 'thing' or the types and varieties - the entire coffee universe if you will, but mainly, I've just been avoiding the embarrassment of being utterly useless with the whole brew thing.
Believe me when I say, I've wanted to be in the know and desperately! It's a lonely world when you're not a part of such a big social industry. The world truly does revolve around this famous beverage.
Roll back a few months from today and things made a dramatic swing in the opposite direction for me and I happily found myself thrown into the world of coffee drinking in a big way.
I was at a Turkish festival and surrounded by the seduction of belly dancers, live traditional Turkish music and the exciting lure of a special Turkish coffee cup fortune-telling reading beckoned. The music; the spectacle, it all just worked its magic on me and I found myself standing there in the early Spring sunshine, sipping my first cup of delicious, sweet and syrupy coffee in decades - and thoroughly enjoying it!
That very same evening I excitedly ordered myself a fancy bench top Turkish coffee maker from Istanbul online and I have been hooked on a daily dose of coffee ever since.
Finally, I am one of you!
I have always lusted after the divine bench top coffee makers on the market (partly hoping that by owning one I could mask my lack of skill with the beverage), so when I was contacted and asked to feature the very latest DeLonghi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo coffee making machine here, I was thrilled to say the least.
This automated coffee maker, manufactured by reputed appliance company DeLonghi, is a very sexy bright red in colour and space-age in design and she's pretty much more than I could have ever hoped for in terms of simplicity and ease of use. This beautiful appliance has opened up a world of interest in the art of coffee making and a whole host of new flavours which I am still in the process of trying.
The Circolo has a nice lean profile so it won't take up your forever shrinking bench space however the eye-catching colour and design will definitely draw your eye. At any given moment when I glance up at my kitchen, it's the first thing I see and the last thing I eye off as I glance away. It is so very red and interesting! I should mention that it looks pretty wow too when it is switched on as there is an LED light centred over your cup which makes it look flash.
Set up was fairly simple and just a matter of removing it from the box, (it's not too heavy at all), filling the cleverly disguised water tank at the back of the appliance and switching it on. Really, my hardest decision was where to place it on my bench. (So that it would catch the eye of every visitor!)
The Circolo comes with a very comprehensive visual guide which is region-free so you must de-code its illustrated workings from this. As I've never really been one for guides in any format, I jumped straight in and tried it. My tip if you plan on purchasing - go straight to the How to Make a Beverage page for the simplest instructions and while you enjoy your first cup, flip through the rest of the guide at your leisure.
Actually, the box that the Circolo comes in has the simplest instructions of all, presented in short sentences with actual photographs. You can't go wrong having a quick read of this - it's coffee in four basic steps: Dial up your beverage height, pop a capsule in the drawer, close the lever to pierce the capsule and press the hot or cold button to start. Viola!
As a quick run-down lesson, there's a very simple dial system, (a selection wheel) in place on the control panel at the top of the appliance. Depending on your preferred cup size, a simple slip of the central dial adjusts your beverage height. You select whether your beverage should be hot or cold at the press of a button and out comes the coffee.
This took a bit of working out which is laughable now, (it's so simple), but a couple of times I had to rope the coffee-obsessed husband in to remind me why my cup was only half full despite following the guide included on every box the pods come in. Doh!
Just keep dialling up the water until your cup is full - that's all you need to know. There's even an included pod container to catch your used pods on your bench saving you endless trips to the bin.
Our new coffee maker arrived with a fantastic selection of coffee pods to try and so far we've experienced Espresso, Hot Chocolate and Cappuccino. The flavours are as you would expect from the world renown coffee manufacturer, Nescafe - very high quality, smooth and consistent. (How experienced I sound now!) This is the beauty of the pod system really; that guarantee of quality and dependability within each and every cup and the reason why pod coffee makers are such a big industry the world over. We really have our own Barista in our kitchen now and my coffee making efforts have become failsafe because of it.
I made this cup of coffee - so proud!
Cups are an EBay find from London's Piccadilly Market - Set of 8 multi-coloured cups and saucersBeverages such as the Cappuccino pods also come with the milk pods too so it's nice and simple to make a café quality beverage and again, the coffee experience is unwavering.
in a chrome stand just $10 - A perfect match!
in a chrome stand just $10 - A perfect match!
Flavours and varieties within the range include: Chai Tea Latte, Cappuccino and Cappuccino Skinny, Caffe Americano, Espresso Intenso, Ristretto, Decaffeinato, Hot Chocolate, Café Au Lait, Mocha and Latte Macchiato. Iced beverages are also available and include Nestea Peach and Cappuccino Ice.
More information about the Circolo coffee maker and pods can be found on the Nescafe Dolce Gusto website. Pods are available widely and can be found at all major supermarkets nationally. You can also purchase the pods on the website as well as the full range of machines. Pods retail for approximately $8.49 per pack and contain between 8 or 16 serves depending on whether your pods include the milk components.
The Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo Red has a 15 bar pump and auto switch off function and retails for $229. You can purchase at major department stores and appliance retailers Australia wide.
We really love this appliance and the hassle free beverages we are now able to enjoy. It's attractive, simple and great quality. We're on a mission to update our larger coffee mugs now which just don't cut it next to this appliance! My new Circolo machine has finally given me the confidence to ask "Coffee anyone?!"
Are you a tea drinker or a coffee drinker?
Do you own a coffee maker?
Are you secretly scared of preparing unknown beverages for others like me?
*Disclaimer: Six Little Hearts was gifted the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo Red in exchange for its promotion here.
All opinions expressed are those of this blog's Author.
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