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Singapore’s new mighty bean machine

I knew I was addicted when the coffee machine came on holidays with us. Strapped into the back seat between a two-year-old and a four-year-old, it was a guarantee that our favourite coffee would always be on hand.

Our six-year old Saeco is a true workhorse that has delivered thousands of perfect brews, requiring nothing more from us than regular maintenance. So the opportunity to try the handsome, stainless steel Xelsis – one of four in Saeco’s new range – irresistible.

When we purchased our first machine with my husband’s hard-earned bonus, I was not entirely convinced, and did endless calculations on how many coffees we’d need to consume to obtain value for money. But I can safely say we have more than broken even, and along the way have delighted and impressed many visitors to our home. With just the push of a button, a café quality brew is delivered. In many cases, ours is far superior – something I’m sure the Italian manufacturers of Saeco would be pleased to hear.

The sleek Italian style of our old model is still there, but the technology used in the new models must have moved ahead in leaps and bounds, which made me wonder: is it actually possible to make a better coffee?

In defence of our old machine, I must say it delivers as good a coffee as the Xelsis does. But it’s the new options, which allow for exact tailoring to individual tastes, that have won my heart. Want a long coffee, or a short one? Like it hotter or cooler? Like the flavour intense or mellow? Lots of froth on top or just a touch? How about a dash of milk in your espresso, or do you want a milky latte? The options are endless, there is no right or wrong – it’s all about personal preference.

But the ultimate feature of the Xelsis is the programmable function which means your perfect brew (and up to six others) is available all day, every day. Every family member gets to choose from nine coffee specialities, and the kids don’t miss out either; the external milk carafe produces perfect “babychinos”.

These latest machines have improved their cleaning technology too, so it’s even more convenient and less work. The automatic cleaning cycles for the milk and coffee circuits require the user to do very little other than clean out the coffee grinds and perform a monthly clean-out. A two-year warranty and an A-class energy label complete the package. No need to ever step foot inside a café again – except for a slice of cake, maybe!

The latest Saeco range features four models starting from $1,099. Check them out at www.philips.com.sg.