Creatives Fueled by Coffee Give Their Take!
First off: This isn’t a review so much as it is a tribute to our insurmountable addiction to coffee, and the machine that gives us our fix. This is not a paid review – we just really dig this thing.
Meet the Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with LatteGo. We refer to it as the Coffee Machine. It does a lot of things we’ve come to depend on, but before we get into all that let me tell you a bit about us and why we went out and spent $800 on a box that makes coffee.
We’re Clockwork 9, a Creative Agency hailing from Cleveland, Ohio that specializes in digital commercial content like video, photo and graphic design.
Like most creatives, we’re heavily fueled by coffee of all kinds. At the break of dawn, after lunch, late at night… It doesn’t matter when or where, as long as we have an excuse to pour a cup.
Moving Up in the World
Up until earlier this year we relied on our cheap drip coffee maker and when we wanted to step things up we’d turn to our French Press. When we were in a crazy rush or feeling lazy we’d hit up our Nespresso pod based machine.
Then the Philips 3200 came into our lives and suddenly every other coffee making method faded away.
Expensive but Totally Worth it
It makes espresso, americanos, lattes and cappuccinos and it’s dead simple to use. As I said earlier, this is an automatic espresso machine and they tend to be priced well into the 2k to 3k range. This sitting at $800 is still a hefty sum but it has stood up to over six months of abuse from us — which is saying something. We pour anywhere from 10 to 20 cups a day, sometimes way more. No matter what, it delivers a consistent experience that we’ve come to rely on.
How it Works
You plug it in, pour in your water (we like using filtered water and it does have a really easy to use disposable hard water filter). After that you pour your beans into the top and pick whatever coffee you want to make along with the strength and amount of water. If you want to make a cappuccino or a latte then you just attach the LatteGo with some milk and it takes care of the rest, all you have to decide is how much milk you want.
It grinds the beans with its ceramic grinder, forms the puck of espresso and tamps it down all in one motion. It even does pre-infusion which I guess is important for espresso. Once it does its thing, you get your personalized cup o’ Joe.
Really all we have to do is fill it with water, keep it fed with beans and empty the grounds bin and water tray. For such little effort the quality is exceptional. Can you spend more for something better, yeah no doubt, but this sits in that nice area of costly but not so expensive as to make you question your life and financial decisions.
One thing to note is the LatteGo attachment is designed in such a way that it takes little effort to keep clean. Instead of a tube based system, they made a channel that draws the milk up and it’s exposed once you take the two pieces apart.
Once a week we take the brew unit out and give it a good rinse and overnight dry. This is the heart of the machine and has a bunch of moving parts, but a warm shower every week and a hit of lubrication to the specified parts every few months keeps it in good working order.
Comparing Our Coffee Making Methods
The most important thing is how it compares to the other ways we generally make coffee. We’re the kind of place that had tubs of pre-ground coffee for our main source everyday and a grinder combined with a French Press for when we felt like getting a little more luxurious. The Philips 3200 combines the best of all options. It’s Insanely convenient and flexible all while making a pretty tasty cup of coffee.
Our pick of beans as of late has been Lavazza Super Crema espresso. You can use almost any beans if you want though, just nothing too oily. Another nice feature is the ability to drop in your own ground beans one cup at a time through this little opening at the top. But for sure use their pre-measured scoop otherwise you’re gonna have a bad time.
At $800 it’s a tough buy for most people simply to make coffee, even if it’s easier. But the bar has been set pretty high for this class of machine. For us it has been fairly life changing considering how easily it has fit into our daily routine.
With the drip coffee you either make a whole pot or you don’t, and it takes a little bit to get it going. We had many times late at night when one or two people would want coffee but doing a couple cups at a time in a drip machine isn’t very convenient. Something like a Nespresso or Keurig is a good option but Keurig is as flavorless as it is easy to make and Nespresso is also on the expensive side while generating a lot of waste. Every cup just adds to the pile of plastic pods that end up in a landfill somewhere.
A French Press is a classic and worthwhile way to make coffee. But you need a grinder and a kettle that hits the right temp along with some patience. The process easily takes 8-10 minutes by the time you have your coffee. Then you’ve still got some cleanup to do with the Press. However it’s probably one of the most delicious ways to make coffee, plus it’s easy and budget friendly.
The Best Coffee Machine for C9
A machine that makes excellent espresso, coffee, americanos, lattes and cappuccinos with the press of a button? It’s hard not to love that. It has entirely replaced our poor drip coffee machine.
If you’ve got the money to spend and really want that futuristic experience of a Cafe quality beverage without having to think about how to make it, then this is the way to go. Trust me, if it can survive us and keep everyone happy here at C9 then it’s going to do just fine in your home or business.
Get the Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with LatteGo and/or check out our Studio Essentials section on our Amazon Store Front to get what we got!