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Lavazza Idola review: Capsule coffee with a dash of Italian flair

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
139
inc VAT

The Idola pours easy espressos and longer coffees, and delivers great-tasting results to boot

Pros 
Quiet
Elegant controls
Multiple drink sizes
Cons 
Fiddly capsule bin
Underwhelming capsule selection
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Get the Lavazza Idola at its lowest-ever price

This stellar coffee pod machine will usually cost you around £111 on Amazon, but it's currently down to its lowest-ever price. The Idola will now set you back just £85, which we think is a great price for one of our favourite Lavazza machines.
Amazon
Was £111
Now £85

If you’re the kind of person who regularly worships at the altar of the morning coffee, then Lavazza’s latest machine is well named. It is only a relatively humble capsule coffee machine, but the Idola redeems itself with a smart design and the ability to deliver a cup of capsule-sourced coffee which is a cut above the average. Pair that with impressively quiet, fuss-free operation and you’ve got a capsule machine that’s worth talking about – and well worth buying.

Lavazza Idola coffee pod machine review: What you need to know

  • Coffee capsule machine
  • Compatible with Lavazza A Modo Mio capsules and third party pods
  • 10 bar pressure
  • 1.1l water tank
  • 35-second heat up time
  • Dimensions: 14.5cm x 38cm x 28 cm
  • Weight: 4kg

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Lavazza Idola review: What do you get for the money?

The Lavazza Idola is a pod machine, with no additional milk brewing features. At £89, it’s the priciest coffee-only model in Lavazza’s range. The Tiny and Jolie come in at £57 and £79 respectively, while the Deséa (£199) and Jolie with Milk (£119), which offer milk options, will set you back a fair bit more.

At the back of the Idola you’ll find a 1.1l water tank and at the front, there’s a sturdy, adjustable drip tray which accommodates cups up to 120mm tall. Capsules are inserted into the slot at the top of the machine and the internal waste bin can hold up to ten used pods before you need to empty it.

On the front there’s a pad of touch-sensitive buttons with four options for coffee sizes. These include: espresso, long espresso, long coffee and finally a ‘free dose beverage’, which pulls through enough water for a full sized mug of coffee. There’s also an option for a temperature boost, which gives you an extra hot cup of coffee when selected. As well as the coffee settings, there are three icons on the front of the machine that helpfully light up when the capsule bin needs emptying, when the water tank’s empty or when it’s time to descale the machine.

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Lavazza Idola review: What’s good about it?

We really enjoyed using the Idola. While the absence of clicky buttons might not make for a better coffee, being able to set the coffee-making process in action with a light dab of the finger does feel rather elegant. The aesthetics match this feeling of sophistication, too – the sturdy, yet delicately-rounded plastic body, metal capsule lever and cap holder balance form and function nicely.

The option to brew four different drink sizes is another welcome addition, and one you won’t find on Lavazza’s cheaper machines. With one-touch doses for longer espressos and coffees, it’s easy to brew a bigger cup without having to manually stop and restart the machine yourself. The temperature boost function is a nice idea, too. While the coffee already comes out at a perfectly drinkable temperature, that extra blast of heat is ideal if you want to sip and savour your coffee for a little longer.

The Idola is very quiet while brewing, so you can knock up a cup first thing in the morning or late at night without worrying about waking up the household. Perhaps the best reason of all to consider the Idola, though, is the quality of the pods. We’ve tested more than our fair share of coffee pods and capsules and can comfortably say that Lavazza’s are some of the best-tasting available.

If eco-friendliness is top of your agenda, then Lavazza’s compostable eco coffee capsules will be another plus. You’ll need to throw them away with your council food waste collection for industrial composting, rather than just flinging them on the compost heap, but it’s nice to have the option to not add to landfill with every coffee you drink. Other brands such as Nespresso and Dolce Gusto have pod recycling schemes but these can’t be composted.

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Lavazza Idola review: What could be better?

Removing the capsule bin can be a little tricky. You need to remove the cup holder first, then there’s only a small lip at the front to use as leverage to pull the basket from inside the machine. This is only a minor niggle, but the design could make it difficult for someone with limited grip strength to easily access.

The relatively small selection of capsules on offer is also a tad disappointing. Lavazza’s range offers a good-tasting selection of flavours and styles (including a decaffeinated option) and the capsules themselves contain more coffee than some rivals for a fuller flavour, but the choice is undeniably limited. With other brands offering a far greater variety of coffee blenders and flavours, Lavazza is lagging behind a little.

READ NEXT: The best Nespresso machines to buy

Lavazza Idola review: Should I buy it?

All in all, the Idola is a simple, elegant capsule coffee machine; it’s genuinely hard to find anything bad to say about it. Sure, you could get that Lavazza capsule coffee hit for less with the one-button Lavazza Tiny, but there’s good reason to spend more here.

The Idola is compact, easy to use, and makes good coffee. The ability to pour longer drinks and boost the temperature for a super hot coffee are welcome additions, too. But what really sets it part from rival brands is the quality of the pods: Lavazza’s coffee is noticeably tastier than many other pods on the market. If you want fuss-free coffee at your fingertips, then the Idola may just be the answer to your prayers.

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