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Philips L’OR Barista Sublime review: An affordable dual-spouted wonder

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £105
inc VAT

The L’OR Barista Sublime is an affordable Nespresso-compatible coffee machine with the added benefit of double-shots


  • Huge variety of capsules
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Very compact


  • Matte finish shows fingerprints
  • Limited selection of XXL pods

L’OR might be best known for its coffee, but the brand’s recent foray into the world of coffee machines is particularly interesting. The Philips L’OR Sublime is the first pod machine with a dual spout, allowing you to pour two cups of espresso at the same time or one double shot in a single cup using its XXL capsules.

In addition to this unique feature, the Sublime has a sophisticated, compact design, customisable drink lengths and a huge range of pod options due to it being Nespresso capsule compatible. It’s also very simple to use, with just three buttons to get your head around and an automatic switch-off after one minute of inactivity. Quite simply, the L’OR Sublime is the best pod coffee machine you can buy right now.

Philips L’OR Barista Sublime pod coffee machine review: What do you get for the money?

The L’OR Sublime is a classic-style 19-bar pressure espresso pod machine, suitable for use with all L’OR pods, Nespresso original capsules and third-party Nespresso-compatible pods. As well as the machine itself, in the box you’ll also find a selection of nine L’OR branded capsules for you to try, including its unique XXL double-shot coffees.

On the surface, the Sublime looks like a bog-standard pod machine. At the top there are three buttons for ristretto, espresso and lungo, as well as a lever, which opens up for you to insert your pod. At the front, you have a pod bin large enough to accommodate seven to nine used capsules. There’s also a plastic drip tray stand, which can be removed to accommodate larger cups up to 12cm tall, though it doesn’t have any adjustability beyond that. The front is also where you’ll find the novel double spout, which allows you to simultaneously pour two shots into separate cups or pour a double shot into one. At the back, there’s a fairly compact 0.8L water tank, which can be removed for easy filling.

One thing this machine doesn’t have is temperature control, which admittedly isn’t a huge surprise at the price, and there are no milk frothing facilities. There’s no on/off button, either. It can be turned on by pressing any of the coffee buttons on top and will automatically turn off after one minute when not in use.

The Sublime’s elegant design and combination matte and gloss finish look gorgeous and it’s pleasingly compact, too. It measures a dainty 15.7 x 40.2 x 27.6cm (WDH) and weighs just 4kg. Whether you choose the red, black or cream version, there’s also some beautiful gold detailing on the spout for an extra touch of glamour.

In terms of competition, there isn’t anything quite like the L’OR Sublime and its double shot capabilities, nor is there much that can compete with its price when considering its size and features. The Nespresso CitiZ has a similar compact design and can be used with third-party compatible pods. However, it only offers one drink size, doesn’t have an option to use double-shot capsules and comes with a much heftier £175 price tag. Unless, that is, you choose to opt for Nespresso’s Nespresso Plus machine subscription, which gets you the machine for £1 when you commit to buying pods monthly.

READ NEXT: Our full roundup of the best coffee pod machines

Philips L’OR Barista Sublime pod coffee machine review: What’s good about it?

Alongside the slick design, the Sublime is well made – especially so considering its price. While it’s mostly made from plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap, and the pod holder is reassuringly robust.

The main star of the show is that double spout. Its ability to pour a double shot of espresso is a welcome addition if you need to make espresso for a crowd, or if you just like your coffee strong. You can do this by using one of L’OR’s own XXL capsules, which the machine automatically detects when inserted, pouring enough for two single shots or one double. There’s also an option to customise drink lengths from 25ml to 270ml, simply by holding down any of the three buttons until your perfect length is poured.

Making coffee is quick, too. There’s a fast seven-second heat-up time and it only takes 30 seconds to pour a single shot or 45 seconds for a double. The Sublime also pours a surprisingly accurate shot. Most pod machines have a hard time producing the same size shot over and over but after weighing several espressos, I found the Sublime poured a 30g shot of espresso almost every time, with only one or two grams difference on some occasions. When using the XXL capsules, it did vary a little more, but it was far more consistent than other pod machines I’ve tested, and on average it produced two decent-sized 32g shots from each capsule.

Being a Nespresso-compatible machine is also a huge benefit. While L’OR’s own pod selection is good, with 19 single-shot capsules and six XXL versions, having access to an ever-growing number of Nespresso original and Nespresso-compatible pods means this machine has one of the largest pod selections currently available. What’s more, in testing I found there was no notable difference when pouring a shot using L’OR’s own pods compared to Nespresso originals – none of that pre-coffee water leakage you so often get with third-party pods. If you do decide to stick to L’OR branded pods, though, there’s plenty to enjoy, including a filter-style capsule for those who prefer a larger cup.


Philips L’OR Barista Sublime pod coffee machine review: What could be better?

My main issue with this machine is that currently, there aren’t a huge number of double-shot XXL pods. Considering this is the stand-out feature of the machine, it would be nice to see this range extended to get the most out of it.

Another small issue I found with the Sublime is that the matte parts of the machine were prone to picking up fingerprints. Whether this really is an issue, though, will depend on how much of a cleanaholic you are.

READ NEXT: The best Nespresso machines available

Philips L’OR Barista Sublime pod coffee machine review: Should you buy it?

The fact I’ve struggled to find anything bad to say about the Sublime is testament to how good it is. It’s a compact, stylish machine, the coffee pours quickly and evenly, and those XXL pods are a godsend for people who need a double shot in the morning.

The only mild complaint is that the selection of XXL double-shot capsules is rather limited at the moment, but I hope that will change in the future. Ultimately, if you’re after an affordable pod coffee machine with excellent capsule compatibility, there’s nothing better you can buy right now.

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