The variety of coffee machines you can buy for your home these days is wild. Whether it’s a smaller version of the gear used by actual baristas or a run-of-mill pod machine, plenty of us are willing to spend good money if it means we don’t have to drink instant coffee while we’re stuck at home.
With more people working from home throughout the pandemic, it’s no surprise at-home coffee machine sales grew in 2020. When NSW was flung into its first lockdown, my partner and I bought a Nespresso coffee pod machine and to be honest, we’ve been pretty happy with it ever since. It doesn’t replace a barista coffee, but it is sure better than being stuck in instant coffee hell.
Recently, I got to try out the Lavazza Jolie pod machine, which has advantages and disadvantages compared to the aforementioned De’Longhi Nespresso machine I’ve been using for a good year or so.
Part of Lavazza’s A Modo Mio range, the Jolie is compact, super easy to use and by far the quietest machine I’ve experienced so far. I have the gunmetal colour, but it’s also available in black, silver, red and white. All come with a 6ooml water reservoir capacity, two shot size options and a removable mount on the front to adjust for the size of your cup/mug.
In terms of dimensions, the Jolie is 13.5 x 13.5 x 26 centimetres, a fair bit smaller than the De’Longhi’s 37.2 x 11.3 x 27.7 centimetres. Both are high-quality and have a great build quality. The Jolie in silver is currently going for around $119 on Amazon. The De’Longhi is more expensive at around $189.
When it comes to functionality, both are more or less identical. The water reservoir can be easily removed for refilling, you slip a pod into the slot at the top, pull the lever/handle down to lock it into place, press the button for the shot size you’re after and Bob’s your uncle.
So what are the differences between the two? Let’s have a look.
The De’Longhi machine is by far louder than the Jolie. I couldn’t tell you what the difference in decibels is, but I can tell you that the De’Longhi can drown out the sound of music if you’re standing next to it, whereas the Jolie does not. In fact, I can’t really hear the Jolie working from outside the kitchen, so there’s definitely a noticeable difference.
I mean, we’re talking about something that’s running for maybe 20 seconds at a time, so it’s not that big a deal either way, but if you’re someone who likes to whip up a cup of morning brown while others are asleep, they’d probably thank you for opting for the quieter machine.
When it comes to the former, you can source pods from a huge range of brands. Not only does this open you up to more variety in flavour, but you also have way more variety in price. A Modo Mio pods are only made by Lavazza, so while there are plenty of flavours to choose from, you’re still stuck with the one brand and unless they’re on sale, the one price.
As a simple man who likes a simple cup of coffee to kick-start my motor in the mornings, a no-frills pod on the cheap side is just fine in my book. With the De’Longhi, I’m free to choose from a smorgasbord of pods at great prices, like this 40-pack of L’or that works out to 45 cents per pod, or the Woolies brand pods that are 37 cents per pod.
The Lavazza pods aren’t outrageously overpriced or anything like that, but they are a little more expensive, at 69 cents per pod.
To be completely honest, I don’t think there’s enough difference in taste to really place one machine above the other. I may just be a coffee simpleton but for me, it all comes down to the pods rather than the machine itself. Whether you go for a standard Nespresso unit of the Jolie, there’s enough variety to find something you like, although you’ll get way more choice with the former.
The only other difference in the output is the size of the shot you end up with. Using the large setting, you get a slightly larger shot from the De’Longhi compared to the Jolie. It’s not dramatically different, but enough to notice. There wasn’t any detectable difference in strength between the two though, so I assume the Jolie shot is just more concentrated.
At the end of the day, I don’t particularly think one machine is any better than the other, it really just depends on what you’re looking for in a pod machine. Do you want more options when it comes to coffee pods? Hit up a Nespresso machine. Looking for something particularly quiet with a smaller price tag? The Jolie’s got you covered.