While the Voicy shares the basic functions of the other machines in Lavazza’s A Modo Mio range – fill the water tank, lift lever or slide back cover, insert a coffee pod and then hit go – its unique feature is the inclusion of an Alexa-enabled smart speaker. The easiest way to describe the Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy is that someone has slapped an Echo Dot onto the front of a pod coffee machine.
With more and more household appliances becoming smart devices, it was only a matter of time before we’d get a smart coffee machine. Lavazza has built a well-earned reputation for being good at what it does, but does adding smart functions to one of its coffee machines make for a genuine improvement or is the A Modo Mio Voicy just a gimmick?
How does it go as a coffee machine?
The A Modo Mio Voicy is a pod coffee machine – so depending on how much of a coffee snob you are, you already probably have some pretty strong opinions about how you like to prepare your morning cup. If you’re a French Press or bench-top barista machine person, you’re probably not going to bother with this stuff in the first place.
When it comes to preparing your coffees, the Voicy also has a simple and clean interface. For the speaker, you’ve got volume controls, a mute button for the mic and a manual Alexa button. And for coffee prep, there’s an ‘on’ button that’ll start heating up water, and then buttons for a short or long espresso. It takes the machine about 30 to 40 seconds to heat up some water from its substantial 1.1L tank. The internal bin holds roughly ten pods, and the interface has a dedicated display light to let you know when it’s full.
All in all, using this machine manually feels good. It’s very no-frills and streamlined, which is the exact level of difficulty that I want to deal with when waking up in the morning. Touch and go.
The integration of the Alexa smart speaker looks nice. The speaker is conical, so it blends nicely with the machine’s smooth design. From a distance, you probably wouldn’t be able to pick that it’s a speaker. On a practical level, it’s nice being able to play music in the kitchen while cooking dinner, although the speaker’s size does come with a limitation. The sound quality does get a bit more warbly as it enters those really high volume levels. Save your kitchen doof parties for your dedicated Bluetooth speaker.
Just a heads up, this machine uses Lavazza’s puck-shaped pods, so if you’re upgrading from a coffee maker that uses Nespresso capsules then you’ll need to refresh your stash.
This is a smart coffee machine, which means one thing: it has a companion app. In terms of basic functions, the Piacere Lavazza app lets you keep track of how many coffees you’ve made, along with how many pods you have on hand, so you can set it to remind you when your stash is getting low. It’s a simple and straightforward app, which is exactly what you want when your caffeine-starved brain is running on fumes.
The app lets you make custom coffee orders and change the amount of coffee dispensed. I like a big coffee I can sip on for a bit over a short espresso, so being able to bump up the capacity of my cup was nice.
However, I did run into a slight hitch where the app installed itself with its language set to Italian, with no prompts to change it. Even after I reinstalled the app a second time, it was still in Italian. Then, when I went to use the app later that afternoon, everything was suddenly in English.
Most of the smart devices in my home are hooked into my Google Nest Mini, so that’s my primary voice assistant. The only Alexa-dedicated outlier is my Fire TV stick. That said, setting up the Voicy on my Wi-Fi network and my Alexa ecosystem was incredibly simple. Being able to turn my TV on from the kitchen did feel a bit odd the first time I did it, but the hands-free nature of it all was nice and convenient. The Voicy can do all the basic tasks you’d expect from an Alexa device – it’ll tell you the weather, update you one daily news or play your favourite songs through Spotify.
However, while the A Modo Mio Voicy would react to other requests I made with no issue when it came to getting it to make a coffee, my experience was a struggle, to say the least.
Here’s how a typical interaction with the Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy went:
“Alexa, turn on the coffee machine.”
“Did you mean turn on TV?”
“No, turn on the coffee machine.”
“Okay, now playing ‘Coffee Machine’ by Payfone on Spotify.”
I even tried changing the Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy’s name to just be “coffee machine” and made it the only device in a group titled “Kitchen” in my Alexa app, hoping these simpler names would help to get the coffee flowing. It didn’t. The silver lining: ‘Coffee Machine’ is a pretty nice song.
At first, I was worried that I had messed up along the way when setting everything up, so I reset the machine and its connections. I made sure to double-check that everything was properly set up properly, but even after trying again with a fresh start, the machine just would not do anything related to the coffee machine. Please stop turning on my TV, I beg of you.
Should you buy the Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy coffee machine?
In terms of basic convenience, the Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy is a good coffee machine. It looks nice and is pretty easy to use manually. But if you already own a pod machine, I don’t think the smart features are enough to warrant an upgrade.
While I had some frustrations with the Alexa interactions, I’m a big fan of the companion app. Usually, the first thing I do in the morning is to make myself a coffee, so being able to have the machine warmed up and ready to go before I’m in the kitchen is a small, but enjoyable convenience.
I’d also say that if you don’t have a smart home setup that favours Alexa integration over other virtual assistants, then you might not get that much use out of the smart features (apart from the ones directly related to the machine). I don’t have any other smart devices in my kitchen, and, apart from my Fire TV Stick, the other smart devices in my home are set up for my Google Nest Mini. It primarily exists in an ecosystem of just itself.
While using its smart features is convenient, you do still need to manually load the coffee pods each time you use the machine. Which begs the question: why do I need these features in the first place? If I’m already standing next to the machine sticking a new puck in, why do I need to pull out my phone to turn things on when the ‘On’ switch is right there? Maybe if the machine had the ability to store a few capsules at a time, so it to auto-load a fresh one with a voice request or through the app, then I could lean more in its favour. But as it stands, it just feels like a few extra steps added onto an already simple process.
Admittedly, my perspective is skewed here. From what I can see, I seem to be in the minority when it comes to the problems I’ve had with the Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy’s smart features. Is it just my extremely bad luck that the machine I received is faulty, so it’s not representative of the intended experience? Maybe, but this is the machine I’ve got, so it’s the one I’ve reviewed. That’s just how it goes sometimes. Alexa, play ‘The Breaks‘ but Kurtis Blow.
Where to buy the Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy
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