ALDI Expressi 2013 Coffee Machine Review: Viva La Caffeinated Revolution

Coffee might as well be a religion for some people. Everyday, all at the same time, coffee-worshippers line up to pay their tithe and receive a cup full of arabica blessings to start them on their day. So how will the hyper-caffeinated fanatics, who seem to spend quite a lot on shiny home shrines dedicated to the gods of the blessed bean, respond to the latest ultra-cheap alternative from ALDI? Is it still fanaticism if it's cheap?

What Is It?

The Expressi 2013 is ALDI's latest take on the cheap coffee machine for the home. It costs $89 and takes Expressi pods that range from a strength level of one to 10 -- one being a flavoured water equivalent and 10 being the antidote to a nasty case of death. You can nab the pods for $5.99 for a pack of 16.

What's Good?

There is no two-ways about it: for the price, the Expressi 2013 makes incredible coffee. If you work it out, the Expressi will make you a delicious coffee for 37 cents. Compared to a regular cup of coffee that might set you back $3.50, the Expressi 2013 will have paid for itself in 25 cups of coffee. For less than a month's worth of your morning java, you'll be saving money like you wouldn't believe.

The Expressi 2013 is as simple to use as the previous generation, as it sports the same three buttons on the front -- clean, small and large serving -- and the power button on top. The only real difference is that the Expressi 2013 is physically slimmer and sports a nicer design than the previous model.

I'm not a huge coffee snob, but I know a good coffee when I taste one. Because the Expressi is just powder and water, it's not going to be the same as Origin coffee, for example. Despite that, it's still the best instant coffee I have ever tasted.

What's Bad?

Admittedly, an $89 coffee machine is not for everyone. Snobs won't like it because it doesn't cost thousands of dollars and look like it can do your dishes for you once you're done drinking. That's simply because of the plastic construction, fit and finish.

On top of that, it is still instant coffee you're making, so the cafe-obsessed might have trouble switching because of the taste.

Fatal Flaw

The Expressi 2013 is exactly the same dimension vertically as the Expressi 2, meaning that you'll still struggle to find a cup that will fit underneath the nozzle. I'm using Bodum glassware which fits perfectly, but my favourite mug has been relegated to tea duties only following the purchase of the Expressi.

My advice would be to take a cup along to your local Aldi to see if it fits before purchase. It's a little weird, but oddly necessary.

Should You Get It?

If you make your morning coffee from powder or granules, the Expressi 2013 is something you need in your life. It's the only civilised way to drink instant coffee while maintaining some respect in this coffee-obsessed culture we live in.

Something worth considering before you fork over the cash, though is this little parable. In the same way a fashion-victim would never be caught dead in Crocs, coffee-fanatics will never own an Expressi. This machine is more for those who want a coffee to walk out the door with in a travel mug. Or even those who don't want to leave the office for a nice cup of joe. If that's you, then go and get one this instant.


    You know you can change the height of the stand thing that the cup sits on? Look here:

      I'm a bit upset about my Expressi coffee machine . I loved it from the start and used it every day . At one year old it died suddenly . The seal on the pump leaked water into the electric motor and it blew up rather spectacularly, with smoke and sparks and the whole shootin match. It has a 2 year warranty so I may be able to get a replacement if I can find the original purchase receipt. I don't know how Aldi deals with warranty probs so I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Oh and By the way. These machines use real coffee grounds ..................... not instant .

        This exact same thing happened to me tonight! Mine was a Christmas present so I have no recipiet(?) or packaging. I'm going to take it back to my local Aldi in the morning and hopefully they'll just replace it without too much crap.

          Did you get a replacement?? My situation is exactly the same :(

    Instant? Like nescafe instant? WHy would you buy a $89 machine to dump a spoon of nescafe into a mug and add some hot water? Are you sure it is instant?

      Yes, instant coffee in a pod... There are even recipes on the box to break open the pods to use the "coffee" in cakes, etc.

        How is this different to a normal coffee machine? You ground the coffee, compress it and water pushes through it. The pods have ground coffee in them that isn't instant coffee like nescafe, it is ground from coffee beans.

          Yep, definitely not "instant" as in the dissolving stuff... Instant as in "push the button and have it in (nearly) an instant"...

      IMHO anyone wishing to purchase one of these does not enjoy good coffee. My housemate bought one, I tried a few different pods. It was pretty bad tasting (a little than better than instant) and didnt work too well in keeping the pod clamped in.

      I have a $160 Sunbeam espresso machine and a hand grinder. This machine is at the low end but it does a decent job for the price. I can buy my freshly roasted beans from down the road, grind them per cup and adjust the grind to suit.

      If you really like coffee, I would stay right away from these as you will be disapointed.

        I have a $3000 elektra machine and my husband just brought me the expressi for our outdoor kitchen and I can tell you that the coffee is even better than when I make it on my expensive machine and it has crema on top something I have never been able to achieve on the elektra, we are italian and we really appreciate good coffee so I definately disagree with your view

        Yep, tastes better than my old espresso machine. I prefer the flavour of the expensive MAP brand capsules you get at Target or HN, although the Woolies capsules are cheaper and also better than Aldi.

    This article is all wrong, Aldi coffee pods use ground coffee like any other and is comparable to Nespresso, though different people will prefer one or the other.

      Aldi coffee is not comparable to Nespresso......end of story!

        You're dreaming. I use both - Nespresso at work and Aldi at home. Not only is the Aldi comparable, it is sometimes superior. In addition, you can now get Gloria Jeans pods that are compatible with the Aldi machine; and still cheaper than the 'fashionable' Nespresso pods.

        On another note, this article is WRONG - the Aldi pods are ground coffee, not instant powder. Exactly like the Nespresso pods.

        In reply to other 'snobs', I have come from using an expensive, good quality espresso machine. I know and like good coffee. Yes the Aldi pods are occasionally over-roasted - but the results are far more reliable than going to a local cafe. Price * result / effort - the Aldi machine comes out in front. And my 7 year old can make me a coffee as well as I can with the Aldi machine. Keep telling yourselves that $450 machine wasn't a waste of money - I'll just be enjoying my Aldi machine over here.

    Its not instant... how can you make this mistake? Dont wanna be 'that guy' but you shoulf at least know what coffee is if you are going to do a review... where is the editor?

      Yes - damn this free news site and its errors. they should be crucified for providing us with entertainment and content for free.

        If you want entertainment go to TMZ or youtube. This is a news tech news site.

    Also, take a cup to see if it fits? 1- That section under the nozzle is removable for bigger mugs. 2- This machine is comparable to a nespresso machine that will cost you $200-300 more. BUY NEW CUPS.

      I bought one the week it was released, great machine, good coffee for the price/ease of use. The pods are ground coffee not instant, the hot chocolate is powder though. As iniff has said, the section under the coffee drip is removable (this removable section has been living in the back of my cup cupboard since the day I bought it).

      If you like the nespresso style coffee, but don't want to spend nespresso prices, buy one.
      Nespresso coffee does taste better, but for the cost I can't complain. I have one of these every morning, and every now and again treat myself to a proper cafe' coffee from the coffee shop to get my premium coffee fix.

    Will it accept Nespresso pods? I don't think previous versions have.

      SteveO, People at work pitched in for one and no it doesn't it only accepts the Aldi brand capsules

      No the pods are a different size. I do believe that it will accept MAP pods which are available at Harvey Norman (I think) I just use the Aldi pods currently.

      I'd like to know this as well

      Nah still uses the same sized pods, as other commenters have mentioned, you can use MAP pods as well.

      Probably not. The Nespresso pods are smaller than the Aldi pods so they will fall through, and even if you could get it to stay in place, the mechanism to maintain water pressure through the capsule probably would leak as it uses the edge of the capsule as a gasket.

    Whilst it is a step up from supermarket instant, pod coffee and 'fully automatic' machines are not the way to create a mind blowing espresso. Coffee snobs are as fanatical as wine wankers, and I'm pretty sure a $15 bottle of wine will never be be on par with a bottle of Penfolds Grange. Just like pod coffee is never going to match freshly roasted, freshly ground quality beans.

      Nespresso coffee is ground and put in the pods under a vacuum environment so that's why it stays fresh and tastes better than the rest. Once ground, coffee begins to oxidise and is tainted in 20 seconds.

    I've had the old model for a while now.. and LOVE it.. Downside? I moved to WA..
    No ALDI stores... :-( Bummer

      I also have the old model and it has been great! At work we even convinced our management to get one for the office kitchen and it has been an absolute hit.

      Maybe they need to start up an online delivery like Nespresso do. Could be a business opportunity for someone?

      Look for the MAP branded ones in Target or Officeworks.. Im sure they have those in the wild wild West!

        I've tried the MAP pods, didn't like them...

    I've had mine for a couple of months now, fantastic unit for the price, tried all of the aldi pods, now using MAP pods which can be purchased from Office Works and Target, nice italian coffee.
    The milk frother unit is also great, very quick and quiet. The machine itself benefits from a flush of hot water before and after making each coffee, to keep the internals and nozzle clean. Also a quick shot of hot water preheats your mug.
    As stated above, the unit accommodates all size cups, and even tall glasses, by removing the top section of the cup platform.

      I am yet to try the MAP pods how do you rate them compared to ALDI ? The milk frother is OK until you want to make a few cups and have to clean out the burnt layer of milk that sticks to the bottom :(

        I Microwave milk in a pyrex jug for bit lots at once... I'm curious about the quality of the MAP pods as well, how do they compare price wise?

          I just had a look, $6.50 for 10 off the website with free shipping on orders over $50. So as long as you buy 80 pods it costs you 65c per shot. Twice the price of aldi pods.

    I have last years model and love it As good as any nespresso, mio etc pod machine for a fraction of the cost. Also matches that of the automatics like Saeco and Delonghi. The espresso it puts out is not as good as the expresso that comes out of a prosumer machine like Giotto or Expobar but these machines are $2000+. We have an expobar at work.

    The Aldi Expressi milk frother ($25 i think) is just as good as the overpriced Nespresso frother too

      yea +1 to the frother being great value as well.

    The machines can take pods and discs from any of the other brands. So you can tell that to your Nesrpesso snobby friends lol

      Wrong, uneducated, incorrect. End of story.

        M-Lee so far your comments have been very wrong and incorrect, except for this one. By the way, I use an N'espresso machine at work and Aldi at home, the coffee tastes just a good, including lots of crema, and the milk frother is far better.

        END OF STORY ;)

    We got the Espressi model before this one, it worked a total of 3 times and then stopped getting power....gotta get around to taking it back to Aldi.

      Just call the number on your warranty card, they will ship you a new one, put your's in the box and ship it back. I've had a few people do it that way, easier than going into store etc

    Have not had any luck with anything electrical from Aldi. Almost all have been returned. The milk frorther died after 6 goes so we decided get a nesspresso on special. Coffee is very expensive but.

    Got one of these at work. MUCH better than instant coffee and at under 40 cents a cup, its worth every cent. The only problem is that it doesn't make a full mug, you have to top it up with hot water or milk.

      Hey, read the instruction book on how to get a full cup- dead easy!

    I guess you've never used a decanter??
    Can make any reasonable $10 - $20 bottle taste great.
    Anyway, these machines are decent for the price. Better than Blend 43!

    Being a barista and somewhat of a coffee snob, pod coffee is the best way to go for home coffee. With an $89 price tag that just makes it that much more tastier. It's not comparable to an espresso however, far from in fact but if you enjoy drinking instant (which I actually do) then making the move to pod coffee should be a priority. It's quick and easy and best of all it tastes like coffee. For those actual snobs that turn their noses up at any espresso not coming out of a Synesso then keep your eyes on this

    Just a heads up - the Aldi Expresse pods will not fit Nespresso machines and vice versa. The Expresse pods are noticeably larger. Dad found out the hard way when he bought a cheap Nespresso knockoff (same as the Kogan one but cheaper) and stocked up on the Aldi pods before he realised. Wasted a little bit of money.

    Gave the Expressi a try and I wasn't a fan. Still great value for most though.

    Still prefer the Nespresso crus.

    I don't understand the research on this site, I do love it but things seem to be rush reviewed or assumptions are made then posted as researched.

    1.The pods are ground coffee, not powder. Pulled one open myself to confirm, the Hot chocolate pods are powder though so these are a waste in my opinion, however they are a great quality chocolate powder so that's open for discussion

    2.You can adjust the height of the cup area by removing the water/pod catcher cup which is the size of a normal coffee cup itself and place the s/steel plate in the bottom of the catcher.
    I use all sorts of cup/mug sizes and it accomadates them fine, just not the mega jumbosaurus size cups.

    For the price these things are great, much better than the cheapo nespresso machines from Kogan etc. Although the better nespresso machines do make better tasting coffee than the Espressi. I'd rather pay more to get the Nespresso machines and have better coffee if I was going to buy a pod machine.

    Not very green guys... all this over-packaging of single serves of coffee and not to mention the disposal of said package.

    Im pretty sure you can adjust the amount of water that comes out for the small and large "doses" too.. I think if you hold the button it keeps pouring till you let go.. and remembers it for next time.. I use the same old Dad mug I always have, works a treat. No need to buy new ones.

    As other people have pointed out, its not instant coffee.

    I love reading Gizmodo but this article is pretty garbage.. I wont be taking Luke Hopewell's word as gospel thats for sure.

    I am a coffee snob but not so much that I want to pay hundreds or thousands for a coffee machine!
    Bought the ALDI machine about 4 weeks ago and like most pieces of German design it is simple and does what it is supposed to. I go to my world champion barista for my special daily fix but otherwise am extremely happy with the Aldi machine and the coffee pods. Find it hard to believe that they use instant coffee!

    This is a very poorly researched article and should be edited seeing considering the errors noted by the above commentators.

    I have a Nespresso machine but use refillable pods:
    I buy beans from a guy in Red Hill, Victoria. Grind them fresh when needed, lovely stuff.

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