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.
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.
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.
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.