Lodge Chocolat is greatest recognized for making edible items and (due to the Velvetiser) superb home made sizzling sweets, however I used to be shocked after they added a espresso machine to their lineup. The machine, known as The Podster, is the results of one other collaboration with Dualit. It is suitable with Nespresso pods, however the machine has additionally launched alongside a line of Rabot Property espresso pods, which declare to ship barista-quality brews, from house. These pods are recyclable with the remainder of your family recycling and include a ‘Podcycler’ machine that’s straightforward to deal with.
I examined Lodge Chocolat’s The Podster espresso maker for 2 weeks, together with a tasting choice of Rabot Property coffees, to see if it was definitely worth the funding as among the finest espresso makers in the marketplace. It retails for £149.95 and presently solely is available in one color: Charcoal.
Pondering of shopping for The Podster? Effectively, that is what I assumed in my Lodge Chocolat The Podster espresso machine assessment. It is a good high quality machine with some properly thought out options that make it a great rival to lots of the higher pod espresso machines, however I did have some points with dripping and need the design had been a extra actual match with the Velvetiser. .
Lodge Chocolat The Podster
Purchase The Podster direct from Lodge Chocolat, £149.95 (opens in a brand new tab)
Unpacking the Podster
The Lodge Chocolat The Podster is a comparatively gentle machine. Its heaviest design characteristic is the deal with, which is sturdy and echoes the deal with of the Velvetiser, additionally designed by Dualit. Lodge Chocolat despatched me a tasting number of Rabot Property Espresso pods, from their traditional ‘The One’ to the graceful ‘Cashmere’ and my private favorite, the brilliant and fruity ‘Oh Good day’, to check with the machine. Included with every Podster is a ‘Podcycler’, which is designed to make the Rabot Property aluminum pods recyclable.
It is slim and fairly deep, with the proper dimensions for small kitchens that do not have room for a bulkier machine.
Meeting directions had been minimal, however the machine matches collectively intuitively. It has a ribbed plastic water container that raises it barely, and the identical plastic will be discovered within the used pod container. I like that it is clear, which makes it straightforward to see when you might want to empty your machine or fill it with water.
There’s an on/off swap on the aspect of The Podster, in addition to two sizes of drinks to select from on the entrance of the machine. You may maintain them right down to set the size of your required espresso, and that is about it for the controls. It could not be easier.
Lodge Chocolat launched three cups alongside the brand new espresso machine, known as Hug, Chat and Spark. I actually loved these cups, which value extra however actually full the look when you plan on utilizing them at the side of a Velvetiser that has tall cups which are excellent for a serving of sizzling chocolate. They’re the proper measurement for a latte and have tactile designs that basically add to the ingesting expertise.
Use of Lodge Chocolat The Podster
To make use of The Podster, merely use the sturdy aspect deal with to open the engraved slot on the highest of the machine and drop within the pod. Pulling the lever down, which is a stable and satisfying transfer, locks the capsule in place. Then it is only a matter of selecting between an espresso or a protracted espresso. Preheat time hovered across the 15-second mark, which wasn’t the quickest of the pod espresso machines I’ve reviewed. The buttons are smooth to the contact, with a flashing gentle that turns stable when the machine is able to dispense espresso.
I first opted to do a lungo and located that some water ran out of the dispenser earlier than the machine began brewing. This was a little bit of a disappointment, however it was adopted by a two-second pre-dose which is ideal for creating the flavour of the espresso earlier than it begins to extract. As anticipated, my espresso was sizzling and wealthy, with a skinny layer of cream on prime of the drink. I discovered the espresso to be a lot much less robust in direction of the top of the shot, which recommended to me that the pods are higher suited to espresso, however I nonetheless loved the style and texture of my ‘The One’ home mix.
Espresso largely follows the identical course of, however I did discover that some water nonetheless dripped into my glass earlier than I took the shot. I discovered that the depth was a lot stronger, however the taste was nonetheless wonderful and the layer of cream was a lot thicker. After I positioned the machine beneath my kitchen cupboards, which is the place I take a look at home equipment for prolonged intervals of time, I discovered that the lever would not carry all the best way with out hitting the underside of the cupboards. I needed to take it out so as to add a capsule, which interfered with my each day use.
After my espresso completed brewing, there was some extra dripping going immediately into the drip tray under the dispenser. This meant that I wanted to empty it frequently, however it did not final greater than ten seconds.
Utilizing The Podster with The Velvetiser
The Velvetiser is designed for making sizzling chocolate (which is what I attempted in my Lodge Chocolat Velvetiser assessment), however with regards to making a latte, it creates a thick foam that is not too stiff and has loads of physique. It was excellent for making persistently creamy espresso, and the matching deal with appears to be like excellent when the machines are aspect by aspect. In case you already personal the Velvetiser in Charcoal, you are in luck. The podster solely comes on this colour, which is paired with a Charcoal Velvetiser. I’ve the white one, which does not appear as suitable after they sit subsequent to one another within the kitchen. Nonetheless, this duo is ideal for making lattes at house, and even an occasional mocha. If (or when) Lodge Chocolat introduces The Podster in additional colours, I’d see them as a pair.
Whereas the Velvetiser has easy traces and steel exteriors, the Podster is relatively plastic and way more streamlined. The one design factor that unites them is a ravishing textured deal with. Nonetheless, it could have been good to see a bit extra continuity between the 2 merchandise within the really feel of the person expertise.
Utilizing the Podcycler
The Podcycler comes included with each Lodge Chocolat machine and is an innovation I’ve seen from Dualit prior to now. The idea is straightforward however it includes a bit of additional work. The profit? You may stack your used espresso pods and put them within the family recycling.
To make use of the Podcycler, I positioned the used pods rim down on the underside of the contraption, then pressed down with the highest half. This pushes the pod inside out, expelling the used espresso grounds and leaving you with an empty aluminum casing. Rinse properly and stack used capsules for house recycling.
Is it as sustainable as utilizing a bean-to-cup espresso machine? No. Nonetheless, it’s a step in the suitable course in comparison with the legions of plastic pods in the marketplace that declare to be recyclable however require you to take them to poorly positioned recycling facilities to get the job executed.
Do you have to purchase Lodge Chocolat The Podster?
Whereas I used to be slightly dissatisfied by the appears to be like, I nonetheless assume The Podster is an honest espresso machine. On the one hand, it is backed by a top quality Dualit design, and it additionally boasts a powerful nine-bar stress that labored completely with the Rabot Property espresso pods’ choice of blends. I actually loved this espresso, which had a great deal of taste, and I additionally loved utilizing the Velvetiser as an alternative of a milk frother. Nonetheless, I needed the Podster and Velvetiser to have a extra suitable design profile to make it seem like an entire set on the kitchen counter, and dripping was a difficulty that detracted from the standard really feel of the machine.
When it comes to worth, the price of £149.95 is sort of affordable. The Velvetiser retails for £110, which is properly above the typical worth of one of the best milk frothers, so I used to be anticipating a costlier Lodge Chocolat espresso machine. The Podster is priced equally to the Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa, and far cheaper than the Grind Pod espresso machine, which has an identical lever design. It is a first rate worth machine, particularly for the 9 bar of stress that is included.
About this assessment, and the reviewer
Millie Fender is a small equipment editor at Excellent home. She checks all the things from espresso machines to air fryers in her personal kitchen, which implies these exams have been carried out beneath the identical circumstances that she is going to use the machine.
The Podster was kindly despatched to Millie by Lodge Chocolat, and he or she tried it out for 2 weeks earlier than writing her assessment. This gave him the chance to check all of the capabilities of it, in addition to cleansing and troubleshooting. Whereas she prefers a frothy latte or iced cappuccino, her accomplice by no means consumes lower than three Americanos, so Lodge Chocolat The Podster was totally examined.