Last Updated on December 8, 2018 by Fiona Maclean
A Caffeinated Christmas from Rombouts:
Wake up and smell the coffee on Christmas morning! The Rombouts Xpress’OH machine will make the caffeine addicts in your household very happy indeed if they find that Santa has left them one of these under the tree. And what’s more, their biodegradable coffee pods won’t harm the environment either!
My festive season arrived early this year when I took delivery of a large box from Rombouts with an Xpress ‘OH machine to review. I love kitchen gadgets of all sorts and have a yawning coffee machine space on my worktop. Some years ago I bought another branded coffee machine but it left home when our eldest went off to uni. I always had my reservations about that machine because its pods were not biodegradable and I worried that my household was adding unnecessarily to landfill. When I read about Rombouts having biodegradable coffee pods I thought this could be the answer to guilt-free coffee.
On opening the Rombouts pod packets, the difference between these and some other branded pods is obvious. They are made from natural filter paper and contain no plastic or aluminium. Each pod is vacuum packed to maintain freshness and both the pods and the packaging are fully recyclable and biodegradable. That ticks the box for an eco-friendly coffee which is increasingly important to consumers.
The Xpress’ OH machine comes in white or black and is compact enough to fit on even a small worktop. My previous machine was considerably wider – having an inbuilt milk frother – but this, being purely an espresso machine, is slimline.
The machine couldn’t be easier to use. Fill up the water tank, press the ON button, pop in a coffee pod, select the large or small coffee option, press down a chrome handle and out pours the coffee. The used pods fall into a removable container.
The machine is easy to clean. The water tank, strainer and pod basket are all easily removable. The machine requires descaling every 6 months or so – depending on just how many coffees you are making a day – and a descaling kit can be ordered from Rombouts.
The Xpress’ OH machine can make a small (6cl) or large coffee (12cl) so one can choose whether to make an espresso or an Americano. This machine makes a lovely crema – the frothy layer on top of an espresso. There is a scientific and technical process that causes this but for laypeople, it just looks the business and is very inviting to drink.
Rombouts is a family business that has been producing coffee since 1896. It is based in Belgium where it holds a Royal Warrant. Aside from coffee machines, Rombouts sells a wide variety of coffee (pods, whole beans, ground beans and one cup filters) as well as tea, biscuits and chocolates. The speculoos biscuits I was sent are dangerously moreish.
There are many flavours to try out in the Espresso pod range. These include Ethiopian, Columbian, Brazilian, and Italian style. There is also the option of Ristretto or Grand Reserve pods. Decaf and Fairtrade pods are also available. The entire collection uses biodegradable coffee pods. The coffee has a rich, rounded flavour in different strengths so one can tailor one’s coffee drinking throughout the day. I look forward to working my way through the collection. The family coffee addict concluded – after tasting several flavours in one day – that the Xpress ‘OH made a very fine home prepared coffee.
The Xpress’ OH is reasonably priced at £120 although online I found a reduction to £69.95 which is really excellent value!
I was also sent a Dualit DMF1 milk frother to try out. This combination of coffee machine and separate milk frother works well for several reasons. I found with my previous coffee machine that the plastic nozzle on the milk frother developed a sour smell no matter how often it was washed. It couldn’t be used to froth milk for any other purpose other than a cappuccino. I prefer having a separate frother whereby I can control how much milk to add to the coffee if making a latte or a cappuccino. Great for entertaining.
This Dualit milk frother is a versatile gadget for the family. It can make heated milk, frothed milk or cold froth. ‘It’s a brilliant thing to have,’ declared a younger member of the household gearing up for milkshake making. The cold froth option can be used for milkshakes while the hot milk option can be used to make a latte. If I want to I can also pack the milk frother in a cupboard when not using it.
My Rombouts Xpress’ OH machine has fitted in snugly alongside my toastie machine on my kitchen worktop. I am sure it will be used as often. If I feel like a change of career, I can always open a panini and espresso bar. I feel my inner barista stirring. And best of all I know I’m not harming the environment with those biodegradable coffee pods.
If you’d like to order your own Rombouts machine, check the Rombouts Website, where you can buy this together with various coffee and tea products. Right now, there’s also a giveaway running on London Unattached where you can win a selection of Rombouts Coffee
Disclosure: I was sent this machine free of charge for the purpose of the review. All content is editorially given.