Is it worth it? The Italian job

Feeling continental? Then indulge your tastebuds with the Divertimenti espresso machine, yours for pounds 350
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Mocha, latte, cappuccino, espresso, regular, filter - it's all quite baffling when the Great British public are only just getting their heads around Nescafe in the mornings. No wonder an espresso in Rome airport still beats the swankiest British version hands down.

Still, help may be at hand with the Divertimenti espresso machine. I tested it to see if it was possible to recreate that Italian experience a casa and fell in love - it looked so chic that, in a mad moment, I would have happily shelled out the pounds 350 it costs. It was simple to use and clean and the espresso it produces is quite strong, a bit bitter and definitely enough to knock my socks off. My (Italian) partner found it too thin, but then his coffee needs to be like a thick sludge at the bottom of his cup.

And it looks so professional. It has lots of switches to fiddle with and a little pressure gauge that will impress tiddly guests. Its shape is sensuous and, to my mind, very Italian and the machine as a whole is pretty foolproof. The most fun comes from trying to make cappuccinos using the steam pipe on the side to froth the milk. Semi-skimmed is best but we couldn't quite achieve the meringue-like consistency of the "real thing". Your foreign guests may still lament about the flavour of coffee "back home".

Divertimenti: 0181 246 4300

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