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Krups LeCube coffee machine 

Continuing our series on up-market coffee machines, today we're reviewing the elegant 'Le Cube' from Krups.
Krups - Le Cube - Nespresso capsule coffee machine XN-5000

Krups has a long history in the coffee business, being formed back in 1846 as (according to their web site) 'a brand dedicated to precision and technical perfection'. They moved into coffee in the 1960s, giving them over four decades in which to hone their craft. They should know a thing or two when it comes to coffee and in this case they have leant their name to this Nespresso machine.

The machine I'm reviewing today, Le Cube, is available in a variety of finishes ranging in price from 149 through to the limited edition 'Americas Cup' version for 199. Our review unit is the least expensive white XN 5000. As you can see from the picture this has an attractive perspex-white facia (think it's called Artic White) with matt silver and black accessories.

Included in the package are the machine itself and a presentation box containing an Espresso and a Lungo glass cup with a saucer along with one of each of the twelve available Nespresso capsules. There is also a ring binder including various pieces of documentation.

If you'd like to know a little more about the Nespresso system, I wrote a short overview as part of my review of the DeLonghi Lattissima so please take a look there.

The controls on this machine are about as simple as they come. To the left a push-button on/off switch controls power. To the right two buttons select either Espresso (40ml small strong) or Lungo (110ml). Press the power button and the the system comes to life. A flashing power light means it's heating water, a constant light means it's ready.

Nespresso Expresso and Lungo glasses with coffee selection

A translucent chamber to the left of the machine takes up to one litre of water, the level clearly visible (a critisism we had of the Lattissima).

With the water chamber full simply insert the Nespresso capsule of your choice into the chamber, press down the lever and hot water will be forced through the capsule at high pressure (19 bar for those that understand what that means) and the coffee quickly fills your cup.

Although the machine is preset to use the appropriate 'standard' water quantities for Espresso and Lungo, for those of you that prefer more water (or less!) you can change the level very easily - simply hold in the drink button while the drink is being prepared and release when the required volume is reached. From then on that quantity will be used.

Nespresso Coffee Capsules

There is no water filter for this machine, as with the Lattissima, which for those of us in hard water areas is a pity. A descaling kit is available from the Nespresso web site (via the Nespresso Club) but once again my recommendation is to use a filter jug first to prevent, or at least minimize lime scale build up.

I'm delighted to say we had no problems with this machine - it basically did what it said it would do, quickly and easily and with no mess.

At 149, this machine is middle of the range for Nespresso machines. In my opinion it looks particularly good. There are a range of colours and finishes available so you should be able to match your kitchen decor.

Le Cube is fairly compact at approximately 22.6x23x23cm (yes - it really is a cube, well almost).

If you want a capsule based Espresso machine then this works very well, and the Nespresso coffee systems produces a first class cup. Do bear in mind though that the capsules are not readily available and generally have to be ordered online through the Nespresso Club, which you are encouraged to join.

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Comment by Boaz Ariely, May 22, 2009 22:34

Great article!
I wrote a post in my blog that compares Krup's version of the Nespresso Le Cube with Magimix's version. It's interesting to see how Krups and Magimix both make very similar machines for the Nespresso system with minor differences.
You're welcome to read at Espresso Club blog:
http://www.espresso-club.co.uk

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