Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa review

If you’d love to make a variety of coffee drinks at home with a minimum of fuss, the Lavazza Deséa could be just what you need – our testers were certainly impressed

Editors Choice
Luxury
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Founded in 1895 by Luigi Lavazza, the Italian family-owned business has come a long way from its origins selling roasted coffee in a modest Turin grocery store. Lavazza is now the world’s seventh-largest coffee roaster, and also produces coffee machines, accessories and even a stylish calendar graced by renowned photographers. 

One of the company’s most popular product lines is A Modo Mio, a range of coffee machines and pods launched in 2007. Designed to be easy to use, they produce a variety of coffee drinks, from espressos to lattes, at the touch of a button – all facilitated through the simplicity of a coffee capsule. 

The Deséa – dubbed by Lavazza “your personal barista” – is the flagship machine in the A Modo Mio range. 

A Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa coffee pod machine sat in the Saga Exceptional testing centreCredit: Saga Exceptional
Editors Choice

Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa

Luxury

The Lavazza Deséa coffee machine boasts a premium look with a modern design. Setting up the machine is straightforward, and it efficiently produces various coffee types, excelling in Americanos. Its strong point is its ability to craft a wide range of coffees, though its proprietary pods can be pricier than competitors.

Design

Ease of use

Performance

Value


Who’s this for?

This is a machine for someone who wants the convenience of coffee pod machines but not at the expense of flavour. While a pod will never replicate the full taste of an espresso, this machine comes pretty close. 

Our likes and dislikes

  • Stylish and compact design
  • Easy to use
  • Has a built-in milk frother
  • Quiet operation
  • Pricey
  • Cable is on the short side
  • Gloss cover and metal lever are prone to fingerprints

Expect to pay

RRP: £249 The RRP is £249 but we’ve seen it for £175-£199 on sites such as John Lewis and Amazon. You can also take out a monthly Lavazza coffee subscription and get the Deséa for just £1. 

Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa Review method

How we test

At the Saga Exceptional testing centre, we subjected the coffee pod machine to a battery of different tests.

Our comprehensive approach included technical assessments, utilising tools such as a coffee refractometer to discern extraction levels and caffeine concentrations within the final coffee cup. Factors such as flow dynamics, temperature precision and brewing duration were also noted. 

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We then tested the machine in a home environment, using it daily across a week. We looked at how easy it was to use – as well as to clean – and ensured we made all the different types of coffee available on each specific machine. 

Finally, we performed the all-important taste test, evaluating each cup of coffee on flavour and visual appeal. 

Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa Design

Sleek and modern

When we opened the box, we were impressed with the chic look and feel of the Lavazza Deséa. The matt black and gloss cream exterior is stylish and modern. The machine is also weighty, which adds to its premium feel. 

Although most of the machine is made of plastic, there are some nice touches that make it feel of good quality, such as the chrome drip tray and glass milk frother. The handle for the pod is also chrome, and it feels durable and sturdy. Overall, our impression was that the Lavazza Deséa is a well-made and solid machine. 

Our one worry about the design? Fingerprints. The gloss cover and metal lever mean this beauty is going to need a daily clean to keep it looking shiny and new.  

The Lavazza Deséa is relatively large, but still compact enough to fit on most worktops. It’s about the length of one and a half toasters, so it may not fit into every cupboard. The cable is also on the short side, so you may need to position the machine close to a socket. 

It includes a glass milk frother with a handle. This is a nice touch, as it makes it easy to pour the frothed milk into your coffee. The frother can also be used to make hot milk for other drinks, such as hot chocolate. 

Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa Ease of use

Simple, but you’ll definitely need the instructions

The machine is easy to set up. Just plug it in and you’re good to go. However, it is recommended that you read the instructions first and perform the special first-use set-up, which includes washing the removable elements and using the cleaning buttons on the machine. 

Making our first cup of coffee was simple enough, especially if you’ve used a pod machine previously. There are, however, eight different buttons for making coffee, so it is helpful to read the instructions beforehand. We found the visual quick start guide useful, although the images could be bigger – we definitely needed reading glasses.  

As stated before, the chrome lever is nice and strong. It does need some force to push it down, but we tested this with someone who suffers from arthritis and overall she found it relatively comfortable, saying that the size of the lever is a plus point as it enables you to exert pressure more easily.  

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The buttons, on the other hand, need no pressure. A light touch gets them working, which is ideal if you have an issue with mobility in your hands. However, we did accidentally set it off when browsing for the right coffee button, so keep that in mind. 

One other thing to remember is that the pod only moves into the chamber below once you lift the lever to add another one. We forgot and pressed the button for another espresso, meaning we got a very weak cup of coffee.  

The machine is easy to take apart to clean. Everything can be put into the dishwasher or washed out with warm water and washing-up liquid. Lavazza recommends that you also perform a weekly brewing procedure without inserting a capsule to clean the machine throughout. 

One of the features we really loved is the various warning lights that come on to tell you if the drip tray is too full or the water tank is empty. It also alerts you to the fact that the machine needs descaling – an easy enough task that just involves pressing two buttons simultaneously.  

Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa Performance

A good variety of coffee types 

We made a long coffee – or americano – first and it was smooth and very drinkable.  

Our head product tester, Philip Sowels, who is also our in-house coffee expert, says that it’s one of the only pod machines he’s seen that makes an americano the correct way: “It heats up the water first and then extracts the espresso shot into the water.” 

The machine seemed a lot quieter than others we’ve used, both when making the coffee and frothing up the milk. Our testers recorded a noise level of 55dB, which is comparable to that of typical speech. It’s a great machine to have if anyone is getting up early and needs their caffeine fix without waking up the whole household. 

The americano was done very quickly – we literally turned around and it was in the cup. In our testing centre, they recorded a time of just 13 seconds to make an espresso. The milky drinks obviously take longer as the milk must be frothed up. 

What we liked about this machine is that you can select different types of coffee – espresso, long espresso, long coffee (americano), cappuccino, latte and iced coffee. It also comes with a large 1.1ltr (just under 2pt) water tank, which means it can dispense a fair number of espressos before you need to refill it.  

Many machines come with a separate milk frother. With the Lavazza Deséa, though, the machine froths up the milk and then pours the coffee into it. However, it can be a bit tricky to line up the three prongs on the lid so that they slot into the machine.

We had one issue when making a latte, where it seemed to push the mug out a bit and then started making weird noises, but a little push quickly sorted it.  

The cappuccino looked very pretty, and we ended up drinking it out of the milk frother as we didn’t want to disturb the pour. And while the large cappuccino was a bit too milky for our tastes, the standard size and the latte were the right mix of coffee and milk. 

We did find that the drip tray isn’t that large, so if you like a big mugful of coffee you might be better off making it in the milk frother and then swapping it over to your mug. 

The machine offers a variety of features, including pre-set programmed coffee options, the ability to programme your own desired coffee length, a “free dose” button so you can stop the coffee flow at any time, and a temperature boost button if you like your coffee extra hot. 

Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa Value 

Pricey, but pretty near perfect

While it isn’t the most expensive machine we’ve tested, it doesn’t come cheap. However, the ability to make a wide variety of coffees adds extra value. Also, we’ve seen it reduced from its usual RRP of £249 to £175 on Amazon, which would make it a great buy. 

Lavazza machines need their own pods, so you can’t use Nespresso ones. Unfortunately they’re not as cheap as Nespresso either – costing £4.40-£4.99 for a box of 16, which works out at 27-31p per pod. However, the company does produce eco pods, which are compostable. A quick search on Amazon also yielded some Lavazza-style pods made by other companies, which worked out at round 17p per pod. 

Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa Competition

Other versatile coffee pod machines to consider

If you want the flexibility to make espressos as well as milky drinks, there are other machines to try. 

illy Easy 

Just like Lavazza, illy is a family-run business. It began in a small cafe in 1933 and founder Francesco Illy is credited with creating the blueprints for the modern espresso machine.

You can make a large range of drinks with the illy Easy, from a ristretto to a latte – and, like the Deséa, it’s very stylish, available in red, black or white. It also comes in at a much lower price – a very attractive £115.

The only drawback is it takes ESE pods, which aren’t readily available in major supermarkets, but can be ordered online via illy’s site or Amazon.

Featured product

illy Easy

RRP: £115

illy Easy

Nespresso Citiz&Milk 

At £140 the CitiZ&Milk is an affordable coffee pod machine for those who love a milky drink. It comes with an attached frother that whizzes up milk in an instant – either hot or cold, so you can make iced coffee too.

Also, Nespresso pods are readily available, and many independent coffee roasters are producing their own compatible varieties.  

Featured product

Nespresso Citiz&Milk

RRP: £213

Nespresso Citiz&Milk

Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa Verdict

A versatile machine to suit all your coffee needs

If you’re looking for versatility and style combined in one machine, you can’t go wrong with the Deséa. It looks great on the counter, makes delicious-tasting coffee and offers the option to personalise your coffee – something most coffee pod machines don’t.  

Tester Philip Sowels (who roasts his own coffee) reckons that when it comes to pod machines, this is the one to go for, especially if you’re a bit more serious about how your coffee tastes. 

“The more I used the Deséa, the more I liked it,” he says.  

“It has plenty of options for programming shot times and adjusting heat. Where it really comes into its own is making americanos and milk-based drinks, providing a truly fuss-free solution. The glass jug is easy to clean as well, unlike the Nespresso milk frother.” 

Editors Choice

Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa

Luxury

The Lavazza Deséa coffee machine boasts a premium look with a modern design. Setting up the machine is straightforward, and it efficiently produces various coffee types, excelling in Americanos. Its strong point is its ability to craft a wide range of coffees, though its proprietary pods can be pricier than competitors.

Design

Overall, we were impressed with the design and build quality of the Lavazza Deséa coffee machine. It is a stylish and well-made machine. The only downside is that it is a bit large and the cable is on the short side.

Ease of use

It’s easy to set up and use. The controls are fairly straightforward and it’s simple to make your first coffee. The machine is also easy to clean and has warning lights for the drip tray, water tank and descaling, ensuring you keep it working at its best.

Performance

This coffee machine really stood out for us, thanks to its superior performance and versatility. It swiftly delivers coffee – an Americano in just 13 seconds – and offers various types like espresso, cappuccino, latte, and iced coffee. Customisation options, like coffee length and temperature boost, enhance its appeal, while a compact milk frother design adds convenience.

Value

It offers good value with its versatility, despite not being the most affordable option on the market (although it can be found cheaper if you look around). While Lavazza’s proprietary pods are compostable, they are slightly pricier compared to Nespresso’s. Cheaper alternatives from other brands are available, however.


Who’s this for?

This is a machine for someone who wants the convenience of coffee pod machines but not at the expense of flavour. While a pod will never replicate the full taste of an espresso, this machine comes pretty close. 

Our likes and dislikes

  • Stylish and compact design
  • Easy to use
  • Has a built-in milk frother
  • Quiet operation
  • Pricey
  • Cable is on the short side
  • Gloss cover and metal lever are prone to fingerprints

Expect to pay

RRP: £249 The RRP is £249 but we’ve seen it for £175-£199 on sites such as John Lewis and Amazon. You can also take out a monthly Lavazza coffee subscription and get the Deséa for just £1. 

Lavazza A Modo Mio Deséa Specs

Weight  4.23kg (9lb 5oz)
Water tank capacity 1.1ltr (just under 2pt)
Dimensions 28cm x 14cm x 38cm (11in x 5.5in x 15in)
Cable length 83cm (33in)
Adjustable coffee strength You can programme your own desired coffee length
Capsule compatibility Own Lavazzo coffee pods
Noise level 55dB
Drink sizes Ristretto (stronger, shorter espresso), espresso, lungo (longer espresso), americano, cappuccino, latte
Adjustable cup height Yes
Auto shut-off Yes, after nine minutes
Milk capacity 500ml (just under 1pt)
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Jayne Cherrington-Cook

Written by Jayne Cherrington-Cook she/her

Updated:

Jayne is the Senior Editor for Home Tech. She cut her online journalism teeth 23 years ago in an era when a dialling tone and slow page load were standard. During this time, she’s written about a variety of subjects and is just at home road-testing TVs as she is interviewing TV stars.

A diverse career has seen Jayne launch websites for popular magazines, collaborate with top brands, write regularly for major publications including Yahoo! and The Daily Telegraph, create a podcast, and also write a tech column for Women’s Own.

Her passion for technology began at age 11 when she received a BBC Micro computer one Christmas and became obsessed with beating Chuckie Egg (if you know, you know) and writing simple computer programmes. As her family’s IT department, when she isn’t writing or geeking out about some new tech, she can be found on the floor of her son’s bedroom putting together his latest gaming set-up or helping her dad understand how cloud computing works. Jayne is determined to make technology accessible for everyone because she believes technology should enhance life, not hinder it.

Jayne lives in Kent with a shepsky, her husband and her son, who is attempting to teach her the ways of TikTok, Aston Villa and anime. A keen neurodivergent ally after her son was diagnosed as autistic five years ago, when Jayne does have some rare downtime she enjoys yoga, reading, going to musicals and attempting to emulate Beyonce (poorly) in street dance classes.

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