If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught me, it’s that coffee is indispensable.

Call me spoilt but where our office is, we have our pick of whatever coffee style we want. Local heritage coffee that comes in a plastic bag? Check. The dependability of Starbucks? Check. An artisanal cuppa made from freshly ground single origin beans? Check.

 

That all changed when working from home became a thing. Suddenly, I was deprived of coffee options. Make no mistake, the cuppa is rocket fuel in the mornings to propel me through the day as much as it is a comforting drink to cradle at 3pm. In fact, coffee is so central to my life (and identity) that I often joke that there’s enough caffeine in me to power a small car (see my author bio below).

In that respect, the Philips 3200 LatteGo sitting in my kitchen right now has been god’s gift to mankind. The fully automatic espresso machine is designed for coffee obsessives like me, offering complete control over how I want my cuppa joe.

Extreme control
I say this with no exaggeration as I have tinkered with all manner of coffee gadgets over the past years. From moka pots to the aeropress and even a stovetop espresso maker. The problem with these trinkets is that while yes, there is complete control, it’s also difficult to get the variables right, and not to mention the cleanup after.

On the other end of the spectrum sits a range of coffee machines which uses capsules. While these offer convenience, it did not account for freshness of coffee. I have had one too many cups of black coffee with as much character as a dust pan.

(Image credit: Philips)

The Philips LatteGo is an elegant combination of both. For starters, beans are ground fresh each time you make a cup of coffee so you’re only limited by your imagination. This is vital as it means all the coffee oils are kept intact and not exposed to the air as with pre-ground beans. In the days I’ve used the machine, I filled it up with beans roasted by Chye Seng Huat Hardware.

To test out any coffee appliance, my first rule of thumb is to brew an espresso. This is one of five in-built beverage types offered alongside brewed coffee, latte macchiato, cappuccino and americano. Far from needing to mess around with a portafilter and tamping the grounds manually, all it needed was one push of a button.

That first sip transported me to Tyrwhitt Road (where the roaster is located), nevermind that I was leaning against the kitchen sink that morning. To have a coffee of that quality available at just one touch of a button was a revelation.

The magic lies in the mechanics
The trick to such quality is in the fact that the coffee grinding mechanism is ceramic — which doesn’t produce heat unlike steel grinders. This means the coffee oils are not subject to temperature fluctuations as the machine brews your cup.

The machine also keeps the water temperature (which you fill up manually via a side water tank) consistent between 90 to 98 degrees during extraction — the temperature where the coffee’s flavour compounds dissolve in water.

The milky way has no tubes
Yet the true convenience here is in a side attachment: The LatteGo milk system. This is a container that you can take out and stick into the fridge when you’re not making coffee. That’s important since milk only froths properly when it’s steamed from a cold temperature.

The beauty of this system is that there are no fiddly tubes that you have to clean after, and its small portion size means that I can enjoy my afternoon latte using oat milk one day and macadamia milk the next.

The sum of its parts
These factors are what makes the Philips 3200 LatteGo the perfect combination of control and convenience. Not only does it fuel my mornings with a strong, quality cup of espresso from beans that are as fresh as I could get, it also lets me indulge in an afternoon treat too — all at the touch of a button.

For as long as I’m working from home, the Philips LatteGo will keep me going.

The Philips 3200 LatteGo (S$1,399) is now available at Philips.com.sg, as well as leading electronics stores, major department stores and selected authorised dealers. 

Azimin Saini
Editor
Azimin Saini is the Editor of Lifestyle Asia and manages the team in Singapore. He has been told the sound of his backspace is like thunder through the clouds. On a regular day, he has enough caffeine in him to power a small car.