DeLonghi's Icona machine looks deliciously chic with its retro Italian design. Available in azure blue (pictured), onyx black, pearl white, green, aubergine and scarlet red, this stylish piece of coffee kit will have no trouble upstaging your toaster.
There's something very satisfying about making your own espresso or cappuccino, not least because the latter calls for milk-frothing. If you normally stand there in your favourite coffee shop, occasionally taking in the hubbub going on behind the counter, this machine lets you do all of this at home. Why, you might ask, would you want to go to all that effort? Well, aside from the fact that you will quickly save a fortune making your own coffee at home rather than buying takeout from a coffee shop, you also get to be more choosey. If you really LOVE your coffee, chances are you have a favourite kind. Whether it be Colombian, Peruvian or Guatemalan, fine ground or Fairtrade - you can put exactly what you like into your cup of coffee. Plus there's the glory card. Rustling up an espresso or cappuccino barista-style when your friends come round, will result in some self-satisying 'Oooohs' and 'Ahhhhs' as they sip their heady infusion.
There is a down side of course: you might become an addict. I used to be a very definite tea drinker. Since the arrival of my espresso machine, I've become a very definite coffee addict. I plan what time I'll have my first coffee, then I try very hard not to have another, and another. I find it difficult to go a day without a coffee of some kind, and have started looking up coffee shops when I'm out to try out their coffee and steal their tricks. In time, I'm fairly sure I will become fanatical about the kind of ground I use, and the provenance of my coffee, but y'know - I can totally handle it. Totally. If all the coffee shops close down because of some freak coalition Government ruling, I will just barricade myself in my flat and hug my espresso machine. If that sounds like obsessive behaviour, just wait until you start trying to make a flat white. I'm on around my fiftieth attempt now, and despite the frustration and the failure, I'm still hell bent on cracking it. It's in no way an excuse to make yet another coffee. That's just ludicrous talk.
For more information on DeLonghi's Icona Espresso & Cappuccino Maker range, please visit: http://www.delonghi.co.uk/
**Guide price: **£149.99
**Review by:** Helenka Bednar