Listen, we all have better things to do than stressing over making the perfect espresso, right? For those who love espresso but don’t want to spend hours fidgeting with difficult to use equipment to end up with a mediocre espresso drink, the Philips 3200 LatteGo is for you. The Philips 3200 LatteGo retails for $799 and makes a great cappuccino.
The Philips 3200 LatteGo is, at its core, an incredibly user-friendly automatic espresso machine. You load it with coffee beans, water, and milk (if you fancy); press a button and it does everything for you. It grinds the beans, packs the grounds into a puck, and pulls the shot of perfectly extracted espresso all within the span of less than 60 seconds. Plus, if you selected a milk drink, it also steams and froths the milk and adds it to your cup on its own.
What sets the Philips 3200 LatteGo apart from the competition is the innovative design of their LatteGo milk carafe. The carafe mixes milk and hot air at a high speed inside the chamber and delivers silky frothed milk into your espresso at just the right temperature. The cherry on top of this design is that it only has three parts, and they can all be cleaned quickly and easily in the sink.
From the front of the unit, you can access all of the features and functions for daily use, so the 3200 LatteGo can be stored in a corner of your kitchen if you’d like. The touch panel on the front of the unit controls all of the features; you can also pull out the water reservoir straight from the front as well. The touch panel is well designed and responds quickly to the pad of your fingers, plus since it’s flat, it’s easy to wipe clean. The icons and text are simple to understand so that even guests can make their own espresso drink.
You can pour a double shot of espresso by selecting the espresso button twice, ensuring the “2x” LED is lit, but you can also select a double shot while making a coffee or americano. That’s not where the customization ends, however. For each drink, you can also select the amount of grounds to control the intensity of the drink, amount of coffee to control the amount of liquid, as well as the amount of milk (for cappuccinos and lattes.) The machine will remember the last-used settings for each drink, but it won’t store multiple settings.
The height of the spout is adjustable up to 5.5”, which allows you to make sure your espresso isn’t high diving into a shallow cup, leaving you with coffee splatters. When at its highest setting, the spout will allow space for some travel mugs, which is nice if you’re making an espresso drink on the go. The unit also comes with an AquaClean filter, which provides clean-tasting water and negates the need to descale the unit until about 5,000 cups and the LatteGo will keep track for you and remind you when it’s time to change the filter and descale. As is the case with most features built into the Philips 3200 LatteGo, convenience is the name of the game.
Speaking of convenience, on top of the machine is the 10-ounce capacity bean hopper that comes with an aroma seal top to ensure your coffee beans stay fresh while waiting patiently to be ground in the adjustable ceramic burr grinder. Philips also provides a single dose chute so that you can scoop a dose of your favorite pre-ground coffee into the chamber if you want a change from the beans that are already loaded in the hopper. People love options, and Philips delivers.
Maintaining the Philips 3200 LatteGo is a cinch. As mentioned before, thanks to the AquaClean filter, you don’t have to descale for 5,000 cups, however, Philips recommends that you remove the brew unit once a week to rinse it in hot water and let it air dry to remove some of the leftover grounds. They also recommend oiling the brew unit parts every 500 cups or so to keep it in tip-top shape. Speaking of cleaning, the drip tray is easy to remove and spill out the contents, thanks to the spout at the back of the drip tray. There’s also a removable basket that the spent grounds are dropped into so you can simply dump them in the trash.
I went into this review with many assumptions and doubts about the quality of the drinks that this machine would put out. But after the Philips 3200 LatteGo had calibrated itself after about a week of use, I was a believer. The drinks put out by this machine get damn close to café quality. The espresso shots come out with a beautiful crema on top and the shot is deliciously extracted. The cappuccinos are gorgeously layered and have a thick, foamy yet silky layer of milk on top. I didn’t think a machine could do all of this on its own until I got to test the Philips 3200 LatteGo. The only downside? The milk carafe does not allow you to do latte art since it pours the milk into the drink on its own.
After thoroughly testing the Philips 3200 LatteGo over the past couple of months, I will confess that it has turned my wife and me into espresso lovers. Having rarely had coffee drinks other than the standard fare for years, my wife has been converted to a cappuccino lover thanks to the simplicity of the LatteGo. She’s very busy thanks to our energetic kids and her growing business, but she’s able to find just a few minutes to make herself a cappuccino in the morning with the Phillips LatteGo. It may not be for everyone, especially the espresso aficionado who wants to control every aspect of their drink, but for the vast majority of the population, the Philips 3200 LatteGo will add value to their daily routine.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Incredibly easy to use; Simple, minimal cleaning & maintenance; Convenient; Makes a great espresso drink
What Needs Improvement: Pricey, but worth it