Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 review
- By: Ashley Saunders
- December 2020
Create barista-style coffee at home with the slim, sleek and fully-automatic Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103. Available in 3 colours (Silver/Black, Black, Red), its modern, compact design will look superb in most kitchens. As a German-made product, it’s designed to last.
As a bean-to-cup coffee machine, the unit features a bean hopper and an intelligent integrated steel grinder with three settings. These allow control over the size of the grinds, ensuring a fantastic cup of coffee.
The rear removable 1.2-litre water tank is easy to refill and offers a generous capacity. Your home’s water supply effects how the coffee tastes and its texture, and so a water hardness test strip is included. This enables you to adjust Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103.
A Thermoblock heating system ensures water is delivered at the correct temperature. The fresh grinds are moistened with water before brewing in the Aroma-Extraction-System (A.E.S.) as this releases the flavours in your coffee.
With a height-adjustable spout, whether you enjoy an espresso or a latte, you can adjust the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 for the cup! A double-cup option is also available and creates two drinks at once.
Thanks to its LCD screen and minimal buttons, operating the unit is intuitive, whether you’re using a preset drink or creating your own. There’s even a smart device App which can control the unit and also includes tips and tricks, maintenance advice and access to a diagnostic tool.
Cleaning the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 is simple thanks to the automatic descaling program and removable brewing unit. A bottle of descalent is included. It also features a 0-Watt switch which enables to disconnect from the mains while still storing your settings.
As one of the top bean to cup coffee machines currently available, the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 comes with a two year Melitta guarantee. 7/10
- German designed and made
- Only 20 cm wide
- 1.2-litre water tank
- No milk frother
Featuring a compact design, the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 measures 20 cm (w) by 45 cm (d) by 32 cm (h), meaning it can easily slot into any kitchen design. Its sleek design makes it ideal for the bedroom ensuring your first coffee of the day is superb.
At first glance, you’ll most likely spot the bean hopper which is located at the back right and hold 125 g of beans. On the left is a 1.2 Litre water tank that sits behind a panel that’s easy to remove, making refilling the tank simple.
Moving to the front, the control panel and screen instantly grab the eye, thanks to their simplicity. The first grey button on the left controls the quantity of coffee used in each cup. Under the display, the three buttons cover single-cup dispensing, two-cup dispensing, and the coffee strength. The final grey button, on the far right, is the ON/OFF switch.
Directly below the control panel is the height-adjustable outlet, which feeds the hot coffee to the cup or cups, depending on the mode. As this is adjustable, you can change its height based on the mug’s size.
Holding the cup is place is a drip tray, which catches any leftover drips. Coffee grounds are discarded into this container as well, making it easy to remove the waste.
Finally, on the right-hand side, is another removable cover. Behind this sits the brewing unit, grinding fineness adjustment element, and identification label.
Quickly create drinks with the fully automated Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 bean-to-cup coffee machine. Gone are the rows of controls, replaced by a few simple options and a display screen.
The hopper holds up to 125 grams of coffee beans and releases the perfect amount into the steel grinder. With three grinding levels, you can tailor the size and fineness to your preference.
Before the grinds reach the brew unit, they are moistened in the Aroma-Extraction-System (A.E.S.) to ensure a full release of flavours in your coffee. Water from the 1.2-litre tank is heated in the Thermoblock heating system for the perfect pressure and water temperature.
With three brew temperatures and two different coffee programmes (Espresso and Americano) to choose from, you can customise the drink to your preferences. Easily save and presets with the touch of a button, allowing you to enjoy the same great coffee every time.
Use the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 to create either single or two drinks at once, ideal when you have friends over. You can even adjust the unit to correctly match the height of your cup or glass.
The intuitive operating panel only contains the essentials controls, allowing for easy operation. If you prefer, a smart device App is available and offers further controls as well as step-by-step instructions for making coffee and machine maintenance.
Another unique feature found in the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 is a 0-Watt switch, which stores your settings, even when the unit is disconnected from the mains. A programmable energy-saving mode, ensure your machine switches itself off automatically.
As the best coffee is produced by a clean machine, an automatic descaling program and removable brewing unit ensure an easy to clean unit and longevity. The interior can also be wiped with a damp cloth.
Getting starting with the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 is easy, thanks to its design and limited options. After removing the unit removed from the box, placed on a stable surface, plug the mains cable into a power socket.
Next, add coffee beans to the hopper and remove the water tank. Fill the water tank full of fresh water and replace. For the best-tasting coffee, use fresh water every day and tweak the water hardness setting.
The water hardness is set to 4 by default but can easily be changed based on the results of the included water hardness test kit. With this set, the appliance will notify you when it needs descaling.
The included Melitta® PRO AQUA filter cartridge removes limescale and other contaminants from the water. It needs changing every few months to ensure your machine filters out any minerals that could damage the unit.
When turning the unit on for the first time, it may start automatically rinsing, so it’s worth putting a bowl underneath to catch any water. The drip tray will catch some drops but will quickly overflow.
Next, choose between three settings which control how the beans are grounds. You’ll need to remove the panel on the right-side hand of the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 to find this control.
On the front, the far left knob controls how much coffee is dispensed, from 30 ml to 220 ml per cup. Finally, adjust the coffee’s strength using the last button under the display. Cleverly, it’s displayed as beans and ranges from mild to strong.
To make a coffee, place either a one or two cups under the outlet. Press the single-cup dispensing button for one drink or the two-cup button for two drinks. You can cancel by press the corresponding button again.
As the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 offers a limited range of drinks and settings, it’s easy to set-up and operate. The overall simplicity will appeal if you want a set and forget machine that can consistently produce coffee as you like.
That’s not to say that it lacks options, just that they are limited. After you’ve experimented with the three grinding settings, the different temperature options and the strength control, the unit can with the push of a button make coffee exactly to your preferences.
Due to its compact design, you’ll find yourself topping up the beans and water quite often. Sadly, there are no indicators on the unit to show the current levels of water or beans. So it will take some guesswork to figure when it needs refilling.
The Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 is simple enough to use as a standalone unit yet the smart device App adds another level of options and controls. It’s fairly well designed and allows you to view a range of information while making troubleshooting easier.
As a clean machine produces better coffee, Melitta has tried to make the process easy. Firstly, the machine can be wiped down with a cloth. The drip tray and container the grinds collect in can both be removed for cleaning. As can the brew unit.
Two different cleaning programmes are available. A 15-minute integrated cleaning programme offers a basic level of care and should be run regularly. An integrated descaling programme takes about 30 minutes should be completed every 3 months. That said, the machine will remind you it needs descaling.
Keeping your Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 running and producing great coffee takes a little more work than making a brew but it worth it.
Is the Melitta Caffeo SOLO worth buying?
For a couple of hundred pounds, the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 is worth investing in if your a coffee drinker who is happy to drink either espressos or Americanos. If you’re hoping it secretly produces lattes, teas, and hot chocolates, then you’ll be sorely disappointed.
It’s also worth avoiding if you’re a coffee enthusiast as it’s not as configurable as it could be with only three grind settings, two water temperatures and three strength settings. That said, it’s ideal if you’re looking for a bean-to-cup coffee machine that’s automated.
Depending, how you look at it, the small bean hopper and water tank either is a blessing or curse. Some will find having to constantly check and refill these frustrating, especially as there are no level indicators. Others might enjoy being able to use smaller quantities as it ensures freshness.
Putting that to one side, what the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 excels at is being simple to use and offering a fresh coffee with a single touch. It produces consistent coffee whether you’re using the single cup or dual cups options. Plus being able to pour two cups at once is ideal first thing in the morning or when trying to grab a quick drink with a friend.
Again the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 isn’t the most exciting unit nor is it the comprehensive automatic bean-to-cup coffee and hot drinks machine. That award goes to the Miele CM6150, which is nearly three times the price.
So for the price, the modern, sleek design and the ease of use, the Melitta Caffeo SOLO E950-103 scores 7/10.