Someone say coffee? I’m there and this time, thanks to Miele, as they sent over their new CM6360 coffee machine. So the CM6360 is one of Miela’s mid to high-end coffee machines and it’s an all-singing, all-dancing bean to cup machine, with convenience in mind.
For an automatic coffee machine, it’s medium size in footprint and shouldn’t look too out of place on your kitchen worktop. To the front of the machine, at the top is the touch control buttons and display. There are several buttons, the first few are pre-set coffee types like espresso, cappuccino, standard coffee etc and then other buttons are used to control the machine and change settings. There are quick buttons for selecting two portions, a double shot of espresso, a menu button and then associated arrows, ok and back buttons to use the menu. There is also a WiFi or MobileStart button they call it but more on that later.
Below the controls, two outlets, the main dual dispenser for the coffee and milk, which you can slide up and down to suit the size of your cup, then to the left, a fixed outlet for hot water only. There is then a separate milk container, made from glass with a metal tube inside, which connects to the side of the main dispenser via a detachable plastic tube. Below the dispensers is the drip tray, where your coffees sit and any excess liquid gets stored. The drip tray pulls out from the front, allowing you to discharge the liquid down the sink and throw away your used coffee grounds, or compost them. Moving around the right-hand side, there is a removable panel on hinges, which gives access to the brewing unit, which you can remove for cleaning. On the left-hand side, the removable water tank that you can fill up from the tap. The water tank has a volume of 1.8litres, the milk container has 0.5litre and the drip tray 0.75litres. Lastly, to the top of the machine is a nifty little rubber warming plate, which heats up when the machine is turned on and the idea is to heat your coffee cups that are stored on the mat. The mat gets warm, you can feel it from touch but it’s mild and in no way too hot to touch. Behind that warming mat, a shoot allowing you to insert ground coffee if you wanted, although that’s limited to one portion of coffee at a time. Behind that, a much larger hopper for your coffee beans, which will hold approximately 300grams of beans.
Straight out the box, it will make you a number of tasty beverages, standard-sized espressos, cappuccino’s and so on, although I would say they’re more a cup size, not a mug size, that some of us Brits like to have our brews in. Using the machine is very straight forward, plug it in, put your beans in the hopper, fill up the water tank, add some milk if you want milk and turn the machine on. Put your cup under the outlet, select your drink and it will be made. The screen shows you the process with a progress bar, so you’ll know when it’s done. If the array of default coffees are not enough for you or you prefer your drink made a specific way, then you can enter expert mode and edit your drink. You can change the portion size to perfectly fill your favourite mug, you can adjust the grind setting of the beans, you can change the quantity of beans ground, change the brewing temperature and you can save all of these changes under your own profile. I tried a few out, I actually wanted more hot water in my cappuccino and it worked a treat. Alternatively, you can scroll through the menu and dispense hot water, hot milk or frothy milk, manually and when you’ve added enough, press the button illuminated and it will stop dispensing. A note on the grind setting, it’s actually set manually and there is a 5 point slider inside the machine, where the brewing unit is. Don’t forget, the Doubleshot and 2 portion buttons too for an extra shot or make two drinks in one go.
There is no milk wand with this and I did try dispensing some hot and frothy milk to try to make some latte art with a single shot but the milk didn’t texture as needed, so don’t bother.
You can also use the machine to make a cup of tea and it gets quite specific. You can select which type of tea you’re going to make, white, black, green, herbal, fruit or Japanese and depending on which one you select, depending on water temperature and brewing time. If you went for a black tea, the water will dispense at about 78C, with a brewing time of 3 minutes, while a Japanese tea has a lower water temperature at 65C and will only brew for 1.5 minutes. Again, if those temperatures and timings didn’t quite work for you, you can adjust them in the expert mode.
As I’ve mentioned some temperatures there, I also took some manual readings with my thermometer and I got approximately 60C for an espresso, cafe au latte was 58C, hot milk was 50c, and hot water came out at about 75c.
I almost forgot, the machine can be connected to your home network via WiFi and you can use the Miele app to dispense drinks. You connect the machine to your network via the app, it’s pretty straight forward and then it allows you to make drinks. There is a button on the machine that turns the wireless option on and it can only be used once. So if you press this button, the drink options within the apps become ungreyed and you can select a drink. The machine then starts to dispense like normal but does make various sounds, as a warning to those around you. You can only make one drink, then you have to press the button again, which is fine because you need to move that first drink out the way to put an empty cup there. Now, you’re probably thinking, I can make a coffee, from the bed, first thing in the morning, get dressed and the coffee will be ready for you. Well, yes you can. The machine does have an automatic switch-off option though which is set to 20 minutes as default but you can increase this to 9hours, which should be enough sleep for you. However, if you want a milky coffee, you’ve got to leave the milk out all night, which isn’t ideal.
There are various other settings as well including an eco mode, barista mode, latte mode and party mode, which turns on the hardcore mode when you need to make a lot of coffees in a short time for all your family and friends. You can also do your own water test or ask your water supplier, and find out how hard your water is. Input that into the machine and then the cleaning notifications will change to suit i.e the harder the water, the more often it’ll be asked to be cleaned.
It will tell you when you’re out of the water, or if the machine needs cleaning or emptying but it will not tell you when you’re out of beans or milk, so you need to manually check those before making a coffee. A few times I got caught short on the milk, thinking what was in the container was enough for my drink but it wasn’t and then instead of milk, I just got steam. Also, the drip tray is completely filled to the top when it tells you to empty it. Every time I took the tray out of the machine and carried it to the sink, I split dirty water somewhere along the journey. Every time you turn the machine on and off, it will rinse through the internal pipework and the milk pipework, which is great but it does mean the drip tray fills up even quicker. When cleaning, it does make quite a mess and will leave the metal drip tray and back panel with steamy residue and when that dries, it doesn’t look great.
That is quite a lot to get through but I think I’ve covered most points. I used the machine every day for two weeks, making various types of coffees, the odd tea and hot milk with cocoa to make hot chocolate for my children. Although it took a while to get used to the sizes of the coffees, they came out hot enough for me, the proportions were good, not too milky, a strong coffee taste and they were impressive to look at, especially latte macchiato. Taste-wise, they of course tasted good but I used my favourite Lavazza bean. I like that it cleans itself often, especially flushing through the milk pipes which is great. It’s very user friendly and the app is an added bonus. I would have liked there to be a bit more height from the main dispenser to the drip tray, I have a few of those nice glass cups for a latte but they wouldn’t fit. It looks good, it’s well built and if well maintained, should last a very long time.
It’s not cheap at £1400 and I’m going to say part of that is the branding but if you like Miela and you like the convenience, this is a great machine. For more info, head over to the official Miele website.