The OR is perhaps best known for its coffee, but the brand’s recent foray into the world of coffee machines is particularly interesting. The Philips L’OR Sublime is the first pod machine with a double spout, allowing you to pour two cups of espresso at the same time or a double shot in a single cup thanks to its XXL capsules.
In addition to this unique feature, the Sublime has a sophisticated and compact design, customizable drink lengths and a huge range of pod options as it is compatible with Nespresso capsules. It is also very simple to use, with only three buttons to find your way around and an automatic shutdown after one minute of inactivity. Quite simply, the L’OR Sublime is the best pod coffee machine you can buy right now.
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Philips L’OR Sublime pod coffee machine review: What do you get for the money?
L’OR Sublime is a classic style 19 bar pressure espresso pod machine, suitable for use with all L’OR pods, Nespresso original capsules and third party Nespresso compatible pods. As well as the machine itself, you’ll also find a selection of nine L’OR-branded capsules to try in the box, including its unique XXL double-shot coffees.
On the surface, the Sublime looks like a standard pod machine. At the top there are three buttons for ristretto, espresso and lungo, as well as a lever that opens so you can insert your pod. At the front, you have a pod tray large enough to accommodate seven to nine used capsules. There’s also a plastic drip tray holder, which can be removed to accommodate taller mugs up to 12cm tall, although it doesn’t have any adjustment beyond that. The front is also where you’ll find the new dual spout, which allows you to simultaneously pour two doses into separate cups or pour a double dose into one. At the rear, there is a fairly compact 0.8L water tank, which can be removed for easy filling.
One thing this machine lacks is temperature control, which admittedly isn’t a huge surprise at the price, and there are no milk frothing facilities. There is also no on/off button. It can be turned on by pressing one of the coffee buttons on top and automatically turns off after one minute when not in use.
The sleek design and matte-gloss finish of the Sublime is gorgeous and pleasingly compact. It measures 15.7 x 40.2 x 27.6 cm (WDH) and weighs only 4 kg. Whether you choose the red, black or cream version, there are also beautiful gold details on the spout for an extra touch of glamour.
In terms of competition, there’s nothing quite like the L’OR Sublime and its dual-shot capabilities, and there’s not much that can compete with its price considering its size and capabilities. features. The Nespresso CitiZ has a similar compact design and can be used with third-party compatible pods. However, it only offers one drink size, doesn’t have the option of dual shot capsules and comes with a much higher price tag of £175. Unless you choose to opt for Nespresso’s Nespresso Plus machine subscription, which gets you the machine for £1 when you commit to buying pods monthly.
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Philips L’OR Sublime coffee pod machine review: what’s good?
Besides its sleek design, the Sublime is well made, especially considering its price. Although it’s mostly made from plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap and the pod holder is reassuringly sturdy.
The main star of the show is this double spout. Its ability to pour a double shot of espresso is a welcome addition if you need to make espresso for a crowd, or if you just like your coffee strong. You can do this by using one of L’OR’s own XXL capsules, which the machine automatically detects when inserted, pouring enough for two single shots or one double. There is also an option to customize drink lengths from 25ml to 270ml, simply by pressing one of three buttons until your perfect length is poured.
Making coffee is also fast. There’s a quick seven-second heat-up time and it only takes 30 seconds to pour a single shot or 45 seconds for a double. The Sublime also pours a surprisingly accurate shot. Most pod machines struggle to produce the same size over and over again, but after weighing several espressos, I found the Sublime poured out a 30g shot of espresso almost every time, with only one or two grams difference on some occasions. When using the XXL capsules it varied a bit more, but it was much more consistent than other pod machines I’ve tested, and on average it produced two decent sized 32g doses from of each capsule.
Being a Nespresso compatible machine is also a huge advantage. While L’OR’s own selection of pods is good, with 19 single-dose capsules and six XXL versions, access to an ever-growing number of original and Nespresso-compatible Nespresso pods means this machine has one of the most large selections of pods currently available. Also, when testing, I found that there was no noticeable difference when pouring a shot using L’OR’s own pods compared to the Nespresso originals – none of those leaks. water before the coffee you so often get with the third-party pods. If you decide to stick with L’OR branded pods, there’s plenty to enjoy, including a filter-style pod for those who prefer a larger cup.
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Philips L’OR Sublime pod coffee machine review: what’s better?
My main issue with this machine is that currently there aren’t a huge number of double-shot XXL pods. Considering this is the standout feature of the machine, it would be nice to see this range expanded to get the most out of it.
Another small issue I found with the Sublime is that the matte parts of the machine were prone to picking up fingerprints. Whether this is really a problem will depend on how addicted you are to cleaning.
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Philips L’OR Sublime pod coffee machine review: Should you buy it?
The fact that I struggled to find anything bad to say about the Sublime is a testament to its quality. It’s a compact and stylish machine, the coffee pours quickly and evenly, and these XXL pods are a godsend for people who need a double shot in the morning.
The only slight complaint is that the selection of XXL double-shot capsules is rather limited at the moment, but hopefully that will change in the future. The bottom line is, if you’re looking for an affordable pod coffee machine with great capsule compatibility, you can’t buy anything better right now.
Buy now at Argos