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25 February 2014

supermarket savers // fabulously filtered

recently i was approached by debt free direct to participate in a supermarket challenge they were running; to work out if buying supermarket branded electrical goods is a good way to save money, and whether or not they stack up against their big-name counterparts. with the challenge set, the first item i tested was a toasted sandwich machine, and the results were positive! the second item - a hand-held blender that i now could never do without, also proved a sensible alternative, but would the same be the same for the third item i was asked to try out as alternative to a brand-name product; a filter drip coffee machine* from sainsbury's...

in truth, i've never used one of these before; i used to work in a cafe as a barista when i was younger, and am now a bit of a coffee snob. to me, if there's no crema on top or if it doesn't come in an insulated cup, it's not really coffee. at work we even have a proper espresso machine that a few of us chipped in for and bought as there was no way we were touching the company-provided instant coffee, and our morning starbucks or costa routines were getting pretty costly. 

at home i have a cafetiere for the lovely coffees i picked up at taste london in november, and that kim kindly bought me for christmas, so with the coffee at home already i was keen to see what the results would be from the drip machine. the biggest problem i had was finding the filter papers for it! i'd trawled my local supermarkets and pound stores for them, finding nothing for weeks and having to purchase them online instead. guess what my local tesco stocks now, three days too late and after three weeks of asking for them? yup. murphy's bloody law at it's finest.

i'd also picked up some yummy coffee syrups so i could make some of my favourite flavoured coffees at home with the help of the drip machine. on sunday morning, after chatting to mum about her recent disasters with chai at her local coffee shop, i was in the mood for chai. 

as far as the machine goes, i had a quick read of the instructions, although it's basic common sense how it should all work. i filled the reservoir with water, popped a filter paper in the top, added three heaped teaspoons of coffee (i like it strong), then stood back as the water heated up and the steam began to push through the coffee, drip by drip. the whole process took less than five minutes in total, and created half as much mess as the espresso machines do. the only residual clean up consisted of throwing the used paper in the bin and rinsing the jug out. so, points go to the machine for lack of mess, ease of use, and its quickness.

the only downfall was the syrup i had been so eagerly anticipating...it was beyond disgusting, and i was gutted. just as well i'd filled the reservoir up enough for two cups, because the first test went straight down the sink..!

what do you think of the idea of a filter coffee machine? or are you an instant fan?

*item sent for review - for more money saving advice, check out debt free direct's blog for updates*

Add your comment

  1. I'm not a massive coffee drinker, give me tea and I'm anyone's, but on the subject of own branded electricals, I've always found with the smaller appliances like a hand blender it's fine, but if you want something with a little more oomph, I'd go branded. But I guess that comes down to the spec of the product anyway. x


  2. 100% agree ... until now! after trying three diff types of home branded electrical, I am way more inclined to buy home branded on bigger items now. you think about it; the same quality of labour and parts are used, they just don't come with the name - or the cost. bonus for me!

  3. I have tried branded and supermarket branded electricals for things like kettles and irons, and have had about the same level of success with each kind. I am currently debating the £100 Wilko KitchenAid dupe mixer. It looks really cute but I can't decide if I'm tempted to risk it or not...

  4. DO IT. I would be keen to hear the results too just quietly..


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