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Created in collaboration with Philips, the pioneer of single-serve coffee machines, the new L’OR Barista Sublime has a number of useful features not often associated with coffee pod machines. This type of machine is a popular choice and often found on some of the best coffee machines (opens in new tab) roundups, as it is highly rated for ease of use and delicious results.
Launched in August 2022, the L’OR Barista Sublime was created in collaboration with designer Khodi Feiz. It has a unique double spout design, which allows you to make two drinks at once, and it accepts the new and exclusive L’OR Barista XXL capsules, which contain twice as much as the smaller capsules. The new coffee machine is also compatible with L’OR single-use espresso capsules and most original Nespresso pods, so it could be one of the best Nespresso machines right now.
Fortunately, L’OR capsules are readily available in most supermarkets. A team of coffee artists creates each L’OR blend, ensuring only the best beans are harvested for a quality cup of coffee. L’OR has also partnered with a pod recycling service to make it easier to recycle the pods. We didn’t receive any Podback bags with our review unit, but the L’OR website claims we do.
The coffee maker comes with nine capsule samples, which is enough to get you started; however, we would have welcomed a few more decaf options. At around £100 for the pack, the L’OR Barista Sublime doesn’t come at an overly appealing price point for those looking to start making coffee shop style coffee at home. With fewer trips to the coffee shop, you’ll earn back the money spent very quickly, and it took much less effort than we thought to brew our perfect cup of coffee with this machine.
Philips L’OR Barista Sublime price and availability
- List price £104 / $AU159
The Philips L’OR Barista Sublime is an affordable pod coffee machine, compatible with the new L’OR Barista XXL capsules, L’OR single-use espresso capsules and a range of alternative coffee capsules, including Nespresso.
In the UK we have found it available to buy from lorespresso.com (opens in new tab), Amazon (opens in new tab), AO.com (opens in new tab)and argos (opens in new tab) . And in Australia we found it available to buy on Appliances Online (opens in new tab), although it is currently out of stock. It is currently not available in the US.
Philips L’OR Barista Sublime design
- Removable drip tray and water tank for easy cleaning
- Double spout, so that two drinks can be made at the same time
When we took the Philips L’OR Barista Sublime out of the box, we were amazed at how light and compact it was. Measuring 4.3 x 5.11 x 15.7 in / 11 x 13 x 40 cm (HxWxD), and weighing 7.38 lbs / 3.35 kg, it comes fully assembled – even the removable drip tray was in situ – so it’s virtually ready to use straight out of the box.
Both the removable drip tray and the 27.05 fl.oz/0.8 liter water tank are dishwasher safe; however, they are just as easy to clean under running water.
Removing the drip tray gives access to the tray into which used capsules fall. We found that this container can comfortably hold about a dozen capsules, so depending on how many cups of coffee you drink, it should be emptied every or every other day.
One of the striking features of the L’OR Barista Sublime is the double spout. That means we could make two drinks at once with the XXL double capsules. We have not come across many, if any, coffee pod machines with such a design feature.
Philips L’OR Barista Sublime performance
- Three settings to choose from
- Creates a beautiful cream
- Compatible with a selection of capsules
We were pleasantly surprised to see that the L’OR Barista Sublime comes with a sample box containing nine different capsules. In our household we have a preference for drinking decaf coffee, so we were slightly disappointed that the selection only included one such pod. Nevertheless, when tasting the different coffees during testing, there wasn’t one that we didn’t like.
The XXL double capsules proved to be the most useful, as we could use them to brew two cups of coffee at once. Admittedly you get more coffee in your mug if you use the contents of the larger capsule for just one mug, but we usually had a recently boiled kettle on standby to top up our drinks with boiling water.
The Barista Sublime presents three settings – Ristretto, Espresso and Lungo – and the setting for each of the capsules in the sample box was clearly marked. This is one of the many reasons why this coffee maker is so great for beginners. The lack of installation and the ease of the process means you’ll have your cup of coffee in no time.
Through testing, the machine consistently produced coffee with a rich aroma and thick crema, without a hint of a burnt or overly bitter coffee taste. The tasting box was great for figuring out which flavors tickled our taste buds before stocking up on our favorites. As mentioned, a few more decaf options would have been welcome.
At each setting, the coffee was dispensed at 77-81ºC, which is a good temperature and around what we’d expect. It only took a few seconds for the water to heat up – it was a bit faster in the Ristretto setting – but there’s no option to adjust the temperature, if you want your coffee piping hot, for example. Likewise, you can’t control the amount of water dispensed either, although the dual capsule recognition technology automatically detects the inserted capsule and pours the correct amount of water for that size.
For noise, we measured the L’OR Barista Sublime at 52dB on our sound meter, which is somewhere between moderate rainfall and normal conversation. It wasn’t loud, but you can hear it in operation, especially when no other devices are on.
As far as maintenance is concerned, the only regular task is to empty the bin for used capsules – although this depends a lot on the amount of coffee you ingest in a day; it keeps 12, remember. Both the tray and the drip tray benefit from occasional rinsing, as does the water reservoir. And if you’re someone who likes to have their coffee machine on the counter, a gentle wipe with a cloth will make it look nice.
Like all coffee machines, descaling is also recommended. How often is not stated in the manual, but you know when the coffee machine is ready because the Ristretto and Lungo buttons will flash after making a cup of coffee. L’OR recommends that the L’OR Barista CA6530/00 Coffee Machine Descaler (opens in new tab) for the job, with full descaling taking approximately 40 minutes.
Scorecard: L’OR Barista Sublime
|Where the||Widely available in the UK at an affordable price; not available to purchase in the US.||4.5 / 5|
|Design||Super easy to use and the dual spout is ideal for brewing more than one cup of coffee at a time. However, a milk frother would always be good to have.||4.5 / 5|
|Performance||Produces coffee with a nice, thick crema and at a constant temperature, although more temperature control would be useful.||4.5 / 5|
Should I buy the Philips L’OR Barista Sublime?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
- First assessment: September 2022