They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day – whoever ‘they’ are. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but I do know that I enjoy breakfast. Although our standard weekday breakfast is usually cereal, weekdays are a bit more interesting – take my Huevos Rancheros recipe, for instance.
The reality though is that something like that is a very special occasion. Usually, a weekend breakfast consists of some kind of pastry like a croissant or pain au chocolat, or maybe something with bread such as scrambled egg on toast or a bacon sarnie. Either way, I’m happy as long as it’s not cereal and as long as I have a nice, fresh cup of coffee in my hand.
Being someone always keen to try out the latest tech and gadgets, I was interested to see what Beko’s latest range of small kitchen appliances could do for our family breakfasts. We were sent the Beko Bean To Cup Coffee Machine (CEG7425), the Beko Sense Kettle (WKD6306) and the Beko Sense Toaster (TAM6202) and set the challenge of putting them through their paces. Below, you’ll find my review of these three Beko kitchen appliances:
- Beko Bean To Cup Coffee Maker: At the touch of a button, enjoy a barista style coffee experience from the comfort of your home, thanks to the integrated milk frother and coffee grinder.
- Beko 3kW 1.65L Temperature Control Kettle: Offering an option of 4 temperature settings and a keep warm function that simmers your water for up to 30 minutes, this kettle helps you enjoy your hot drinks just the way you like them.
- Beko Wide 2 Slice Toaster: With the option of 7 toasting levels using the stylish LED controls, you’ll be able to enjoy freshly toasted bread just the way you like it.
Bean To Cup Coffee Machine
I’d not owned a proper coffee maker before, so I was particularly excited about cracking this bad boy open. I’m by no means a coffee expert, but I drink a lot more than I ever used to – thanks for that, Toddler L. Over the years, we’ve kind of moved up in our coffee snobbery – instant to cheap pods to more expensive pods and now to this. Our status as a middle-class family has been achieved.
The box contained a few bits and pieces. There was the main coffee maker, a removable drip tray, a measuring spoon, descaling agent, cleaning tablets, water hardness test strip, milk system cleaner and a milk tube. Despite it appearing like there were multiple components, set up was very straightforward.
The first thing was to attach the steel drip tray. This simply pushes into the front of the coffee maker and clicks into place. Next, you need to connect the milk system, which, in essence, is a long plastic tube. To do this, you open the front door of the coffee maker, then insert the tube into the milk frother hole. Just make sure you put the tube in the right way – I did it the wrong way to start with and it wouldn’t suck the milk up properly.
Next, you need to fill the water tank. This is done by pulling the water tank out from the appliance, filling with fresh water using the open hole, then slotting back into the coffee maker. This is a process that needs to be repeated whenever the water runs low.
Next comes the coffee beans. There’s a compartment on top which you open by lifting at the front. You can then fill it with fresh coffee beans, before closing again ready for use. You’re then *nearly* ready to go.
I’m not going to go into all the detail as that’s what the instruction manual is for, but basically you’re able to setup various preferences to get your coffee just how you want it using the function buttons. For instance, you can access the menu settings to do things like set the water hardness, shut-off time, coffee temperature etc. By storing these preferences, you can just make your coffee how you like each and every time.
Although, at first glance, the functions and buttons look complicated, you soon get used to them. Working from left to right, you have the On/Off button, Programs (Cleaning, Descaling, Milk Cleaning System), Number of Cups, Cup Size, Coffee Grinding Quantity and Messages (Empty Grounds, Refill Water etc). Once turned on, pressing a button scrolls between those options, e.g. changing the size of the cup.
When it comes to making the coffee, you first turn on the machine. You then wait for around 30 seconds for the appliance to heat up and run water through the system to clean it – the water goes into the drip tray. You then put a cup under the dispenser unit, lower it into the cup to reduce splash back, check (and adjust) the settings, then press the start button. The machine grinds the coffee, pushes it through the system into the cup and tops with hot water. You then turn it off, which again passes water through the system to clean it.
At this stage, you may see a light flash up to say the water needs topping up or that the waste compartment needs emptying. To sort this out, you just need to take out the compartment and either empty it (waste) or top it up (water).
Try to empty the coffee grounds frequently – don’t do what I did and leave them in there whilst on holiday as they go pretty mouldy! I read that they’re actually good for soil though, so I just empty them onto the garden so have zero waste and better soil.
In addition to coffee beans, the machine can also use grounded coffee, however I’ve not tried this so have nothing to report. There is also a speciality coffee setting which makes use of the milk system I mentioned earlier. This allows you to make late macchiatos and cappuccinos with milk / milk froth. I’ve made a few cappuccinos, but to be honest, I’m happy with a normal coffee and prefer to not have to deal with the clean up afterwards.
To use the milk system, you need to put the tube into milk – be it a glass or a bottle. When you put in the milk depends on what you’re making. For a cappuccino, it’s coffee first, then milk. So you make your coffee as normal, then turn the milk froth dial. This sucks up milk, warms it and dispenses it into the cup. After this process, you then need to clean the system using water and cleaning solution using the milk cleaning system programme. It does make a nice drink, but as mentioned above, a normal coffee does me fine.
I’ve been hugely impressed with the bean to cup coffee maker, so much so that I use it every day. It produces really nice coffee, looks nice and doesn’t take up too much room on the worktop counter. There’s plenty of ways to tailor your coffee experience with the appliance too, so it’s not just a one trick pony. My only slight negative is the milk system – I personally feel that a plastic tube cheapens the look of the appliance and wonder why Beko didn’t go with something like a steel spout. Other than that, I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Beko Sense Kettle
Out of the box, the Beko Sense Kettle has two main parts – the power base and the actual kettle where you put water. Visually, I liked the black gloss and silver as it matched the other appliances, but personally feel the shape of the kettle was a little meh. Setting up is very straightforward – from the most simplistic perspective, you simply plug the power base into the wall, fill up the kettle, pop it onto the power base, then turn it on.
There’s a silver button on the handle, which when pressed, lifts up the top of the kettle. This allows it to be easily filled with water ready for boiling. Down the back of a kettle is a water level indicator which – as the name suggests – gives an indication of how much water is in the kettle (maximum capacity 1.65 litres).
Once filled with water, you put the kettle onto the pointy-up circle on the power unit. Cleverly, the kettle is able to rotate a full 360 degrees on the base, meaning that you can put it on however way you wish – i.e. if you’re left-handed or right-handed. You’re then able to select how hot you want your water. I’ve never had a kettle with this feature before, so it’s truly amazed me!
By pressing the ºC button on the left, you’re able to choose whether to heat the water to 40, 60, 80 or 100 degrees C. It defaults to 100, but you simply rotate through the options with the left button for something cooler. When you have your temperature chosen, you press the middle power button and hey presto. Whilst boiling, there’s also a handy little progress update – the LEDs on the power base come on as a temperature is reached and the desired temperature flashes.
Despite being a bit gimmicky, the ability to change the temperature of the water has been useful. If the missus is going to work and is running a bit late, she’ll have a tea at 80ºC. Similarly, when Toddler L wants a hot chocolate, we’ll do this at 60ºC as she doesn’t have the patience to wait ten minutes for it to cool down. We still boil the kettle to 100ºC the majority of the time, but the lower temperatures have come in handy and is a useful feature.
The other main feature of the kettle is the ability to keep your water simmering at the specified temperature. This is done using the three wavey lines button on the right of the power unit. If you press this, then the kettle will ensure that the water doesn’t drop below the defined temperature for a 30 minute period. This allows you to save having to reboil the kettle – for instance, if your toddler distracts you first thing in the morning before you’ve made your brew, then you remember later.
I think it’s ultimately pretty difficult to go wrong with a kettle. The main job is to boil water, so I’d be worried about anything that isn’t able to do that properly. As such, obviously the Beko Sense Kettle boils water just as you’d expect. However, it does have two additional features – the ability to change the temperature and the ability to keep the water warm. Both are useful additions that we’ve used and something you don’t know you need until you’ve got it.
Beko Sense Toaster
The toaster is a compact appliance (26cm (l) x 16cm (d) x 24cm (h)) which fits well into the kitchen. Aesthetically, it’s a nice looking toaster made of black gloss and stainless steel. Out of the box, you get the toaster and the warming rack which sits on top. As you’d expect, it’s just a matter of plugging in and toasting to your heart’s content.
The toaster comes with two slots for the bread, which are described as “wide”. This means that it fits in larger things than you’d probably expect, be it thick sliced bread or bagels. Despite the slots being wider than normal, I’d have liked them to be a bit longer too. I’ve found numerous different types of bread are too long for the toaster, so you have to put them vertical rather than horizontal. This is a little annoying as you have to stop the toaster half way through in order to spin the bread and toast the other side.
The various controls are on the right hand side of the toaster. Here, you have the start lever which pulls down from the top, the degree of browning (1 to 7, 1 being least), a stop button, a defrost button and a reheat button.
To operate, you pop in your bread, pull down the lever, then select your chosen degree of browning – for reference, I’m a 2. The LED of the chosen number comes on, as does the stop button which does what it says on the tin. You can also select the defrost button if the bread is frozen or the reheat button if it’s already been toasted. Once the degree of browning has been achieved, it automatically pops up.
In addition to the bread slots, you can use the toaster to warm up a variety of foods. You simply pop the warming rack attachment into the slots, put the thing you want warming on top, select the desired degree of warming using the buttons, then pull down the start lever. The heat rises up and warms whatever you’ve put on top, then the toaster turns off when done.
We’ve not had anything like this before, but have found that it comes in handy as an alternative to the oven. For instance, we’ve used it to warm croissants, mini pancakes, bread buns and naan bread. It’s a pretty obvious thing to state, but just remember to turn the food over during warming to get both sides.
Another useful feature of the Beko Sense Toaster is that there’s a detachable crumb tray. It may sound like proper first world problems, but our old toaster just allowed crumbs to fall through onto the worktop. So, whenever you moved the toaster, it’d look like someone had stuck a load of toast into the blender, made breadcrumbs, then tipped it on the surface.
With this toaster though, there’s a little tray on the left hand side which pulls completely out. This goes underneath the toaster and catches any rogue bits of bakery product which may fall off during the toasting process. This significantly reduces the amount of mess in and around the toaster as it’s all caught in one place. This can then be taken out, emptied into the bin, then inserted back into the toaster.
Overall, I like the toaster. It has a couple of nice features such as the warming rack and the crumb tray, plus it looks nice in the kitchen. However, I would like the slots to be another inch wider and the black gloss is a bit of a bugger to clean. Other than that, it does the job I’d expect it to do.
I’ve been impressed with each of the Beko appliances and am more than happy to have them on my kitchen worktop. They are well made, produce good results and all look aesthetically attractive with the black gloss and steel. My favourite of the appliances is the bean to cup coffee machine. I use it daily and the quality of the coffee is much better than what I was previously used to. I have very few negatives to say about it.
The Beko Sense Toaster and Beko Sense Kettle are also good kitchen appliances. As well as doing what I’d expect of them – i.e. boil water and toast bread – they have a couple of additional features which provide an added bonus. For instance, being able to change the boiling temperature on the kettle has been useful for Toddler L’s hot chocolates, whilst the rack on top of the toaster has been used to warm things like croissants.
For me, they’re not quite perfect though. For instance, I’d prefer the toaster to have longer slots and the kettle isn’t the most stylish design. However, on the whole, I’m very happy with each of these breakfast-making products and would have no issue recommending any – or all – of them.
The DADventurer Star Rating
Beko Bean To Cup Coffee Maker – 5 out of 5 stars
Beko Sense Kettle – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Beko Sense Toaster – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Disclosure: The small appliances were sent to me by Beko with the purpose of writing an honest review in exchange for the product.
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