I decided to write this Philips 3200 LatteGo review to find out if it’s really capable of turning anyone into a barista, as many reviewers claim. I wanted to see if it’s really worth your money, or just an affordable product that gets more praise than it deserves. What I found, pleasantly surprised me, but I also discovered some weak spots than could be improved.
These types of espresso machines would have required prior knowledge of IT and engineering to be operated. The Philips 3200 LatteGo, comes in a simplified design, focusing on easy usability. The designers at Philips managed to keep things as functional as possible, skimming all the extra complexities that you would find on other super automatic espresso machines.
For the normal people, without barista skills, the 3200 LatteGo will seem like a big help towards preparing those much loved caffeinated drinks, like lattes. But, is there a cost to this technically slimmed down design? This is something I’m going to reveal as a result of my review of the Philips 3200 LatteGo.
|– Built-in water filter reduces the need for descaling;||– Espresso shots could have been stronger;|
|– Five coffee beverages on pre-programmed dedicated buttons;||– The noise level during operation is higher than average.|
|– Easy cleaning due to clever design;|
|– The milk frothier makes a dense foam;|
|– Premium quality construction;|
|– Very easy to use.|
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Table of Contents
- 1 Philips 3200 LatteGo Specifications
- 2 Key Features
- 3 Philips 3200 LatteGo Setup
- 4 Cleaning and Maintenance
- 5 Philips 3200 vs 2200
- 6 Is the Philips 3200 the best choice for you?
- 7 Why the Philips 3200 might not be for you
- 8 Conclusion
Philips 3200 LatteGo Specifications
|Type||Super Automatic Espresso Machine|
|Dimensions||9.7 * 14.6 * 17 inches|
|Grinder||Ceramic Flat Burr Grinder|
|Grinder Dimension Adjustment||12 Dimensions|
|Pump Pressure||15 Bars|
|Number of Boilers||1|
|Water tank capacity||70 ounces|
|Removable water tank||Yes|
|Control Panel||Touchscreen Display|
|Removable Brew Cup||Yes|
|Max / Min Cup Height||6.9 / 3.3|
|Bean Hopper Capacity||9.5 ounces|
|Pre-Gound Coffee Alternative||Yes|
|Number of Drinks||5|
|Adjustable Coffee Temperature||Yes|
|Color Options||Silver / Black|
One of the features that I like most about the 3200 LatteGo is the front control panel. The buttons have a good size and are pretty straight forward. They have suggestive images and printed names of the types of beverages you can make by pushing them. These are: espresso, coffee, americano, cappuccino, latte macchiato and, for the tea drinkers, hot water. Next to these beverage type buttons are 3 futher buttons that let you choose the size and strength of your beverage and the amount of steamed milk.
Milk Frothing System
The LatteGo milk frothing system makes all the difference for those of you who like to enjoy coffee beverages that also contain milk, like lattes or cappuccinos. It consists of two main removable parts that are very easy to clean. There are no small tubes or narrow parts that would be a hassle to clean.
I also like that you can operate the machine easily, it doesn’t matter how technology savvy you are. There is no complicated menu, you only have a few intuitive buttons. The enjoyment of your favorite coffee based beverage is really only a couple of touches away. I’d say you don’t even have to consult the instructions manual to start using the Philips 3200 LatteGo, it’s design is that user friendly.
One of the features that I think is a great choice by Philips, is the integration of a ceramic flat burr grinder. As you probably know, there are basically two types of grinders, flat and conical; and as far as materials are concerned, ceramic and steel.
Each type has its supporters, but fact is that most high end super automatic espresso machines have a ceramic flat burr grinder, and so does the Philips 3200 LatteGo. This sets it apart from most other espresso machines in comparable price ranges.
With the help of the 12 step ceramic burr grinder on the 3200 LatteGo you can choose the perfect grind size for the type of beverage you’re about to make.
Intelligent Brewing System
Philips uses a patented technology on this espresso machine, what they call an intelligent brewing system, which automatizes a few processes to obtain ideal coffee characteristics. First, they say, the system chooses the optimal temperature for maximum flavor extraction, which is somewhere between 195 and 210 degrees F.
Another automation of the intelligent brewing system is the pre-wetting of the ground coffee. I didn’t expect this feature on a machine in this price range, which definitely makes for a plus in the overall assessment. This stage of the preparations is important for maximum and even extraction of flavor. You’d usually expect this feature with higher priced super automatic espresso machines, not so much in the under $1000 category.
Although the extraction technology is more complex than expected, there are two weaknesses that I’ve managed to notice: the espresso could be stronger and creamier, and the brewing system seems to make slightly too much noise while under operation.
A feature that adds more convenience to the maintenance routine is the AquaClean Filter. This water filter keeps the water clean of elements that clog the internal parts of the coffee machine. Philips says, you would only have to descale the espresso machine once every 5000 beverages, thanks to this filter. That’s about once every few years, if you brew multiple beverages every day.
The thing is, you have to change the filter after 50 tanks of water. That means, you would have to replace the AquaClean Filter once every three to four months. This depends a lot on how many cups you brew daily, but consider this an approximation for moderate use. You’ll find out easily when it’s time for a new filter, because there’s a filter light that will flash orange when it needs changing.
I really like the convenience this filter offers. Other machines, that don’t have a water filter similar in technology to this one, have to be descaled every couple of months, if you want to avoid the clogging of the machine. So, thumbs up for this one, definitely.
Although the Philips 3200 LatteGo doesn’t make the strongest espresso, you have 3 settings to control the temperature of the coffee, which has kind of an effect on the quality of your espresso. To access this setting you have to go through a series of steps, which may not be that clear right from the beginning. The steps are the following:
- Turn the machine off by pressing the power button;
- While the machine is turned off, press and hold the coffee quantity button;
- While the lights are on, select between low, medium or high temperatures, by pressing the button;
- Turn on the machine by pressing the power button.
Philips 3200 LatteGo Setup
You’ll have to carve out some time from your schedule to setup the Philips 3200 LatteGo. Expect for this operation to last more than 5 minutes. The setup of this machine takes more than just connecting it to power. Usually I’d recommend consulting the instructions manual for this stage, but if you dread going through a pretty dense, information packed manual, then you can search for YouTube videos to complete this stage. The good news is that once you’ve passed this initial stage, operating the machine is not that difficult.
Like with most espresso or coffee machines, well, probably with any appliance, the first steps include an initial rinse, the activation of the water filter and establishing the hardness level of the water. You will not have a difficult time determining the hardness of the water, because you can use water hardness test strips. The result of this test will tell you how often, or rare in this case, you have to descale the machine. I say rare, because the AquaClean water filter does a great job removing the impurities, so you don’t have to descale as often as you would with other machines that lack such a filter.
After turning the machine on, it will perform a rinsing cycle, before being ready for its first use. After a few minutes it’s warmed up and ready to go, once all the 5 buttons, corresponding to the drinks you can brew, light up.
Brewing and Operation
The operation of the Philips 3200 LatteGo is pretty smooth in general. But there are certain aspects that I would like to highlight, which are more or less a concern.
First, the ceramic flat burr grinder, which by all means, is a great addition to a machine in this price range, tends to be a little louder than expected. Usually this type of grinders tend to be significantly quieter than stainless steel conical burr grinders. So, I’m not sure what exactly is happening there, but the situation is not ideal.
Next, the LatteGo system also tends to be louder than I expected. I can’t really find an explanation for this. So, overall the brewing process tends to be surprisingly loud. But there’s another aspect that I have to mention. The time it takes from bean to cup is, in my opinion, a bit too fast. Because of this, certain processes might be a bit superficial. This might be an explanation for a less stronger espresso.
Cleaning and Maintenance
One of the least favorite activities, of mine, and I think of people in general, is cleaning and maintenance routines. Because the 3200 LatteGo has several removable parts, and some of them dishwasher safe, keeping the unit clean and running well is easier than you might think. It’s a lot easier to clean than most super automatic espresso machines, which are notoriously difficult to keep clean, despite them being marketed otherwise. You’d probably be constrained to take them to be cleaned professionally. This is definitely not the case with the Philips 3200 LatteGo. The following are the removable parts which need to be cleaned periodically:
- LatteGo system – The system is very simple. It’s made of 2 parts: the container and the lid. You can remove it and give it a rinse under the tap. This is best performed after every use.
- Water reservoir – You can also remove this part. It is very easy clean and change the water filter, when needed. You’d probably have to do this operation seldom. A nice advantage is that it’s designed to be loaded from the front.
- Brew head – I really like that you can access the brew head via a door behind the water reservoir. Usually there can be ground build ups, and the fact that you can clean it that easily saves you ca lot of headache down the road.
- Drip tray and used coffee grounds container – These two are removed together. There’s a shut-off that tells you when it’s time to empty the drip tray. But I recommend you don’t wait for that signal, because if you do, it’s going to be almost overflowing by the time you’ll empty it. The coffee grounds container can hold up to twelve servings.
Of these removable elements, three of them are dishwasher safe, which makes the cleaning routine even easier. These are: the LatteGo system, the drip tray and the coffee grounds collector. As far as the outer surfaces of the machine are concerned, you can easily clean them with as simple as water and a soft cloth. Of course you can use certain cleaning products for the exterior, if you find that as being necessary.
Philips 3200 vs 2200
Philips offers several super automatic espresso machine that have similar names, and features, but have different prices. This can cause quite a bit of confusion when deciding which one is the better option for your home. Two of these espresso machines are the most popular options among the line, and have close price tags, which only adds to the confusion: the 3200 LatteGo and the 2200 Series. What are the similarities and differences between the two? This is the question that I’ll be trying to answer as best as possible.
In general, there are more similarities than differences between these two models of super automatic espresso machines from Philips. They have the same dimensions, almost the same weight, and a similar built. They both are made of high quality plastic, that actually looks good. The 2200 has some stainless steel parts, which gives an impression of higher quality. They also have similar features with minor differences. The similarities are along these lines:
- AquaClean water filtration system;
- Milk frother;
- Ceramic flat burr grinder;
- Responsive touch interface.
|Philips 3200||Philips 2200|
|Espresso machine type||Super automatic||Super automatic|
|Casing material||Plastic||Plastic & stainless steel parts|
|Milk frother||Built-in||Steam wand|
|Pump pressure||15 bars||15 bars|
|Water tank size||60.9 ounces||60.9 ounces|
|Max / min cup height||6.9 / 3.3||6.9 / 3.3|
|Grinder size settings||12||12|
|Bean hopper size||9.5 ounces||9.5 ounces|
|Removable brew head||Yes||Yes|
|Removable water tank||Yes||Yes|
|User interface||Touchscreen||Touchscreen & buttons|
|Grinder type||Ceramic flat burr grinder||Ceramic flat burr grinder|
|Specialty drink number||5||2|
|Adjustable coffee temperature||Yes||Yes|
|Two cup capacity||Yes||Yes|
|Dimensions||9.7 * 14.6 * 17 inches||9.7 * 14.6 * 17 inches|
|Weight||17.7 pounds||20.3 pounds|
|Power||1500 W||1450 W|
|Warranty||2 years||1 years|
Is the Philips 3200 the best choice for you?
If you need, more than anything else, a super automatic espresso machine that you can count on to deliver that morning coffee beverage, at a constant level of quality, and with not much effort on your part, then the Philips 3200 LatteGo is a great option for you. Aside from this, it’s also one of the best value for money choices in its category.
With the Philips 3200 there’s no need for a lot of labor to obtain your morning coffee, or any other one of the five beverages that the machine can serve you at the push of a button. Because of the simple, user friendly design, it’s perfect for you if you lead a busy life. Apart from the no fuss preparation process of your beverage, you will not have to clean it too often. And when you will have to clean it, it’s going to be as easy a process as it can possibly be, considering its features.
Because it has reduced dimensions, again, considering the features it comes with, it can fit in most kitchens out there. I’m sure counter space is very precious for you too, but you can’t realistically expect a smaller machine, with all the involved features.
Why the Philips 3200 might not be for you
If what you want to find in a super automatic espresso machine is a higher end product, you might want to look further. Also, if you are a more advanced coffee drinker, and search for more freedom in customizing your beverage, beyond the 3 degrees this machine offers on characteristics such as: temperature, strength, volume and milk quantity.
Overall, it’s hard to argue against the Philips 3200 LatteGo being one of the best value for money super automatic espresso machines that you can find right now.
Price-wise, it’s somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, but definitely offers far more advantages for its price then lower priced alternatives. Above all, it managed to place itself around that sweet spot, right in the middle between what is offered and what it costs.
This is not to say that the Philips 3200 doesn’t have weak points, and that its features are perfect, but in the end, the value offer consists in getting those specific features at a much lower cost. Most super automatic espresso machines, that have the same features, are priced on average, at a few hundred dollars upward of what the Philips 3200 costs.
And there’s another aspect that I find to be very interesting. From an engineering point of view, the simple design of the Philips 3200 is awesome in two ways. Less parts means a lower production cost, hence a lower price tag, but also that there are fewer parts that can break down, hence a longer durability. Also, it comes with a 2 year warranty to further support the reliability point.