Capacity: 1.2 litres
The Melitta E950, also known as the Melitta Caffeo Solo, is not the most powerful model in the Melitta automatic range. Still, it is by far the most popular and best-selling. Possibly because of its sobriety (it’s a coffee maker that offers neither more nor less than you’d expect from a top-of-the-range automatic) but also because of its price, which is very close to what this range of coffee makers is all about.
In this review, we will not only dissect the basic Caffeo Solo (model E950), but we will also talk about two advanced versions that complement it: Caffeo Solo & Milk (E953) on the one hand, and Caffeo Solo Perfect Milk (E957) on the other.
If we analyse it carefully, we can see that Melitta is committed to very serious lines – the coffee maker is practically square – which is common to all the models in the range. They themselves even speak of a “minimalist coffee machine” when referring to this Caffeo Solo.
Its design, however, stands out for its compactness: it is barely 20 centimetres wide, and the E950 fits into any space in the kitchen. More expert users will know that the combination of super-automatic espresso machine vs space in the modern kitchen is not always easy to solve. In the base, we find, in addition, small ones that allow moving the piece without effort and without risk of rubbing.
The great ergonomics of this Melitta E950 can be seen in additional details such as the coffee-making unit, which can be accessed and removed from the side of the machine (see photo below); the control panel with its large buttons; the LCD digital display; or the height-adjustable spout which allows you to use both small espresso cups and long glasses for mixed drinks.
On top of the Melitta E950, we find the indispensable heating plate that serves to preheat the cups or glasses where we are going to serve the coffee. This ensures that the freshly brewed beverage retains its temperature, and therefore its properties, for longer.
Also, here is the access to the integrated grinder, which in the case of this model works with steel grinders and only 3 levels of grinding (we would have liked a wider range of thicknesses, such as the 5 or 6 usually offered by the automatic ones in this range).
The control panel of the Melitta E950 is quite simple and clean. Almost all the weight falls on the digital display, which informs us of the options we have selected or the process in progress.
On either side of the panel are the coffee machine’s on/off switch – on the right – and the coffee size selector – on the left. In the centre, there are some buttons to indicate whether we want to make one or two coffees and to choose the intensity of our drink (softer or stronger).
The other features of the Melitta E950, as we pointed out at the beginning of this analysis, tell us that it is a complete coffee machine that does not give up any of the functions you would expect from a top-of-the-range automatic.
This means, for example, the inclusion of automatic cleaning and decalcification programmes, a pre-infusion system for the ground beans, the use of water filters (not so much to improve the taste of the drinks, but to delay the harmful effects of lime), or the possibility of setting the coffee 100% to our taste (intensity, size, temperature, grinding) at the touch of a button.
We will list all the important functions and technical specifications of this Melitta E950 in one of the later sections of the report. We will now quickly review an advanced version of our Melitta Caffeo Solo, which, in case you hadn’t noticed, doesn’t have a milk spray tube. This other model is called E953, and it is roughly the same E950 with the addition of the frother.
Melitta E953: The E950 with milk frother
The E950 model is followed by the E953, a coffee machine with no other difference than the inclusion of the steamer tube (which is no small thing). It is available in two colours: Black and Silver.
If the Melitta E950 is called Caffeo Solo, the E953 is called Caffeo Solo & Milk. The difference is clear.
Here is a photograph to show you that this E953 is identical to the E950, with the only exception of the inclusion of the spray tube on the right. The steamer control knob is located just above the steamer – on the right of the control panel – which means that you have to move the on/off switch to the left, just below the main rotary control of the coffee machine.
Melita E957: Caffeo Solo Perfect Milk
If the Melitta E950 is called Caffeo Solo, and the E953 is the version with the Caffeo Solo & Milk steamer, the German firm still allows us to go a step further with the E957 or Caffeo Solo Perfect Milk.
The main difference between this Caffeo Solo Perfect Milk (E957) and the Caffeo Solo & Milk (E953) lies in the much more advanced and powerful spraying system (capuccinatore, as they call it). Let’s say that the Caffeo Solo & Milk has a conventional spray tube, and that of this Caffeo Solo Perfect Milk is a more professional and complete frother.
Its price is naturally higher than the other two versions and is already in the £500 range.
Melitta Caffeo Solo: Colour range
Let’s go back to the version we are dealing with: the standard Melitta Caffeo Solo. This powerful model has the special feature, not often found in super-automatic espresso machines, that it is available in various colours: Black, red, silver and purple.
Black and silver are the usual shades for this type of coffee machine. Purple is a little strange to us because we understand that it does not combine well with the sober and straight design of the piece. Red is definitely our favourite… what do you think?
Melitta Caffeo Solo: Main features
- When preparing the coffee we have several options for customization: we can select the intensity of the coffee up to 3 levels (high, medium, low) and also 3 levels of water temperature.
- It is also possible to regulate the amount of coffee to be served (longer, shorter…).
- It includes automatic cleaning and decalcification programmes.
- The unpacked coffee machine package includes the Melitta E950, a water filter, a water hardness test, decalcifying liquid and a cleaning tablet.
- Pre-infusion system to obtain the maximum aroma and taste of the coffee.
- The coffee unit is completely removable so that it can be cleaned from the side.
- Pressure pump that works at 15 bar.
- Drip tray located under the coffee spout.
- Integrated grinder with capacity to store 120 grams and 3 grinding levels or thicknesses.
- Includes informative digital display.
- Heating platform to preheat the cups, located in the upper part of the coffee maker.
- Removable water tank with capacity for 1.2 litres.
- The tank has a water level indicator inside.
- Dispenser with two coffee outlet nozzles that allows us to make 1 or 2 cups at the same time.
- The coffee spout can be adjusted in height, up to a maximum of 13.5 cms. between the nozzle and the floor.
- Automatic switch-off function to save energy.
- Also includes an energy-saving mode or stand by.
- The coffee machine has an integrated automatic decalcification cycle.
- Compatible with water filters.
- Power: 1400 watts.
- Weighs around 9 kg.
- Dimensions: 47 x 20 x 32 cms. approximately.
Advantages of the Melitta Caffeo Solo
- It is a very compact coffee machine: it is only 20 centimetres wide.
- It comes very complete: apart from the coffee machine itself, with the purchase we get cleaning accessories, measurements to know the hardness of the water… it is always to be welcomed.
- The cleaning and decalcification programs are started automatically, and this always facilitates the basic maintenance of the coffee machine. This results in a longer lifetime for the machine.
- It is a coffee machine with a very good price-performance ratio compared to other automatic machines with similar features. This detail includes much in the fact that it often appears at the top of sales lists.
- The wheels on the base are a very original detail but very practical at the same time.
Disadvantages of Melitta Caffeo Solo
- Neither the E950 nor the E953 have a milk tank, nor of course an automatic cappuccino preparation system.
- The grinder has a capacity of 120 grams of coffee and only allows you to choose between 3 levels of grinding. These parameters are slightly lower than the usual ones in the sector (150 or 200 grams, 5 or 6 levels… is usually the normal one).
- It does not have a steamer tube for making milk foam. Of course, we already have the E953 version for this purpose.
Melitta Caffeo Solo: Videos
Let’s start with a full live review by the guys at MaxiCoffee:
And secondly, a much closer demonstration of use recorded by a private individual.
We end the series of videos with a review of the version with foam, the Melitta Caffeo Solo & Milk:
Why buy a Melitta Caffeo Solo?
We have already highlighted in the analysis that one of the strong points of this coffee maker is its extraordinary value for money. It is difficult for us to offer or find an alternative that has the same features as the Melitta E950 at a lower price. Perhaps the CM-4758 from MiniMoka or any of the medium range of Saeco-Philips machines (see comparative post here), such as the LatteGo, are some of the most similar.
We recommend this coffee machine in its basic model (E950) if you are not a cappuccino or latte fan. However, if you are looking for an automatic coffee maker that also allows you to froth milk, you should opt for the E953 (Melitta Caffeo Solo & Milk). If you are very demanding with the froth, then your choice will be the E957 (Melitta Caffeo Solo Perfect Milk). In all versions you can be sure to take home a great automatic espresso machine.