I didn't want a smart coffee machine. I wanted to "push a button and then have coffee," I wrote last year. And no fully automatic coffee machine that has to be laboriously cleaned. But cappuccino and latte macchiato … I want those. So I bought the Melitta Barista T Smart. And it is the first smart device apart from the smartphone that completely convinces me.
I know. I told something else last year. "No grinding, no cleaning of any milk nozzles or drip trays. I also don't need an app with a thousand functions," I said in our article with the 5 coffee tips from the editorial team. But the Melitta Barista T Smart makes it easy for me to even conjure up a special coffee creation in the home office in between, from cappuccino and latte macchiato to Americano and cafè au lait.
The coffee not only looks delicious, it tastes good too. Picture:
Melitta Barista TS Smart Buy now at
Everything in one machine, please
First I noticed after unpacking how huge the machine is compared to my filter coffee machine and my capsule machine. The machine takes up about a quarter of my small dining table.
The black device reminded me of the elongated head of the "aliens" from the films of the same name – and my own head would fit in nicely. So let's hope that the smart machine doesn't develop a life of its own. In return, the Barista T Smart offers two bean compartments plus a compartment for ground coffee and a 1.8 liter water tank with a holder for a water filter. The grinder can hardly be heard by the way – no comparison to my noisy coffee grinder.
Thanks to two bean compartments, you can easily prepare different types of coffee. Picture:
There is also a compartment for ground coffee. Picture:
Dressing up like a kitten
The second surprise was how hygienic the machine is. Like a cat who regularly licks its fur. The Barista T Smart rinses itself automatically every time it is switched on and off; if desired, it also rinses the milk tube after preparing a drink with milk and removes the milk from the machine. To do this, I have to separate the hose from the milk container and put it in the drip tray. There are five cleaning programs: cleaning the brewing group, descaling, cleaning the coffee system, cleaning the milk unit, cleaning the milk system.
So the effort that I feared after all? No. Because many cleaning processes are carried out automatically. The machine automatically indicates when decalcification is required, a pending filter change and the necessary cleaning of the coffee system. I have to clean the milk system, milk unit and brew group every week – but it's very easy. How it works is clearly explained in the app and the machine itself shows the necessary steps on the TFT display. If you prefer, you can use the printed instructions.
An optional water filter ensures an even higher coffee quality. Picture:
Smart makes life easier
The app is the smart part of the smart machine. I suspect, because the automatic rinsing processes are basically also "smart" – right? What does "smart" actually mean? The term is not used consistently for technical devices. Sometimes simple automatic processes like switching off after a while of non-use are meant, sometimes it's about algorithms supported by artificial intelligence, such as those used by smartphones for image processing. Obviously, everything is "smart" that is electronically controlled and that humans do not have to do manually.
When testing the high-end Sony WF-1000XM4 headphones , I found the smart automatisms to be rather annoying and deactivated them all. Instead of making my life easier, they took control of the headphones away from me – a subjective impression, however. The Melitta Barista T Smart, on the other hand, gives me more control and makes my life easier. I think that's smarter.
You can use the mobile phone app to prepare rarer types of coffee and make your own. Picture:
In addition to the care instructions, the smartphone app offers the option of preparing different types of coffee. To do this, I connect the smartphone to the machine via Bluetooth. I can choose everything from espresso to flat white, and also develop my own recipes and gradually determine the amount, brewing temperature, coffee strength and taste intensity for each type.
With the Barista T Smart, I have to switch the bean compartment manually on the device, e.g. for espresso instead of café crème, with the TS Smart this also works automatically. In my opinion, it is no problem to flip the switch yourself. As with an electronic coffee grinder, I can set the grinding degree myself by flipping a switch. This is located inside the machine, whereby the right cover can be removed very easily.
Milk creations such as café au lait are also no problem. Picture:
Variety is provided – and if you like, you can develop your own types of coffee. Picture:
Also for tea and hot chocolate
The machine also prepares warm milk, milk foam and hot water. Great, because I drank a hot chocolate again and I can use it to make tea without a kettle. The Barista T Smart is very large, but it also replaces a whole range of devices for me.
If you prefer, you can select the settings and recipes manually using the machine's touch control. The smartphone app is ideal for special varieties that can only be selected indirectly via the machine, such as Café au Lait or Americano. I was surprised at how much the machine tempted me to experiment. Instead of pressing a button for my filter coffee, I like to press a few more buttons for special coffee creations. Sometimes I also add syrup at the end, for example for caramel macchiato. The fact that I can regulate the strength of the coffee has also often helped me.
You can also conveniently control the machine using the touch control. Picture:
Melitta explains the missing timer
The smart fully automatic coffee machine has a curious weakness: The Barista T Smart does not have a timer. In contrast to the average filter coffee machine, with the large machine it is not possible for the coffee to be ready as soon as you get up. I found it so strange that I called Melitta to ask about it.
According to the manufacturer, the reason for not using a timer is the automatic self-cleaning when switched on. Water flows into the drip tray – and would land with the drink in the coffee cup that is assumed for the morning wake-up call. I had considered that I could at least switch the machine on from the bedroom if it had a Wi-Fi connection instead of a more limited Bluetooth connection. In view of the self-cleaning, that would not help. At least that way nobody can hack my coffee machine.
Conclusion: worth the money for coffee connoisseurs
Coffee lovers like Andreas will be happy with the Melitta Barista T Smart. Picture:
And how does the coffee taste now? Fantastic. Only professional baristas can do better. Compared to the usual household appliances such as filter coffee, capsule and pad machines, the coffee quality is significantly higher. I got the Barista T Smart at a special price, but it was over 600 euros. Due to the automatic bean selection, the Barista TS Smart costs a little more. That's a lot of money.
But many people drink coffee every day and also enjoy varieties such as cappuccino, latte macchiato and café au lait. Since it is a device that is used frequently and regularly, the investment could be worthwhile. Anyway, I'm excited.
Melitta Barista TS Smart Buy now at