L’OR Barista Coffee machine review

WhatsApp
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Print

Table of Contents

Picture of Erin Lawrence

Erin Lawrence

Philips L'Or coffee

Slapping the “Barista” term on your espresso machine may make sense for the marketing department since it conjures up your local cafe. But is it a guarantee of a good quality, semi-pr at-home espresso machine? The new L’Or Barista Coffee & Espresso system from Philips seems to be marketing itself that way, but while it’s got good looks going for it, it’s the coffee that counts, so let’s put it to the test in this hands-on review.

Philips L’OR espresso machine
4.5

Summary

A nice and easy-to-use addition to the Nespresso line that lets you make coffee too. Great for all uses, so long as you don’t need to save space.

Pros

  • Nice design
  • Big water tank
  • Large pod discard bin
  • Espresso quality is good
  • Uses Nespresso and L’Or pods
  • Brews Coffee and/or espresso
  • Varying drink sizes
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to clean
  • Removable cup riser

Cons

  • Large footprint
  • Tall top lever

What is the L’OR BARISTA Coffee & Espresso System?

In a nutshell, this is an automated espresso machine that uses Nespresso original pods to make both espresso and coffee.

L’OR is a French coffee capsule manufacturer that makes espresso capsules which are compatible with Nespresso Original machines.

Watch my hands-on review of L’OR coffee & espresso machine

But, L’OR’s grander goal is to carve its own ecosystem of coffee capsules to better compete with Nespresso. For this you need a dedicated espresso machine you can slap your name on, so L’OR partnered with Philips to develop the L’OR Barista Coffee and Espresso Machine.

Philips is no stranger to building espresso machines as it created what I referred to as the “Cadillac of automatic espresso machines” – the Philips 4300 Automatic Espresso. That machine gives you the convenience of full automation without compromising on the espresso quality. However, the high price and space-hogging design isn’t for everyone.

Think of the L’OR Barista Coffee and Espresso Machine as a machine positioned somewhere in the middle… a bigger and slightly more versatile espresso machine than something like a Nespresso Essenza or Inissia (read our comparison here), but not nearly as elaborate as a Philips 4300.
Let’s dig into what it will do.

Key Specifications

Measuring 11 inches tall, 7 inches wide, and 16 inches deep, the L’OR Barista Coffee and Espresso Machine will take up a bit more space on your countertop than a Breville Nespresso Inissia or a Nespresso Lattissima One. It is a counter pig, but the L’OR Philips machine comes with a significantly larger 40-ounce water tank capacity. You can easily detach the water tank whenever you need to refill it. The entire machine with the water tank attached weighs about 7 pounds or 5 kilograms.

When placing it on your counter, be sure to have at least a 6-inch height allowance as the long top lid opens vertically for installing a capsule. It barely clears my cupboards.

Pressure extraction

This machine uses 19 bars of pressure to extract espresso, which seems higher than necessary, since espresso’s sweet spot is between about 7-9 bars, but since many machines lose a lot of pressure between the pump and group head, it usually ends up coming out around 7-9 anyway.

L’OR’s official website bundles every machine with 30 capsule samples so you can try out their coffee right away. But not for me. I ordered mine from Amazon, and I discovered some online retailers don’t include the sample bundle, so make sure you’ve got pods of your own.

I actually tried calling L’OR’s customer service number to see if I could get a few pods to try, but after keeping me on hold for about 5 minutes I was told to leave a message and then disconnected. The only other option is an email form, which I also filled out. I was impressed that I got an email back in under an hour offering the free samples. Nice!

Setting Up the Machine

Unlike many larger espresso machines, setting up the L’OR Barista Coffee machine is a breeze – just fill up the water tank, securely attach it, and add the drip tray. L’OR recommends that you run water through the machine without a coffee pod on first use to rinse the insides.

The drip tray is removable and can be used as a riser for smaller espresso cups, or removed to fill a mug.

Making Coffee With the Philips L’OR Barista

The L’OR Barista Coffee machine features the Dual Capsule Recognition technology allowing the machine to automatically recognize the capsule you put in whether it is an exclusive L’OR aluminum capsule or your standard Nespresso capsule. L’OR offers a wide range of coffee flavors for a full mug of brewed coffee or in single-shot and double-shot capsule variants.

The machine has three settings, which will be different depending on whether you are using Nespresso capsules or L’Or capsules: The “Small” setting allows you to make 5-ounce L’Or coffee or 1.4-ounce Nespresso while the “Medium” setting makes 8-ounce coffee or 2.7-ounce espresso. Finally, the “Large” setting makes 12-ounce Lungo coffee or 3.7-ounce espresso.

Making espresso

The espresso-making process is quite simple; lift the tall lid until the pod drawer opens. Drop your pod in round side down and close the lid until you hear a click. Hit the power button and let the machine warm up; this takes about? Seconds. Then once the power button stays lit you can choose your size of drink. Press the drink size button once and your beverage will start to flow.

The machine will use both spouts to create a double shot Ristretto, Espresso, or Lungo coffee depending on your setting. Alternatively, you can add two smaller cups under each spout for a quick dual coffee cup preparation. Once you finished preparing the coffee, the emptied capsule dispenses to a bin which you can pull above the drip tray. This drawer can store several used capsules before you need to empty it.

Initially the first handful of times I used the machine I felt like the espresso was quite watery. I don’t know whether this was due to the pods or just part of a break-in. But I was pretty disappointed with what I got. After a couple of days though the espresso seemed to get a little creamier.

Espresso quality

After my initial break-in. I found the coffee brewed quickly and seemed much more espresso like. I would definitely say the quality is absolutely comparable to a standard Nespresso machine. I’m a fan of Nespresso coffees—I know the issues around recycling so I always send mine back to Nespresso. I find though that this is a quick easy and high-quality way to get my morning double shot of espresso; without having to drive to my local café and without having to fuss with a manual machine.

I tried both Nespresso Pods and L’Or pods, and found the machine worked perfectly with both. I also enjoyed my trial of L’Or pods too. The coffee was rich and flavorful, and the pods are identical in size and shape to Nespresso version.

Cost difference?

Behind the coffee spout is a good-sized pod discard bin which holds about ?? Capsules.

Can sizes be adjusted?

If you’re wondering if it’s possible to adjust each automatic drink size to a different amount the answer is yes. It’s actually a fairly quick and easy process which I have detailed at TechGadgetsCanada.com .

  1. Press and hold the button of the coffee whose quantity you want to
    adjust for 3 seconds until the button flashes quickly. Then release the
    button. The machine starts brewing coffee.
  2. Press the same button again when the cup contains the desired quantity
    of coffee.

Resetting the coffee quantities

To reset the coffee quantities to their factory settings:

  1. Press the on/off button to switch on the machine.
  2. Wait until the machine has heated up and all buttons light up.
  3. Press and hold the ristretto, espresso and lungo buttons simultaneously
    until all buttons flash quickly to show that the machine has been reset to
    factory settings

Making L’Or Coffee

I was actually kind of excited to try making coffee with this machine since I was interested in the coffee quality and what the brewing experience would be like.

I received two types of sample pods from Phillips L’Or:

The brewed coffee pods go in exactly the same place and then exactly the same way as the espresso pods. They just use more water and more coffee. It was super easy to brew up a single cup with just the press of a button. Making individual cups of coffee does eat into the water reservoir quite significantly, but that’s also probably why it’s larger than most. I found the coffee was actually quite tasty and suited my snooty coffee just fine.

Versatile

I actually think this machine is super versatile; one of the only other machines I’ve tried that can do single serve coffees is a Keurig machine, and they don’t tend to do espresso. The fact that this machine, well it does have a larger footprint, makes two different kinds of coffee and espresso quite well is a huge plus in my opinion.

Speed

The brewing speed on this machine is actually quite impressive. You can make a shot of espresso in less than 30 seconds, and a regular size mug of coffee takes about one minute.

Water temperature

There have been volumes written about the ideal temperature for espresso, and of course personal preference can play into it a lot as well. While the water temperature is not disclosed either online or in the manual as far as I could see, when I took measurements during the extraction process, the temperature peaked at about 175-180F, or about 80 celsius.
The water temperature is not adjustable, which is standard for machines like this.

L’OR Maintenance

Like all coffee machines, I recommend you descale the machine every 3 to 6 months to maximize the machine’s lifespan. The L’OR Barista machine will flash the ristretto and lungo buttons a few times after you brew indicating the need for descaling. You can descale the L’OR by pouring a half-bottle citric-acid based descaler in the water tank and filling the rest with tap water. Then place a 1.5-liter bowl on the drip tray and press both the ristretto and lungo buttons simultaneously to start the 40-minute descaling process.

Overall review: Philips L’OR espresso machine

Overall, this is a pretty good machine. One of the biggest selling points is going to be its versatility; it will make both single-serve cups of brewed coffee as well as quality espresso under one roof. The quality of the coffee was extremely impressive and the fact I can use Nespresso pods or Philips L’Or pods gives me a lot of options. The larger-than-average water tank is a boon for espresso making but also means you don’t have to refill if you’re making a couple full mugs of coffee. Similarly, the large pod discard bin holds a lot and won’t require constant emptying. I also found the noise level to be extremely moderate; some Nespresso machines I have tried make a loud buzzing noise that can be annoying first thing in the morning. But this machine seems a lot more muted.

When it comes to the downsides probably the worst thing I can pick on is that the machine itself is on the larger size; even though it’s bigger than the average Nespresso espresso machine, it is significantly smaller than most other coffee makers. How much this will factor into your decision will depend on how much counter space you have. The tall height of the lever on top may also affect your placement.

In short, I’ve become a huge fan of this machine and I can absolutely recommend it to coffee aficionados who are looking for a little more versatility than the average Nespresso machine can provide.

The Philips L’Or Coffee & Espresso System sells for about $189USD. Canadian availability seems limited at the moment with only the occasional listing on Amazon at an exorbitant price.

You can check out other options if you like milk with your espresso like this machine from Phillips, or see what a much smaller and simpler Nespresso machine is like, right here.

Consider checking out my recent buying guide for Nespresso machines for my top picks.

**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada & TechGadgetsInternational is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

2 Comments

  1. Michael Sabran on February 17, 2024 at 11:56 am

    This was a very educating description of the Lor machine. I found it very helpful, Thank you

    • Erin L on March 10, 2024 at 4:23 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind words.

Leave a Comment





Author's Recommendation

Roborock Flexi Pro beig used on floor.
Roborock
Erin Lawrence

Roborock Flexi PRO Review

The wet-dry vac-mop is officially a thing. What does Roborock Flexi Pro bring to the game that makes it stand out? See my hands-on review.

Read More »
A Trusted Source for Technology Reviews

What We Do

We share honest, 100% hands-on reviews, and we’ve been around since 2013. 

No jargon, no specs or speed tests. Our reviews are written for REAL people just like you.

Our only goal is to help you make savvy buying decisions.

How We Review

  • Test in real homes
  • Hands-on testing 6-12 hours over 1-2 weeks
  • We are fair & balanced; sharing pros AND cons
  • We answer the questions you have
  • Giving you the info you need to make your own choice

Expert Reviews of

  • 1,000+ total devices
  • 69+ vacuums & robot vacuums
  • 50+ speakers
  • 30+ health & beauty devices
  • 15+ sound bars
  • 60+ TVs & streaming gadgets
  • 25+ smartphones
  • 55+ headphones/earbuds

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve published content on over 1,200 topics including over a thousand product reviews. We do only hands on testing with 100% of the gadgets. We give you the truth about tech, and any time we are paid to publish content we are 100% transparent and let you know it. Plus we only accept sponsorship for gadgets we’ve tried or believe in—and believe YOU’D find useful too.

With over 80,000 YouTube Subscribers to our video reviews, we are a trusted resource you can often find in YouTube’s Recommended Videos.

Join my newsletter for gadget news and Giveaways!