The Smeg DCF02 is a filter coffee machine from one of the most desirable kitchen brands out there. But its premium design comes at a cost. Is it worth investing in? To find out, our experts put it to the test. Read on to find out what we thought of it!
Design & build
For many people, the main reason to buy a Smeg product is the design. Their classic Italian style certainly looks the part, and fits in beautifully with the rest of their kitchen range. As with those other products, the DCF02 comes in many different colours: black, cream, grey, pastel blue, pastel green, red, stainless steel, and white.
As far as coffee machines go, the Smeg DCF02 is on the larger side. But then again, when it looks this good (and costs this much), you'll likely want it to be a centrepiece of your kitchen. We didn't find it to be too large during testing, but bear in mind that the top opens up to add coffee grounds and water. If you're planning on putting it underneath a cupboard, you'll need a little extra headroom on top of the 36cm height of the machine itself.
On the front of the DCF02 is a little screen, along with the control buttons. We'll go into more detail about what these do later, but the machine itself is very easy to get to grips with. When you're not using the machine, the screen will just show the time. To set the time, and to use some of the features, there's a lever on the side of the unit, in the same design as the power switch on Smeg's kettles.
The carafe is made from glass. Many drip coffee machines have a plastic one, so this is a nice touch. It also has a cup indicator on it so you can see how much coffee has been made. And there's no need to use paper filters, as there's a reusable, removable filter inside the machine. This also makes it easier to take out the coffee grounds and dispose of them after use.
There's no denying that Smeg appliances look the part. But given that they are that much more expensive than other brands, you'll naturally want it to perform well, too. As a filter coffee machine, it's pretty simple to use. You just fill the tank with water, pop your ground coffee into the filter area, and then close the lid and set the machine running. The button with a coffee bean on is for selecting the aroma intensity, so if you prefer a stronger cup, you can turn this up.
The Smeg DCF02 is nice and quiet while it's running. In fact, the sound of the coffee pouring into the pot is louder than the machine itself. This contrasts with some bean-to-cup machines we've used, which tend to be pretty noisy. Once the coffee is made, the machine beeps to let you know it's done, and the integrated hotplate under the carafe kicks in. This will keep the coffee warm for up to 40 minutes- plenty of time to finish your first cup and go back for another.
Some coffee machines have a removable tank, but that's not the case with the DCF02. It makes for a sleeker look, but it does also make it a bit fiddly to add the water. However, the carafe is an easy way of filling it up, and because that has the cup measures on the side as well, you can fill it up just how much you want.
The maximum amount of coffee it can make is listed at 10 cups. However, as tends to be the case with coffee machines, they're referring to espresso cups here so they can state a higher amount. In reality, you'll probably get four or five normal-sized mugs out of a full tank. By default, it'll try to make the full 10 cups when you turn it on (although it'll obviously only put out how much water you put in), unless you manually stop it. However, the button immediately to the right of the screen sets it to only make 4 cups (or two mugs), which is ideal for one or two people.
One feature that our experts really liked was the option to programme the DCF02 to make you a cup of coffee automatically at a certain time. All you have to do is press the button with a timer on, and then set what time you want the machine to power on. Then, as long as you've added water and coffee grounds the night before, you can wake up to a freshly-made cup of coffee- perfect for when you're still a little bleary-eyed!
Smeg DF02: The Verdict
All in all, the Smeg DCF02 is a very good filter coffee machine indeed. Not only does it make a great cup of coffee, it's also one of the nicest-looking small appliances we've come across. If you've got the cash to splash and want to add some extra style to your kitchen, we'd highly recommend it!