I don’t know about you but when I decide to focus and finish a quilt, it can take all day – and sometimes all night! It is rare that I can dedicate that kind of uninterrupted time to a project but every now and again it happens and I grab my chance. Often it is when CraftyDaddy is working a long shift or it is school holidays so we don’t have to go out anywhere.
I thought you’d like to see the progress on my mini spool quilt after one of those kind of sessions. You might remember I shared the tutorial to make these mini spool blocks a couple of weeks ago. I have subsequently added some sashing and I’m loving the crisp bright result! It is now ready for me to baste and quilt. I have a couple of spare blocks that didn’t make it into the top so I’m considering using them in the back instead. Then I think I’ll use the red spot for the binding if I have enough left.
But the thing that sometimes stops me having a big day (or night!) of quilting is getting a little tired and unfocused. This is where my newest toy comes in…
I was recently invited to review the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo machine and it is a winner in my books. It looks fabulous – such a bright cheery red – and it is FAST! We’ve had a coffee machine before but we gave up using it because it took so long to heat up. When we’re running around in the morning, we just didn’t have time to wait for it. But this little baby is quick – less than a minute and it is ready to start. It uses special pods and they are quick too so I can have my coffee in a couple of minutes. It is actually quicker than boiling my electric jug!
It is also small. I have easily fit it onto my bench next to my jug with the boxes of pods behind it in the corner.
How is the coffee though? Beautiful. Some flavours come with two pods – a milk pod and a coffee pod – so the milk is frothy and hot just like it would be in a cafe. There are lots of choices – 15 in fact – so there is a flavour and intensity for everyone. My kids were especially excited to see Hot Chocolate and it was perfect for supper after the school music evening when they were tired but a little revved. CraftyDaddy is much more picky about his coffee than I am and I notice he has been having an Espresso Ristretto or a Cappuccino almost every morning so he must be enjoying it. I prefer the Cappuccino as it comes with the two pods and fills my mug better, but you can adjust the size of the drink with the level adjustment dial on top.
How to Make a Cappuccino on a Dolce Gusto Circolo
- Turn on the power button – it will flash red then turn green when it is ready to go.
- Put your cup or mug onto the silver grill.
- Check the water level – just pop the water container off the back and refill if you need to.
- Grab the white pod and put it into the machine. (Lift the sliver handle, slide out the drawer, drop in the pod, slide drawer back in, close handle)
- Move the dial to 6 bars as recommended on the box (This will give you 200 mL of milk. I have been using 5 bars and increasing the coffee for mine.)
- Press the red Hot Water button (next to the dial at the back)
- The milk should come through – it will only take a minute or so. You can see the level lights moving down as it fills.
- Once all the lights have stopped flashing, lift the handle and remove the milk pod. The machine comes with a little black box to dump it into.
- Put the brown coffee pod into the machine and close the drawer and handle.
- Move the dial to 1 bar as recommended on the box – 40 mL coffee will be added. (I like more coffee so I have been setting the dial to 4 bars here.)
- Press the red Hot Water button again to add the coffee.
- The pods and the black part of the machine can get a little hot so don’t touch them with your hands immediately after making coffee. It is easy to use the drawer handle to tip out the used pods.
- Once it has cooled, you can give the pod drawer a quick rinse under the tap. I have also given the inner shelf area a wipe with a damp cloth just to remove small splashes.
- The manual suggests that your run a descaling solution through the machine regularly – more information on their website.
- The manual is mostly in diagram form which some people would love but I found a little hard to understand.
- There are also cold drinks available for this machine which I’m keen to try.
- The Circolo retails for $229 but I saw them at my local Harvey Norman last Friday for $179 so shop around. Also available on Amazon here.
- The pods are available at our local supermarkets (Woolworths and Coles) for the same price as on the website – $8.49 per box of 16 pods. I believe they are also available at IGA supermarkets but I haven’t popped in there yet to check their price.
Whether you’re a quilter or not, this would make a fantastic Christmas gift for yourself!