Best pod based espresso machines – Nespresso and Gaggia

Without any doubts the top three pods based espresso machines on the market today are the Nespresso CitiZ, Nespresso Pixie and Gaggia 14101 Classic, which works with both grounds and pods.  What pod based espresso machines give you is the ability to make good espressos, lattes and cappuccinos with as little effort as possible.

Nespresso CitiZThe Nespresso CitiZ, for example, is designed to produce excellent beverages at home through specialized pods.  It brings the espresso making to a higher level because of its sleek design and excellent coffee quality.  The making of creamy espresso has never been as easier as the Nespresso CitiZ makes it. It is rated as the best Nespresso machine by The Edge as well. All you need is to buy the Nespresso capsules for a quick and easy brewing process.  The machine is equipped with folding cup shelf, thermo block heating, high pressure pump and is very simple to manage.  Nespresso CitiZ prepares with one touch hot or cold milk froth and can hold ten used capsules, which are very easy to insert and would eject automatically.

Nespresso pixieNespresso Pixie is designed as the smallest espresso machine in the Nespresso brand, with the purpose to brew delicious espressos, but without all the complications that come with the more traditional models.  It works with pods and can satisfy even real coffee connoisseurs thanks to the wonderful quality of the coffee it makes.  Nespresso Pixie is a stylish single shot espresso maker which heats up in no time, so that you can have your fix of coffee immediately.  The machine is able to heat up in less than 30 seconds and would power off after 9 minutes. You can read this review to know more about Nespresso Pixie.

Gaggia 14101 ClassicGaggia 14101 Classic, on the other hand has been designed to be used at home for quick and easy espresso making.  Thanks to its customizable shot pour and milk steaming options, you can control the quality of the drinks according to your particular taste.  Gaggia 14101 Classic has a very classic design, which when combined with modern technology becomes the perfect pod based espresso machine for your home.  Because of its semi automatic structure it gives you a lot of opportunities, especially if you like your coffee brew in a certain way.  The machine works with both pods and grounds, so that your family can have their coffee the way they like it the most.

In conclusion, although, the pod based espresso makers are considered by many unable to achieve the quality other, more traditional models can, they still have their benefits.  Thanks to their design users are able to drink their favorite coffee drinks easily and quickly, without losing precious time in grounding and tamping.  They are also very easy to clean and would always keep your kitchen in order.

Rice Cooker Buying Guide

RiceGrowing up in Japan, I have eaten rice all my life, sometimes about three times a day. I know it is difficult to imagine that rice can be eaten so often by the Western world. Rice being the staple crop around here is one of the most common foods consumed by almost all people here in Japan at least one time a day. This is one of the reasons why I thought cooking tasty rice was easy.

Rice CookerHowever, I learned that I was wrong when I cooked rice for the first time. Most of the time, the rice would be tasteless, burnt, dried up, basically overcooked, or mushy, with no crunchiness in the center, or undercooked. Thanks to the many failed experiments, I finally gave up the traditional methods of making rice and made a decision of picking a rice cooker for my kitchen. After enquiring with family and friends, and reading the many reviews available online I learned that without the correct rice cooker, cooking rice can be way too complicated. But, which one? With several brands in the market and the many mixed reviews that I received from family and friends, I was left confused and wondering where to start. A website that I’ve found helpful is best rice cookers. It analyzes consumers reviews and rate cooker accordingly.

A few of the top brands of rice cookers that have been popular among household cooks are:

Japanese – Zojirushi, Sanyo, Panasonic, Tiger

Chinese – Cuckoo

American – Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Black & Decker, Aroma

European – Krups

In the next few paragraphs, I am hoping to offer you a few tips that will help you in buying the right rice cooker for your rice cooking requirements.

Types of Rice Cookers

Similar to other household appliances, rice cookers also run the gamut from the most advanced high-end to the most traditional/conventional rice cooker. The heating technology used is what differentiates one rice cooker from another.

Micro-Computerized Rice Cookers

Popularly known as Micom rice cookers, this type rice cooker is fitted with a computer chip, which adjusts temperature and cooking time as per the calculation made by the thermal sensor. It cooks all kinds of rice flawlessly.

Induction Heating + Micro-Computerized Rice Cookers

This series of rice cookers uses the IH (Induction Heating) technology. Unlike conventional heating plate that is found on the base of the interior pan, the IH+Micom technology heats up the whole interior pan based on the principles of induction heating. Perfect cooking and excellent temperature adjustments are the two essential features of this type of rice cookers.

Induction Heating + Micro-Computerized + Pressure Rice Cookers

This series of rice cookers merges all the heating technologies (IH, Micom, and pressure) into one rice cooker. This sort of combined heating technology takes food preparation temperature to an advanced level and by doing so, it cooks rice faster, fluffier, softer, easy to digest, and can be kept for longer durations.

Conventional/Traditional Rice Cookers

The traditional rice cooker is nothing more than a pot to cook rice in it. All you need to do is add water, rice, and push the button for cooking the rice. This series of rice cookers is designed to cook simply, heat and turn off the heat. Traditional rice cookers are ideal for cooking white rice, but require some adjustments when cooking sushi rice or brown rice.

Important Points to Consider Before Purchasing a Rice Cooker

What is your budget?

The price of rice cookers varies between $20 and $450. If rice plays a vital role in your daily diet like mine, then investing in a good quality rice cooker is essential.

What are the uses of the rice cooker?

How often will you be using the rice cooker (daily, weekly, or monthly)? What would you be using it for? Will you be cooking only rice dishes or other dishes such as desserts and soups? Depending on the answers, purchasing one that matches your requirement will be wiser.

How many people are you feeding?

The capacity of rice cookers ranges between one and ten cups. For a four-six mid-sized family, a five cup rice cooker should do, and for a small family of two-three people, a three cup rice cooker is more than enough.

By now, I hope my rice cooker buying guide’s crash course helps you for your cooking and budget requirements.