If you’re looking for an affordable compact super automatic coffee brewer, The Carina (1200 Series) by Philips is a great machine to consider. It’s a very simple machine that does exactly what it’s suppose with push-button operation. It has enough customization options to make a nice cup of coffee the way you like it.
A Quick Side by Side Comparison
In a hurry? Here’s your quick comparison table. But do read below for details on the features of each model
|Drink Presets||Espresso, Coffee, Hot Water||Espresso, Coffee, Hot Water||Espresso, Lungo, Coffee, Hot Water|
|Milk Frother||Steam Wand||Steam Wand||Steam wand or automatic frother|
|Grinder||Ceramic conical burr||Ceramic conical burr||Ceramic conical burr|
|Coffee Strength Settings||No||Yes – 3 settings||Yes – 3|
Features of Philips Carina Super Automatic Espresso Machine
- All in one, bean to cup coffee maker with built-in ceramic grinder and milk frother.
- Push-button beverages: Espresso, Coffee and Hot Water.
- Milk frothing wand allows you to heat and froth milk to create drinks like Cappuccino or Latte.
- Adjustable 12 grind settings.
- Adjustable 3 temperature settings.
- Adjustable coffee volume.
- Bypass doser for using pre-ground coffee.
- Front loading water reservoir with 1.8L capacity.
- Bean hopper capacity: 10 oz.
- Air-tight lid keeps coffee beans fresh inside the hopper.
- Compatible with Philips’ AquaClean smart sensing water filters (sold separately).
Hot Water Option – What’s It For?
The hot water button provides you with boiling hot water instantaneously. You don’t have to heat water manually or use an electric kettle to bring water to boil, with the Philips Carina, it’s as simple as pushing a button to get hot water to use for tea, instant meals or whatever else you might need it for! The hot water goes through an independent spout, so you don’t have to worry about any coffee taste or residue in your hot water.
Philips Carina 1200-series vs. 2200-series vs 3200-series
If you’ve seen the Philips 2200, it looks identical to the 1200. And we’re not wrong, they both have the exact same features:
Beverage options: espresso, coffee and hot water.
Temperature settings: 3
Grind settings: 12
Milk Frother: classic steam wand
They also have the same ceramic grinder and water reservoir. So, where’s the difference?
There’s just one single difference between these models: Aroma strength.
The 2200-series has a selection of 3 Aroma Strength settings, which is basically brew strength. Adjusting this setting will allow you to create regular or bold coffee depending on your choice.
If you want to go next level with the features, the 3200-series has the most features out of this line of machines.
The Philips 3200 has:
- Four preset beverages: espresso, espresso lungo, coffee and americano. It has the hot water option, too.
- It has adjustable temperature, coffee volume and aroma strength settings.
- Unlike the 1200 and 2200 series, the 3200 series has its temperature setting on the front panel so you can change it with a press of a button. The other models have the temperature settings inside of the machine that requires a bit of a tinkering.
- Design wise, the 3200 has some nice stainless steel accents like the bezel around the front panel and the stainless steel drip tray.
The three models of Philips 3200
The 3200 comes in three variations: one with a Classic frother, one with a LatteGo system, and one with a LatteGo and Iced Coffee selection:
|EP3221/44||EP3241/74 (Iced Coffee)||EP3241/54 LatteGo|
|Presets||4 – espresso, lungo, coffee, hot water||6 including Iced Coffee, cappuccino and latte||6 – espresso, americano, coffee, cappuccino, latte, hot water,|
|Milk Frother||Steam wand||LatteGo automatic frother||LatteGo automatic frother|
What Exactly is LatteGo System?
LatteGo is the automatic built-in frother you see attached to the machine. This type of frother works fully automatic from heating, frother to dispensing the correct amount of milk for the recipe you chose. The froth is customizable by selecting the level of froth you want. All you have to do is select your drink: latte or cappuccino and then change the froth level (if you like).
How Is It Different from a Steam Wand?
The steam wand is the classic way of heating and frothing milk for your coffee drinks. With a steam wand, you have to do the work yourself. Measure the milk, the temperature and how the milk is frothing. This method comes with a bit of a learning curve, but it’s definitely not hard.
How the Iced Coffee Option Work?
Using the Iced option, the machine will brew at a slightly lower temperature and a slower rate, which produces a strong yet smoother brew. This will brew better over ice and will not melt your ice entirely.
Will it make a difference using the Iced Coffee option vs. brewing regular coffee over ice?
Yes, it should make a difference if you like your iced coffee less bitter and acidic. Being able to brew the coffee using lower temperature (not cold, but lower heat) makes a difference in how the coffee tastes.
Which of These Should You Buy?
If you’re looking for an all in one, push button solution then the 3200 LatteGo has it all. The automatic milk frother means you only need to push the cappuccino or latte button to get your favorite beverage done for you fully automatically. The milk froth will be perfectly done every time. This is the biggest advantage the LatteGo offers you.
If you don’t mind frothing your milk manually, then your choice is between the 1200, 2200 and 3200. The 3200-series offers extra presets (lungo or americano), but I do believe you can save a bit of cash and manually create those presets on either the 1200 or 2200 models. Both models have instant hot water (so you can easily make an americano) and the espresso volume can be adjusted to create a lungo.
If Aroma Strength (brew strength) is important to you, then you can go for either 2200 or 3200.
If you want the most affordable option that still does most tasks, the 1200 is your choice.
The Difference Between Brewing Coffee and Espresso
A lot of super automatic machines only brew espresso, which is a shot that is made by extracting a strong brew using high force of water. To extract a shot of espresso, machines use a 15-bar (sometimes 19-bar) pump pressure. That’s why espresso machines operate on a totally different level than a drip coffee maker.
Espresso is either drank on its own, or with the use of frothed milk, can be used as a base for many specialty coffee drinks like Cappuccinos, Lattes or Macchiatos.
What about those times when you don’t want espresso, but would prefer a classic cup of coffee instead?
A machine like the Philips Carina can make that for you, too. Although the machine does not drip coffee the same as a classic coffee maker, it uses low pressure to replicate it and produces a long cup of coffee that’s just as good as a traditional drip machine’s.