Home Electronics & Tech Philips Espresso Machine 5400 Series – Review

Philips Espresso Machine 5400 Series – Review

The Philips Espresso 5400 bean-to-cup coffee machine and a host of prepared coffee types

Is a home coffee machine costing around R13 000 worth the price? Jesse Adams tested the Philips Espresso 5400 to find out.

Coffee is the third most popular drink in the world after water and tea according to National Geographic. And while most households will make do with a simple kettle and the instant variety, an army of discerning coffee lovers demand a higher quality cup of joe. The Philips 5400 on test here promises silky smooth cappuccinos, frothy lattes, and potent espressos – but it comes at a hefty price. We tested it to find out if a thirteen grand coffee maker is worth the money.

Key product features

  • Pre-sets for 12 coffee types
  • Full colour display with touchscreen
  • Colour-coded profiles for up to four users
  • Quick keys for intensity, milk amount and cup size
  • Ceramic grinders with 12 coarseness options
  • Replaceable AquaClean filters
  • Hopper for up to 276g of beans
  • 1.8-litre water capacity
  • 0.26-litre milk carafe capacity
  • Waste tray for up to 12 cups
  • Two-year guarantee

Purchasing the Philips Espresso 5400

We bought the Philips 5400 over the counter from Hirsch’s for R13 599 in 2021. Hirsch’s carries several models from Philips and other brands. The store we visited needed to source this specific model from another branch as stock supplies were low at the time.

What’s in the box?

The Philips 5400 comes very well packaged with thick, corrugated cardboard protection and packaged in a handy plastic bag with handles to assist in removing it from the box. Included is a 100cm power cord, a removeable drip tray, a small (somewhat useless) plastic coffee scoop, a disposable AquaClean filter, a user manual, a small tube of maintenance grease and an optional milk container which attaches to the side of the machine.

Is it easy or hard to set up?

Most users will likely assemble the machine without opening the instruction booklet. Stop. You need to know where the brew group (the part that makes the coffee) clicks into the side of the machine behind a plastic door. After installing the filter and filling with water and coffee beans, it is ready to go.

The colourful touchscreen interface is fairly intuitive in terms of instant coffee-making gratification, but it will take time to set up the user profiles if desired. Once programmed, however, personalised coffee making is a one-touch operation.

Using the Philips Espresso 5400

It is reasonably user friendly with only routine water, bean and milk (if needed) fill-ups needed. The frequency of top-ups depends on how often it is used. The water container can produce roughly seven normal mugs or around 25 smaller espressos.

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What we like about the 5400 Series

We enjoy the 5400’s sleek design and hi-tech looking display screen. Perched on a kitchen countertop, it shouts loud and clear that this household appreciated quality brews. We also like how quickly it produces coffee – just place a cup under the spout, push a button or two and in no time your java is ready for consumption.

Where Philips can improve the 5400

The AquaClean filter, while important for water purification and machine longevity, can be a nuisance. A notification on the display, requesting a new filter, caught us by surprise and we discovered that stock availability of these was an issue in South Africa at the time. This forced us to order from Amazon in the USA, with pricey shipping and import duties. Today it seems they are more readily available from Yuppiechef and Leroy Merlin, but still not cheap at around R450 a pop. Philips importers should ensure that maintenance items are readily available in market.

Conclusion and score

It is an expensive piece of equipment for a seemingly simple drink. But, if you insist on quality cuppas at home, this is a quality machine. Once set up, it is quicker to make coffee than even the instant type, but you pay for the privilege. There are cheaper models from Philips with the only sacrifices being the number of coffee types, simpler display interfaces, and filling capacities.

The Philips 5400 Series scores 3 out of 5.

3.0 out of 5.0 stars
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