Today’s review is all about the latest model in the VAVA range. The previous model was extremely well received and a personal favourite; So its interesting to see how the VAVA 2018 will compare. I’ll keep this review exclusive to this model and avoid comparison, which will be saved for a later one, so let’s get into it!
The VAVA 2018, or the VA-EE013 if you want the exact model number, is an exciting variation on the previous model before it. The most stand-out differences are mostly aesthetic. It comes without a handle, for a start. But this is made up for with the overall design being suited to be gripped my hand. There is one design feature that’s removed which I feel is quite the negative. More on that coming up!
It has a dial on the front which allows you to select from 4 different settings; Hot dense foam, hot airy foam, hot milk and cold froth. It also boasts the ‘Strix Temperature Controller’ which has featured in other products. This allows for the machine to heat your milk to around 65 – 70 celsius and then it will shut off. Pretty handy for delivering a consistent drinking temperature!
You’ll receive the power base, the flask, 2 heating whisks and 2 frothing whisks and a user guide out of the box. With all of that covered, let’s dig down into what makes it good and where it falls short!
Pros and Cons
The biggest criticism is down to the fact that it lacks a lip around the top. That’s it. There’s no defined area for one to pour out the contents inside. This has occasionally lead to a few spillages! It doesn’t happen every time, and it’s largely down to the skill of the user (I am evidently, not that skilled). It does raise the question as to what benefit they saw from removing it. However its likely just to keep the symmetrical design.
On a more positive note, the lack of a lip does give the VAVA 2018 a really modern design. It stands tall and slim and looks more like a canter than a traditional milk frothing device (my daughter didn’t even realise it was a milk frother). I suppose, depending on your own personal stance about the general aesthetic of milk frothers, this model looking quite alien may be something that convinces you towards purchasing it or it might deter you.
The above image highlights my previous point, while also drawing attention to how simple it is to clean. The internal wall has a non-stick coating which makes it very easy to clean. I didn’t even experience any ‘burnt milk’ around the base too! Given how often that occurs, I think that deserves a lot of credit!
Moving onto its function of frothing milk and heating milk, I think it’s probably a given that it’s something that it achieves with flying colours. The 4 settings really do make a difference! It’s nice to have the choice, even if I’m not entirely sure which one I want at a given time. But I did experiment with different combinations with different drinks and it gives a different tasting experience. So what was once just a traditional coffee with frothed milk now has 2 other variations! In a way, this feature basically opens the door to 3 ways of frothing and therefore more variations to your favourite beverage. For this alone, I think it’s worth the price of admission!
It’s also worth noting that like the previous model, it shares its roguelike quality to froth milk while hardly making a noise. A nice benefit that I have now become accustomed too and expect as part of my entry threshold of what makes an ideal frother. So top marks for that! You’re also good for non-dairy products too!
I really do enjoy quite a lot about this model, but I think the best feature is down to how it is designed. The unique shape really appeals to me and it does have an alien-like quality that makes it an interesting piece within my kitchen.
The lack of a handle was at first pretty confusing (as I found myself spinning it around on the power base looking for a handle…) but it soon becomes second nature. If you’re wondering, then no, it doesn’t burn your hand to use. Which I imagine was the main design decision behind axing it altogether. It feels really good in your hand and you do feel like you’re in complete control of how you pour out the contents – even if the lack of a lip did cause a few complications at first. You do have to account for my lack of grace when it comes to these things!
I do have to also give credit to the 4 settings available again. I really like the flexibility it affords for mixing up how I prepare my drinks. Multiple ways to prepare one drink is akin to having three different machines with different tastes. It’s a great touch and something I look forward to using more!
The product is still young on Amazon and has only received 7 reviews at the time of this article (with an average of 4.5 stars). There’s no comment as to VAVA’s direct customer service with this model but it stands to reason that it would be just like the previous model. If you take an exception to something, contact them and they’ll probably sort you out. It’s good to know right?!