Philips 5400 LatteGo Review

This is my Philips 5400 LatteGo review. The 5400 is Philips’ most recent and highest-end superautomatic espresso machine.

I have never owned this machine. I have, however, owned several similar superautomatic espresso machines (Jura range) and spent a whole day researching this machine online.

I did this research by watching product demonstration videos of this machine on YouTube, looking at what other machine users had to say on Reddit and Facebook (especially on r/superautomatic) and pouring through the machine’s user manual.

Should I Buy the Philips 5400 LatteGo (Quick Verdict)?

I would recommend buying the Phillips 5400 LatteGo.

The 5400 offers a huge range of coffee drinks and executes them well, especially milk-based coffee drinks.

The best thing about the machine is how easy it is to use and maintain. Its ease of maintenance is streets ahead of most superautomatic espresso machines.

It’s a mid-priced superautomatic, but it is, in my opinion, a bargain given its quality compared to other similarly priced machines.

Overview of Machine

The Philips 5400 is a superautomatic espresso machine.

This means that all you have to do is put whole beans in the machine and press a couple of buttons to make your espresso. The machine doses out the coffee and water for you. 

The machine also has a fully automatic milk frother (the milk frothing system is called LatteGo). You just need to put milk in the machine’s milk jug and the machine steams and froths milk for you at the touch of a button.

The table below shows the key product specifications of the Philips 5400:

SpecificationPhilips 5400 LatteGo
Width9.7 inches
Depth17.0 inches
Height14.6 inches
Number of drink options12
Strength options5
Temperature options3
Grinder typeCeramic burr
Bypass doserYes
Heating systemBoiler
Maximum pump pressure15 Bars
Used coffee container capacity12 pucks
Number of settings on grinder12 
Bean hopper capacity9.7 oz
Water tank capacity61 oz
Water filterYes – AquaClean

What Drinks Can You Make from the Phillips 5400 LatteGo?

The Philips 5400 has 12 coffee settings, but its further customizations (in particular its ability to add an extra shot of espresso to any drink you make) allow it to make 13 common coffee drinks.

I will list these drinks, along with a description of each one, in the table below. A single asterisk means the drink is made possible by the “extra shot” feature of the machine.

Name of DrinkDescription of Drink
Single EspressoOne shot of coffee brewed under intense pressure from one dose of ground coffee
Double Espresso*Two shots of coffee brewed under intense pressure from two doses of ground coffee
Filter CoffeeCoffee is brewed under normal pressure rather than intense pressure like an espresso
Black Eye*Filter coffee topped with a single espresso
AmericanoSingle espresso topped with boiling water
CappuccinoShot of espresso topped with a layer of foamed milk
Latte MacchiatoShot of espresso mixed with a lot of steamed milk 
Cafe Au LaitEspresso with hot (not foamed) milk
Cafe CremaA long coffee made under high pressure with a single dose of ground coffee
Cafe LungoA medium-length coffee made under pressure with a single dose of ground coffee 
RistrettoA very short coffee made under pressure with a single dose of ground coffee 
Flat WhiteA cappuccino but with less milk
Caffe LatteShot of espresso mixed with steamed milk and topped with foamed milk

In addition to this, the machine can also dispense plain hot milk and plain hot water.

For each coffee drink, you can choose from one of five strength settings. This will determine how much ground coffee is used in the drink (the stronger the setting, the more ground coffee will be used).

The machine also gives you the option to add an extra shot of espresso to every drink that you make. 

This allows you to make milk-based coffee drinks like cappuccino and macchiato just like how they are made in coffee shops. The shops usually use a double shot of espresso in these drinks and this machine allows you to do that with no extra effort on your part.

The machine also gives you five serving-size options for the amount of coffee and the amount of milk that you want in each drink. This gives you near total customization over the type of drink that the machine makes for you.

The leftmost bar on the screen controls the dose of ground coffee, the middle bar controls the amount of water used in your coffee, and the rightmost bar controls the amount of milk in your drink. Image from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-aLB2rVr10

Although I do like the level of coffee customization this machine offers you, I don’t like the fact that ground coffee doses aren’t measured by weight. Instead, you are just given an arbitrary number on a scale of 1-5.

Espresso should ideally be dosed out in terms of a coffee-to-water ratio, and since the machine does not tell you the weight of coffee it uses, such dosing is not possible.

Now we have gone through the basic specifications and functionalities of the Philips 5400 LatteGo, I will now assess the machine against five parameters. They are:

  • Quality of Coffee
  • Ease of Use
  • Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance
  • Build Quality
  • Value for Money

Quality of Coffee

The Philips 5400 LatteGo can make a decent espresso, however, it pulls shots too quickly for you to make a truly great espresso. That being said, it makes consistently good milk-based drinks given its excellent milk frother.

The quality of coffee that any superautomatic espresso machine can make depends on the following factors:

  • How precisely and consistently the machine can grind coffee beans
  • How well the machine can control brewing pressure 
  • How accurately the machine allows you to dose coffee and water
  • The quality of the machine’s steam frother

I’ll now go through each of these factors in turn.

Quality of Espresso

Users of the 5500 on Reddit tend to say that the espresso it produces is good, but a little on the watery side to be considered excellent.

This wateriness is likely due to the fact that the 5400 brews espresso too quickly. The machine brews single espresso shots in about 16 seconds. The general consensus among baristas is that shots should take around 25 seconds to brew.

This short brewing time means that water does not have enough time in direct contact with coffee to extract all the flavor-containing oils from the ground beans. 

This results in a watery espresso that lacks the syrupy texture that characterizes the drink.

One big upside with this machine as far as the quality of espresso that it makes is concerned, is that you can easily remove and clean its group head.

Removing the group head from the Phillips 5400 Lattego (image from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiwSCgjjCKw)

Clogged group heads are the most common cause of deterioration in the performance of superautomatic espresso machines. 

Since you can remove this machine’s group head and easily unclog it by running it under water in the sink, your machine should be able to produce consistent quality espressos year in and year out.

Quality of Milk-Based Coffee Drinks

People who use this machine regularly seem to be happy with how the LatteGo system steams and froths milk. The general consensus according to owners of the machine on Facebook and Reddit is that it can steam and froth milk better than someone without much coffee-making experience could with a steam wand.

A barista, or someone with extensive experience using a steam wand, could almost certainly froth milk better than this machine could.

This is to be expected. 

It is unreasonable to think that an automated milk frother could outperform an expertly operated manual frother.

I really like the fact that the machine has three temperature settings for its milk. 

One factor that can often let down milk-based coffee drinks is that they are not hot enough. Setting the machine to maximum brewing temperature created milk-based drinks to a temperature that few can complain about.

Another feature that really increases the 5400’s ability to make excellent milk-based coffee drinks is its “additional shot” feature which automatically adds a second espresso shot to whatever drink you make.

Most coffee shops use double espresso in their milk-based drinks. This feature, therefore, allows you to closely emulate the type of drink you would get in a coffee shop.

Quality of Coffee Rating: 7/10

The 5400 produces a standard quality espresso for a superautomatic machine. It’s drinkable but doesn’t come close to what you can create with a semi-automatic machine. It does have a very good milk frother and this, combined with the “additional shot” feature, means you can make good milk-based coffee drinks.

Ease of Use

The Phillips 5400 LatteGo’s control panel is very well signposted meaning that it is easy to use, even for people who have never used a superautomatic espresso machine before. The machine has a lot of functionalities, but its ability to save preset coffee types means that this high number of functionalities does not slow down your ability to make a coffee

Ease of Set Up

The machine is very easy to set up, with you only needing to attach the water tank, drip tray and used coffee container, and milk tank to the machine and then plug it in.

When you first set up the machine, it will log you in as a guest profile, press the profile button to become one of the four available profiles and then put in your preferred settings. 

These settings include your preferred brewing temperature, whether units of measurement are offered in millilitres or ounces, and what language the LCD screen is set to.

Arrow points to the machine’s profile button. Image from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-aLB2rVr10

These settings will be saved to your profile so you do not need to set them each time you use the machine.

The machine will then run some water through the coffee and milk spouts to flush it out before it allows you to make a coffee. 

After that, you’re ready to go.

Ease of Making Coffee

Making coffee with this machine is really easy given that almost all the coffee-making option buttons are marked with the drink’s name and a picture of it.

There are a few buttons that are behind the “more drinks” button, but once you press this then a list of these drinks appears on your LCD screen.

Once you select a drink, you just need to select its strength, the size of the coffee, and the amount of milk in the drink (if applicable). This is done with the up and down button to the right of the LCD screen. You can see what setting you are on on the LCD screen itself.

The LCD screen uses graphics to denote strength settings, serving size, and milk serving size. Unfortunately, these graphics are not the most self-explanatory. 

I would probably need to look at the machine’s manual (or watch an instructional video on YouTube) to work out what these meant the first time I used the machine.

That slight weakness aside, this machine is far, far easier to use than many other superautomatic machines that just use images and symbols for all their different settings and buttons.

Automation

The machine allows you to save drink presets (type of drink, strength, volume of coffee used, volume of milk used) to each profile.

This means that you can make exactly the drink you want with two button presses (selecting the drink, and pressing brew).

Quality of Instruction Manual

The instruction manual for this machine can be found online here.

Although it’s comprehensive, the fact that it combines instructions for both the Philips 5400 LatteGo and the 4300 means that it is longer than it needs to be.

This can make it difficult to find out the information that you need quickly.

Overall Ease of Use Rating: 9/10

The Philips 5400 LatteGo nails its user-friendliness which is an impressive feat given the amount of functionalities it has.

Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance

The 5400’s superb level of user-friendliness extends to how effortless it is to keep the machine clean and running. Its removable group head and use of AquaClean technology significantly reduce the work you need to do to maintain this machine and should ensure that it has a very long usable life.

Messiness of the Machine

The machine makes very little mess, even by superautomatic standards.

I have owned Jura superautomatic machines in the past, and the machine dispensed water to rinse out its internal pipes after every coffee that you made.

This would fill up the drip tray very quickly and often lead to a mess because I forgot to put a cup in place to catch the water when my coffee was ready.

The 5400 does not do this, instead, you have to press a button for it to rinse out the machine. 

Although you should do this after each coffee, the fact that you can control this means that the machine will not make a mess when it starts rinsing itself out unexpectedly.

The spout of the coffee and milk dispensers can drip a little bit after it has been dispensed, but this is easily caught by the drip tray. 

It will not sneeze liquid onto your counter, which is something that some other espresso machines (*cough* *cough* Nespresso) does endlessly.

The machine tells you when its drip tray needs to be emptied so you have minimal risk of flooding it and making a mess on your counter.

What Parts of the Machine are Removable?

The following table shows all the parts of the Philips 5400 LatteGo that come into direct contact with coffee, milk or water and whether they are removable and dishwasher safe or not:

PartRemovableDishwasher safe
Water tankYesNo
Drip Tray lidYesYes
Drip TrayYesNo
Used coffee containerYesNo
Milk tankYesYes
Milk Tank SpoutYesYes
GrinderNoNo
Brew GroupYesNo

The number of removable parts on the machine really helps with how easy it is to clean the machine, although it would be nice if a few more of these parts were dishwasher friendly (especially the drip tray and the used coffee container as these get really dirty).

The brew group being removable is particularly useful as an inability to clean this can cause the whole machine to deteriorate.

The only part of this machine that is really difficult to clean is the grinder and in particular, the funnel that takes ground coffee into the brew head. 

To do this you have to open up the machine and slide the back of a spoon up this funnel. You can find a video showing how to do this below.

Ease of Descaling

The 5400 uses an AquaClean filter in its water tank. This means that you only have to descale it every 5000 brews. This means that if you were to use your machine twice a day then you would only need to descale it every seven years.

This is a massive advantage over machines that don’t use this type of filter. Many machines require you to descale them every couple of months, so the 5400’s use of this filter will save you a huge amount of time on descaling.

When you do (finally) have to descale the machine all you need to do is fill the water tank with the descaling solution and water and put it in descale mode (an option when you press the clean button on the control panel).

The machine going into descale mode

In descale mode, the machine will run the solution through all the machine’s internal pipes and will eject it out of the coffee and milk spouts. This takes about 30 minutes.

Around 50 oz of liquid will run through the machine during this, so you need to stand by the machine to add and remove containers to catch this liquid.

In fairness, most machines have a similar descaling process. What makes the 5400 stand out is how rarely it needs to be descaled. This really does remove one of the big pains in owning such a machine.

Ease of Maintenance

The 5400 is relatively easy to maintain as you can easily open the machine up (no need to unscrew anything) and lubricate its parts. The machine even comes with a tube of lubricant to do this.

By far the most important component of the machine as far as maintenance is concerned is its group head. Being able to easily remove, clean and lubricate the 5400’s group head eliminates the biggest maintenance headache involved in owning a super-automatic espresso machine.

I have owned a Jura machine in the past which did not have a removable group head and it would cost a lot of money to get a technician in to fix it if it became faulty. 

All the technician did was flush and lubricate the group head, so you can save a lot of time and money being able to do this yourself.

Overall Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance Rating: 9/10

I am struggling to find any fault with this machine as far as its ease of cleaning and maintenance is concerned. The removable group head makes a world of difference in how cheap and easy the machine is to maintain and I think it is essential for any good superautomatic espresso machine.

Build Quality

The machine has a good build quality, comparable to more expensive superautomatic espresso machines. It has one small design flaw, and that is that its maximum drip tray to coffee spout clearance is only 5.5 inches meaning that it cannot accommodate most travel mugs.

Look and Feel of the Machine

The machine is largely made out of plastic and as a result, it does not feel the most expensive or sturdy.

I do really like the illuminated buttons and LCD screen which gives the machine an excellent user interface. The machine is really smartly designed to be as user-friendly as possible, even if it does not “feel” the most high-end.

Quality of Coffee Grinder

Although the build quality of the 5400’s grinder is excellent, I have concerns over its ability to grind coffee finely enough for espresso.

The 5400 uses a ceramic burr grinder. This is the best type of coffee grinder available as it creates a very consistent grind without destroying any of the flavorful oils in the coffee. 

These types of grinders usually cost upwards of $200 alone, so for a machine that costs around a grand to have one built in is excellent value.

The grinder has 12 coarseness/fineness settings. 

I do have concerns over how finely it can grind your coffee, and this is because the machine only takes around 12-15 seconds to brew a single espresso. 

Espresso should take around 25 seconds to brew, and too fast brewing times often occur because the coffee is too coarse so water runs through it too quickly.

I would therefore recommend making all espresso drinks on the finest grind setting possible and making filter coffees on medium fine.

Any Design Flaws?

The only design flaw that this machine has is that its maximum clearance height between its drip tray and the coffee spout is 5.5 inches.

This means that it cannot accommodate most travel mugs.

The machine does have a “travel mug” setting that raises the coffee spout to its maximum height, giving you 5.5 inches of cup clearance space, however it would be good if this was even higher so it could accommodate a wider range of travel mugs.

Any Known Technical Issues?

I could not find any recurring reports of specific technical issues with this machine. 

I did however notice that Philips has a reputation for lacking quality control on their products and that a lot of their products tend to be defective right out of the box.

I did not see any reports of the 5400 having these issues specifically.

Overall Build Quality Rating: 8/10

The 5500 may not be as sleek looking as other superautomatic machines, but it is really smartly designed and made with high-quality components.

Value for Money

As of August 2022, you can buy the Philips Lattego 5400 for $999.95 off Williams Sonoma. I think this is excellent value for money, and there are inferior or similar quality espresso machines that retail at much higher than this.

It’s rare that you find superautomatic espresso machines with fully automatic milk frothing for under $1000. This, combined with the quality of the machine, makes it an absolute steal at its current price.

Operational Cost

The 5400 cuts down on its operational cost compared to some other superautomatic machines due to the fact that you can easily open up the machine and remove its group head.

This allows you to clean and lubricate the inside of the machine and the group head itself. 

If you cannot clean and lubricate the inside of the machine (especially its group head) then the machine will require professional maintenance a lot more frequently. 

This can significantly increase the lifetime cost of the machine.

The 5400 allows you to perform a lot of this basic maintenance yourself, therefore keeping the ongoing costs of owning the machine to a minimum.

Overall Value for Money Rating: 9/10

The 5400 is very reasonably priced for what you get. While you can save money by purchasing a machine that only has the functionalities that you intend on using, this machine offers excellent value for a machine with all the bells and whistles.

Comparison to Other Philips Superautomatic Espresso Machines

There are four available Philips superautomatic espresso machines with fully automatic LatteGo milk frothing functionalities.

These are called:

  • Philips 2200 LatteGo
  • Philips 3200 LatteGo
  • Philips 4300 LatteGo
  • Phillips 5400 LatteGo

Similarities Between Philips Superautomatic Espresso Machines

All the Philips machines listed above have the following:

  • Ceramic burr grinder with 12 settings
  • Three temperature settings
  • LatteGo fully automatic milk frother
  • Easy opening service door and removable group head
  • Button-operated control panel
  • 60 oz removable water tank
  • Removable drip tray and used coffee container

In short, the quality of coffee and ease of cleaning and maintenance of these machines are all very similar. All the machines use the same milk frothing technology.

Differences Between Philips Superautomatic Espresso Machines

The machines differ in the following ways:

  • The number of coffee drinks you can make
  • The number of strength and serving size settings that you have for each coffee
  • Whether the machine has an LCD screen or not
  • Whether the machine has an “additional shot” functionality
  • Whether the machine has user profiles that save your preferences, and how many profiles they have

The table below shows how these machines differ along these parameters:

Functionality2200320043005400
Available coffee drinks35812
Number of strength settings3355
Number of serving size settings (coffee)3355
Number of serving size settings (milk)1355
LCD screenNoNoYesYes
Additional shot functionalityNoYesYesYes
Number of user profilesNoneNoneTwoFour

Which is the Best Philips LatteGo Espresso Machine?

The best Philips LatteGo espresso machine for the money is the Philips 4300 LatteGo.

I think that having additional strength and serving size settings justifies the 4300’s additional cost compared to more affordable Philips machines, but the addition of four more coffee types (many of which are very similar) does not justify the price of the 5400 over the 4300.

All the machines are good value for money, but the 4300 offers the best balance between cost and what it can offer you.

Final Verdict

I would recommend buying the Philips 5400 LatteGo.

Its large range of coffee-making options and high level of user-friendliness makes it an excellent machine that offers superb value for money.