When this week's gadget arrived for review at Herald HQ it made me smile.

Finally, an opportunity to combine two of my favourite pastimes: gadgets and caffeine.

The Nespresso U & Milk promises to bring barista-quality coffee to the domestic kitchen, allowing anything from a simple espresso to a double creme brulee latte macchiato to be prepared with the minimum of fuss - simply drop in the coffee capsule and go.

Three touch-sensitive buttons on the top of the unit control the amount of water to be added, with volumes ranging from a shot-sized ristretto (25ml) to the somewhat larger lungo (110ml).

Spent capsules automatically drop into a collection tank that has space for about 10 pods before it needs to be emptied.

The party piece of the U & Milk model is the built-in Aeroccino milk frother. This unit does an excellent job of producing milk foam, optionally heating the milk as it goes. Quieter, safer and less messy than a conventional steam wand, the Aeroccino is an excellent gadget in its own right.

The milk frother is the only part of the system that needs regular cleaning and, fortunately, that is pretty straightforward too.

The whole system feels very polished. The levers and buttons have a weighty, solid feel and the choice of materials is excellent all the way, from the chrome and rubber hatch at the top to the magnetically-aligned drip tray at the bottom.

My only slight criticism of the machine is the noise it makes. The pump, which can produce up to 19 bar of water pressure, is fairly noisy. Several times during our week-long trial I was woken not to the smell of coffee, but to the sound of a semi-industrial pump downstairs.

If everything so far sounds positive, that's because it is - the machine is a delight to use, simple to maintain and, noise aside, produces great coffee. So where's the catch?

If there is a shortcoming of the Nespresso system it is with the coffee capsules. First, regardless of the blend chosen - there are 21 different capsules on offer - they are relatively expensive at about 30p each, even when bought in bulk. My wife and I found we needed two capsules each to give us our usual morning caffeine jolt, putting our weekly breakfast coffee habit at just under a tenner.

The aluminium capsules also seem wasteful from an environmental perspective. Their construction makes them unsuitable for domestic recycling, so Nespresso offers a free capsule return scheme when buying capsules from them by mail order. A walk-in service is available at Nespresso stores, but the nearest store is in Manchester, making that impractical for Scots.