Can you Use K-Cups in A Nespresso Machine ?

You have been loving your new Nespresso automatic brewer that you have been using exclusively for about 3 months now, completely replacing the Keurig coffee maker that you had been using for several years. But, when cleaning out your cabinets, you find a K-Cup left over from the old Keurig. Looks like there was one left over, but can you still use it with your new machine? Or will it have to go to waste now that you have gifted the Keurig to your Aunt?

 

The Answer Is: Unfortunately, No

While it may be your favorite flavor, the K-Cup is incompatible with your Nespresso brewer for a multitude of reasons covering both the sizes and shapes of the pods as well as the technical aspects of the machines themselves.

K-Cup vs. Nespresso

First off, the K-Cup is too long and wide to fit easily into the Nespresso’s slim pod receptacle. Nespresso has adopted a lower plastic, more eco-friendly design that also looks more slim futuristic and not just for the coolness factor. The slimmer shape and tighter packing of a Nespresso pod leaves less room for residual air from the sealing process, keeping your coffee fresher than the methods and technology used by Keurig. Of course this difference is marginal and both companies provide a fresh cup, but only Nespresso can boast a layer of sweet crema at the top of your cup due to the method used for brewing.

With regards to mechanics, these machines handle the pods of coffee grounds very differently, and while they both result cups of liquid sunshine, the path through the machine makes a difference in the end flavor and texture. The Keurig, as soon as it’s pushed closed, punches one hole in both the top and bottom of the K-Cup before brewing, then proceeds in much the same way as a drip brewing coffee pot. The intuitive Nespresso machine, however, scans a barcode on the pod to verify that it is of the proper brand, what line it is from and, thus how much water to use for it.

You see, originally, Nespresso was only capable of brewing traditionally portioned espressos, hence the name. Over time, in response to a spike in the popularity of instant brew, preportioned coffee, Nespresso began to produce a line of machines capable of brewing coffee as well and larger cups of espresso, while maintaining the option of a traditionally portioned espresso as well.

How do they organize all of these options, you may be wondering? Well, that is why they added the barcode reader. By placing the code on the rim of the pod and programming it to perform all tasks necessary for that code when scanned, Nespresso removes all of the guesswork from brewing a high-end, café-quality cup of morning magic. The downside however is that the machine only works if the code is present. This means that while you can buy off brand pods for a Keurig, that is not an option with Nespresso.


Can You Grind Coffee In A Ninja?

It’s early in the morning, as well as still dark outside. Your window curtains are wide open; still drawn from the busy day before, in hopes to catch the early morning rays when they peak over the furtherest skyline even though the dawn still feels hours away. The alarm is screaming for you to wake up before sunrise, yet again. What day is it anyway? Tuesday? Man, you’re not even halfway to Saturday and the sweet sleep that comes with it. You drag your weary body out of bed and down the hall for some of that heavenly brew that must be sent directly from angels for working adults. As soon as you get the pot running, your body will be lighter, and the lights won’t be as harsh. As soon as you can smell the brewing beans warm up, to release their caffeine and flavors into the water, this morning will be so much better.

As you reach for the pot to pour your fresh cup, you realize that something is off. You forgot to set the auto brew last night! You’ll have to wait for the whole pot to brew. You know it only takes a few moments, but it feels as though it could just as easily be hours now. And worse yet, the beans aren’t even ground! Could this morning get any worse?!

Unfortunately my friend, yes it can. As you hold down the power button on your coffee grinder, you realize the worst has happened. Your grinder is dead at 5 AM, and you have no coffee! How can the universe expect you to handle this quagmire so early in the morning?

Well, don’t fret, dear friend. The Ninja blender you bought three months ago when you swore you would start drinking smoothies in the morning may be able to save this day yet! A question forms in your mind: Could the Ninja blender grind my coffee beans? Even if I like them super fine?

The Answer Is YES!

Thank the heavens above, the Ninja blender’s pulse settings can pulverize anything. All you need to do is measure out your preferred portion and pulse until the beans are at your preferred consistency.

You pulse and pulse, and low and behold; it is working! Was your coffee grinder even this fast? That doesn’t matter now. All that matters this early in the morning is getting this machine to start brewing so you can shower and make yourself human before you need to have the kids up and yourself to work.

Within just 12 pulses, your coffee is ground to perfection and ready to brew. The aroma of the freshly broken beans surrounds you as you move them from the Ninja blender to you coffee pot’s basket.

Now, thanks to the Ninja blender, your morning is saved and back on track. You start the pot of freshly ground beans and leave it to brew while you head to the shower; returning to the beautifully delicious coffee aroma, that could only be from freshly ground beans, filling your kitchen to pour a cup of that liquid sunshine and get ready to embrace your day head-on.

So, Why Am I Grinding My Beans At Home Again?

I know mornings like this can leave you wondering about this. If it can be so much trouble, why even bother grinding them myself when plenty of brands sell them already ground?

Well, the reason is simple for a caffeine connoisseur. The flavor and aroma of freshly ground beans are entirely unmatchable by any pre-ground competitor. This difference in quality can be seen in the prices of many brands as well. Why do they charge more for the whole beans, if more work gets put into the grounds? Grinding them takes time and energy, right?

The answer is simple. Oxidation. This process starts as soon as the bean gets broken, no matter how quickly it is then sealed. Oxidation attacks the flavor and aroma very promptly so that the difference can become apparent as soon as you open a bag of coffee grounds and a bag of whole beans next to each other. It is immediately evident that the whole beans have a stronger aroma, even before they are ground. Then, once ground and brewed, the coffee from the whole beans will be both darker and sweeter. This is because oxidation is responsible for the bitter taste that many people associate with coffee.

Now you know that should a morning go haywire, your Ninja blender can come to the rescue. Even if you like your beans super finely ground, the Ninja blender can and will deliver the fresh, sweet aroma and flavor you deserve from your morning cup of coffee and keep your morning as smooth as your creamer if you take creamer that is.


How Fine Should You Grind Coffee?

Why Size Matters

In many parts of life, size is far less critical than purpose. In coffee, however, the size of your ground beans influences the time your coffee grounds are in contact with the water, how much of the delicious elixir is extracted from those beans and how fast water flows through the ground beans. Thus, the size of your grinds can significantly alter your final product.

As for the size you’re supposed to use? That depends on what you are trying to brew. The answer can vary wildly from very fine to extra course depending on your brewer and method.

Ground Size and Use

Here we have compiled a list of the most common and popular brewing methods and the ground size they need for optimum levels of flavor. Enjoy!

Turkish Coffee is an age-old classic as far as coffee goes, and was originally a delicacy reserved for the king, or as he would be called in Turkey, the sultan. As such, it requires an ultra delicate and super fine grind. For this coffee, you are looking for coffee grounds that are comparable to powdered sugar. That is amazingly fine to have achieved in the 16th century!

Similar to the French press, the AeroPress is a manual brewer that is typically used for single servings. The recommended ground size for the AeroPress is something between medium and fine depending on your tastes. A finer grind will retain the water longer and thus have a stronger flavor.

Siphon brewers, which work by using pressure to force water into the same chamber as the coffee grounds, then removing the heat to cause a vacuum, pulling the water through into the pot. This method also requires a medium to fine grind for the optimum levels of water to coffee exposure.

While most pour-over methods require a grind between medium and fine, it is essential to be familiar with your machine in particular because some of the different sized machines need different ground sizes as well.

Brewed under at least nine bars of pressure espressos require a very finely ground bean for the best flavor, though not quite as fine as the Turkish coffee’s grind. The optimum grind for espresso is more comparable to table salt than powdered sugar.

Using about 1.5 bars of pressure the Moka Pot forces steam up through the basket of grounds to steam coffee grounds. The coffee infused water then falls back down to the pot after condensation. For optimal exposure time, a medium ground is recommended for your beans.

Typically requiring medium-course to medium ground beans, drip coffee is the most common brewing style found in homes, offices, and shops. The exposure time is managed by the very small hole in the bottom of the basket coupled with the flow onto the grounds that brings in around twice as much as what can run out at any given time. One reason this method is so popular is because of the ease of use and automation included in machines from a very low price point.

The French press uses immersion brewing, much like hot tea, where the coffee grounds are added to hot water and steeped for a while before being strained out. Due to the straining process, a coarse grind is crucial for a good cup from a French press. Using anything smaller is possible, but will lead to a cloudy cup of coffee. Or, sometimes even grit from the grounds finding its way into the bottom of your mug.

When using a cold brew, the coffee is placed in water that is at or below room temperature for one to three days, depending on the desired strength, before being strained. While any size of grind can be used for this, an extra course grind is recommended to avoid cloudiness, caused by tiny bits of suspended grounds, in the final product.

Single-cup coffee makers, such as Keurig, usually have the option of buying pre-ground and pre-portioned cups, but if you would prefer to make your own or use a machine that is compatible with just grounds, a medium grind is recommended. This size ensures that while you have an excellent exposer time, the grinds are too large to work through the machinery and make for a cloudy cup.

Figuring out grind sizes can be hard at first, but after some time, they start to make sense. For example, with Turkish coffee, no filter is used at all, so you will want coffee small enough to remain suspended in the water, so you don’t experience the sensation of having grounds in your cup while enjoying this old world classic. Meanwhile, with a cold brew, you will want grounds as large as possible, because your end goal is a crisp, clear cup.


Can You Grind Coffee In A Blender?

Coffee In A BlinderThe sun is going down, and you want to set your machine to auto brew so that your coffee will be ready and waiting for you in the morning when the alarm forces you from sleep so that you can begin yet another busy day. You grind your own beans because you adore the fresh aroma and taste, even if a little bit of that is lost in pre-grinding then the night before. You’ve decided this method fits your lifestyle the best since you can be too busy to grind on the spot every single morning. Especially those mornings when the bed feels much better than your itinerary.

You have been nearly lost in thought, brought back to the present reality when you realize that your bean grinder has not started whirring and the beans are still whole inside, even though you had already set it to your usual setting of medium ground. It would seem that this burr grinder has gone out on you. Perhaps it had been sitting too close to the sink when you and your siblings were fooling around and having a water fight! Maybe the storm earlier burned it out with lightning? Though that is less likely considering your home is equipted with surge protectors. Whatever the case may be, the point of the mater is, what can you do about it now to ground your coffee beans? Without coffee, how will you get through tomorrow morning’s busy schedule?

You check the time, but alas, it is too late to run to the store for a new one, so you will have to get creative. Looking around your kitchen for anything similar to the burr grinder you typically use, absolutely anything that may have a grinding ability. A mortar and pestle? But, you don’t own one or those. The closest thing present is the blender that has slipped towards the back of the counter. You don’t remember using it since a few months ago when you had friends over, and everyone wanted milkshakes, but you reach for it and dust it off. Could your blinder possibly make due for the night?

The Answer Is YES

Losing a high-quality burr grinder in the middle of a busy week can be a very stressful thing to experience. Now you still have half of the week to go with an early morning alarm, whole coffee beans, and no way to grind them. However, a blender with a pulse mode can ease the blow and save your week. All you need to do is place the beans in the blender and pulse them, very briefly, about 8-12 times depending on your desired grind level.

Why Your Burr Grinder Is Better Than A Blender

I know what you’re thinking, “If that’s all I have to do and it is that simple, then why spend so much on a burr grinder if the blender can do the same job?” Well, after you pulse your coffee beans in the blender, have a good look over them. They probably aren’t as uniform as your usual grinder would have them.

Beyond not being aesthetically pleasing, nonuniform beans can alter the taste, clarity, and overall quality of whatever sort of coffee you are trying to brew. These issues can be particularly noticeable in Turkish and cold brew coffees, due to their filtering procedures, or lack thereof.

Aside from this, burr grinders typically come with a preset grind level knob that is programmed to industry standards, so that your coffee will come to precisely the right level of grind for the recipe you are following. Again, using Turkish coffee as an example, you would need a very, very finely ground coffee bean. So fine, that it looks like dark powdered sugar. Otherwise, the grounds will not remain suspended, and the experience will be tainted with a mouth full of grit. A grind this uniform is nearly impossible to achieve with a regular blender.

So, while your blender will save you if your grinder goes out in the middle of the week and you exclusively ground your own beans, it is not a permanent or better solution by any means. Blenders are not meant to create a uniform grind, but rather to blend liquids and solids into a sort of chunky consistency, like a smoothie. While they can be used to grind just solids once or twice, they can not be expected to do so very uniformly. If it comes to using a blender to grind your beans, it will likely be the easiest to use the blended grounds in a drip style brewer. Of course, with the right amount of effort, anything is possible, but without a proper burr grinder, it will be hard to enjoy delicate coffee treats.


Top 5 Best Espresso Machine Under $200

Sick of killing your wallet for your favorite coffee? Don’t you think it might be better to make your favorite coffee in the comfort of your home and avoid the obnoxious busybody lines? But wait, are you worried it will break your bank to get a high-quality espresso machine?

Well, don’t worry! You’re not alone here. Most people are under the impression you have to be a trained barista to operate the complicated and expensive machines at the coffee shop. Those things must be over a $1000, right?

Now, don’t tell the coffee chains we told you this, but, there are several home brewers on the public market for $200 or less! And many of them do most, if not all, of the work for you!

Okay, now. I know what you’re thinking. What quality of machine can I buy for that little? Well, unfortunately, it won’t come fully automated or have very many advanced features, but that doesn’t mean it won’t give you the best home-brewed espresso. It will be especially excellent for a beginner to grasp the bases of home brewing.

What Can You Expect?

Okay, so at the $200 and under price mark, you are looking for a beginner’s machine. This means that you are just starting your journey into the world of espresso craft. There are some espresso machines for even less in some places, but, you must know, the lower the price marker goes, the more likely you are to run into some issues with inferior materials or missing features for your favorite beverage.

The wide range in prices is influenced by many factors, such as:

  • Differing levels of pressure
  • Amount of features
  • Level of customizability
  • User friendliness of the machine

For the best results at the beginning of your espresso making journey, we recommend that you buy a mid to high-quality coffee bean grinder to pair with your espresso machine. Pre-ground beans tend to lose flavor, aroma, and strength over time. Some work must be put in for a top-quality, economical, delicious espresso shot.

Top 5 Best Espresso Machine Under $200

Best ChoiceDeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso MakerDeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso MakerBuyFromAmazon
Best Super-Automatic Espresso MachineMr Coffee Cafe BaristaMr. Coffee Cafe
Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
BuyFromAmazon
Best Manual Espresso MachineFlair Manual Espresso MakerFlair Manual Espresso MakerBuyFromAmazon
Best Pod Espresso MachineNespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso MachineNespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso MachineBuyFromAmazon
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine OptionBreville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Espresso MakerBreville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso MakerBuyFromAmazon

Best Choice – DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker

DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso MakerThe DeLonghi EC702 is a highly user-friendly espresso machine aimed towards newbies to the home coffee craft scene.

Looking for an affordable alternative to the Starbucks drive-through? DeLonghi made this machine for you with high quality and consistency in mind. Key features include a stainless steel boiler, separate steam and water thermostats, and a user-friendly button panel.

Brewing

DeLonghi takes all of the guesswork out of priming your machine with its convenient Preheat button. Once primed, fill the basket with either a pod or ground coffee, because yes, this one does both!

Once you’re locked and loaded, wait for the “OK” light to turn green and press Brew!

But don’t walk away just yet! This model does not have an autofill feature, so you will need to press Brew once more to stop the flow when your cup is filled to your desired level.

Steaming

Steam any milk or milk substitute of your choice with the press of a single button. The pitcher can steam up to 3.5 oz at a time. Just place the filled pitcher underneath the frother and turn the steaming knob counter-clockwise about half of a full turn before dipping the tip of the wand in the milk. While some consumers like to measure out the temperature to exactly 140F, many homebrewers are content with just the heating until they can feel the warmth of their desired intensity.

Display & Control

DeLonghi features a small and efficient panel on the front, left side of the machine. At the top, the Power button can be found, followed by Brew, and then Steam. Each button is coupled with a light to make it clear and easy to tell what features are ready for use. For the additional convenience of use, the steaming knob is located right above the frothing wand on the right side of the machine.

Additional Features

DeLonghi is a wonderful brand, and the model EC155 takes that a step farther. They have taken the liberty of adding a warming tray to warm the cups before actually adding the hot coffee, thus preventing possible cracks in a cold mug from sudden heat contact. The EC155 model also comes with a built-in plastic tamper for packing the espresso into the brewing cup. Some users, however, prefer to use the back of a spoon for a tighter pack.

How to Clean

To keep everything nice, shiny, and working smoothly, make sure to clean the drip tray, frothing wand, and group heads after every use. Starting to lose the “new machine” shine? Just wipe the exterior down using a damp cloth.

As for more periodical maintenance, around every 200 brews, make sure to clean the filter holder and the boiler outlet. If you live in an area with hard water, make sure to descale as well. For details on how to do this and the best supplies for the job, you are going to need to reference the user manual.

Pros

  • Dual filter, for use with pods or grounds
  • Pump driven system, for high levels of consistency
  • User-friendly interface
  • High-quality stainless steel boiler, for long-lasting durability
  • 44 oz removable water tank, for easy filling and cleaning
  • Large drip tray compared to similar models
  • Built-in cup warmer
  • Frothing clip to help hold pitcher still
  • Self-primes in just 3 minutes

Cons

  • Cup clearance is only 2.75 in
  • Some inconsistencies in the brewing stream
  • The filter basket does not lock in place, so you must turn the lever to dump used coffee grounds
  • Hard to access built in tamper

>>> Read the customer reviews of DeLonghi EC702 Espresso Maker

Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machine – Mr. Coffee Cafe

Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

Mr CoffeeMr. Coffee Cafe Barista is the machine for those who wish to have coffee shop styled drinks, in the comfort, and affordability of their own homes. Streamlining the brewing process, Mr. Coffee saves time. And honestly, who has time to waste between waking up and that first cup of your favorite brew?

All you have to do is portion, tamp, and brew! Mr. Coffee even froths and steams the milk for you, while it brews! A dream come true for milky coffee lovers!

Key Features

  • 15-bar pressurized pump, guaranteeing the thick crema and flavor that make espresso drinks the decadent treats they are
  • Adjustable cup clearance, using only a simple cup tray step for small espresso cups that can be pushed in for latte cups
  • Customizable volume control, giving the user the power to dictate their preferred water to espresso ratio for both single and double shots
  • Dishwasher-safe parts, saving even more time
  • Removable water reservoir, allowing for easy clean-up and quick fill-up
  • Removeable auto-frother, saving time by frothing while it brews and saving milk because leftovers can be stored in the fridge for the next day

Process of Coffee Making

Designed with an automatic milk frother, Mr. Coffee does much of the work for you here. All you have to do is load the machine and press the Start button.

Make Cappuccino

With a convenient Froth Control Knob, you have all of the options for a custom brew. There is also a cappuccino setting if you would like to try the standard blend. Want a larger cup for an all-nighter? Just press the Cappuccino button twice for a double.

Make Latte

Would you prefer to have a latte? There are also presets for those that work in the same way! Mr. Coffee thought of everything with this lovely espresso machine.

Want some more frothy steamed milk? Just hold down the Cappuccino button for 3 seconds to start the flow, and press again to end the flow when it’s milky enough for you.

This machine can also just be run to froth milk. Give that a try for your next hot cocoa or chai tea!

Brewing Performance

The 15-bar pump, which is well over the minimum for a delicious espresso, brews one cup per minute, thus making Mr. Coffee an excellent choice for families or those in a hurry!

Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning is a breeze! Everything but the filter and the water reservoir can go straight into the dishwasher. The other two parts only need a quick wash in warm water. Mr. Coffee keeps easy maintenance in mind when it comes to their designs!

Pros

  • Luxurious design, adds flair to any countertop
  • User-friendly control panel, easy to read with indicator lights
  • Detailed instruction manual, makes brewing easy even for the newest baristas
  • Easy cleanup
  • Customizable brewing and experimentation possible
  • Low price for all of the features available

Cons

  • Milk reservoir must be pushed in very firmly, or there may be leaks
  • Specifications on the water and milk reservoirs, power cable, and the diameter of the portafilter basket are impossible to find on packaging

>>> Read the customer reviews of Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccinno Maker

Best Manual Espresso Machine – Flair Manual Espresso Maker

Flair Manual Espresso MakerThe cheapest high-quality, durable espresso maker is the Flair Manual Espresso Maker. However, as stated, this is a manual machine, so you will have to be more involved with the brewing process than with some other models.

Being a manual brewer, the Flair has a higher learning curve than the automatic brewers. Thankfully, there are instructional videos that can be viewed to aid new users with their first brewing, and of course, practice makes perfect. Once you have grasped the basics of the Flair, you can then begin experimenting with your very own custom brews.

Flair is the go-to eco-friendly machine because it doesn’t use batteries or electricity. Instead, the only things you need are your own two hands and a way to boil water.

The Flair is the perfect machine for campers who cannot live without their espresso in the morning: easy assembly and disassembly, easy to clean, and even quite the portable device. Anywhere you can heat water; you can use the Flair.

This unique machine features a stainless steel, removable, brewing head and easy to read instructions, as well as a carrying case, this can honestly be a very dependable machine. If you are an ecowarrior or just someone who loves brewing with your own two hands, this is the machine for you.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Flair Manual Espresso Maker

Best Pod Espresso Machine – Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine

For a preview of the Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo, check out the demo video link below to see it in action:

Cool, right? Now let’s get to the Nespresso’s review!

Patented Extraction Technology

Nespresso makes brewing easy, especially for espresso brewing newbies, with their patented technology called Centrifusion. Sound familiar, yeah? A centrifuge is what they use in a vast majority of medical labs to separate the different components of blood and stuff, but what does that have to do with coffee? Well, Nespresso’s technology takes brewing to a whole new level. As soon as you close the machine and start brewing, the pod rotates around 7,000 times per minute! The rotation infuses the coffee grounds and the water for a stronger brew, with a richer crema than ever before.

Features

Featuring a more modern design and shape, the Evoluo exclusively uses pods made for both espresso and large sizes. The pods bear a barcode on their rims that provide the machine with all the information needed for brewing what they are meant for automatically. This makes Evoluo the most automatic of the devices on this list.

Water Tank

With a 54 oz integrated water tank, I believe it is safe to say, the Evoluo more than makes up for the fact that it lacks a refill light. Due to the high tech, grooved design, some users have difficulty knowing exactly how much water remains in the tank, but this is a small con in light of some of the other features this machine has to offer.

Now, aside from its high tech design, this eco-friendly model also has a shut-off feature that will cause it to shut down after being idle for 9 minutes. No more wondering if you forgot to turn off the coffee machine after you have already gotten to work!

Controls and Use

With minimalist controls, the Evoluo bears only a power button. To turn off manually, just hold this down for 3 seconds. The brewing chamber is locked with a chromed latch for your convenience and safety, and it’s locking closes the circuit that powers the Centrefusion. Once the brewing has been completed, unlocking the latch causes the machine to drop the used pod into a built-in basket.

The unique design of the multi-leveled drip tray allows for a wide range of cup size. Instead of just allowing for latte or espresso, the Evoluo can accommodate everything from a demitasse to a travel mug!

Pros

  • High-quality brewing
  • Automated by bar code scan
  • Modern design
  • 15 sec heating
  • Automatic shut off
  • Large used pod bin when compared to other machines of the same size

Cons

  • Need to purge air pockets before first use
  • Lower brewing temp than some other machines
  • Vertuoline pods only

Summary

If you are looking for an affordable machine that will blend with the modern kitchen, the Evoluo may be precisely what you were looking for. There are a few cons, of course, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily deal breakers. I personally find the coffee this machine brews to be right at drinking temperature, so if you are also a person who usually has to let it cool first, this is the brewer for you.

The built-in barcode reader can read both coffee and espresso pods, making this perfect for the primary coffee drinker who wants to dabble with espresso mixes. For cappuccinos and lattes, however, you will need to buy a milk frother separately.

Can’t find your preferred espresso flavor made for the Evoluo yet, but really like the idea of pods? Try out the Nespresso Inissia! There are dozens of flavors for that model, and it can even use off brand pods for even more variety.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Maker

Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine Option – Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Espresso Maker

Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Espresso MakerAs you may be able to tell by this point, finding an affordable, milk frothing, and user-friendly home brewer is no simple task. The Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker is $200, and it combines all of these crucial features.

This machine has a built-in milk frother, meaning it is an all in one for any drink that starts with a shot or two or seven of espresso. This makes it the perfect kitchen accessory for the student or any human that has to be awake early in the morning or late at night.

Key Features

  • 15-bar pressurized pump
  • Cup-warming plate
  • Dual-walled filter system
  • Thermoblock pump
  • Stainless steel design
  • Removable drip tray
  • 28oz water tank

Ease of use

Boasting a low learning curve, the Breville ESP8XL only has a power light and a water heating light. Selecting your preferred brew is as simple as turning the dial to your choice. The only thing that needs careful maintenance is the drip tray. Make sure to keep that clean. It is removable, so a quick rinse with an occasional wash should be just fine. The water tank also features a window on the side so you can easily see when a refill is needed.

Good espresso

A well-made espresso can set the pace for a good day, and Breville makes sure to give you the best so that you can do your best. The company knows that temperature and pressure are the two most critical factors that make the difference in a great start to your day and a disappointment.

Compact Design

With dimensions of only 9x9x10, the Breville is a medium sized machine. With a polished stainless steel exterior, it looks professional and will be sure to keep its space on your counter for many years.

What else to expect

For your convenience, Breville includes two espresso cups and a frothing pitcher so that you can start brewing right out of the box. The user interface is also equipped with lights to let you know when the machine is heating and ready to brew.

Pros

  • Stainless Steel
  • 15-bar pressurized pump
  • User-friendly interface
  • Dual wall filter for both easy brewing and quick frothing

Cons

  • Easily clogged filter
  • Low cup height clearance

Summary

User-friendly to even the most novice of us, the Breville Cafe Roma is a wonderful starter machine. It has all of the essential features and a simple interface. This machine includes a milk frother, making it an excellent choice for the latte and cappuccino lovers as well.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Breville Cafe Roma Espresso Maker

Which Machine to Pick?

Now that you have seen our top picks for under $200, you may be having a hard time choosing which one is for you. The truth is the only one who can tell you that is you. Consider your individual needs to help:

  • Where will you be keeping your machine?
  • How much space do you have?
  • Will you be traveling with it?
  • Do you prefer to use pods or grounds?
  • Do you need a milk frother?
  • If you need a frother, does it need to be automatic?

After you can answer these questions with certainty, you will have a much clearer picture of what sort of machine you need. Remember that we advise picking up a grinder if you are using grounds because these devices don’t start coming with their own grinders until the $500 range.

Whatever you find to be right for you, we are happy to help you start your home brewing journey.

How to Keep Your Coffee Warm

For coffee drinkers, there is little better than settling into a project at work or a good book with a hot brew nearby to keep motivated and refreshed. On cold days, a hot coffee can serve as such a comfort against the chilly weather. However, frustrating interruptions often occur when ten minutes into an activity, the drinker finds that his or her coffee is no longer at a satisfyingly warm temperature. Rather than disturbing concentration or leisure time and running to the microwave each time the coffee gets cold, here are a few methods on maintaining that perfect coffee level of heat.

Preheat Everything

preheat everythingConcerning the coffee drinkers that love additives like milk or cream, here is where the microwave comes in handy. While the coffee is brewing or the kettle is boiling, pour the desired amount of cream or milk into a container and heat it in the microwave to a hot temperature. Because milk and cream are stored in the fridge, they can majorly affect the temperature when added to freshly hot coffee. However, heating the milk or cream first will instead greatly increase the amount of time one’s coffee stays warm. Further, if drinking instant coffee, consider using boiled water heated on the stove or in a kettle rather than water heated in the microwave. By boiling the water, a higher temperature can be obtained more easily and thus the coffee itself will be hot enough to last a reasonable amount of time.

Use an Insulated Travel Mug

This particular hack is practical for coffee that is not intended to be consumed straight away.  Perhaps one needs the coffee to last the commute so that he or she may enjoy it at work. Or maybe the coffee is being saved for after other tasks are completed. Regardless of the need, insulated travel mugs are ideal for keeping coffee hot for longer periods of time. Usually made from metal or glass, insulated travel mugs work by absorbing the heat. The double insulated walls of the mug mean that cold air is locked out. Additionally, as most travel mugs come with lids, this helps to prevent heat from escaping. Researching reviews of insulated mugs online will commonly let the consumer know how long the liquid stays hot inside. Often, insulated mugs can keep the beverage warm for hours. But if waiting for that boost of caffeine proves too difficult, simply removing the lid will cause the coffee to cool to a more drinkable temperature.  Insulated coffee mugs are great for outdoor use as well. On particularly cold days, while being used during out of door activities like camping or walking, the insulated coffee mugs will provide added protection to the liquid inside that traditional paper or glass mugs would fail to do.  It should also be noted the durability of most travel mugs. Because of their metal or porcelain make, insulated travel mugs can withstand daily wear and tear and ultimately last long term.

>>> Recommendation of Insulated Travel Mug

Use a Thermal Carafe

carafeOne of the most convenient ways of keeping coffee hot is by using a carafe. Typically, the coffee can be brewed straight into the carafe. This means that the leftover coffee will not only be kept on a maintained heat level, but it will also be automatically stored. With the introduction of single-serving coffee makers, drip coffee makers often seem like things of the past. But for the big coffee-drinker that is aware of how many cups he or she can drink in a single morning, coffee makers with carafes are a great investment. A heating pad under the carafe keeps the coffee hot for as long as the maker is still switched on. This will enable the drinkers to slowly enjoy their beverage without fear that their freshly brewed coffee is cooling down. However, those that do own single-serving coffee makers should not worry that they are excluded from the benefit of carafes. Carafes may be purchased individually, and many come with insulation that works to keep coffee warm without the heating pad. When using a carafe with single-serve makers, one must simply transfer a few servings of coffee into the carafe. An additional version of a carafe is the French press. Generally made of glass that holds heat, the French press is another great way of directly making and storing coffee. As well as providing insulation, carafes are also portable. Thus, cup after cup can be poured right from one’s desk or nearby table.

>>> Recommendation of Thermal Carafe

Use a Desktop Mug Warmer

Arguably, the simplest way of maintaining coffee’s temperature is by using a desktop mug warmer. While being the same concept as heating pads on coffee makers, desktop mug warmers are smaller and can be used wherever there is a plug outlet nearby the user. Once the coffee is made, the cup can rest on top of the mug warmer. Heat will then be transferred up through the bottom of the mug. As there is a steady flow of heat being applied to the beverage, this will allow the consumer to drink the coffee on his or her own time. Desktop mug warmers are a convenient option for people needing to be more stationary with their task at hand.

Coffee is best enjoyed when it is savored, but the speed of how fast coffee cools down often limits the experience to a certain time frame. However, with the help of these aforementioned methods that prevent the waste of time and liquid, the avid drinker can now appreciate the coffee experience in its entirety.  Because each of these coffee temperature hacks are simple to carry out or adjust to, the coffee drinker need not worry about being inconvenienced. Comparatively, cold coffee is an annoyance that is difficult to ignore. Furthermore, all of the products listed are available at department stores and online markets. Reading reviews of each product will provide the consumer with insight on which product performs best and yields the most effective results. Because of the various resources available, maintaining a hot coffee no longer needs to be a common issue.

>>> Recommendation of Desktop Mug Warmer

espresso shots

Top 3 Best Affordable Espresso Machine 2018 – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

You don’t have to spend a ton on an espresso machine to have a delicious espresso right at your fingertips.

For as little as $100, you can have an outstanding espresso topped with a delicious frothy crema, every single morning, at little more than the push of a button. But can you tell the difference between the great deals and the junky models that will merely break after a few uses? Well, first ask yourself some questions.

Saving money on your espresso machine is easy if you are willing to do some work with it. You will need to decide whether you want a grinder to ground up the beans yourself, or learn about the variety of espresso ground beans; which are ground much finer than regular coffee. Are you going to want to tamp, or compress, your grounds? Or buy pretamped pods? What about brewing temperature and pressure? Do you need a milk frother? All of these are essential questions to ask when looking for an espresso machine, and they will all be answered in the following segments.

Best Affordable Espresso Machines 2018

Best Semi-Automatic Espresso MachineBest of BestsBest Pod Espresso Machine
Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino MakerDeLonghi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino MakerNespresso Inissia Espresso Machine by DeLonghi
Mr Coffee Cafe BaristaDelonghi EC155Nespresso Inissia
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How to Pick a Great Affordable Espresso Machine

With so many questions to ask, where shall we even begin? Well first and foremost, what exactly is your espresso budget? If you’re just starting to learn the art of espresso making, then aim for a machine that is below $100. However, the higher you are able to stretch the amount you can spend, the more features the device will come with. These features are targeted at giving you more customization in your brew as the price goes up. And as we all know, the higher your level of control is, the more consistent your results will be. Though sometimes, starting out with so many features is not the most user-friendly situation.

Uses Coffee Grounds

Time for question number two, coffee grounds or pods? Using espresso coffee grounds isn’t hard to use, but you are likely to have some residual fluid on your grounds until you figure out how to tamp, or pack, at just the right amount. You are going to want to fill up to the point there is a small mound of excess grounds on the top, and then tamp it down lightly so that they are tight, but not too hard. Tamping can be done with a tamper, that usually comes with the machine as an accessory, or anything rounded and close to the size of the grounds cup, such as the back of a spoon. After you master this first skill of espresso making, there is really no more cleanup than you will have with a regular coffee machine.

Uses Coffee Pods

What about pods? Well, these come pretamped and ready to use, and then after brewing they can be popped out and tossed in the trash, or recycled. I recommend pod using machines for those with tighter schedules. Of course, you could also ground your own beans and tamp them into pods if you so choose.

Includes Milk Frother

Well, now that we have a grasp on how the grounds work, do we need a milk frother? This is a simple question. Do you like foamed, heated, or steamed milk in your espresso? Maybe you know these drinks better as cappuccinos, lattes, or macchiatos. If you are a fan of these delicious drinks, then you are in luck. Many machines come with built-in frothing wands for your convenience, even for a bargain.

Pressure

Okay! Now that the frothing situation is handled, we need to take a look at pressurizing. What about pressurizing, you ask? Well, the atmospheric pressure that we live at is 1 bar. The sweetest, most aromatic espressos are brewed at a minimum of 9 bars. This means that it is essential to check if the machine you are looking at is pressurized before you buy. Without pressure, it will not be an authentic espresso.

Water Tank Capacity

Alrighty then! Now for a bonus round. How many cups are you making at a time, and what is the amount of shots each cup will take? This is important to know so that you can assess how large you need your water tank to be. It is also wise to check and see if the tank is removable to keep cleanup and fill up as easy as enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.

Best of Bests – DeLonghi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

Delonghi EC155Lightweight and small, this machine packs a 15 bar pump, making DeLonghi best of the semi-automated class. Its size, only 9 pounds with dimensions of 8″ x 11″ x 10″, allows it to make the perfect addition to any home or office. Because what breakfast is complete without a delicious, steaming cup of your favorite brew?

Also, for your convenience, this brewer uses either pods or grounds, with it’s patented filter. Like your coffee with milk? Then the user-friendly swiveling jet frother was made just for you.

Hate having to choose between waiting an hour or burning your tongue? With a dual thermostat system, this machine ensures you enjoy your espresso at your preferred temperature, and a cup warmer so that your coffee stays your favorite temperature while you tend to your daily chores.

Another fantastic feature is the self-priming option, which makes preparation easier since the device will do it for you.

Adding even more adoration to this machine, cleanup is a breeze with a 35 oz capacity removable water tank, and drip tray. As well, this machine can be expected to have an excellent life expectancy since the 15 bar pump is housed in a stainless steel boiler.

Alas, every machine has some faults, as some users do report some issues with this machine. Some users report water being left in the grounds basket, leaving a bit of a soupy mess, and that the frothing wand is a tad shorter than they prefer. Other users say that the tray and grounds basket are slightly too close together.

I believe that some of these are likely to be user errors caused by over packing the coffee grounds and unfamiliarity with traditional Italian coffee since this machine is an Italian brand. Many American home brewers prefer larger coffee servings than their Italian counterparts, which can explain why they find the frothing wand small. And, we have already discussed the issue of improper packing when using loose grounds.

The DeLonghi has received and maintained the out of this world 4-star rating on Amazon, even with almost 5,000 reviews. It is a top seller of the semi-automated class brewers, earning its spot on this list.

>>> Read the customer reviews of DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Maker

Best Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine – Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

Mr Coffee Cafe BaristaLooking for affordability that comes with smooth and effortless performance? This is the machine for you. With an automated milk frother, Mr. Coffee makes it even easier to create a unique and delicious breakfast drink. The BVMC-EMP1000 model also includes a delightful recipe guide to 20 coffee treats you can try.

The indicator lights on the control panel make this machine extra user-friendly, especially for beginners. They make it easy to understand exactly what you are getting from start to finish so you can end up with your favorite brew every time.

15 Bar Pump Pressure

Even with the smaller price tag, the Mr. Coffee Café Barista still has a pump that can pack a punch. At an incredible 15 bars, this machine ensures you have a full, rich flavor and a sweet layer of crema, every time.

Volume Control

Bringing the apex of customization right to your countertop, Mr. Coffee allows you to set the water to espresso ratio that you prefer. Allowing for you to experiment away from the factory settings until you find your perfect balance.

Automated Milk Frother

Okay, so if you had a definite yes to whether or not you wanted the milk frother, this machine has a surprise for you. Once you set your desired froth level, Mr. Coffee does all the work. No messing around with a frothing wand and guessing when it’s done with this machine. Even better? When you’re done, the milk reservoir is removable! So, you can place it in the fridge, and it is ready to go for next time. Want more options for better milk frother, we have a post for you.

Removable Water Reservoir

The water reservoir, located on the back of the machine, is removable. However, the size of both this and the milk reservoir was impossible to track down, even after searching Google and the Mr. Coffee website. We will update the article as soon as we find the exact measurements, though both seem to be large enough for at least 2 or 3 cups based on customer reviews.

Adjustable Cup Clearance

Making this machine even more convenient and user-friendly, the height of the cup tray is customizable. You can pull out a little step for small, Italian cups, or push it back in for larger cups.

Dishwasher Safe Parts

Almost all of the Mr. Coffee parts are washable in the dishwasher. The only exception is the portafilter, saving you loads of time on handwashing.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Maker

Best Pod Espresso Machine – Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine by DeLonghi

Nespresso InissiaDesigned exclusively for the use of Nespresso pods, the Inissia offers consistently fresh and high-quality coffee. An example of how a traditional Italian brand such as DeLonghi understands that control over the process leads to consistently delicious results. The Inissia is the machine for busy people who just need a quick cup before starting their day.

Compact Design

Environmentally friendly, lightweight, and sporting an ergonomic handle, the Inissia also comes in a variety of colors. This makes it the perfect addition to a stylized room.

A Tiny Machine with a High-Pressure Pump

Tiny but mighty, the Nespresso Inissia packs a 19-bar pump. This provides a coffee shop quality espresso every time it is used. With that and the one-touch operation, this original extraction system will have your taste buds believing that a little barista lives inside this magical machine.

Two Buttons for Espresso and Lungo

The Inissia has two settings, both customizable. We all know espresso and the lungo. This is basically an espresso, made to fit an American coffee cup. Delicious!

A Great Refreshing Taste

Nespresso makes their pods from recyclable aluminum to maintain the same fresh aroma from packaging to use. This produces not only a fantastic cup of sweet Italian coffee but retains a low impact on our planet.

Can’t seem to find your favorite flavor in Nespresso? Don’t worry, other brands make Nespresso compatible pods!

Pros

  • Space saving design
  • Easily maintained
  • Quick brewing
  • Variety and experimentation possible
  • Made with durable plastics
  • 2.6 ft power cord
  • Excellent value for the price

Cons

  • Quite loud for its size, but fast despite the noise
  • Single serving brewer
  • No power button, must be unplugged to turn off

Light, small, and so user-friendly even the most novice users are able to make a delicious drink. It is a definite winner for low price and delightful consistency.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker

Steam Based Espresso Machines vs. Pump-Driven Espresso Machines

What is the difference really? Steam-based espresso makers are cheap in comparison, but you aren’t getting an authentic espresso shot. The resulting drink of a steam espresso is about the same as that of a Moka pot coffee. It’s close to espresso, but due to the low-pressure brewing, it just can’t get all the way there. These machines can work for someone who just enjoys a variety of coffees, but not for an espresso connoisseur. You can expect to spend around $50 on steam based equipment. However, if you want an authentic daily espresso without paying an average of $1056 a year, assuming you get a $3 coffee at the shop, higher priced, pressurized equipment is the best choice.

Low-cost espresso machines are the perfect way to start your journey into the realm of espresso and save time and money from daily trips to a coffee shop. Even the DeLonghi EC155 can produce delicious espresso results. Sure, you need to learn how to operate the unautomated features, but this is true for any new equipment.

An affordable, high quality, pressurized pump espresso machine will ensure you have the right amount of pressure for the perfect shot so that it shines like a diamond on your taste buds in the golden morning sunrise, without breaking the bank.

What You Don’t Get With Affordable Espresso Machines

Alright, so I know what you’re asking now. Why are there expensive machines if the affordable ones are so incredible?

Well, even though they are fantastic for beginners or those who just want a quick cup of coffee in the mornings, they do have some limitations that make them unappealing to more advanced baristas at heart. With a lower price, there are of course cheaper materials that will wear down a bit faster, smaller boilers. It is also impossible to brew at an exact temperature, which is essential for some higher quality brews.

The more expensive machines have higher automation and more control options, allowing you to customize every aspect of your espresso in ways that the lower level machines are just unable to. That is why this is just the beginning of your espresso journey. For best espresso machines, we have a post of best latte machines for home use.

latte-arts

Best Latte Machines For Home Use 2018 – Don’t Buy Before Reading

For anyone who loves coffee, a latte machine is a necessary appliance in their home because of its easy-to-use functions and ability to create delicious drinks. These machines are practical and can make other types of coffee such as cappuccino and espresso.

It may be difficult to decide on which latte machine to buy due to the plethora of brands and their various options, all of which guarantee the best quality. The question remains, do these machines and products really differ, and if so, are some better than the rest? The following guide will help you determine which machines and products are for you.

Which Latte Machine to Choose for Home Use?

Because latte is made up of steam milk and espresso, you should begin by asking the two following questions:

  • Do I want to manually or automatically make espresso?
  • Do I want to manually or automatically make steam milk?

If your goal is to make delicious lattes at home without the hassle, then a latte machine that has the ability to make espresso and milk steam automatically is the best choice for you.

If you desire to perfect your espresso-making skills and latte designs, then a latte machine that has a manual function is the best for you. These machines allow you to make your own steam milk and espresso manually.

However, if you want to enjoy making beautiful latte designs but do not want the hassle of making your own espresso, then a machine that makes espresso automatically but has a manual setting for you to make your own steam milk is best.

Once you have chosen which type of latte machine you would like, based on the questions above, you can begin evaluating the cost of each of these machines.

Best Latte Machines For Home Use 2018

Best Affordable OptionBest of BestsBest Semi-Automatic OptionBest Super Automatic Option
DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso MakerBreville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso MachineBreville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso MachineKRUPS EA8250 Espresseria Super Automatic Espresso Machine Coffee Maker
DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso MakerBreville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso MachineBreville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso MachineKRUPS EA8250 Espresseria Super Automatic Espresso Machine Coffee Maker
BuyFromAmazonBuyFromAmazonBuyFromAmazonBuyFromAmazon

Best Affordable Option – DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker

DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso MakerThe EC702 is a machine that is typically found in coffee shops. These machines are sleek, easy to clean, and extremely durable due to their stainless-steel structure.

Additionally, the boiler is also made of stainless steel which provides uniform and fast heating when making the espresso. The pressure of this machine is higher than the required 9 BARs of pressure recommended for making espresso. At 15 BARs of pressure, this espresso maker creates high-quality shots of espresso and delicious crema.

Attached to the machine is a frother. The frother allows you to produce delightful cappuccinos with the thick foam it produces. This attachment is also nice and convenient because it is located on the side, unlike steam wands or nozzles that are typically found on the front of espresso machines. If you want to brew your espresso shot without the hindrance of these front nozzles and wands, this side-attached frother is definitely for you. If you prefer stand-alone frothers, we also have a buying guide for milk frothers here.

The EC702 is equipped with two built-in thermostats that control steam and espresso production separately. This feature is great because it allows you to brew both the milk steam and espresso shot simultaneously or consecutively. This makes the process quick and worry-free and entertaining guests a breeze.

Another great feature of this espresso machine is its dual function filter holder. This means that you no longer have to make a permanent choice between using espresso pods or ground coffee. The machine is compatible with E.S.E. pods, allowing for you to make a quick espresso, and has the ability to be loaded with fresh ground coffee for when you want to use fresh or specialty coffee. With the EC702 you can enjoy both whenever you like!

A convenient feature that allows you to skip the lengthy preparation is the self-priming function which makes brewing quick, convenient, and delicious.

This machine also comes equipped with a cup-warming tray which gives you that coffee-shop feel. This tray maintains the temperature of your coffee cups so that you can have a smooth, delightful espresso at any time.

Don’t be discouraged by the first terrible-tasting shots of espresso that you brew. The EC702, like all BAR pump machines, needs to be broken in before you will get that perfect shot of espresso. It is recommended that you brew at least three or four espressos with lower-quality coffee to pervade the filter and eliminate the taste of metal so often experienced when first using these stainless-steel machines.

Overall, the DeLonghi EC702 is a high-performing machine that brews wonderful espressos and cappuccinos. The great price, durability, frother, dual thermostats, dual filters, self-priming function, and cup-warming tray make this machine difficult to beat.

Pros

  • A durable, easy-to-use and easy-to-clean stainless-steel frame
  • A compact and sleek design
  • The option to customize drinks
  • A detachable tray – often unavailable on competing models

Cons

  • A gray, plastic case
  • Minimal accessories
  • Minimal settings
  • Side-attached frother

>>> Read the customer reviews of DeLonghi EC702 Espresso Maker

Best of Bests –

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso MachineThis machine is one of the highest price options. However, it is a top-quality and highly-recommended machine. The machine is still cheaper than many high-end machines and offers many features and various functions that more expensive machines come equipped with and lower priced machines simply do not have.

The dual boiler system is this machines signature feature. Each boiler is designated to either steam milk or pull espresso shots. Along with its commercial design, this machine is top notch.

The dual boiler system also requires a sturdy and reliable build, temperature control, and advanced programming which makes the machine durable and built to last. Inside the stainless-steel boilers are electronic PID temperature gauges which are displayed and controlled on a built-in LCD screen on the front of the machine. The built-in LCD screen also has other controls which allow you to experiment with different temperatures and coffee blends to find that perfect flavor.

This machine gives you the experience of being your own barista by offering other amazing features which include the customizable pressure controls, auto-start up option, shot clock, pre-infusion setting, and controllable temperature gauges. Overall, this machine performs at a professional level and is built to last.

Pros

  • A beautiful, luxurious and durable design
  • A water tank with a large capacity
  • Customizable drink settings
  • A single unit that offers both extraction and steaming
  • An easy-to-use and easy-to-clean design

Cons

  • The grinder is separate
  • Expensive

>>> Read the customer reviews of Breville BES920XL Espresso Machine

Best Semi-Automatic Option – Breville BES870BSXL Barista Express

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso MachineThis machine was listed as a 2017 best espresso machine for its easy-to-use settings for beginners as well as sophisticated and customizable controls for the espresso connoisseur and experienced barista. This model has been improved since its preceding version, the 860 XL, through a completely revamped design and more temperature control options.

Grinding is key to making an excellent espresso, which is why the BES870XL, with its burr grinders, is a great choice. These grinders allow for coffee beans to be ground within seconds and immediately used to prepare a delicious espresso. If you are searching for best burr grinders, don’t miss this post.

The pressurized filters that have a dual-wall design control pressure and extraction allowing for even the beginner to create amazing coffee. However, the machine also includes non-pressurized filters that have a separate, single-wall design that allow experienced baristas or espresso connoisseurs to experiment with different sizes of coffee grounds and amounts of coffee, as well as varying pressures.

Another improvement on this model is its thermocoil heating system which maintains water temperature, ensuring a great espresso every time. Additionally, this heating feature includes a function that allows you to pre-brew your coffee, creating that perfect distribution of coffee throughout.

Key Features

Burr grinder with a half-pound bean hopper: The conical shape allows for optimal extraction of flavor and maximizes the surface area of the grind to perfect each espresso.

Customizable grind size and amount: These controls allow you to adjust the grind setting from fine to rough and to choose how much coffee is in each espresso – giving you the ability to experiment and find your favorite espresso flavor.

Grinding cradle that is hands-free: This grinding cradle is fully automated so that the grinder stops when the required amount of coffee has been dispensed. It is easy to use and, once the portafilter is in the cradle, the ground coffee will be sent directly to the filter.

Additional features: This machine has a range of controls that allow you to fully customize your espresso-making experience. It can be set to use the single or double-wall filters so that, no matter which setting you have chosen, the correct amount of coffee will be dispensed.

Pros

  • Speed, without sacrificing great quality espresso
  • Durable and sturdy due to great construction with high-quality materials
  • The stainless-steel design stays clean and looks great
  • Gripped feet that stabilize the machine even when the burr grinder is in use, preventing movement
  • Easy-to-clean design with a hideaway compartment to store cleaning tools

Cons

  • Despite its easy-to-clean design, it is messy when making espresso
  • Small drip tray that fills quickly
  • Burr grinder occasionally sprays ground coffee on the counter

>>> Read the customer reviews of Breville BES870XL Barista Express

Best Super Automatic Option – KRUPS EA8250 Espresseria Super Automatic Espresso Machine Coffee Maker

KRUPS EA8250 Espresseria Super Automatic Espresso Machine Coffee MakerNot only the compact design and beautiful, sleek, black color will convince you of this machines excellence, but its advanced features too.

This machine also offers a conical burr grinder with an impressive 1450 W motor that creates a full-flavored and smooth, powdered grind in seconds. Additionally, the grinder is customizable, allowing you to choose between a silky, powdered grind or a full-bodied, coarse grind.

The KRUPS bean hopper is sealed, which means less mess when grinding, but also keeps the ground coffee fresh. The hopper is conveniently located on top of the machine and has a large-capacity basin which allows you to grind coffee in advance.

Their patented thermoblock system preheats quickly and is completely customizable – only making you wait 60 seconds for that delicious hot latte.

The user-friendly control panel allows you to customize your machine through an LCD screen and various ergonomic knobs. Making the perfect espresso is as easy as pouring water into the detachable water basin, grinding some coffee beans, pressing a few buttons, and letting the machine work its magic.

The machine also comes with a frother and four cleaning accessories – a water filter, cleaning tablets, descaling powder, and a liquid cleaner.

Pros

  • Beautiful, compact design
  • Powerful, built-in grinder
  • Quick, automatic grinding and brewing
  • Easy-to-use and easy-to-clean design
  • Detachable tray, often not included with competing brands

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Frother comes separately
  • Frother is manual

>>> Read the customer reviews of KRUPS EA8250 Espresso Machine

How to Buy the Best Latte Machine

Durability

It is crucial to know the materials that were used to build your espresso maker if you do not want to have to frequently replace your machine. The best choice is stainless-steel metal because it is durable, built to last, and resists high temperatures which prevent overheating while BPA-free plastic may break easily and tends to overheat.

Capacity

Water tank capacity determines how much coffee you can make before having to refill the machine. The larger the tank, the more coffee that can be made and the less you will have to refill it. Depending on how much and how frequently you drink coffee, you may want a 60-ounce water tank or a smaller 40-ounce one. To help you make this decision, a 40-ounce tank will typically make five to seven cups of coffee, while a 60-ounce tank will produce ten to twelve.

Ease of Use

A user-friendly control panel is always a great option for beginners and coffee connoisseurs because it allows you to customize your coffee-making experience. An LCD display that shows time, temperature, shot volume, and other settings makes for an easy coffee-making experience. Clear and easy-to-use buttons and knobs are also useful when adjusting your machine to your preferences. Many models will also allow you to save your settings, enabling you to quickly make your coffee exactly the way you want it. It is important to keep these things in mind because beginners may find the complex, multiple filter systems to be confusing, while espresso connoisseurs may find limited settings frustrating.

Ease of Cleaning

A coffee machine has many parts that will need to be cleaned after many uses. Choosing a machine with an easy-to-clean design that has detachable and dishwasher safe parts makes the tedious task of cleaning a breeze.

Your Drink Preferences

The previously mentioned machines are mainly used for making espressos and lattes, but they can also be used to make cappuccinos, milk froth, and other coffee beverages. It is important to know what kind of coffee you typically drink so that you can choose the machine that is right for you.

The quality of coffee you prefer is also important when choosing a machine. If you prefer freshly ground coffee, then a built-in coffee grinder may be important. If you prefer cappuccinos, then a side-attached frother would be a great feature to have on your machine. No matter how you like your coffee, it is important to consider what aspects of a machine are important to you before investing in a machine.

Built-In Grinder or Not

A built-in coffee grinder is convenient, consumes less space in your kitchen, and is easy to store. A separate coffee grinder allows you to choose the strength of your grinder and may allow you to keep your coffee grounds fresher longer. No matter which grinder you choose, make sure you select one with a powerful motor and adjustable settings so that you can choose to grind coffee beans into a smooth powder or a coarser grind depending on your preferences.

Conclusion

Overall, the price of coffee-making machines ranges anywhere from $100 to $6000 dollars. Simple, easy-to-use coffee makers that do not have as many customizable features will cost less, while fully customizable machines typically cost much more. If you are looking for a machine that is built to last, consider spending a little more money for a durable, stainless-steel machine. Luckily, because of the high demand and multiple brands to choose from, you can find an affordable machine with plenty of automated features.

The DeLonghi EC702 15-Bar-Pump Espresso Maker is a great choice due to its low price and ability to make espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos. This $200-dollar machine includes a 44-ounce water tank, auto-stop functions, and an easy-to-use frother, making it an affordable choice for those seeking convenience and delicious coffee.

The Breville BES920XL Espresso Machine is a top-quality machine and highly recommended by us. It is still cheaper than many other high-end machines. This machine equipped with various features that only more expensive models have.


Best Stove Top Percolator 2018

While a lot of folks reflexively turn to drip coffee as their beverage of choice, there is something about coffee from a percolator that draws people in – the stronger flavor is just one reason. People who make their daily brew in a percolator do so because, even though drip coffee is more popular, percolators actually have a few advantages that filter coffee makers just don’t have.

Advantages

1. A large number of the people who use percolators do so because the flavor is just downright bolder.

2. If you want to keep your mornings simple, you will like a percolator better, since there are no settings to program or filters to insert – just scoop the coffee in, add water, and set on the stove to brew.

3. This kind of coffee making is multi-sensory. While you are waiting for your coffee, you’ll be hearing it bubble, and smelling the coffee aroma swirling around your kitchen. This can make you feel right at home, even when you are camping.

4. If you like being in the outdoors, this is the most portable option. You’ll want a durable type of percolator to make sure it won’t break, but percolators can be used in the woods over a campfire or propane stove. An RV or even a hotel with a hotplate are all places you could make amazing coffee, instead of the watery coffee that is offered in hotel lobbies.

Disadvantages

1. The percolator’s lack of electronic settings does have one downside: there are no options. If you get tired of the percolator’s strong brew, you’re out of luck.

2. Additionally, there are a lot of glass percolators on the market, but you’ll want to be aware that they are fairly breakable. Make sure that you are ready to be very gentle with it, or invest in a percolator with only metal parts – especially if you plan to take it on that camping trip with you.

Best Stove Top Percolator 2018

Best For Camping & OutdoorsBest All-Around PercolatorBest Option For A Tight BudgetBest Stovetop Espresso Maker
GSI Outdoors 15155 Blue 12 Cup PercolatorFarberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee PercolatorMedelco 8 Cup Glass Stovetop PercolatorBialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
GSIFarberwareMedelcoBialetti
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Best All-Around Percolator – Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator

FarberwareThis percolator, which is made of stainless steel – no glass! – is large enough to up to eight cups. The choice of steel for the walls of the percolator means that it is durable enough for anything you put it through, an the sheen on it gives it a sleek, modern look.Other things that set this model apart are the rubber-coated handle to protect your hands from burns, and an interior coating that won’t react with the coffee to give it a metallic taste. This percolator can brew your favorite flavor of coffee, from a dark French roast to vanilla flavored coffee. The reusable metal filter basket means bi nire buying or disposing of paper filters. And finally, a transparent plastic knob in the lid will allow you to see the splashing, brewing coffee and know when it is done.

There are only a couple of downsides to the Classic Yosemite. One, it is not very fast at brewing coffee – other percolators can do the job faster if you want to save time. And two, because of the way it’s designed, this model occasionally holds water after being rinsed out, so you have to be careful to dry it thoroughly.

Pros

  1. This percolator is fine in the dishwasher, which makes for easy cleaning.
  2. It doesn’t require any filters.
  3. Interior coating means no coffee can absorb into the steel inner wall, which also prevents stale coffee flavors from infiltrating your fresh pot of coffee.
  4. This model is reasonably priced.

Cons

  1. The knob sometimes becomes clouded or fogs up.
  2. The marks that tell you how much water to put in are hard to see.
  3. If the percolator is put on too high of a temperature, the plastic pieces may melt.
  4. Nothing cues you to when the coffee is finished – there is no indicator light.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Farbeware Yosemite Coffee Percolator

Best For Camping & Outdoors – GSI Outdoors 15155 Blue 12 Cup Percolator

GSIThis GSI enameled percolator is well-constructed, and has a high-quality enameled finish. This model also has a sturdy handle. The attached lid means that the lid cannot fall off during use. There are two coating colors to choose from – red or blue. Between these two options, this model would fit well with almost any decorative scheme, whether in a kitchen or an RV!

This percolator makes bold, rich coffee that stands up to other, more expensive coffee brewing machines. If you want a percolator with a beautiful finish that can stand up to the rigors of camping or the outdoors, then this is the one for you.

Pros

  • Quite durable.
  • Lightweight design means it ill be easy to carry this model on camping trips.
  • The removeable filter is made of stainless steel.

Cons

  • Only makes 8 cups – fairly small.

>>> Read the customer reviews of GSI Outdoors Percolator

Best Option For A Tight Budget – Medelco 8 Cup Glass Stovetop Percolator

MedelcoMaybe you like the Farberware but can’t quite afford it yet – a more affordable option is the Medelco 8-Cup. This percolator is a great option for the money, but you do need to always use coarsely ground coffee. Otherwise, the coffee grounds will likely slip out out of the metal basket filter.

Pros

The cost! No other percolator does so much for the $10 you can buy them for online.

Ease of cleaning. You can either wash it by hand in the sink or place in a dishwasher. Both are easy and speedy options.

You can watch coffee brew – there is a small glass “button” that you can view the coffee through, which you can’t do with the stainless steel percolators.

You don’t need any paper filters, as long as you remember to only use coarsely ground coffee.

Cons

Breakable glass. If you are clumsy and prone to breaking things, you may want to choose something sturdier, like stainless steel.

Accidental burning. Just as with any other stovetop percolator, you’ll have to make sure you don’t leave the percolator on for too long. A burnt pot of coffee will taste sour. This will take a while, because you’ll have to both pay attention and (by experience) know exactly when to take it off the burner.

While this model functions well even at the $10 price point, there actually is a reason it is cheap – many of its parts are made of plastic. If you are using this percolator every morning, you might just want to pay a bit more so you can own a quality percolator.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Medelco Glass Stovetop Percolator

Best Stovetop Espresso Maker – Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker

BialettiQuite a few coffee connoisseurs think of Bialetti’s Moka Espresso makers as the best of the best when it comes to making espresso on your stove. Bialetti first made their Moka Express espresso maker in 1933, when it was created in Italy by the inventor Luigi de Ponti for an engineer named Alfonso Bialetti. The company that Bialetti named after himself still continues to manufacture this model of espresso maker under the name it had in 1933.

If you are looking for an authentic espresso experience, you just found it.

Several things set the Bialetti Moka Express apart from any other stovetop espresso maker out there. First is the way this pot is designed. This model has a proprietary shape – all their pots are made with an octagonal design. Luigi de Ponti, the inventor, ran through several different designs and decided that octagonal espresso makers diffuse heat more uniformly. This uniformity actually affects the aroma of your coffee – and the more fragrant the aroma, the tastier the coffee.

The second way this is the best of the stovetop espresso makers is that it has an unusual body, which is manufactured from polished aluminum. This makes the espresso pot durable, sleek, and quite light. The Moka Express has a signature spout, an attached top that flips up, and a handle made of Bakelite. Because the Moka Express has a spout, you can serve the espresso straight from the pot you brew it in. This is quite convenient and makes cleanup faster.

Third, the Moka express has an amazing capacity for brewing generous amounts of espresso at a fast pace: six ounces (three two-ounce cups) in a mere five minutes. For caffeine addicts, this is a huge perk.

This Bialetti model is also quite reasonably priced.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker

To Consider When Shopping for Percolators

1. Capacity

When you are thinking of purchasing a percolator, the very first thing to consider is capacity. Think about how many of your family members drink coffee each day. If you have a big family, and they all drink a cup of coffee each day, or if you only have two people in your home that each drink a lot of coffee, you’ll need a large percolator.

Remember, percolators vary in size from a two- to four-cup size, up to a twelve-cup size. If your coffee is brewed only for yourself, you may be fine with a small percolator. But if your husband could drink a pot himself, you will obviously want to choose a large percolator.

2. Electric or Stovetop

Secondly, you’ll need to think about if you would like an electric or stovetop percolator. A stovetop percolator is more versatile, because you can use it on a stove, wood stove, and even a grill. No matter where you heat it you will still be drinking tasty coffee.

However, an electric percolator is extremely convenient, because all you need to do is plug in your percolator and let it work. This is the main advantage of an electric, plug-in percolator.

You should also be aware that if you do choose an electric model, you can’t use it off the grid (think: camping), or during a power outage.

3. Cost

One last thing to think about when choosing your percolator is the cost. Percolators do not cost as much as traditional models of coffee maker, and they can be even less expensive if you stick to the most basic model possible.

You’ll definitely want to consider a very basic percolator if your budget is small.

Why Buy A Percolator

Since we are living in a society that has already invented electric coffee pots, the big question is this: Why on earth would you buy a percolator?

There are a few good reasons:

1. The Coffee Has More Taste

It may be just personal opinion, but many people agree that percolators create a richer, more tasty coffee than other coffee makers. The taste is robust and rich, more so than coffee made in paper-filter coffee pots.

If “bold” is a word that appeals to you when it comes to coffee, you should definitely think about making your next cup of coffee with a percolator. Your opinions about coffee could completely change.

2. Serving is Easy

You might be the kind of person who always has coffee on hand when entertaining. For many, an evening with friends can’t end before a pot of coffee is served with dessert or a board game.

Serving coffee with a percolator is actually easier than with a regular coffee pot. First of all, it is easy to bring the percolator to the table, because it is sturdier than the glass pots of an electric coffee maker. Second, the percolator keeps the coffee warm for much longer than the traditional coffee maker, which needs to be placed back on the hotplate. You don’t want to be repeatedly walking to and from the kitchen! You want to be spending time with your friends.

3. Very Compact

Some people have plenty of counter space in their kitchens. Others only have a very small space to work with. If your kitchen workspace is limited, it is certainly an added burden to have your electric coffee maker on the already crowded counter. And even if stored, coffee makers still require a lot of room.

With a percolator, this is no longer a worry. A percolator is easy to plug in when you are using it, and just as easy to put away in a cabinet when you are done with it. No longer do you need to worry about losing already minimal counter space to a single-use gadget. Maximize that space – and still enjoy amazing coffee every morning – with a new percolator.


Top 3 Best Milk Steamers & Frothers 2018

Do you love coffee and crave the creamy froth on the perfect cup of cappuccino or your swirled into your latte? Or let’s say you just got your first espresso machine so you can concoct your favorite barista-made drinks at home and you want to better your milk frothing abilities.

If you love milk with your coffee, it’s essential you acquire a milk steamer or frother. Why? Instead of just splashing milk into your cup-of-joe, it makes your café latte exceptional!

So what is a milk steamer or frother? It’s a simple machine that warms your milk with steam or whips air into it, perfecting it into a delightful foam for any coffee or even non-coffee-drinks.

Top 3 Best Milk Steamers & Frothers 2018

Best Electric Milk Steamer & FrotherBest Immersion Milk FrotherBest Manual Milk Frother
Breville BMF600XL Milk Cafe Milk FrotherKuissential SlickfrothBodum Latte Milk Frother
Breville BMF600XL Milk Cafe Milk FrotherKuissential
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Before you choose which frother or steamer to get, it’s important to know a few things. Let’s take a look below:

What Is The Difference Between A Milk Frother & Milk Steamer?

What’s the difference between a frother and a steamer? They may seem similar to a novice, but they are actually pretty different.

Both steamers and frothers heat milk with a wand, however, a frother injects air into the milk as well! This air creates a layer of foam that tops off cappuccinos and macchiatos. For lattes, a steamer is best as it only heats up the milk within a latte.

What To Know When You Buy One Of These Milk Whisking Products?

Types of Milk Frothers & Steamers

Three Varieties of Milk Steamers and Frothers

  • Immersion

Immersion frothers are whisks you place in your milk (immerse) after warming it. This variety is generally the most affordable to use at home.

  • Manual

A manual frothers have the appearance of a French Press, but function very differently. Milk is poured into a vessel and the user “pumps” the internal whisk. This adds air to your milk. However, it does not warm your milk, so prior to frothing it, you’ll need to heat it with the device of your choosing.

  • Electric

Electric milk frothers are the most expensive but are the easiest to use. Not only does it froth your milk, it also heats it to the temperature of your setting, which avoids any adverse flavors caused by burning or scalding. There are a variety of electric frothers on the market and they can be used for one serving or up to sixteen servings.

Milk Texture

When you mix heat and air into milk, it creates bubbles. This process causes the lactose (milk sugar) to be extracted from the milk. When this process is followed properly, it creates a sweet milk foam on top of the espresso drinks you get in most cafes.

In order to experience the tastiest drink, whisk the milk while it’s being heated. This prevents scalding and breaks the fat in the milk, releasing its protein bonds and sweetening it, as previously mentioned.

Single Serving & Multi-Serving

Immersion wands work well for one serving of milk. If you need to make coffee for a crowd, it is not practical to use these. It’s a better use of your time to enjoy coffee with your friends than spend all your time preparing it.

Take note of how many servings you’ll need to make and who you will be making coffee for most often. This will help you determine the type of frother you need to get–a wand or an electric one.

Ease of Cleaning

Because of the intricacies of frothing, the more complex a frother is, the more difficult it will be to clean. Milk is one of those substances that is difficult to clean because of the way it dries in small places which are hard to reach. In addition to that, when you use dairy milk, the smell can linger and affect future beverages that are not desirable. So, when you buy your frother or steamer, be sure it is easy to disassemble and clean.

Personal Opinion

When I use a product at home, I believe that it needs to be easy to use. So when I’m looking for a steamer or frother, it is important that it’s straight-forward, simple to clean, and is reliable and easy to use.

Personally, I choose the electric milk steamer since it does the job quickly and without much effort. High-end frothers such as this one can be cleaned in a dishwasher after some quick disassembly. Easy as pie!

Make your decision on whatever is important to you–money, quality, and use. Check around, look at reviews, and explore other options before making your purchase.

Best Electric Milk Steamer & Frother – Breville BMF600XL Milk Cafe Milk Frother

brevilleFeatures

  • Use

This stainless steel frother is both easy to use and has a measuring cup for ingredients. It can go in the dishwasher. The pitcher for milk is lined and the entire frother is durable. You can measure how much milk to pour for each use.

There is a pouring spout, a ring pull lid removal mechanism as well as a place to wrap a cord. This convenient frother has a chamber for storage where you can place other items when you are not using them.

  • Technology

This Breville frother uses a technology called induction heating. This causes the frother to distribute heat and is delicate with the milk bubbles. It can be used with other non-dairy milks that are so popular now, which is a special feature. Most plant-based milks are difficult to steam and froth. Not with this unit!

  • Whisks

The Breville BMF600XL has two separate whisks. One can be used with cappuccinos and makes a heady, top-froth and one is for use in lattes, which requires a silkier feel on the tongue. Coffee is not the only beverage that you can make foamy milk for–you can also make a great tasting hot cocoa

  • Automation

The Breville lets you choose the temperature you want (and need) for whatever task is at hand. If you pour too much milk in, you’ll be alerted so this mistake will not be made as it will not function if it’s not properly set. A simple turn of a knob starts the machine and within moments, you will have the perfect milk for your coffee, hands-free. It’s easier to use than most at home frothing products.

Conclusion

Nothing compares to some good, frothy milk on your coffee. Save time and gain exceptional quality with a fully automated Breville BMF600XL. It won’t break the bank and with many of the features you could expect, it’s a great buy. It’s also durable and simple to use. Pick up this Breville today and you will be the most popular barista on the block without ever leaving your house.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Breville BMF600XL Milk Frother

Best Immersion Milk Frother – Kuissential Slickfroth

KuissentialThe Kuissential SlickFroth exceeds expectations above other milk frothing devices. I prefer the “jug style” frothers because the both froth and heat, but there are others who like manual frothers that are handheld. These are much less expensive, too. The winner of this type of frother needed to be long-lasting, easy to use, and have great abilities to froth milk. Fortunately, the SlickFroth was the winner in each category.

The Good

The stainless steel SlickFroth has a handheld whisk that is friendly on the hand and has an easy to use rubber exterior. It’s lovely to view and it will not break should it accidentally fall on the floor (as some less expensive models do). It is easier to use than other frothers. A quick switch to “on” and it begins frothing immediately

It spins faster than other frothers, almost spinning immediately upon starting. Less expensive models take time to start, which negatively affects the milk.

How’s The Foam?

With the simple use and solid construction, how well does the SlickFroth perform? Fantastic! Because it works so quickly, you will enjoy your cappuccino in under 30 seconds. You just put the frother inside the milk, power it up, and spin it around until you have the amount of foam you want. Batteries are also included so you can save money to buy even more coffee!

>>> Read the customer reviews of Kuissential Slickfroth

Best Manual Milk Frother – Bodum Latte Milk Frother

The Bodum Latte Milk Frother is the best in its class. It’s nice to see, made of borosilicate glass which is microwave safe. You can’t use it on the stove, however, so take note of that. However, the microwave is a quicker method of heating the milk, so that is a definite advantage!

The glass allows you to watch how much milk and froth you have so you can perfect the quantity and quality of both. Needless to say, you can’t do this with a stainless teal container. No counting pumps is needed here! Just watch and stop it when you reach your ideal amount of froth.

8 oz. doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s actually more than enough to make two cups of whatever beverage you’re serving up. You can even “re-thicken” it by placing it in the microwave again in case you want a more perfect cup.

It’s also dishwasher safe, but make sure you disassemble it so that you wash the plunger and carafe separately in order to get it as clean as possible.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Bodum Latte Milk Frother

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