December 29, 2006

The Nespresso Gemini CS220

Last month Nespresso opened up their Boutique in NYC where you can go hang out have a cup of coffee and shop for machines or capsules for the new Nespresso systems. If you wanted to go all out, you could opt for the dual head Nespresso Gemini CS220 that can crank out two drinks at a time and has a thermal compartment for storing a liter of cold milk up to 8 hours. The two water tanks hold 3 liters of water each to keep you running for a while, or there is a direct connect option for it to go straight to the plumbing. Designed with semi-automatic capsule insertion and ejection, both of these Nespresso machines feature 2 waste containers for used capsules with each container holding up to 35 used capsules and offer three programmable cup sizes - Ristretto, Espresso and Lungo. Great for the office, or the well-heeled high volume kitchen. If you don't need the milk storage, the Gemini CS200 should do.

More at Nespresso


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December 21, 2006

Presso Espresso Maker

So, in the elegant and manual category, the Presso espresso maker stands out as a design beauty. This espresso maker has been widely available in the UK, and is now moving to Australia. It works by putting hot water in the top, raising and then lowering the levers to push the hot water through the espresso ground coffee in the portafilter. The video below gives you a glimpse into how it works. Not sure if the demo was well done or not, but the espresso looks like a crema-less cup of "joe". Too bad.

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December 13, 2006

Senseo Presso - Espresso from a Senseo Pod Machine

Presso Espresso Pods and Pod Holder for Senseo

This in from Europe, could you potentially make a decent espresso from a Senseo Pod machine? Apparently in Germany there is information about a new Senseo pod holder that makes Espresso, called the Presso (short for espresso).

Presso is a combination of coffee pods with a finer espresso ground coffee and a new Senseo pod holder that increases the pressure while making a cup of Presso. Not sure if it can rival pump driven 15 bar espresso machines, but it may certainly bridge the gap between regular and espresso coffee.

More information and news at our sister site:

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December 8, 2006

Review: Delonghi Magnifica EAM 3500 Review

The DeLonghi Magnifica EAM 3500 Super Automatic Espresso Machine is simply put an excellent machine to have in your kitchen. If you love having espresso made for you, figure out how to justify the price and get one of these on your countertop. I can’t put it any other way, but it’s a delight to have such access to such high quality coffee. The design is a sleek metallic look that offers a bit of elegance on the countertop. The DeLonghi EAM 3500 is a super automatic espresso maker that has a lot of features going for it including that “Barista Button” as I like to call it. With a pitcher of milk plugged into the machine, you hit the one touch latte button, and the unit makes a latte for you. The unit has an ample whole bean supply bin on the left top of the machine, as well as a 60-ounce water reservoir along the left side that is removed from the machine by sliding it out the front. The unit has a bypass doser, which give you the ability to use another coffee type (as long as it’s pre-ground) instead of the “House Standard” that you have in the whole bean bin. I ordered up some Gimme Coffee Leftist espresso blend for the purposes of this review. Try them out yourself; they are great.

I liked this machine so much I put it on my Holiday Buying Guide for the best Espresso gifts. Check it out.

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December 4, 2006

Review: Lello Ariete 45900 Prestige Espresso Machine


The good-looking Lello Ariete 45900 Prestige Espresso Machine is a bright and smart looking espresso machine that would look great on any countertop and hold its own with the big boys without paying a lot for this high quality pump driven espresso machine. The Lello Ariete 45900 turns out a very respectable cup of espresso and doesn’t kill your pocketbook to do it. The simple controls and easy design features are a nicely put together to make for a good little espresso machine, priced to make anyone enjoy it.

Need help with Espresso Gift Ideas? Check out our Holiday Buying Guide – The Best Espresso Gifts. I like this brewer so much it's on the Holiday Buying Guide.

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December 1, 2006

Lello Ariete 45900 Espresso Machine Price Drop!


Amazon just dropped the price on the Lello Ariete 45900 Espresso Maker to under $100, and it includes free shipping. This stainless steel espresso maker is a great deal at this price, and I put it on my Holiday Buying Guide because I thought it was a good deal at $30 more. I am trying my best to wrap up the review on The Lello Ariete 45900, and I will post in the next few days. So far so good, and this is an excellent price for beautiful stainless.

At Amazon

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November 27, 2006

Pump Driven Espresso Machines Around (and Under) $100

A lot of readers have been writing in about what pump driven espresso machines are the best for under $100. Well there aren’t a lot of espresso machines less than $100, but there are a few. There are also a few good ones for a little over $100 that I’ll include. Read why a pump-driven espresso machine is so important.

LelloAriete45900Espresso.jpgLello Ariete 45900 Ariete Espresso Machine – this 15-bar pump driven stainless steel beauty is a little over $100, but with the $25 Amazon discount (See the Promotional details on the Amazon Page), it’s only about $105. It’s a decent little espresso maker made by DeLonghi that is just starting to be imported into this country. Works with ground espresso but not reliably with ESE Espresso Pods. The easy operation and good looks make it a winner in the gift department. I have this in for review and so far, I like it alot.

KrupsXP4030sm.jpgKrups XP4030 Pump Espresso Machine – A solid performer from Krups, this machine is about $149 - $25 = $124…. Close enough. This machine offers 3 portafilter inserts that allow you to do ESE Espresso Pods, single and double shots. The metal accents give you good looks and the 15-bar pump gives you good crèma.

KrupsFNC2Novo3000sm.jpgKrups FNC2 Novo 3000 – the little brother of the XP4030, is still a pump driven machine that offers a 16-bar pump and a few less metal accents for about $99. Still includes a filter basket for ground and one for ESE Espresso pods. Classic look at an attractive price.

delonghiec155b.jpgDeLonghi EC155 – this unit makes incredible crèma with your espresso with its patented crèma system design. The 15-bar pump and it’s easy operation make it a dream to operate turning out good shots time and time again. If you want more on this, see my review of the DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Machine.

Hamilton Beach 40729 Espresso Machine – This little machine comes in well under $100, in fact right around $68. We used it for a review and enjoyed using with ESE Espresso pods. We didn’t quite get the crèma we were looking for from ground coffee, but if you are looking for an inexpensive ESE pod brewer, here you are. Read our review of the Hamilton Beach 40729 Espresso Machine.

Don’t Forget the Pods!
If you are getting the DeLonghi EC155 or the Breville Café Roma, I would add in some ESE coffee pods. They make preparation easy and painless. They also make an excellent cup of espresso with these machines. If you like Starbucks, try the Starbucks ESE pods, or if you want something more adventurous and also delicious, try the Lavazza pods.

Another great option is to get a HUGE ESE Espresso Pod Super Sampler . With 60 (2 each of 30 kinds) ESE pods, you'll be able to sample your way through all kinds of different Espresso. Lots of fun, lots of espresso.

Want to read more about Great Espresso Gifts? See our Single Serve Espresso Holiday Buying Guide.

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November 20, 2006

Review: Lello Ariete 45900 Prestigio Espresso Machine Arrives for Review


We are pretty happy to say that we have our Lello Ariete 45900 Prestigio Espresso Machine in for review. The unit is a stainless steel espresso machine that comes with the nice features that you come to expect in espresso machines: 15 bar Thermoblock pump, a large 64+ ounce water reservoir, a 950 watt heater, and a cup warmer. The 950 watt heater is a bit smaller than we have seen on some espresso makers (Usually in the 1100+ watt range), so I am going to be checking out heating times on this as we go through the normal testing process. If it's not too long, this might just rock the espresso maker world with a new value play: Stainless Steel exterior, classically designed, pump driven espresso machine for around $100 after a discount at Amazon.

Remember, Amazon almost always runs a deal for a $25 discount when you spend more than $125 at Kitchen and Housewares. I previously talked about the order backlog on these from Amazon, but things appear to have finally opened up and they appear to be shipping them on demand.

The plan is to use some Starbucks ESE Espresso Pods .

More at Amazon

Need help with Espresso Gift Ideas? Check out our Holiday Buying Guide – The Best Espresso Gifts

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Krups FNC2 Novo 3000 Espresso Maker

Krups FNC2 Novo 3000 Espresso maker.jpg
The Krups FCN2 Novo 3000 Espresso Maker is a pump-driven espresso machine that has a decent list of features for a decent little price. The unit has two filter baskets that allow it to run both ground espresso and ESE pods in the machine. It has a 15-bar pump driven thermoblock heater, and a 37 ounce water tank. The unit of course has a frother and nicely enough comes with 18 Illy ESE espresso pods in the box. Great bargain for gifting this year. Also consider the DeLonghi EC155 Espresso Machine - see our review on the DeLonghi EC155.

More at Amazon

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November 16, 2006

Compare the DeLonghi Magnifica 3200 vs 3400 vs 3500

We have the DeLonghi Magnifica 3500 in for review right now, and we've gotten a few people asking what the differences are when we compare the Delonghi Magnifica 3200 versus 3400 versus 3500. I have to say that I am really enjoying the Magnifica right now as I am running it through its paces for my review. The differences are slight between the Magnifica 3400 and 3500, but a bit more dramatic for the Magnifica 3200.

DeLonghi Magnifica 3200
- has a lot going for it in a non-digital super automatic machine. The controls (i.e. strength & size of the shot) are manual, meaning that turn a dial instead of pushing a button. It takes in your whole beans, grinds them, tamps and pulls your shot for you at the push of a button. It has a 7 ounce whole bean hopper, a 60 ounce water reservoir, a frothing arm, a by-pass doser to use a different ground coffee, a drip tray and cup warmer. The steam wand is operated by a manual dial (on/off).

DeLonghi Magnifica 3400 - The move up to the electronically controlled unit makes for some nice touches, keeping a lot of the same physical features (by-pass dosing, 60 ounce reservoir, 7-ounce whole bean capacity and grinder, etc). The unit still has a "manual" steaming knob, but it has electronic controls for almost everything else. You now get push-button control over the strength of the espresso and the size of the cup. You also get some settings that are variable, like the automatic shut-off time, and the ability to have it turn on automatically for you in the morning. The Delonghi Magnifica 3400 is being sold at Starbusks stores this season.

DeLonghi Magnifica 3500 - True luxury here. The move up here is that you get to have a milk pitcher that snaps into the front of the Magnifica and with the push of a single button, the machine steams milk into your mug, then pulls a shot for a one-button latte. All of the controls are adjustable, and digital. Similar physical characteristics as the 3400.

More at Amazon and DeLonghi

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