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

lelloariete45900Prestigio.jpg

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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November 14, 2006

Review: Lavazza Blue Pininfarina Capsule Espresso System

pininfarina_pro.jpgOn top of all the other makers here in the kitchens at SingleServeEspresso, we have been using this pretty cool Lavazza Blue machine courtesy of Cafe-Razzi. Our sister site took a look at the machine a few weeks ago and reviewed it there. I wanted a taste of the Lavazza Blue nectar too; loyal readers know that I really like the Lavazza Grand Crema ESE pods, so when the opportunity came up to use the Lavazza Blue Pinifarina ProTech capsule based brewer I had to jump on it.

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November 9, 2006

Review: DeLonghi Magnifica EAM3500 Super Automatic Espresso Machine Arrives for Review

DelonghiMagnificaEAM3500.jpg

We are very happy to have the DeLonghi Magnifica EAM 3500 Super Automatic espresso machine here for review at the SingleServeEspresso.com test kitchens. The unit has an impressive list of features, and the one that stands out for me is the one-push latte/cappuccino button. Yes, at the touch of a button this will make you your favorite latte or cappuccino. The unit comes with the capability to draw milk automatically from a pitcher that attaches to the steam outlet and either steam or froth the milk right into your cup. The unit then grinds, tamps and pulls an espresso shot right on top for a beautiful espresso drink right before your eyes.

Need help with choosing Espresso Gifts? - See our Espresso Holiday Buying Guide

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November 8, 2006

VillaWare V41006 Moderno Prima Espresso Maker

VillaWareV41006.jpg
This totally retro machine from VillaWare brings you back to a different day in Italy when espresso reigned and black plastic espresso machines weren't even invented. The classic styling of the VillaWare V41006 Moderno Prima Espresso Maker is sure to be a focal point on your counter with its bright stainless steel skin. This pump-driven espresso machine isn't all good looks, as it's got a nice cup warmer on top as well as a 15 bar pump and a 1,000 watt heater. The unit comes capable of running both ground espresso and ESE espresso pods with different filter inserts. The prominent temperature gauge is positioned on the front of the machine with simple toggle switches to control the heating and the pump for creating your espresso. The removable 25-ounce water tank is a little on the small side, but will handle plenty of espressos before needing a refill. The frothing steam is controlled by a classic looking lever arm that brings the user back to the days when espresso was hand-pulled.

What's also attractive is the price of this machine. Other brands have similarly styled machines for quite a bit more. The price of this machine is a little over $200; not bad at all for such a beautiful machine. See the product page at Amazon for a $25 off savings code and Free Shipping.

More at amazon.


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November 3, 2006

Krups XP4030 vs. Krups XP4050

A few people have asked about the differences between the Krups XP4030 vs. the Krups 4050 espresso machines. While they may look similar, they are different enough to take pause and look at the features that separate these machines. The Krups XP4030 is a pump-driven espresso machine with a 15 bar pump that goes through a 1200 watt thermoblock heater to a portafilter with one of three filter inserts that are included: single, double and ESE espresso pod insert. The machine can easily steam with the turn of a knob, and has a 32 ounce reservoir. (See our post on the Krups XP4030)


Need help with choosing Espresso Gifts? - See our Espresso Holiday Buying Guide


The Krups XP4050 builds on the sound features of the Krups XP4030, by adding two specific items that are worth noting. The first is programability. You can program the buttons on the front panel to give you a specific cup size and corresponding espresso strength. The unit also has the ability for you to add a draw tube for the frother. It allows you to drop a tube into a container of milk, and automatically draw the milk up, and froth it right into your cup.

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November 1, 2006

Krups 4050 Espresso Machine

KrupsXP4050.jpg
The Krups 4050 Espresso Machine is a nicely designed espresso maker with a stainless steel front panel and features that back up that pretty face. The noteworthy feature of the Krups 4030 is that its a programable espresso machine, capable of customizing its buttons to give you the cup size and strength of your espresso. The unit comes three portafiler inserts capable of making espresso as singles, doubles or with ESE pods. The machine has a great storage system for the spare inserts, just flip up the water refill cover and the inserts slide into tracks on the underside of the lid. This 15 bar pump-driven espresso machine comes complete with a 1200 watt heater. A 32 ounce water reservoir lets you run for many many espressos before refilling. Finally, the Krups 4050 has an automatic frothing attachment that allows you to drop a tube into a container of milk, and automatically draw the milk up, and froth it right into your cup. Nice!

Free Shipping at Amazon

More at Krups

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October 30, 2006

Review: Breville ESP8XL Café Roma Espresso Machine Review

Breville Cafe Roma Espresso Machine

The beautiful Breville Café Roma ESP8XL Espresso Machine is a sure footed espresso machine that is able to stand tall on any countertop with its beautiful stainless steel housing. Its rock solid construction makes even a Hummer H2 blush at the idea of taking it on. I mean this thing is build like a tank; thick solid stainless steel houses a lot of highly functional components that turn out a very respectable cup of espresso. While it may be built like a tank, the Breville Cafe Roma doesn’t look like a tank, and was right at home sitting on our counter for this review.


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

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