September 21, 2006

Capresso 121 Ultima Espresso Machine Arrives for Review at


We are pretty happy to have the Capresso Ultima arrive for review here at The Capresso Ultima is not your usual espresso machine. In fact its a bit of a revolution. The Ultima allows you to easily use ground espresso in a machine that fills and tamps the coffee for you. After you are done, it ejects the puck into a waste bin.... all with the turn of a crank. This eliminates a lot of dirty steps that many users have confided in me that they actually hate. For some, filling, tamping and then dumping the spent grounds is a total pain. The Ultima can take anywhere between 7 g and 15 grams of coffee, which should be plenty for most potent espressos. So, you add your ground espresso, rotate the crank half way, brew your espresso, then rotate the crank to the original position to eject the spent grounds and get it ready for the next espresso. Not bad.

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September 8, 2006

Jura Capresso E8 Super Automatic Espresso Machine Arrives for Review

A very fine machine showed up at our door and I am happy to say that the Jura Capresso E8 Impressa Super Automatic Espresso Machine has arrived for review at The Jura Capresso E8 is a Super Automatic machine that pretty much takes your whole beans and makes espresso for you. It grinds, tamps, and pulls the shot for you, then ejects the spent grounds into a bin for disposal later. This all happens at the press of a button.

The Jura Capresso E8 espresso machine comes with a bin for whole bean – it holds about 1/4 of a pound of coffee, a 64 ounce water reservoir, a by-pass doser for adding ground espresso and brewing directly from the coffee you add. This feature is great for brewing Decaf espressos for instance when the machine is already loaded with regular whole bean. The unit has a 1450 watt heater with a 18 bar pump. It also features a Solid-steel conical burr grinder, LED display that will tell you exactly what’s going on, or what needs filling or emptying. It also has a Dual Frother Plus for steaming milk; electronic water-level sensor; auto shut-off. Measures 11 by 13-3/5 by 17 inches; 1-year limited warranty.

We have some Gimme Coffee Leftist Espresso Beans in house and ready for use for this review. I’m pretty excited to start cranking out the shots and lattes.

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September 5, 2006

Review: Hamilton Beach 40729 Espresso Machine Review

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When I sat down to start using the Hamilton Beach 40729 Espresso Maker, I wondered if it could turn out a decent espresso – I mean come on a $68 pump driven espresso maker? I have been using it for about 2 weeks at this writing, and let me tell you that I am impressed at what this little baby can do for $68. To start, the espresso machine is targeted at new espresso machine users – it has an instructional video in the box that gets you acquainted with espresso and how to use the machine to turn out good looking drinks. It delivers good espresso that you can be happy with.

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August 31, 2006

Gaggia 35008 Carezza Espresso Machine


OK – so you are interested in a Gaggia that is affordable for the rest of us? The Gaggia 35008 Carezza Espresso Machine is a pretty popular and farily well equipped little espresso machine. This pump driven machine is well suited for everyday use at home, with a portafilter that is set up for both singles and doubles, but sadly not ESE Espresso pods. The machine is easy to use with its ergonomic filter-holder grip. It also features a drop-trap basin and cup-support grating in stainless steel, both easy to slide out; group and filter-holder in chromium-plated brass; drip-proof system; and an automatic self-priming device to facilitate start-up. Single and double stainless-steel filter baskets, a coffee tamper, a coffee scoop, and an instruction manual are included. Measures 10-1/2 by 9-1/4 by 14-3/4 inches.

It is also available in gray - Gaggia 35008 Carezza Espresso Machine - Gray

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August 20, 2006

Hamilton Beach 40729 Espresso Machine Arrives for Review at

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The Hamilton Beach 40729 Espresso machine with ESE Pod Holder arrived for review today at and we are pretty excited to take a look at this relatively inexpensive espresso machine. This may be an inexpensive espresso machine but it is not cheap; internally it is a pump driven espresso maker, a feature that you find in most espresso machines $150 and up. There are plenty of cheap steam or boiler driven espresso makers out there, but the Hamilton Beach 40729 Espresso machine is pump-driven, developing plenty of pressure that is so important to give you that fine layer of crèma foam to sit on top of your espresso. The higher pressure coming in at 10-15 bars (steam or boiler machines only develop 2-4 Bars of pressure), is also important in extracting all the flavor out of the ground espresso, as well as creating an espresso with body like one you might find in a coffee shop.

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August 3, 2006

Bodum Granos - Beautiful Espresso

The Bodum Granos Espresso Machine is one that you have to admire for its looks first and its espresso second. This semi-automatic machine is ready to brew with portafilters for single, double and ESE pods, and can brew these at the push of a button. The thermoblock heater heats the water to temperature and the high pressure pump extracts the best flavors from your espresso pushing through at about 9 bar. The 58 ounce removable water reservoir should last you plenty of espressos on this great looking machine. If you want, it also comes with an adapter to use on bottled water that you can invert and feed into the machine.
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July 19, 2006

Preva xSport - Espresso on the Mountain


We found our North this past weekend. The Preva xSport came with us this weekend as we hiked up Mount Washington in NH and stayed over a the Lakes of the Clouds Hut on Saturday night. The hiking was pretty serious up a couple of thousand feet to this great little oasis at 5050 feet above sea level. The Lakes hut is perched just below the summit of MT Washington, in the saddle between Mt Washington and Mt Monroe. The hut holds 90 people for an overnight, and is a full service hut, which means that they provide meals and shelter provided by a staff of about 10. While they offer coffee, they don’t offer a nice espresso. We toted the Preva up the mountain along with a dozen Starbucks Espresso Pods for use while up there. Since the hut was providing the boiling water, I got to try out the Preva without needing to boil my own. It’s not going to give you an espresso that rivals your coffee shop, but keep reading; I thought it was great.

See a Review on the Preva xSport on our sister site: Single Serve Coffee.

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July 12, 2006

Hamilton Beach 40729 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker with ESE Espresso Pod Holder

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Looking for an easy way to get into making espresso at home using Pods? Well, look no further than the Hamilton Beach 40729 Espresso/Cappuccino Maker with ESE Pod Holder that is available for $68. The features on this are serious business, including an 1100 watt 15 bar pump to heat up plenty of water to pull a nice espresso with a good crèma. It’s also got 2-cup water reservoir, not huge, but it will allow you to run through about a dozen espressos before needing to refill. In addition to that, it has an adjustable steam/frothing dial and removable drip tray for easy cleanup. It can also work with ground espresso coffee.

So, it’s available for $68, which qualifies you for free shipping. If you like that classic Starbucks flavor, add some Starbucks Espresso Pods – 24 ct to try out the ESE experience. Also available in decaf - Starbucks Decaf Espresso Pods – 24 ct. Delicious and very easy.

If you are going to do Lates and Cappuccinos, you might want to add a frothing pitcher - Krups Frothing Pitcher

When you get the machine, and start to play, check out how to do some interesting Late Art on your cups too - blow away some dinner guests!

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June 19, 2006

Preva Officially Launches Portable Espresso


If you love espresso as much as we do, you might just need to take a brewer with you when you are on the go. You may have seen this over at our sister site Single Serve Coffee; Preva has introduced the Preva XSport espresso maker that allows you to make hand pumped espresso on the trail, at a friend's house or even on the road, where ever you can get access to some hot water. That was the idea behind the invention that is the Preva, as the founders couldn't live without their espresso on teh road either.

Update: We have confirmed that the unit comes with one ESE pod basket and one "Coffee Pod" holder that will brew up regular coffee pods that fit "Single Serve" type machines. It was designed with the ESE espresso pod in mind. They are avilable at the Preva website and at REI - cost is $49.

Préva, Inc. was founded in 2003 and incorporated in 2006 by two outdoor enthusiast coffee/espresso lovers that finally refused to be without good coffee while out on the road either camping, fishing or in a hotel. The Preva xSport was invented and created by the drive and the desire to build a product that not only works and works exceptionally well, but a product that would be available to everyone, everywhere. The Préva xSport is 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

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