July 8, 2008

Entry Level Espresso - DeLonghi EC 155


If you are considering getting into making espresso at home, maybe saving a little money over buying at the coffee shop all of the time, you can get into a very inexpensive machine that will give you a good taste of pump driven espresso making at home. One key to getting good espresso is to extract at high pressure like the commercial machines that are used in coffee shops. The DeLonghi EC155 (See my Full Review of the Delonghi EC 155) is a decent entry level pump driven espresso machine that will get you brewing higher quality espresso at home without breaking the bank.

You get a 15-bar pump, a one liter reservoir that should last through several cups of espresso, and a heater that cranks out steam until late into the night. These basic features combined with its great price makes it a perennial favorite at Amazon.

At Amazon - DeLonghi EC 155

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June 23, 2008

Hacked? - Jura Capresso F9/90


According to Security focused SC Magazine, an Australian man appears to have managed to hack into internet connected Jura Capresso F9/90 machines. With an optional connectivity package, the machines can be connected so that they can be remotely serviced.

Apparently though you can tell the machine to overpour the cup, thereby presenting a scalding hazard. Too bad you can't make the machine yell out a few commands, "Hey, use some decent Whole Beans Next Time will You?", "Back Again - get a life!". It's not the 9.5 Billion from Swordfish, but it might still be a fun laugh to make this work.

Anyway, in a statement, Jura said: "The Internet Connectivity kit which can optionally be acquired... will at no time connect the coffee machine to the world wide web. Its settings can therefore only be changed by the machine's rightful owner. JURA systems do not allow hacker attacks."

At Amazon the Jura Capresso F9

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June 16, 2008

Capresso Mini-S Espresso/Cappuccino Machine Review


The Capresso Mini-S showed up a few weeks ago, and I wanted to post a review as soon as I could knowing a lot of readers are interested in these entry level steam-based espresso brewers. The most basic espresso brewers are these boiler-based brewers that heat the water and boil it through the espresso cake to produce the espresso. This maker is not all that unlike a Moka Pot in that regard. Simple and easy to operate. The advantage that you get with a brewer like the Capresso Mini-S over a Moka pot is that you can actually steam the milk with the unit.

ArrowContinue reading: "Capresso Mini-S Espresso/Cappuccino Machine Review"

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June 5, 2008

Handpresso - More Thumbs Up

CNet blog has found what we think may be the coolest espresso maker ever. The convenience of high quality espresso where ever you can find an ESE pod, hot water and a cup (See My Review of the Handpresso). I thought it was a great unit to have that delivered high quality brew.

More at CNet

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June 3, 2008

Saeco Aroma Espresso Machine - $219 at Costco


The Saeco Aroma semi-auto espresso machine is on sale at Costco for just $219 now through 6/22. This is a pretty capable unit and when I used one for a while I thought that it brewed a very respectable shot of espresso. The unit easily cranks out shot after shot, and puts a nice crema layer on the top too.

It is selling at Amazon for $299 - $350.

Check it out at Costco.

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May 29, 2008

Segafredo Zanetti SZ01 Caffe Solo


The Segafredo SZ01 Caffe Solo is a capsule machine that is available for some high quality brewing of excellent espresso time and time again. The capsule revolution is in full swing and for good reason. Capsules, like pods, offer an easy way to get great espresso little effort. Capsules make it easy - drop it in, and no clean-up required. The machine I use, drops the capsules down into a waste bin to be emptied later, no dripping pod, or portafilter to get across the counter to the trash.

The Segafredo system was designed to crank out espresso in small commercial establishments day-in and day-out without a lot of training and without a lot of mess. The unit is designed to avoid build-up of residue and with an innovative cleaning-capsule, the unit can be cleaned with the push of a button too.

More at Segafredo Zanetti

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May 18, 2008

Primula Stovetop Espresso


This Primula Stovetop Espresso Maker caught my eye, not only for its design but for its price - less than $25. Most stovetop makers that are more than the classic octagon shape cost twice this amount. While the expensive ones may have some high end design house behind them, I like the upscale but not too-nice-to-use look of this one.

At Amazon - Primula Stovetop Espresso Maker

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May 16, 2008

FrancisFrancis X7 - Capsule Espresso


After the pods came the capsules, and we are riding that wave now. Not only does Nespresso have a capsule system and set of machines out, but Lavazza, too. Now coming to the market is the newest entry, from Illy, the FrancisFrancis! X7, deemed the iperespresso (Hyper) enabled brewing system that infuses the coffee grounds with water under pressure and then starts the extraction process. According to a recent TIME article, the thing cranks out crema like a well poured Guinness. That's what I see in my Nespresso's too; incredible ease of use, and incredible quality.

More information about the machine at Illy

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May 14, 2008

Capresso Mini-S 4-Cup Safety Espresso/Cappuccino Machine Arrives for Review


Capresso has sent us one of their MIni-S espresso machines to review. This four-cup safety espresso/cappuccino machine makes whipping up your favorite shot of espresso very easy if Capresso has anything to say about it.

We thought at first having safety in the name was a bit odd, but we're pretty sure Capresso is eluding to the safety switch for choosing between full pressure brewing and steam production, and not some other thing of espresso producing danger we should be safe from when using this machine.


  • Boiler cap with built-in safety valve.
  • Patented three-way safety switch for choosing between full pressure for brewing espresso and maximum steam output
  • Red indicator light and dishwasher-safe glass carafe
  • Stops brewing or steaming in the "0" position
  • Dual frother lets you steam or froth milk either in a pitcher or right in your cup
  • Instructional video shows how to produce espressos and cappuccinos in three easy steps

We'll have a full review soon.

At Capresso 302.01 Mini-S 4-Cup Safety Espresso/Cappuccino Machine

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May 6, 2008

Mother's Day Espresso Machine Choice


The DeLonghi Bar32 is a pretty simple, pump driven espresso machine that might just be a great choice for those first timers who are getting into espresso at home. Unlike the steam driven espresso machines, the pump-driven units create enough pressure to extract the flavor and create the crema that you are used to on your coffeehouse shots. I have been using one of these for a while in my usual rotation and have enjoyed it quite a bit. It works well with both ground espresso and ESE Espresso pods that allow for a quick shot of espresso without all the messy work.

The unit has a fairly large 35-ounce reservoir that fits on the back of the machine, and a decent size drip tray. On the right side, the unit also has a small tamp that will help set the coffee grounds in the portafilter. A tight tamp is not needed in the way that an open bottom portafilter needs it, as there is a small outlet in the bottom of the portafilter that serves to create the backpressure and thus the higher extraction of solids and oils that makes it an espresso. If Mom is really serious about Espresso and wants things a little more upscale and automated, consider the Super-automatic category.

The DeLonghi BAR32 Espresso Machine comes with:

  • DeLonghi BAR 32 machine
  • Portafilter handle
  • Single/ESE Pod insert
  • Double Shot Insert
  • Coffee Scoop
  • Direction booklet

    DeLonghi BAR32 at Amazon

    They still have this in stock and have shopping options to get it to you by Mother's Day.

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