June 16, 2008

Capresso Mini-S Espresso/Cappuccino Machine Review

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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


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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

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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.

Features:

  • 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

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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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  • May 2, 2008

    Coffee/Espresso While Camping


    With the warmer weather coming, there's ample opportunity to check out the woods and NOT leave behind the caffeinated comforts of home. The range of coffee makers is pretty huge, from cowboy rough to futuristic machinery, and everything in between.

    You pretty much have four styles to choose from for coffee/espresso on the trail:


    1. perkpot.jpgPercolators - Your great grandfather used these and so did John Wayne - they work and they can turn out some hot-brown that does the trick, just might not taste that great. I used one camping and believe it or not, the body developed in the coffee through perking outweighed the negatives and all things considered, it wasn't bad. These are cheap, bulky and can make a lot at a time.

    2. SingleServeFrenchPress.jpgFrench Press - There are a ton of these on the market specially designed for away from home use. Shatter resistant plastic, a plunger and a splash proof lid all add up to a good package. Don't forget to plan for hot water though.

    3. MiniMokaExpress.jpgTiny Espresso Moka Units - these are cute and make some decent stuff; just not the high pressure that you are used to on your 15-bar pump driven machine at home or the machine at the local cafe. On the plus side, they are small and pack well, on the minus side, they are small and may need a few of these to kick start the morning.

    4. handpressosmall.jpgHandpresso Wild - New and different, this space age bike pump can crank out the high pressure that you need to get some decent extraction. It uses ESE pods which are easy to pack in and out, but again on the downside the unit only makes a shot at a time. It still won't pack the pressure of a commercial machine, but you won't be packing that and a 220 volt power supply into the wilderness to get quality that good. Read more about the Handpresso here are SingleServeEspresso.com



    Good luck and if you need a GPS, check out GPSLodge for some tips.......

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    April 24, 2008

    Bialetti Mokona Espresso Machine

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    The Bialetti Mokona espresso and cappuccino maker caught my eye if for nothing else its total kitsch feel of the classic manual re-created in the new electric, 15-bar variety. The unit does put up some decent stats though; 15-bar, used pods, grounds or the Bialetti proprietary capsules. It has a 1.5 liter water tank, and two thermostats for brewing and streaming milk.

    The unit comes in silver, blue, pink and black. The unit is not all chrome, but also some silvered ABS plastic. The Bialetti Mokona espresso maker has a list price of around $349.

    More at Bialetti

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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