The BUNN BXBD Velocity Brew High Altitude Home Brewer

bunn bxbd high altitude
BUNN BXBD

We're not posting a full review of the BUNN BXBD High Altitude Home Brewer on ChooseACoffeeMaker.com simply because it is essentially the same model as the BUNN GRB and the BUNN BXB/BXW. Click here for our review of the GRB. The final letter of these models - B or W - indicates whether the color of the body is black or white.

Where the BUNN BXBD High Altitude differs is that it has been designed specifically for use in high altitudes (above 4,000 feet). There are users who live in low altitudes who say it performs with no problems, so it seems that you don't have to live in the mountains to get a good brew from this product.

All three of these BUNN products earn a high average rating from users on Amazon. Sites like this aren't allowed under Amazon's terms and conditions to quote the exact figures, but you can easily check them for yourself at the links we give you.

BUNN prides itself on its brewers brewing 4 to 10 cups (20 to 50 ounces) in about 3 minutes, and that's what all three models do.

'CoffeeLover'

Nespresso U D50 Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother Review

The Nespresso U D50 Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother is currently available as a used item from a few sellers via Amazon. We originally wrote this review when it was a regular item featured on Amazon, and we have decided to leave it on this site as it may be of use to some.

This espresso maker has been described as a perfect combination, and by Nespresso themselves as "the ultimate machine in modularity, simplicity, and purity."

That sounds pretty lofty, and it is quite unusual to find two distinct products being sold as a duo. But Nespresso must have their reasons for it, and they certainly stand by their decision. So let's take a look at this product pair and see if it's worthy of the praise.

Nespresso U D50
Table of Contents
Easy To Use Combo Pre-Set Cup Sizes
How Long To Wait? The All-Important Flavor
Running Costs And The Cleaning...?
Features & Specs Pros and Cons  
Consumer Ratings Summary

The Nespresso U D50 - An Easy To Use Combo

The Nespresso U D50 has been designed for ease of use. Essentially, you just press a button to make your selection, place the pod in place, and the machine, with its 19 bar pump pressure, will pierce the pod, brew the coffee and eject the used capsule into the capsule dispenser at the end. It couldn't get much simpler.

The Aeroccino milk frother, too, has a rapid, one-touch system that puts it into action preparing hot or cold froths, with or without foam. It heats the milk to around 130 degrees - not quite as hot as the coffee shop, but hot enough for nearly all home espresso drinkers.

There are two levels of froth - latte, and cappuccino - or the froth setting can be turned off. It can froth the milk while warming it, or leave it cold. It does work best with regular milk but can also take almond milk, which, naturally, won't be quite so frothy.

You can customize how the espresso maker looks. The water tank at the back, which can hold a decent 27 fluid ounces, can be rotated 180 degrees around the machine.

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Pre-Set Cup Sizes Can Be Changed

The pre-set cup sizes accord to the standard Ristretto, Espresso, and Lungo but if these aren't to your liking you can change them and the U D50 will remember your new settings. You simply press the appropriate cup size buttons while using the slider at the same time.

Nespresso U D50
Nespresso U D50

How Long Do You Have To Wait?

Delicious coffee, even from a capsule, can't be delivered instantly, of course. But this coffee maker comes pretty close. It heats up ready for use in around one to one and a half minutes. Each espresso then takes around 20 seconds.

As we've just noted, the milk frother has variable settings as to frothing and heating, so that affects the speed of delivery, but hot frothed milk generally takes around a minute, depending on its original temperature.

The All-Important Flavor

Flavor, as we all know, depends on a number of things. A clean coffee maker with no left-over grinds, fresh filtered water, and fresh, quality coffee grinds. The first two are down to us, but as far as the coffee is concerned, Nespresso choose only Grand's Cruz green coffees for their capsules, to ensure you get close to coffee shop standards.

And with seventeen varieties to choose from, as well as three cup sizes for strength adjustment, you won't have much of a problem in finding a flavor to suit your palate.

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What About The Running Costs?

The Nespresso U D50 was designed to use Nespresso coffee capsules only. Probably the most convenient place to purchase them is at Nespresso's website, where you buy in batches of 50 and the price works out at about 60c a pod. Depending on your taste, you may find that you need two pods for each cup.

You have seventeen varieties to choose from and you receive a sample of each with your new machine. While it's possible to buy reusable filters and grind your own beans, that doesn't work out much cheaper, if at all, and the flavor is certainly inferior to that of the Nespresso pods.

Electricity consumption is normal for this kind of device, and the espresso maker has an auto off setting set for 9 minutes of non-use.

And The Cleaning . . ?

Keeping your Nespresso U D50 clean is easy. After each brew, the pod is automatically released into the capsule dispenser. A light indicates when the water tank is empty or the capsule dispenser is full.

Then you just empty the pod dispensing bin (which holds up to 12 used capsules), rinse the drip tray, and refresh the water if necessary. With the Aeroccino milk frother, you just rinse the inside of it after each use and make sure you don't get the base wet.

Some coffee makers have a nasty habit of the spout dripping after each brew and eventually filling the drip tray, but the U D50 has a retracting outlet, so that problem is avoided.

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Check out this short video showing an expert using the Nespresso U D50 to make a delicious espresso:

Features and Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 4.5 x 9.8 inches ; 6.6 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 13 pounds
  • Item model number: A+D50-US-BK-NE
  • Water tank: 27 ounces
  • Cup sizes: 3 - Ristretto, Espresso, and Lungo
  • Uses Nespresso coffee capsules only
  • 19 bar pump pressure
  • One touch preparation of hot or cold milk froth
  • Light indicator warning for empty tank or full capsule dispenser
  • Capsule dispenser holds 12 used capsules
  • Auto off: 9 minutes
Nespresso U D50 Milk Frother
Nespresso U D50 Milk Frother

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Stylish and sleek
  • Very easy to use
  • Fast brewing and milk frothing
  • Great tasting coffee
  • Easy cleaning

Cons:

  • You're restricted to Nespresso coffee capsules - a little pricey
  • Milk frother heats to 130 degrees, less than at the coffee shop
Nespresso U D50 - Aerial View
Nespresso U D50 - Aerial View

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Consumer Ratings

The vast majority of reviewers of Amazon give the U D50 the full five stars. The average rating is about mid-way between four stars and five from over 280 reviewers, at the time of writing.

What users like most about this combo is the excellent tasting coffee it produces, and how easy it is to use. Its speed and sheer good looks also count for a great deal.

Some have mentioned that the pods are rather expensive. However, most users seem happy about that aspect, and you have to bear in mind that you're paying for great tasting coffee with every brew.

Overall, it's appreciated as delivering a great espresso every time, with little to no mess to clear up afterward.

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Summary

Nespresso made this espresso maker and milk frother to be compact and simple to use. But it also had to produce coffee that its users would love, and, judging from most of the reviews, they do. That's the Nespresso U D50 Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother for you.

Nespresso U D50
Nespresso U D50

 

 

 

'Coffee Lover'

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BUNN BXB and BXW Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer

BUNN BXB

We're not posting a full review of the BUNN BXB (pictured left) on ChooseACoffeeMaker.com simply because it is essentially the same model as the BUNN GRB (and the BUNN BXBD High Altitude Brewer, though this does have one or two more variations). Click here for our review of the GRB. The final letter of these models - B or W - indicates whether the color of the body is black or white.

Just about the only way in which the BUNN BXB / BXW differs is that it can only be shipped within the US.

All three of these BUNN products earn a high average rating from users on Amazon. Sites like this aren't allowed under Amazon's terms and conditions to quote the exact figures, but you can easily check them for yourself at the links we give you.

BUNN prides itself on its brewers brewing 4 to 10 cups (20 to 50 ounces) in about 3 minutes, and that's what all three models do.

The ChooseACoffeemaker.com Review Team

Breville BES840XL Review

The Breville BES840XL, known as the Infuser Espresso Machine, is the ideal machine for those of us who want all the benefits of the Breville BES870XL but want to grind our beans separately.

Breville BES840XL The Infuser Espresso Machine

This espresso maker looks similar to the BES870XL, except that it has no burr grinder or outlet port built in. It comes in at nearly $100 cheaper. So is there anything else you don't get, that you would with the 870?

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Taste is Everything

What everyone wants from an espresso maker like this is great tasting coffee. Of course, good looks count as well, but these come as secondary by quite a margin.

The Breville Infuser does, in fact, look good, and is compact enough for small work tops. But its main distinguishing feature is what Breville call its pre-infusion function, which enhances the taste of the coffee.

We all know how the coffee grinds have to be completely saturated so as to release their flavor fully, and that this is invariably done through a sprinkler method with the water being forced in under high pressure.

The trouble with this is that if there are gaps and other irregularities in the coffee puck (as there often are) the water can sometimes bounce off parts of it and fail to capture the full flavor, and this weakens the final taste.

The Breville 840XL overcomes that problem by releasing the water onto the grinds under low pressure at first. This allows it to seep into all the grinds, allowing them to expand at a more natural rate. Then the water pressure is increased to squeeze all the goodness out of the grinds and into the coffee itself.

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A little complicated, perhaps, but it results in superbly tasting coffee from this remarkable espresso machine. It heats to the right temperature in around a minute, and in 5 minutes it will have made 2 cups of coffee. This is fast by any standard. It also takes only 45 to 60 seconds to steam regular fat milk, and is equally fast with other kinds of milk.

Full Temperature Control

Other models from Breville feature an auto purge function that automatically adjusts the water temperature downwards after it has steamed the milk, so it's not too hot for extracting the espresso. The Breville BES840XL has that very same function as well.

The replaceable water filter in the 61 fl oz tank will deal with all the impurities in your water supply. The result of all this is to bring you some of the best tasting coffee that it's possible to make.

No-one can say that Breville are taking any chances with the taste of your coffee.

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Breville BES840XL Build Quality and Design

The build quality and design features of Breville domestic machines are legendary. At the heart of the Infuser is the 1600 watt thermocoil heating system with control over the water temperature being achieved through an integrated stainless steel water coil.

A 15 bar Italian pump ensures that you won't have any problem getting the water pressure sufficiently high. Automatic settings, such as temperature and pressure, work in tandem with programmable settings such as the volume of grinds you use, and the degree of grinding and tamping you decide upon.

Indicators show when the drip tray needs emptying or the machine itself needs cleaning. And, of course, Breville's distinguishing feature - the pressure gauge - tells you whether or not the extraction pressure is correct.

The design oof the Breville BES840XL is such that you don't have to stick with your usual coffee cups or mugs - a travel mug can be accommodated as well.

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Total Control With Complete Ease of Use

The volume of each shot is pre-set, and you can accept these or over-ride them manually, or even re-program with your own preferences. And as with other Breville espresso machines the steam wand that dispenses the milk froth can be rotated round 360 degrees for complete control over your lattes and cappuccinos.

From the cup and mug warmer on the top to the magnetic tamper that clings to its appointed place when not in use, Breville have gone to a lot of trouble to make this espresso maker easy to use.

No Hassle Cleaning

The Breville BES840XL has a system that removes excess water from the ground coffee in the filter basket, making removal of the resulting residue very easy. The drip tray and water tanks can easily be removed, and you should replace the water filter every two months or so.

Even though you have a water filter, as with all coffee makers, it's best to use filtered water anyway and to decalcify your espresso machine every three or four months using white vinegar. But at least you don't have a grinder on it to clean as well - a separate grinder is invariably easier to clean.

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Take a look at this 3-minute video showing the Breville BES840XL in action:

Features and Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 12.5 x 13.2 inches ; 17 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 23 pounds
  • Item model number: BES840XL
  • 1600 watt thermocoil heating system
  • 15 bar Italian pump
  • Pre-infusion function
  • Auto purge function
  • PID temperature control
  • Sleep mode 1 hour; Auto shutoff 3 hours
  • Water tank: 61 fl oz / 1.8L

Breville BES840XL

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Great tasting coffee consistently
  • Good looking and compact
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Semi-automatic, giving you complete control

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve required
  • You need a good burr grinder as well

Breville BES840XL
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Consumer Ratings

At the time of writing, over 390 users have left reviews on Amazon and awarded this espresso maker an average score of over 4 stars.

Most of them love how easy it is to use, clean and understand. Most agree it's a great machine for the price, though the alleged savings of $300 have been called into question.

Some reviewers have had a problem in getting the pressure gauge to register any reading at all. It turns out that they may have been using too coarse a grind. The answer seems to be to use a finer grind, even a Turkish grind, to fill the portafilter in two or three stages, and to tamp down after each stage so that your grind is compact and firm.

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Summary

I've mentioned that the BES840XL is around $100 cheaper than the BES870XL, largely because it doesn't have a burr grinder built in. But that's about the only thing the BES870XL has that the Infuser doesn't.

Whatever the savings this product is still expensive at nearly $500. However, if you're a serious coffee connoisseur then it will be money well spent, and if you're a regular at Starbucks then doubly so. One user claims that their BES840XL paid for itself in three months!

It's fun to learn how to use, and once you've mastered the art then, provided you clean it when the time comes, the Breville Infuser BES840XL will provide you with world class coffee of all types without complaint for years to come.

 

 

 

'Coffee Lover'

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Cuisinox Roma COF-10R Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker Review

The Cuisinox Roma Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker is your kind of coffee maker if you want a machine that doesn't make you pay for what you already have, yet still produces great tasting espressos and looks fabulous sitting on your kitchen worktop.

It comes in three sizes - 10-Cup, 6-Cup, and 2-Cup. But one of the most noticeable features about it is that Cuisinox give it a full 25-year warranty. They obviously have full confidence in their product, so let's see if that confidence is justified.

Cuisinox COF-10R Roma 10-Cup Espresso Coffeemaker
Cuisinox COF-10R Roma 10-Cup Espresso Coffeemaker

Table of Contents
Is The Coffee Good? Build Quality
Pleasing On The Eye Espresso Easy
Features & Specs Cleaning It Up
Pros and Cons Consumer Ratings
Summary

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With the Cuisinox Roma The Coffee Had Better Be Good . . .

When you're paying almost $100 or more for an espresso maker that doesn't have its own heating device, the coffee had better taste great. Well, if you want crema on your espresso and you're prepared to grind the beans very finely then you're in for a treat.

If you use a simple blade grinder and make the grinds powdery, but don't compact them too much, then you'll find that this espresso maker is set up to produce the perfect espresso for you.

If you leave the lid open and watch while it brews then you will see the crema form and cover the espresso. That's the time to take it off the heat because your espresso is done. If you leave it on too long it may taste a little burnt, though, of course, some people prefer it like that anyway. A little trial and error, and you'll know exactly how to use this machine.

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About The Build Quality

Cuisinox have given a great deal of thought to the build quality of the Roma. It's not just that they have included an extra gasket and a reducer, so you can easily measure half-measures if you don't want a full pot. Nor that they've hand-crafted the entire unit to the highest industry standards.

It's not even the induction base, enabling you to use any heat source - electricity or gas - to heat the water, that attracts so much praise. Where Cuisinox have scored is that they've made the whole product from stainless steel, and not aluminum. Aluminum has attracted a lot of publicity lately on account of its adverse health effects (it releases harmful oxides when coming into contact with hot liquids).

Cuisinox have used heavy gauge 18/10 stainless steel, polished to a mirror finish. Even though it's made in China, Cuisinox are a Canadian company and are evidently capable of enforcing very high-quality control standards in their factories.

For example, unlike some other stovetop models, the Roma isn't prone to having its handle break off. Just feel it in your hands. It's solid and quite heavy. The two parts of the pot screw together tightly so as not to allow any steam to escape. It doesn't feel like anything ever could break. Perhaps Cuisinox knew what they were doing when they decided on that 25-year warranty.

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Pleasing On The Eye - And On Your Kitchen Worktop

Cuisinox have a distinct style. They aim for beauty as well as practicality. The Roma, all stainless steel, is sleek and elegant, yet is still down to earth enough to include a screen filter that you place in the filter itself if you want to halve the amount of coffee you're brewing.

Espresso Easy

The Cuisinox Roma Stovetop is easy to use, once you've got used to it and know one or two things about it. As long as you have the right amounts of water and coffee grinds in place, and you don't over or undercook, then you'll get it right.

You can use it with electricity or gas. Make sure the handle isn't placed directly over the heat source, and keep the setting on medium to low for best results. Don't overfill the water reservoir either - the brass safety pressure-relief valve should be above the water line. If you obey these simple guidelines then you should have excellent results with the Roma.

Features and Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Item model number: COF-10R
  • Construction: Stainless steel
  • Induction base
  • Included: screen filter, one extra gasket, and reducer
  • Warranty: 25 years

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Cleaning It Up

When it comes to cleaning, you should hand wash the Cuisinox Roma Stainless Steel Stovetop, rather than just put in the dishwasher. But it is very easy to clean. It doesn't make very much mess to start with.

Cleaning is easier if you unscrew the two sections of the pot after pouring your coffee, and let them cool, rather than place them straight into cold water. This prolongs the life of the gasket apart from anything else.

Wipe any excess coffee grounds from around the grounds basket lip (where it makes contact with the gasket) so the seal doesn't leak. And every so often, make a "brew" with a tablespoon of baking soda. That will clean up the internal parts and keep it producing great tasting espressos.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Stainless steel construction - no aluminum
  • Can be used with gas or electricity
  • Good looks
  • Easy to clean
  • Makes great tasting coffee

Cons:

  • No marking on water container for one serving, as against two
  • Requires coffee correctly ground to extreme fineness for best results
Cuisinox Roma

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Consumer Ratings

Over 290 customers give this product an average rating of well over 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon at the time of writing. The superior tasting espressos that it produces, and the fact that it's not made of aluminum figure prominently in the reviews. Its good looks and sturdy durability also go down well.

Some have commented that the inside of the top chamber is hard to clean and wipe dry. Others have not noticed this. In any event, if you clean with the baking soda method you can just leave the parts to drain overnight.

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Summary

The Cuisinox Roma Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker is a hit with the vast majority of its users, who love the polished mirror-finish of its stainless steel exterior as well as the delicious coffee that they get from it. With the choice of a 10-Cup or 6-Cup model, this is an espresso maker that can bring great satisfaction to all coffee lovers.

 

'Coffee Lover'

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Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine – A Review

The Breville BES870XL Barista - One Hundred Per Cent Flavor

One thing has to be clear from the start. The Breville BES870XL Barista is an espresso maker that can extract all the flavor from fresh coffee beans and deliver you an espresso brewed to your exact requirements every time, and fast.

To do this, it has a number of formidable weapons in its armory. First of all, it's powered by a 1600 watt thermocoil heating system (coupled with a 15 bar Italian pump) significantly more powerful than its predecessor, the 860. This is made of a superior aluminum, with a stainless steel lining, so it isn't going to give out anytime soon.

Breville BES870XL Barista
Breville Barista

Table of Contents
Total Control
From Beans to Espresso About the Cleaning
Features & Specs Pros and Cons
Consumer Ratings Summary

Also of stainless steel is the conical burr grinder at the top of the machine. That and the integrated, sealed bean hopper (taller than the previous model) means you can grind your beans as finely or as coarsely as you want.

The grinder actually works separately from the machine itself, so you could use pre-ground beans if you want, but there's really no point because the Barista Express will do it all for you so you can enjoy freshly ground beans.

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Then there are the filters. Four of them. Two are dual walled, and two single walled. Each pair also has one that is pressurized, and one that is non-pressurized. The pressurized is probably best while you're learning the art of being a barista, and the non-pressurized is for more experienced coffee-makers.

There's also a charcoal filter in the massive 67 fluid ounce water tank to ensure your tap water doesn't spoil the taste of your espresso. Many users filter their water anyway, so this provides an extra filtering stage.

Regulation of the water temperature is vital to producing great tasting espressos. The purge function takes care of this, so any excess steam is expelled and not trapped inside.

No less important is how the brewing is actually done. You must have the water distributed evenly throughout the grinds. The pre-brew function and the flat shower head mean that all your grinds without exception are saturated with water and contribute towards the taste.

In short, this espresso maker solves the age-old problem of coffee beans beginning to lose their flavor from the moment they're ground. The integrated burr grinder on the Barista Express 870 doesn't give them the chance.

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Total Control From Start To Finish

This is a semi-automatic machine, so you have as much control as you want. Many users will be happy to let the 870 run most functions on auto, but there are some that require your input so as to produce an espresso to your exact requirements.

First off, how much do you want to brew? The volumetric control lets you select one cup or two, with manual over-ride, and is reprogrammable. On top, the burr grinder and sealed bean hopper can take half a pound of beans, and you have the grind size and grind amount selector dials there, as well as the grind adjuster wheel.

The filter size button lets you tell the machine whether you're using a single or dual wall filter, so it dispenses the correct amount of grinds. Probably the default temperature setting will give you water that's quite hot enough, but this is adjustable to make it hotter or cooler.

Finally, you have control over the milk texturing of your lattes and cappuccinos. The stainless steel steam wand has a 360 degrees swivel action so you can perfect your latte art whenever you want.

Breville even give you non-slip feet to prevent the machine from moving around on your kitchen worktop. They really do seem to have thought of everything.

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From Beans To Espresso In Less Than A Minute

Just because we want complete control in what we produce, and the fullest flavor espressos that extract everything the coffee beans have to offer doesn't mean we want to hang around while our Breville BES870XL Barista Express does its job.

This machine warms up in just 45 seconds, and Breville claim that it's then less than a minute from beans to espresso. The YouTube video embedded below will help you judge if it really is that fast. We think it is.

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About The Cleaning . . .

Breville obviously thought a great deal about the cleaning aspect when this product (and its predecessor, come to that) was still at the design stage. You have a whole lot more than the obligatory removable drip tray and removable water tank that comes with a handle.

When the machine needs cleaning it activates a "Clean Me" light. But it's not such a chore as you'd expect. The Breville BES870XL Barista Express removes excess water from the filter basket after the coffee has been extracted, which makes for quicker cleaning.

On top, the hopper unlocks easily for cleaning, and the upper part of the burr grinder releases at a twist for removal and rinsing. You can just vacuum the lower part.

In addition, Breville provide cleaning tools for the 870. There's a little storage compartment where they're all kept - out of the way but always accessible.

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Here's a video showing the Breville BES870XL Barista Express being put through its paces:

Features and Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 12.5 x 15.8 inches ; 23 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 29 pounds
  • Item model number: BES870XL
  • Motor: 1600 watt superior aluminum thermocoil stainless steel lined
  • Pump: 15 bar Italian pump
  • Autopurge function
  • Stainless steel conical butt grinder
  • Sealed bean hopper with half pound capacity
  • Water tank: removable, with handle and charcoal filter
  • Water tank capacity: 67 fl oz / 2 liters
  • Removable drip tray with "Empty Me" warning
  • Brewing time: less than one minute
  • Filters: dual wall pressurized, dual wall non-pressurized, single wall pressurized, single wall non-pressurized
  • Integrated burr grinder and half-pound bean hopper
  • Cup warmer
  • Stainless steel 360-degree swivel-action steam wand
  • Non-slip feet
  • Stainless steel casing
  • Storage compartment for the included cleaning tools
  • 54mm tamper
  • Hands-free grinding cradle
  • 54mm stainless steel portafilter
  • Volumetric control
  • Espresso pressure gauge
  • Clean Me light
  • Sleep mode: 1 hour
  • Auto shut-off: 3 hours

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Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Produces delicious espressos from fresh beans in around 1 minute
  • Auto adjusts water temperature after purging steam
  • You have total control over every stage of the brew
  • Or you can leave most functions on auto
  • Very easy to clean

Cons:

  • There's quite a lot to learn!
  • You have to experiment with the settings to learn your preferences
  • You should run a hot shot through before brewing an espresso

Breville BES870XL Barista
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Consumer Ratings

It's little wonder that reviewers on Amazon love this machine. They like its speed and that there's no guess work involved. They love its stylish stainless steel casing and robust build, and the fact that after a short time they can program it to produce what to them is the perfect brew.

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express scores just under 4.5 stars on average from over 900 reviews at the time of writing, with nearly three-quarters of reviewers giving the full 5 stars.

One or two reviewers have left adverse comments about the taste of the coffee, but bear in mind when reading these that there are a few "rules" that have to be observed. For example, if you use cheap coffee beans that you have ground a couple of weeks earlier then you're obviously not going to get a great taste, even with this machine.

To get the best out of the Breville BES870XL Barista Express you have to use good quality beans, freshly roasted, and preferably espresso roasted. When you use the grinder for the first time, set it to its coarsest level, and then dial it down when it starts ejecting the grounds.

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Keep the steam wand clean by letting some steam out of it for about 10 seconds after each brew. This prevents milk from backing up into the machine and spoiling the taste of the next brew. Do this even if you've just brewed black coffee.

Make use of the cup warmer on top of the machine. Coffee houses never serve their coffee in cold cups (except for iced coffee), and there's a reason for it. If you warm the machine and accessories before use it all helps to ensure better-tasting espressos.

If you ever find that the beans fail to be fed into the grinder, it may be because they're a little oily, in which case just tap the hopper and they'll go in all right.

It's a great espresso maker, as long as you read and follow the instructions, and that should help ensure you'll be giving a 5-star rating to the 870 when it's your turn to review.

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Summary

If you can't take in all of what's written here, then please just accept that this espresso maker is wildly popular with its users, who can't all be wrong. It delivers coffee house quality brews in an incredibly short time and gives you almost total control over each stage.

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Coffee Machine is a versatile, solid, good looking machine that won't disappoint you. Click the button below to check the latest deal on Amazon.

Breville BES870XL Barista
Breville BES870XL Barista

'Coffee Lover'

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Keurig K40 Elite Brewing System Review

Keurig are arguably the market leaders in the manufacture of high quality coffee makers to suit all requirements and pockets, and over the years they have built up a loyal following for each of their products. Their Keurig K40 Elite Brewing System is no exception.
What Keurig have done with this product is to produce a single serve coffee maker that utilizes the convenience of K-Cups, gives an option of two server sizes, brews extremely fast at up to six cups at a time, and retails for less than $135 (at the time of writing) on Amazon.

Keurig K40
Table of Contents
Suitable For 1-6 People Power and Speed
Variety and Flavor Easy To Use?
Features & Specs Pros and Cons
Consumer Ratings Summary

That's quite a tall order for something as reasonably priced as this. Keurig themselves claim that this is "the most affordably priced Keurig kitchen brewing system". Let's see if the K40 delivers what Keurig claims it does.

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Suitable For One To Six People

Earlier versions of the Keurig K40 restricted you to just one cup size, but now you can choose either 7.25 ounces or 9.25 ounces. Averaged out, that means you can brew around six cups at a time from the 48 ounce water reservoir.

Power and Speed

17b-KeurigB40

You get a surprisingly powerful motor with this model. 1500 watts makes possible the exceptionally short time required - 15 seconds - to reheat the water between brews. You can serve hot drinks to your guests without keeping them waiting for minutes on end while the coffee is prepared.

Variety and Flavor

If you love K-Cups then this machine is for you. With 70 varieties of hot drinks to choose from few people will fail to find their favorite brew. But if you want, you can use Starbuck pods instead, or even your own coffee and filters.

K-Cups, though, are what this product was really made for. Their popularity shows no sign of abating, probably on account of their ease and convenience. If you're concerned about the cost or environmental consequences of using them you have the option of using a re-usable K-Cup filter. Just remove the K-Cup holder first and you'll find it just fits in nicely.

The K40 can make you tea or hot cocoa if you prefer. You can even have iced beverages. Just fill your cup or glass with ice cubes and brew as you do normally.

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But Is It Easy To Use?

Once you've primed it before using it for the first time, then the K40 is very easy to use.

If you stick to K-Cups then you'll know that they are simplicity itself. You just put them in the holder and close the lid. No filters to worry about. The water reservoir is removable (as is the drip tray) for cleaning and re-filling with water.

If you ever forget to switch it off, the auto shut-off will do it for you after 2 hours. The descale indicator will tell you when descaling is required. This is a big plus, as descaling is an important part of the overall maintenance and cleaning process.

Features and Specifications of the Keurig K40:

  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 12.2 x 14.2 inches ; 13.1 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 14 pounds
  • Motor: 1500 watt
  • Type: single serve
  • Reservoir: 48 oz removable
  • Drip tray: removable
  • Brew sizes: 7.25 and 9.25 oz
  • Method: K-Cups or reusable K-Cup
  • Auto shut-off: 2 hours
  • Warranty: 1 year limited

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17c-KeurigB40

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Speed of brew (less than one minute)
  • Choose from K-Cups, Starbuck pods, reusable K-Cup filter or your own coffee and filters
  • Two sizes of cup to choose from
  • Powerful 1500 watt motor
  • Auto shut-off

Cons:

  • You may need extra-bold K-Cups for fuller flavor
  • K-Cups aren't cheap

Here's a good video showing exactly what's in the box when you purchase a new Keurig K40:

Consumer Ratings

The Keurig K40 has over 1,550 reviews on Amazon at the time of writing, which give an average rating of well over 4 out of 5 stars. Hundreds of users have given it the full five stars.

Most people love its great looks as well as the taste of the coffee. The wide choice of flavors and drinks, and the ease of use are also popular.

Some reviewers have complained of a weak taste, but others say a darker roast is the answer to that, and, of course, taste is a very individual thing. Others have had problems with the water pump after extended usage, which is usually down to a blockage. It can be cleared by removing the water reservoir and cleaning it.

These comments underline how important it is to properly clean and maintain any coffee maker at regular intervals. It is, after all, a precision instrument that has to deal with coffee grounds and almost boiling hot water on a daily basis. No wonder that if it isn't looked after properly then any coffee maker will malfunction.

The K40 comes through as one of the more reliable coffee makers.

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Summary

The Keurig K40 Elite Brewing System is ideal for domestic use where from one to six people use it, perhaps with occasional guests popping in as well. It can brew you a wide variety of hot and cold drinks with as little as 15 seconds between each cup, and is very easy to clean and maintain. With the Keurig name on it, this is a coffee maker you can purchase with confidence.


'Coffee Lover'

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Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker Review

For a price of less than $70, the Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker delivers quite exceptional value. It's a Japanese product through and through, from the inception and design to the engineering, so how does it rate compared to the more well-established brands?

Mostly I'm going to call this product the Zutto, rather than repeat its full name every so often (sighs of relief all round!).

Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker
Zojirushi EC-DAC50
Table of Contents
Power & Capacity Simplicity & Speed
What About Cleaning? And Filters...?
Features & Specs Pros and Cons
Consumer Ratings Summary

Power and Capacity

For such a compact coffee maker, the Zutto has all the power it needs to give you a great coffee experience. It brews piping hot coffee for 5 cups (as opposed to the traditional 4), thanks to its 650 watt motor, and its hot plate warms the carafe during brewing and then keeps the coffee hot.

One caveat here - most coffee makers tend to exaggerate the number of cups they can produce at one sitting, and Zojirushi are no exception. The Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto cups are measured at 5 ounces each - not exactly generous. Nonetheless, the reservoir capacity is 23 ounces, and you can get two decent mugs of coffee from one brew.

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Simplicity and Speed

The Zutto boasts a brew cycle of 3-5 minutes, though it's nearer 8 minutes if you wait until the last drip has fallen from the filter into what Zojirushi call the decanter (the carafe).

Few complain about the time this takes - not many coffee makers are quicker, and in any event you need enough time for the coffee grinds to release their flavor while the hot water filters through.

The Zutto's simple design helps here. It's quite unique in that the filter cone is inside the decanter, rather than just sitting on top of it. When you take the decanter to pour your coffee, you take the filter with it. So any late-arriving drips of coffee that arrive while you're pouring your coffee fall into the decanter and not onto the warming plate. Pretty cool.

There's nothing to program, no LCD displays, no bells and whistles. You just fill the reservoir with water, check the filter is in place, add your coffee grinds and press the one button on the device. Couldn't be simpler.

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What About Cleaning?

The downside of any coffee maker must include the cleaning. The combination of coffee grinds and hot water mean there's always plenty of grime and scale building up. But the Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto must be about the easiest coffee maker ever to clean.

For a start, the water reservoir can be easily removed either to fill from the faucet or to clean. I've already mentioned the filter cone being inside the decanter, so you just wash or rinse them both together.

You can keep your Zutto in top condition by simply flushing through with water before you first use it, and periodically throughout your ownership of it.

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And Filters . . ?

Filters are to a certain extent a personal thing. Some always use paper filters, while others prefer the ease of permanent gold filters.

The Zutto holds a #2 paper cone filter, but you can use a gold filter as long as you hold the handle of the decanter naturally to prevent it slipping out as you pour. A simple perforated lid fits on top, making the whole thing easy to clean.

The charcoal filter, like the decanter, can be replaced easily. Charcoal, being a natural substance, will need replacing every so often anyway (two years, according to Zojirushi).

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Features and Specifications of the Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto:

  • Model No: EC-DAC50
  • Removable water tank
  • Charcoal water filter
  • Automatic keep warm
  • cULus listed
  • Capacity: 5 cups / 23 ounces / 2 mugs
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 8-7/8 x 6 x 10-3/4 inches
  • Electrical Rating: 120 volts / 650 watts
  • Replacement Charcoal Filter: 8-ECA-P320 (lasts up to 2 years under normal use)
  • Color: Silver
  • Warranty: 1 year limited

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Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Compact.
  • Easy to clean, especially as the filter cone sits inside the decanter.
  • Removable water reservoir.
  • Capacity is 5 cups of 5 oz - a more convenient size of brew.

Cons:

  • No auto shut-off, so you have to remember to switch it off when you've finished, or you could have a "burnt" taste to your next cup.

Consumer Ratings

The Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto gets an average of over 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon at the time of writing, from over 1,190 reviewers. Most users love its design and compactness, as well as the fact that the Zutto makes great tasting coffee, including iced coffee.

The 5-cup capacity is also appreciated for the extra quantity of coffee brewed.

One or two reviewers have complained about poor tasting coffee, but they are a tiny minority. They may be among those who don't read the User Manual properly, particularly where it advises you to clean the machine occasionally to preserve the taste of the coffee.

It's also important to allow the brew cycle to complete fully before pouring, so you get the full flavor and also to prevent grinds getting in the cone, carafe and in your mug.

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Summary

The Zutto is designed differently from almost any other coffee maker. It's compact, stylish and pleasing on the eye.

The Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker is also a breeze to clean and keep in top condition, leading some owners to still be using it every day 5 years after purchasing it - a very rare achievement among coffee makers. Read more, and check Amazon's best price by clicking the button below.

 

 

'Coffee Lover'

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BUNN BT Velocity Brew 10-Cup Thermal Carafe Home Coffee Brewer Review

The BUNN BT Velocity Brew 10-Cup Thermal Carafe Home Coffee Brewer is a # 1 Best Seller on Amazon, so let's see why that should be.

BUNN BT Velocity Brew 10-Cup Thermal Carafe Home Coffee Brewer
BUNN BT

Table of Contents
A 10 Cup Machine Power & Reliability
Flavor Is It Easy To Use?
A Precision Instrument Features & Specs
Pros and Cons Consumer Ratings
Summary

The BUNN BT - A 10 Cup Machine

If you're only brewing a few cups a day then perhaps a coffee maker like the BUNN MCU would be better for you. The important point about the BUNN BT is that it not only makes you a full carafe of 6 - 10 cups (50 ounces) of coffee at a time, but that it keeps the water in the stainless steel internal water tank hot all the while it is on.

This makes it an ideal coffee maker for a small office, or for a house where a lot of people come and go most of the time, and stop by for a brew. The coffee in the carafe stays hot for at least 2 hours, and up to 4 hours, depending on room temperature and conditions, so you won't be constantly brewing up.

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Power and Reliability

BUNN have been manufacturing coffee makers for over 40 years now, and in that time have established themselves as a solid brand name with an enviable reputation. They've made this machine with an 800-watt heater and an internal thermostat.

This means you can heat the tankful of water up from room temperature in about 14 minutes, using just 160 watts of electricity, and then later in the day have hot coffee brewed in three and a half to five minutes for another six to ten cups.

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What About the Flavor?

So many factors influence the flavor of the coffee, and they all have to be right. The vital processes are the heating of the water to the right temperature, filtering it through the coffee grounds for maximum flavor extraction, the coffee grounds themselves, the water itself, and the prevention of anything unwanted from entering your cup.

The BUNN BT uses a spray head design to ensure all the coffee grounds are saturated by the water evenly and completely. Some users have found that the water can overflow and make a mess on the work surface - see below for more on this and how to prevent it.

If you can prevent one or two potential problems with it then this coffee maker can deliver great tasting coffee from the first cup to the last.

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Is The BUNN BT Easy To Use?

Once you've inserted your coffee grounds and filled the water reservoir, it's as easy as closing the lid. That's all you need to do to start the brew process. Unless you switch it off, the machine is always on, with a vacation switch to turn it off when you go away for a few days.

A Precision Instrument

I mentioned just now about how some people have had a problem with the water overflowing during the brew process. It's important to remember that any coffee maker is a precision instrument, and needs a little attention from time to time to be kept in optimum working condition.

Little things like the filter you use can make all the difference. If your filter is not quite long enough then the water level can rise above it and overflow. Make sure your filters are not too short. The best filters for the BT are BUNN's own, as stated in the User's Manual. They're reasonably priced if you order direct from BUNN.

A restrictor flow head, available free of charge from BUNN, can also cure this problem. It does extend the brewing time by about 20 seconds, but you will probably consider it worth the wait. Other causes have been the use of unbranded filters that are too short or grinding the coffee too finely.

And, as with all coffee makers, if you don't clean it now and then you're bound to have problems. Clean the sprinkler and outlet area regularly, and use the supplied brush on the delicate parts.

There's more advice on this topic on the Questions and Answers section of the Amazon page.

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Here's a short video showing the key features of the BUNN BT:

Features and Specifications:

  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 15 x 10 inches ; 10 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 10 pounds
  • 800 Watt Heater
  • Internal Thermostat
  • Spray Head Design
  • Item model number: BTX-B
  • Warranty: 3-year, limited

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Thermal carafe keeps taste and temperature of coffee for 2-4 hours.
  • 50-ounce capacity reservoir for up to 10 cups.
  • Stays on all day for 3 minute brew time.
  • Vacation switch.
  • Easy to use - just close the lid to start a brew.

Cons:

  • Needs regular cleaning to avoid water overflow.
  • You're tied to BUNN filters - other makes may be too short.
  • Sprinkler can come off too easily - be careful not to throw it out with the used grounds.
BUNN BT
BUNN BT

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Consumer Ratings

The BUNN BT scores well over 4 on average in over 2,000 reviews on Amazon at the time of writing. Nearly two-thirds of reviewers give it the full five stars. They love its great looks and that the taste of the coffee doesn't deteriorate even after 2-4 hours in the carafe.

Some have had a problem with the coffee overflowing during the brew process. I've already dealt with this problem.

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Summary

BUNN have shown their confidence in this product by covering it with a 3 year limited warranty. The quality of the coffee produced by the BT is superb, and the brew time very fast.

The BUNN BT Velocity Brew 10-Cup Thermal Carafe Home Coffee Brewer is ideal for a small office or a domestic set-up where there are two or three people who drink a lot of coffee. If this is you, click the link below to find out more about this high quality coffee maker.

 

 

 

'Coffee Lover'

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Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Maker BVMC-ECMP1000 Review

Mr. Coffee invite you to use their Mr Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Maker BVMC-ECMP1000 to "create coffeehouse-quality espresso drinks just like a professional". But does this machine really produce espressos as good as that? And is it as convenient and easy to use as they make out?

I saw from my research that there's little doubt the Mr Coffee Cafe Barista is capable of making the most delicious of espresso-based brews - espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and mochas, and even americanos - and in a great variety of flavors, in just minutes and at the touch of a button.

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista
Mr. Coffee Café Barista

Table of Contents
Frothed Milk Removable Reservoirs
Under Control Features & Specifications
Pros and Cons Consumer Ratings
Summary

You can have single or double shots - just choose the appropriate filter. And you can choose whatever blend of coffee you like to put in the portafilter, and in whatever size cup or mug you prefer. No problems with being versatile, then.

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The BVMC-ECMP1000- Frothed Milk Makes All The Difference

There's nothing quite like being able to froth your own milk, and that makes all the difference between a regular coffee maker and an espresso machine. The Mr Coffee Cafe Barista, has an automatic milk frother, handles all kinds of milk, including low fat, soy and almond, and truly can make milk froths from any of them that easily rival those produced by any coffee house.

The secret is in the froth dial, which you can adjust to taste or to suit your selected brew. A 15 bar pump easily provides all the pressure needed to ensure that even the most extreme demands are met, and that froths can be made even from skimmed milk.

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mr coffee cafe barista

Mr Coffee Cafe Barista has Removable Reservoirs for Convenience and Ease of Cleaning

Espresso machines, of course, require a little more care and attention than most coffee makers simply because there's a milk reservoir as well as a water reservoir to manage and keep clean. But with this model Mr Coffee have gone out of their way to make it easy.

You can easily remove both reservoirs, and you can wash the milk reservoir and lid can in the dishwasher on the top rack, though, personally, I'd rather not risk it. But make sure you place this component, which slides horizontally into position, fully back in place after cleaning (otherwise you may find things get messy).

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Everything's Under Control

There's not much about your brew that you can't control down to the last detail. And all from the simple control panel that lets you choose single or double shot, or custom. Set the froth dial, and you'll have your drink within a couple of minutes.

If you're worried about leaving the milk in the milk reservoir and having it turn sour then just store it in the fridge when not in use.

The milk froth dispensing tube is easily adjusted according to the size of your cup, so it is aimed at the centre to avoid spills. Make sure it is lifted up and into your cup.

Cleaning the Mr Coffee Cafe Barista is easy. I've already mentioned the reservoirs, so what about the other components? The internal mechanism is cleaned by pressing the "Clean" button on the control panel, or you can clean the brew head by putting an empty cup under it and pressing the espresso button (check there's no coffee in the portafilter first). You can remove the drip tray for cleaning, too.

One tip here - make sure you don't leave the milk reservoir dial in the "Cleaning" position after cleaning, or you may get a surprise when you next brew up.

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Watch this 5-minutes or so video to see this coffeemaker in action:

Features and Specifications:

  • Semi-automatic 3-in-1 espresso, cappuccino and latte maker
  • One-touch control panel
  • Single, double and custom servings
  • 15-bar pump espresso maker
  • Automatic milk frother
  • Manual function
  • Removable drip tray
  • Removable water and milk reservoir
  • Adjustable cup tray
  • Recipe book containing 20 easy-to-make coffeehouse drinks
  • Wipe clean exterior
  • Programmed cleaning cycle
  • Dimensions: 12"L x 14"W x 12.2"H
  • ETL listed
  • One-year warranty
  • Model# BVMC-ECMP1000

mr coffee cafe barista
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Pros and Cons

Pros: Versatility - it brews any espresso to any size in any flavor or blend you like; froths any kind of milk (even skimmed); superb flavors; easy to clean.

Cons: You have to push the milk reservoir firmly back into its slot before brewing, or it may leak.

Consumer Ratings

The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Maker earns over 4 stars from over 1,440 reviews (over 75 per cent of which are 4 or 5 star) on Amazon at the time of writing. Most reviewers love its versatility and the fact that they can brew their favorite drink in their own special way, adjusting the level of milk froth to just the way they like.

Ease of use and the clarity of the instructions are also appreciated by most. And the 20 strong recipe book is also a hit.

Some reviewers have complained that the machine has made a mess on their counter when used, or that the milk container leaks when the machine is in use. However, most users seem not to have been so troubled, and it's possible some people aren't pushing the milk reservoir back firmly enough into the slot before starting their brew, which would cause some leakage. This is a point to watch with this model.

Obviously make sure you have a large enough mug in place if you program for a double shot. And, interestingly enough, one reviewer has observed that you get a creamier brew if you use milk with lower fat levels.

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Summary

As long as you read the instructions and carry out any preliminaries, such as priming the machine before using it, then there's no reason why you shouldn't enjoy the delicious brews that this espresso machine is capable of producing for a long time to come.

Mr Coffee used to be known for producing coffee machines and espressos at the lower end of the market, but with their Café Barista Espresso Maker BVMC-ECMP1000 they have shown that they can make a quality, easy-to-use machine that produces a variety of delicious, customized brews at the touch of a couple of buttons.
mr coffee cafe barista
mr coffee cafe barista
mr coffee cafe barista

 

 

 

'Coffee Lover'

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