If you’ve never been an espresso machine owner and looking for an entry level one, you might want to check this out. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Semi Automatic Espresso Machine isn’t your top of the line premium espresso machine but it is capable of producing a decent cup of coffee that you can get at a very reasonable pricing point. It will give you just exactly what you pay for. This is ideal for those who have just started in coffee crafting. Save trips to your local cafe and brew your own coffee at home with this budget friendly espresso machine.
- Milk frother/steamer – has a built-in wand for milk steaming and frothing. It also has a control knob that allows you to adjust the amount of milk froth.
Easy to use
Most parts are made of plastic
Ease of Use
Since this is a semi-automatic machine, it doesn’t have the coffee grinder so you have to manually put the grinds into the porta filter and insert it into the brew head. Some may find this a nuisance but of course a little bit of effort is what you have to pay for having a semi-automatic machine at below $200. Super-automatic espresso machines with grinders will set you back hundreds or even thousands of dollars anyway.
Mr. Coffee may lack the convenience of having a built-in grinder but it has one thing that most high-grade espresso machines don’t; the special milk reservoir! It has a built-in wand for milk steaming and frothing. You’ll never get blisters again from holding a pitcher into a scalding hot milk steamer for too long, the milk just goes straight into your cup! It also has a froth control knob that allows you to adjust the amount of froth. If you have left over milk, you can just detach the milk container and store it in the fridge. The water reservoir is also detachable and can contain up to 1.6 liters of water, that’s more than 6 cups of coffee. Its size can minimize the frequency of topping it up.
Controls of this machine are pretty simple and clearly labeled. It has only three push buttons, one for each type of coffee: espresso, cappuccino and latte. Literally a one touch coffee machine! If you want a double espresso, you just have to press the espresso button twice while you make pancakes or get dressed for work. Easily multitask with Mr. Coffee!
Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista BVMC-ECMP1102 can brew coffee very quickly, it can pull off a single shot espresso in 20 seconds. However, the temperature is inconsistent and the espresso is not as bold and strong as other coffee drinkers might want it. Also, when making cappuccino, the milk tones down the espresso. As a workaround, you can press and hold the button to adjust the amount of espresso of your cappuccino or latte. Even so, this is just the ratio of espresso to milk and not the water to grinds.
Milk frothing and steaming performance of this machine is the keypoint here and deserves a highlight. Not only is it performed automatically, but also it has a great quality of froth and steamed milk. Coffee connoisseurs know how hard it is to perfect milk steaming but with Mr. Coffee, you can bring off a dense flavorful milk in just one touch. Mr. Coffee should be on the top of your list if you’re a latte drinker.
This machine comes in three colors: white, silver and red. Majority of its parts are made of plastic which might be a little bit too shiny for your kitchen. But it looks very much appropriate for a contemporary designed kitchen. Its front panel has stainless steel finish that gives it a touch of luxury. Mr. Coffee is just an average looking coffee machine but it doesn’t look like it’s below $200. Dimensions are: 12” x 14” x 12.2”; it’s small and lightweight, you can easily move it around. Nothing really special with its design, it’s not built to be striking and attractive but functional.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Regular cleaning and proper maintenance is crucial to get a delectable coffee. Good thing Mr. Coffee espresso machines are very much easy to clean. To clean the milk reservoir, you can detach it from the machine and wash with warm soapy water. It is BPA free and dishwasher safe. Cleaning of the frothed milk dispensing tube can be done automatically. Simply adjust the froth control knob to ‘clean’ mode and aim the tube to an empty cup. Make sure that the water reservoir is filled with water before proceeding to the next step. Press and hold the latte/clean button until the pump starts. This process lasts for about 30 seconds. If you wish to stop the cleaning process, press the latte/button once.
The water reservoir is also removable and can be conveniently cleaned with warm soapy water. Just like all coffee machines, lime deposits are developed in the water reservoir. How to descale Mr. Coffee machine? Just fill it with undiluted white vinegar and let it sit overnight. Then discard the vinegar and rinse the water reservoir thoroughly twice with tap water. Many cafe barista owners do this twice a month to prevent stubborn stains and lime deposits.
All of these instructions are elaborated in the manual. It’s very straightforward and easy to follow. It also includes steps on how to clean filters and the cleaning frequency depending on what type of water you are using.
Mr. Coffee has been around since 1970 and is specialized in manufacturing coffee makers. It has already established its name in the coffee market and is one of the most trusted brands. With proper care and maintenance, Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Machine can last up to 3 years. It’s a little bit below the average lifespan of high-end coffee machines. But it’s not bad for a $200 espresso machine, right? You have actually saved more from buying coffee from you local coffee shop in that span of 3 years. Also, compared to other espresso machine at this price range, Mr. Coffee wins out in terms of durability as others can only last up to 1-2 years.
What’s unique about this brand is that you can purchase replacement parts anytime online. Unlike other brands, the whole machine is no longer usable once a part of it is broken and it’s really hard to look for a replacement part, you have to physically go to their warranty support office or physical store.
The machine comes with a free coffee recipe book. Impress your guests with these unique delectable recipes, from choco-nutty lattes to espresso martinis and a whole lot more.