Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso/Cappuccino Maker
The best espresso machine I have ever used was a simple, relatively inexpensive unit from Mr. Coffee called a Steam Espresso/Cappuccino Maker (ECM91). This machine was great because it did everything I needed and nothing I didn’t.
I worked in restaurants for a lot of years and used the very fancy commercial espresso machine. These costs thousands of dollars and they make a great espresso, but they are hard to use and hard to clean up. If I had one in my house I would probably never use it.
The Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso/Cappuccino Maker is exactly the opposite. It is really small so I can leave it out on the counter all the time. It only makes espresso two ounces at a time, but that is all I ever use. And it is as easy to clean as a coffee pot so I use it every day. The attached steamer took awhile to get used to, but with practice I have found that I can make a thick rich foam with the milk just like the commercial machine.
I don’t know how long the little Mr. Coffee will hold up, but when it dies I intend to get another one just like it. It is the best espresso machine for me, at least of all the ones I have tried. The cost was a little more than what you would pay for a regular coffee pot, but the rich espresso every morning makes it well worth the expense. If you have not tried an espresso machine at home, I highly recommend it. You do not need an expensive machine to make a great cup of espresso.Editor's note
This Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is a steam-based espresso machine and as a result you cannot really expect gourmet quality espresso from it.
However, most people are not obsessed with creating the "perfect espresso shot", they just want to make some cappuccino or latte at home without spending a lot of money and without investing a lot of time learning how to use a pump espresso machine.
For this purpose, Mr. Coffee may fit the bill. It is covenient and very cheap. Having said that, the user reviews are quite mixed.
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