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on June 10, 2012
If you want to make espresso that is as good as you'll get for $2.00/shot at a coffee house, this machine isn't for you. If you want a coffee pot/espresso combo in the $100 range, you will get the best value with this combo. I can make a very good latte with it, and a fairly decent shot of espresso -- and very good coffee. The negative reviews I've read seem to be from two types: 1) Those who really need to spend more to get a beautiful golden crema-topped shot of espresso. I understand, but it can't be had for this price. 2) Those who don't know how to use it properly.

For a latte, you'll need to have finely ground espresso, a stainless steel frothing pitcher, and cold milk (2% or non-fat work best). Remove the rubber end to the frothing nozzle -- I never use it, and that may be one of the problems other reviewers have. In fact, you can throw that bugger away -- it's worthless. Follow the instructions in the manual to fill your water reservoir and your espresso filter. Fill your frothing pitcher no more than halfway with milk. Turn the dial on the left of the machine to the "cup" setting, and as soon as your first drop of espresso falls, switch the dial to the froth setting. Keep the nozzle low in the pitcher, just heating -- not frothing. This is very important. JUST HEAT, keeping the nozzle low in the pitcher. It will take at least a minute, maybe two for the milk to be the proper temperature. You can guess the temperature is right if you hold the pitcher in your hand, not by its handle, and keep heating the milk until the pitcher is just about too hot to hold -- (or you could buy a thermometer, but this works just as well, and for the price-conscious does the trick). When the pitcher is too hot to hold, it's ready to froth. Move the pitcher lower so that the nozzle just skims along the top of the milk. This will start your foam growing, and that lovely noise you hear all day long at your favorite coffee house. It will not take long before your pitcher is about to overflow. At that point, quickly switch the dial back to the "cup" setting, and your espresso shot will fall. You always want the espresso shot to fall at the very end of the process, because a shot will "die" after about a minute, and it will just taste bad. So, as soon as your shot is done, pour it in your cup and add your milk. Once the milk is in there with the shot, the shot is protected.

After filling your cup with the milk, top it with the foam, and add a little cocoa powder or cinnamon or even nutmeg -- your choice. I've also added a drop or two of vanilla extract. You're good to go. You'll have a delicious latte, at an extremely low price.

(I explained the above because the instructions in the manual are not that good, and I don't have the time to build a how-to video. I was also a barista at Starbucks for a year, so I did learn a thing or two about lattes. I hope it was helpful.)
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on December 2, 2005
I am a self-confessed coffee junkie. With or w/o the caffeine (pregnancy and such) I love the taste; and the taste of the coffee that I've brewed with this machine was great. Loved it, loved it, loved it. The machine was easy to use and looked pretty darn cool sitting there on my counter. The only issue that i have is that the espresso side seems to need some encouragement. The knobs need to be fiddled with a bit in order to get the espresso to start dripping (even after 10 minutes during a holiday party full of thirsty coffee drinkers). Thought that was just b/c my machine was so new, but it's been doing that ever since the first use. Still, it's not terribly difficult, and the coffee is oh-so-yummy!
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on December 29, 2008
We love this machine. We have limited space and need to have both a coffee maker and a cappucino maker in that space. We have had none of the difficulties that others mention. But we did take the black plastic sleeve off of the frother and that has made a huge difference. With it on we got bubbles. Now we get great froth. And if we pack the espresso well we get an excellent crema. It is a $100 machine that makes both coffee and espresso. It is not going to be like a $1000 Starbucks machine. We set our expectations appropriately and were delighted.
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on February 18, 2008
My wife doesn't drink coffee, so it is appropriate to say "I" received the XP1500 as a wedding gift. Like others, the SECOND TIME I made espresso, the handle cracked on the espresso grounds holder from the normal pressure of turning it into place. Customer service assured me that they could do nothing unless I had the receipt. This was two years ago, and the machine was a brand new item, so there should have been no question to the age of the machine for warranty purposes, but I had no receipt since it was a wedding gift. They wouldn't even pay the shipping for a new holder. In short, they wouldn't budge, and if I wanted a new grounds holder, I would have to pay full cost to do so. So I kept it, being very careful over the last couple of years to not turn it too hard. Today, it broke further, rendering it useless. To be fair, I have tried to make espresso and cappucino many times, but I have never been able to get a truly good cup from this machine.
Other problems: the frother is too low. You need to angle the milk cup too much to be useful. A half cup of cold milk will turn into a counter full of frothed milk when it's done.
You're better off researching all products and choosing one that is made with better materials, has better reveiws for the quality of the resultant coffee, and going with a company that has BETTER CUSTOMER SUPPORT. There's a reason that "customers who purchased this product also purchased..." "...REPLACEMENT ITEMS!!!"
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on April 1, 2011
We've had this machine for over four years now. In that time, it quite literally is used seven days a week except when on vacation. Usually it's two cappuccinos a day, then pots of coffee on Saturday and Sunday. We were recently have a trouble with the coffee maker side slowing down considerably, and with some research found that it needed to be internally descaled (works like new again once we descaled it- Yay!). I went on Amazon to find the Krups Descaler packets, and was very surprised to see the less than stellar reviews here for this machine.

Potential cons: This model may be simple with its lack of electronic displays and settings, but my husband likes it that way as he worries about electronic failure keeping him in the way of making cappuccinos (he is my live-in barista). You can only use one side at a time, either coffee or espresso. The steam arm could use more flexibility in its positioning. Also, if you use the steamer with the plastic housing cover, it doesn't keep a tight seal in the fact that if you take it off, you will see some traces of the milk you just frothed on the metal arm (you can take the plastic housing off permanently if you prefer).

Ok here are the great things: it is very hardy and durable. It makes GREAT cappuccinos as coffee!! I highly recommend and would buy again in a heartbeat.

I am going to repeat something that I think may have to do with a lot of the negative reviews: you have to CLEAN the MACHINE REGULARLY. It mentions this in great detail in the owners manual (also available online at Krups.com if you lost yours like we did ours). That means you should be wiping down the steamer after each use, soaking the steam arm without the housing once a week or so depending on use, and using the descaler every year or so (we waited four years to actually do this, as we never had a problem before and our water is treated). Also, every couple of weeks or so we take our kitchen dish brush and brush the top portion of the unit where the water comes out from and connects to the pot or espresso basket. Just like your barista at Starbucks would do, you have to do. If you notice that your steamer arm isn't working, chances are you did not clean it. Don't panic, most likely your machine is NOT broken- just take a tall glass of water, let the steam arm sit in it for several hours, take your kitchen brush and clean it down thoroughly, let the steamer run through a full espresso pot of water, and everything should be ok again.

Happy trails on your path to coffee bliss!
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on July 9, 2009
After only using it for 2 months, something went wrong with the steam wand. It will not pass any steam. The espresso and coffee maker still works. I am extremely disappointed that this broke is such a short period of time.
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on February 26, 2007
I've had Krups before, but this one will insure that I never buy another. It makes fair coffee, but luke warm expresso (if you can call that expresso). The handle on the espresso pot broke off after approximately 12 uses. Also, note that his unit does not have an automatic shut off.
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on December 30, 2012
I absolutely love this machine and the price was unbeatable. I don't understand the negative reviews- I think maybe people just didn't know how to use it properly. When making a latte, do not start frothing until the first drop of espresso falls. Then hold your milk still in the frothing apparatus until it is hot. I can tell it is hot enough just by placing my hand on the bottom of a ceramic mug. After the milk is hot, start moving the mug up and down so that the frothing takes place and bubbles are forming on top of the milk. Once the bubbles are to the top of your mug, carefully switch the dial back to espresso and then set the frothed milk aside. I had a terrible Starbucks spending habit before receiving this machine as a gift. I love it and I make my lattes at home now.
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on August 22, 2010
I've used my 1500 for over 8 years and love it for both drip coffee and expresso. Haven't had any of the breakage problems others have spoken about so don't know whats up with them.
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on November 28, 2006
My previous espresso machines were Krups and Starbucks Barista. Having good experience with my previous Krups, I thought this machine would be as good. NOT. No crema. Steam wand is weird, doesn't froth well. The machine feels cheap. I'm going to take it back.
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