Most helpful positive review
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Great Size, great Coffee, Steam needs improvement
on July 15, 2009
Today I received my Krups XP7225 Compact Fully Automatic Espresso Machine after doing hours and hours of research. I liked the things I read about it- small size, some control over output, flavor, crema, dependability compared to other models of interest.
I have to admit that I don't usually drink espresso. I prefer to add milk to my coffee. I like to enjoy a latte or cappuccinno. I do not add syrups or sweeteners- no flavors- no sugar.
So, I really need to bring out the sweetness of the milk, and to do that I need to get the milk to at least 140 degrees. When the milk hits 140 degrees the natural sweetness of milk bursts through, and you can enjoy a reasonably sweet and creamy beverage without using sugar, and fend off osteoporosis at the same time. I learned from a barista in Rome that lattes and cappuccinos do not have to be loaded with chocolate or caramel to taste sweet and delicious. You just have to know how to produce proper steamed milk! I had fun learning how to do make a great espresso drinks in Italy, and I long for the quality I enjoyed there. (or at least as close to it as I can come in the U.S. midwest)
Unfortunately, the Krups 7225 does not have enough staying power to heat the milk properly before or after brewing a shot of espresso. I wish it had an additional heating element! I followed the set up, rinsed the machine, did the initial run through, prepared 2 cups of espresso, and as directed, threw them out and began to make my first latte.
My initial attempt produced lovely foam, but the milk was much too cool to sweeten the milk. Not a good product. I returned to the manual (which is WONDERFULLY instructive) and adjusted steamer's automatic timer. Better, but still the milk was not heated well.
Third time I let the steamer use the full cycle, then started the steamer again. It was a short wait, but my espresso was cooling on the cup warmer while I waited to generate steam again. Finally I got the milk to 140, added it to the espresso shot, and enjoyed a creamy, sweet latte. The foam was absolutely lovely, dense, creamy, sweet- perfect. I just wish the machine would provide an adequate amount of steam.
In fairness, I am going to go tonight to get some mineral water and see if I can produce more steam. Today I used distilled water, hoping to avoid calcium buildup to keep the machine clean and running for years to come. I hope I can report that it makes a difference.
It is regrettable to spend so much for a machine that cannot produce sweet, frothy milk for one latte or cappucino. I feel disappointed. However, if you prefer to drink espresso or use just a little milk, this could be the machine for you.
Very compact size
Easy to set up
Easy to adjust and customize for your particular taste
Easy to use- except when steaming milk
Easy to understand manual
No more stops at the coffee shop on the way to work!
Steam does not last long enough to produce a sweet, frothy large latte.
Less metal, more plastic than I expected.
Price seems a lot for the construction of the machine
If you don't have a lot of space for your espresso machine, drink straight espresso or drinks with just a little milk, then stop looking and buy the Krups XP7225. However, if you're like me and enjoy a large latte or cappuccino with sweet, creamy milk and dense, fluffy froth, this may not be the machine for you.