Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker, Silver
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- Semi-automatic 3-in-1 espresso maker, cappuccino maker, and latte maker
- 15-bar pump system brews rich-tasting espresso coffee
- Trouble-free automatic milk frother removes the guesswork
- One-touch control panel for drink selections
- Easy-fill, removable water and milk reservoirs
- Cord length: 26 Inches & Watts: 1040
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Exclusively for Prime members
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Modern Millennial||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Color||Stainless Steel||Grey and Black||Black, Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Black/SS||Silver|
|Item Dimensions||8.86 x 11.22 x 12.6 in||11 x 8 x 10 in||9 x 9.75 x 11.5 in||12.5 x 13.25 x 15.75 in||11.02 x 14.52 x 12.79 in||8 x 9.5 x 14.2 in|
|Item Weight||10.37 lbs||6.68 lbs||9.7 lbs||23 lbs||12.06 lbs||20 lbs|
With one simple touch, Mr. Coffee Café Barista Premium Espresso & Cappuccino System brews espresso and automatically froths milk for cappuccino and latté selections. You don't need barista know-how to create custom drinks like your favorite coffeehouse; simply pick a single or double shot filter, select your grounds, fill the milk reservoir, and choose your brew. A recipe book is included to help you create impressive coffee drinks—from Espresso Martinis to Raspberry Cappuccinos to Choco-Nutty Lattes.
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First off my background. I am not, nor have I every been a barista. I am an average person who likes mochas from the coffee shop, but I live 80 miles from town, so I don't get them very often and wanted to try making them at home. This is my first espresso machine. I read a lot of blogs and watched online videos from real baristas giving tips how to make good espresso drinks at home before purchasing this. I got this thing and things didn't taste right to me, bitter. So I did more research and figured out the problem, it wasn't heating up well. I checked temperature and it was only getting to 157*F on average (too cold) and took 14-15 seconds to make one shot (too fast). NOT what the online advice says you need. Online advice says 170-180*F and 27-30 seconds is about right. So I called Mr Coffee for help before I sent it back to Amazon. GLAD I did.
The call: In short, customer service told me to run a cleaning cycle per directions from page 16 in the user manual. Which is 1/2 tank of white vinegar, hit the button for double shot. Repeat as many times as you need. Also run a cleaning cycle through the milk dispenser. My thought was, "what the heck, its a new machine! I did the priming as directed before use, how can it be dirty?" But I had to give it a try or send it back. Well I'll be go to heck, it WORKED!
While directions said you only need to run it few times. I had the time, so I ran the whole 1/2 tank white vinegar through (double shot at at a time) since I has to toss the vinegar anyway, so why not really clean it eh? Anyway, after a couple times running the double shot espresso button the temperature went from consistent 157*F to 175-182*F. Wahoo! It seemed to matter how long I let it warm up between shots. Running two times consecutively got the 175-177*, which is just what you want. Letting it sit and warm up a few minutes before runs got it 180-184*, which is getting a little too hot. BTW, I was using a good quality quick, calibrated thermometer that I use for caramel making, which is a very exacting process to do right. So I figured it could accurately measure the espresso before it cooled from air temperature, which by the way is mere seconds I found out.
NOTE: The higher temperature is NOT for drinking comfort (how hot you like it) it is what the espresso NEEDS to properly extract and not be bitter. You can let it sit a few minutes if you don't like it that hot, personally I don't want a burned tongue, so I wait a little. Coming out of the machine perfect drinking temperature is NOT a good thing.
SECOND NOTE: Running the vinegar through is NOT descaling, it is cleaning. Descaling is something else you do, read the manual on how. The vinegar clean is NOT priming, it is cleaning. Don't know why you need to clean the new machine in addition to priming, but DO it anyway. Make sure to rinse the reservoir out, then run some PLAIN water through to remove the vinegar afterwards, do it as many times as it takes to get the smell out, mine took a full reservoir. Honestly though it's faster shipping it back and waiting for a replacement machine because it doesn't get hot enough, this WORKS.
When I first got it, as I said it was taking 14-15 seconds to run the shots through. During the cleaning process they got longer and longer. Now that it's clean, it's about 28-30 seconds. Again, just what you want. I use my cell phone stop watch feature to be accurate.
In summary, based on what I've read and how I got it to work well, at least for "normal" person standards. This a good machine. Here's my TIPS TO GET IT WORKING RIGHT:
1. Learn to grind grounds well. Do NOT buy pre-ground, buy beans and grind them yourself. It has to do with when the oil is release one how well it works. If you are going to the trouble to use a machine like this (rather than just normal a coffee machine) you can go to the effort to grind as well, it's just part of the process.
You can use the hand held cone burr grinders for the most accurate fine ground. Or you can spend a bundle on an electric burr grinder. From what I read, you REALLY do need to get a good one if you go electric. In fact that is almost more important than the machine they say. Inconsistent size of grounds will yield inconsistent shots. Too fine (Turkish grind, which is like flour) and it clogs the filter making the machine unable to push all the water through. Too course (regular coffee machine grind) and the water goes through too fast making it bitter. Espresso grind has to be the consistency of table salt.
I'm cheap, so using the hand grinder does work and I advise it for other cheap people. However, in the morning I am cranky and impatient, I'm also lazy, so I've ordered a couple different electric burr grinders to see if that works as well. I plan to return which ever (or both) that don't grind as the espresso NEEDS (good ol Amazon prime and their return policies). No, I did not take the online baristas advice and buy a $200 burr grinder (I am cheap after all), but I did spend about $50 on a burr grinder and $20 on a blade style. Will update when I have decided what works or not, which I kept or if I end up just doing the hand grind.
2. Learn how full to fill the cup. At least to the top of the rim, or a little higher. You want the end result about 1/8-1/4" from the top. The amount in the cup DOES matter.
3. Learn how to pack your grounds to 30lbs of pressure. How to do that, put your bathroom scale on the counter. Use your tamper to push until you get the feel of 30lbs pressure. Repeat several times until you can push it pretty accurately. This is very important. Also, but a metal tamper, the plastic one isn't sturdy enough for 30 lbs pressure, it bents and packs unevenly. You can get metal tampers cheap, it's worth it.
4. Before you make your cup each morning, warm the machine as directions indicate, but ALSO run a shot of plain water through first. The second time through will be hotter, and it only takes 30 seconds.
5. Even though it's a new machine, and you did the priming as the manual says, run 1/2 tank of white vinegar through it (directions on page 16 of manual) and it will make a tremendous difference. Don't argue, just do it.
6. You can open the lid and fill the reservoir with it ON the machine with a pitcher if taking it on and off is too hard.
NOTE: I did NOT receive this at a discount in exchange for an honest review. This is a good machine for the average espresso based specialty coffee drinker. I gave it a full 5 stars because it's pretty idiot proof (I'm not the most mechanical person) and it makes mochas that are pretty darn good in my average persons opinion. I have no idea what a real coffee expert would say, and really, shouldn't they have a professional machine anyway? [...]
But let's talk more about the thing!
It's kind of big but it has its own dedicated spot in my kitchen. It's nice enough to be left out and not have to store away in a cabinet. What I REALLY like about it is that it's pretty much an all in one system without the thousand dollars plus all in one cost. I push one button and all the magic happens, and it's quite entertaining to watch the espresso cascade through the milk and create separate layers. I also like that I can take the milk and store it in my fridge. I've done some temperature tests and only noticed a 5-degree increase after making a double latte before I put it back in the fridge. This is nice as you would think to be so close to all that heat it would be a much bigger temperature fluctuation. Just make sure you put the blasted spout up otherwise you'll have a fun time cleaning up a giant mess of milk. I really wish there was some sort of sensor that assisted with this issue as I guess I'm stupider than I thought when it comes to lifting that lever.
For anyone who wanted to know, it fits a full-sized pint glass underneath it if you remove the drip tray. It is a tight fit as you will have to angle the pint glass to slide it in but I use pint glasses for my large lattes consistently. The latte puts out almost double the amount of milk that the cappicino does. I think all single servings should be able to fit in your regular sized coffee mug.
Another aspect I really like is the cleaning aspect. Just hold the top button for the coffee grind connector (w/e you call it) to get cleaned and hold the bottom button for the milk frother to get cleaned... that's pretty simple! I did notice that the milk froth cleaner doesn't get all the milk out of the metal tube, but since it slides right off and is pretty easy to clean it's not that big of a deal to me.
So ultimately how does this compare to all the places I regularly go to? It's spot on. Sure it's not the sugar loaded 1500 calorie Starbucks grade latte, but as far as the espresso taste goes it's very close. I actually prefer not adding any sugar or other diabetes contributing nonsense half these latte makers add and find this is a much healthier option for me as well.
If you enjoyed my review please like it. Cheers!
Here are some tips from an experienced user:
1. The milk container lid is where it connects to the main part of machine. Be gentle with the little hole in the back because it can break if pushed too hard. A replacement can be found at Mr.Coffee website for a reasonable price, though.
2. Buy a couple of replacements of the clear plastic straw looking part because it will probably get lost and leave you feeling sad that you can't steam your milk! (from experience).
3. Never wash the portafilter in the dishwashing machine. Just don't do it. It will lose the nice shine because it is aluminum. (yes, again I know from experience).
4. Before going out and buying another machine if one of the parts fails... see if they carry a replacement. Pretty much everything that can be removed can also be replaced on their website. I was impressed with the reasonable prices and quick shipping on the Mr. Coffee website.
I had another machine that had great reviews made by Hamilton Beach back in the day, but it was really lacking compared to this machine. I am so happy with my purchase. Long live the Cafe Barista!