Mr. Coffee ECM20 Steam Espresso Maker, Black
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- Measures 12 by 9 by 14; 1-year limited warranty
- 3 way select knob allows for separate brewing and frothing
- Removable drip tray for easy clenaing
- Steam pressure brewing
- Measuring scoop and tool included
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Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino maker.Steam pressure brewing. Powerful milk frother.
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The lesson is the quality control is less than good. The main problem was it (the replacement) took 12-15 minutes to brew a pot when it should only take 4 minutes. Now for my advice. I am a frothy fan. If you intend to make an impressive froth you need to take the plastic "frother" and throw it in the trash. To properly froth hold the froth tip just above the milk to send some air into the milk. As the milk level rises lower the frothing cup continually to keep the tip just above the milk. I can froth 10 oz of milk to fill a 20 oz cup in about three minutes. The froth is thick like whipped cream. It took me 20 - 30 tries to perfect my method so be patient. BTW I use skim milk but 2% did not make a difference.
In the end kudoos to Jarden's customer service people. They did the right thing. Twice
1) Never, ever use the HANDLE ALONE to "unscrew" the basket assembly or it will go the quickest (just think "cosmetics" for it) Get your hand up underneath to do the job, or the thing will too soon break off in your hand. You can't avoid some pressure on the handle when unscrewing as I've instructed. Its demise is inevitable, but you can still use the basket assembly w/o it, of course. OTHER TIPS TO FOLLOW the following:
Consider me the expert on Mr. Coffee ECM20--it's my third time around for this unique product, which makes coffee tasting about midway between a very good drip and true espresso = great for the price and user-friendliness Great coffee in about 3 min. VERY QUICK and easy, no filters to mess with, and its small size fits anywhere. The only problem is LONGEVITY, or lack thereof. Expect the machine to disintegrate slowly and inevitably until, for me, it's the SWITCH that will finally cease to operate. Then it's time to simply order a new one. It's worth it. After all, the cost adds up to about $10 a year over its lifetime for a convenient and excellent cup of coffee. (the milk steamer thingy on thye down side of the switch BTW works perfectly) I've had many complements, some even to the effect that it was the best mug (I always fill basket to the brim)of coffee that they've ever had. Truly.
2) It's the HEAT, stupid--not really Joe DiMaggio's fault. Perfect engineering would quadruple the price. at the least. So always REMEMBER TO TURN OFF THE MACHINE IMMEDIATELY after each "batch." Set a kitchen TIMER for 5 minutes after you turn the somewhat unhandy KNOB/switch to "coffee" if you have to, in case you're prone to forget. VERY IMPORTANT for helping this little guy to last.
3) TAMPING--no commercial tamper will fit, as some reviewers have pointed out. So here's what I have done: look to your spice shelf and pick one of those supermarket plastic spice bottles whose top will fit the basket rim. Dump out the spice, fill the little plastic (or glass) jar with pennies, lead shot, nails or whatever, and you've got a tamper. Works perfectly for me, though admittedly not very fancy.
4) Always use COLD tap water from the fridge or likewise club soda as I do, to force the machine up to full heat in order to get the hottest steam and compression etc. for that one go-round. I know that sounds a little contradictory vis-à-vis the #2 tip, but no, not if you remember always to turn off the machine after each batch. Get the maximum efficiency out of the coffeemaker while you can, because some parts will inevitably start to decimate anyway.
5) Looking way ahead (because I honestly believe you're gonna get hooked, as I am), KEEP SPARE PARTS from one machine to the next. (As I said, 4-6 years average, if you take care.) I have for instance, among other items, the carafe from my last ECM20 in storage with only the top half of its handle(gives you some idea of how the thing falls apart usually). But the unit still was usable until the switch shut down the whole works. The little espresso-maker DOES take on a kind of personality, I'll admit, because you have to kind of nurse the thing along over the years you have it, so you CAN become kind of attached. Kind of. That's the word--be KIND to Mr. ECM20, and he will be etc. (Also, Gorilla brand black tape will sometimes patch up the two handles for a while, when they start to go. And no one will notice.)
If you want absolutely true extra strong and sticky shots of espresso, with all the hassle and expense such an experience would cost or entail, this is not the machine for you. Go to Starbucks, but at home keep this handy little fellow handy. Believe me it's well worth the price - pays for itself for a full year with maybe one trip to Starbucks, if you have the big latte with a snack, for example. Can't beat that. And the shipping, because it's over 25 bucks, is free from Amazon. Buy it. You'll NOT be disappointed, believe me.