Nespresso VertuoPlus vs Evoluo – A True Comparison

Although the Nespresso VertuoPlus and the Evoluo espresso machines are very similar to each other, there are a lot of people who are undecided regarding which machine is better than the other.

First off…both machines are high-quality ones, and both are made by Nespresso. They are also very similar to each other and share many of the same exact features.

There are, however, some differences between the two machines. For some people, these differences may not matter, while for others the differences that there are may be the deciding factor that determines which of these machines a customer would want, or not want, to acquire.

Here is a very simple comparison table that shows, in a nutshell, a lot of the similarities and differences between the two machines. A more detailed comparison table is also included later on in this page.

Product NameVertuoPlusEvoluo
Product Image
PriceCheck price of the VertuoPlus at Amazon!Check the price of the Nespresso Evoluo at Amazon!
Noise LevelLess noisyMore noisy
Auto Shut-OffAfter 9 minutes of no useAfter 9 minutes of no use
Bar PressureNot applicable...the VertuoPlus uses a new patented technology called "Centrifusion," which involves the machine spinning the pod containing the coffee 7,000 times per minute. There is no bar pressure used with this machine.Same as the VertuoPlus...The Evoluo also uses Centrifusion during the espresso brewing process, eliminating the need for bar pressure.
Heat-Up Time20 seconds15 - 20 seconds
Available ColorsBlack, Silver, GrayBlack, Silver, Gray, Red
Exterior MaterialPlasticPlastic
Coffee Type UsedNespresso VertuoLine pods onlyNespresso VertuoLine pods only
Water Tank Capacity57.5 ounces54 ounces
Cup SizeUp to 14 oz. cupsUp to 14 oz. cups
Machine TypeSingle ServeSingle Serve
Machine Weight10.1 pounds11 pounds
Dimensions (W x D x H)9.1 x 13.2 x 12.8 inches9.0 x 12.2 x 12.3 inches
Cord Length29.13 inches29.13 inches
Warranty1 year1 year

The differences these two machines have between them boils down to a very few differences, such as the amount of water they can each hold, the number of programmable options each has, appearance on a counter, noise level, and ease of use, just to name a few.

Because of the way peoples’ kitchens are configured differently, as well as differing kitchen sizes, one of these machines is likely better than the other for any given kitchen arrangement. Machine size and kitchen configuration/counter top space is one big issue that people come across with home espresso machines. The Nespresso VertuoPlus comes equipped with a water reservoir that swivels to either the left side or the right side on the back of the machine, allowing for more versatility as to whether someone can place the machine on a countertop.

Noise levels emitted from different espresso machines is also a big consideration for many people. Those who live in a small living area normally prefer a machine that makes less noise. In this case, the VertuoPlus, again, comes in first because it emits less motor noise than the Evoluo when in operation.

This article compares the different features between each machine, and should be able to help you decide which one would be better for your needs and lifestyle.

First, before getting to the detailed comparison table, here are two different important topics you should peruse beforehand.

Important! Regarding Milk Frothing Capability…

Here is some info. you should know up-front…Both the VertuoPlus and the Evoluo do not have, when the machine only is purchased, the capability to froth milk for milk-based espresso beverages by pouring milk into these machines. Alone, with the machine only, only espresso and coffee, without milk, can be brewed.

However, both of these machines can be bought as a “bundle” option with Nespresso’s “Aerocchino” milk frother. This is a small separate appliance that froths milk, which can be done while the espresso is brewing. The frothed milk can then be added to the espresso beverage after brewing is done. Click here to learn more about the bundle milk frothing information.

An Important Note About Bar Pressure!

Before you read further, definitely read this important information regarding bar pressure.

Pretty much all home espresso machines up until recently have used “bar pressure” as an indicator of how much atmospheric pressure is applied to the water that is running through the ground coffee in the portafilter. Bar pressure numbers have in the past ranged from 7 on up to 19 bars, depending on the machine. The typical, and optimum, level of bar pressure ranges from 7 on up to 15. A bar pressure of less than 7 will usually result in weak, under-extracted espresso.

The VertuoPlus and Evoluo don’t use bar pressure…they instead use a new technology called “Centrifusion.”

The two machines being reviewed in this article do not use bar pressure as a typical measure of extraction capability, like most other espresso machines. Rather, Nespresso has totally gotten rid of the concept of bar pressure and has developed a patented technology they have named Centrifusion. The process of Centrifusion simply involves the machine spinning the coffee capsule inside the machine 7,000 spins per minute while the water runs through and extracts the espresso from the grounds contained within the capsule. This is a very powerful new technology that does an excellent job of extracting the espresso flavor out of the grounds, as well as resulting in a very large amount of crema that tops the espresso.

Therefore, in summary, you will not find any reference to bar pressure when it comes to the VertuoPlus or the Evoluo.

Back to the stuff you want to know!

How To Use the Nespresso VertuoPlus

Although the following videos are each very brief, they will give you a very good idea on how to use each of these machines.

How To Use The Nespresso Evoluo

Detailed Review of Features

Although the chart above provides much information regarding the Nespresso VertuoPlus and the Evoluo, limited space in the chart above prevented providing detailed information.

Therefore, if you were not able to find answers to any of your questions in the chart above, the details below should provide additional help for you.

VertuoPlusEvoluo

Type of Espresso/Coffee Maker:

Single-serve, meaning that this machine brews up one individual cup of coffee or espresso at a time, rather than an entire coffee pot of beverage.
Same...Single-serve - same as the VertuoPlus.

Heat-Up Time:

The VertuoPlus has a water heat-up time of approximately 20 seconds.
Quicker, with a heat-up time of approximately 15 to 20 seconds.

Type of Coffee Used:

Pre-made coffee pods produced by Nespresso called the Vertuo Line are used with both of these machines. Each pod is used once and then is discarded. Please Note: These specialized pods are rather costly. Other than a stainless-steel reusable pod you can buy separately (which is shown in the next section below this one), the pods made by Nespresso are the only pods that can be used. Although various other companies make claims that they sell Vertuo Line alternatives, there are no cheaper alternatives, and the disposable pods must be gotten from Nespresso. Although these pods are more costly than purchasing ground coffee at your local store, the cost of these pods is still much, much less than the prices at local espresso stands.
Same...The Evoluo uses the same coffee pods as the VertuoPlus described here.

Reusable Pods Available?

Yes - there is a stainless-steel reusable pod for use in either the VertuoPlus or the Evoluo. This is used in place of having to buy disposable pods. With one of these reusable pods (you only need one total), you can use your favorite brand of coffee. View this reusable pod on Amazon. 
Reusable Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee Pod
Same...The Evoluo can use the same stainless-steel pod as the VertuoPlus.

Crema Capability:

The VertuoPlus does have extraordinary capability to produce lots of crema. The crema is formed by the very fast spinning of the coffee pod inside the machine during the single-serve brewing process. This is a patented system designed by Nespresso called "Centrifusion" technology, which involves the machine spinning the coffee pod 7,000 rotations per minute, which results in a thick and plentiful crema.
Same...The Evoluo uses the same Centrifusion technology as the VertuoPlus.

Milk Frothing Capability:

The VertuoPlus alone cannot froth milk for milk-based espresso and coffee beverages. There is an additional accessory you can consider if you want to make milk-based coffee/espresso beverages. You can access the "bundle" available at Amazon, which includes the VertuoPlus machine and the "Aerocchino" milk frother available, by clicking here. Note that although I do receive a small commission from Amazon when items I have referred a visitor to are purchased, this does not increase your cost whatsoever.
Same...Just like the VertuoPlus, the Evoluo also cannot froth milk by itself, and needs the same accessory that is used with the VertuoPlus. You can access the "bundle" available at Amazon, which includes the Evoluo machine and the "Aerocchino" milk frother available, by clicking on the image here, which will take you to Amazon. Note that although I do receive a small commission from Amazon when items I have referred a visitor to are purchased, this does not increase your cost whatsoever.

Cup Sizes That Can Be Brewed:

    • The VertuoPlus has pods available to brew five different sizes of espresso/coffee, including the following:
  • Espresso (1.35 ounces)
  • Double Espresso (2.7 ounces)
  • Gran Lungo (5 ounces)
  • Coffee (8 ounces)
  • Alto Coffee (14 ounces)
Same...The Evoluo has the same ability as the VertuoPlus to brew five different sizes of beverages.

Type of Beverages That Can Be Made:

The Vertuo line pods used for the VertuoPlus provide pods for dark, medium, and mild (light) roasts of coffee. There are also flavored coffee pods available including the following:
  • Bianco Leggero (Sweet Biscuit)
  • Blanco Forte (Dark Roasted Balanced)
  • Hazelino Muffin (Hazelnut Flavored)
  • Caramel Cookie (Caramel Flavored)
  • Vanilla Custard Pie (Vanilla Flavored)
Same...The Evoluo is capable of brewing all the same beverages as the VertuoPlus.

Noise Level:

The VertuoPlus is the less noisy of the two machines...your best choice for a lower noise level.
The Evoluo is noisier than the VertuoPlus during machine brewing.

Automatic Machine Shut-Off:

After the VertuoPlus has not been used for a total of 9 minutes, it will automatically shut off. This is to preserve electricity used and also works as a safety feature.
Same...The Nespresso Evoluo also has an automatic shut-off after 9 minutes of no use.

External Cover Material:

The VertuoPlus has a plastic cover with some metal details.

Same...The Evoluo also has a plastic cover.

External Colors Available:

The VertuoPlus is available in black, silver, and gray.
The Evoluo is available in black, silver, gray, and red.

Water Reservoir/Tank Information:

57.5 ounces of water. The VertuoPlus has a removable water reservoir.
Additionally, the removable water reservoir sits on a shelf at the back of the machine. This shelf swivels around the back of the machine to the right or left side, allowing for more customization on a counter top as compared to machines that have a stationary reservoir.
54 ounces of water. The Evoluo also has a removable water reservoir, although the Evoluo doesn't have the swivel function that the VertuoPlus has.

Cord Information:

The VertuoPlus has a cord length of 29.13 inches.
Same...The Evoluo also has a cord length of 29.13 inches.

Optional “Aerocchino” Milk Frother Option

Neither the VertuoPlus nor the Evoluo have, in themselves, the ability to froth milk for those milk-based espresso/coffee beverages we all love, there is an option available for both machines to enable you to add frothed milk to beverages made with either machine.

Nespresso has developed the patented “Aerocchino” milk frother, which  is a separate accessory that can be used in conjunction with the VertuoPlus to froth milk. Below are links to “bundle” options that include both your choice of espresso machine and the frother in a package deal. The separate Aerocchino milk frother measures 3.9 inches in diameter x 7.2 inches in height.

VertuoPlusEvoluo

So Which Machine Is Better?

In summary, everyone is different, and each person has his/her own individual preferences and lifestyle.

Noise vs Less Noise

  • For example, someone who lives in a very small residence with other family members or roommates will likely prefer the machine that is less noisy over the more noisy one, particularly if espresso brewing will happen when others in the living space are still sleeping.

Counter Top “Real Estate” (Space)

  • Another example would be, again, someone who lives in a small living space as it pertains to the amount of counter top space available. The machine that allows for the water tank to swivel around to either the right or left side (the VertuoPlus) might be preferable to the machine that has just a single configuration (the Evoluo).

Each individual person has a good idea of what he/she wants or requires when it comes to a home espresso machine, and the easiest way for you to figure out which will work best for you is to review the detailed chart above.

These two home espresso machines are very similar to each other when it comes to many of the features of both of them, including the automatic power-saving shut-off time of 9 minutes, the plastic exterior, the type of coffee required to use them, the single-serve machine type, the ability to brew either small cups of espresso or larger/taller cups up to 14 ounces, and the 1-year warranty each comes with.

Differences that these machines have from each other include their appearance, a slight 1/2-inch difference in the height of each one, another slight difference in the amount of time it takes to heat up the water used in the brewing process, the absence of the red machine option with the VertuoPlus, the noise level emitted from each of these machines.

Saeco PicoBaristo Super-Automatic Espresso Machine Review

Introduction

The PicoBaristo super-automatic espresso machine is a high-end super-automatic espresso machine

Although the price of this machine is much more than many other machines, you will easily be able to make it worth that price if you currently drop in at your local Starbucks frequently, as the long-term cost of those daily coffee shop espresso beverages can add up very quickly at $5 or $6 a pop!

This home espresso maker features the much-loved “bean-to-cup” capability that many people prefer. This feature allows you to add whole unground coffee beans into the machine. The beans are then ground inside of the machine as part of the brewing process after water has been added to the machine.

In other words, with this machine, you don’t need a separate grinder taking up more room on your counter space, as the bean hopper (holder) is located within the machine itself. This bean-to-cup feature allows for a more streamlined espresso brewing process, not to mention the unbeatable coffee flavor that results from freshly-ground coffee beans!

I have provided many details (both good and bad) regarding the PicoBaristo below, which are based on my actual use of this machine.

However, if you’re in a hurry or just don’t want to take time to weed through the info. below, you can view additional details at Amazon by clicking here.

Brief Summary…Things That I Like About This Machine

  • Capability of making latte, cappuccino, and machiatto beverages.
  • Grinders that are 100% ceramic, which I absolutely loved! Metal and even stainless-steel grinders heat up and can cause the coffee to taste burnt, but you won’t have this happen with ceramic grinders, which stay cool at all times.
  • Programmable features for brew length and strength, with 10 different grinder settings.
  • Hot water option allows for making other beverages such as tea or hot cocoa.
  • The warranty for a full year was much appreciated.
  • After a somewhat short learning curve, I found that I was able to brew up some awesome beverages.
  • Stainless-steel exterior looks great in any kitchen.
  • Maintenance of this machine is much easier than most other machines…the drip tray and the bin for used grounds both slide out easily.
  • There is a filter that comes with this machine that lets the user avoid descaling for approximately 5,000 uses of the machine. Additionally, these filters can be purchased separately at about $25 each, which is much better than having to go through a descaling process every month or two, although you will need to descale after about 5,000 uses.
  • A milk carafe, scoop, and coffee bean holder are included with the machine.
  • Removable brew group allows for easy clean-up, and is even dishwasher safe.
  • The boiler in this machine heats very quickly…almost instantaneously.
  • Once you have figured out your preferred brew settings, the machine remembers them for you.

Summary of Things I Don’t Like

  • When I first used the brand-new machine, there was a “plasticy” taste (a taste similar to plastic) that was integrated into my finished brews. This plasticy taste went away after about two weeks.
  • As far as I could determine, this machine does not have the ability to brew good ol’ “regular coffee.”
  • There is no option available for hooking this machine up to a water line, and requires manual filling of the reservoir.
  •  Although this machine does have a stainless-steel exterior, many interior parts are made of plastic (other than the ceramic grinders).
  • Out of the box, there is some set-up required.

Product Description

Consider the Saeco PicoBaristo super-automatic espresso machine if you are searching for one of the top-rated super-automatic home espresso machines. This machine is a great value for the price, as it is very super-automatic. If you are searching for a super-automatic home espresso machine, definitely add this to the top of your list. Your travels to the local coffee shop can be a distant memory when you use this one.

Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

This machine is in the super-automatic class of home espresso machines.

Programmable Options

Programmable features that come with this machine ensure that once you have figured out your preferred settings, they will be remembered with just the push of a button.

Ease of Use

Because it is a super-automatic machine, it is easy to use once you have learned how the controls work.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

As with all super-automatic home espresso makers, your boundaries are boundless when it comes to choosing which home espresso recipe to serve, to either yourself or your guests, including espressos, mochas, macchiatos, and more.

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

The Vienna Saeco does not utilize capsules or pods. It instead offers a built-in conical burr grinder that can be set for fine, coarse, or in between — your choice!

If you are, in fact, searching for a machine that uses today’s popular pods/capsules, such as those used with all of the Nespresso machines, consider either the Nespresso Citiz Bundle or the Nespresso Pixie.

There are even machines available that utilize pre-ground coffee and/or capsules. If this is what you think you might be searching for, the Dedica by DeLonghi would be a great consideration, as this machine gives you your choice of using grounds or pods.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

Yes, it does. The built-in conical burr grinder for this machine has different settings for coarse and fine grinding, allowing you to go from bean to coffee in no time, and with no fuss or mess.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

The frother that is part of this machine gives you rich, yet light froth with every cup brewed.

Does it have a cup warmer?

One drawback found with this one is that it does not have a cup warmer.

If you have your heart set on an espresso machine with a cup warmer, you can check out either the Breville BES870XL espresso machine or the DeLonghi ESAM 3300, which both have cup warmers.

What colors is  this machine available in?

This home espresso maker comes in silver and graphite.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

The casing is made of plastic for this one. If it is a stainless steel exterior (and interior) you are searching for, consider the DeLonghi Dedica which is, in fact, stainless steel inside and out, and is rated one of the top home espresso machines available.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This machine features a stainless-steel boiler.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

No, this machine does not have dual boilers.

Is this machine noisy?

This machine, like most of them, is somewhat noisy, particularly when the machine is tamping the coffee grounds (extracting water through the grounds).

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What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

With this machine comes 15 bars of pump pressure.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

The Vienna has a 57-ounce water tank, which is one of the larger water tanks available on home espresso machines.

Is the water tank easy to access?

The water reservoir is on the back of the machine and is refillable by either removing it from the machine or filling it from the top.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

mrcoffee2With the removable drip tray, dreg drawer, and 57-ounce water tank, both the use and cleaning are very easy. The many detachable components of this machine ensure very simple cleaning and maintenance.

This machine has what is called a removable “brew group,” which means you can also remove the interior parts of the machine, such as the boiler, for much easier cleaning.

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine weighs 21 pounds.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

Measures 14 by 15 by 15-1/2 inches.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

Shipping is free if you are an Amazon Prime Member.

A 1-year limited warranty is included with this machine.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This machine is powered with 1,250 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • The milk frother was commented on as being absolutely wonderful, and producing very rich, creamy froth.
  • This machine was also noted by customers to have excellent extraction ability.

Cons 

  • Inability to handle large quantities of coffee beans quickly.
  • Water tank needs to be filled up about every three days if you are a person who makes two beverages per day.
  • There is no indicator to let you know when the spent grounds container is full. Therefore, you will need to keep an eye on this.

DeLonghi Dedica EC680 Review…The Good, Bad, and Ugly!

Are you tired of paying upwards of $5 or $6 per day for a cup of espresso at your local Starbucks?

Maybe you have done some searching for your own home espresso machine and are weary of all the home espresso makers that cost so much…

…Or, possibly you have seen all the dials and controls on some of these fancy machines and have been put off because most of them look way too complicated to learn how to use.

Another issue that frequently comes up with home espresso machines is how large they are, as it relates to the need for massive counter top space, which many people simply don’t have.

Whatever your reason, there is a home espresso machine that has been very popular with lots of different people for many years and has received very high ratings due to its many features, including its sleek design/ultra-slim compact size (less than 6 inches wide), its very appealing and durable stainless-steel construction, and its ease of use after a short learning curve, just to name a few of the favorable features this machine presents with. That machine is the DeLonghi Dedica EC680.

DeLonghi Image and Check PriceText


For your quick reference, here is a brief summary of some of the favorite features by people who have used this machine.

DeLonghi Dedica...The Good

FeaturesComments
Compact Size5.9 inches (width) x 13 inches (depth) x 12 inches (height). This machine is one of the most compact machines available in today's marketplace, allowing for room in many smaller kitchens that don't have room for one of the many larger espresso machines.
Milk Frothing CapabilityYes...The Dedica has a steamer wand attached to the machine for steaming milk.
Types of Coffee UsedGround coffee or premade pods. This machine doesn't grind whole coffee beans, so a separate grinder is needed if you will want to grind your own beans.
Bar-Pump PressureThe Dedica has a bar-pump pressure of 15.
Types of Beverages That Can Be MadeThe Dedica can be used to make Americanos, cappuccinos, iced coffee, espresso shots, flat whites, Irish coffee, lattes, macchiatos, mochas, lungos, ristrettos, and many other specialized beverages. If you have a recipe for the specific espresso/coffee beverage you want to make, it can be done with the DeLonghi Dedica.
Water Heat-Up TimeVery quick...after adding water and starting the brewing process, water heat-up time is approximately just 40 seconds.
Number of Shots at a TimeBrews 1 or 2 single shots at a time...your choice.
Ease of UseDoes require somewhat of a learning curve, although not huge...Once you have learned the few necessary basics, this machine is very easy to use. There are not a ton of programmable options that you will need to learn, just the basics of the operation of this machine.
# of Espresso Shots1 or 2 Shots At A Time...Up to 2 single espresso shots at a time can be brewed.
Automatic Shut-OffAuto. shut-off after 9 minutes of no use. This feature was developed as both a safety feature and a power-saving feature.
PriceMid-range price when compared to other home espresso machines. The Dedica is much less expensive than the majority of other home espresso machines, although there are many others that can be obtained for less than what the Dedica costs. For the quality that comes with the Dedica, the price is well worth it.
DeLonghi Image and Check PriceText


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DeLonghi Dedica...The Not So Good

FeaturesComments
Semi-AutomaticSemi-automatic. There is no coffee bean grinder in this machine. A separate grinder is needed if espresso will be brewed with freshly ground coffee beans.
Low-Quality TamperThe tamper included with this machine is made of plastic. If a metal tamper is preferred, it will need to be purchased separately. Tamper size needed is 51 mm.
Noise LevelSomewhat more noisy than other machines while in operation. If you prefer a machine that doesn't make a lot of noise, this machine might not be the best for you.
Milk Steaming Jug/PitcherNot included. For milk-based espresso beverages, a milk frothing pitcher will need to be purchased sepaarately.
Coffee Bean GrinderNo bean grinder is included. If you prefer freshly ground beans at the time of brewing, a separate grinder will need to be obtained.
Cup HeightCup height clearance (the space between the counter top and below the nozzle where the coffee is dispensed from the machine) is only approximately 4.5 inches. Taller mugs such as travel mugs will require the espresso to be dispensed into a shorter cup and transferred to the taller mug.
Water ReservoirIf the water tank/reservoir is not "seated" (placed) properly prior to brewing, the Dedica will leak water. This machine doesn't leak when the reservoir is seated correctly.

Introducing the DeLonghi Dedica home espresso machine.

The DeLonghi Dedica is a home espresso machine that fits many different situations for a lot of different people…Key factors that make it one of the most long-lasting favorites in the home espresso maker community include the ease of use for people who have little to no experience making espresso at home after just a short learning curve, its incredibly compact design that requires very little counter top space, and its affordable price when compared to most other home espresso makers.

In helping you to figure out if the Dedica is perhaps not the best choice espresso machine for you, based on your coffee preferences or basic lifestyle, here are some other key points to consider prior to making a decision.

DeLonghi Image and Check PriceText


To make a completely informed decision, you should take into consideration each individual aspect of this machine prior to purchase. Different things are important, or unimportant to different people, and things that will be great for one person may not be so great for another.

Semi-Automatic…REALLY?!?

Although this machine is placed by the manufacturer (DeLonghi) into the semi-automatic espresso machine classification rather than automatic or super-automatic, it truly does work pretty much like an automatic for brewing up wonderfully tasty and aromatic espresso beverages!

If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to review additional information here, you can also quickly get a bunch of additional information by visiting Amazon.

Very Affordable

If you have been looking around and comparing prices, and then letting loose some heavy gasps and/or groans when you have seen the prices of most of the machines available, you will be relieved to learn that the DeLonghi Dedica is, by far, one of the most affordable home espresso makers you will be able to find.

Incredibly Small Size Fits on Virtually Any Countertop

If you are one of the many people who has put off buying a home espresso machine because of the large size of most of them out there, consider the DeLonghi Dedica. Measuring in at just 15.8 inches deep x 15.8 inches wide x 15.0 inches tall, it basically fits on any countertop, as well as under standard above-counter cupboards.

Easy to Use

The DeLonghi Dedica EC680 is an excellent machine to consider if you are looking for a beginner machine and have never made espresso before, but want to learn how to make traditional espresso beverages in the comfort of your own home.

This machine does brew excellent espresso while at the same time requiring the home barista to not have to know about the different variations required of more advanced machines, such as the grind of the coffee, optimum temperature, and other variations that need to be addressed with more complicated machines.

The DeLonghi Dedica EC680 is probably the very best choice for you if you have not made espresso before and want a great intro. to making espresso at home.

There will be somewhat of a learning curve for a beginner, but much less of a learning process than most of the other machines out there.

View On Amazon.com

Read This Only If You Are An Experienced Home Barista…

If you are already a seasoned espresso brewer who knows the basics, or more, about making espresso, we would definitely recommend against this machine as a top consideration for you unless you are looking for a simpler machine than you have used before, that will give you a quick, easy brew when you want one.

Although the Dedica does make great espresso, if you have some experience messing with things such as machine settings and different grinds of coffee, you will probably want a machine that has more options available for variations in setting these types of things unless, of course, you are wanting to switch to a less complicated machine. The Dedica brews basic, although delicious espresso while at the same time minimizing the need to know a lot about different settings involved with advanced espresso making.

Some Clean-Up After Use Is Needed

You will need to be prepared for some clean-up after brewing. If you want something more super-auto and self-contained, which will prevent the need for as much clean-up, then consider a machine other than the Dedica. Clean-up with the Dedica will involve wiping up any spilled grounds and water. Most machines are going to require at least some clean-up.

Cup Warmer Works, Although Not Instantaneously

Although the Dedica does boast a cup warmer on the top of the machine that does actually warm cups, I did notice when I used this machine that there is a wait time before warming of cups begins. The boiler must first become heated, as the boiler is the part of the machine that warms the cups; therefore,  cup warming is not instantaneous.

Be Warned…Milk Frothing Does Take Some Practice!

As with virtually any espresso machine, whether it be commercial or for home use, some practice by the user is needed to correctly froth milk to that glorious creamy texture that espresso aficionados expect. For specifics regarding the correct technique for frothing milk, here is a great resource.

You May Want to Consider Some Separate Accessories

The Dedica does come complete with all needed components (other than the coffee) to brew espresso, and although it does have the capability to use pre-made coffee “pods,” it is highly recommended that you consider purchasing a good burr grinder, and possibly even a puck remover (used to remove the “puck” of grounds from the portafilter after brewing) if you are considering using ground coffee rather than pods.

Additionally, although there is a very low-quality plastic “tamper” included on the end of the coffee grounds measuring spoon that comes with the machine, although you would be best to consider investing in a more high quality tamper. (A tamper “tamps” [compresses] the grounds in the machine just prior to brewing.) A good-quality tamper is very important in brewing espresso.

We also want to bring up one other accessory you might want to consider if you are considering this machine…a separate frother. Although many people who have used the frothing wand on this machine have been completely happy with it, there are others who felt the wand was not long enough to sufficiently foam milk.

Brews One or Two Shots At a Time

This machine gives you the choice of brewing either one or two shots of espresso at a time, the choice is yours, whether you want both shots for yourself, or you actually want to share! So, if you have an espresso “buddy” you like to drink espresso with, rest assured that both cups will be served to each of you at the same temperature.

Quick Heat-Up Time

If it’s quick heating time you want in an espresso machine, this DeLonghi has a very quick heat-up time of 40 seconds because of the thermoblock technology it uses for heating the water.

Thermoblock technology replaces the need to heat up the entire “boiler” (container) of water, and instead draws the water out of the container into a coil, where the water is heated. Heating the water in a thin coil allows for much faster heating times.

Other Things You Should Know About

Single Brew Amount

The machine only holds enough grounds for a 2-ounce shot. If you are someone who wants to brew more than 2 ounces, you will need to do your first brew, refill the portafilter (coffee ground holder), and run a second brew to add to the first.

Noise Level

The DeLonghi Dedica is, like most home espresso machines, somewhat noisy, so if it is your plan to arise and start brewing in the early morning hours, particularly on weekends or other days off when others are still snoozing, then do be aware that there is some noise involved during the operation of this machine.

Power Cord Specifics

The power cord on this machine is 3 feet long. This should be sufficient for most people, although if you are needing a longer cord to reach your power source, just be aware that the one on this machine is only 3 feet and you would need to utilize an extension cord or possibly a power strip.

Additionally, unlike most kitchen appliances, the plug at the end of the cord for this machine is a 2-prong rather than a 3-prong cord. If you prefer a machine that has a plug with 3 prongs, this may not be the machine for you.

Descaling (Cleaning) Time

One thing you will need to be able to “deal with” when it comes to this machine is the very slow process when you are cleaning the interior parts of it.

Descaling is performed by running a cleaning (descaling) product through the inside of the EC680, which takes an estimated 10 to 15 minutes. You then need to run another couple of rounds after the cleaning with plain water, to make sure you remove all of the descaling product.

Automatic Sleep Mode

For safety, the Dedica EC680 has an automatic sleep mode that programs the machine to shut off after 9 minutes of operation. Someone wanting to make many beverages in a row may find this cumbersome, as the button to bring the machine out of “sleep” will need to be pushed every 9 minutes.

However, the sleep mode time can be adjusted, and instructions are provided with the included manual.

We would like to add, however, that if you plan on brewing many cups of espresso at a time, you would probably be best served by choosing a higher capacity machine than the DeLonghi Dedica.

The Need to “Seat” the Water Tank Correctly

The Dedica EC680 has had problems with people getting it ready to brew and it then making the appropriate noises that sound like it is brewing, with nothing coming out. Another associated problem is the appearance that the machine leaks when the brewing process is started.

Both of these problems are related to the user not “seating” the water container correctly into the machine. This problem is solved by simply making sure all points of contact are correctly seated and well-sealed. Normally, pressing down firmly on the water tank does the trick.

See the DeLonghi Dedica in Action…

View On Amazon.com

My Conclusion…

In summary, the DeLonghi Dedica is an excellent choice for someone who wants to make espresso at home affordably, as well as those who are beginners wanting to dip their toes into the world of espresso making, but don’t want to be required to have knowledge about getting the perfect grind, the optimum water temperature, and other settings that need to be learned with more advanced machines.

Although it will require a small learning curve and there will be some required clean-up after brewing, it is, all in all, a great machine for a beginning home barista to consider.

This machine will, with some practice, allow you to draw consistently good shots every time you use it, and its fast heat-up time of 40 seconds means you won’t be waiting around for long.

However, if you are already an espresso aficionado who knows the basics, and beyond, of making espresso, whether it be at a business or in your home, you likely have already developed specific tastes and preferences that you want to be able to accomplish. Because there are not a lot of available options for changing settings on this machine, you likely will want to consider a more advanced machine that will allow you to program your preferences.

Philips Saeco Intelia One-Touch Cappuccino Review

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The Philips Saeco Intelia is a higher-end super-automatic home espresso machine that boasts the ability to basically do everything for you, including grinding the beans in a “beans-to-brew” process within the machine. It does not have the ability to utilize coffee “pods,” so if you are searching for a machine that uses those, then this machine likely is not one you would want to consider.

This machine also has a built-in Quick Heat Boiler, so if it’s a machine with a fast process from start to finish that you are looking for, this one definitely fits that bill.

Do you enjoy a variety of different espresso beverages? If so, the Philips Saeco Intelia boasts the ability to brew up espresso, cappuccino, and many other coffee beverages.

If you are a beginning home barista who has never brewed up an espresso type of beverage at home, rest assured that you will be able to brew your own espresso beverages with just a very small learning curve.

 

 

Top Features include:

  • Super-automatic machine that is very easy to use.
  • Fully programmable options provide you with complete control over espresso flavor strength, water temperature, auto cleaning/descaling, different cup sizes, and more.
  • Coffee bean grinder built right into the machine, for the freshest espresso flavor possible.
  • Ease of use and clean-up.
  • Constructed of durable, long-lasting, high-quality materials.

FEATURES

Product Details – This Page (Click Ahead!) [show]

Machine Classification

This machine is in the super-automatic class of home espresso machines.

Info. Regarding Programmability

This one has fully programmable features, including adjustable coffee strength and temperature, cappuccino making capability with just one touch, and automatic rinsing and descaling/cleaning, just to name a few. Also included is a programmable feature for adjusting the espresso brewing to your particular taste, and programming options for different cup sizes.

Ease of Use

Because of all of its super-automatic features, this machine is very simple to use. Many customers who have used this machine and gone back to write a review have praised the ease with which they were able to be up and running, making espresso from home.

Beverage Types That Can Be Made With This Machine

This machine has the ability to make all types of cappuccinos, lattes, and espressos. Basically anything you can order at your local Starbucks or other coffee shop can be made with this machine, provided you have a good recipe book.

Cup-Height Clearance Information

This machine allows for cup height clearance of about 4.25 inches (in other words, a coffee mug or espresso cup that is no more than 4.25 inches in height). This clearance amount is much greater than the allowance that a large number of machines available provide, which oftentimes is only 2.5 inches.

Info. Regarding Use of Pods Or Grounds

This machine utilizes either coffee beans or pre-ground coffee. It does not use pods/capsules.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

This home espresso brewer has a built-in ceramic grinder. Ceramic, as opposed to stainless steel or metallic grinders, allows for greater preservation of coffee bean aroma and flavor. Ceramic also prevents that “burnt coffee” taste that some machines produce from their metal grinders. The machine has five different grind settings, from very fine to coarse.

If you are not interested in a machine that has a built-in grinder and perhaps instead are looking for a home espresso machine that uses capsules, Nespresso has a great selection of just these machines. A great consideration would be the Nespresso Citiz with Milk Aeroccino Frother.

Bean Hopper Information

The coffee bean hopper in this homemade espresso machine allows for 300 grams (10.5 ounces) of coffee beans, which is sufficient for about ten servings.

LCD Display Info.

This Philips espresso machine has a great front panel LCD display, as well as many different programmable buttons.

Frothing Capability Information

Milk frothing with the Philips Saeco Intelia is completely automated, based on the patented dual chamber milk carafe. All that is required is for you to pour milk into the milk carafe, insert it in at the front of the machine, and choose which coffee beverage you want to have. Because of this dual chamber feature, you can be guaranteed professional quality espresso beverages with thick, creamy, and long-lasting froth at an optimum temperature.

Brew Time Length Of This Machine

The actual length of brew time was not determined. However, as with most of the higher quality home espresso machines, the wait time is far less than waiting for a pot of coffee to brew.

Single or Double Shots

One or two cups at a time can be made. The quick-heat boiler technology allows for brewing cup after cup with no wait time in between. Thus, you can quickly brew up several espresso beverages, one right after the other, without worrying about losing heat with the first cup you have brewed.

Info. Regarding Cup Warmer

There is no cup warmer with this machine. If you are interested in getting a home espresso maker with a cup warmer, consider the DeLonghi ESAM 3300 Magnifica, which does have a cup warming tray.

Available Machine Colors

This machine comes in a black and silver combo, which fits in with pretty much all kitchen decor. It is not available in any other colors.

One great home espresso maker that is available in silver, red, and black is the Breville BES870XL.

Machine Casing (Housing)

The housing of this machine is constructed of a stainless steel front panel, grid, and cup holder, and ABS Thermoplastic on the sides and rear side.

If it is something that has more metal/steel in it that you are looking for, consider the Dedica EC680 by DeLonghi, which has a completely stainless steel exterior, as well as all stainless steel interior components.

Water Heating System Info.

This home espresso maker has a stainless-steel boiler. Because the boiler is stainless steel, it is BPA safe.

Boiler Info.

This machine has a single boiler that has a rapid steam production capacity.

Noise Level Of This Machine

Because this home espresso machine has built-in grinding capability, there will be some noise when the beans are grinding.

You should be aware that there is some noise involved with virtually all home espresso machines, more than you would find with a standard coffee brewer.

Bar-Pump Pressure Information

This machine has 15 bars of pump pressure.

Water Reservoir Size

This machine has a 1.5 liter (50.7 ounces) water tank size.

Water Reservoir Ease of Access Info.

The water tank is easily removable from the front of the machine, so you are not required to slide the machine out from underneath your cupboards.

Machine Clean-Up Information

This product has auto programming for cleaning and descaling (removal of water mineral build-up). All you need to do is add water and descaling solution, and then push a button or two.

The removable drip tray and milk frother are dishwasher safe, allowing for easy clean-up of these parts.

Machine Weight

This product weighs 19 pounds.

If it is something more lightweight that you are searching for, check out one of the Nespressos at this site. The Nespresso CitiZ Milk Aerocchino Plus Frother, which weighs in at a mere 10 pounds, although not the lightest weight of the Nespressos, definitely falls into the lightweight category.

Machine Dimensions

This home espresso maker measures in at 13.4 x 10.1 x 17.5 inches.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

Shipping weight is 23.8 pounds. If you are an Amazon Prime member, shipping is free for this product.

This machine has a one-year warranty.

Machine Wattage Information

The Philips Saeco Intelia operates off of 1900 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons – Philips Saeco Intelia One-Touch Cappuccino Review

Below are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • No guesswork – one customer noted that there was no guesswork needed to make excellent cappuccinos each and every time.
  • Noise level – although we did find one customer who said the grinder in this machine was noisy, another said it was much quieter than another previous machine owned by that customer.
  • Appearance – The Philips Saeco Intelia is held in high esteem as far as looking great on counter tops, as well as its compactness.

Cons

  • Noise level – one customer at the Philips Saeco site reported that this machine was very noisy. Although grinding of coffee beans does make some noise, the customer was encouraged to explore whether maybe something had become stuck, such as a pebble or a piece of wood.
  • Cup Height Accommodation – one customer advised that they felt the spout was not able to accommodate tall enough cups.
  • Cost of Filters was considered pricey – however, using filtered water will greatly decrease the need to change the filter.
  • Beans feeding into the grinder was also a problem with some first user, which soon was resolved by removing the plastic protective shield used for shipment..
  • Inconsistency regarding coffee bean type used – one customer made mention that this machine was very “picky” as far as the types of beans that would grind effectively in this machine. Note that most machines that have built-in grinders do not tolerate really oily coffee beans very well, and you are better off using a less oily bean, such as a medium roast, rather than a dark roast, which tends to be oiler.

Nuova Simonelli Oscar Espresso Machine Review

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This one-group semi-automatic Oscar Nuova Simonelli machine arrives packaged into a gorgeous, lustrous design that produces, in a nutshell, absolutely incredible espresso. Features include commercial-grade components which include durable, longlasting brew group made of marine-quality brass and an extremely efficient 2.3-liter heat exchange boiler system. Another feature that sets this machine apart from most of the others is the heat exchanger in this one, which enables brewing espresso and steaming/frothing the milk simultaneously.

Product Description

Read this Nuova Simonelli Oscar espresso machine review if you are searching for a great espresso maker that is fully capable of making all of the espresso beverages that your local Starbucks or other coffee shop can, as well as one that allows you to brew beverages with the same quality you get from your local barista.

Top features include its ability to froth milk and brew espresso at the same time, durable construction made to last many years, and ease of use, as reported by customers who have bought and used this workhorse!

One customer even reported having this machine for 8-1/2 years and using it for their customers before needing to purchase another one.

FEATURES

Product Details – This Page (Click Ahead!) [show]

Is this machine in the Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

This machine is in the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines.

Is this machine programmable?

No, this machine has no programmable options. It is operated with a series of front panel push buttons.

One customer commented that although there are not the “bells and whistles” on this machine that there are on some of the super-automatics available, this machine produces fantastic, precise shots and great froth, at the same time, each time a beverage is brewed.

Another customer praised the labeled status lights on this machine, which they felt left no question as to what “status” the machine was at.

Is this machine easy to use?

Although dosing and tamping does take some practice if you are new to espresso making, customers who used this machine reported it really was very simple to use.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

Nuova Simonelli Oscar Espresso Machine ReviewThis machine makes all types of espresso beverages that you could order at your local coffee shop, including Americanos, lattes, macchiatos, and more!

In addition, one customer reported that the steaming wand also steams water to incredibly hot in about a third of the time it takes to heat up water in the microwave, leaving open the option for a quick cup of tea now and then.

What is the cup height allowance of this machine?

This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to three inches tall.

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

This machine uses only pre-ground coffee.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

No, this machine does not have a built-in grinder. You would need to either purchase/use a separate grinder or buy your coffee pre-ground.

What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

Not applicable – espresso machines without built-in grinders do not have bean hoppers.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

No, this machine does not have an LCD display.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

This machine has a stainless-steel, articulating commercial type of frothing wand that produces great froth, once you have the hang of the concept of frothing, which does take some practice if you are new to the world of making your own espresso.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

Although this one apparently takes 25 minutes of warm-up time before being ready to brew, once it has heated the water, the heat exchanger that comes with this machine allows for making brew after brew with no wait time in between.

In addition, we located a tip from a customer who purchased and used this machine, who advised that a great way to heat the water up much faster in this machine is to release the steam after 5 minutes of heating, close up the steam valve, wait another 5 minutes and then it is brew time!

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

This machine can brew either one double shot or two single shots at the same time.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Yes, as with most home espresso makers that have a cup warmer, simply placing the cups on the top of the machine heats them with the heat dispensed out of the top of the machine.

One customer who had purchased this machine reported that the top of this machine works very “decent” as a cup warmer.

What colors is  this machine available in?

 From what we could determine from our research, this machine is available in either black or red.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine is housed in plastic. Also made of plastic are the drip tray and the drip tray cover. One customer made note that because the machine is housed in plastic rather than steel or metal, it weighs much less than some of the ones cased in metal or steel. Plastic is also noted not to show scratches or nicks as easily as stainless steel.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This machine has a copper boiler that is 2.5 liters. Also features a “heat exchange” system to ensure no wait time between beverage brewing, if brewing more than one at a time.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

No, this machine has only one boiler. However, the heat-exchange system built into this machine ensures there will be no waiting between brews, and this heat-exchange system is actually much better than dual boiler machines.

Is this machine noisy?

It was impossible to find any information that told us whether this machine makes a lot of noise. Most home espresso machines, however, do make some noise, so we can only assume that it does make some noise, although likely less than those with built-in grinders.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This machine offers a 15-bar pump pressure.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

The water reservoir on this machine is 77 ounces.

Is the water tank easy to access?

The water tank on this machine is not removable and is accessed from the top of the machine. This would require the home barista to slide it out from under a cupboard if, in fact, it is stored under a cupboard when not in use.

In addition, one must keep an eye on the water level, as there is no water level indicator or visibility from the outside of the machine.

Lastly, the opening of the water tank on this machine is smaller than most, making it somewhat difficult, although by no means impossible, to refill the water tank.

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine is one of the heavier ones, weighing in at 39 pounds.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

This machine measures 21 x 16 x 22 inches.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

This machine has a 2-year warranty.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This machine is powered with 1,200 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons – Nuova Simonelli Oscar Espresso Machine Review

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • Ease of use.
  • Incredible steaming ability.
  • Although not the cheapest machine you could consider, it is also not anywhere near being the most highly priced. Customers have reported that it is very well-worth the money they have paid for it. For the price, it is an extremely great deal.
  • Provides the home barista with the ability to brew and steam at the same time, which tremendously decreases the actual time spent brewing.
  • The incredibly sturdy construction of this machine ensures it will last for many years.
  • Although the casing of this machine is plastic, note that the plastic it is constructed of is very heavy duty, preventing scratches and nicks like you would get with the machines that are constructed of stainless steel or metal.

Cons

  • Taller coffee mugs do not fit under the spout.
  • There is no way to keep track of the water level in the water tank, other than to open the water tank and look inside.
  • Customers reported that the drip tray could have done well to be larger.
  • No LCD display – many people prefer home espresso machines that have an LCD display, which this one does not.

Elektra MicroCasa a Leva S1C Espresso Machine Review

If you are interested in a very beautiful and elegant-looking lever home espresso machine that performs excellently and makes absolutely great espresso, the Elektra MicroCasa A Leva S1C espresso machine may be the perfect choice for you.

The Elektra MicroCasa is a genuine Italian-made espresso maker, which places it into the category of being among the most authentic and high quality home espresso machines available.

DeLonghi Image and Check PriceText
The Elektra MicroCasa Espresso Machine

Here is a quick-reference table that shows the answers to many common questions that people have about this machine.

Elektra MicroCasa Features

FeaturesComments
Machine TypeManual espresso machine
Boiler TypeBrass
Spring or Straight Piston?Spring-piston - this means that a spring, rather than the machine user, pushes the water down through the ground coffee.
Noise LevelVery quiet
Machine ExteriorGorgeous chrome and brass exterior with a large brass eagle on the dome. Each of these machines is carefully handcrafted.
Expected Life Length10 - 15+ years or more
Espresso QualityThis machine brews some of the best espresso that can be made.
Type of Coffee UsedPre-ground coffee must be used. This can include store-bought coffee or coffee beans you have ground yourself.
Milk Frothing CapabilityA steam wand attached to the right-hand side of this espresso machine allows for milk frothing without the need for a separate milk frothing appliance. Although frothing takes slightly longer than expected, this machine creates the silky smooth micro-froth that is essential for doing latte art.
Required AssemblyMachine arrives completely assembled, other than needing to attach the steamer wand to the machine.
Bar-Pump PressureThis machine has a vibratory pump that provides a bar-pump pressure of 15.
Ease of UseMore difficult than automatic espresso machines. This machine is classed into the manual espresso machine category. For a beginner, there is a definite learning curve required in learning to use this machine, as with any manual espresso machine. Once using it has been mastered, it is fairly easy to use.
Water Reservoir CapacityApproximately 67.5 ounces
Grinder Included?No, there is no coffee bean grinder included. If you prefer freshly ground coffee beans to pre-ground coffee, a separate coffee bean grinder will need to be used.
Heat-Up TimeApproximately 15 minutes
Portafilter Size49 mm
Voltage110V
Accessories Included
  • Two filter baskets (1 cup and 2 cups) that are 49 mm in diameter
  • Dual-spout 49 mm portafilter with Bakelite handles.
  • Plastic tamper
  • Plastic scoop for coffee
  • User manual
Machine Dimensions22 inches (height) x 10 inches (width) x 10 inches (depth)
Machine WeightApproximately 24 pounds
Daily Maintenance RequiredDaily maintenance needed includes only a couple of things...wiping up spilled water and/or grounds after brewing is complete, and a quick rinse of the portafilter after the brewing process.
Occasional Maintenance RequiredMost manual espresso machines, like this one, use gaskets. These gaskets should be replaced every one to two years to maintain optimal performance of the machine.
Another thing that will need to occasionally be done is cleaning and lubricating the piston group. This is easily done on the Elektra MicroCasa a Leva by unscrewing two bolts on the top of the piston group and sliding the piston group out.
Warranty1 year for parts and labor
DeLonghi Image and Check PriceText
The Elektra MicroCasa Espresso Machine

Product Description

Read this Elektra MicroCasa a Leva S1C espresso machine review if you are searching for an espresso machine that is perfect for making exceptional espresso in the comfort of your own home.

If it is a genuine Italian-made espresso maker you are considering, the Elektra Microcasa would fit right into that bill. Also important to note is that Italian-made espresso machines are highly regarded as being the most authentic and high quality home espresso machines available.

The built-in thermostat prevents a “meltdown” if the machine is inadvertently operated with no water in the boiler, which is a definite possibility.

Additionally, this machine has an internal pressure regulator, for automatic temperature regulation.

Other features include:

  • A durable brass boiler that emits extraordinarily dry steam for creating perfect micro foam each and every time.
  • A very quiet noise level so those snoozing later than you in the morning won’t be disturbed by your early morning espresso making.
  • A spring-operated lever, which allows for consistent pump pressure at each point of the lever, from one pull to the next.
  • An absolutely stunning and gorgeous chrome finish, in addition to wooden handles and a large brass eagle situated on the dome.
  • The water level in the boiler of this machine is always visible, thanks to the water level sight glass.

For now, read on to discover the features that truly put this machine at the top of its class.

  • This machine is praised for its incredibly low noise level, great for those early mornings when you are up but others are still snoozing.
  • It also has a built-in thermostat to prevent the heating element from being damaged if the machine is accidentally run without having water in it.
  • Also built in to this machine is an internal pressure regulator, for exceptional regulation of water temperature.
  • The Elektra MicroCasa a Leva is an incredibly durable home espresso machine that is definitely built to last many, many years.

How to Use the Elektra MicroCasa Espresso Machine

Here is a somewhat brief video that shows you how to draw a shot from this manual espresso machine. This video covers steps required assuming that the water heat-up time of approximately 15 minutes is already completed.

FEATURES

Info. Regarding Use of Pods, Grounds, or Both

This machine uses ground coffee only, and does not use E.S.E. pods/capsules.

Ease of Use

Because this machine is classified as a manual (more commonly called a lever) espresso machine, some knowledge of making espresso is either already required or needs to be learned in order for someone to be successful at using one and making optimal espresso. Most new users of manual espresso machines normally get quite a number of practice brew cycles under their belts before they will successfully be able to make espresso.

In other words, using this type of espresso machine and successfully brewing top-of-the-line espresso definitely requires lots of practice before success will be seen.

There are two key factors to successfully making espresso with a lever espresso machine which, although sometimes difficult to learn can be learned, and include the following:

  • Learning how to correctly grind the coffee beans. Manual espresso machines are very temperamental when it comes to requiring the correct grind coarseness to be able to extract good espresso. If you don’t grind the beans fine enough, you end up with what we call “tea espresso” (very weak espresso that has no flavor). However, if you grind the beans too finely, the water cannot run through and extract the espresso flavor, leaving you with nothing in your cup.
  • Learning how to correctly “tamp” (compress) the ground coffee in the portafilter. This is the other key step to successful espresso brewing in a lever espresso maker. Even if you have discovered the correct grind coarseness, keep in mind that tamping (compressing) the grounds too tightly in the portafilter will result in a big nothing that ends up in your cup, while tamping too loosely will result in that good ol’ “tea espresso” (weak, light-colored espresso) that we mentioned above. Learning the correct compression of the coffee in the portafilter is the other key “ingredient of knowledge” that needs to be learned.

The above are the two key factors that definitely need to be mastered. However, keep in mind that those “in the know” regarding espresso making have commented that this machine is incredibly easy to use compared to some of the other manual/lever home espresso machines available. In other words, if you are new to making espresso with a manual machine but want to learn, this machine would be a good one to consider.

If you do not know what using a manual espresso machine entails, as far as the working parts and the actual use of one, but want to learn more you can find more detailed information here.

Conclusion/Summary about ease of use

  • If you are someone who loves to fiddle and experiment with a new “somethingorother” and does not easily give up until you have learned exactly how to work it correctly, AND you are someone who has never used a manual/lever home espresso machine before, this Elektra espresso machine would probably be a great choice for you.
  • If you are, however, someone who just wants to be able to make your espresso with your new machine virtually right out of the box, and don’t really want to take some time to learn what basically boils down to being an entire new skill, you probably would do much better with a super-auto, or at the very least, semi-automatic espresso machine.
  • Thirdly, if you have previously used a lever espresso machine and are just looking to either replace the one you have or obtain your first home machine, this Elektra home espresso machine would be a great choice for you. Many customers who have used lever machines before and have tried this one have praised the ease of use this one offers as compared to others that are available.

The two primary factors a beginner will have difficulty with are grinding the coffee beans to the correct coarseness/fineness, and the amount of tamping (compression) is required of the ground coffee beans into a portafilter.

Some (probably lots) of practice is more than likely going to be required, which will involve trying different coarseness of grinds, and different amounts of tamping (compressing) the grounds before a good end result will be achieved.

First Use of Machine

The manufacturer of this machine does not provide truly clear-cut instructions for the first use of this machine.

It is definitely a great idea to run a first-time-use “flush” just to clean out any debris that may have ended up inside the machine during production and/or shipping.

Prior to first use, it’s also a good idea to wipe down the outside of the machine, rinse and dry the portafilter, fill the boiler with water, then heat the water and run a cycle with plain water.

Necessary Standard Maintenance Info.

Daily Maintenance

With the Elektra MicroCasa a Leva, there is not a ton of daily maintenance that needs to be done, other than that which would be done with any espresso machine, even super-automatics.

Daily clean-up/maintenance includes wiping up any splashes, drips, and spilled grounds, a quick empty of the drip tray at least after every couple uses, and a wipe-down of the outside of the machine to keep that beautiful chrome exterior sparkling clean. In addition, a quick rinse of the portafilter after each use will be the only other task required.

Occasional Maintenance

Most, if not all, lever espresso machines have gaskets that need to occasionally be replaced with new ones. This machine falls into that category, and you should plan on doing a gasket replacement about every one to two years, just to keep the machine running optimally. This is something that you can do yourself at home with the available gasket kits on the market, and should only need to be done, again, once every year or two.

Piston Group Maintenance

The piston group needs cleaning and lubrication periodically. This is done much more easily on this Elektra machine than most others, and requires simply unscrewing two bolts at the top of the piston group, which allows the piston group assembly to slide out, followed by a good cleaning every now and then. Piston group maintenance also requires the moving parts of this device to be lubricated with silicon grease.

Spring Lever or Direct Lever?

This machine has a spring-assisted lever, which makes “pushing” the water through the ground coffee beans somewhat easier than with a direct-lever machine.

The spring-piston feature does help to provide you with consistent pump pressure with every “pull” of espresso.

Although having a spring-assisted lever means that some of the work is done for you, some knowledge of making espresso is still required.

In addition, although the spring does help with some of the work, the power of the spring requires some people to use both hands for bringing the lever down. The spring has also been known to raise up very quickly after being lowered, and some caution must be used regarding this.

Material Housing (Outside Casing) Information

This machine is finished in all chrome on the outside.

It also features “Bakelite” handles, which are made of very high-heat-resistant plastic.

Drip Tray Information

The drip tray on this machine needs to be emptied fairly frequently. It is smaller than the ones that many espresso machines have, and thus fills up much more quickly than them.

Tamper Information

The tamper needed for this machine is 49 mm.

Milk Frothing Info.

Because the Elektra MicroCasa a Leva S1C produces what is called “dry steam,” this machine allows you to create incredibly wonderful micro-foam.

The milk frothing wand has three holes at the end, which allows for very simple “swirling” of milk that is required to successfully produce great milk froth suitable for things such as latte art. If you are not sure how milk frothers work, here is a great place to check out additional information regarding that topic.

Steam Pressure Information

This machine provides optimum extraction of flavor, starting at 8 bars of pressure that slowly and steadily decrease, for optimal extraction of espresso flavor.

Boiler Pressure Gauge Information

This machine does come with a pressure gauge. Although not an absolutely necessary component to have on a home lever espresso machine, it most definitely is a handy feature to be able to use if desired.

Boiler Capacity Information

This machine has a 67-ounce (2.0 liters) water capacity. In addition, this machine does have a water level indicator, to let you know when water is running low prior to it all being used.

This is one of the larger boilers among lever espresso machines available, and will allow you to brew up approximately eight to nine double shots of espresso, although a few less than that if you plan on steaming milk also.

One very important thing to note about this machine: A lot of these “fancy” lever espresso machines have what we call an “exposed boiler,” meaning that the part of the machine that holds up and heats the water is exposed, with no box cover like you see with many of the semi-auto and super-auto home espresso makers. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that much caution be used with these types of machines that have exposed boilers, as they do become incredibly hot on the outside, and burns can result.

Machine Materials

The sturdy brass boiler in this machine is notorious for giving this machine the capability of producing amazingly dry steam, which allows for much easier creation of micro-foam.

The remainder of the machine is polished chrome.

Heat-Up Time

The heating element in the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva heats up water to brew-ready temperature in approximately 15 minutes.

Machine Dimensions

This machine measures 18 inches high to the top of the machine itself, and when the lever is in the “up” position, the total height of the machine is 19 inches. Other measurements include 10 inches wide and 10 inches deep. This means that it won’t take up a ton of counter space. The round base has a diameter of 10″.

You do need to be aware, however, of how much space is available between the bottom of your cupboards. If there is only the standard 18″ of space available between the counter top and your cupboards, this will be a problem unless you have some available counter top space that has no cupboards above it.

Wattage Information

This machine requires 800 watts of power to operate.

Pros — Elektra MicroCasa a Leva S1C Espresso Machine Review

  • Very low noise level compared to most espresso machines.
  • Easier to use than many other lever espresso machines.
  • Absolutely gorgeous design and shiny chrome appearance that will have all of your guests “ooing and ahhing” every time they see it.

Cons

  • As with all manual/lever home espresso machines, this one will require some learning and practice before you will be able to make your desired espresso with it.
  • Some machine maintenance is required, which includes periodically replacing the gaskets and lubricating the moving parts of the piston group.
  • Because the boiler on this machine is exposed on the outside of the machine, possible burns can result due to high temperature. Caution must be used, particularly around small children.

Breville The Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL Review

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Get in the swing of things during your mornings with Breville the Oracle!

View additional information at Amazon!

If it is genuine coffee shop quality espresso that you are wanting, while at the same time having it in the comfort of your own home, this machine is most definitely a wonderful consideration to add to your list of top home espresso machines available in today’s market.

Product Description

If you have always wanted a manual or semi-automatic espresso machine, due to the quality of the espresso produced by these machines (by someone who was knowledgeable in making them) but were scared off by all of the knowledge you felt you had to acquire prior to being able to decently use it, here is your chance to get quality espresso that tastes and presents like that made with a manual or semi-automatic machine, while at the same time being made by a machine that does it all for you.

Includes completely programmable features; built-in grinding, dosing, and tamping ability; programmable milk frothing capability; and more.

Top Features Include:

  • Tons of programmable features.
  • Great LCD front panel display.
  • Stainless-steel dual boilers and dual Italian pumps.
  • Very large water reservoir at 84 ounces.

FEATURES

Product Details

Is this machine in the Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

Although this machine has been placed into the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines according to its specifications, it truly much more closely resembles a super-automatic espresso maker due to all of the programmable options and auto features available with it.

Is this machine programmable?

Yes, this machine has tons of programmable options, to include milk-texturing (frothing),  shot temperature programming ranging from 190 to 205 degrees, completely customizable settings for beverage preference (i.e., Americano, etc.), automatic on and shut-off features, and much more.

Is this machine easy to use?

This machine is, per customer report, with all of the available programmable options, very easy to use.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

This machine makes any kind of espresso beverage you would find at your local Starbucks or other coffee house.

What is the cup height allowance of this machine?

This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to 4 inches tall. If you prefer a machine that has a taller cup clearance space than this one, consider the DeLonghi Magnifica, which offers up to 6 or 7 inches of cup height clearance, almost an unheard of amount with this type of appliance!

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

This machine does not use pods or capsules. It instead uses only coffee beans, which are placed into a hopper that is built in to the machine and fed into the grinder when a cup of espresso is brewed. This guarantees the most fresh espresso, much more so than when using pods or capsules.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

Yes, this machine does have a built-in coffee grinder.

View additional information at Amazon!

What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

The bean hopper that is built-in to this machine holds approximately 1/2 pound of your favorite coffee beans.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

Yes, this machine has a wonderful LCD display, as well as numerous buttons for different programmable settings.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

This machine has a fantastic frothing ability that is made so much easier than it is with most other machines. Frothing with the Oracle is actually an automated process from which excellent milk froth can be obtained without a lot of practice and wasted milk.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

Very short brewing time – this machine provides the user with the capability of having two completely finished cappuccinos or other beverage in 90 seconds.

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

There are two spouts that dispense espresso on this machine, thus allowing for either one or two beverages at a time.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Yes, this machine does have a cup warmer. In addition, the cup warmer on this machine heats cups with the use of a heating element, as opposed to most machines in this price range, which normally heat cups with heat generated by the interior heating system.

View additional information at Amazon!

What colors is  this machine available in?

The entire body of this machine is silver. There are no other colors available.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine’s casing is brushed stainless steel.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This home espresso maker has stainless-steel dual boilers that heat the water for brewing espresso while at the same time heating/steaming milk.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

Yes, this machine has dual stainless-steel boilers.

Is this machine noisy?

It was unable to be determined whether this home espresso machine is noisy or not. You should assume that some noise will be generated when the built-in grinder is grinding the coffee beans; however, it is unclear whether noise is generated during brew time.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This machine has dual Italian pumps for super high pump pressure.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

This machine boasts a huge water reservoir that holds approximately 84 ounces — the largest seen thus far among the reviews at this site.

Is the water tank easy to access?

This machine has one of the most easy-to-access water reservoirs available with today’s home espresso makers, enabling the home barista to add water from the top-front of the machine.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

This machine is incredibly easy to clean, as the machine itself does the work. Features include auto-purge of the steam wand after brewing,

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine weighs approximately 34-35 pounds. Not one of the lighter machines, but definitely one of the more sturdy ones.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

This home espresso machine measures 16-1/4 inches wide x 15 inches deep x approximately 18 inches in height.

The bean hopper that sets atop the machine is what makes it 18 inches tall. When the bean hopper is removed, the machine stands approximately 15-1/2 inches tall.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

This machine has a 2-year warranty.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This wattage of this machine is 1,800 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons – Breville The Oracle Espresso Machine BES980XL Review

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • Great automated features – one customer reported that this machine has “superb automation.”
  • Quality of construction – this machine is felt to be constructed very durably and made to last for a number of years.
  • Ease of use – per customer report, this machine is incredibly easy to use.
  • Hot water outlet that is dedicated to dispensing only hot water, for those hot chocolate or tea lovers!

Cons

  • Cost – This definitely is not one of the cheaper home espresso machines.
  • At 34-35 pounds, this machine most definitely is not one of the more lightweight machines available.

Breville BES920XL Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine Review

View additional details on Amazon!

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Although this machine is classed, even by Breville, into the semi-automatic espresso machine group, its ease of use and ability to produce excellent coffee-house quality espresso makes it much more than just the average semi-automatic espresso maker!

Product Description

If you are looking for a semi-auto home espresso machine that almost seems as if it is super-auto, then read this Breville BES900XL semi-automatic espresso machine review to see if the few things that separate it from the super-auto class will still make it a machine that fits the bill for you.

Just some of the great features of this machine include programmable options, ease of use once learned, and providing the home barista, both seasoned and newbies, with the opportunity to create all types of different espresso beverages, just like those found in local coffee shops.

FEATURES

Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

This machine is in the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines.

Programmable?

Yes. Programming options include volumetric control preset and programmable shot volumes, providing everything even a beginning home barista needs to make customized espresso according to personal preferences, as well as preferences of other. In addition, the programmable aut0-start feature ensures the water will be heated up and ready to roll when you are in the morning. Also includes an auto shut-off feature.

Easy to use?

Although a new user will need to get the hang of the different options available with this machine, once learned it has been reported that this machine is easy to use.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

This machine basically makes any type of beverage you can order at your local espresso stand. A good espresso recipe book would go a long ways with the purchase of this machine!

What is the cup height allowance of this machine?

This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to 3 inches tall.

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

This machine uses only ground coffee beans, and does not have the capability of using pods or capsules.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

No, this one does not have a built-in grinder. You will need to either grind up your own beans or purchase pre-ground coffee.

Because the grind is very important for obtaining perfect espresso extraction with this machine, it is recommended that the owner of this machine purchase, and learn how to use, a high-quality coffee bean grinder.

View Additional Info. on Amazon!

What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

Not applicable – because this machine does not have a built-in grinder, there is no need for a bean hopper, which is used to store beans in the machine just prior to grinding them.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

Yes, it does have an LCD display which shows brew temperature, shot clock, or the time. Also helps the user with shot temperature and volume programming, duration and power of the pre-infusion process, and auto-start feature.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

This machine, by all reports, has fantastic frothing capability. Comes with a 360-degree swiveling commercial-grade frothing wand. A stainless steel frothing jug is also included with the purchase of this machine.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

The time it takes to warm up the water in the machine is 6 minutes. The auto-start programming feature,  however, is an excellent way to avoid having to wait 6 minutes for heat-up in the morning.

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

The double spouts on this machine allow for making either one double-shot beverage or two single-shot beverages.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Yes, this machine has a cup warmer.

What colors is  this machine available in?

Available in stainless steel housing only.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine is housed in plastic and some metal.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This machine features two Italian-made stainless boilers, one for steaming and one for heating water.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

Yes, this machine has dual stainless steel boilers.

Is this machine noisy?

There is some noise involved when using this machine, although there are basically not any that we have found that do not make noise.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This machine features 15-bar pump pressure via two Italian-made pumps.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

This home espresso maker packs with it an 84-ounce water tank, allowing for brewing of many beverages before needing a refill.

Is the water tank easy to access?

Yes, the water tank is very easy to access, no matter what your preference is. Water tank is either removable or able to be filled from either the top or the rear, depending on the kitchen set-up.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

There is a “clean me” indicator on this machine. Other than the normal descaling process that is required with any appliance that runs water through it, clean-up generally involves a wipe-down, emptying and rinsing of the removable drip tray, and cleaning of the the frothing wand after each use, to prevent milk from drying on it, which is as simple as wiping it with a damp paper towel.

What is the weight of this machine?

This machine is one of the heavier ones available today and weighs in at 30-36 pounds. The reason for this discrepancy (30 vs. 36) is that we found one seller who reported it weighs 30 pounds and another who reported it weighs 36. Either way, this is definitely one of the heavier machines when it comes to home espresso machines.

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

This machine measures 16-1/4″ x 15″ x 15″.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

This machine has a one-year warranty.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This machine is powered with 1,700 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • One customer reported their opinion that this is the “Lamborghini” of home espresso machines…enough said!
  • Although the weight of the machines is considered by some to be a drawback, there is a wheel on the bottom of the machine that can be released and lowered, for ease in moving the machine across a countertop.
  • One customer who purchased this machine came back to Amazon and provided updates every few months. The time span of these updates was from 2011 up to February 2014, at which point that customer advised that it still was working wonderfully.

 Cons

  • One customer reported on the large size of the machine and difficulty finding counter space for it. Therefore, if you don’t have a lot of counter space, this likely would not be a good choice for you.
  • One customer commented that this most definitely is a semi-automatic class espresso machine. Although it does have lots of programmable features, you do need to ensure that all of the features are set to preference in order to pull a good espresso to preference.
  • You likely will need to also purchase a good coffee bean grinder for this machine. The level of grind used with this home espresso maker can be the difference between making producing superior vs. non-superior espresso.

Rancilio HSD-Silvia V3 Silvia Espresso Machine Review

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Some of the great features of this home espresso machine include its articulating steam wand, ability to produce a great number of different espresso beverages just like those you can get at your local coffee shops, and a relatively short complete brew time of about 3.5 minutes.

Features include:

  • Industrial-quality head for exceptional water heat stability and premium extraction quality.
  • Ergonomic 58-mm porta-filters, which also provides the home barista with outstanding extraction of coffee from grounds. The porta-filters that come with this machine are the same ones used with Rancilio industrial espresso makers.

The prominent and traditional design of this semi-auto espresso maker has been constructed to last. Its solid linear design has been constructed of an iron framework, as well as stainless-steel side panels, in keeping with the commercial quality that the Rancilio Team always provides for outstanding heat stability, as well as premium extraction of high-quality espresso beverages.

Product Description

Read this Rancilio HSD-Silvia V3 Silvia espresso machine review if you have been considering a machine that is very sturdily constructed of iron framework and stainless steel side panels, designed to last for many years.

The trademarked 58mm portafilter provides for outstanding tamping of grounds and extraction of flavor, and this type of portafilter is the same that is utilized on the Rancilio industrial espresso machines used by professional baristas.

Although the Silvia has just a single boiler, this boiler holds the largest volume of water than any other in its classification of machine, by holding at one time a whopping 0.3 liters (12 ounces) of water. In addition, the other exceptional quality of this boiler is that it is brass with a chrome-plated exterior, which generates superior steam power and exceptional recovery time in between espresso shots.

In addition, the 2-quart water storage tank can be refilled either by removing it and refilling it at the sink, or filled up while still affixed to the machine via the top of the machine at any point throughout the espresso-brewing process.

Additionally, the Rancilio Silvia showcases an articulating stainless-steel steam wand allowing for total range of movement for frothing milk with the best result imaginable.

Steaming power is controlled with the steam knob which has been designed with the commercial industry in mind.

Also arrives with a 7-gram scoop for measuring coffee, a plastic tamper, and filter baskets for both singles and doubles. Below are additional details regarding this semi-automatic machine that we consider to be a super choice!

  • Single brass boiler with the largest volume capacity of any home espresso maker in its class, which holds 12 ounces of water at a time, provides superior steaming power and very fast recovery time between shots.
  • A 2-quart water tank that can either be removed for refills, or filled from the top, even during the brewing process.
  • An articulating stainless-steel steam wand, which allows for great range of movement and provides excellent steaming of milk, with the steam power controlled with a commercially-designed steam knob.
  • Also included are a 7-gram coffee scoop, plastic tamper, and two filter baskets for either single or double shots.

FEATURES

Product Details – This Page (Click Ahead!) [show]

Is this machine in the Super-Automatic, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic class?

This machine is in the semi-automatic class of home espresso machines. If it is a super-automatic home espresso machine you are leaning more toward buying, the Philips Saeco Intelia is a very highly customer-rated one to consider.

Is this machine programmable?

No, this machine is not programmable. Most semi-automatic espresso makers are not programmable.

Is this machine easy to use?

Some people report this machine is not very easy to use, while others state this machine is very easy to use, as long as you have a good coffee bean grinder. Some practice is apparently needed to get the right grind with this espresso machine, in order to draw good shots. Other than that, it is easy to use.

What types of beverages does this machine make?

This machine can virtually make any espresso beverage you can find at your local coffee house or Starbucks.

What is the cup height allowance of this machine?

This espresso maker allows for using a cup up to 3 inches tall. If it is more cup clearance you are looking for a machine that allows for more cup clearance, you might want to check out the Mr. Coffee Cafe Baristamachine.

Does this machine use pods/capsules or ground coffee?

Although this machine, purchased as is, uses coffee grounds only, there is an optional pod and capsule adaptor kit available that can be bought separately.

Does this machine have a built-in coffee bean grinder?

No – There is no built-in coffee grinder with this machine. You would need to either have pre-ground coffee on hand or purchase a separate grinder to grind your own whole coffee beans. If it is a home espresso machine with a built-in grinder you want, the Krups Espresseria Bean To Cup machine is a top-rated one that offers this option.

What is the bean hopper size in this machine?

This is not applicable, as this machine does not have a built-in grinder; thus there is no need for a bean hopper.

Does this particular machine have an LCD display?

Although this one has no actual LCD display, it does showcase a very impressive front panel.

What is the frothing capability of this machine?

Rancilio HSD-Silvia V3 Silvia Espresso Machine ReviewThe stainless steel steam wand that this machine has is commercial grade and is great for producing rich, creamy froth as well as steamed water for beverages such as hot cocoa.

What is the brew time length of this machine?

Warm-up/brew time takes about 3-1/2 minutes.

How many cups at a time can be made with this machine?

The double spouts on this machine allow for brewing either two single shots at a time, or one double shot.

Does it have a cup warmer?

Yes, this one does have a cup warmer.

What colors is  this machine available in?

 The Rancilio Silvia is available in stainless steel (silver) only. If you are unsure which color you want, the Nespresso Inissia comes in a multitude of colors including red, blue, black, orange, and white.

What type of housing (outside casing) does this machine have?

This machine his housed in stainless steel. It also has a very sturdy framework made of iron, guaranteed to last many years.

What type of water heating system does this machine have?

This machine has a single boiler made of brass.

Does this machine have dual boilers?

No, it instead has a single boiler made of brass.

Is this machine noisy?

This is about the only machine reviewed thus far where a customer actually made note of how quiet this machine is while running.

What is the bar pump pressure information regarding this machine?

This machine features a very heavy-duty 15 bar pump.

What is the water tank size on this machine?

This machine has a very large 67-ounce water reservoir.

Is the water tank easy to access?

Steaming/Hot Water: Featuring a commercial grade chrome-plated steam wand, the Rancilio Silvia quickly delivers plenty of steam for milk frothing and hot boiling water for your Americano or a cup of tea.

Is clean-up easy for this machine?

This machine is rated as being easy to clean up after using, although the drip tray apparently needs to be emptied quite frequently due to its small size.

What is the weight of this machine?

What are the dimensions (measurements) of this machine?

This machine is approximately 9-1/2 inches wide x 11 inches deep x 13-1/2 inches tall.

Shipping and Warranty Info.

Although this machine has a one-year warranty, customers have reported they had no need to even think about using the warranty, based on the long life of this very sturdy and durable machine.

What is the wattage of this machine?

This machine is powered off of 1,100 watts.

Customer Reviews – Pros & Cons – Rancilio HSD-Silvia V3 Silvia Espresso Machine Review

Here are some of the pros and cons that are actual reports from customers who have purchased and used this espresso machine.

Pros

  • Ease of use – most customers who purchased this machine noted how easy it was to use.
  • Commercial-grade steam wand is one of the best available among the range of home espresso machines.
  • High quality and durable construction, both inside and out, ensures many years of use.
  • Great price when you consider the many years of use you likely will get out of this machine.
 

Cons

  • Grind of coffee needs to be exact in order to extract great espresso – this will take some practice, trial, and error in most cases, unless you are a professional barista.
  • There are no programmable options available with this machine.

La Pavoni Europiccola EL Espresso Machine Review

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If you have been considering a manual/lever home espresso maker, the Europiccola by La Pavoni is one of the top choices to consider.

This is a genuine Italian-made machine. Many people strongly feel that Italian-made home espresso machines are of much better quality than anything else available.

This is a manual home espresso machine (also commonly called a lever espresso machine). These types of espresso machines are considered by most people to produce the best espresso possible, much more so than semi-auto and super-auto machines.

Product Description

Here is a complete, in-depth, thorough, and honest La Pavoni Europiccola EL espresso machine review, both the good and the bad features included, to help you decide if this machine would be a good choice for you.

Top features that we really like about this manual home espresso machine include the following:

  • Constructed of durable steel with chrome finish on the outside.
  • Large boiler capacity of 0.8 liters (8 cups).
  • Heats up and ready for steaming water in just 10 minutes.
  • Water level indicator.
  • Included with the machine in the box are a screen holder, measuring ladle, cappuccino attachment, and a tamper.
  • Also arrives at your door with a video instruction manual to help you get started.

This machine is a direct lever espresso maker. Although the direct lever feature means you will have complete control over your espresso brewing and the end result, it also means that a ton of practice and patience will likely be required prior to you becoming an excellent espresso brewer. Just keep in mind that this is definitely not an espresso maker that comes with a ton of push buttons.

Because this is a manual espresso machine, there are many less components that can break down. This is just one of the reasons many people opt for a machine such as this one. When speaking of today’s super-automatic and even semi-automatic espresso machines, many are considered to be “throw-away” machines due to the small life length they provide. However, with espresso machines such as this La Pavoni, you can pretty much rest assured it will be something that is likely to last you a lifetime.

In addition, not only does this machine make some of the best espresso you will ever experience, once you get the technical skills learned, it also presents as a virtual work of art sitting on your countertop.

Info. Regarding Use of Pods, Grounds, or Both

This machine has the capability of using either ground coffee beans or today’s E.S.E. pods.

Easy to Use?

Because this machine falls into the classification of manual/lever espresso machines, it most definitely is not the most easy to use, push-button type of machine like your standard super-automatic or even semi-automatic machines are. Beginners who have no experience using espresso machines with a lever will likely need some practice, although this skill is definitely able to be learned by someone determined to learn how.

Any machine that is classified as a manual lever espresso machine most definitely will take some practice for people who have never used one of them before. If you want to learn more about exactly what using a manual/lever espresso machine entails, you can read more detailed information here.

The two primary objectives that a beginner will find difficult to perform correctly include achieving the correct grind coarseness of the coffee beans, as well as the amount of tamp (compression) of the ground coffee beans into the portafilter. A beginner will need some practice with both trying different coarseness of grinds, and different amounts of tamping (compressing) the grounds before a good end result will be achieved.

Spring lever or direct lever?

This machine is a direct-lever machine, meaning there is no spring-assisted device inside the brew group to help with the pumping of the water into and through the grounds. This task, therefore, is completed manually by the home barista.

Material Housing (Outside Casing) Information

This machine is made to last a lifetime with its durable, all-steel exterior and beautiful heavy chrome plating.

Drip Tray Information

This machine has an easy clean drip tray, which means all, or at least most, of the spills and drips that are bound to happen will be caught in the drip tray.

Coffee Ground Tamper Information

Although this machine does come with a tamper, customers have reported that the one that arrives with the machine is the incorrect size. A 51-mm tamper is the correct size tamper for this machine.

Milk Frothing Info.

Picture of Latte ArtThis machine heats water up incredibly quickly, with a total approximate time of 10 minutes prior to being able to froth milk.

Of note is that the frothing wand is located very close to the boiler, and the wand does not swivel outward.

Steam Pressure Information

Customers who have purchased and used this machine have reported that the steam pressure of this machine is very ample for steaming/frothing milk to perfection.

Boiler Pressure Gauge Information

This machine has no pressure gauge; however, no worries! The La Pavoni Europiccola features a steam escape valve that regulates the pressure, thus there is no need for a pressure gauge.

Boiler Capacity Information

This machine has a boiler capacity of 0.80 liter, which is equal to 8 cups of water.

Boiler Pressure Information

This boiler provides pressure of 0.7 to 0.8 bar pressure.

Information Regarding Heat-Up Time

This machine heats water for brewing in about 5 minutes average, and it is capable of heating enough to produce steam in approximately 10 minutes.

Machine Dimensions

This machine’s dimensions are very small compared to a lot of the espresso machines available, which means people with less counter space could easily consider this machine, which measures just 11  x  7  x  12 inches.

Wattage Information

This machine is powered with 1,000 watts.

Warranty Information

This machine has a 1-year warranty.

Customer Reviews – La Pavoni Europiccola EL Espresso Machine Review

Pros

  • Incredibly compact size — this means it won’t take up much counter space.
  • Complete control of your espresso brewing experience — Because this is a manual lever espresso machine, you have complete control of the end result. (However, keep in mind that this could also be a not so good thing, if you have no experience making espresso with a manual lever espresso machine.)
  • Very durable construction, consisting primarily of steel.
  • Very fast heating ability of about 5 minutes for a full water reservoir, which ensures you won’t be waiting around for 20 minutes (or longer) for the water to heat up.
  • Water level indicator, which ensures you will know when a refill is needed without having to peer down into the water reservoir.
  • Great steaming/frothing ability. Provides the capability of being able to steam 12+ ounces of milk.

Cons

  • Lightweight base — customers have reported that the base could have been built more solidly, particularly when compared to the remainder of the machine, which is constructed of very durable steel.
  • Steam wand that does not swivel and is located very close to the boiler — this means that milk must be steamed very close to where the boiler is located.
  • Difficult to learn for beginners who are new to making espresso – although practice makes perfect, if you are a newbie to making espresso, you definitely will need some practice before you will get that desired end result. Do keep in mind, however, that the goal of superb espresso made at home is absolutely a goal that can be within your reach, with just some practice and experimentation!