If you’re one for cappuccinos and lattes, and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars to get an espresso machine, try the Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine. This is a steam driven espresso machine with a good frother.
In case you haven’t read my guide post on the Types and Variations of Espresso Machines, steam driven machines cannot produce rich crema-topped espresso, so if you’re into that, go get a pump driven machine.
Great for Cappuccinos
The frother is really good on this espresso machine, so Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine makes nice cappuccinos, though you’ll have to get a milk pitcher or mug for steaming and maybe a better tamper than the plastic one that is included.
Learning curve is slight – you only have to practice tamping properly so that the coffee won’t turn out too weak (loose tamp) or too bitter (tight tamp). You can make thick or thin foam with the milk as well, depending how you place the frother.
Unlike pump espresso machines, steam driven machines are way quieter. Even the steamer didn’t make much noise with the Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine.
It appears that a few users didn’t notice that the cord can unwind a few more feet from under the machine if you need it, and this has been pointed out by later reviews.
This affordable little espresso machine cannot make coffee and steam milk at the same time, which is about the only downside I can see. Cleaning up is not difficult, but you’ll have to descale it and run it without coffee grounds sometimes to maintain it.
“Overall – if you are on a tight budget and do not really drink espresso much, only cappuccinos, definitely go for this machine, it is a hard-to-beat deal. It takes minimum amount of time to get ready and is very easy to operate and clean.“ – Pampeliska, at Amazon.com
I think the reviewer summed it up pretty well. Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine is only $36 at the best price with free shipping. Check it out.
My recommendations for cheaper pump driven espresso machines:
There are more reviews and espresso machine tips in my Best Espresso Machine main page.
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