Making an espresso is no mean feat. Brewing the espresso, steaming the milk, then pouring the espresso and the milk, wiping the steam wand and then flushing it. Now, fortunately, you can yourself become the barista from the comfort of your own home with the host of Coffee and Espresso maker combo machines available.
Things to consider before buying a Coffee and Espresso Machine Combo
What is it?
A Coffee and Espresso maker, exactly as the name suggests, is a machine that can make numerous specialty drinks to cheer up your morning. You choose what you want to make – an espresso, or lattes and cappuccinos or of course, my favourite, just a simple pot of hot coffee. You may not look as cool as a barista making it but the machine definitely does a good job of preparing the drink. They come in different designs with some of them having steam wands.
Why buy an Espresso and Coffee Maker combo machines can be quite intimidating to the uninitiated. In case you are a beginner you might want a machine which you find easy to operate. They are also relatively expensive and take up a lot of space.The compact Espresso and Coffee Makers provide a means to making more specialty drinks tailored to your taste, at a fraction of the cost. You also save up on the transport costs of going to your nearest coffee shop everyday just to get your favourite brew.
Choosing the perfect one
Coffee and Espresso Maker combos have become the new hype and so you will find a plethora of really cheap options in the market. However, you should always make sure to invest in something that gives you that quality cup of coffee you desire.
You should focus on four basic points when choosing the machine that makes the best coffee –
» Primary Use
First you need to make sure the type of drink you are likely to prepare the most of. Knowing how you plan to use the machine helps you choose one that is certain to deliver on that front. It’s up to you whether you want a hard-hitting espresso machine with the occasional lattes and cappuccinos or you want longer coffee with the shot of espresso occasionally. This will narrow down your list considerably.
» The Espresso Machine
Always check how effective the Espresso Machine is. A good quality espresso machine on the combo is absolutely essential whether you are a committed espresso fiend, or you just like the occasional cup. You should check all the user reviews to find a clearer picture about the machine and it’s parts, eg. The pump. Then you know whether the machine can meet your expresso requirements.
» Pods or Ground Coffee
Cleaning up is extremely convenient and takes very little time when it comes to the Pod(Capsule-based) Combo Machines. However, it uses a large amount of plastic, which is not eco-friendly at all. You are also quite limited in the brewing process. A ground coffee Combo Machine does not have these limitations, though it has a much harder clean up process. It basically boils down to your personal preference.
Like any other appliance, you first check the dimensions of the combo machine. Most of them are made with the objective of making them as compact as possible leading to variations in their sizes. So you need to have space to fit it in your kitchen or storage space, as you might want to use it sparingly.
You should also look at it’s operations, it’s price, quality of brew, material quality and brewing time.
Problems that may arise
You can spend lavishly on your Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo, but you will still be prone to a few problems. We are bound to face more problems, while buying one on a budget. Balancing the taste of the brew(s) with easy usage and versatility, perfectly, is extremely hard to achieve. Let’s take a look at problems that follow,
You are bound to face problems early on, after buying one of these machines. You will need some time to get familiar with how the machine functions even if you went and bought the one which you felt was the easiest to use. Your machine could possess a complicated menu or the grind might not always fall through all the way or maybe even you have to grind the beans all by yourself. So be prepared for the few challenges at the onset.
The Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo definitely is an economical solution to your everyday coffee needs. However, you might not be able to recreate the exact taste and aroma of the coffee that you are used to having at your favourite coffee shop. You have to be resigned to the fact that the quality of the coffee you create using the machine, might not be better than the one you can have, out at the bar.
We have decided to save you the trouble of going to hundreds of choices by making a list of the top five Coffee and Espresso Maker Combos, based on their prices, their quality and last but not the least, their style. So, let’s take a look –
Top 5 Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo of 2020
It is a machine designed to provide a really tasty brew while providing a quality performance with excellent efficiency. The unit needs around 1500 watts of power and has dimensions that are (12×8.8×15) inches. You can get four distinct types of coffee from this machine.
The first is the Classic Brew which gives you a traditional style drip coffee. If you love black coffee, this is the option for you. Then comes the Rich Brew which gives you a more concentrated form of drip coffee. The Ninja can make cold coffee as well, with it’s Over-Ice Brew option. You need to put ice in your beforehand to enjoy this option to the fullest. Lastly comes the Speciality option, which is a blend setting(super-concentrated), and designed to provide very small amounts of coffee packed with a much higher dose of caffeine content and flavour.
Here’s a YouTube link on how to clean it : https://youtu.be/q3AVdiF2X0o
Let’s take a look at it’s parts –
It has a dishwasher safe glass/thermal carafe, which is a removable container, that can hold up to 10 cups of coffee.
It has a simple, compact, easy to use frother which is also foldable.
You can see Breville’s dedication to innovation and durability, clearly reflected in the Breville Bambino Plus, made of the Breville-standard stainless steel. It is considerably more durable than any plastic competitor and has around 1560 watts of power. It’s dimensions are (11.8×7.7×12.6) inches.
You can get a single serve or a double, while brewing (If you care about single serve flexibility – read our best dual coffee maker article here).
You also have control over the steaming, including the temperature and texture. You get an extra “purge” function and it is preferable to possibly rinse the portafilter in between shots. You should keep the milk sensor clean and dry to get accurate temperature readings. You also get a pre-infusion function with the Bambino Plus, beyond the dosing stage. This function will gradually increase the water pressure, allowing the coffee grounds to expand gently leading to an even extraction.
You can enjoy the experience with the machine, when it comes to home brewing, but it gives you very limited options for expansion. Let’s take a look at it’s parts,
It has a water tank that can hold around 64 ounces.
It has a steam wand(automatic) to adjust the temperature and texture of the milk.
It comes with an inbuilt 54mm porta-filter, suitable with a 19 gram dose.
Breville The Barista Express Espresso Machine, BES870XL
You get to unleash the barista in you with the The Breville Barista Express. This is a great option of an espresso machine, if you are simply looking to make a good, strong brew. You can take your time to enjoy those shots, with an exquisite taste, that you have prepared. The machine does the grinding and extracting for you. The machine goes into standby mode if it is left alone for an hour. You can rest assured that it will definitely conserve energy with it completely shutting off at the end of three hours.
It has a power of 1600 watts and it’s dimensions are (13.25×12×16) inches. You can make a single serve or double serve at the same time. It has an “auto-purge” function, to get the machine to the temperature optimal for extracting espresso. You can easily use this semi-automatic machine as a beginner but it also comes with highly customisable controls to give you that proper barista experience.
Let’s take a look at it’s parts,
It has an integrated, conical, stainless steel burr coffee grinder.
It has an 8 ounce hopper.
It comes with a Razor Dosing Tool for the portal filter.
It has a stainless steel steam wand.
Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker
You will simply fall in love with this new machine from Keurig that can make foam, using milk. Keurig has come up with an attractive and extremely modern design for this unit, which is primarily made of plastic, like most of its other models. It does however, have a premium nickel-coloured finish.
The controls can be found on the top and they come with a strong brew option. You can enjoy four different cup sizes, which are – 6, 8, 10 and 12. There is also an extra 2 ounce Shot button, dedicated for lattes. The water reservoir can hold water enough for 6 full cups of coffee. So, in case you use it for 2 ounce shots, like me, the reservoir can go on for around a week before needing to be refilled.
The milk frother on this machine uses fresh milk and resides in the base of the machine on the right. The machine requires 1500 watts of power and it’s dimensions are (12.5 × 15.3 × 11.7) inches. You can put travel mugs, up to a height of 7.2 inches, into the machine. Now let’s jump into its different parts:
It has a removable water tank on it’s left side, which can hold about 60 ounces of water.
It has a heating system that comes with digital controls in the middle of the machine.
It comes with a drip tray.
It has metal handles.
De’longhi America EN750MB Lattissima Pro
This machine comes with a pod based system, with the original “Nespresso Capsule System”, pre-installed into it. You have no work regarding any kind of measuring or grinding. Using capsules ensures that there will never be any change in the taste of the brew. You can adjust the strength of the brew and the flavour too, according to your preference(s). The milk froth always has a consistent strength, when it comes to this particular machine. It comes in a stainless steel body which is considerably compact, giving off an industrial look. The design is even more eye-catching and will definitely modernise your kitchen with it’s chrome-plated and brushed finishes. It can exert a maximum of 19 bars of pressure. It needs 1300 watts of power to run and the dimensions of the machine are (10.79 x 7.6 x 13) inches. Here are it’s different parts,
It had a fine sensor touch display.
It has a removable tank, with a hinged lid, that can hold up to 43 ounces of water.
It comes with a milk carafe, that has a volume of 17 ounces.
It comes with a drip tray.
It has a used pod container and an unused milk container that can store around 0.5 litres of milk.
So, all in all, it is the DE’LONGHI AMERICA EN750MB LATTISSIMA PRO, that would be the perfect option for a Coffee and Espresso Maker Combo. You can get six different types of coffee with this machine, thus fulfilling all your different coffee wishes. It also restricts any wastage to bare minimum and makes it extremely easy to clean after the brewing, much simpler and easier. It has its own share of drawbacks, like being dependent on the coffee pods. But, the coffee pods also make the cleaning up easier. It is durable, easy on the pocket, compact in size and above all, gives you the rich taste in every cup of coffee, right in your own home.
So, if these are some of the features you are looking for, like me, then opt for one that serves your needs the best. I hope this article helped you to come to a perfect decision and now the only thing that stands between you and your coffee is a coffee maker!