Inexpensive Espresso Machines
Q: Hey I know you can spend from $300.00 - $2000.00 on a nice Cappuccino machine. But you can also pick one up at Walmart for $35.00 . And it does a good job. The Mr. Coffee Espresso/Cappuccino Machine. For the money it is a great buy for a good home machine that the average joe can buy to make an average joe.
A: The Saeco Maestro is a true pump machine, but it's still pretty weak and has a ticky-tacky little portafilter that doesn't do good crema. Spend $250 and pop for the Aroma (or see if Starbuck's can sell you a used Rio Vapore for $150-200). If you think a $35 steam machine does a "pretty good" job, BTW, either you ain't tasted real espresso or are wiling to settle for lattes. The key in the previous response is the spelling "capachino." Also, steam brewers like the MR.Coffee do NOT use the same principle as the big boys, which use pump pressure to force HOT WATER, not steam, through the grounds. Steam machines, like the Italian stovetop Moka pots, will give you very strong dark coffee, with maybe a puny (and very short-lived) ring of coarse-bubbled froth around the edge of the thin and bitter brew. A lot of foamed milk (and some syrups) will disguise this and give you a passable caffe latte. But you will NEVER get real espresso (or even true cappucino) out of a cheap little steam machine. I used to think my little Rowenta steam brewer was great till I went out 10 yrs ago and bought my first pump machine (some off-brand Italian model which broke, which I replaced with a Krups Novo and then a Saeco Profi). Be forewarned. Well, the only problem is that the brew coming out of that unexpensive machine is neither a cappuccino nor a espresso. Simply because the resulting liquid is the product of yuckee steam from an aluminum chamber. "To say espresso or cappuccino" you need "water" forced by a pump/piston through the grinds. Just because you can foam milk and put some froth on your coffee doesn't qualify it as cappuccino. In a nutshell, cappuccino is made with a Espresso machine, a Espresso machine *must* have a pump and piston mechanism.
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