Todays a very special day, did you know that? It’s International Coffee Day! Yeah! Especially for huge coffee lovers like me! And while you will find your favorite coffee shops offering anniversary deals (see Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, 7-Eleven, etc), I am my own barista most of the time.
Over the years, I have bought a wide variety of coffee and espresso makers looking for that one that meets and hopefully, exceeds, my expectations. This is taking into consideration the brand’s reputation, machine component quality (plastic vs. metal), temperature of the coffee (I like hot coffee!), counter space, taste of finished product, ease of use and cost.
Having purchased my own Capresso drip coffee maker more than 10 years ago (and gave as a gift to friends and family — which tells you how much I liked it), I was recently introduced to their ECPRO Espresso Machine. There were a number of things that I liked about this machine just from the start. The first is that I like being able to choose the brand of beans that I like vs. being required to buy pods of coffee that only fit their own machine.
As far as the equipment itself, I am already familiar with Capresso and know their brand to be high quality at a reasonable price. Their customer service has always been pleasant and accommodating if I had questions about my machine over the years. For this Capresso ECPRO machine, I noticed a number of features that I find to be advantageous:
Made of heavy stainless steel
2 options for making your espresso your way based on the filter you choose. Tamper and scoop are included.
Power frothing option if you like lattes and cappuccinos
42 ounces removable water carafe (so much easier to fill this way)
15 bar pump for rich crema
Warming tray on top of machine for coffee/espresso cups
Easy to understand, clean and use
Here are my tips when using this Capresso ECPRO Espresso machine:
- I always grind my own beans just as I am making my espresso rather than buying a pound of ground beans. I find the taste to be fresher. I will share my experience with Capresso’s Infinity Conical Burr Grinder next.
- Using the machine is not difficult and makes tons of sense once you make your first espresso. So, first things first, turn the switch at the top of the machine to on. The switch just below is where you choose if you are going to make an espresso or steam milk. You must wait for the light to turn from orange to green though. Once it turns green, then you turn the dial to the left for espresso or to the right for steam. When you see the desired outcome, turn the dial back to the center and you are ready to enjoy your beverage.
- I make my espresso and then do the froth next. The trick here is to make sure the wand is clean inside. Super easy to clean out. All you need to do is to make sure the switch on the left side is moved to the steam option and the light is now green, then bend the frother wand to the drip shelf and turn dial to steam. It will quickly steam out anything left behind from the last use. And now you are ready to make your steamed or frothed milk. You will want to use cold milk as that offers the best results in my experience. I suggest cleaning the wand immediately after you use it to remove that film of milk that you can see in the picture below.
- If you like a rich crema, use the flat filter that is provided. There is some skill needed as you want a fine grind of beans to work with this filter. But the results are delicious. I am using the dual filter in the photo.
In the end, I am really liking this espresso machine. It looks nice on my counter, is easy to use and makes rich tasting espresso beverages. It retails for approximately $250 which is a fair price for a machine with 15 bars of pressure, the ability to choose your own espresso beans and a strong frothing wand. While the majority of the exterior of the machine is stainless steel giving a strong clean look, the drip tray is made out of plastic. That really doesn’t have an impact on my decision regarding this machine as it looks respectable and carries on the stainless appliance look in my kitchen.
From my perspective, this is a good choice for a home or small office espresso machine. I also think it would make a great gift for anyone who loves coffee as much as I do. You can find it at Amazon which is also including some accessories in the package. Capresso EC PRO 118.05 Professional Espresso & Cappuccino Machine with Grand Aroma Whole Bean Coffee (8.8oz),Espresso, Coffee Measure, ESPRESSO TAMPER (CD) with 2 pcs 10oz Handy Glass Coffee Mug + 5 Focus Gift Card
As I mentioned in the discussion about the Capresso Espresso Machine, having a good grinder makes a huge difference in the outcome of your beverage whether coffee or espresso. Traditional blade grinders tend to grind the beans unevenly. This has an effect on the flavor of the coffee as you can imagine. In addition, the heat from the blades also warms the beans affecting the strength of the coffee oils. One mistake many consumers make is to assume that the type of machine you are using to make your coffee or espresso has no impact on the grind of the beans you use. That is so not true. Whether you use a French press, drip or stove top machine or espresso machine like described here, you want to grind the beans to be optimized in the machine of your choice.
Capresso’s Infinity Conical Burr Grinder gives you that choice and with ease. There are 16 grinder settings that range from the Turkish fine to very coarse. There are even four categories to break it down even further: extra fine, fine, regular and coarse. The timer will grind from 5 to 60 seconds. This machine uses the same burrs as found in fully automatic commercial machines. The advance conical burr design and gear reduction motor creates less friction and heat. The benefit of this is in maintaining the quality of the beans and resulting flavor. You don’t want to heat the beans up as a result of the grinders motion.
When using this grinder, I put just enough beans to brew the pot of coffee or espresso that I will need. Its quick, quiet, gives me control over grind size and is easy to clean the parts of the machine. In fact, it comes with a small brush to clean out the grinder which just helps the machine work better. Ultimately, it offers me the freshest and richest pot of coffee I can make for myself at home. And to me, that is a major win! Capresso Jura Infinity 560 Conical Burr Coffee Grinder – Black + Coffee Grinder Dusting Brush + 3-pack 35G Grindz Coffee Grinder Cleaner
I have been a fan of Capresso products for more than 10 years now. I buy them for myself, family members, friends and recommend them to my clients. Have you tried them yet? If you enjoy coffee and espresso products as much as I do, check them out and let me know what you think.
Thanks for stopping by. And happy Coffee Day!