Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine
One of the problems that many people run into when they have decided to buy an espresso machine is cost. Super automatic espresso machines can run into the thousands of dollars, plus they take up a lot of space in the kitchen. Granted, as the name implies, the whole process of brewing a cup of espresso is automated but, unless you plan on drinking hundreds of cups of espresso, your cost per cup will be really high due to the cost of the machine.
Ideally, you will be able to find a semi automatic espresso maker that is easy to use, cleans up in a snap, will brew your coffee and help steam milk. Plus you want it to be under $300. Luckily, there are a few good units that meet all of these criteria, and one of our favorites is the Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ espresso maker with a steam wand.
Calphalon has a well deserved reputation for high quality kitchen tools and appliances, and this espresso machine fits will into that reputation. The unit itself is made of stainless steel and is sturdy. Making espresso can get a bit physical, especially when you push the coffee container (here is is called a portafilter) and you don’t want any flimsy plastic pieces that can snap. Solidly built, the unit feels sturdy and secure.
A Well Designed Espresso Maker
This machine has a well designed control panel, one that is easy and very simple to use. The main control is a dial face and you will find quite a few programmable functions that will make your brewing experience much easier. You will find that the single or double shot program is very convenient and will help you save a few steps in the process of brewing espresso.
One feature that I love is the warming tray that is on top of the machine. There is room for a couple of demitasse cups on the tray and, for those of use who like hot coffee, you can set the cups out to warm before brewing. What a great idea!
Included with this espresso maker is a very powerful steam wand. It’s well designed and placed on the right of the machine. More importantly, it works really well. A handy stainless steel milk pitcher is included, meaning that you will have everything that you need to brew a great espresso and steam some milk at the same time.
The portafilter is a bit oversized, making it easier to handle and better designed to help steam the water through the coffee and the filter. The water reservoir is good sized, around 2 liters or about 1/2 gallon. It has a flip up lid and is easy to clean and refill.
This espresso maker can brew one of two cups of espresso at a time, a really nice option to have. The whole unit is easy to clean and it comes with both a tamper and a cleaning pin. Again, everything that you need to brew that perfect cup of espresso is included.
Can You Use Espresso Coffee Pods?
Calphalon says yes, but only ESE pods. ESE stands for Easy Serve Espresso, and these pods are specially designed to work in coffee makers that used pressurized hot water. As long as the packaging says ESE, you are able to use them with this brewer. There are some very good single serve ESE pods available, and the secret of espresso is the brewing process. This machine handles that process very well.
Can you send more on an espresso maker! Absolutely, just browse the Amazon website and you will find units that will cost as much as a used car. You can also find espresso machines that cost a lot less. If you have budget concerns, check out the Mr. Coffee Espresso And Cappuccino maker. It’s lower in cost and makes a great cup of espresso.
Whether you drink espresso in the morning or enjoy it with dessert after a good meal, your best results will always happen if you use a good quality espresso maker.