Mr Coffee Steam Espresso/Cappuccino Maker Model BVMC-ECM260
The Mr Coffee Steam Espresso/Cappuccino Maker is a great basic espresso maker that can also steam or froth milk for great espresso based drinks.
Ease of Use/Performance: 3/5
How much I enjoy 4/5
The Mr Coffee Steam Espresso/Cappuccino Maker model BVMC-ECM260 is the newest basic espresso machine from Mr Coffee that uses steam to make espresso. The Steam Espresso machine does a good job at making espresso but not as good as a pump driven machine can.
To make a really decent espresso you need to force very hot water through the fine ground coffee beans and steam just does not emulsify the oils like a pump machine will. The Mr Coffee does more like a moka pot but also gives you the ability to make steamed or frothed milk at the same time.
The main difference between a steam driven machine and a pump one is that a pump espresso machine will force the water through the grounds faster and with more force. When the hot water is forced through the grounds with enough pressure it extracts more of the coffee beans flavor and creates the crema which espresso is known for.
The Mr Coffee Steam Espresso Machine does a good enough job at making espresso and you can enjoy a quick cup to four cups of espresso from the machine. Making espresso is as easy as grinding your coffee beans and filling the stainless steel porta filter to the appropriate level and installing it on the machine.
Fill water in the top fill water reservoir and ensure the cap is on tight then turn the side control knob to brew with the glass carafe under the porta filter. The Mr Coffee steam machine will brew the espresso in about four and a half minutes for four cups of espresso.
I found that stopping the brew process at about half way between the two and four cup level indicators was perfect to get four cups without getting any bitter taste. The Mr Coffee steam espresso machine has enough steam pressure to steam or froth two or three drinks along with making the four cups of espresso.
You may not be able to steam or froth four full drinks out of the same filling of the water reservoir but a few times I did have enough for four cappuccinos. I did try numerous times but on occasion there just was not enough steam to heat up milk for four drinks.
I have used the Mr Coffee Steam Espresso Machine for a few months and have made mostly just espresso for a quick four cup on the go drink. The four cups of espresso nicely fills my Starbucks Christmas travel mug even though it is an eight ounce cup.
The four cup espresso carafe is about 8 ounces of liquid which is a bit more than true espresso but this really only makes very strong coffee. The Mr Coffee Steam Espresso Machine is great if you have never made espresso drinks before and want to try your hand at lattes and cappuccinos without spending much money.
While some may say that the steam espresso machine is nothing compared to a real pump driven espresso machine it does make a decent enough espresso. The Mr Coffee Espresso Machine is a nice introduction into espresso and starts you off without costing too much.
You will need a good grinder as well and a common advice I have seen from espresso connoisseurs is to buy a good grinder and a steam machine to get started in espresso. I have often read at espresso websites and do agree that the single most important piece of equipment for great espresso is the grinder.
You can use the same grinder for the steam machine and a pump machine but you will need to start off with a good grinder to make any espresso. You can always upgrade the espresso machine later which is why so many recommend a good grinder first.
The Mr Coffee Steam Espresso Machine does an excellent job at frothing milk without using much of a technique like other frothers may require. The frothing wand or frothing aid as Mr Coffee calls it is designed to allow for quick and easy frothed milk without much effort.
You can also use the steam feature to heat milk for lattes just as quickly and cleanup of the frothing and steaming wand is easy. The rubber end of the frother comes off for easy washing while the wand can be wiped clean along with the machine itself.
The carafe and lid as well as the removable tray are dishwasher safe or can be washed by hand with soapy water and a quick rinse. The Mr Coffee Steam Espresso Machine does a great job at making espresso and espresso based drinks for a beginner and has the price tag to match.
The BVMC-ECM260 costs about $45 which is pretty good for an introduction into the world of espresso and espresso based drinks like cappuccino. I highly recommend the Mr Coffee Steam Espresso Machine BVMC-ECM260 for a good start at espresso with an easy to use and clean machine.
Inexpensive espresso machine
Easy to clean
Very easy to use frother
Does not make very good crema