Tag Archives: espresso

Crio Bru Ultimate Chocolate Lover’s Gift Box Review

Crio Bru Ultimate Chocolate Lover’s Gift Box Review

Crio Bru is a unique drink that is made from cocoa beans that are roasted then ground so you can brew them like coffee but the drink is not like anything else.

Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Creativity: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Just how good is it: 4/5

Recommendation: 4/5

Chocolate Lovers Gift Set
Crio Bru Chocolate Lovers Gift Set

Crio Bru is not coffee and it is not hot chocolate, it is 100 percent cocoa beans ground for a unique drink that is like nothing else on the market. The cocoa beans are grown in a variety of locations and just like coffee beans both location and growing conditions dictate a unique flavor.

Each variety has a unique and distinct flavor with an additional enhancement in some of the Crio Bru flavors by adding things like lime zest and spearmint leaf. The Mojito Crio Bru is a unique and tasty treat that has a hint of mint and lime due to the addition of the dried ingredients added to the cocoa.

Crio Bru buys cocoa beans, or also called cacao, roasts them to perfection along with grinding them for brewing like you brew coffee. Do not think Crio Bru is like coffee or even hot chocolate as the beans do not brew like coffee beans nor do they dissolve in hot water like processed hot chocolate powder.

Brewing Cocoa with French Press
Crio Bru with Bodum French Press

You can brew Crio Bru just like coffee but for the full flavor of cocoa a French Press is the best but you can also try the other ways to brew coffee for some variety. I tried both a regular coffee pot and a moka pot and found that the Crio Bru just does not have enough time in either to make a decent brew.

The best way to brew cocoa for drinking is with a French Press because soaking the beans allows the most flavor and oils to release into the water. It takes time to bring the full flavor out of the beans and that is the biggest difference between coffee and cocoa brewing.

Crio Bru is an interesting drink and does have the variety in the Ultimate Chocolate Lover’s Gift Box which contains 8 varieties of Crio Bru brewed cocoa and a Bodum 34 ounce French Press. The Chocolate Lover’s gift set contains a 12 ounce bag of Cavalla Crio Bru, Coca River Crio Bru and Maya Crio Bru along with an eight ounce bag of chocolate covered Crio Bru cocoa beans.

Chocolate Covered Cocoa Beans
Crio Bru Cocoa Beans

The gift set also includes the five ounce bags of Maracaibo Crio Bru, Vega Real Crio Bru and Cavalla French Roast along with a 2.5 ounce bag of the Mojito Crio Bru. All the Crio Bru varieties have a distinct flavor and are great with a specific taste like the Maracaibo with its hint of caramel and cherry.

Some of the Crio Bru are better than others but this will depend on your taste but overall they are alright but I was a bit disappointed with the overall flavor. This is mostly due to the taste expectations that people have when trying the brew after spending years drinking coffee and hot chocolate.

I had tried another brand of roasted ground cocoa and found after doing some research that mixing brewing cocoa with coffee was an even better way to enjoy the drink. After a little experimentation I found that mixing about 1/3 roasted cocoa and 2/3 espresso ground coffee and brewing the mix in a moka pot just like espresso that tastes excellent.

Brewing Cocoa Experimenting
Crio Bru Experimenting

Getting the subtle notes of each Crio Bru while still enjoying my usual cup of espresso is the perfect way to really enjoy brewing cocoa. I have really enjoyed sampling the Crio Bru blends and can easily recommend Crio Bru for an excellent take on a hot beverage whether you take it plain or brewed with coffee.

Crio Bru Website

Crio Bru Chocolate Lover’s Gift Set

Travesso The Prima Kit Review

Travesso The Prima Kit Review

Espresso on the go has a couple of unique obstacles to great taste and Travesso The Prima Kit has everything you need for great tasting espresso wherever you find yourself.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 4/5

Total: 4/5

Travesso Prima Kit

Travesso started as a desire to never be without espresso and keeping things small and lightweight is part of that idea. The Prima Kit includes everything you need to make great tasting espresso but does require electricity to heat water.

The Travesso Prima Kit includes the Travesso Prima, immersion heater, CO2 charger, CO2 cartridges, double walled Bodum espresso cup, Oxo heater rest, tread lube and ESE pods. The Prima Kit also comes with a travel case to carry everything in with enough room for a shock absorber pump and a small thermos.

The Prima Kit has a great machine at its center with the Travesso Prima that uses air from a pump to force the hot water through the espresso grounds. Using either ground espresso and a filter paper or an E.S.E. pod you can make fresh espresso with plenty of crema.

whats in the box

The Travesso Prima has a sealed chamber for the water, grounds and gas used to force the water through the grounds and out the valve. The pressure comes from a pump or cartridge with a common Schrader valve and a gauge for charging the Travesso Prima.

To make espresso you first heat water using the included immersion heater or any other method and fill the black reservoir about 3/4 full. Next you either put grounds in the water then a filter paper or set an E.S.E. pod on top of the reservoir.

The lid is screwed on to the reservoir and you turn the unit over to soak the water into the grounds or pod for 8 seconds. Gas from either a pump like a high pressure shock absorber pump, a CO2 or NO2 cartridge is used to pressurize the Travesso Prima.

inside the prima

The gas is force into the Schrader valve and when the unit is pressurized to about 200 psi you can remove the cartridge or pump. The Schrader valve ensures you do not lose pressure while taking the pump or cartridge off the prima.

You can use the included Bodum double walled espresso cup to enjoy your espresso and the kit includes a sampling of great tasting pods. The valve at the outlet controls how much espresso is released which also partially controls the amount of crema.

Once you empty the gas from the Prima after getting your shot of espresso you simply rinse it out and ensure the screw threads get some lubrication. The large screw threads on the lid and reservoir ensure a tight seal but some lube is included to make sure you have an easy time both tightening and maintaining a seal.

Prima Gauge & Valve

The Prima offers a unique way to bring espresso wherever you go and the kit has just about everything you need including an easy way to boil water. The immersion heater works just fine but you can just as easily boil water in a tea kettle or on a fire with a pot or other handy cookware.

Like other espresso devices I found that warming up the Prima and the cup helps to make a smoother and less bitter espresso. I have not really had a bitter espresso with the Prima as it does not really overheat the grounds but you can use too long an extraction as well.

I found the half minute or slightly less is about perfect and warming the cup and Prima helps to get a hot shot of espresso. The Travesso Prima is a great way to make espresso on the go and would make an excellent camping or on the go espresso maker.

Travesso Prima

I highly recommend the Travesso Prima as an excellent espresso maker that works well and is easy to use while the Prima Kit has everything you need for fresh espresso.

Travesso Prima website

Pros
Easy to make espresso
On the go portability
Simple kit

Cons
Makes better espresso with ESE Pods

Mr Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Machine

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso Machine

The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is a semi-automatic pump espresso machine that also includes a removable frother steamer milk tank for quick and easy espresso based drinks.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 4.5/5

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista

The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is a semi-automatic espresso machine that uses a 15 bar pump system to brew great espresso. The removable automatic milk frother reservoir allows you to store your milk in the fridge between brewing for convenience.

The Cafe Barista comes with the pump espresso machine, removable milk and water reservoirs, stainless steel porta filter and 2 baskets, tamper scoop and manual with recipe book. The Café Barista machine has a removable water tank and milk reservoir for easy espresso based drinks while the two baskets are for single and double espressos.

The one tray is a pull out tray that fits over the other tray to allow for smaller shot sized glasses to fit under the porta filter. When you have medium sized glasses you can slide that tray under the plastic mount where the milk reservoir sits.

Parts of the Cafe Barista

The Cafe Barista uses a regular 15 bar pump system to brew tasty espresso with plenty of crema while the milk heating and frothing system makes espresso drinks easily. The automatic milk frother and steamer allows for quick and easy milk based espresso drinks with adjustable amounts of froth.

The milk frothing reservoir has a rubber tube that draws milk into the top portion with steam entering through the machine into the top of the reservoir frother to steam or froth your milk. This frothing is a complex system with tubes and seals that snap into the machine but you do need to make sure it is fully seated when installing.

You can use the single cup or double shot espresso stainless steel baskets to make one or two shots of espresso. The double shot is the usual one I have been using and this works great for rich tasting espresso based drinks as well.

Espresso from the Cafe Barista

The front control panel has buttons for espresso, cappuccino and latte for both a single and double shot with all three being adjustable. The Cafe Barista allows you to use the default amount of water as well as being able to adjust the amount using the controls.

When you brew a cappuccino or latte the milk reservoir is required with cold milk which fills in the top and the unit snaps in easily but a few times I did have to push a bit to get it seated. The reservoir has a latte and cappuccino knob on it that either just heats the milk with steam or froths the milk and heats it.

The more the knob is turned to clockwise the more froth is added to the milk when it is automatically dispensed in your drink. The knob is also used to clean the milk frother by simply pushing steam through the unit to clean the tubes and internal components of the frother.

Cappuccino Cafe Barista

When making a milk based drink the system will send a little steam through the frother but you should clean out the unit occasionally to keep it clean. The machine is easy to clean and the reservoir can easily be stored in the fridge to keep the milk cold and ready for the next drinks.

The Cafe Barista is a handy all in one machine that uses regular espresso and an automatic frother to make espresso based drinks quickly and easily. Other than ensuring the milk frother tank is fully seated I had no problems with the Cafe Barista.

The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista costs about $200 and is available at local stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond Wal-Mart as well as online at Amazon.com. I can easily recommend the Cafe Barista as a fantastic at home espresso and espresso drink machine that makes great espresso drinks.

 Café Barista @ Mr. Coffee

 Café Barista @ Bed, Bath & Beyond

 Café Barista Video

Pros
Makes great espresso
Easy to use frother steamer
Removable milk reservoir and water reservoir
Milk reservoir cleans with steam

Cons
Milk reservoir sometimes needed a push to be fully seated

Mr Coffee Steam Espresso Cappuccino Maker Model BVMC-ECM260

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
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 4/5

Total: 4/5

Mr Coffee Steam Espresso Cappuccino Maker

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.

Whats in the Box

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.

Mr Coffee Steam Espresso

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.

Mr Coffee Espresso & Cappuccino

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.

BVMC-ECM260 @ Mr. Coffee
BVMC-ECM260 @ Amazon

Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Machine Video

Pros

Inexpensive espresso machine
Easy to clean
Very easy to use frother

Cons
Does not make very good crema

Cuisinart Buona Tazza Super Automatic Single Serve Espresso, Caffe Latte & Cappuccino Machine Review

Cuisinart Buona Tazza Super Automatic Single Serve Espresso, Caffe Latte & Cappuccino Machine Review

The Cuisinart for illy Buona Tazza Espresso Machine is a fantastic espresso maker that also makes lattes and cappuccinos with a removable milk tank for easy storage in the fridge.

Ease of Use/Performance: 5/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design 5/5
How much I enjoy 4/5

Total: 5/5

Cuisinart Buona Tazza

The Cuisinart Buona Tazza Super Automatic Single Serve Espresso, Caffe Latte & Cappuccino Machine is a fantastic espresso maker that uses the illy Iperespresso capsules. The Cuisinart Buona Tazza makes espresso and espresso based drinks quickly and easily using the illy capsules but also has some other handy features to aid in fast and convenient espresso.

The Buona Tazza has a removable water and separate milk tank for convenient filling and storage of the milk in the refrigerator when not needed. The Buona Tazza comes with the machine itself, a quick reference guide and owners manual with a few sample capsules to get you started.

Cuisinart Buona Tazza Espresso

The illy Iperesspresso capsules are available directly from illy, at select stores locally and online at sites such as Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond. The Buona Tazza has three size settings with a long and short shot and manual with the long and short settings adjustable.

The heat is also adjustable with two settings and a separate control for latte and cappuccino is also on the front control panel. The flip down small espresso cup tray is used for those small shot glasses while the drip tray below is for larger cups when using the latte or cappuccino function.

Cappuccino from the Buona Tazza

The frother milk tank and making espresso based drinks with milk is easy by simply moving the steam wand into your cup and pressing the appropriate drink button you want. The latte simply steams milk and adds it to your cup while the cappuccino function steams and froths the milk.

The front of the milk tank has a dial for more or less froth in your drinks while a burst of steam at the end of either cycle will clean the steam wand and frother mechanism. The milk tank can be cleaned using a simple steam burst from the front panel controls which cleans out the tubes inside or run clean water through it.

Cuisinart Buona Tazza Latte

For a more thorough cleaning you can empty the milk and fill with clean water then run some water through the tubes using the steam function. The Buona Tazza should also be cleaned routinely with vinegar and water or demineralizer to keep internal parts clean and free of deposits.

Illy currently sells three different regional espresso varieties, three different roasts, a long shot and a decaffeinated blend in the Iperespresso capsules. While this is not as great a variety as a leading competition it does offer a good selection to choose from and is about the only down check I see.

Parts of the Buona Tazza

The Buona Tazza espresso machine is an easy to use machine and does make excellent tasting espresso and espresso based drinks. I have used the machine for a month and put about a hundred capsules through it and can easily say it works very well.

For a quick and convenient way to make espresso, lattes and cappuccinos the Cuisinart Buona Tazza is a great machine and makes an easy recommendation. The Buona Tazza costs about $600 for the EM-500 fully automatic model with two other models that lack features of the full model I received.

buona-tazza-espresso

Buona Tazza Video

Buona Tazza @ Cuisinart

Pros

Easy to use
Simple removable milk frother
Great tasting espresso in minutes

Cons
Only uses illy capsules

My Coffee Star Refillable Nespresso Capsule

My Coffee Star Refillable Nespresso Capsule

The My Coffee Star Refillable Capsule is a stainless steel finely machined capsule that is refillable and works for all Nespresso machines including the newer automatic Nespresso U.

Ease of Use/Performance: 3/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 3/5
How much I enjoy 2/5

Total: 3/5

My Coffee Star Refillable Nespresso Capsule

My Coffee Star is a refillable Nespresso Capsule that is made from stainless steel and is useable in nine different models of Nespresso machines. The most current models of Nespresso including the automatic U can use the refillable capsule named Beta.

The Alpha capsule handles the older models of Nespresso machines with the difference being very minor but important in the machined capsule. The refillable capsules both have a screw on lid with a rubber seal to prevent water from leaking around the capsule when it is running through a cycle.

The My Coffee Star capsule works fairly well and is easy to use but you do get some of the mess when dealing with the ground espresso and cleaning it out. You need to use a fine to very fine grind and ever so lightly pack the grounds into the capsule.

Inside the My Coffee Star Nespresso Capsule

The easiest way to do this is to grind the coffee beans and put them into some kind of container and use the side of the container to pack the grounds into the capsule. After packing the grounds you wipe the screw threads and then screw the lid on the capsule.

Drop the capsule in your Nespresso and start the cycle for a quick cup of espresso but the best you can expect is not as good as a Nespresso capsule. I have been using the My Coffee Star for a couple of months and have not been able to make a really good shot of espresso with the refillable capsule.

I think the main reason for this is the Nespresso is designed and manufactured for the Nespresso capsules which have a very specific grind and amount of espresso. Each capsule is also tamped and these three factors are hard to duplicate when using any refillable capsule.

My Coffee Star Nespresso Capsule

The Nespresso capsule is great and I enjoyed several of the different varieties that Nespresso sells but to duplicate them is very hard. I have been able to get decent shots of espresso using the My Coffee Star but nothing that comes close to the Nespresso capsules.

I just could not get the grind and packing right and that is the problem with any of the refillable capsules with not being able to duplicate the Nespresso capsules closely enough. The Nespresso machines are made as a simple and easy to use espresso machine that is also clean but the refillable capsules ad some mess to the process.

The regular Nespresso capsules mean no mess with grounds and no cleanup other than a simple rinse of the trays and tossing out the used capsules. Any refillable capsule means you have to grind your espresso beans and clean the capsule before next use.

My Coffee Star Bottom

While it may be a bit cheaper to buy beans and grind them yourself the machine is made to use the capsules and that is how it works the best. A refillable capsule works well enough but not as good as the ones made by Nespresso which is what I recommend you use.

If you have a Nespresso machine and want to save a few dollars every so often the My Coffee Star does work but it does mean some mess and lesser quality esresso. The My Coffee Star refillable capsule is available from the Swiss website for about $35 US dollars but it is shipping from Switzerland.

My Coffee Star Website

My Coffee Star Video

Pros
Works fairly well
For use with most Nespresso Models
Solid stainless steel capsule

Cons
Does not make a great shot of espresso
A little messy

Capresso froth TEC Automatic Milk Frother

Capresso froth TEC Automatic Milk Frother

The Capresso froth TEC Automatic Milk Frother is the newest frother that adds frothing and heat features along with fully dishwasher safe components for a versatile and easy espresso companion.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4/5
Convenience/Storage 5/5
Appearance/Design4/5
How much I enjoy 5/5


Total: 4.5/5

Capresso froth TEC Automatic Milk Frother

The Capresso froth TEC is an automatic frother that froths and heats milk as well as uses a fully removable and dishwasher safe pitcher for easy cleanup. The froth TEC features a plug in base for both the heating element and the frothing motor that turns the heating and frothing discs.

The froth TEC uses a frothing enhancer which is a plastic insert that goes into the bottom of the pitcher and holds the frothing or heating disc. The froth enhancer snaps into the bottom of the pitcher that is uniquely designed with a bottom made from a thick aluminum heat sink base and glass sides.

Parts of the froth TEC

The frother or heating discs are spun using a magnet that is turned on a motor that turns the discs in the pitcher using magnetism. The discs insert into the froth enhancer and was a bit tough to pull out for cleaning or changing but is easy enough for my wife to get out.

The main base of the froth TEC has three buttons for frothing without heat, medium heat and high heat along with a safety button in the heating area that ensures the base will not heat without the pitcher on the base. To froth or heat milk you simply pour milk up to either the heat or froth indicator on the glass side and press the appropriate button.

froth TEC w/ Latte

It only takes about two minutes to fully heat milk with the frother automatically shutting off after the milk reaches its temperature. Frothed milk should be about 150 degrees and the Capresso froth TEC brings it up to this pretty well.

Frothing without heat worked extremely well for smooth and creamy froth without having to heat it and the frother did this quickly. It does take longer to heat the milk than just froth but it does this in about two minutes so you can start the heating and work on the espresso part of your drinks while the froth TEC is working at heating and frothing your milk.

Simple Cappuccino

The Capresso froth TEC does an excellent job of frothing making the froth airy and light, smooth and creamy for perfect froth to add to cappuccinos. The frother does leave a little milk in the bottom that remains liquid for a great mix to the espresso for a tasty and tempting espresso based drink.

The Capresso froth TEC worked well and comes as an easy recommendation for a frother that works well and is easy to clean.

Macchiato

froth TEC @ Capresso

froth TEC @ Amazon

How to Make Espresso With the Capresso EC50

How to Make Espresso With the Capresso EC50

The Capresso EC50 is an inexpensive espresso machine and an easy appliance to learn how to make espresso based drinks and shots of espresso.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4.5/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 4.5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5


Total: 4.5/5

The Capresso EC50 is the perfect easy to use machine to learn how to make espresso and espresso based drinks that is also inexpensive. The Capresso EC50 has a stainless steel lined thermoblock that heats the water so your water does not touch any aluminum.

The Capresso EC50 has a 42 ounce removable water tank for easy use and has a good steamer and frother wand for those espresso based drinks. The Capresso EC50 does make good espresso shots and the frothing wand finishes those drinks easily.

How to Make Espresso Capresso EC50

The Capresso EC50 does have enough pressure to push your water through the two shot porta filter that is stainless steel and plastic. The main feature of the EC50 is that your water never touches aluminum which may be a health issue but mainly it’s to prevent corrosion.

The stainless steel and plastic will not corrode and cause less problems with maintenance and cleaning of your espresso machine. The stainless steel outside also has a nice look to it and makes for a nice countertop appliance for your home.

Parts of the EC50 How to Make Espresso

The Capresso EC50 costs about $100 and is a basic espresso machine that may not be for everyone but does work well for espresso shots. The frother and steamer also does a great job of steaming and frothing milk for those espresso based drinks.

The steaming frothing wand has a plastic tip used for frothing but for steaming you simply pull it off and use the steaming function. The pump has plenty of pressure and the thermoblock heater works well to heat the water quickly to steam or froth milk.

Water Tank & Power Switch

The EC50 has a front switch that selects steaming/frothing or brewing shots of espresso with a side switch that powers the machine. The machine only takes about a half minute to heat up and be ready for brewing your espresso or for steaming and frothing.

The Capresso EC50 espresso machine may not be a high end appliance but it does a great job for the price and would make an excellent first machine. I highly recommend the Capresso EC50 espresso machine for a great simple espresso maker.

EC50 Whats in the Box

EC50 Espresso & Cappuccino Maker @ Capresso

 

EC50 @ Amazon

My-Cap Refillable Nespresso Capsules

My-Cap Refillable Nespresso Capsules

The My-Cap Refillable Nespresso Capsules are a reusable plastic capsule that allows you to use your own fresh ground espresso to make fresh shots of espresso in a Nespresso machine.

my-cap

Ease of Use, Performance:  1/5
Look & Feel:  5/5
Features  0/5
How much I enjoy 0/5

Recommendation:  0/5 Stars

The refillable My-Cap capsule is available for use with Nespresso machines including the newest Nespresso U but the capsules do not work very well.  The My-Cap capsules are a small plastic capsule that has the lid on a plastic hinge and a fine mess screen to keep the espresso grounds inside.

I purchased a set of five of the My-Cap capsules and after two months of use have given up trying to get a decent shot of espresso using the refillable capsules. The capsules come with a small rubber or silicone ring that seals the capsule inside the Nespresso machine and I have tried both with and without the seal when making my shots.

my-cap capsules

The capsules are easy to use by simply filling ground espresso and closing the lid shut but between how much and how much to tamp the espresso the shots just never come out well. I usually get just strong coffee without much crema at all but usually I just got terrible weak shots.

The Nespresso machine works just fine and I have been able to continue to get great shots of espresso using the Nespresso capsules but the refillable capsule of the My-Cap just does not work. I have watched several videos both from the company and from users and have not been able to get any that resemble decent shots of espresso.

I was trying to use both a Capresso Infinity and a Baratza Maestro Plus grinder as well as great locally roasted beans and could not get anything to work well enough using the My-Cap capsules. I also tried using a variety of filling and tamping methods including the various ones I found at the My-Cap website and ones suggested by other users and nothing worked well enough.

Damage on My-Cap Capsules

I would not bother trying to use the My-Cap refillable Nespresso capsules as I just could not get a decent shot of espresso even using a variety of different espresso grounds including beans that were fresh roasted the same day. I just could not get the My-Cap refillable capsules to work with the Nespresso U and would recommend not spending your money on them as they just don’t work.

Pros
Inexpensive alternative if they worked

Cons
Does not make a decent cup of espresso
Capsules may crush occasionally
Capsule hinge will eventually break

Crushed My-Cap Capsule

My-Cap Website

Aerocinno Plus Nespresso Frother

Aerocinno Plus Nespresso Frother

The Aerocinno Plus by Nespresso is a fantastic Nespresso frother for espresso based drinks with an easy to clean pitcher that has two simple to replace frother whisks.

Ease of Use/Performance: 4.5/5
Convenience/Storage 4/5
Appearance/Design 4.5/5
How much I enjoy 5/5

Total: 4.5/5

Nespresso Frother Aerocinno Plus

The Aerocinno Plus Nespresso Frother is a great frother for heating and frothing milk or simply frothing without heat for espresso based and other drinks. The Aerocinno Plus makes a great companion to the Nespresso single serve espresso machines available from Nespresso.

Nespresso Frother Aerocinno Plus Whats in the Box

The Aerocinno Plus is a handy milk frother that works well and is easy to clean that has two discs for both frothing and for stirring milk. The Nespresso Frother uses a base with the electric cord attached and a connector for the removable pitcher that plugs into the base.

The pitcher has the bottom connections for plugging into the base and the inside of the pitcher has the level indicators for milk and the post for the discs. The discs sit on top of the post and are held in place by magnets on the motor top that also spin the discs.

The Aerocinno Plus uses a magnet system to suspend the frothing and heating discs above the top shaft of the motor inside the pitcher so the discs actually do not touch the pitcher at all. The discs spin without making contact and so no need for bearings or other components that would wear out internally for a longer lifespan of the frother.

Inside the Aerocinno Plus Nespresso Frother

The inside of the pitcher is nonstick to make cleanup easier with the motor parts inside the pitcher under the seamless interior of the pitcher. The pitcher does have the motor and heating element inside so dishwashing is out but a simple rinse and occasional wash in the sink with soapy water works well.

While you can get the bottom of the pitcher wet I would avoid keeping it underwater and simply wash then rinse the pitcher without leaving it soaking. I have been using a foam brush to wash out my Aerocinno Plus after use for making my lattes and cappuccinos.

The Aerocinno Plus Nespresso Frother is an easy to use frother and with the easy to remove froth and stirring discs its easy to make espresso based drinks. The pitcher simply sets on the base and is easy to remove for quick pouring and cleanup as well as filling at the fridge.

Cappuccino w/ Aeroccino Plus Nespresso Frother

You can use the simple front button to make heated milk with the stirring disc or you can press the button for a few seconds and wait for it to turn blue to just froth the milk without heating it. The red or blue indicator around the front button is easy to use to get the frothed and heated or simply frothed milk for your drinks.

You can use the frothed milk for espresso based drinks and other drinks like smoothies and hot chocolate but steamers are a favorite that has become popular in coffee shops. Steamers are simply steamed milk with flavored syrup like Torani’s for a different hot drink without the caffeine fix for something just a bit different.

The Aerocinno Plus works extremely well and only takes about a minute to heat and froth or simply froth without heating so it works very quickly. I highly recommend the Aerocinno Plus frother for a fantastic frother available as a set with many recent Nespresso machines or by itself.

Aeroccino Plus @ Nespresso