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Mr. Coffee ECM202 Espresso Maker

by Harris Encana
(Los Gatos, California, USA)


$

Mr. Coffee ECM20
Steam Espresso Maker


I can't really justify my initial interest in espresso. I just noticed that my coworkers were getting espresso drinks every day from a nearby coffee shop. The idea came to me that I could become a master espresso maker (or barista, in coffee parlance), but this was even before I gained an appreciation for drinking it.

I started with a fairly basic espresso maker - the Mr. Coffee ECM20 Espresso Maker, which I ordered from Amazon. While I waited for the espresso maker to arrive, I researched the process of brewing perfect espresso. Since I am a technical person by profession, I felt that I would approach espresso brewing as a technical problem that I could learn to solve with a reliable method.

The first trials did not go so well. The espresso tasted bitter, and the machine was very difficult to clean. I didn't want to leave a single coffee stain or even a single coffee ground behind, because I understood that it could result in an inferior product. I learned about grinding the beans properly, tamping them, and, most importantly, using the exact amount of water necessary to pull a perfect shot. This last part is so important for achieving the correct flavor. Because only one or two shots can be pulled from a fresh set of grounds, the fact that this coffee maker comes with a glass carafe is, in my opinion, a misleading gimmick. Just get a metal or ceramic espresso cup and put that under the drip. Trust me, you won't be using this machine the same way you'd use a drip coffee maker.

Once I mastered espresso, I quickly lost interest in it. My results were good but not great. Since professionally-made espresso drinks are so easy to buy in a modern city, I decided to give my coffee maker away to a coworker.

Don't get one of these home espresso makers unless you are committed to perfecting your technique over a period of weeks, and unless you are not intimidated by the strenuous cleaning job that awaits you after each usage. However, if this is the model that you select, you will find it to be a durable and reliable machine. My coworker who received mine is still happy with it years later.


Comments for Mr. Coffee ECM202 Espresso Maker

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Nov 13, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Works Best for Medium Fine Beans Mix
by: Anonymous

Pros
- It makes a pretty good cappuccino for the money (ours was about $44 with tax)
- It is also easy to use and can take a fall off the counter and still work fine

Cons
- The carafe seems extra fragile
- It can’t handle really fine ground coffee

For the money and for no more often than we brew espresso or cappuccino at home the Mr. Coffee ECMC20 model does OK. I have to admit that when I must have a “real” espresso fix I still run to the local coffee house and shell out my three bucks.

The unit itself is pretty sturdy, I knocked it off the cabinet and it hit with a good thud. It appeared no worse for the wear and I tried it immediately and it worked fine and continues to do so. The milk frothier wand works quite well and although it took a little practice, I can now get a healthy head of foam on the milk in just a few seconds.

The unit is easy to clean and more than meets our needs. We have only had a couple of problems with the Mr. Coffee system. The first was that the original carafe that came with I broke soon after we got it home. We bought a replacement one and it has held up fine. The other problem is that the system just won’t push the steam through super-fine coffee grounds.

I like to mill my own beans and it took several tries to get the consistency of the grounds just right to extract the full coffee flavor without clogging up the system. I found that by leaving the beans at a medium fine mix works best. If you’re an occasional user and not super picky about your espresso the Mr. Coffee Espresso/Cappuccino maker model ECMC20 is a good buy

Feb 10, 2009
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Best coffee I have ever had
by: Anonymous

I bought it recently and I think it is the best machine that I have ever gotten.I have bought machines in the past but they needed to be used for quite a while to get rid of the bad taste some new machine have but from the very first time I used this machine I was in love. The taste on the first cup was probably the best cup I ever had and i would never give this one up.

I like how the water heats up very fast so you can get your cup very fast.I would rate this machine a 5 and that is brutally honest.

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