Mr. Coffee - ECM250
by Shawn M.
(Portland Oregon, USA)
Mr. Coffee ECM250
Steam Espresso/Cappuccino Maker
I purchased my Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso / Cappuccino maker model ECM250 about a month ago from Wal-Mart. It was the cheapest model they had, but I didn't have much of a budget to work with. I had a West Bend dual espresso/drip machine previously, but after about 6 months, the pump quit working on the espresso side... and I spent much more on that machine than I did on my Mr. Coffee.
I make about 5 cappuccinos a day, between my wife and I, and I was pleasantly surprised how quickly the Mr. Coffee "got up to steam" compared to the other machine, and how much easier the basket locked into place. The tip on the steam wand is hard plastic and comes off easy enough for cleaning, but clicks into place so you don't have to worry about fishing for it in your cream. (At least, I haven't gone fishing yet.)
This really has some POWER... I can froth two cups of cream, then switch it back to brew, and it will just keep brewing until the reservoir is empty. With my other machine, it barely pumped at all, even on a good day.
This machine also has a MUCH better pour spout, that doesn't dribble half your shot onto the counter when you go to pour it in your cup. The last 3 or so espresso machines I have owned spilled everywhere!
The only complaint I really have is, the steam wand is a little short to fit my favorite cup, but I think that is a personal problem.
For the price, I don't think you'll find a better "starter" machine. Avoid the West Bend dual machine though. I should have listened to the reviews I had read before buying it, lol.