Mr. Coffee Espresso Maker: Best Beginner Machines?CLICK HERE to subscribe to our weekly emails on finding and brewing amazing coffee!
So you’re new to the specialty coffee scene and you want to ease yourself into espresso brewing before dropping $500+ on a top-of-the-line espresso machine? There’s no shame in that. Plenty of brands have made it their mission to make the whole range of coffee brewing accessible.
Espresso isn’t just for guys with button downs and side fades or gals with lobs and trendy glasses, it’s for you too. Read on for reviews on the whole Mr. Coffee Espresso Maker line-up to see if this brand could be your gateway brewer.
Hi, My Name is… Mr. Coffee
Let’s start with the speed-dating version of the brand we’re reviewing today, shall we? Mr. Coffee is a registered trademark of Newell Brands that was founded in the early 1970s. And much of their early success and recognition can be attributed to their spokesperson: Joe DiMaggio.
But their rise to fame turned out to be well deserved, as the Ohio-born brand has continued to be an industry leader in the entry level brewer market. For drip brewers, these machines are some of the top go-to’s for people, and their espresso machines are well-loved for their accessible prices.
Why Buy an Espresso Machine?
If you’re already in a committed relationship with your drip brewer and aren’t sure if espresso is really worth the hype, take a moment to hear us out on why you should make the switch. Or at least make some extra space o your counter to have both.
First off, an espresso machine is going to give you. more variety in your coffee routine. Even with these pretty basic, entry level machines, you can froth milk and make specialty drinks like cappuccinos and lattes.
Even if you aren’t a fan of milky drinks, you can make an Americano or a Long Black with a shot or two of espresso and some hot water. These drinks will give you a similar vibe to your regular, black drip brewed coffee, but they tend to have better flavor and depth.
Plus, for those of you who are intimidated by the idea of breaking into the realm of espresso, Mr. Coffee’s lineup is the perfect place to start!
Top Mr. Coffee Espresso Makers
Mr. Coffee Café Barista
First off, we’re going to be looking at the Mr. Coffee Café Barista. This machine has actually been featured on the site before along with the Mr. Coffee Pump Espresso Maker as one of our favorite entry-level espresso machines available.
This is a semi-automatic, 15-bar espresso machine. It features a one touch control panel, so you can easily brew plain espresso, lattes, or cappuccinos with single and double shot options for each. The milk frother is automatic, so you don’t have to worry about jumping into the world of latte art and milk frothing if you aren’t ready yet.
Both the water and milk reservoirs are removable and easy to fill and clean. Another thing we love about this machine is just how easy it is to use. It takes all the intimidation out of espresso brewing so you can just enjoy some nice, quality worry-free espresso. Plus, there’s even a recipe book to help inspire a bit of experimentation.
Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot Espresso System
Next up, we have another one of our favorite entry level recommendations. Like the previous machine, you can pull single or double shots of espresso but you can also make specialty drinks like cappuccinos and lattes. However, instead of doing everything for you, this one lets you froth your own milk.
It has a 15-bar pump, a thermal block heating system, tamping tool, recipes, and a removable 40 oz water reservoir. While it doesn’t brew quite as fast as the Café Barista, it can pull a single shot in 20 seconds and a double in 40. For less than half the price, this is also a great beginner machine, especially on a budget.
Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse
Lastly, we have Mr. Coffee’s big shebang. It’s a 19-bar Italian pump with a super easy 1-touch interface that allows you to select single or double shots for brewing. Like the Café Barista, this machine has an automatic milk frother that makes a nice, creamy froth.
Again, there are a removable and water reservoirs, which is a plus for pretty much any kind of coffee machine. Surprisingly enough, this milk frother can actually handle a decent array of milk types including whole, skim, 2%, soy, and almond (though whole milk still works the best).
It’s a little bit on the pricey end for an entry level machine. However, it’s still about half the price as some of our favorite semi-automatics and barely puts a dent in the price of some super-automatics. So if you have a little extra wiggle room in your budget and aren’t interested in saving much more for a more full-featured machine, this is a great choice.
Things to Consider
One of the biggest considerations across the board with espresso brewing is how the milk is frothed. Most people don’t want to just drink straight shots of espresso all the time, so having a way to mix (or milk) things up is a must.
With these Mr. Coffee machines, you can choose between having an automatic milk frother and a manual one. As far as the quality of foam you’ll be getting, they’re about the same either way. However, the manual ones do require a bit more practice.
With Mr. Coffee machines, you don’t need to worry about your espresso machine being difficult to use. No temperature surfing, manual pumping or any of that other mess here. Just simple, minimal, easy to understand controls.
Even the manual milk frother isn’t too difficult to figure out. So definitely lay your fears to rest if you were dreading running late to work from not being able to figure out your espresso machine.
Semi-Auto vs Automatic
Because one of the Mr. Coffee machines is actually sold as a semi-automatic espresso machine, we need to cover what exactly that means as far as your shot pulling goes.
Firstly, semi-automatic simply means that the barista (that’s you!) gets to choose both when to start and when to stop the shot. This is partially true for the Café Barista because there is a “custom” option that allows you to personalize the size of the shot you’re pulling.
This type of machine also generally requires you to tamp your own grinds. However, this is required for all of Mr. Coffee espresso machines, not just the “semi-automatic” ones.
On the other hand fully or super automatic machines tend to automate more functionality, including how long the shot is pulled. Other examples of automatic features include the milk frothing features on the Café Barist and One-Touch models.
If you want the full low-down on this topic, head on over to this article.
This is one of the double-edged swords of the Mr. Coffee machines. They’re super simple to use because they’re designed for beginners who just want to get a feel for things without being overwhelmed by too many options.
As we discuss below, there are still a plethora of drinks you can make with these machines by just changing up the ratios. However, you won’t be able to do much in the realm of brewing experimentation aside from changing up your beans. Now, that’s plenty of versatility for some people, but not so much for others.
If you are a more experienced brewer, these machines are going to feel very limited in what they can do. If that’s the case, we recommend trying out one of our other recommendations for semi-automatic espresso machines.
Alternatively, if you are looking for maximum brew versatility outside of the espresso realm, Ninja Coffee Makers might be worth looking into. Or, if you want extra control while still getting away from auto drip brewing, a manual brewer such as an AeroPress, French Press, Pour Over, etc. could be the one for you.
Makers that Didn’t Make It
Just because you’re a beginner doesn’t mean you should be using a hunk of junk to pull your shots. And like with any brand line-up some of the machines just didn’t wow us as much as the others. So here are the Mr. Coffee espresso makers that didn’t make the cut (and why).
Mr. Coffee Easy Espresso Machine
This machine isn’t actually a bad choice, it just didn’t make our short list because it’s a bit basic and doesn’t quite stand up to the competition of some of the other Mr. Coffee machines.
It has auto tamping technology, a removable 30 ounce water reservoir, a removable milk frothing wand, and 15 bar Italian pump system.
Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
Like the Easy Espresso Machine, the Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso and Cappuccino Maker has auto tamping, a 30 ounce removable water reservoir, a removable milk frothing wand, and 15-bar Italian pump system
Our issue with this machine is that it lacks the durability necessary to stand up to the internal and external competition for entry level espresso machines.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of drinks can you make with these machines?
This is the most important part of this whole adventure, right? So to make you feel like the fancy home barista that you are, we’re going to give you some of the coffee jargon you’ll be able to throw around once you start brewing with your new machine.
- Doppio: A word for a double shot of espresso
- Caffe Americano: 1/3 espresso with 2/3 water poured on top
- Long Black: Same as above except the espresso shot is pulled on TOP of the hot water
- Latte: Espresso made with steamed milk in a 1:3 to 1:5 ratio with a little foam
- Macchiato: An espresso made with a small amount of foamed milk
- Cappuccino: Equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam
- Antoccino: A single shot of espresso served with steamed milk in a 1:1 ratio
And that’s only the beginning! Don’t be afraid to experiment and head over to this article if you want even more inspiration.
What’s the warranty on Mr. Coffee espresso makers?
One question that comes up a lot when browsing for your next coffee investment is the warranty. Like most other espresso and coffee machines, the Mr. Coffee espresso makers have 1-year limited warranties.
Most of the complaints we’ve seen from malfunction gear have shown up within the first few weeks to a month of regular use. So you shouldn’t have to worry about your machine randomly dying 3 months in.
That said, we do recommend trying to run your machine through your brewing gambit in the early stages of you owning it, just to make sure there are no faulty components. Also, descaling and cleaning your espresso machine is important, so refer to your user manual to see the recommended cleaning instructions and actually follow them regularly.
Should you grind your own beans?
Yes. If at all possible, you should definitely be grinding your own beans. Even if you decide to forgo this whole espresso machine business and stick to your trusty drip brewer, you should invest in a grinder to make sure your beans are freshly ground. Trust us, it makes as much difference as choosing the path less travelled by (that’s all the difference).
Just like you should be checking the roast dates on your beans, grinding your own beans matters for the sake of freshness. Once beans are ground, they go stale much more quickly. So taking the time to grind your own will actually save you some trouble in the long run with. having to throw out bad grounds.
So what grinder should you buy? Well, if you’re just starting out, we recommend going for a manual grinder because they’re simpler as far as operation and cleaning go. Plus, they tend to be cheaper, which is great for beginners. This JavaPresse grinder is one of our favorites.
So there you have it! The run down on the best Mr. Coffee espresso makers is complete, so what do you think?
Do you want a machine that takes care of the milk stuff but gives you a bit more control over the brew? Check out the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista .
Or maybe you’d rather the reverse: more manual milk frothing, less brew tinkering. Then, the Dual Shot system could be your best match.
Want a machine that does it all so you don’t have to? Try the One-Touch .
No matter what your personal needs and preferences are, we’re confident that Mr. Coffee can serve as an excellent stepping stone into the world of specialty coffee brewing.
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