Cuisinart EM-100 1000-Watt 15-Bar Espresso Maker, Stainless Steel

Cuisinart EM-100 1000-Watt 15-Bar Espresso Maker, Stainless Steel

Surprise! Cuisinart makes products other than food processors. One of those “other than” units is the Cuisinart EM-100. It looks like what it is: an espresso maker, with a classic style and controls. But that plain facade can fool you. Despite the modest price, the EM-100 makes a fine cup and it’s a good selection for those looking for their first machine.

The 15-bar of pressure it produces is nowhere near the highest and far below professional level. Yet, for all that, it’s more than adequate and can produce a fine shot. It is a pump-operated machine, though, so that modest level is more effective than it may seem. The key, of course, is getting a good bean and brewing it well.

With this model, those can take the form of grounds or pods. Many novice baristas prefer the latter since it makes clean up that much easier. But with a stainless steel exterior and quality interior components, you won’t find that difficult here in any case. The portafilter holder has a locking mechanism for easy removal of the grounds after use.

You can make plenty of shots in one go with this unit, too. It features a 53-ounce reservoir, making it ideal for use at large parties. Since the water tank is removable, refill is no problem, either. De-calcification once every month or two is easy as well. Just rinse using Dezcal or make your own calcium-removal liquid with vinegar and baking soda.

If you do use it for parties, you’ll be happy that this unit brews quickly. Pre-heating takes a couple of minutes but each shot can be produced in 15 to 30 seconds, thanks to the quick re-warming cycle.

The warming tray on the top is handy. It keeps those prior cups warm while you’re brewing the next or it can preheat your cups, always a good idea. The EM-100 will create two at a time. The spacious area in front on the bottom is also highly appreciated. Many machines limit you to espresso cups because they’re so constrained. You can use tall mugs here with no problem.

A tamping tool is included, which allows you to smooth out the grounds for an even brew. It doubles as a measuring scoop. There’s also a stainless steel steam nozzle; creating a cappuccino or latte is a breeze. And, thanks to the removable drip tray, you need only a few seconds to rinse when you’re done brewing.

There’s also a frothing pitcher, a rare addition with a modestly-priced model. It’s stainless steel so you’ll have no problem cleaning it after you make a fine head for your espresso. The commercial-quality steam wand is another fine tool offered here. It will generate continuous steam thanks to the EM-100’s ability to adjust the internal temperature accordingly. Frothy milk takes only seconds to produce.

The Cuisinart EM-100 looks like a straightforward workhorse. And that’s exactly what it is, one that makes many a fine shot without any fuss.

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