If you are put off by the higher pricing of coffee machines from the likes of Delonghi and Sage but you still want to try your hand at making an espresso, cappuccino or latte in the same way as they make them at the local coffee shop then this is a good budget espresso machine from Aevobas and could be right up your street.
If you have never owned a coffee machine before and you don’t want to spend hundreds of pounds (or more!) then you can develop your coffee making skills and make sure that you are happy using this process to make coffee every day before moving on to something a bit fancier.
There are a number of different elements that go into making a coffee shop quality coffee.
The pressure that the water is pushed through the coffee and into the cup will alter the flavour. With higher-end machines, the pressure is consistent and regulated. With less expensive machines it will be more variable especially over time as the boiler gets older and more used. It doesn’t mean it will break or be bad but it will likely be less precise.
The temperature of the water should ideally be 93 degrees when the coffee is delivered into the cup. If you need to use the steam nozzle to heat up your milk for a cappuccino or latte then the boiler will rise above this temperature so you should wait for it to cool down for about 3-4 minutes before going straight on to another coffee or you can deliver 2 cups of coffee and then steam the milk. None of this is critical but it just explains some of the reason why this machine looks like some of the others at a higher price but is cheaper.
Also, the steam should be highly pressurised to get the right creaminess of milk for milk-based drinks and over time you may see a reduction of steam pressure.
None of the above means that you won’t get a decent cup of coffee from this machine but we thought that it was worth pointing out what some of the differences are between a budget espresso machine and a more expensive one.
Overall Score 8.6/10
To be fair, the manufacturer could have just made the entire outer casing in black plastic to keep the price down but they have made an effort to make this look decent and at this price, you can’t really ask for much more.
Finished in a combination of black and matt stainless steel with a chrome steam nozzle and chrome dial on the side for the steam it comes across as a rather elegant appliance that will fit nicely into any style kitchen.
This is a smaller than average size for a coffee machine of this type at 27.0 cm wide, 24.5cm deep and 28.5cm tall so is well suited for a smaller kitchen or anywhere that you don’t want to take up too much space.
5 buttons on the front of the machine and a dial on the side control everything that you will ever need to do.
The big button in the middle turns it on and this also activates the cup warming grill on the top of the machine. A cup warmer is not something that you would normally expect with a machine at this price so that is a plus.
If you have time turn it on about 5 minutes before you want to use it to allow the machine to warm up and for any cups to warm up as well. Adding hot coffee to a cold cup is worth avoiding if possible as it will reduce the coffee temperature immediately and affect the flavour. If you don’t have time then give it a couple of minutes to warm up the machine and then you can add hot water to a cup by just pressing one of the coffee buttons before you add any coffee to the portafilter.
You get 3 buttons to deliver coffee. The one cup button only delivers a small amount of water through the coffee and into the cup so you can use this for a short strong espresso if that is what you like.
The two cup button would be our choice to use on a regular basis and personally I would use this for one decent sized cup of coffee ( like a double shot of espresso) as more water is delivered and you can then add milk for a cappuccino or latte if you wish.
If neither the one cup or two cup buttons work for you then you can use the button with a hand symbol on it for manual water delivery. Press and hold and release when you are happy with the amount of water in the cup.
Be careful not to over-extract the coffee by using loads of water as this will affect the flavour. If you like a big mug of coffee then you can make two as opposed to one big weak one.
For milk-based drinks hit the steam button and then turn the dial on the side to froth up some milk. The steam pressure is fine but not as highly pressurised as some more expensive machines which is as expected.
It comes with a good-sized water tank at 1.5 litres which again is bigger than a lot of machines at this price level.
The coffee is delivered with 15 bars of pressure which is more than sufficient for espresso. Whether this will be maintained over the long term remains to be seen but it does come with a 2-year guarantee which is reassuring as we would only expect 1 year normally with a machine of this type.
Overall a decent level of functionality with one cup , two cup and manually coffee delivery settings and a good steam pressure for milk frothing
No negatives here. Everything is clear and accessible. Really easy to use and intuitive.
Stick to good quality coffee and grind fresh beans yourself if you have time. The fresher the coffee the better and there is no better way to retain the freshness than keeping it in whole bean form until you need to brew.
Blade coffee grinders are cheaper than you think.
For the money, this is good value. Just be aware that the internal component parts will be of a lower quality than something like the Delonghi Dedica Style EC685BK which is made by the world leader in coffee machines. Its cost a little bit more but if your budget can stretch there its worth a look.