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What’s better than choice? How about choice that costs less? I’m going to go with that. The Emerson CCM901 Combination Machine gives my wife and I the choice between espresso or drip brewed coffee, without having to invest in a couple of different machines. We can make a pot of coffee, a shot or two, or steam up some milk for any number of drinks. As a bonus, the Emerson Combination Machine is priced right – good for us, no?
We can just get our coffee fix at home, rather than shelling out $5 or more at some expensive coffee shop. It’s compact, looks like it’s from the future, and makes good coffee. What else do you want?
A list of features?
Okay. The Emerson CCM901 Combination Machine has:
Also, we figured out one day that the little chrome railings on top of the machine over by the espresso side are part of a cup warming station. Apparently, it’s a good idea to warm up your coffee cup before you put coffee in it. Who knew? The folks at Emerson, I guess. Little thoughtful touches like that are why we like the Emerson CCM901.
Brewing a pot of coffee with the coffee machine is a fairly straightforward procedure. You fill up the removable water reservoir; add ground coffee to the filter-less filter basket (no more buying those little paper things, yay); put the carafe in place and push the button. Ta-dah. Don’t really need a manual for that. For the espresso side, of course, you do have to have a bit of knowledge, patience and skill. Should you possess these attributes, you will be rewarded with a tasty little cup of espresso, rich with a golden brown and delicious crema. Mmm, crema. Thank you, fifteen-bar pump!
Of course, the whole point of getting an espresso machine is so you can make cappuccinos and lattes. The Emerson Combination Machine comes with a steam wand right beside the espresso filter. I had a real hard time with this thing at first: making a mess, burning milk, running out of steam and so on; but that’s probably because I didn’t read the instructions.
My wife found a lot of info on the internet of foaming and frothing milk, and we went through half a gallon of milk, but we figured it out. Yay internet. Once you get the knack of it, it’s pretty simple. Keep the tip of the wand just under the milk’s surface, and the machine’s steam wand makes tons of thick meringue-like foam. Adjust the angle of the wand a little bit, do a little bit of fiddling about with the rubber tip, and you get that velvety-smooth micro-bubble foam that’s perfect for lattes and steamers. Keep the wand clean, and make sure you don’t let the nozzle get clogged, and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Here’s what I think is the take-away from all this. The Emerson CCM901 Combination Machine is an inexpensive device that combines a drip brew coffee maker with a well-designed espresso machine/milk frother. The pushbutton panel on the front makes it simple to create just about any bean-based beverage you could want. It fits nicely in most kitchens and takes up little space. What’s more, it pays for itself in savings over going out for coffee in a pretty short amount of time. I’d go get one.