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Mr. Coffee has been around since the early days of drip coffee making. The company introduced its first drip coffee maker for the home market in 1974, and they stuck with the drip coffee maker for fifteen years before introducing the first Mr. Coffee Espresso machine. The ECM1, the first Mr. Coffee machine to make espresso, was technically not an espresso maker since it used steam to force water through the coffee grounds, but it was an attempt. The company also introduced the country’s first automatic iced tea maker that year – and it got far better reviews from the coffee connoisseurs than the ECM1. The coffee community panned the ECM1 ruthlessly – but it didn’t stop Mr. Coffee.
Rather than giving up, the Mr. Coffee folks took all the criticisms against the original espresso coffee maker back to the drawing board. They put their all into developing an affordable espresso machine aimed at their typical market – homemakers who want good coffee, cheap and fast. These days, there are a number of Mr. Coffee Espresso machines on the market, each with different features and all retailing under $100.
Which one is the right one for you? Here’s a quick look at the Mr. Coffee espresso line to help you decide whether Mr. Coffee makes an espresso machine that’s right for your tastes.
The Mr. Coffee Espresso Machine and Coffee Maker – Model ECM21
What do you do if you like espresso after dinner, and good old drip coffee in the morning, and you only have enough room on your countertop for one machine? You invest in a 2-in-1 combo coffee center. The Mr. Coffee ECM21 is one of the first of the combo machines on the market. It combines a 4 cup steam-powered electric moka pot with an 8 cup drip coffee maker so you can make your breakfast coffee in the morning and your after dinner espresso in the same machine. While the steam-powered moka pot doesn’t reach the pressure to make ‘true’ espresso, it does make decent espresso coffee – up to four shots of it at once. In addition to the two different coffee makers, the ECM21 also features a pause and poor switch, a removable water reservoir, removable drip tray and a steam wand for frothing milk. It’s an ‘entry level’ machine for those just turning on to espresso, and it’s priced for the market at about $65.
Mr. Coffee Espresso Machine with Pod Coffee Adapter – Model ECMP40
E.S.E. machines are espresso machines especially designed to use pre-packaged coffee pods. The Mr. Coffee ECMP40 was released in 2005, and uses a 13 bar pump to force heated water through the ground coffee, bringing it into the fold of ‘real’ espresso machines for the first time. The portafilter fits a standard sized E.S.E. coffee pod when used with the adapter. Without the adapter, it can be used for espresso grind coffee, making it more versatile than a pod only machine. The machine was surprisingly well-received by the usually snobby coffee connoisseur market, who roundly dubbed it a ‘good starter machine’ that could teach the beginning barista a lot about steam pressure and temperature. The ECMP40 has simple controls, indicator lights to tell you when the water is hot enough for brewing and a stop-start switch to get the pump going when the time is right. On top of all that, the instruction manual is written in plain English, and makes it easy for a beginner to understand the important aspects of making good espresso. Retailing for about $65, it’s one of the least expensive pump machines on the market.
ECMP10 Mr. Coffee Espresso Machine Basic Model
The ECMP10 was the successor to the ECM-1, and though the company no longer makes it, you can find them on eBay and other auction sites for sale. If you do, it’s worth buying. Reviewers and users on numerous coffee sites reported getting up to four years of daily use out of the ECMP10 before the pump gave out – which is quite a record for an inexpensive machine. It delivered consistently good espresso and excellent steamed and frothed milk. It’s Mr. Coffee’s most recommended espresso machine – but if you can’t find one, the ECMP-20 is a close second.
Despite the usual disdain in which coffee snobs hold Mr. Coffee, the Mr. Coffee espresso machines are generally well-regarded among coffee and espresso aficionados and considered to be good, inexpensive starter machines for practice.