Espresso lovers, rejoice – one of the leaders in home drip coffee has entered into the espresso ring, too. The Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso Maker offers a one-touch control panel that makes brewing the perfect espresso or cappuccino nearly effortless. This automatic espresso maker delivers everything you need for a perfect no-mess, no-fuss drink, time after time. But how well did its claims hold up to our in-depth review?
If you want a great cup of espresso that you don’t have to fuss with, the Mr. Coffee Café Barista gives you an inexpensive option that balances the simplicity of a drip coffee maker with the elegance that comes from a great espresso drink
In-Depth Mr. Coffee Café Barista Review
Some people want an espresso machine because of the sheer elegance that comes from mastering the art of a great drink. Others want an espresso machine because they’re tired of spending so much at the coffee shops nearby, and they want to keep a little bit of their paycheck. No offense to those in the first portion, but today we’re speaking to the second group of people.
The Mr. Coffee brand has been around for a long time, giving customers an inexpensive drip coffee maker that performs reasonably well, with no fuss and no confusing maintenance instructions. Then, they decided to put out an espresso maker, and of course, you’ve got to expect a similar type of experience.
Truly, the Café Barista is an entry-level espresso machine in every sense of the word. Its fully automated system takes most of the guesswork out of espresso making, and even milk frothing – this unit does the milk steaming for you, so you can worry about other things, like whether you can DIY a frittata and scones, too. (Even if they do look better in the shop case.)
Mr. Coffee Café Barista Review Continued
This machine has a pretty straight-forward setup, but we recommend reading the instruction manual first, to be sure you’re putting it together just right. If you don’t have the water reservoir snapped all the way in, it’s likely to leak out over your counter, so make sure you’ve got it right before you try to brew. Also, as with any espresso machines, there is an implied learning curve, and you may have to experiment to find how to get the settings just perfect for you.
Thankfully, the controls at the front of the machine are accompanied by pictures, so even the newest espresso fanatic can understand exactly what each button does. Simply fill each of the compartments (water reservoir, coffee basket, and milk pitcher), and choose what you want from the left column: espresso, cappuccino, or latte. One click will get you a single, and two clicks will get you a double. That’s it – the machine does the rest! (Note: You might have to adjust some of the pieces of the machine, such as the cup tray or the milk tube, to avoid making a mess.)
For those with a bit more discerning experience with espresso machines, this is nothing spectacular. While there is a “manual” mode, the machine does stay pretty automatic, and customization is limited. This machine is very basic, and the quality of your drink will depend largely on the quality of ingredients that you use.
Like many lower-end espresso makers, this has a tendency to leave a soupy puck (which means that the liquid doesn’t completely drain from the grounds). If you’d rather not make a mess all over the sides of your garbage can, you can “crack” the portafilter slightly after brewing, to allow the excess liquids to drain out. Of course, this step isn’t necessary, but it can make cleanup a little easier on you.
One of the great benefits of using an at-home espresso and cappuccino maker is that you can take the coffeehouse drinks you love and turn them into lower-calorie alternatives. This particular machine does a great job at frothing almond, coconut, or soy milk, which are usually lower in calories than whole or reduced fat milk. This is great for those who want to indulge without ruining their weight loss goals – or breaking the bank.
- Automatic Espresso Machine
- Single Serving
- Ground Coffee
Another great feature that Mr. Coffee included with this machine is the quick-start recipe guide – fun and exciting drinks you can make at home. It’s important that you read the back of this guide first, as it gives the instructions for priming your machine – we do wish they had put this information somewhere you’re more likely to look first, but at least it was included.
Our absolute favorite feature with this machine is the failsafe. If you do happen to do something so wrong that you could compromise your machine, it shuts off to save itself. This is a genius inclusion in a beginner machine, since new espresso lovers are bound to make mistakes when they’re trying to get things just right. Of course, chances are that this feature is only going to be helpful the first few times you use the machine, but it can be reassuring to know it’ll protect itself – we would sure hate to accidentally break our machines within the first week!
Mr. Coffee Café Barista Review Overall
In the end, this machine is a wonderful choice for anyone who’s been spending more than they should (either money-wise or calorie-wise) on their morning coffee and would like a simple solution that pays for itself soon. Depending on the nature of your own coffee habit, this machine could easily pay for itself within a year. Self-proclaimed coffee snobs won’t really enjoy this machine, since it definitely doesn’t deliver the highest quality drinks, but you get what you pay for – and then some.