Cuisinart Programmable Espresso Maker EM-200 Video Review
Brew a single or double espresso using either ground espresso beans or coffee pods with the Cuisinart programmable espresso maker EM-200. The 15 bars of pressure will make a great espresso with good crema. The milk frother is not the best, but will do the trick. If you mostly drink espresso then this is a great coffee maker for you. Read on for the full review or skip to the user reviews now.
- Programmable espresso maker brews single or double espresso
- 15 bars of pressure
- Uses either ground espresso or pods
- Steam nozzle for cappuccino or latte
- Pre-programmed cup sizes
- 4-ounce reservoir
- Cup-warming tray
- Frothing cup and tamping tool included
- Measures 10-1/2 by 9-1/4 by 12-3/4 inches
- Weight: 10.6 x 9.2 x 12.8 inches ; 9 pounds
- 3-year limited warranty
- Check out the full feature list here
Review Of The Cuisinart Programmable Espresso Maker EM-200
With the EM-200, Cuisinart lets you prepare gourmet quality espresso at home. With a programmable system that allows you to pre-select the serving size, 15 bars of pressure for maximum flavor including a rich crema, and the option of using ground espresso or pods, you’re in control. There is also a separate steam function and stainless steel nozzle that supposedly make it easy to froth milk for cappuccinos and smooth lattes. More on that later. The removable drip tray and cover, and a portafilter holder with a locking mechanism that makes it easy to dispose of wet grounds after use, clean up is also quick and simple.
The Quest for a Perfect Espresso
It is generally agreed that there are four basic elements critical to the perfect cup of espresso:
- Water: When brewing espresso, make sure the water flows through the filter at the correct speed. The water flow can be adjusted by varying the pressure with which the coffee is tamped in the filter or by altering the grind of coffee. If the speed of the water is slow, the coffee will be over extracted and will be very dark and bitter, with a spotted and uneven crema (froth) on the top. If the speed of the water flow is too fast, the coffee will be under-extracted and the supreme flavor will not develop. The coffee will be diluted and there will be an inadequate amount of crema on the top.
- Coffee: While the bulk of the liquid is water, all of the flavor should be from the coffee. To achieve the same great quality of coffee you receive at a cafe, you need to use the same quality beans. If you choose to grind your own beans, buy the beans fresh and whole, only about a two week supply at a time for maximum freshness. Once the coffee bean is broken, its flavor degrades very quickly. If it is not practical to buy smaller supplies, we recommend you separate larger amounts of beans and store them in airtight containers in a cool, dry area. They should not be kept for longer than 1 month as flavor will diminish. Do not refrigerate or freeze coffee beans.
- Grind: The grind of the coffee is critical for proper flavor extraction. If using a pre-ground coffee, be sure to purchase an espresso grind that is specifically for espresso/ cappuccino machines. If the grind is too fine, over extraction and bitterness will occur with a spotted and uneven crema on top. If the grind is too coarse, the water will pass through too rapidly and there will be an inadequate amount of crema on the top of the espresso.
- Tamping the Coffee Grounds: If you choose to use ground espresso instead of pods with your Cuisinart programmable espresso maker, tamping the coffee is a very important part of the coffee-making process. Use the scoop supplied to fill the filter basket, then using the tamping tool, tamp down the grounds with moderate pressure. Add more coffee and tamp again if necessary to bring coffee to level. Do not overfill the filter basket. The ground coffee should be tamped with moderate pressure. If the coffee is not tamped securely, there is a chance the water will flow through the coffee to rapidly and the coffee will be under-extracted. Note: if the coffee is tamped too firmly, the water will flow through the coffee too slowly and the coffee will be over-extracted.
Programming Your Cuisinart Espresso Machine
This Cuisinart espresso machine has programming capabilities. Based on cafe settings, the single and the double espresso functions are set to 1.5 and 3 ounce. However, by following a few simple steps, you can pre-program your perfect serving size down to the ounce. Easy to follow steps with illustrations are included in the Instruction Book.
Milk texturing is the steaming of milk. The steam does two things; its heats the milk and mixes the air with the milk to form a foamy texture. As with learning to make an espresso, perfecting the art of milk texturing takes time and practice.
More Features And Benefits
Removable 64-ounce water reservoir with lid with 2 options for filling with water:
- Lift the lid at the top of the espresso maker and fill with cold or filtered water.
- Remove the reservoir to fill and then replace by pushing down firmly until the reservoir sets on the base flush with the unit.
- Cup-warming plate for warming espresso cups
- 15-bar pump
- Manual Button: Used for a continuous pour of espresso
- 1-Cup Button: Used for a single serving of espresso, 1.5 ounces
- 2-Cup Button: Used for a double serving of espresso, 3 ounces
- Program Button: Used to set the number of ounces needed
- Steam Button: Used when making cappuccinos and lattes – will flash until it is ready for use.
- Portafilter Holder: Can be used with ground or pod espresso – it has two positions, lock and unlock, for ease of cleaning
- Brew Head: For easy fit of the portafilter holder
- Steam or Hot Water Control Dial: Use to activate steam or hot water
- Commercial Steam Wand: Use to steam milk for cappuccinos and lattes
- Removable Drip Tray: Removable drip tray with grate
- Cleaning Pins: Used to clean any excess milk that gets stuck inside the steam wand or any coffee particles that get stuck inside the filter
- Stainless Frothing Pitcher: Used for steaming milk for cappuccinos and lattes
- Measuring Scoop/Tamping Tool: Use one side as a coffee scoop and the other to tamp the coffee grinds in the filter basket
- Filter Baskets: Use the one cup filter for a single espresso and the two cup filter basket for the double espresso, and the pod filter basket for espresso pods
- Check if you can get a special price here
What We Don’t Like About This Cuisinart Programmable Espresso Maker
While this espresso maker makes a perfectly good espresso, the milk frother seems to be its weaker side. It simply does not deliver enough Oomph – or steam – to get a good milk froth. So if you prefer a latter or cappuccino over the usual espresso, then you might want to consider a different espresso machine. Have a look at the DeLonghi EC702 or the Krups XP420050 which are in the same price range but with more steam from their milk frother.
However, this Cuisinart programmable espresso maker is a perfectly good espresso machine with a good quality, very easy to use and clean and also comes with a good warranty. The list price for the machine is US$ 450.00, but as a clever shopper you can get yourself one for less than 200.00 US$ right here.
Video Review Cuisinart Programmable Espresso Maker
List Price: $365.00
Sale Price: $186.43
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Manufactured by Cuisinart
Product: Cuisinart EM-200 Programmable 15-Bar Espresso Maker, Stainless Steel
Average rating: 3.7, based on 315 reviews from $186.43 to $365.00 Brand new!
This is a video review of the Cuisinart Programmable Espresso Maker EM-200
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