Mr. Coffee Café Barista BVMC-ECMP1000 Espresso Machine Review

mrcoffee-cafe-barista-espresso-machine

mrcoffee-cafe-barista-espresso-machine

Introduction

Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso Machine BVMC-ECMP1000 is dubbed as the “poorman’s espresso maker” at affordable price. It makes surprisingly good espresso for a straightforward machine without too many bells and whistles.

It excels at streamlining the multiple steps to save you lots of hassles and time in making espressos, cappuccinos and lattes. After dosing and tamping, all you need to do is to push a button and this espresso maker will do the rest for you, including steaming and frothing the milk.

If you are one of those who prefer a frothy cappuccino to a double-shot straight espresso, you’d better take a serious look at this unit.

 Table of Contents
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1. Introduction
2. Features & Benefits
3. Brewing
4. Steaming
5. Display & Control
6. Additional Features
7. How to Clean
8. Accessories
9. Power & Cord
10. Dimensions & Weight
11. Warranty
12. Pros & Cons
13. Consumer Reviews
14. Price
15. Summary

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Features & Benefits of Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista

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  • 15 Bar Pump Pressure: At a lower-end price point, this Mr. Coffee Café Barista doesn’t shortchange you on the pump pressure. The 15 bar will ensure the maximum extraction of the goodness from your espresso coffee to yield the aromatic espresso with a layer of thick crema.
  • Volume Control: With a press of a button, you get to choose a single or double shot of espresso. Better yet, you can personalize the volume control by overriding the programmed settings. This will change the espresso to water ratio to the way you like it.
  • Automated Milk Frother This feature sets this machine apart from many others on the market. Choosing a desired froth level, it will turn ordinary milk into frothy and creamy foam effortlessly. You don’t have to mess around with purging the froth wand, inserting it to the milk, knocking and swirling. When you are done, you can remove the milk reservoir from the machine and store it in the fridge till the next day. No more wasted milk.
  • Removable Water Reservoir: The reservoir is located in the back of the machine. You can remove it easily to fill it with water from the sink or top-fill it without removing the reservoir. Strangely enough, I couldn’t find the size for the water or the milk reservoir after pages of searches on Google. Will have to fill in the “blank” when I can locate for the information.
  • Adjustable Cup Clearance: There is an extra “step” to pull in or out depending on what you are making. If espresso is made, you can pull out the cup tray to raise the height for the demitasse cups. Do the opposite if a cup of latte is made by pushing the height adjustment in.
  • Dishwasher Safe Parts: With the exception of the portafilter, you can wash all other parts in the top-rack of the dishwasher. This will save you time to wash parts by part by hand.

Brewing

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No matter how experienced you are, it’s always recommended that you read the Instructional Manual from cover to cover. Of course, you need to remove the wraps and stickers from the unit. Wash all the movable parts such as the water and milk reservoirs, the portafilter, the 2 filter baskets and the coffee scoop in warm soapy water. Then dry them well.

Before brewing for the first time, you need to prime the machine by following these steps:

  1. Fill the water reservoir up to the “max” level and repeat the same for the milk reservoir. Place both into the unit firmly.
  2. Use one of the filter baskets and place it into the portafilter. Attach the portafilter into the unit in a locked position and place a cup under the group head.
  3. Place the tip of the frother inside the cup.
  4. Plug the unit into a wall outlet and turn it on.
  5. The three control panel lights will start flicker first and then stay on.
  6. Press “espresso” button and hold for 3 seconds, then release the button. Release the water for up for a minute and a half. Then press the “espresso” button again to stop the water flow.
  7. Repeat the same process for the “cappuccino” and “latte”.
  8. Now the machine is ready to brew.

Make Espresso

  1. Remove the water reservoir and fill it up with fresh water, preferably filtered or spring water to the max level. Close the lid and place it back into the unit.
  2. If you are planning to make milk-based drinks, remove the milk reservoir and fill it with cold milk of your choice (e.g. whole, skimmed, soy, rice, almond, etc.) up to the max line and place it back into the espresso maker.
  3. Select either a single or double shot filter and insert it into the portafilter aligning the notch with the groove in the portafilter.
  4. Fill the filter with espresso ground and tamp firmly to make sure the coffee is 1/8 below the top of the filter.
  5. Clean any excess ground from the rim of the filter.
  6. Position the portafilter under the group head and lock it into position.
  7. Place a cup under the brew head with or without pulling out the adjustment piece based on the cup height.
  8. Turn the unit on.
  9. Press the “espresso” button once to brew one shot and twice for a double; press and hold for 3 seconds to customize the shot. When the manual process is done, press the same button to stop the brewing. The machine is designed for brewing no more than 5 oz. at a time.

Steaming

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Since Mr. Coffee Café Barista is designed with an automatic steaming function, it’s so much easier on your part to steam and froth milk.

Make Cappuccino

  1. Adjust the Froth Control Knob from left to right for less to more froth. There is a preset cappuccino setting on the knob that’s recommended for making cappuccino.
  2. You can also select the size by pressing the “cappuccino button” once for a small cup or twice for a large one.

Make Latte

The steps are identical to those for cappuccino except for setting the Froth Control Knob to “latte” instead of “cappuccino. The same applies to the brew volume for a small or a large cup of latte.

Mr. Coffee gives you options to add more frothed milk to your drink or froth a separate batch for other drinks altogether.

Essentially, you can override the volume control by pressing and holding the “Cappuccino Button” for 3 seconds until you get enough milk. Then press the same button to stop the milk. You may follow the same instructions to froth more milk for hot chocolate or my favorite chai tea latte by placing a cup on the unit.

Display & Control

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This unit features push-buttons and indicator lights that are located on the top right hand side. A knob is used for adjusting the froth level. The display controls from top, left to right and bottom are:

  • Espresso one and two cup icons followed by a push button, and a custom icon
  • Cappuccino one and two cup icons followed by a push button and a froth icon
  • Latte one and two cup icons followed by a push button and a clean icon
  • Auto vs. Manual allows you to use the pre-settings or control manually

Additional Features

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None

How to Clean

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The Mr. Coffee pump espresso maker has a built-in cleaning function after each frothing. This is a very handy feature to minimize the clog of dried-upmilk in the frother. You’ll still need to wipe clean the exterior, clean the portafilter, the basket and the group head. Follow the instructions in the Manual for proper cleaning.

Decalcification is a periodical routine for every espresso machine. Mr. Coffee recommends deliming after 80 brew cycles if using soft water (filtered water) or 40 brew cycles with hard/tap water. Follow the steps laid out by Mr. Coffee with the suggested delime solution.

Accessories

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Included Accessories

Portafilter, measuring scoop/tamper, two filters for single and double shot and a User Manual

Optional Accessories

Most definitely you will need to buy a metal tamper as the plastic one provided by Mr. Coffee is not up for the challenge. Unfortunately I can’t recommend a specific tamper size as I couldn’t find the information anywhere on the Internet. If you do decide to buy this espresso maker, you can measure the included tamper size and get a quality metal one afterwards.

Another optional accessory is a high quality coffee grinder. It may sound counter-intuitive to many but a coffee grinder will be a defining factor in many cases for brewing great espresso more so than the espresso maker itself. If you are tight on budget, I’d try out the preground espresso first before investing another few hundred bucks on a grinder.

Power & Cord

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  • Input Power (W): 1200
  • Voltage/Frequency (V-Hz): 110/60

Dimensions & Weight

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  • Dimensions (W x D x H inches): 12 x 14 x 12.2 (based on Amazon’s info, may not be 100% accurate but should be in the ballpark)
  • Weight (lbs): 9

Warranty

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1-year limited warranty by Mr. Coffee

Pros & Cons

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Pros

  • It’s so well-priced for a pump-pressured espresso maker that some customers would select this machine over a $700 Delonghi model.
  • The automation between brewing and steaming makes it seamless in brewing espresso and steaming/frothing milk for cappuccinos and lattes.
  • It’s very easy to use and cleaning is a snap with an auto-cleaning function after each steaming cycle. Most of the parts are dishwasher safe on the top rack.
  • The good sized water and milk reservoirs enable you to make multiple drinks in rapid sessions without refill. The milk container can be stored in the fridge for the next brew.
  • The versatility of volume control whether it’s automatic or manual gives you the option to adjust the coffee strength. The same goes to the froth level whether you’d like a little bit milk or lots of it.
  • The adjustable height under the brew head makes it possible to use a small demitasse cup or tall mug for a milk-based drink.
  • The bottom line is that this affordable machine makes better espressos than Starbucks. You have the option to choose the type of espresso coffee and the grind size to maximize the flavor and crema.
  • The User Manual is well written with detailed steps on how to make espresso and froth milk.

Cons

  • The two delivery spouts are far apart. You’ll have to pay special attention when placing the cup/s under the brew head.
  • Lack of specifications on some of the parts such as no mentioning of the water and milk reservoir sizes, diameter of the portafilter basket and power input. I managed to find the power input on Amazon’s customer Q & A section.

Consumer Reviews

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4.4 out of 5.0

84% of the Amazon reviewers have rated this product 4-5 stars. They’ve cited the facts that this espresso maker is so easy to use and clean. Its compact size doesn’t take too much counter space and the automated frothing makes it so effortless for making cappuccinos and lattes.

The minority of folks have found issues such as plastic smell and inconsistent brew volume from shot to shot. Bear in mind that these are one-off comments and I am not sure if these are the inherent issues with the espresso maker or that of the operators.

Price

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It’s priced less than a single serve capsule espresso machine and it’s one of the most affordable models on the market.

Summary

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If affordability and the ability to make milk-based espresso drinks without all the hassles of steaming milk, tapping and swirling on the counter are your focus, this is THE machine for you.

But if you are interested in owning the best and high-end European espresso model, by all means splurge on something like the Rancilio Silvia.

The bottom line is that you can make better espressos and lattes at home than paying an amateur barista in a local coffee shop. Not to mention the time and cost.

 

For current price information, click on the button below.

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