The Krups Coffee Maker...
There are so many positives about this machine, it's compact, looks good and makes a mean cup of coffee... once you get used to it!
To start with, it's all about finding the right grind for your coffee machine. We found that if you grind the coffee too finely, our machine shakes a little, like it's going to jump off the worktop! After couple of goes we got there. The Krups grinder, on 3 for about 3 blitzes seem to work well!!
The water heats quite quickly, so you get your espresso fairly promptly. The main sticking point is the milk frother... The nozzle is set a little to high on the machine to just set it in the milk and let it go, you have to hold the jug up to it. The milk doen't stay hot/warm for long, so making a decent coffee for multiple people can be a challenge and you can't all have it hot at the same time. Cleaning the fiddely little nozzle is also a challenge so you don't lose it!
It's not the quietest machine in the world or the fastest, but for the money, it's great value and fairly user friendly. What it lacks in capacity, it more than makes up for in value, convenience and charm!
We bought a similar Krups machine for relatives as a wedding present, and after sampling the results, I demanded one for my birthday this year. I can't get through the morning without my cappucino and croissants and I've got used to the fiddly milk frother now. I'm still trying out different coffee blends, although the Percol Fairtrade Organic makes a lovely cup whether you like strong and black expresso or fluffy cappucino. You can make your coffee straight into the cup or mug, but its better to use the glass jug as the special lid minimises the steam escape. The milk frother has a rather fiddly little rubber device with a rod that controls the steam flow and produces fine froth for cappucino or looser for latte. Be careful if you put this little device in the dishwasher or you could lose it. The machine we have will make enough for two mugs of cappucino or four expresso cups. You can't keep coffee hot, drink it straight away and start another brew! There are slightly different models on the market, but all of them I have seen work in the same way. It was a present, so I'm not sure of the exact cost - John Lewis was the cheapest my husband could find it for, at about £65. As with any machine producing steam, you must make sure children do not play with it or use it unsupervised, and be careful if you take the water container lid off to top up for a second brew.