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I received this coffee maker as a wedding present and was a little dubious at first as i have always used a cafetiere when i've wanted a special cup of coffee, otherwise i've always just used instant granules.
Most importantly you have to remember, the better the coffee beans you use, the better the coffee! Sounds obvious, but i have read a few negative reviews regarding the taste of the coffee? Surely the machine is to aid you in making the coffee and the ingredients are what decide the taste?
Anyway, i was surprised by how easy it was to use. As a coffee machine newbie i managed quite easily! I researched a little on the web to fully understand the best way to grind and also discovered how to 'tamp'!! Which is how well you compact the coffee, which has a massive impact on the quality of your expresso.
I love this product, it is so easy and quick to use i have ditched the instant coffee completely. The design is lovely and looks very smart sat on my kitchen side. Also it is very sturdy and seems like it will last a very long time. Another positive is the price (i didn't pay for mine as it was a gift) but i would certainly consider buying this as a special present for somebody.
Where and how much?
Amazon! another of my favourite sites! I paid £69 for it in the sale. I think it's usually about £79.
Who is it suited for?
The Presso is a very innovative coffee machine, primarily for the coffee expresso lover. For yourself, or as a gift, it makes for a great treat or present. Its light and compact so fits anywhere and everywhere. Its great for taking away with you if you go travelling. Never be without it! (as long as you have something to boil water with) It features a single or double spout, milk frother (yum!) and of course full instructions! If you enjoy expresso, it's definately the machine to buy! The simple pumping action means you supply the pressure. No need for the use of electricity! It's therefore very eco-friendly and easy to service. The coffee tastes very nice and i've never had a burnt flavoured taste like some seem to have reported. I would say the coffee stays hot for about an hour, which is great as it means I get to have a cuppa once i've finished faffing around getting ready for work.
Are there any negatives?
The supplied milk frother is good, but not as good as a pump driven machine.
It's good, but its not hugely versatile.
Don't add tooooooo much coffee. I did this once and it ended up very lumpy (blurgh)
No matter how early I get up I always seem to be in a hurry because of something. There just isn't enough time to boiling the kettle for a second time if you need multiple cups of coffee. Well the Presso Espresso Maker changes all that. I have owned a similar product before but at a much cheaper price and not worth half of what I paid for it.
I got this from Amazon for £80 which is worth every penny because it does exactly what it says on the box. The design is rather sleek although to be fair so long as it produces good tasting coffee it could look like a Krusty the Clown doll for all I care.
The coffee stays hot for the hour before I have to leave the house and as far as I'm concerned that's what a coffee maker should do. Try not to add too much coffee though otherwise it will just end up lumpy and foul tasting.
Last month I decided to treat myself to something I've been wanting for a long time - a decent espresso maker. For too long I've struggled by with a cranky, clumpy old machine that only produces sub-standard coffee at best.
I wanted a quality gadget, but couldn't afford to pay hundreds, and the Presso was just about in my price range. I was first attracted by the look of it - it's unusual and funky in appearance and I knew it'd look great in my kitchen. I was further intrigued to discover that it's manually operated and doesn't need to be plugged in.
This feature has turned out to be one of its best, as I often have to move things around in my quite small kitchen to make space for cooking etc. Sometimes I just leave the Presso on the living room table, which is extra convenient if I've got guests over. Remember though that you still have to replace the coffee if you want extra shots and also fetch boiling water, so you still have to move around a bit! It's just good that the cordlessness gives some flexibility.
So the other great feature, of course, is the quality of the coffee. It's yum! Now I'm realistic, and won't say it's better than the best beverages I've had in some coffee shops, but it's still better than any other homemade coffee I've had, by a country mile. I find that it works better for cappuccino and americano than for espressos, but that might just be my personal taste.
Another good feature is that you can experiment till your hearts' content - with fresh or filter coffee, with grinding beans, with different strengths etc.
It's also very easy to use - simply place your coffee of choice into the steel filter, reattach it then pour boiling water through the heat-proof cylinder at the top. Then you lift up the lever arms, put your cup in position, then lower the arms back down. This action forces the boiling water through the coffee at high pressure, and, with the addition of a milk frother, leaves you with a perfect cup of your favourite brew!
There's also the option of delivering one shot or two, into two different cups at the same time.
This machine looks great - it's shiny and modern and also quite compact. Even better, it's very quick and easy to clean. I really feel it has slightly improved my whole life, mainly by making mornings more efficient!
There are no big drawbacks with the Presso. It can take a while to learn the best amount of coffee to put in, how fine it should be, how quickly to pull the levers down and that kind of thing, but I think that's all part of the fun experimentation process.
Probably the thing that annoys me most is how this machine is billed as being environmentally friendly as it doesn't use electricity. However, of course, it's impossible to use without boiling the kettle, so I think that's a bit of a thin claim. That said, the kettle boils a fair bit faster than my old espresso machine used to.
In conclusion I'd recommend this product, even for picky coffee aficionados. It's chic, easy, and produces great coffee.
Currently it's £79.99 on Amazon - but I'd suggest waiting for the January sales.
This well designed piece of equipment is changing the way I do mornings! The design is sleek, so I didn't hesitate to leave it out on the counter since I use it so often. I especially enjoy the fact that the Presso Espresso Maker is manual. This allows you to adjust the amount of beans used, fineness of the grounds, and the pressure. Basically, you become your own personal expert barista! Averaging around $100 makes it a great investment for those looking to cut back on their coffeehouse expenses. Even compared to electric espresso makers, this one is a great deal. It may take you some time, if you're new at this, to get a good shot going, but its worth experimenting to get it right. I personally enjoy using less water to get more pressure with the levers which can get some crème building. One of the best things about this espresso maker being manual, which could be a deterrent for some people, is that it becomes portable. It's non-electric, so it is much easier to take it with you when travelling, going on vacation or even camping. I know camping is much more enjoyable for me when I can have an espresso by the campfire in the morning.
HOW I CAME ACROSS PRESSO
I've been struck with quite a conundrum..... I love coffee. I LOVE espressos. I like to drink coffee throughout the day and my preference is espressos.
Up until I discovered Presso this left me with quite a problem - unless half of my countertop space was taken up by a huge coffee machine there was no way I could have home-made espressos throughout the day. A couple of years ago they brought out an 'instant' espresso which was fine. But really, just 'fine'.
A few months ago I was in my local charity shop when I saw this impressive piece of machinery. It was loose without packaging so I wasn't sure what it was at first but there was a small booklet which explained that it was an non-electronic espresso maker!
HOW THE PRESSO WORKS
The Presso machine is so easy I actually didn't believe it worked when I read the booklet but seeing as it was only £5 I decided to take the chance. Like a normal espresso maker you remove the coffee holder by gripping the handle and turning it to release. You then fill the container with ground coffee (usually about 1tbsp) and pour boiled water into the cylinder at the top of the machine. There are two levels marked on the clear plastic cylinder - one for a single shot, a higher level for a double. Once you have filled this with water you slowly lift the handles on the side and then press them back down. It really is as simple as that!
First and foremost this makes great coffee! You can use either espresso coffee or standard filter coffee and it still tastes good.
Cleaning is easy. Usually I just take out the coffee holder and dump it into my compost and it all comes out in one clump leaving little or no residue in the holder so I either put it right back in for the next use or periodically give it a quick rinse. I've used it for several months now and it still looks just as clean and shiny as when I first bought it!
Unlike some espresso machines this leaves a crema layer just like a proper espresso should have!
Appearance - it looks good sitting on your counter but also doesn't take up nearly as much space as a standard coffee maker. Because the handles fold in you can even store it in your cupboards if you prefer to have more counterspace.
(Slightly) more environmentally friendly. I've seen it featured on eco-friedly websites but to be honest, you're still having to boil the kettle so it's not perfect.
I hate the fact that I ALWAYS have to unplug something in the kitchen to plug in something else so its really refreshing to have a piece of equipment that doesn't need to be plugged in. This also means that you can have it on the dining room/kitchen table at breakfast or after dinner so you can make continuous coffee at the table instead of going back and forth to the kitchen or waiting until the first espresso gets cold waiting for the last one to be made.
I also read that it can be used for camping though if you're hiking i can't see you wanting to lug this in your backpack! (Though I suppose if you are in a caravan or driving then it's great!)
Before I bought the presso I would make strong stove-top coffee as the closesnt thing to espresso but this is SO much quicker, easier and less messy but more importantly - better tasting!
Lastly but definitely not least this is ridiculously easy to use - filling with coffee only takes a second, pour in the water, pull the handles up, push them down and you're done!
Whenever I order a coffee I make sure I get a double shot but at home I like to drink a whole cup of espresso with a bit of milk in it. When you pour the water into the Presso you can choose to make enough for a single shot or double shot (using the markings on the plastic opening at the top of the machine). For me a double shot is not usually enough but if you attempt to put another lot of boiling water through the machine it comes out pretty much like water, you therefore need to refill the holder with another lot of coffee grinds.
On top of the effort involved with refilling the holder it is also quite expensive to use several tablespoons of fresh coffee every time you want to make a cup however this is probably not a problem for most people who will be happy with two shots at a time!
Although I purchased mine second hand (though unused) and only paid £5 for it I looked it up when I got home and found that it costs upwards of about £80 on amazon and other retailers. I'm not at the point in my life where I can afford that but my Mom loves this machine so much that I'm sure when I leave home and take this with me she will certainly be shelling out for one!
Great coffee at minimal effort with little mess. Fun, easy to use and looks great. I HIGHLY recommend this to anybody who regularly drinks espressos or americanos.
For more information on the science behind it and a short demonstration of how to use it you can watch this brief but interest video: http://www.bytherefore.com/presso-video
To get a better crema layer its best to tamp (press) the coffee down quite tight.
I like to put my milk in first and then after I have pressed the coffee through I lift and pull down the levers one more time and the pressure of the air coming out froths the milk a little.
The espresso maker uses hot water from your kettle to make the espresso / No electricty required and is easy to clean.