Mr Coffee Pump Espresso & Cappuccino Maker Review
At $40, the Mr. Coffee ECMP50 isn't much of a steal because of inadequate performance.
The brewing process itself is fairly standard on this machine, but the controls are poorly designed. In order to start brewing, you have to press the brew button, wait for the ready light to stop blinking (to indicate the correct temperature) and then twist the control knob. This control knob goes in two directions (to brew and to steam), and if you twist it the wrong way, the lights start blinking and you have to start again. It's a frustrating process that was poorly thought through. There is also a lot of waiting, as the ssytem takes some time to heat up, especially when switching to steam after brewing, as the boiler has to heat up again.
When the system is ready and heated up, press the brew button to start. The brew light will turn green and blink. When it stops blinking, the system is ready, so you turn the control dial.
The espresso then starts flowing. Once you have enough, turn the control dial back to the neutral position.
If you want to steam some milk as well, press the steam button and wait until the light stops blinking (this often takes some time). When it is ready, you can rotate the control dial to start the flow of steam.
Cleaning & Maintenance
TheECMP50 requires some maintenance, with the water reservoir needing refilling every day or two, and the drip tray requiring emptying regularly. The drip tray is located under the drip grid that the cups sit on.
The filters are also awkward to clean. The usual way to do this is to take the portafilter with the filter in it and bang it on the edge of a trash bin, with the effect that the puck of coffee grounds falls out into the trash and you can then wipe the filter clean. Instead, on this machine, the filter is only loosely fitted into the portafilter, and it had an annoying habit of falling out, even with the retaining clip held in place. We then had to retrieve the filter from the trash.
There are no customization features on this espresso maker.
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