The Hi-Tech One Button Barista:
KRUPS Espresseria Espresso Machine

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KRUPS Espresseria
$799.99 
KRUPS 

If you're a coffee drinker who appreciates the convenience and quickness of a pod-based system (like the Lattissima Plus Nespresso), but hope to step up in flavor with your own choice in beans, this hi-tech LCD screen equipped, fully automatic espresso machine might be your next level-up. Lets start off with an integrated conical burr grinder and hopper, which means those pricey whole beans you purchased won't get tainted by heat. Next, the whole system is controlled by LCD screen via easy to navigate twist-and-push knob, with instant notifications when you need to refill or clean the system...

The Espresseria is the easiest non-pod espresso machine I've used. After each brewing, the excess water produced with a serving discharges automatically to a drip tray; when it's full, the display informs to empty it out (alongside the used grounds container). Automatic rinsing, cleaning, and descaling programs all keep the system in tip-top between use, and so far, the only maintenance required is rinsing out the trays occasionally. It's a countertop computer of coffee brewing goodness. 

Taste wise the Espresseria is still a few notches below my trusted Aeropress and the Espro Press, but is capable of producing a pleasantly satisfying espresso or long coffee when matched with appropriate beans (avoid oily beans). The automatic grind to brew to pour process retains/unveils many of the subtler nuances of fruitier roasts, while somewhat dampening down the darker, robust flavors without completely neutering it (I just dial the grinder setting to the highest for fuller flavor, and much prefer it now than the out-of-box middle setting). Those who like a little milky froth will like the frothing nozzle, which also operates as a hot water dispenser for tea preparation in our household.

Because of the combination of speed, convenience and overall taste, the one-button operation has made the Espresseria the work week rule while those manual methods are relegated as the lazy weekend exceptions when all I want a cup to sip upon throughout the day. Sure beats waiting in line at the local coffee bar!

(Image: Gregory Han. Video: Bryan Schiele)

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