Mr. Coffee invite you to use their Café Barista Espresso Maker BVMC-ECMP1000 to "create coffeehouse-quality espresso drinks just like a professional." But does this machine really produce espressos as good as that, and is it as convenient and easy to use as they make out?
Reading the reviews, there's little doubt that the Café Barista is capable of making the most delicious of espresso-based brews - espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and mochas, and even americanos - and in a great variety of flavors, in just minutes and at the touch of a button.
You can have single or double shots - just choose the appropriate filter. And you can choose whatever blend of coffee you like to put in the portafilter, and in whatever size cup or mug you prefer. No problems with being versatile, then.
The Frothed Milk Makes All The Difference
There's nothing quite like being able to froth your own milk, and that makes all the difference between a regular coffee maker and an espresso machine. The Café Barista, has an automatic milk frother, handles all kinds of milk, including low fat, soy and almond, and truly can make milky froths from any of them that easily rival those produced by any coffee house.
The secret is in the froth dial, which you can adjust to taste or to suit your selected brew. A 15 bar pump easily provides all the pressure needed to ensure that even the most extreme demands are met, and that froths can be made even from skimmed milk.
Removable Reservoirs for Convenience and Ease of Cleaning
Espresso machines, of course, require a little more care and attention than most coffee makers simply because there's a milk reservoir as well as a water reservoir to manage and keep clean. But with this model Mr Coffee have gone out of their way to make it easy.
Both reservoirs are easily removed, and the milk reservoir and lid can, apparently, be washed in the dishwasher on the top rack, though, personally, I'd rather not risk it. But make sure you place this component, which slides horizontally into position, fully back in place (otherwise you may find things get messy).
Everything's Under Control
There's not much about your brew that you can't control down to the last detail. And all from the simple control panel that lets you choose single or double shot, or custom. Set the froth dial, and you'll have your drink within a couple of minutes.
If you're worried about leaving the milk in the milk reservoir and having it turn sour then just store it in the fridge when not in use.
The milk froth dispensing tube is easily adjusted according to the size of your cup, so it is aimed at the centre to avoid spills. Make sure it is lifted up and into your cup.
Cleaning is easy. I've already mentioned the reservoirs, so what about the other components? The internal mechanism is cleaned by pressing the "Clean" button on the control panel, or you can clean the brew head by putting an empty cup under it and pressing the espresso button (check there's no coffee in the portafilter first). The drip tray, of course, can be removed for cleaning, too.
One tip here - make sure you don't leave the milk reservoir dial in the "Cleaning" position after cleaning, or you may get a surprise when you next brew up.
Features and Specifications:
- Semi-automatic 3-in-1 espresso, cappuccino and latte maker
- One-touch control panel
- Single, double and custom servings
- 15-bar pump espresso maker
- Automatic milk frother
- Manual function
- Removable drip tray
- Removable water and milk reservoir
- Adjustable cup tray
- Recipe book containing 20 easy-to-make coffeehouse drinks
- Wipe clean exterior
- Programmed cleaning cycle
- Dimensions: 12"L x 14"W x 12.2"H
- ETL listed
- One-year warranty
- Model# BVMC-ECMP1000
Customer Reviews and Scores
The Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso Maker earns 4.2 stars from 154 reviews (123 of which are 4 or 5 star) on Amazon at the time of writing. Most reviewers love its versatility and the fact that they can brew their favorite drink in their own special way, adjusting the level of milk froth to just the way they like.
Ease of use and the clarity of the instructions are also appreciated by most. And the 20 strong recipe book is also a hit.
Some reviewers have complained that the machine has made a mess on their counter when used, or that the milk container leaks when the machine is in use. However, most users seem not to have been so troubled, and it's possible some people aren't pushing the milk reservoir back firmly enough into the slot before starting their brew, which would cause some leakage. This is a point to watch with this model.
Obviously make sure you have a large enough mug in place if you program for a double shot. And, interestingly enough, one reviewer has observed that you get a creamier brew if you use milk with lower fat levels.
As long as you read the instructions and carry out any preliminaries, such as priming the machine before using it, then there's no reason why you shouldn't enjoy the delicious brews that this espresso machine is capable of producing for a long time to come.
Mr Coffee used to be known for producing lower quality coffee machines and espressos at the lower end of the market, but with their Café Barista Espresso Maker BVMC-ECMP1000 they have shown that they can make a quality, easy-to-use machine that produces a variety of delicious, customized brews at the touch of a couple of buttons.