Disclosure: I received a complimentary Capresso EC50 Espresso and Cappuccino Machine for review. No other compensation was received. All opinions and photos remain my own.
I am a coffee shop addict. Not for the coffee–I have plenty of ways to make my own, thanks to my Coffee Quest last year. But I love espresso. Like big puffy heart love. Like it’s probably a bad thing I work across the street from a well-known and huge coffee chain love. (This may be why I don’t sleep much…?) In lattes and macchiatos, Americanos and cappuccinos: it really doesn’t matter because it’s all good. And now, thanks to Capresso, I can make them at home, too.
Capresso brings the high end coffee shop experience to your home with their affordable EC50 Stainless Steel Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine. Retailing just under $100, it costs less than many coffee makers you’re already buying but the results taste a lot better. Right from your own counter.
The EC50 is a petite piece of equipment, taking up less counter space than prior coffee makers I’ve had. This is great because space is at a premium in my house! It’s also extremely quick. It doesn’t take long for it to heat up and be ready for brewing. For optimum taste, it’s best to let your cup warm up, too, but it can also accommodate you if you’re in a hurry. No worries!
Capresso’s EC50 is stylish. Sleek and modern with its black and stainless combo, it’s at home in contemporary kitchens but also fits in well in older homes, too, like my 1950s kitchen. It looks like it costs a lot more than it does. Score!
I have to admit that I never made my own espresso before receiving this machine. The fact that I had it up and running, brewing that nectar of the gods, in less than 10 minutes is a testament to the ease of set-up and use. There aren’t very many parts to worry about. The 42-ounce water reservoir is removable so you can bring it right to the sink to fill up. The portafilter and sieve do need to be removed post-brewing for cleaning, but that’s little more than dumping the spent grounds and a quick run under the hot water tap.
I did have some problems with frothing/steaming the milk at first. But that’s more because I usually only keep whole milk in the house, which is too heavy to froth beautifully. When I tried with skim milk that hasn’t been ultra pasteurized, I had much better results. (I also found this guide on How to Achieve the Perfect Frothed Milk on Capresso’s website to be quite helpful in troubleshooting that problem.)
So what’s the verdict? If I were in the market to purchase an espresso machine, I would definitely put the Capresso EC50 at the top of my list. You get a lot of bang for your buck, and the espresso it brews is just divine. Plus Capresso offers a lot of assistance and ideas on their Facebook page, from Twitter, on Pinterest, and right on their own blog, which is full of recipes and tips. I like that they’re there to help you get the most out of your investment.
And now… a recipe. Because you need something to make with all that lovely espresso. I was inspired by the S’Mores Hot Chocolate on Capresso’s website. I wanted to elevate it a bit with a riff off of a Mocha and voila–S’Mores Latte! Now all you need is a comfy seat in front of the fireplace and you’ll feel just like you’re in the coffee shop–at home. Cheers!
- 1 honey graham cracker sheet, crushed
- 1½ Tablespoons + ¼ teaspoon chocolate syrup
- 6 ounces cold skim milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
- 2 shots (about 2 ounces) espresso
- whipped cream
- 2 Tablespoons mini marshmallows
- Spread crushed graham cracker in a circle on a small plate.
- Apply ¼ teaspoon of the chocolate syrup to a paper towel and run it along the rim of a latte mug to coat, then dip the rim in the graham cracker crumbs.
- Drizzle the remaining chocolate syrup inside the mug.
- In a large mug steam cold milk using the steaming/frothing wand with the frothing part removed. Heat until 145-160 degrees Fahrenheit, then set aside.
- Brew the espresso according to manufacturer’s directions and pour over the chocolate syrup.
- Pour the steamed milk into the mug, then spray a little whipped cream on top of that.
- Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of remaining graham cracker crumbs and the mini marshmallows over the whipped cream.