As steam espresso machines become more popular due to their significantly lower price tags, we decided to test out some of the best models on the market to see if they really do compare to a standard espresso machine.
A steam espresso maker won’t make espresso with as much depth of flavour as a standard barista style coffee machine, however, they are simpler to use and a whole lot cheaper. For that reason, they aren’t a bad choice – especially if you are new to at home barista style coffee.
A steam espresso maker is a good starting point. Although we found varied results, we did really like the Krups XP1000. Compared to other steam driven machines, we found the XP1000 was easy to use and produced a reasonably good coffee.
It is also a fantastic price, starting at just under $300. These factors considered, we named the XP1000 our top pick in the best steam driven machine for the money category.
The Krups XP1000 Review - Updated for 2020
“An easy to operate, compact, four cup espresso machine that quickly delivers excellent espresso and delicious cappuccino.”
The XP1000 has the following features:
· Four bar pressure: The espresso is made by forcing pressurised water through the ground coffee. This machine has four bars of pressure to aid this process.
· Removable drip tray: This makes cleaning the drip tray really easy.
· Simple, three position control switch: Simply select “off” when not in use, “espresso” when brewing your coffee and “steam” when frothing your milk.
· On and off light indicator: Ideal if you sometimes forget to switch the machine off after use, this light will catch your attention and remind you!
When you purchase an XP1000, you will get the machine and an instruction booklet of course, plus some great added extras:
- Filter holder
- Measuring spoon
- Four cup carafe
The four cup carafe is a lovely addition to the machine, meaning you can brew four cups at once without having to keep stopping and starting to change the cup. This makes life easier, and it’s a nice touch of you have guests – all of the coffee can be served together.
The XP1000 also comes with an impressive twenty four month warranty. An improvement on the standard twelve or fifteen month warranties most of these machines come with.
How to Use the Krups XP1000
Using this machine is quite simple once you get the hang of it. Often, the trick is to experiment until you find the taste that is just right for you. Below is a guide to making a perfect cup of espresso – then simply tweak it until you hit your desired strength!
- Measure out the water in the provided carafe, filling it to the level for the number of cups you want to make
- Put the measured water into the water tank – once you get used to the machine, you can skip step one as you’ll have an idea of how much water you’ll need through experience
- Add your ground coffee to the filter holder. Krups recommends one full scoop (which is provided) is equivalent to one cup, but again, you can tweak this to get your desired strength
- Fit the filter holder to the appliance
- Set the selector knob to “espresso”
Now sit back and wait for your coffee to brew. This shouldn’t take any longer than three to four minutes.
Once the espresso is brewed, you can drink it as it is, or you can now change the selector knob to “steam” and froth up some milk to make your espresso into a cappuccino.
The Pros of the XP1000
The Cons of the XP1000
The only major downside to this product is the low pressure. Due to use of steam, the pressure doesn’t get as high as a standard barista style coffee machine which means:
If we wanted to be really picky, the water tank cap is quite difficult to remove at first, but after a few times, it gets easier as the product becomes less stiff.
Top Tips to Get the Most Out of Your XP1000
By following these simple tips, you can make sure your machine lasts as long as possible and gives you the best coffee every time:
- Use only as directed by the manufacturer
- Ensure the machine is cleaned regularly and thoroughly
- Ensure the machine is descaled regularly (using filtered water will reduce the need to descale as often)
- Use full fat milk
- Use a good quality coffee
- Invest in a grinder and grind your own coffee immediately before use. Pre-ground coffee will work, but for real depth of flavour, you can’t beat freshly ground coffee.
- Once you get the hang of your machine, experiment! Try more/less water and more/less coffee to really find the flavour that works for you.
What's the Bottom Line?
Overall, for the price, the Krups XP1000 is an excellent machine. It is one of the best steam driven espresso makers available on the market now. Krups know coffee and they don’t skimp on innovation and durability.
This excellent value for money machine was a clear winner for us, and the combination of the low price, ease of use and great tasting coffee came together to make this out top pick for the best steam driven machine for the money.
Try it today, you won’t be disappointed!