HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Mr Coffee Pump Machine (12 msgs / 353 lines)
1) From: Jim Karavias
Hi,
Has anyone on the list ever actually tried the Mr Coffee pump espresso =
machine?  Hard to believe a pump machine can be had for $49.  Does it =
make anything close to espresso?
Jim Karavias
System Architect
DesignMind Inc.
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2) From: jim gundlach
I haven't tried it but I did find one review on the web.
    http://www.epinions.com/content_54438497924The reviewer is clearly not an expert on espresso but there is some 
evidence that the thing can produce crema.
Jim Gundlach
On Wednesday, November 20, 2002, at 05:46 PM, Jim Karavias wrote:
<Snip>
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3) From: Mark A. Chalkley
I've got one I was given.  It doesn't make $49 worth of espresso, as
far as I'm concerned.
Mark C.
On Wednesday, November 20, 2002, 6:46:26 PM, Jim Karavias wrote:
JK> Hi,
JK> Has anyone on the list ever actually tried the Mr Coffee pump espresso machine?  Hard to believe a pump machine can be had for $49.  Does it make anything close to espresso?
JK> Jim Karavias
JK> System Architect
JK> DesignMind Inc.
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4) From: EuropaChris
I looked at one when they were in stock at Wal-Mart.  They had them for only a few months before they went on blowout.  I looked at one and found it REALLY flimsy.  The portafilter was about as robust as a beer can, and the whole machine had a really cheap feel.   I suppose it's in line with it's price.  It would be a neat experiment, but I wouldn't hold my breath...
Chris
jim gundlach  wrote:
<Snip>
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5) From: Gary P
<Snip>
I had one of these (well, still do, more in a moment on that). =
 When 
I got it about 2-3 years ago they were around $89. So $49 is a=
 good 
deal, depending on what your expectations are and who it's for.
It's heads and shoulders above the cheap steam-driven $30=
 mini-boiler 
machines, because it's pump-driven.  This is most useful because=
 it 
allows you to foam as much as you want while still having=
 pressure 
for espresso.  Every time I've tried to use the steam boiler=
 machines 
at friends and family, it's a struggle to get both espresso and=
 foam 
from the same tank, with the result that both turn out watery.=
 The 
removable water tank and "temp. ready" lights are nice feature=
 too.
It is solidly built, although needing hand to prevent it sliding=
 when 
locking in the filter; I suspect the person who mentioned it was=
 
flimsy was comparing it to the "big boys"; there I agree.  Among=
 the 
department store lines, though, it's pretty well made.
It did me well for a while, and with practice you can get a=
 decent 
espresso out of it (if you're frame of reference is the average=
 chain 
specialty coffee shop down the street, and not your friend's home=
 
roasted hand pull on the $500 import machine).
That said, the fact you're on this list will be your downfall,=
 IMHO,  
as far as this machine is concerned.  You'll soon yearn to push=
 past 
the limitations of Mr. Coffee.
To the uninitiated, it's a good deal, as most will never spend=
 more 
than $100 on anything coffee related.  But the portafilter is, 
indeed, cheap - it looks like someone took a nail and hammer to a=
 
piece of aluminum, no finely machined basket here.  The plastic 
scoop/tamper is about 2-3 mm too small in diameter, so tamping=
 always 
misses around the edges, requiring multiple tamps, preventing=
 solid 
even pressure across the grounds.
In my quest to improve crema and extraction, I ground too finely,=
 
tamped too tightly, or some combination thereof.  When I turned=
 it 
on, a few drips came out, then suddenly, BOOM, steam and hot=
 coffee 
grounds everywhere.  The silicone gasket between the portafilter=
 and 
the head had ripped under the backpressure.  A call to the Mr.=
 Coffee 
and then to the local auth. repair shop reveals that this gasket,=
 
remarkably, is not on the 'parts list' (only big pieces like=
 'scoop', 
water tank', etc. are). 
Under "normal person" use, though, I don't think this would ever=
 have 
happened, I was trying to push the limits of the machine...  
So I've been out of commission for a while, appeasing myself with=
 a 
Bodum press pot.  I'm going to send the gasket to Mr. Coffee and=
 see 
if they'll do anything about it, but I don't have much hope, as=
 I'm 
already out of warranty.
As for the epinions article at http://www.epinions.com/content_54438497924, some brief comments=
 on 
that review.
"cleanup a joy" and "flawless design" - whatever.  The steam=
 spout is 
too low, making it difficult to get a pitcher underneath, when it=
 
could have easily been mounted two inches higher.  The steamer is=
 
also improperly angled, making it drip mink exactly on the edge=
 of 
the drip tray, making a mess of the side of the unit and the=
 counter 
underneath. Also, the switch is counter intuitive, for steam, you=
 
turn the know _away_ from the steam tube. 
I don't know how these easily fixable flaws make it through the 
prototype stage of products... You can see these flaws clearly=
 here:http://i.walmart.com/i/p/00/07/21/79/00/0007217900875_500X500.jpg="lightweight but durable measuring and tamping tool has a good=
 feel 
to it" - again, whatever. They've obviously never used or seen a=
 real 
tamper, if they say this about an undersized hollow plastic scoop=
 
with a flat end on it.
"As I gushed on about wonderful service" - well that may be=
 _within_ 
warranty and with ominous mention of 'Epinions' on the phone, but=
 I 
was given no options other than to go through a local service=
 shop, 
who were then unhelpful, even though I was willing to pay for the=
 
gasket.
Unfortunately, there's no quality middle ground, price wise,=
 between 
this $50-100 machine and the $400 high end likes of Gaggia and=
 Solis. 
So I sit espresso-less, trying to justify a new coffee appliance=
 
while I have on the "gizmos to buy" list a TV for the den,=
 computer 
upgrades, ReplayTV, digital camera, and other goodies, all of=
 which 
are much more interesting to my wife, who could care less about 
anything coffee, (but does like the foamer for hot chocolates). =
 :-)
However, for the above average consumer who prefers and can 
appreciate a good drink crafted by a barista, but is still 
occasionally tempted by "push a button" cappuccinos, this is a=
 great 
machine for the price.  The type of people who enjoy dousing=
 their 
cappo with "carmel mint mocha" syrups, and don't quite understand=
 the 
purist mentality of pure, unadulterated  espresso.
This would be a great money saver for your favorite college=
 student - 
I know I would have appreciated saving the $2.50 on my way to=
 classes 
(back in the day when pure espresso was a bit too intense for=
 me). 
I'd probably also consider buying one for my parents to replace=
 their 
little steam jobbie for convenience and quality.  Any more money=
 
spent on something more advanced than Mr. Coffee would be lost on=
 
their palate, though.  :) 
As for me, I'm tempted to get a replacement for just $49, but I=
 know 
for me, I'm better off saving that cash towards one of the $400 
machines and getting something I'll be happy with for years,=
 though 
it means going a few months without my fix.
So this Mr. Coffee machine might do the trick for you, depending=
 on 
how demanding a coffee connoseur you are or who it is for.
WalMart has it online here for $9.96:http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=1603760(I post the link since it will be a cold day in hell on some 
alternate planet of reality before SM ever carries such a beast!=
 You 
know you want the Solis SL-90 with free shipping instead! http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.espresso.shtml)
If anyone has recommendations on decent $100-350 espresso=
 machines, 
please share...
-g
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6) From: Rick Farris
Gary wrote:
<Snip>
At the high end of that range I think ... checking ... yes, you can get a
Solis SL70, or for $399 at Sweet Maria's you can get it's slightly bigger
brother, the SL90.
-- Rick
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7) From: Angelo
....and at the low end look for the Krups Gusto..It can be found on some of 
the close-out/refurb sites for under $100..
ciao,
Angelo  (64)
<Snip>
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8) From: Angelo
This is also true of the $400 Silvia... Probably the same tamper. Go figure...
A.
Snip
<Snip>
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9) From: Ben Treichel
Actually I was just in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond and saw it for 69.00. I 
almost handed it to my wife for Christmas, but a good grinder is needed 
first, and I didn't feel like hand cranking my zass that much.
Besides, I got enough other coffee 'stuff' working without another 
obsession.
Ben
Angelo wrote:
<Snip>
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10) From: RLutz29934
I've been using a Gaggia Espresso for about 2 years now with good results and 
reliability. You'll want to get a decent tamper, though, and forget about the 
'crema discs'-they tear after about a week. Still, a very decent unit with a 
heavy duty portafilter for under $200.
Bob Lutz
Ft. Collins,CO

11) From: Les & Becky
Gary,
I am happy with my SAECO, and it cost about $250.00  However, I would save
up the extra $50.00 and go with a Miss Silvia, or the new Isomac Super Giada
for $399.00 street price.
Les

12) From: Les & Becky
Your need a "Thor" tamper hand made by me to help achieve "the god shot."  I
can't believe how crummy the tampers are that come with the machines.  That
is why I am making ones that work good and look good!
Les
Roasting and turning tampers in S. Oregon


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