When someone starts reviewing the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista machine (the ECMP1000 model), people immediately think the espresso maker will cost a fortune.
Pretty much nobody expects to get the luxury of making espresso, cappuccino AND latte with one coffee maker. Or to have a choice between a single and double shot for each of them (I’ll show you a photo of Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista control panel where to pick the shots).
Some of them will think you’re of course talking about the Breville BES870XL machine. That’s the big and expensive everything-you-can-possibly-wish-for espresso machine. It also costs full $600. When you say it’s not Breville and it doesn’t cost $600 – in fact it costs less than $200 – their jaw drops.
That’s why the Mr. Coffee espresso maker is the #1 best-selling espresso maker. You get all the best features that are budget-friendly, but be aware of the drawbacks as well (we’ll go into those in a minute).
This is the Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 review; just have a look at it and then we’ll answer the first question the guys who know a thing or three about espresso makers ask.
Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Review (Win On Budget, Loss On Durability)
This is the first question about Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista when the features are explained and everybody thinks the espresso machine should cost $500 or so:
“Are you for real? That’s amazing! But… there has to be something wrong with it, right?”
Right! Whenever you see a thing like Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 that’s fantastic but costs a fraction of the cost, you would think it’s just some Chinese knock-off or something.
As we’ll go through the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista review, you’ll see that’s almost true. It is kind of a knock-off, but an American knock-off.
The thing that’s wrong with ECMP1000 (or any Mr. Coffee machines for that matter) is that the materials used are not of such high quality like Breville machines. Those are made from stainless steel while Mr. Coffee uses more or less plastic.
Does that affect durability? Absolutely, Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 model won’t last much longer than 5 years.
But that does affect the price of Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista even more – and in your favor!
For me, it seems reasonable to pay 3 or even 4 times less for an espresso machine that will last half as long as the incredibly expensive machine.
I said it’s below $200. Prices do different from time to time, you can check for how much you can get Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 model right now:
Ok, now let’s put the Mr. Coffee to the test:
How Well Does Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Perform?
One thing we noticed straight away during our test, was the ease with which you can make the very first espresso. Why?
The instructions are extremely clear and with features like automatic milk frothing making a cappuccino is a piece of cake.
We managed a setup time of 19 minutes (that includes going through the instructions).
One of the reasons why it’s simple to get going is the easy control panel. It features LED lights that tell you exactly when the machine is ready to get brewing, taking the fuss out of finding the correct steam pressure and temperature.
How to pick a single or double shot? I promised you a photo of that, here’s how it looks like on the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista control panel:
Of course, if you want to go into details about setting the water temperature or brewing methods and so on, who want as much control as possible, the Mr. Coffee is definitely not for you. It’s specifically designed to avoid all that fuzz and complexity. Simple and easy is the motto here.
The machine heats up time is about a minute – that’s the standard time. Some heat up faster and some slower – the Mr. Coffee is right in the middle.
Design & Quality Of Espresso Machine By Mr. Coffee
You can definitely tell that Mr. Coffee are attempting to re-create the semi-professional barista look. Polished steel is located on the front panel, drip tray and warming plate, yet there are elements of polished plastic that does detract from this look.
You can see a great way to use a limited budget for materials – ‘The face matters the most’. The high-quality and expensive stainless steel is in the front – where Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista faces the kitchen. Other parts that you don’t see that much are made out of plastic. That’s what I call a smart design.
Here is how Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 design looks like versus the designs of other espresso makers in the same price range:
Testing Mr. Coffee For A Week (Results)
During our week-long test for Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista review, we gave the machine a good workout, making multiple cups of coffee per day and keeping an office of 8 staff well served (by now they’re pretty much used to drink espresso from a different machine every week or so).
The base of the machine comes in at only 12 x 14 inches, making it slightly larger than its cheaper cousins and about the same size as espresso makers in higher price range. We believe this is a move by Mr. Coffee to associate the Café Barista with higher end machines.
The control panel is easy to use with settings for espresso, cappuccino and latte, plus the usual dial to control steam wand pressure. The steam wand doesn’t take long to get up to full temperature and we found it produced steam for a solid 50 seconds before losing pressure – not bad at all!
The milk frother function is a very welcome feature indeed and works perfectly. Even less experienced members of the team managed to put together a wonderfully rich crema and said that it was easy to do.
The Mr. Coffee Café Barista does, however, lack one important element that we would have loved to see, a coffee grinder. However, at this price, we do wonder what the quality of such a grinder would be so perhaps it’s a case of “careful what you wish for”.
What Mr. Coffee have managed quite well, is to produce a product at apes the look of machines twice its price without skimping on the quality of the brewing process.
How To Clean Mr. Coffee Machine?
The lack of a hopper and grinder makes this machine an easy to clean. The stainless steel was easy to wipe and polish, although the plastic did prefer a rub with a dry cloth to take the watermarks off. One feature we really love about the Mr. Coffee is the way the puck is left perfectly dry after each brew.
For those of you who are used to cheaper machines that leave a sloppy mess behind after each pour, the Mr. Coffee becomes a real joy to use and should be a huge benefit if you want to use your leftover pucks for the garden.
The basket, drip tray and wand are all easily dismantled, although we did notice one or two bits of plastic holding key equipment together.
Pros And Cons of Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista
Verdict After Review of Mr. Coffee Barista Espresso Machine
We began to see exactly what market Mr. Coffee were aiming for during our test. This espresso machine is all about great looks, ease of use and simplicity and within the confines of this design spec, we think Mr. Coffee have really created something good that should please many users.
Sure, the brewing enthusiasts won’t find much cheer here; however, this machine is going to work perfectly in a busy family home where people don’t have enough time to discover the perfect brew, they just want the machine to do all the guesswork for them.