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Lately we have been talking a lot on Coffee Brewing Methods about steam based espresso machines. If you haven’t done so yet you can read about steam based espresso here. A popular company in the steam based espresso machine industry for a long time has been Krups.
If you want to buy a Krups espresso machine, and you need some guidance to choosing the perfect model, this page is the perfect start.
A Bit of History
When steam based machines first became popular in the home in the 1950s, Krups was one of the real heavy hitters. They would make machines that were affordable and lasted a long time.
Recently steam based espresso has been losing popularity for home brewing. Consumers are often choosing to pay a bit more for a pump based machine (if they are espresso lovers) or else are just sticking to filter coffee.
Krups has followed this trend and are no longer manufacturing steam based machines on a big scale. Now producing lower end pump based machines, Krups are still a much loved brand in American homes. Their steam based machines are mostly still available on Amazon either new or second hand.
So read on to find out a little more about this coffee appliance giant and some of their popular machines, both steam and pump based.
Krups has been around for ages. Founded in 1846, the German company started making general kitchen appliances before realising the huge market demand for domestic coffee machines.
Key dates about Krups:
- They brought their first coffee machine onto the market in 1961. This machine was sold as the F468 all the way up to 2014.
- In 1979, a Krups coffee grinder was featured in the movie ‘Back to the Future’, which massively increased the company’s popularity in the United States.
- In 1990, Krups briefly partnered with Nestlé as the manufacturer for Nespresso machines.
- As of 1999, Krups is now owned by the parent company Groupe SEB.
Krups steam based machines
Up until a few years ago, Krups had four or five steam based machines on the market. The more popular of these were the xp1020, the Krups Espresso Mini and the Krups XP100050.
Krups xp 1020
This low end steam based machine was originally one of Krups affordable machines, along with the Krups Espresso Mini. It is very small and compact and has standard steam based features. It looks quite nice with its metal finishings.
It is largely bought these days as a novelty product or because people who have owned Krups machines in the past feel that they are reliable. Due to a lack of supply, if you want to get your hands on one of these machines on Amazon you will pay well over market value.
Our honest advice is to steer away from discontinued machines. Check our dedicated page on steam espresso machines, where we compare the most popular models on the market.
Krups Espresso Mini
Originally, steam based espresso machines and home coffee appliances tended to be a bit bulkier. The Krups Espresso Mini was really one of the first steam based machines on the market to have this extremely small and fun design. These days many steam based machines are similarly made.
It is all black plastic, unlike the xp1020, but the black serves to make this machine look fun and quirky.Like the xp1020, this machine can now only be bought on Amazon for a hefty price tag.
This machine was, until recently still produced. If you are a fan of the Krups steam based machines you can still find the XP100050 online for under $100.
I like this machine because it feels a little more expensive than your standard steam based machine. Its design, though mostly plastic, is quite unique and doesn’t have that standard steam based look. It has a heating tray for your cups and a safety valve in the cap. If you’re interested, take a look at this machine on Amazon here.
Pump Based Espresso Machines
The Krups Opio espresso machine delivers outstanding espresso shots and is comparable with with more expensive machines. It has an aluminum boiler with and an advanced water heating technology, for fast heat-up time.
The 15-Bar pump pressure ensures enough power for high-quality espresso shots.
The steam nozzle is perfect for frothing and steaming milk for cappuccino perfection.
What is even better about this machine, is the price. This is an inexpensive machine that could be a great starting equipment. You can also check our page about cheap espresso machines, where we review a few great competitors of the Krups Opio.
- This is a great little machine to buy as a first pump based espresso machine. It retails at $100, which is a great price for a pump based machine and it is good value for money.
- With this machine you will get some of the advantages of pump based espresso such as crema and better coffee quality in general.
- This machine has a single boiler like steam based machines do, but it has a heat exchanging tube which allows for steaming and espresso pulling to be done straight after one another.
- This machine has an average of 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon which is always a good sign.
- It is simple to use and has an auto function which takes the stress out of brewing.
- It has a removable 1.5 litre water tank. This is a good amount of water and you won’t have to fill up so often.
- One of the best features of this machine is the built in water filter. If you don’t already have a water filter, this is a great feature as filtered water produces better coffee.
- Though it is pump based it is still small and compact.
- It is not very nice to look at compared to some of its competitors.
- You don’t have control over water temperature at this price point.
The Calvi is the newest offering from the German company. This machine takes it up another level from the XP3208.
First and foremost the design is very sleek and innovative. The body of the machine is mainly chrome. It has a large main panel that contains the controls and the power button.
The removable drip tray is also made of chrome. If nothing else, this machine would be a great design addition to your kitchen and looks very impressive.
The control panel is simple and user friendly.
The steam wand is designed to be like industry standard steam wands. The angle is adjustable so that you can get that optimal angle for steaming.
It has a removable one litre tank. Although this is not quite as big a capacity compared to the XP3208, it is still a decent size and is good for around 5 standard cups of coffee before it needs refilling.
The main feature that sets this pump based machine apart from its competitors with a similar price tag is the Thermoblock technology. This is an actual thermal block that, once heated, regulates the temperature of the water much more successfully than the heat exchanging tube. With the thermoblock tech, you can count on several things:
The heat of the water is always going to be the optimum heat for coffee extraction.
The steam wand steam is always dry, consistent and good quality. Making and practicing latte art is a piece of cake.
Heat regulation is great with this machine. It will stay hot even when you are not consistently using it.
The Calvi also operates at a higher pump pressure than the XP3208 so the coffee is extracted better and is of a much higher quality. This also means that you can grind your coffee finer, like with industry espresso machines.
It has a mini cup heating tray on top of the machine, which I always think is a nice feature.
Finally, it comes with a single and a double portafilter for pulling single and double espressos. This is a great feature for those who like drinking espresso neat. This is something that we recommend with this machine as the coffee is of a good quality compared to the cheaper steam based machines.
Our thoughts on the XP344 Calvi
At less than $130 on Amazon, we basically think this pump based machine is an absolute steal. It is not much more expensive than the higher end steam based machines and you get what you pay for and then some. This is a great intermediate level coffee machine.
If you are at all interested in coffee taste and preparation, we recommend you give the Calvi a go. Get yours here then let us know if you love it as much as we do!
Krups EA8250 Espresseria
Krups Espresseria is one of the least expensive fully automatic espresso machines on the market. Let's get this straight, the machine is still expensive compared with the semiautomatic counterparts, at around $600. However, compare to the competition this is very affordable. You can check our superautomatic espresso machines comparison, and you will note the price differences.
The milk attachment is optional, and you could purchase a separate milk frother if you would like. Or not purchase one at all, if all you need is straight espresso.
The machine is small and it fits nicely in most kitchens.
The machine's grinder is equipped with stainless steel burrs, a thermoblock heater for fast temperature adjusting times, and an efficient brew unit.
Like any superautomatic, it is not renown for reliability, but if you treat it right, it will last a long time. We have a review of Krups 8250 espresso machine, where we go into details.