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On this website we have recently been examining some of the more popular steam based domestic espresso machines. You can read our article on steam based espresso here.
After all the research and comparison, I can safely say that the steam based machine from Sowtech is my favorite. Why you ask? Read on to find out!
Our Review of the Sowtech Steam Espresso Maker
As I talked about in our steam based espresso article, the Sowtech does not look very different to its competitors. They are all small, plastic machines with a glass carafe for brewing and serving.
This machine looks nice and compact. It is mainly plastic with some stainless steel accents. It has one control knob for the coffee and the steam. It comes with a large filter for brewing up to four cups at a time. It comes with a measuring spoon that doubles as a tamper. Most of these features are common place with steam based espresso machines.
Why then is the Sowtech espresso maker more expensive than the other machines we have reviewed on the site? Stick with me a bit longer, and you'll see why. And if you still have doubts about it, check the stellar reviews on Amazon.
Why is the Sowtech steam driven espresso maker so great?
In short: the coffee is good. Sowtech took the opposite strategy to Mr. Coffee when designing their steam driven espresso machine. Mr. Coffee focused on appearance as opposed to taste and produced a very handsome machine. You can read our review of the Mr. Coffee steam espresso system here.
Sowtech, on the other hand, put their resources into trying to achieve better coffee extraction.
The coffee that the Sowtech steam driven produces is, in out humble opinion, the best you are going to get from a steam based espresso machine in this price bracket. This is for two main reasons.
Firstly, the temperature of this machine is extremely consistent. The machine will heat up to just below water boiling temperature and stay there. It doesn’t overheat, nor does it go cold if you aren’t using it consistently.
Consistent water temperature is extremely important for good coffee extraction. This means that the Sowtech is suitable for people who are particular about their coffee taste or who take their coffee black.
Consistent steam pressure
However, if you prefer a white coffee or cappuccino, the Sowtech steam driven is still more than capable of satisfying this request. Perhaps as a by-product of consistent temperature, the Sowtech espresso maker produces good quality, consistent steam with good pressure. This makes producing good quality micro-foam very possible.
Latte art is still going to be very difficult, though, as the wand doesn’t move and the angle can’t be adjusted. If you are looking for a machine to practice latte art on, we recommend a low end domestic pump based espresso machine such as the Capresso 118.05 EC PRO.
Why Do We Like the Sowtech Espresso Maker?
- The machine comes with a lifetime warranty.
This is extremely unusual for an espresso machine in this price bracket. At around the $50 mark, it is nearly assumed by consumers that a machine will have to be replaced after a year or so. The inclusion of a lifetime warranty speaks volumes for the quality of the product and the confidence that the manufacturer has in it.
- If you buy the machine on Amazon, Amazon tech support is also included with the purchase. When you buy the Sowtech espresso machine you can basically sleep soundly at night knowing that if you ever have a problem with your machine, Sowtech will sort it out for you free of charge.
- The next plus to note is the review rating. This machine has nearly 1000 reviews and has averaged at over 4 stars out of five. Again, this is highly unusual for a low end espresso machine. The best you can hope for in general is three stars. A rating over 4 stars is a very good sign indeed.
- The Sowtech steam driven has all kinds of certifications and stamps of approval from various international bodies in the environmental, food and coffee industries such as the Conformite Europeene (CE) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA. This again helps us to rest easy and feel confident about the quality of the purchase.
There are one or two aspects of the Sowtech steam driven that might not appeal to everyone who is shopping for a low end, steam based espresso machine.
The espresso machine from Sowtech is a little more expensive than its competitors. It retails between $55 and $80. This might be a little out of some people’s budget for a low end machine. As I said though, if you can budget for this or find the extra $20 somewhere, it is well worth the money.
The machine doesn’t look expensive. As I mentioned before, there are no defining physical characteristics to set the machine apart from its competitors. However, it is still not a bad looking machine. It is small and compact and won’t take up much counter space.
It is my feeling that the coffee yield from the Sowtech is not going to be beaten at this price point. If taste and good extraction are your priorities in an affordable machine, you won’t go wrong with the Sowtech steam driven espresso maker. If you are in the market for an affordable steam based machine you can compare this machine to several others that we have reviewed on this site. Let us know what you decide on!