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Should Your First Espresso Machine Be A Krups?

Buying your first espresso machine can be a little overwhelming, to say the least! It's hard enough if you've done your homework and a little research, but most people don't really have time to do that. So they head to their local big box store or department store and grab the first machine they see...

Quite often, that's a Krups Espresso Machine because they seem to sell them everywhere. But are those machines very good machines for someone just starting out in the world of espresso? That's what I'm going to talk about today.

What To Look For In Your First Espresso Machine

I've written several pretty comprehensive articles on this exact subject, and you can read them by clicking on the "Espresso Machines" link at the top of the menu on the right hand side of any page of this website (including this one), so I'm not going to go into a big long thing right now about how to pick a good machine...

But I do want to touch on a couple of important things that relate directly to Krups espresso machines. The thing you want to watch out for in a Krups is how the machine is powered....

Steam Powered vs. Pump Powered

Here's the thing about espresso, it needs a certain amount of pressure in order to turn the water into actual espresso. If you don't get enough pressure, you're really only making strong coffee.

Pressure is measured in "Bars", and real espresso needs at least 7 bars of pressure. This pressure is created using a pump. A good pump-powered espresso machine will create 15 bars of pressure, more than enough to get the job done.

Steam-powered machines attempt to create pressure using steam instead of a pump. Unfortunately, steam can only generate between 1 and 1 and 1/2 bars of pressure. That's not enough to make real espresso, but it is enough to make pretty strong coffee (which fools newbies into thinking they're drinking espresso).

What Does This Have To Do With Krups?

Pumps are expensive to make. There have lots of moving parts, and the pressure they create means those parts have to be high quality to withstand the pressure. That adds up to more expensive machines, a lot more expensive.

Steam machines, on the other hand, are much cheaper to make, and thus don't cost much in the stores. Many lower end Krups models are steam powered, making them much less expensive than a real espresso machine. These machines can sell for $50 or less, compared to a real espresso machine that starts at $100 and goes up from there.

Because they're so much cheaper, many Wal-Mart or Target type stores carry them; and a lot of department stores do as well. So people see these machines, which incorrectly have the words "Espresso Maker" written on the box in the stores, and they buy them...not knowing any better.

That's not to say that all Krups espresso machines are bad, or even that they're all steam powered; they're not! In fact, I have reviews below of several decent Krups machines that you can read.

What's The Bottom Line?

The bottom line is that Krups machines are ok in some circumstances. Just be sure to read the box and make sure the one you're looking at is Pump Powered and not steam powered and you should be ok. And if you're looking at a specific model, check below to see if I've reviewed it, and if not - email me and I'll take a look!

Usually I recommend the Cuisinart EM-100 ($120 ish) for someone just starting out, or if money is a real problem then I suggest the DeLonghi Bar32 Retro machine (cheaper machine under $100 but still decent), but a lot of people really want to go with a Krups Espresso Machine because that's the machine in the stores.

The most important thing is to just do it...just jump in there and buy that first machine. The first one you buy is always a learning experience anyway! Just make sure it's a pump powered machine and you'll make it through ok.

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