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Krups Coffee/Exspresso Machine

Q: About two years ago when my husband and I got married, we bought a Krups automatic brew machine and exspresso/cappuccino all in one machine. This is the first, and only, machine we've had. Since then, I have seen other machines that make only espresso/cappuccinos and I am wondering if these are better? Does anyone know anything about the Krups I'm speaking of? Certainly it was not the most expensive machine you can get, but I liked the idea of a regular coffee maker and espresso/capp. in one unit together. Any information you can give would be great.

A: My friend had a similar type of machine (by Salton). He thought it was nifty to have both in one unit. He used the coffee maker exclusively, but everytime I tried to make us an espresso drink, the portofilter exploded - sending coffee grounds everywhere. I think the steam valve hated me . . . There are two models from Krups, one with steam-pressure and the other with an espresso pump. You can tell the difference by opening the top - if the espresso side has a steam-pressure cap with warning lablels on it, you have the former. On both, the brewed coffee side is very good, but the espresso side is based on Krups' two lowest priced models. The steam-pressure version isn't even really espresso - it's often called double-strength coffee. In that case, any pump machine will produce a better result. If you have the version with the pump machine attached, it's the same as a Krups Espresso Vivo. It can actually produce very good espresso, but is a step down from the higher end (and priced) machines from Saeco, Gaggia and the like. For the price, however, it's great. The major thing is, if you're happy, then you don't need anything more. If you become unhappy in the future, start saving up.