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What Are Semi Automatic Espresso Machines?
There are various types of espresso machines that can get you a delicious cup of espresso at home. Everything depends on what kind of espresso machine you buy. There are espresso machines that make great coffee and are expensive. They have too many controls and might be difficult to use,...
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The Exploding Krups FND1 Espresso Maker
Q: About a year ago, a friend gave me a brand-new Krups Espresso/cappuccino maker (Type FND1). One thing I noticed right away was that Krups had "integrated" the steam valve into the on/off switch, necessitating un-plugging the machine in order to release the pressure through the steam nozzle. (And yes, the instruction manual specifically indicates you have to un-plug it to release pressure - when you turn to "steam" or "coffee" position, you're also turning on the heating element). That poor design feature and minor annoyance aside (which could get to be pretty major if you use your machine daily), the 3rd or 4th time I used it (strictly according to the manual), the basket/handle assembly - which had been snugly in place - exploded out of its seat, smashing into the carafe below, sending glass, hot coffee, and hot coffee grounds all over the kitchen. I went back to using my older Krups model 871 which sensibly separates the steam valve from the on/off switch and which does not explode. I don't know what possessed me, but a few weeks ago I thought I'd give the Krups FND1 another try. I got out the manual, followed instructions to the letter, and - BOOM!! - basket and handle shot off the machine again. I e-mailed Krups about it and got a form-letter reply telling me to include my purchase receipts when I mailed it to their "repair" facility. Checking out the Krups web-site, it looks like they no longer manufacture the FND1, but have another model, the FND111, which looks just the same and has the same poorly designed "integrated" steam valve/on-off switch. Has anyone else had that experience with the FND1, or any other Krups model, for that matter?
A: I didn't say that the Italian gov't does "not regulate what must be sold as Espresso"; I said it "has not shown an interest in 'promulgating standards' for Espresso". It is not surprising that the Italian gov't regulates Espresso prices - many other items are price-regulated in Italy. What piques my curiosity, though (and I am genuinely interested in the information), is what (besides maximum price) has the Italian gov't seen fit to involve itself in regarding Espresso? Although you said that "EVEN a maximum drink price is set", perhaps it'd more accurate for you to have said that "ONLY a maximum drink price is set". And perhaps not. I'd like to make it clear that I have no axe to grind and that, as I've said, I'm genuinely interested in the information. Thanking you in advance for the information. I am well aware of the INEI, and have posted about them in the past. That is different from the fact that Espresso is a nationally regulated drink in Italy. Even a maximum drink price is set; bars have the official government document posted in a visible spot somewhere behind the counter. You are correct that they do not have quality standards, but that is different from saying that they do not regulate what must be sold as Espresso. Actually, to set the record straight, the Italian government has not shown an interest in promulgating standards for Espresso. There is, however, a private organization which is called the "Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano", (an organization which supports itself by selling impressive "Certificatos" to qualifying restaurants and bars in Italy and is headquartered in Brescia). Mindful of the fact that "Espresso" also refers to that which is produced from low-bar steam-driven machines, even the Istituto is not so bold as to have set standards for "Espresso", although they have established standards for what they choose to refer to as "Espresso Italiano" among which is: "Pressione di immissione dell'acqua 9 bar ± 1". (see http://Espressoitaliano.org/doc/EIC%20-%20Ita%20-%20LQ.pdf). I submit that whether it comes from a steam-driven or piston-driven machine, it is still called "Espresso" and continues to be recognized as such and defined as such. If you want to specify that which is produced at 9 bars (plus or minus 1, according to the Istituto), go ahead, follow the Istituto's guidelines and call it "Espresso Italiano". And to keep the record straight, I'm arguing a language usage issue here, not the superiority of one method over another.