Kenwood ES550 Cafe Retro Espresso 15 bar Cream - £99.99 @ Amazon - HotUKDeals
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Was: £169.99
Price: £99.99 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery. See details and conditions
You Save: £70.00 (41%)

Stylish retro-look coffee machine with analogue temperature gauge
15 bar pressure ensures high quality of espresso
Adjustable steam frother froths milk easily and conveniently for cappuccinos
Removable drip tray enables easy cleaning of machine
Illuminated on/off switch for visibility and clarity
Double dispenser for quicker delivery of coffee
Integral cord storage prevents unwanted trailing cord
Measuring spoon for consistent doses of coffee
Coffee press
Temperature Gauge
0.7 litre capacity

Manufacturer's Description
With more high street coffee shops opening and our desire of all things stylish and continental, Kenwood have bought out the Caf?etro Espresso Machine, which looks stunning is cream. This both looks stunning and makes a very good cup of coffee. You simply put your ground beans in the brew handle, take one of your cups from the cup warmer/holder (on top of the product) and flick a switch to begin. Turn it off when you have enough espresso coffee. If you decide you would like a Latte, simply add warm milk, and if you feel like a Cappuccino you can use the milk frother on the side of the machine. There is also a different brew handle which can take selected coffee 'Pods'

Product Description
Retro design, toggle switch controls and analogue temperature gauge, integral cup warmer, 15 bar pressure ensures high quality of espresso, adjustable steam frother froths milk easily and conveniently for cappuccinos, removable drip tray. With ESE Pod adaptor. Cream finish.
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8y, 3m agoFound 8 years, 3 months ago
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Comments/page:
#1
http://www.johnlewis.com/jl_assets/product/230396069.jpg
#2
Almost twice the price of a less "style orientated" 15 bar pressure machine, so cold for me, but if it is retro looks you are after, this is it!
#3
I had one of these and sent it back to Amazon. water leaks around the bottom of the stainless steel column and starts to rust at a very early stage. Plus it wasnt that good anyway so wasnt too bothered returning it.
#4
Looks ugly to me :whistling:
#5
Problem with all these things is that to get genuine espresso, you have to use coffee ground within the last hour, and roasted within the last week. The latter means you need a local roaster, the former means you need a grinder yourself - which start at bare minimum 100, and for a good one 200. Generally for a quality espresso machine itself you're looking at min 200 (various gaggias), 300 for a good one (eg rancilio silvia).

If all you want is starbucks style milk drinks with a tiny dash of coffee, get a stovepot moka pot and a milk frother. Will cost 25 quid max, and be much more reliable.
#6
i wanna get a decent expresso machine i' assuming the gaggias are the name to go for then?
#7
I'm not overly up to date, but Gaggia Babys are well thought of, about 200 quid. You'll need a grinder costing almost as much though, else it's pointless buying a quality machine.
#8
essexgangsta
i wanna get a decent expresso machine i' assuming the gaggias are the name to go for then?


In the UK probably right. You can easily get spares for Gaggia machines and a recon Gaggia Classic costs around £200 from the on-line Gaggia store. Internally the Italian machines are simple enough - look for brass boiler, at least 1kw power preferably a bit more, an Ulka type pump (replacements cost around £13 on eBay), good temperature control and plenty of steam pressure (fancy bits of the end of the steam wand are usually there to compensate for lack of steam pressure). Good makes are Rancilio, Isomac, Gaggia etc. Decent burr grinders start at £55 for the Dualit but after that nothing much worth looking at till you get to the £130 upwards bracket.
#9
arfster
Problem with all these things is that to get genuine espresso, you have to use coffee ground within the last hour, and roasted within the last week. The latter means you need a local roaster, the former means you need a grinder yourself - which start at bare minimum 100, and for a good one 200. Generally for a quality espresso machine itself you're looking at min 200 (various gaggias), 300 for a good one (eg rancilio silvia).

If all you want is starbucks style milk drinks with a tiny dash of coffee, get a stovepot moka pot and a milk frother. Will cost 25 quid max, and be much more reliable.


Here's a cheap method, buy this http://www.ciao.co.uk/Micromark_MM9894_MINI__6339536 for £16.00............or a spice grinder. You only need to grind what you're going to use at the moment and no more.....and you can roast your own beans on the hob even after they come "roasted".

Coffee beans are a nut and like any nut, or seed, they have oils that are released when heat is applied. Take any kind of nut, or seed, and put them into a dry pan, place them on low heat on the hob.....move them around a bit so they don't burn, the smell is incredible, the flavour increases, and the texture becomes crunchy, grind them after they're heated. ....Instant "Roasted coffee"

Give it a try, it's well nice :thumbsup:
#10
urbundk;3166298
Here's a cheap method, buy this http://www.ciao.co.uk/Micromark_MM9894_MINI__6339536 for £16.00............or a spice grinder. You only need to grind what you're going to use at the moment and no more.....and you can roast your own beans on the hob even after they come "roasted".

Coffee beans are a nut and like any nut, or seed, they have oils that are released when heat is applied. Take any kind of nut, or seed, and put them into a dry pan, place them on low heat on the hob.....move them around a bit so they don't burn, the smell is incredible, the flavour increases, and the texture becomes crunchy, grind them after they're heated. ....Instant "Roasted coffee"

Give it a try, it's well nice :thumbsup:


Roasting coffee is the single one thing I would NOT to take the short cut on.... many of the best commercial roasted blends are poor enough, doing it yourself you might as well drink some grotty Kenco instant! It is some job to get an even roast without burning or under-roasting :-( It might smell nice, but that's all.

The stove top method is one I hear praised often, even by a personal friend, but I just do NOT like the style of coffee it produces AT ALL, it is overcooked sour & bitter to me in fact so bad that I would be as happier with better quality instant, it just does not work for me and has more affinity to old fashioned percolator type coffeee to me than a pumped espresso. YUK, but each to his own :-(

A simple grinder is fair enough as a cheap option, although OF COURSE not as good as more serious models, but, even the cheapest pressure espresso machines produce far better coffee than you get by any other DIY method, again, I agree you get what you pay for,and who wouldn't want a machine costing 4.500 quid; but in the same way, if you want decent Fizzy wine, buy Lidl own label Champagne, and if you want good quality buy Dom Perignon Vintage - obviously you get better with a good machine, I should hope that you do, but is not DRAMATICALLY more for an enormous sum extra!

Personally I find ready ground is fine, and is still a million miles better than instant for everyday purposes, and a thousand times better than a filter method. Of course I would like better, in the same way I would like better everything - I don't eat foie gras or black truffle every day either, but am happy to if someone else is paying for it!

Being snobby about brands and models is ridiculous, especially on a bargains site, even more so on a thread discussing a simple 100 quid machine!! I live very well on my income, but I wouldn't if I was spending it to bathe in luxury all day every day - and to get any better than what I use already is going to cost premium money - spending anywhere from 12 to 100-fold more than I need pay for moderately good coffee just to get pretty good coffee - the return for the extra expense is simply NOT worth it. I agree that cheaper machines take more practice and skill to work them well too, but I am not short on skill, I am short on money! :-( On reflection, it is just coffee, it's a toasted plant seed - nice, but not the elixir of life, and I have got better things to spend serious money on, when I can get an acceptably good result for a relatively low, sensible cost.
#11
cracking design imho http://www.avatarjunkie.net/happy4.gifhttp://www.avatarjunkie.net/amuk/x9/happy6.gifhttp://www.avatarjunkie.net/happy5.gif
#12
nihcaj;3166893

Being snobby about brands and models is ridiculous, especially on a bargains site, even more so on a thread discussing a simple 100 quid machine!!


No snobbery involved - I'm simply saying that buying an espresso machine without a quality grinder is downright pointless. You can get cheap, good espresso machines - I once got a Gaggia for 60 quid discounted. The difference between that and a 200 quid model is there, but it's not massive. However, you can't get cheap, good grinders that can produce the quality an espresso machine needs.

Put it another way: I'd rather have a 175 quid grinder with a 70 quid espresso machine, than a 50 quid grinder and a 2000 pound espresso machine. Basically, the quality of the grinder is more important than the quality of the espresso machine at this price point.
#13
These are pretty poor machines for ya money, its a rejected Delonghi designs which they badged up as Kenwood, I stopped selling these new, im only buying recon stocks of them for cheap.

nilcaj you gone OTT again, to much, to long and using CAPITALS (pity I missed your reply to the cooker thread looking forwrd to that but I was away on business and its gone :( )

If you wanna buy an expresso maker then one of the Jura's say the F70 I sell about 1 a week at £1500
#14
arfster
Problem with all these things is that to get genuine espresso, you have to use coffee ground within the last hour, and roasted within the last week. The latter means you need a local roaster, ...


Keep your beans in the freezer until you need them. I take mine out an hour before needing them, defrosting just enough for what's needed, so that they're ready to grind when the wife gets up.

Doesn't give perfect results, but it's a damn sight better than having to find a decent local roaster and pop around every time I want a cup of coffee :thumbsup:
#15
arfster
Problem with all these things is that to get genuine espresso, you have to use coffee ground within the last hour, and roasted within the last week. The latter means you need a local roaster, the former means you need a grinder yourself - which start at bare minimum 100, and for a good one 200. Generally for a quality espresso machine itself you're looking at min 200 (various gaggias), 300 for a good one (eg rancilio silvia).

If all you want is starbucks style milk drinks with a tiny dash of coffee, get a stovepot moka pot and a milk frother. Will cost 25 quid max, and be much more reliable.


Or you could do what I have done and roast & grind your own! Easier and cheaper than you'd think. :thumbsup:
#16
arfster;3167463

Put it another way: I'd rather have a 175 quid grinder with a 70 quid espresso machine, than a 50 quid grinder and a 2000 pound espresso machine. Basically, the quality of the grinder is more important than the quality of the espresso machine at this price point.


Which is exactly why I buy it ground.
My Delonghi machine which is now about 4 years old and usually gets multiple daily use, still producing coffee of a standard that I would have to travel for better, because none of the chains locally can produce as good! Water filtering is the only thing that is essential, as descaling ANY coffee machine is a bind.

Others have suggested methods of storing coffee, to avoid losing the best flavour, and freezing it is effective and convenient - one of few thigns that do well at the hands of a freezer!

Yes, immediately roasted & ground IS generally better, (lots more variables, one of which is personal preference and the coffee bean taste itself) but we are taking well off the end of the scale of diminishing returns here.

Almost no other food product gets this extreme over-reaction, even wine, and I think the only parallel anywhere I can compare it with is HiFi buffs and their ultra-expensive cables where even though differnces CAN be heard,between one for 10 quid and one for 1000 quid, it is only a difference, not necessarily better.
#17
Hmm I don't think water filters get rid of limescale. Water softeners soften water. Water filters only filter it. Or am I missing something.

If you want to know about making coffee look on espresso related web-sites. Full of people who make coffee for a hobby....but then there are also websites for people who clean cars for a hobby but it takes all sorts....
#18
Dave-T;3171702
Hmm I don't think water filters get rid of limescale. Water softeners soften water. Water filters only filter it. Or am I missing something.

If you want to know about making coffee look on espresso related web-sites. Full of people who make coffee for a hobby....but then there are also websites for people who clean cars for a hobby but it takes all sorts....


Of course they remove limescale, that's the whole point they make in their advertising! (Most water softeners in domestic situations are to soften it for washing, and bypass the drinking water tap, as the softened water they produce is not drinkable!)
Not needed to descale my machine for about 3 years. The one I had before I did use a water filter used to need doing about every month, and what a job, a lot more bother than cleaning a kettle! :-(

I have looked at those sites too, and as you say, each to his own. We all like perfection, but there is a limit as to how much increasing effort you are willing to put in for a rapidly diminishing return., they are also full of snobbery too, as it is an expensive hobby!
Friends love to drink coffee I have made for them, but only one has ever gone the whole hog buying a machine and puts the effort into making it themselves, as most aren't even willing to do what I do - and I can understand that, as it does take a while, takes up room in the kitchen, and requires a bit of planning.

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