We’ve already compared two grinders by Baratza, Virtuoso vs. Encore. In this post, we’ll continue our Baratza comparisons by comparing two more grinder: the Vario and Vario-W. As both carry the same name, we can tell that they’re just a variant of the same grinder, but we’ll talk about it in details to help you understand the difference better.
Features of the Baratza Vario Burr Grinder:
- Professional grade grinder perfect for home use or commercial use.
- Features 230 distinct grind settings from fine to coarse.
- Macro and Micro grind settings give you precise grind options for any coffee brewing method.
- Built-in digital timer.
- Three user-programmable buttons can be used to create pre-sets for repeatable grinds.
- Unique 54mm ceramic flat burrs provide accurate, fast-grinding performance and remain sharp for twice as long as the best steel burrs.
- Metal Portaholder allows you to grind right into the portafilter.
- 8 oz ground bean container.
Features of Baratza Vario-W Burr Grinder:
- Weight based grinder gives you extreme accuracy
- The grinder weighs your grind in real-time, providing you with the exact grams of coffee you need. (+/- .1g)
- Grinds 1.6 grams/second for espresso and 2.2 grams/second for Press.
- LED screen allows you to easily select your grind weight.
- Range of grind (230 microns to 1150 microns).
- Three user-programmable buttons for repeatable grind settings.
- Perfect for all grind settings from espresso to press.
What’s The Difference Between The Vario and Vario-W?
The major difference between the two grinders is the fact the the Vario-W is a weight-based system, unlike the Vario. This amazing system automatically and in real time measure the ground beans and gives you the exact amount you need, weight wise. This means great precision in coffee making, you won’t grind more than you need and it eliminates the need to weight before or after you grind.
While the Vario-W is quite a ground-breaking piece of equipment, it’s on the expensive side and would set you a little over $500. If it’s within your budget, then by all means, it’s the grinder to get! However, if that’s over your budget, here’s another way to get a weight-based grinder for less…
How To Turn Any Baratza Grinder Into a Weight-Based Grinder?
Lucky for us, Baratza has created the Esatto, an accessory made specifically to be used with the Baratza Encore, Virtuoso or Preciso to turn them into a weight-based grinder. The Esatto features a digital front panel that includes the weight selector as well as the 3 programmable buttons that the Vario grinders have which make any repeatable grinds as easy as one-press. You can learn more about Esatto here.
Watch These Video Reviews:
Baratza Vario Grinder:
Baratza Vario-W Grinder:
German brand KRUPS has a lot of great fully automatic espresso makers under its name, many we’ve already featured: The Espresseria, the Barista One Touch, and the XP9000 Coffee Center… just to name a few. In this post, we’ll be talking about yet another fantastic creation by KRUPS, the Falcon EA84 full-auto espresso maker.
Features of the KRUPS Falcon Espresso Machine:
- One-touch, fully automatic espresso and coffee maker.
- Built-in conical burr grinder with adjustable grind settings.
- Color touch screen for simple use and programing.
- Patented compact thermoblock system with 15-bar pressure.
- Automatic frothing system allows you to adjust the froth density to your liking.
- Height adjustable spout accommodates cup of all sizes.
- 1.7 Liter (57 oz) water reservoir.
- 8.8 oz (250g) bean hopper capacity.
- Coffee puck (used coffee ground) container holds up to 12 pucks before need to discard.
Who Should Buy the KRUPS Falcon Automatic Espresso Maker?
An automatic espresso maker like the KRUPS Falcon is a fantastic addition to any home where coffee enthusiasts live. If you’re a lover of fine coffee and gourmet coffee drinks like Cappuccinos and Lattes and find yourself spending too much money on your local cafe, a machine like this would cost you upfront, but will save you a lot of money on the long run.
With a press of a button, and within a minute, you’ll be able to enjoy a cup of specialty coffee without the hard work of preparing one. The machine automatically measures the correct amount of beans required for your drink, grinds them on the spot and turns it into coffee. You’ll have to option to tune your drink as you want: fine or coarse grind, bold or light taste, dense creamy foam or light smooth froth. It’s your coffee, you’ll have it as you like!
The KRUPS Falcon isn’t only a luxury, but a true convenient addition to your home that will save you a lot of coffee trips and money. If that’s something you’d like, then this is the machine to buy.
KRUPS EA84 Falcon vs. EA8250 Espresseria, What’s The Difference?
Image Feature Patented brewing chamber is engineered for superior heat transfer and has a single thermostat to deliver constant heat
After each brewing, excess water discharges automatically to the drip tray; automatic rinsing, cleaning and descaling programs
LCD display, central "one touch" button; precise settings allow the user the preparation of a "tailor made" cup of coffee
1.8-liter water tank with empty water tank detection, 275 gram bean capacity; removable drip tray with integrated floater; removable cake container
Includes Krups XS6000 Autu-cappuccino system, F088 water flitration system, XS3000 cleaning tablet, F054 descaling powder and krups xs4000 liquid cleaner for milk systems which helps clean the steam/frothing nozzle on your espresso machines
Revolutionary compact Thermoblock system with a powerful 15 bar high pressure pump
Color touch screen for easy selection of drinks and beverage customization including ristretto
Metallic conical burr grinder with manual knob to adjust coffee grind size and large 1.7 Liter (58 oz.)
Exclusive latte tray and adjustable coffee outlet to accommodate different cup sizes
Removable coffee ground collector and water tank with integrated handle; auto-on and auto-off features; auto-cappuccino accessory
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The Espresseria is somewhat an older version of the Falcon. Although they share many similar features, the Falcon has a few upgraded features:
Display and Controls:
- The Espresseria has a black/white LCD with dial control.
- The Falcon has a color touch-screen where you do all the programming.
- Espresseria allows for manual frothing using the steam wand.
- With the Falcon, you can either froth the milk manually or use the included auto-frothing accessory. You can also adjust the density of the froth.
Water Tank and Bean Hopper Capacity:
- The Espresseria has a slightly larger water tank capacity of 1.8 L and larger bean hopper of 275 g capacity.
- The Falcon has a 1.7 L water tank and 250 g bean hopper.
As you can see, the differences aren’t major to be honest. The two machines produce the same quality of coffee, but easy of use that the Falcon provides is more likely to provide you with a better experience.
Watch Video Reviews of the KRUPS Falcon and Espresseria Espresso Makers:
Features of Baratza Virtuoso:
- Professional grade conical burr grinder
- 40mm conical burrs offer consistent grinds every time.
- 40 grind settings from coarse for french press to fine of espresso brewing.
- Grind range goes from 250 to 1200 microns.
- Built-in 60 second timer.
- Bean hopper capacity: 8 oz.
- Bin capacity 5 oz.
- Speed control allows you to use a combination of gear and electronic speed reduction to control the speed of the burrs, up to 500 RPM.
Features of the Baratza Encore:
- An entry-level conical burr grinder perfect for home use.
- 40 grind settings from coarse to fine. Perfect for all brewing methods.
- Bean hopper capacity: 8 oz.
- Ground bin capacity: 5 oz.
- Speed control, control the rotation of the burr to 450 RPM.
What Is The Difference Between Virtuoso and Encore?
Image Title Baratza Encore - Conical Burr Coffee Grinder (with Bin) Baratza Virtuoso - Conical Burr Coffee Grinder (with Bin) Feature The Encore is lauded by coffee experts as THE go-to entry level grinder for those brewing coffee at home. The Encore gives a great grind for drip/manual brew and also grinds fine enough for espresso.
Featuring 40 individual grind settings, from fine to coarse, the Encore can please any palate with its gamut of accurate and repeatable grind settings.
The efficient DC motor keeps your beans cool, even during extended grind times, while a combination of electric and gear speed reducers slow the burr to 450 RPM, ensuring a smooth bean feed and reducing noise, heat and static buildup.
A convenient, front-mounted pulse button makes it easy to grind on demand into your brew basket. Whether you are looking for an espresso grinder or a grinder to help you explore that extensive range of brew methods, the Encore is a great all around home grinder.
Speed to Grind: .8 to 1.1g/sec.; Bean Hopper Capacity: 8 oz (227g); Grounds Bin Capacity: 5 oz. (142 g); Weight: 7 lbs. (3.1kg); Dimensions WxHxD cm: 12x35x16 cm; Power Rating (North America): 110 V AC 50/60 Hz. 1 Amp; Power Rating (Other): 230 V AC 50/60 Hz. .5 Amps; Safety Listing: UL/CSA/CE/EK; Designed & Engineered: Seattle, WA, USA
Let the Virtuoso's professional-grade 40mm conical burrs perform their magic for a consistent, fine grind. How about a French Press? The Virtuoso can handle that too, with a particle size uniformity that gives you consistency from cup to cup. In fact, the Virtuoso is so consistent at both the coarse and fine ends of the grind range that we consider it to be in a class all by itself - and so do many of the micro- and specialty-roasters who swear by it.
The secret to the Virtuoso's consistent, smooth grind is: an efficient DC motor keeps your beans cool, even during extended grind times, while a combination of electric and gear speed reducers slow the burr to 450 RPM, ensuring a smooth bean feed and reducing noise, heat and static buildup.
The Virtuoso's exterior is just as finely tuned as its interior - a convenient front-mounted pulse button allows for grinding directly into an espresso filter basket, while a 60-second timer means that it's easy to replicate the ideal grind time. With the Virtuoso, the look goes beyond merely functional.
A sculptured metal top and base give this grinder an expensive, elegant image that adds a sense of class and quality to kitchen counters and coffee shop workspaces alike.
Speed to Grind: 1.5 to 2.4 g/sec.; Bean Hopper Capacity: 8 oz (227g); Grounds Bin Capacity: 5 oz. (142 g); Weight: 8 lbs. (3.6kg); Dimensions WxHxD cm: 12x35x16 cm; Power Rating (North America): 110 V AC 50/60 Hz. 1 Amp; Power Rating (Other): 230 V AC 50/60 Hz. .5 Amps; Safety Listing: UL/CSA/CE/EK; Designed & Engineered: Seattle, WA, USA
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- Both grinders have the same basic features of 40 grind settings as well as the same hopper and bin capacity.
- The Virtuoso offers speed rotation control to 500 RPM.
- The Encore offers speed rotation control to 450 RPM.
- The Virtuoso features a 60 sec. timer that the Encore doesn’t have.
Which One Should You Buy?
Both the Virtuoso and Encore are quite similar in features that it makes it hard to choose between the two. Truth is, you won’t find a lot of difference between the two grinders apart from the fact that the Virtuoso features stainless steel accents that give it a more expensive feel. When in operation, the Virtuoso produces a lot LESS noise than the Encore. While that doesn’t affect the grind produced, it does affect your experience. Watch the videos below to see the difference.
Watch a Video Review of the Baratza Encore:
Virtuoso vs. Encore Video:
- Because both machines feature a bar code technology that automatically recognized the inserted capsule and adjusts the machine settings accordingly.
But that’s pretty much where the similarity ends.
In this post, we’ll be looking at the difference between the VertuoLine and Tassimo in details.
Features of VertuoLine vs. Tassimo:
Features of Nespresso VertuoLine:
- The first Nespresso machine that makes espresso and coffee.
- Uses a brand new technology called Centrifusion which rapidly spins the capsule to brew coffee or espresso.
- An embedded laser reads the bar code on the coffee capsules and automatically adjusts the machine for you.
- Ability to reprogram the machine to your liking.
- Create gourmet coffee drinks (Cappuccino, Latte) by using Nespresso’s Aeroccino milk frother (available separately or as a bundle).
- Uses new capsules from Nespressso (different from Nespresso’s Original capsules). Available as espresso or coffee pods.
- Drawer holds up to 12 used capsules before needing to discard.
Features of Bosch Tassimo Beverage System:
- Automatically adjusts machine using bar code technology.
- Can prepare a variety of coffee drinks including, coffee, cappuccino, latte, macchiato and more.
- Noise reduction system for quiet operation.
- T-disc capsules are available from many different brands.
The Difference Between VertuoLine and Tassimo:
- The VertuoLine uses never-seen-before technology that rapidly spins the capsules to evenly infuse it with water and extract the perfect espresso or coffee every time.
- Although the machine automatically reads the bar code on the capsule to adjust itself for the best settings, you still have the ability to increase or decrease the volume of the coffee to get it to your taste.
- Like most coffee beverage makers, the Tassimo uses pump pressure to brew coffee.
- The Tassimo also features a bar code technology that automatically scans the capsules and adjusts to best settings.
VertuoLine’s capsules include coffee/espresso only. When preparing Cappuccino or Latte for example, you’ll be using your choice of fresh milk which you’ll heat and froth using the Aeroccino frother (or your own choice of frother) and you’ll be adding that to a shot of freshly brewed coffee.
Tassimo’s T-Discs include a variety of drinks including coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte, tea and more. If you opt for a Cappuccino T-disc for example, the machine will brew a pre-packed espresso capsule as well as a milk capsule (instead of using fresh milk). That’s one option of course. There’s no frother bundled with the machine, but you can always buy your own from any brand (see our recommended frothers here).
- VertuoLine’s capsules are made exclusively by Nespresso and there are NO other compatible capsules. They can be purchased from Nespresso, either in their local boutiques which are available worldwide, or they can purchased online from Nespresso or Amazon.
- T-discs for Tassimo are available from different coffee brands. They’re sold widely online or in some local stores.
- VertuoLine’s used capsule drawer means the machine automatically ejects used coffee capsules and keeps it in that drawer until it fills up at around 12 to 13 capsules. That means no clean up required after each use.
- Tassimo does not have a used capsule drawer. You’ll have to discard each t-disc individually after each use.
Which Is Best To Buy? Nespresso VertuoLine or Tassimo?
Customers, as well as us, prefer the VertuoLine over Tassimo for many reasons:
- Design wise, the Vertuoline has a beautiful and modern design that is way ahead of Tassimos. As an appliance that sits on your counter top all the time, you’ll want something as beautiful as the VertuoLine.
- Nespresso’s coffee capsules are known for their highest quality. You’re guaranteed a fresh an aromatic cup of coffee every time.
- Nespresso doesn’t serve packed milk capsules and artificial flavors, which we’re totally against. When preparing milk-based drinks, you’ll want to use fresh milk, which is what the Aeroccino helps you with.
Watch The Machines In Action:
How To Use Nespresso Vertuoline:
Making Coffee Using Nespresso VertuoLine:
Making a Latte Using VertuoLine:
Bosch Tassimo Unboxing + Coffee and Cappuccino Preparation:
If there’s one thing the ROK Presso and Handpresso espresso makers have in common, it’s the fact that they’re as manual as espresso makers could get. In fact, they’re so manual, they require no electricity to operate!
Now, if you’ve got your mind set on a non-electric manual espresso machine you probably:
- Want to espresso on the go.
- Want to save on electricity usage.
The ROK Presso and Handpresso both make excellent choices for a non-electric espresso maker, but which one of them would make the best choice for your personal choice? Let’s have a look at their features and differences to find out.
The Best No-Electric Espresso Makers:
Features of the ROK Presso:
- Manual Lever espresso maker that requires NO electricity.
- Constructed from polished metal frame.
- Brews at 8 to 10 bar pressure.
- Slip-resistant base prevents the espresso maker from moving or slipping when pressing.
- Included in the set: portafilter with additional filter to make 2 single shots, coffee scoop, tamper, manual milk frother.
- The machine is packaged in a reusable storage tin.
- Can use ground coffee or e.s.e pods.
How Does The ROK Presso Work?
- Load the portafilter with coffee ground and put it in place.
- Fill the water reservoir with hot water.
- Press the lever down.
Watch the video for details:
Features of the Handpresso:
- Make Espresso easily on the go without the need of electricity.
- Includes an adapter for using e.s.e pods.
- Brews at 16 bar pressure.
- Brews a single shot of espresso at a time.
- Made of aluminum. Available in Black or Grey.
How Does The Handpresso Work?
- Pump the handle until you reach the desired pressure on the gauge.
- Load the pod with ground coffee or an e.s.e pod and put it in place.
- Pour in the hot water in the reservoir.
- Press to start brewing.
Watch the video for details:
ROK Presso vs. Handpresso, What’s The Difference?
Obviously there’s quite a difference between the two espresso makers and how they operate:
- ROK Presso is a lever machine – the amount of pressure you get will rely on your press. It’s not hard to operate and does not require a strong press to get great results, however, it does use less pressure (8 to 10 bar) for extraction.
- Handpresso uses a pump operation. You’ll pump the handle to get 16 bars of pressure then it’s a press of a button to brew when you’re ready.
- The Handpresso is way smaller and more portable. Very easy to carry around.
- The ROK is also easy to take, however, it’s not as easy as the Handpresso.
- One of the great things about the ROK Presso is that it includes everything you need for creating espresso as well as other drinks like cappuccino and latte. The manual frother, although not the best out there, is a cool tool to use on the go or at home for quick milk-based coffee preparation. That’s in addition to the spout splitter, scoop/tamper.
- As for the Handpresso, it only prepares espresso out of the box. You can prepare other coffee drinks but you’ll have to get a frother separately.
Which One Is Best To Buy?
Both espresso makers are of great quality, but which to buy will depend on what and where you want to use it:
- The small size of the Handpresso makes it perfect to use anywhere: the office, outdoors, or even at home if you’re looking for a low-cost tool.
- The ROK Presso isn’t as portable as the Handpresso, but it’s still light enough to take places. It’s better to use at home or an office, and it’s perfect for anyone who wants to make more than just espresso (cappuccinos or lattes).
If you’ve browsed our site long enough, you’ll know we’re big fan of the Breville Barista Express. We’ve compared it to its little sister, the Infuser, we’ve also compared it to the Gaggia Classic. This time, we’ll be comparing in to another classic espresso machine, the Rancilio Silvia. But before we do that, visit the following pages for information on each espresso machine:
Breville Barista Express vs. Rancilio Silvia, What’s The Difference?
To be fair, we must say that the two machines fall under two different categories:
- The Barista Express is a semi-automatic that features a built-in conical burr grinder for a great bean to cup experience.
- The Silvia is a traditional manual espresso maker with classic commercial design, with NO built-in grinder.
But let’s dig deep in each machine’s feature to see which has the qualities you’re looking for:
Whether you’re just starting your at home coffee experience, or you’re already experienced in the coffee making, you’ll love the following features of the Barista Express:
- The built-in grinder automatically doses and grinds the exact amount you need for the perfect shot of espresso.
- A cradle holds the portafilter for you, for hands-free grinding.
- a steam gauge shows you exactly when your machine is ready for steam or extraction.
- The machine is fully pre-set for the perfect espresso extraction, but you can override all presets and create your own.
- a dedicated hot water dispenser perfect for making tea, soup or basically anything that requires hot water, right away.
With the Barista Express, you’re ready to extract a delicious and aromatic shot of espresso out of the box! The machine makes sure all setting are set in a way that you’ll make great coffee every time. And as you start to learn the difference between settings, you have complete freedom to change them and tweak them as you like. It also comes with everything you need included: filters for a single or double shot, coffee scoop, stainless steel frothing jug and cleaning discs.
The Rancilio Silvia, on the other hand, is suited for an advanced user. It has incredible Italian craftsmanship all over it, sleek and classic…
- You’ll notice it features a lot of switches, everything in the machine is operated manually.
- You’ll need to start and end your shot manually.
- Since there’s no steam gauge, you’ll also have to know when to switch between extraction and frothing.
- Included with the machine: filters, coffee scoop and tamper.
In our opinion, the Silvia requires a lot of knowledge to start with. If you’re new at this, you’ll need to expect a few bad shots until you finally perfect it. And since a great espresso shot starts with great coffee ground, you’ll need a top notch conical burr grinder, which should add $100 to $200 to your budget. Also, you’ll need to get your own frothing jug, but since those don’t cost over $10, it’s nothing to worry about.
Which Is Best To Buy?
We highly believe that the Barista Express holds a lot value for the money than the Rancilio Silvia. It is less expensive than the Silvia, yet it packs everything you need for your at-home coffee experience: the espresso maker, the grinder and the accessories. It is also easier to use, gives you the freedom to program it as you like, or let it work automatically. For that, the Barista Express is an easy winner.
Watch the Breville Barista Express In Action:
Making Cappuccino with the Barista Express:
How To Use the Barista Express:
These two conical burr grinders by Cuisinart are seemingly identical, yet, there’s a price difference that makes you wonder which could make your buying decision harder. In this post, we’ll be comparing the two grinders side by side to make it easier for you to choose between them.
Cuisinart DBM-8 vs. CBM-18N Conical, What’s The Difference?
Image Title Cuisinart CBM-18N Programmable Conical Burr Mill Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill Feature Fully programmable 1/2 pound capacity hopper
Cup selector from 1-14 for your precise amount of coffee
18 position grind selector from ultra-fine for espresso to extra coarse for French press.
Removable grind chamber, heavy duty motor, cord storage
Conical burr grinder delivers a full-flavor, uniform grind without heating the beans.
Elegantly styled, heavy-duty, automatic coffee mill
Burr grinding mechanism for uniform grounds and optimum flavor
18-position grind selector, from ultra fine to coarse
Slide dial from 4 to 18 cups; capacious grounds chamber with lid
Product Built to North American Electrical Standards
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- Both grinders are conical burr.
- Both give you 18 grind options from extra fine to coarse.
- Both have the same bean hopper capacity of 8 oz ( half a pound).
- Both feature a timer with auto shut off.
- The CBM-18N features an LCD display which allows you to easily select cup sizes and grind settings.
- The CBM-18N also gives you a selection of cup sizes starting from 1 cup up to 14 cups, while the DBM-8 cup selection starts at 4 cups up to 14 cups.
- The CBM-18N also has manual settings which allow you to grind your own desired amount and fineness.
Which of These Grinders Is Best To Buy?
The Cuisinart CBM-18N gives you more options when it comes to grinding. Although it has the same amount grind selections (18 positions), it also has manual options which allow you to freely adjust the settings to your liking. There’s also the option to grind a minimum of 1 cup, which can be quite handy for single cup brewing without worrying about grinding more than you need. However, if you plan to grind for more than one cup often, the DBM-8 should be a great choice as well.
If you want a high quality, yet affordable espresso machine, then Gaggia is the name to go for. The Italian made machines start at $200 only, making them an affordable option for many people. So far on our website, we’ve covered many Gaggia machines, and in this post, we add another one, the Gaggia Evolution. We’ll also be comparing it to a few other Gaggia machines of the same class and price range.
- Features of the Gaggia Evolution Espresso Machine:
- 15 bar espresso machine with commercial style group-head.
- 44 oz water reservoir.
- Turbo frothing wand for the best froth results.
- Plastic housing.
- Single and Double gaskets included. Can also use e.s.e pods.
- Three control buttons: power, brew and steam.
- 1425 Watts
Gaggia Espresso Machine Comparisons:
Image Title Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel Gaggia 12101 New Baby Manual Espresso Machine, Black Gaggia 16109 Evolution Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine, Silver and Chrome Gaggia 102532 Espresso-Pure Semi-Automatic Espresso Machine, Black Feature Coffee/espresso machine with 72-ounce removable water reservoir
Stainless-steel housing; brass portafilters and grouphead for temperature stability
17-1/2-bar pump with high-voltage boiler; hot-water dispenser; frothing wand
Single- and double-shot stainless-steel filter basket, tamper, and measuring scoop included
Measures 14-1/4 by 8 by 9-1/2 inches
Espresso machine with chrome-plated brass brew group and portafilter
15-bar pump; high-wattage boiler; 3-way solenoid valve; push-button controls
64-ounce removable reservoir; can make 2 cups simultaneously; steamer for frothing milk
Includes single-shot, double-shot, and E.S.E. filter basket; coffee tamper; and coffee scoop
Measures 10-2/5 by 9-3/5 by 15-2/3 inches
Semi-automatic espresso machine with chrome-plated brass brew group and portafilter
15-bar pump; boiler with 2 heating elements; push buttons for power, brewing, and steaming
Removable 44-ounce water tank; works with coffee pods or ground coffee; cup warmer; steam wand
Includes single/pod and double-shot stainless-steel filter baskets, tamper, and 7-gram coffee scoop
Measures 10-3/5 by 8-2/3 by 13-2/5 inches
1100-watt espresso machine with stainless-steel boiler and 15-bar pump
Chrome-plated brass brew group and portafilter provide excellent temperature stability
Accommodates ESE coffee pods or ground coffee; Pannarello steam wand; cup warmer
Removable water tank; 3 filter baskets, coffee tamper, and coffee-measuring scoop included
Measures 10-4/5 by 8-2/7 by 14 inches
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Gaggia Classic vs. Evolution:
Gaggia Classic is the best of all semi-automatic espresso machines by Gaggia, here’s the difference between it and Evolution (and other Gaggias):
- It is superior in quality, with a full brushed stainless steel housing.
- It has a larger water reservoir, 72 oz.
- It has higher pressure, 17 1/2 bar, which extracts more flavor.
Gaggia Evolution vs. New Baby:
The Baby Twin is also higher in quality than the Evolution, but also more expensive. The difference:
- Chrome-plated grouphead and portafilter.
- 64 oz water reservoir.
Apart from those two points, we don’t see major difference between the two machines and it might not be worth the upgrade over the Evolution.
Gaggia Evolution vs. Gaggia Pure:
- 1100 Watts voltage, it is lower than all machines above.
- 42 oz water reservoir – smaller than the Evolution.
- Hot water dispenser.
The Gaggia Pure isn’t highly recommended over the Evolution or other Gaggia machine. It is outdated and is almost only available as refurbished or used. Also, due to its lower voltage, we would recommend the Evolution over it.
Bialetti has long been know for their famous moka pots among other coffee gear products. But recently, Bialetti has introduced a new and quick way for you to produce perfect Italian coffee at home, with a push of a button. I Caffe d’italia is Bialetti’s single-serve brewing system which serves you authentic Italian espresso in no time, without the need for any preparations or clean-ups. Today, we’ll be talking about Bialetti’s espresso maker, the Mini Express, which uses their I Caffe d’italia system. We’ll also compare it to the most famous single-serve system, Nespresso, to help you decide which is a better choice for you personally.
Features of Bialetti Mini Express:
- 20 bar pressure, single serve espresso maker.
- 20 oz water reservoir.
- Used pods drawer holds up to 10 used pods.
- Pods made of aluminum, fully recyclable.
- 60 sec. start up time.
- Available in black or red.
- Included with the machine a starter pack of capsules, includes 2 capsules of each flavor.
Bialetti Mini Express Coffee Capsules & Where To Buy Them:
Bialetti offers a total of 5 espresso flavors, each named after an Italian city. The espresso flavors have different strength and aromas, so you can enjoy an array of authentic Italian flavors.
Bialetti Mini Express vs. Nespresso, What Is The Difference?
We have mentioned Nespresso many times on our site, and we’ve got some extensive guides on the difference between each Nespresso machine. These following articles would be a good way to start:
- A Comparison between Nespresso CitiZ, Pixie and U.
- Which Nespresso machine is Best For Cappuccinos and Lattes?
- Review of the All New Nespresso VertuoLine
Once you’ve had an idea of how Nespresso machines work and what they do, here are the main differences between Nespresso and Bialetti’s Mini Express:
- Bialetti seems to offer only one size of espresso shot (2 oz), while with Nespresso, you can prepare a 1.35 oz espresso and 3.75 oz lungo, both being reprogrammable to your own taste.
Design & Specs.:
- Nespresso has a variety of machines, with different designs and larger water tank capacity than Bialetti’s modest 20 ounce tank. However, since the Mini Express only prepares Espresso, the 20 oz tank should last for some time.
- Nespresso has a faster start-up time of 25 seconds vs. Bialetti’s 60 seconds.
- Bialetti high higher pressure (20 bar) vs. 19 bar for Nespresso, which helps extract more flavor. However, the difference isn’t huge.
Making Specialty Coffee Drinks (Cappuccino/Latte):
- Nespresso machines can be purchased as stand alone machines or bundled with Nespresso’s electric frother, Aeroccino. Bialetti is only sold on its own, however, you can purchase any electric milk frother, including Bialetti’s own, and get the same results.
Coffee Capsules Variety and Availability:
- Of course, each system uses their own exclusive coffee capsules. However, their are some compatible alternatives available for Nespresso, including refillable capsules.
- Nespresso has quite a large variety of coffee capsules, over 20, as well as many limited edition flavors. On the other hand, Bialetti’s I Caffe d’italia has only 5 variations so far.
- Nespresso capsules are available widely at their online store (they have a special Nespresso club with overnight shipping), as well as their boutiques which are located in many cities around the world. They’re also available from Amazon.com.
The Verdict: Which Is Best, Nespresso or Bialetti Mini Express?
If you’re someone looking for many options to choose from, we highly recommend Nespresso over Bialetti’s Mini Express. Nespresso gives you a choice of many machines and many coffee capsules which can be served at your preferred capacity. As for the Mini Express, you’re bound to one serving size only. And when it comes to pricing, both machines are nearly at the same cost, and capsule wise, Nespresso’s capsules are cheaper.
If you’ve browsed around our website long enough, you’ll see that we recommend and review a lot of espresso machines, we also talk about coffee makers every now and then, however, you’ll never see us recommending an espresso/coffee combination machine, that is a machine that combines both an espresso maker and coffee maker in one unit. Why is that? Read on to find out…
Why We Don’t Like Espresso/Coffee Combos:
Espresso/Coffee maker combos are sold as a way to save to save some money and counter space by combining two machines in one. However, if you think about it, espresso is prepared differently than how coffee is prepared, and the majority of those machines lack the power to operate in a way that can brew both drinks properly and give you full results. Let’s look at the KRUPS coffee/espresso maker pictured above as an example:
- On the right, you have the coffee maker. A 10-cup capacity with 24hr programmability and everything a coffee maker should have.
- On the left is the Espresso maker with the steam nozzle (for milk frothing). Now typically, for a machine to make excellent espresso, it needs to have a 15-bar PUMP, which forces water through the coffee beans to brew espresso. However, what this machine has is a 4-bar STEAM system to make the espresso. So what it does is, it boils water and then uses the steam to brew the coffee ground:
- This is simply not how Espresso is made.
- It takes TOO long to switch between coffee making, espresso making and milk frothing.
Soon enough, the machine will start leaking or stop working and you’ll hate that you’ve just lost a few hundred dollars.
What To Do If You Want To Make Both Espresso and Coffee?
You have a few options here:
The obvious one would be to get a espresso machine in addition to your coffee maker. But if this could be too expensive for you, there are other options:
A machine like Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s KALDI features a Pump that works on Dual bars: it uses 15 bar pressure to extract espresso and 3 to 4 bar pressure to make coffee. It’s a single-serve machine, which means it uses coffee pods to brew coffee or espresso. It also brews tea and hot chocolate.
Nespresso VertuoLine is another option for a single serve machine that does both coffee and espresso. VertuoLine does not use a pump to brew either espresso or coffee, in fact, Nespresso being the innovative company it is, has created a whole new technology for their new machine.