Finding the right espresso machine takes some research. There are a variety of features you can opt for, but a good espresso maker with steam wand you can make all your coffee drink dreams come true. Today, I’m not only looking at an espresso machine but also a multi-use coffee grinder. Say hello to the KitchenAid semi-automatic espresso machine and the KitchenAid coffee grinder.
Unboxing the KitchenAid espresso machine and coffee grinder
KitchenAid semi-automatic espresso machine
Inside the box of the KitchenAid semi-automatic espresso machine, you will find the espresso machine, two single-walled filter baskets, two double-walled filter baskets, a portafilter, a tamper, a milk pitcher, a coffee scoop, and both a quick start guide and instruction manual.
KitchenAid coffee grinder
The KitchenAid coffee grinder box includes the grinder with top and bottom hopper with lids, a removable grounds catcher tray, a portafilter holder, a coffee scoop and cleaning brush multi-accessory, as well as a quick start guide and an instruction manual.
Features and specifications of the KitchenAid espresso machine and coffee grinder
|KitchenAid semi-automatic espresso machine||KitchenAid coffee grinder|
|· Espresso and hot water dispenser
· Steam wand
· 1 or 2 shot espresso option
· Single- or double-walled filter baskets
· Self cleaning cycle
· Drip tray
· 47-ounce water tank capacity
· Cup warmer
|· 10 oz top hopper with lid
· Bottom hopper with lid and rubber stopper for grind storage
· French press, drip, perc and espresso grind options
· Dose selection
· Digital display screen
· Portafilter holder option
Testing the KitchenAid espresso machine and coffee grinder
Before using both machines for the first time, you’ll need to clean them. For the espresso machine, place a cup under the group head (this is where the espresso comes from), and choose the espresso button. Next, toggle the dose to one shot and press the start/cancel button. This will flush the group head and you’ll be ready to make your first espresso. To rinse the steam wand, place a cup underneath it and select the hot water option with the mode button. Allow the water to flow from the steam wand for 3-5 seconds by pressing the start button, and then cancel when finished. For the outside of the machine simply wipe it down with a warm damp cloth.
To clean the coffee grinder, wash both hoppers and lids with warm soapy water, and wipe down the machine with a damp cloth. From here you’re ready to grind some beans. You can choose to grind just enough for your portafilter or grind up to 12 cups worth in the bottom hopper.
Making coffee with the KitchenAid coffee grinder and the KitchenAid espresso machine
Grinding your coffee beans
The coffee grinder is extremely user friendly; I even went out onto the balcony to yell at my husband who was cleaning the yard and said: “the coffee grinder is so cool!” Before grinding your beans, you’ll need to first choose between the single-walled or double-walled filter baskets. As per the instruction manual, the single-walled is for freshly ground coffee and the double-walled is for pre-ground coffee. I prepped the portafilter with the 2 shot single-walled filter basket by pressing the filter into the portafilter until it clicked into place. From here, I placed the portafilter into the portafilter holder I installed in the base of the grinder. Next, I toggled the grind option lever over to “espresso,” adjusted the dose button to 2 and hit start. There’s a timer that will countdown on the display screen with the seconds it takes to grind your beans to your desired coarseness. After that it was as simple as tamping down the ground espresso, and it was ready to use.
Making espresso shots
To install the portafilter into the espresso machine, I aligned the portafilter under the group head and twisted to the right to lock it into place. Then, I toggled over to the espresso mode and used the dose button to adjust for the 2 shot option and pressed start.
Because I wanted to make a latte, I moved the toggle over to the steam option after my espresso brewed. The light will flash, and this means the steam feature is heating. When the light turns solid it’s ready for use. You’ll need to place a small cup under the wand and press start to release any water being held in the wand before inserting your milk pitcher under the wand. Once the water turns to steam, press cancel and insert the milk pitcher under the wand. To steam your milk of choice, press start and heat to your desired temperature. You may choose to use a thermometer to reach your desired temperature, but I went by the steam and heat of the milk pitcher and quickly found my preferred temperature. After frothing, pour your milk into your mug with espresso and enjoy! Luckily latte art doesn’t make your coffee taste better, as I have yet to perfect it.
Cleaning the KitchenAid espresso machine
Clean up is quick and easy. I dumped my used espresso grinds into my compost and rinsed the portafilter under warm water. The milk pitcher can be washed with warm soapy water and I used a damp cloth to wipe the steam wand clean.
The machine will run a cleaning cycle after each use and you can empty out the drip tray when the red button starts to poke through, indicating it’s full.
My opinion on the KitchenAid coffee grinder and espresso machine
Right off the bat, I was impressed with the quality of the materials used in both the KitchenAid semi-automatic espresso machine and coffee grinder. I love how sleek they both are in size and colour with the black and silver features. Neither of these items take up much counter space which is also important to me.
The quick start guide is perfect for anyone who has previously owned or used an espresso maker and coffee grinder, and the more detailed instruction manuals with pictures are easy to read and not too wordy.
Both machines are impressively no fuss and user friendly. They are also easy to clean, which is a perk. When I make an espresso or latte, I want it to be quick and easy with little clean up. It’s also nice that you can easily make a latte or other coffee drinks for guests in a timely manner.
I always like to include any cautions with my reviews. One thing to note is to be sure to plug the machines into the correct outlet (as shown in the instruction manual). The coffee grinder uses a polarized plug, this means one blade is wider than the other, while the espresso machine uses a grounded 3-prong plug. These are both standard outlets in most homes. Don’t use either machine with a plug adapter or extension cord. Also make sure the cord is secured safely and isn’t hanging so it can’t be pulled on by a child. Lastly, use caution with the steam wand and milk pitcher as they both get very hot and could cause a burn.