A good super-automatic that falls short of excellence. It has a mixed bag of excellent and underwhelming features.
Recommended for: Novices and hobbyists/casual users who value convenience over a plethora of options.
Table of Contents
- 1 An Overview of the Krups EA8250 Espresseria
- 2 Very Easy to Use & Clean
- 3 Pros & Cons of the Krups Espresso Machine EA8250
- 4 Krups EA8250 Review Conclusion
An Overview of the Krups EA8250 Espresseria
Are you on a budget?
Would you describe yourself as someone new to the world of specialty coffee drinks? If you are, and if convenience matters to you more than having a broad range of customization options, then you’re going to love our detailed Krups EA8250 review.
It is by no means perfect, and that’s reflected in our score in the summary section, but it does have some solid, compelling features that make it well worth considering, and it could be the perfect machine for the right user.
On the other hand, there are some severe limitations and design weaknesses you should be aware of before making a final decision, but don’t worry. We’ll cover every aspect of this model in the sections below, outlining what it gets right, and what it’s just not very good at.
Let’s jump right in and see what makes this model tick!
Form Factor, Footprint & Aesthetic
The first thing to note about the Krups espresso machine EA8250 is its diminutive size. It measures just 11.5” x 8” x 12.5,” and weighs in at a scant 10.4 pounds.
These dimensions make it ideal for people with smaller kitchens, anyone who has limited counter space, or people who have low clearance between their countertops and the bottom edge of their cabinetry. If that describes you, then you’ll probably be able to live with the various limitations of the machine.
It’s not an especially attractive device, but it’s by no means ugly, either, and you can have it in any color you like, as long as it’s black.
One drawback is the fact that it’s made almost entirely of ABS plastic. It’s fairly sturdy, but a lot of other machines make much more extensive use of stainless-steel accents. That’s not the case here.
About the only place you’ll find stainless-steel is the boiler, which has led to a few complaints about its longevity, although the two-year warranty should allay most concerns along those lines.
This is one feature we love about the Krups EA8250 Compact Espresseria. Krups got it right. Despite the fact that the unit is quite small, it’s got an impressive 60-ounce water tank with a water filter, which almost completely eliminates the need for periodic descaling.
We have mixed opinions about the water filter. While we recognize its value in terms of cutting down on your routine maintenance, there are other ways to accomplish the same goal. You could, for instance, use distilled water, or if your kitchen sink already has a Brita or other water filter attached, then the filter is unnecessary.
If you opt to use the filter, you’re also on the hook to buy replacements for it periodically, which adds to the total cost of ownership of your machine. It’s up to you whether you use the filter or not, and mostly, it comes down to which you value more, reducing your ongoing expenses (no water filter), or reducing your maintenance (water filter).
The reservoir, which is located at the back of the machine, is top loading, but given the short stature of the unit, this will almost never cause problems.
Some models have the problem of a size mismatch in this area, offering a big water tank, paired with a small bean hopper or vice versa. That’s annoying because it means that you’ll constantly have to stop what you’re doing to attend to one or the other of them. That’s not a problem here!
Having said that, we’ve got two problems with the Espresseria’s grinder, and they’re fairly significant.
First, the conical grinder uses stainless-steel burrs. That’s problematic because stainless-steel heats as you use it, which can result in burnt grounds that can completely ruin the flavor of whatever drink you’re trying to make. Ceramic burrs would have been far superior, and we regard their absence as a missed opportunity by Krups.
Second, there are only three different grind settings available. That matters a great deal because how fine you grind your beans makes a lot of difference in terms of how your drink tastes.
Since everyone’s tastes and preferences are different, the more grind settings you’ve got available, the more you can dial the flavor in to suit your unique preferences. With this model, it’s just not possible to do any flavor fine-tuning. The options simply aren’t available.
Novice users who are new to the world of specialty coffee drinks probably won’t mind this much, but if you decide you want to explore this world more deeply, then you’ll quickly outgrow this machine.
Purists, of course, will loathe this aspect of the unit, and the lack of grinding options alone will probably be the thing that drives them away from this model and toward some other.
It’s also worth mentioning that the EA8250 does not have a bypass doser, so there’s no option of using pre-ground coffee here. We regard that as another missed opportunity.
The Espresseria has a single aluminum, stainless-steel boiler that utilizes ThermoBlock technology, which means that it heats and adjusts temperature quickly between steaming milk and brewing coffee.
More expensive models frequently use double boilers, which allow you to simultaneously steam milk and brew coffee. That’s not the case here, although the time you spend waiting for the boiler to shift gears is measured in seconds, rather than minutes, so this is almost never a deal breaker.
Telescoping Coffee Spigot
There’s not much to say here except that the Krups EA8250 Espresseria Automatic does have telescoping coffee spigots that allow it to accommodate a variety of cup sizes.
If you’re new to the world of espresso, an important tip is to adjust the height of the spigot to the very edge of the lip of the cup you’re dispensing your drink into, which will result in more crema in your coffee. Always a good thing.
The Brew Unit and Control System
The brew unit on the Krups EA8250 Espresseria is not removable. On the top of the machine, about where you’d expect to find a bypass doser, you’ll find a small slot that’s where you place the cleansing tablet when it’s time to give the brew unit a good rinse (usually about once a week).
The control unit is remarkably simple and makes excellent use of LCD technology, which has enabled the company to create a simple, intuitive menu system with prompts that are easy to follow.
Of course, part of what makes the menu system so simple and intuitive is the fact that the model doesn’t have a vast number of features like you’ll find on more expensive machines. In fact, some of the design choices the company made on this front are a bit unusual. They’re not necessarily bad, but they may not appeal to everyone.
For example, for every kind of drink you can make, the only customization option you can save is your preference for water temperature. You can adjust the amount of water flowing into the cup, but if you want something other than the default setting, you’ve got to change it via the central control knob while your drink is brewing, and there’s no way to save your preferred setting on that score.
Our best guess is that the company chose to implement this feature the way they did was to give you a sense of active participation in the process of making your drink. If so, that seems a bit silly, but some people may get a kick out of it.
In practice, since there are only limited control options anyway, most individuals who buy this machine will do so for the convenience. It’s not quite one touch, but you can just turn the control knob to the drink you want, push the button and go, so in practice, you may not deviate from the default settings programmed for each drink in any case.
Your selection includes:
Which is more than enough for most casual users and hobbyists.
As with most other super-automatics, you can also program auto start and auto shutoff times, although, of significance, you can’t order the machine to brew a drink via these settings. The best you can do is tell it when to turn on so that it’s heated up and awaiting your order when you get to it.
What About Milk Frothing?
Here, the Espresseria gets high marks and our Krups EA8250 review would be incomplete if we didn’t call particular attention to the way they implemented this feature. It offers two different milk frothing options. You can either use the (somewhat cumbersome) auto-frother, or you can use the frothing wand.
Although it’s a bit cumbersome, the auto-frother is interesting. The Krups Espresseria Automatic EA 8250 comes with a single-walled stainless-steel carafe with a plastic tube attachment. On the tube, you’ll find an adjustment knob that you can set for Café Latte or Cappuccino, for an automated approach to making both of those drinks.
Using this method, of course, means that you get the foam the machine gives you and nothing more, which again, is fine for most casual users.
On the other hand, if you’d rather let your inner Barista out to play, you can do that too. Don’t be surprised if the first few milk-based drinks you make with the frothing wand don’t turn out quite as you expected. It takes patience and practice to learn to use it well, so just keep at it, and you’ll be a pro in no time!
This is a nice touch and one thing that’s sure to please coffee purists. Unfortunately, that addition alone probably isn’t enough to sway many purists to buy the machine, because it is offset by the lack of grind options and the relative lack of control over other aspects of creating your favorite specialty drink.
Pro Tip: When the frothing wand is not being used to steam or froth milk, it also serves as a hot water dispenser, allowing you to make teas, hot chocolate and other hot drinks with the machine.
Note that because of the way the machine is designed, you can’t put the cup in one spot on the drip tray and get a milk based drink. You’ll need to put it under the milk dispenser to get your foam, then manually move it beneath the coffee spigots when you’re ready for that step.
This is a small thing, but we find it to be somewhat annoying. After all, it’s a super-automatic. It should be mostly hands off, and the fact that you’ve got to move the cup takes away from that. It’s certainly not a deal breaker, and most people probably won’t mind it, but it is something to be aware of.
If you’re new to the world of espresso and other specialty coffee drinks, this is a good time to say a few words about how espresso is made.
Unlike a drip-brew machine, which relies on gravity to get the water through the grounds and into a waiting cup or pot, espresso machines rely on pressure for brewing. Pressure is measured in bars, with one bar being equal to atmospheric pressure at sea level.
It takes nine bars of pressure to make a good shot of espresso, and this model has a pump rated at fifteen bars, so you won’t have any trouble in that regard, and can expect consistently good brewing results.
Cup Warming Tray
There are two things to talk about here. First, the EA8250 has one, located on top of the machine, and second, you should use it.
Cup warming trays are more important than many casual users realize because specialty coffee drinks are meant to be enjoyed at temperatures than most Americans are used to drinking coffee.
This is particularly the case with milk-based drinks because you can’t steam milk at temperatures anywhere close to what you brew coffee at, and when you mix the two together, you’re going to lose heat. If you dispense your drink into a cold cup, you’re going to lose even more.
That’s the hidden value of the cup warming tray, and it makes a much bigger difference than you might imagine. Test it out and see for yourself. Make a café latte, both not and using the cup warming tray. You’ll be amazed at the difference. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
Very Easy to Use & Clean
There are two things that make the Espresseria easy to use. It doesn’t have a ton of features to begin with, so there’s not much to learn, and it makes effective use of LCD technology and displays all the information you need in a clear, easy to understand format.
Put those things together, and you get a machine that doesn’t have a learning curve to speak of, which makes it ideal for the novice user, and this is something we feel that every Krups EA8250 Espresseria review out there should highlight. This is a great machine for beginners!
In a similar vein, cleaning is a snap. There are only a couple of automated routines on the device, and the rest comes down to just remembering to do it. Krups has made it very easy to remember, because there’s a quick help guide built into the machine, hidden by a black plastic panel.
Pull the tab to release the book, and you’ll be staring at a durable, colorful booklet made with plastic-coated pages that will step you through all the necessary maintenance routines you need to perform, provide numbers to their support lines, and other related information. A very nice touch, and yet another thing that makes this model particularly user-friendly.
Pros & Cons of the Krups Espresso Machine EA8250
In our view, the biggest pros of the Espresseria are these:
Those features are offset by a few negatives, some of which are potentially deal-breaking:
Krups EA8250 Review Conclusion
We hope that our Krups EA8250 review didn’t leave you with the impression that we don’t like the Espresseria because we genuinely do. It’s a good machine for what it is. It’s a basic, low-priced super-automatic espresso machine, ideal for novice users and those looking to enjoy the coffee shop experience from the comfort of home, with an emphasis on convenience.
It does a good job at delivering on all of that, but it gets there by making some significant sacrifices, particularly where the grinder and customization options are concerned.
If you’re okay with that tradeoff, then this machine will feel like a dream come true. If not, your best bet would be to keep looking. There’s a better fit out there for you.
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