The Cuisinart EM-200 Espresso Maker is a programmable unit that allows you to pre-select the size of the servings. While this sounds great on paper, the machine does seem to be plagued by a few problems you should be aware of.
The first feature that stands out about this model is the fact that you can program it to create drinks. So, if you’re not a coffee expert and don’t want to guess at how you should be making an espresso, this machine will suit you down to the ground. The 15-bar pump produces enough pressure for rich and tasty beverages. The 64-ounce water reservoir is removable, but you can also fill it without removing it, which is a nice touch.
The all-important cup warming plate sits snugly on top of the unit. Handy buttons on the front allow you to choose manual operation or program the ounces of espresso needed, which the machine will then take care of for you. There’s a portafilter holder that can handle either pods or ground coffee. A dial controls the steam or hot water setting. For lattes and cappuccinos there’s a commercial steam wand.
The unit has a removable drip tray with grate and cleaning pins to help clean particles from both the filter and the steam wand. A measuring scoop, frothing pitcher and filter baskets are included: a one cup filter, two cup filter and pod filter basket.
Performance and concerns
The first thing you may notice is that the machine is quite noisy. Espresso machines usually are, but this one raises the volume just a tad above most of them. It is also important to prime the machine before using it the first time, so make sure you study the manual. The cup warmer is just ok. It won’t let your cups go cold but it doesn’t do a stellar job either.
We would advise you to use the frother after you’ve made your shots, as it seems too much pressure builds up if the frother is used before then. This can lead to inconsistent results. Indeed, there are a few such quirks on this machine and it may take a bit of trial and error for you to figure them all out.
Once you have it figured out though, it produces good quality espresso and delicious latte.Cuisinart EM-200 Verdict:
The Cuisinart EM-200 is a decently built espresso machine, but it is one of those trial and error machines. The issues that come up are not deal breakers and with a bit of troubleshooting you can get around them (like doing your shots first and only then using the steamer). This could be a challenge for someone not familiar with espresso machines though, so we won’t recommend this machine for the novice, despite the convenience of the programmable buttons.
The Cuisinart EM-200 is a good, solid espresso maker, but far from perfect. We would recommend saving up a little extra for the DeLonghi EC702 if you’re looking for a more solid and better established entry level espresso machine.
On Amazon.com this model has received 89 reviews, of which 52 are four and five star reviews. That gives it a customer satisfaction rating of 58%, which is a little low. We have to say though that many of the bad reviews for this product smells of user error.Sale Price:$169.95
The Cuisinart EM-100 Espresso Maker comes from a trusted name in kitchen appliances (Cuisinart). This well built espresso maker is not without its flaws, but has been a favorite among consumers for many years now.
This is a pump-driven model featuring a powerful 15-bar pump. It has a sizeable 53 ounce removable water tank. A cup warming plate suitable for for cups is also present and very useful.
A commercial steam wand will help you steam milk for lattes and cappucinos. The Cuisinart EM-100 also has a removable drip tray with a grate. Cleaning pins help you remove milk that gets stuck in the steam wand, as well any other particles that refuse to leave the filter basket.
There’s a stainless frothing pitcher and tamping tool with measuring scoop. Finally, three filter baskets allow you to easily create a single espresso, double espresso or use espresso pods. The EM-100 is quite a package out of the box.
The first thing you’ll notice is that this is a heavy machine. It is very sturdily built. It makes a beautiful latte and decent, though not spectacular espresso. One thing you need to be careful about is grinding your coffee too fine. This can cause blockages in the machine. The water reservoir at 53 ounces provides a decent amount of liquid for repeated use without refilling. The machine also makes wonderful crema and does a great job of frothing milk. The cup warmer also works very well indeed.
The steaming wand is a little low and makes it hard to remove the pitcher without spilling since you have to tilt it. The coffee nozzles are low as well and you can’t use large cups or mugs.
Out of 153 reviews on Amazon.com at the time of this writing, the Cuisinart EM-100 received 105 four and five star reviews for a 68% rate of happy customers. This is decent, but not stellar. Most of the poor reviews revolve around units that were defective out of the box.Cuisinart EM-100 Verdict:
The Cuisinart EM-100 Espresso Maker is a solid, well featured appliance. It delivers good quality beverages for a model at this price point. Some poor design decisions, like the steam wand being too low, unfortunately spoil things just a little.
For the price and for moderate use, the Cuisinart EM-100 Espresso Maker is a decent enough machine. If however you make lots of espressos and similar drinks, you may want to look for a more heavy duty model.