Cuisinart EM-200 Review
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.
Cuisinart EM-200 Features
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.