Choosing a first espresso machine can be daunting, especially if the buttons and dials on the machine look quite complicated! Fortunately, Mr. Coffee makes some really good entry-level espresso machines. By entry level, I mean both in terms of price and in terms of ease of use.
You don’t have to drop a ton of cash to make good espresso at home, as you’ll see in our reviews of Mr Coffee Espresso Machines.
Espresso machine or latte machine?
Before getting into the reviews, I though I’d just clear up a bit of a misconception. You’ll often hear the word espresso machine and latte machine thrown around as if they’re two separate things.
The truth is that while all latte machines are also espresso machines, not all espresso machines are latte machines.
Lattes(and indeed cappuccinos) are espresso-based beverages. So you have one or two shots of espresso, and some amount of frothed or steamed milk on top. The amount of steamed milk will dictate whether you’re drinking a flat white, a latte, a macchiato, or a cappuccino.
So if you have an espresso machine that can froth milk, it’s a latte machine too.
However, not all espresso machines have milk frothers built in, so those are not latte machines.
I hope that clears it up!
Now on to Mr Coffee!
Mr Coffee Espresso Machines: Our favorite models reviewed
Mr Coffee has made a name for themselves in the consumer coffee machine space. They make some really good drip brewers, as well as some really nice espresso and latte makers.
This Ohio-based company makes pretty solid machines. In fact, the Mr Coffee machine I use for my morning coffee has been going strong for the past three years and I brew 2-3 cups from it every single day.
Here’s the one I use, which also happens to be my #1 recommendation for espresso machines in general:
1. Mr Coffee Cafe Barista
The Mr Coffee Cafe Barista is my #1 favorite espresso machine. I really like this machine because it brews great coffee and falls on the spectrum right between super automatic and manual, at semi-automatic.
You can brew:
- a single or double shot of espresso
- a single or double cappuccino
- and a single or double latte
This is a semi automatic machine, which means you have a certain amount of customization that you can do. While you can’t control the length of the espresso shot(the single and double shots are standard sized), you can control how much milk you add.
You can also mix things up by pulling two shots of espresso and adding a custom amount of milk. It’s totally up to you.
The control panel has three buttons that you can use either by single pressing, double pressing, or pressing and holding for different settings.
The water reservoir is removable, and so is the milk reservoir. This is a must because you may have milk left over in the reservoir after making a drink and it would be a shame to throw the milk out – instead, you can just pop the whole reservoir into the fridge.
You will pull espresso shots with 15 bars of pressure, which is pretty standard and you can expect a nice espresso shot with lots of crema on top. Just the way it should be 🙂
- Semi-automatic 3-in-1 espresso maker, cappuccino maker, and latte maker
- 15-bar pump system brews rich-tasting espresso coffee.
- Trouble-free automatic milk frother removes the guesswork
- One-touch control panel for drink selections
- Easy-fill, removable water and milk reservoirs
2. Mr Coffee One-touch CoffeeHouse
The Mr Coffee One touch CoffeeHouse is like the big brother of the Mr Coffee Cafe Barista. Essentially, they’re both the same machines, but the Mr Coffee CoffeeHouse does everything a little bit better or with more power!
While the Cafe Barista has 15 bars of pressure, this guy does 19 bars! That allows for a much more comprehensive, thicker – in a manner of speaking – brew.
Additionally, the CoffeeHouse has a milk reservoir and steaming system that can handle any kind of milk you throw at it: including soy, almond, and of course, skim, 2%, and whole milk.
So if you are going dairy free but still want to drink a killer cappuccino every now and then, you don’t have to spend big bucks on a single cup at a local coffee shop anymore.
The workings of the machine are the same as the Cafe Barista above, which we’ve already discussed in quite a bit of detail, so I am not going to repeat those – instead, let’s look at how this machine is different(better) and if the extra $$ is worth it or not.
With the Cafe Barista, you can make 4 cappuccinos or 2 lattes. With this machine, you can make 6 cappuccinos or 3 lattes.
That’s just the milk tank capacity though, so after every shot of espresso, you’ll need new grounds anyway, so it’s kind of a weird point.
The Cafe Barista has 2 thermo couple, and this one has 3 thermo couples – meaning it will heat up faster.
Also, you can fit two espresso cups on the tray in this machine, compared to just one on the Cafe Barista.
If you’re buying for just yourself or indeed for a small family, you may want to save the $100 or so and get the Cafe Barista instead. However, if you want the best of the best(and in its class, the CoffeeHouse can indeed be considered the best, especially considering other similar machines cost a lot more), then it’s certainly worth considering.
- 19 Bar Italian pump delivers ideal pressure to extract robust coffee flavors
- Easy 1 button interface takes the guesswork out of controlling the espresso maker
- Select single or double shots of espresso with a simple 1 button press
- Thermocouple heating system evenly heats the water for piping hot drinks
- Automatic milk frother whips any milk into a light, creamy froth
3. Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot Espresso System
While the name of this machine says automatic, it’s not exactly an automatic espresso machine! It’s a semi-automatic at best. This is Mr Coffee’s extremely budget, entry level espresso machine, but don’t let that discourage you. The Mr Coffee Dual Shot system can pull 2 shots of espresso using 15 bars of pressure.
Milk dispensing is not automatic in this case. You can use this one machine to make cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites, and macchiatos, but unlike the two machines above which automatically dispensed milk, you’ll have to froth the milk manually in this machine.
Frothing milk is not too hard – with a cold cup of milk, hold it an angle with the frothing wand inside and gently move it up and down. This will help create a lot of bubbles. Once the milk is hot enough and has developed enough froth/foam, simply pour the shot of espresso into the milk and you’re done!
Use 4 ounces of milk for a cappuccino, or 6 ounces for a latte.
Being the most inexpensive machine of the lot, this espresso maker is still a lot of value for the money, especially for a beginner.
- 15-bar pump system uses powerful pressure to extract a dark, rich espresso brew
- Frothing arm makes creamy froth to top off your cappuccinos and lattes
- Make 2 single shots at once with dual-shot brewing. Watts: 1250
- Thermal block heating system provides barista-speed brewing and heating. Cord length: 26 inches
- Removable, washable drip tray keeps brew space neat and tidy
Mr Coffee buying guide
Now that we’ve listed our 3 favorite Mr Coffee espresso machines, let’s talk a little bit about how you can narrow your choice down if you are still confused!
The biggest difference between the Cafe Barista and CoffeeHouse on one side and the Dual Shot on the other side is that the first two machines have automated milk frothing.
That means when you want to make a drink, you just have to fill some milk, add some grounds, and press a button. It does not get much simpler than that.
If you opt for the Dual Shot, you’ll need to froth milk manually. It may take a while to get the hang of it, and manually frothing will definitely take a bit more time than the automated frothing system in the other two machines.
However, you have much more control in manual frothing and once you get the hang of it, you can really begin to get creative with how you froth.
Types of drinks you can make
As far as types of drinks go, all three machines are pretty much on par.
You can make:
- A single shot of espresso
- A double shot of espresso
- A single/double cappuccino
- A single/double latte
- A macchiato
- A flat white
- An americano(espresso diluted with water to get to 8 ounces)
The convenience with which you can make them will obviously vary. The two (relatively) automated machines can churn out most of those drinks with the push of a button, but you’ll have to froth milk manually in the budget machine.
While you can control the consistency of frothing if you use the wand on the budget machine, you can certainly adjust the amount on the Cafe Barista and CoffeeHouse too.
Just press and hold the cappuccino button and the machine will froth more milk for you. You can use this function to make a macchiato, for example, which is just an espresso shot decorated with some foamed milk.
Where to get good coffee
Of course, the biggest factor in making good coffee is using good coffee. Using months-old grounds that are too coarse will result in watery, terrible coffee, no matter if you use a $100 machine or a $1000 machine.
So the key to good coffee is using freshly roasted beans, and grinding them just before brewing.
You can certainly find good coffee on Amazon, but remember to buy whole bean, and try to make sure it’s recently roasted. The closer you are to the roast date, the better.
Even whole beans that have been sitting for too long after being roasted will lose some of their flavor.
Finally, you’ll also be concerned about the lifetime value of the machine. If this is your first foray into espresso machines, you’ll want to get something that strikes a balance between budget and lifetime.
Fortunately, Mr Coffee machines happen to be very robust and the one I am currently using has lasted me 3 years and counting!
A huge plus point is that you’re not breaking the bank with getting any one of these machines, and even if you do feel like upgrading in the future, you won’t have invested too much into this machine to find it difficult to justify stepping up.
Last update on 2020-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API