KitchenAid Artisan espresso machine conclusion
Good coffee is important to most people – and making it yourself is even better. The espresso was perfectly brewed with minimal fuss, and the milk was steamed with no fuss. The worktop looks amazing with it. In contrast to other coffee makers and coffee pod machines, this machine does not offer an option to raise the drip tray platform closer to the spouts, which creates a mess when brewing into small espresso cups. In addition, it is a lot more expensive than a basic espresso machine.
- Feature sets that are semiautomated
- This kit is designed for professionals
- An expensive proposition
- Be prepared for mess
A brief outline
Known for its mixers, KitchenAid also offers a wide range of small appliances in addition to its stand mixers. One such device deserves attention: this stylish espresso maker, with a touch of automation to simplify brewing an authentic espresso.
Among the brand’s past ventures into coffee, this isn’t its first. A decade ago, Nespresso launched a preprogrammed Artisan machine and a stylish, but slow manual espresso maker. Although, it can produce smooth espresso shots with either a lot or little involvement, the KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine is arguably the best of both worlds. It offers both creative coffee lovers and those looking for reliable espresso shots every day a great machine.
Characteristics and design
Designed as per KitchenAid’s design standards, the Artisan Espresso Machine looks great. The appliance has a stylish design, an iconic Candy Apple design, and is fairly heavy (more than 5 kilograms), making it easily coordinated with other appliances from the same line. There hasn’t been a compromise between form and function. A cup warmer is located on top, while a 1-gallon water tank is behind.The capacity is 4 liters. Even if you have a busy household, you should only have to fill it once a day. It is also easier to fill the water tank when the lid can be removed and filled in-site.
As with other espresso machines, you fill the portafilter basket with ground coffee, tamp it down, and twist into the machine. However, the KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine provides small touches that make it more convenient. Portafilters with level bases prevent the machine from rocking on the worktop, heavy tampers, and a guideline that shows how to insert the portafilter into the machine and where to twist the portafilter so it is locked into place. There are just four buttons: one for toggling between coffee, steam and hot water, selecting one shot or two, descaling and start.
While its choice of four baskets for the portafilter have the potential to be frustratingly mixed up on bleary-eyed mornings, as I did, if you can learn to tell the difference between them, you should be able to get the most out of this machine. That’s because they come in single and double-walled versions: the two double walls create more consistent results, making them better for beginners, while the single walls brew a more full-bodied shot of espresso and give greater control for those who want it.
I used all four baskets and found the difference to only be very slight: each one brewed shots with a consistent crema into mugs. The distance the coffee travelled from the spout tended to affect the crema more: brewing into espresso cups sometimes produced a good thick layer of crema, other times just a slight ring around the edge. Shots took between 20-30 seconds, and were consistently smooth, aromatic and had a delicious slight sweetness and syrupy mouthfeel.
There’s the ability to adjust the espresso volume should you prefer more or less coffee too.
While the steam function on the KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine does a lot of the hard work by selecting the right temperature and pressure, it still needs a quick prime before you begin frothing.
Beyond that, it’s relatively simple to steam milk how you like it: every jug of milk I frothed was as warm, textured and consistent as that made in a milk frothing appliance. It poured easily and, were I skilled enough, would be suitable for creating latte art.
Thanks to all its automation, you might spend as almost much time keeping this machine clean as brewing. Its removable parts need to be washed by hand. The drip tray emptied fairly often, especially if the steam wand is being primed directly into it rather than a spare cup. Fortunately, there’s an indicator to let you know when it’s full. The steam wand needs a quick dispense with hot water after every milk frothing session.
You’ll need to run the KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine’s descaling programme every so often too. As you can set water hardness from low to high, how often this is will depend on your area.
Should you buy it?
You’re keen to recreate the coffee shop experience of a smooth espresso or creamy latte at home, without the cost and queue.
You prefer the convenience of a fully automated machine. Even though the KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine does a lot for you, you might be better off investing in a bean-to-cup maker.
This KitchenAid Artisan Espresso Machine could tempt you away from a bean-to-cup or pod machine if you’ve ever struggled with manual espresso machines.
You’ll start feeling more like a barista after the first few tentative espresso shots – you won’t need to press any buttons. Although it’s pricey, it’s more affordable than dedicated models, such as the Gaggia Classic and WPM KD-270S, and easier to use. You might be better off starting with a cheaper espresso machine, such as the Breville Bijou, if you’re unsure about hands-on coffee making.