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Krups EA8298 Espresseria review

David Ludlow
5 Jun 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
540

Although the Krups EA8298 costs less than most fully-automatic machines, its milk mode is very limited and detracts from the decent espresso

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If you’re all about convenience, but still want to use real coffee beans, a bean-to-cup machine that will also steam and pour your milk is the best option for you. Few come cheaper than the Krups EA8298 Espresseria. Few appear better value than this machine, either, with most fully-automatic machines costing a fair whack more; at this price, it’s more typical to see a manual steam wand.

Externally, the EA8298 is very similar to the Krups EA8258, which is a bean-to-cup machine with a manual steamer wand. That’s no bad thing, as it’s compact and looks neat thanks to its high-gloss plastic casing. We also like the way that the bean hopper is clear, so you can see how many beans are left in it, at-a-glance.

The first time you use the EA8258 there’s a short set-up routine to go through, including setting your water hardness after you’ve used the easy-to-use and provided test strip. You also need to fit the provided water filter into the 1.8L water reservoir.  It pulls out quickly from the back, making it quick and convenient to top up with water, too.

Making espresso

Once you’re set up and have loaded your beans into the hopper you’re ready to go. Thanks the height-adjustable spout, you can fit most cups and mugs underneath the machine, with a maximum height of 120mm. There’s a cup warmer on top, so you can pre-heat your cups before you start. You should also experiment by adjusting the grind, using the dial in the hopper, as the size of the coffee grounds makes a big difference to taste and quality.

Krups makes it exceptionally easy to make a coffee thanks to the LCD and control dial. Using the dial, you simply select the drink you want from the menu and press the button in to select. There are two settings for standard espresso: Espresso and Strong Espresso, so you can choose the option depending on your taste. 

With either selection, you can also use the dial to select the volume of drink to output. We found that 30ML (about standard for a shot of espresso) was the best option. With this setting, our shot of espresso was decent. We found that the crema was a little too foamy and bubbly, although the colour was good. We found that the shot was dark, and the taste was mostly good, although the shot of coffee wasn’t quite as rich as we’ve had from other machines using the same beans.

At standard settings, the coffee was also a little too cool, and we measured the temperature at 57C. Fortunately, there’s an option to up the volume, which resulted in a 65C shot - just about perfect for espresso.

For longer drinks, there’s the option of coffee or a long coffee, with the second option using two shots of espresso for a richer drink, while the first option is more like a standard long black. Taste was pretty good for both options, although the machine produced coffee that was a little too cool for our taste: you’re better off using dispensing a shot of coffee and then topping up with hot water from a kettle or via the spout, which you operate by selecting the hot water option.

Cappuccino

The big difference between this machine and the cheaper EA8258 is that this one can also automatically froth and dispense milk. It’s a bit of a faff to get it working, though. First, you have to fill the provided milk container with milk, secure the lid and place it on the stand. Then you have to remove the hot water spout from the wand, clip what’s left into the container and run a separate milk hose back, attaching it magnetically to the spout. Most machines that can handle milk tend to have just a single hose to connect and they’re done.

With everything in place you have to hit the dedicated cappuccino button on the front of the machine, which pours a pre-set amount of coffee and steamed milk into a cup. It takes a little while to do, as this single-boiler first has to heat up to steam temperature before it can froth. Once done, it has to vent the steam, Results weren’t very impressive, with the milk not frothed enough for our liking and the results were closer to a hot milky coffee.

Annoyingly, the only thing that you can override is the ratio of coffee to milk, but you can’t change how much the milk should be frothed. Nor can you pre-program different types of coffee (latte, flat-white, macchiato, and so on), so it’s one type or drink or nothing. Although the steamer wand can be used manually to dispense hot water, it can’t be used manually for frothing milk, so there’s very little flexibility here. In fact, the cheaper EA8258 with its manual steamer wand is a lot more flexible.

Maintenance

It’s easy to keep the EA8298 in shape, as the LCD tells you what needs to be changed and when. For example, it will tell you when the used coffee puck drawer needs to be emptied. As this just pulls out of the side of the machine, it’s really easy to empty. By default, the machine is set to perform an auto rinse when it’s powered on. It uses a fair amount of water, and will quickly fill up the drip tray, so you can either place a cup underneath the spout when you power it on, or choose to manually clean the machine (once or twice a week should do it). Should you just vent water, the trip tray pulls out easily from the front and is simple to to empty out and wash.

Once you’ve made a milk drink, it’s worth flushing the milk hose, using the simple instructions and the dedicated accessory cleaning mode. It’s a quick process and far less painful a procedure than we’ve seen on some machines. You’ll be prompted from time-to-time to perform a full cappuccino clean, using cleaning fluid. Again, the procedure is pretty painless. Finally, you’ll need to descale and clean the machine from time-to-time, but it’s not a difficult job and the manual shows you exactly what to do. 

Conclusion

Although the Krups EA8259 seems like good value for a machine that automatically froths milk, the actual procedure is fiddly and comparatively limited. Despite its decent espresso shots, the milk frothing really holds this machine back. Instead, you could opt for the Gaggia Brera, which is a dual-boiler machine with a manual steam option, or the more expensive Krups EA850B, which produced much better espresso and milk drinks. If neither of these sounds like the machine for you, our best coffee machine article will definitely have something for you.

Hardware
Dimensions (HxWxD)295x363x390mm
Maximum mug height120mm
Water capacity1.8L
Pump pressure15bar
Cup warmer?Yes
Milk frothingYes (automatic)
Number of boilers1
Coffee typeCoffee beans
Adjustable grindYes
Adjustable strengthNo
Buying information
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Price£540
Detailswww.krups.co.uk
Supplierwww.debenhams.com
Part CodeEA8298

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