Father's Day ESE Espresso Gift Guide
Nothing says Father's Day quite like the gift of espresso. Yeah - that sounds right. Imagine your dad winding up a little milk frothing, pulling a shot of espresso, and then sitting down for a nice latte while reading the paper this Sunday. We've got three picks for you below ranging from $199-500.
The BIG day is fast approaching (this Sunday actually) but you still have time to give the gift of espresso. We recommend going the ESE espresso pod route. Having reviewed several of these machines (you can read our review of the Francis! Francis!, we like the quality and variety of espresso produced from these machines using the ESE espresso pods.
ESE Stands for Easy Serving Espresso, and the standard sets the requirements for the pods - 7 grams of coffee, a proper grind, and a shape and diameter that allows it to be used only in ESE approved machines. The pods sandwich the coffee between two layers of sealed filter paper. The diameter of the ESE pod is 44-45 millimeters, which is much smaller than the 55-60 mm pods that are available for the "Single Serve" coffee makers that have become popular in the last few years.
We wonder where these single serve coffee machines have become popular? :-)
The Francis! Francis X6 features a 1100-watt espresso/cappuccino machine housed in ABS plastic with chrome accents and works with ESE pods. It also features an 18-bar pressure pump; all-brass boiler refills automatically and the new Trio Technology which allows for making 3 espresso preparations--short, normal, and long. It has a 5-cup removable water tank, steam jet with built-in milk foamer, and a handy cup warmer. The Francis Francis X6 is priced at $429.99 for a limited time and normally runs $500 and higher.
The Breville ESP8XL Café Roma Stainless Espresso Maker is a good-looking espresso machine that is built with quality in mind at a good value. The pump driven maker is rated to give you 15 bar of pressure to deliver a beautiful crema every time. A full 15 bars of pressure is maintained throughout the process to maximize crema, giving the coffee a rich, barista-style aroma and taste. Three stainless steel filters (single shot, 7g; double shot, 14g; and E.S.E. pod) incorporate Breville's unique dual-wall crema technology. Beneath the first wall's 333 pores is a second steel wall with a single exit hole. This produces a backpressure, ensuring a rich, smooth flavor and texture from every extraction. We like the price at $199 and think your dad will like the espresso too.
And finally we give you the Krups XP4050 1200-Watt 15-Bar-Pump Programmable Espresso Machine. This little number has a 1200-watt programmable espresso machine with Thermobloc 15-bar pump system and easy push-button programming for controlling size and strength of espresso. The filter holder offers 3 interchangeable inserts that hold single, double, or E.S.E. pods. The KRUPS XP4050 also froths milk to perfection and has a 32-ounce removable water tank, drip tray, and cup-warming tray. This is a total steal at half off - normally $400 - you can get it right now for $199 from Krups america.
Looking for more Single Serve Coffee related Father's Day gifts? Please visit our Father's Day Single Serve Coffee Gift Guide.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at June 15, 2006 8:02 AM
Thank you for this guide. My birthday is a few days before Father's Day and it helped me figure out which machine to get for my birthday gift from my husband! I've been curious about single serve coffee for a long time, having had it in people's offices. I had checked out this site a number of times before but the variety of machines was overwhelming!
After Father's Day passes, you should still have the recommendations available in a prominently linked area because it will help newbies like me pick a machine.
PS I decided to go for the Keurig B50 which I got at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $130 minus a 20% coupon plus they had a gift for purchase of the My K-Cup which I would have bought anyway.