The Krups XP1000 Espresso Machine is designed for simple, compact brewing. It heats up quickly, is incredibly quiet, has a capable built-in frother and won’t set you back half-a-grand.
OK, so I suppose "simple" is a relative term.
Without a doubt, the Krups XP1000 is more complex than a Nespresso machine that runs on capsules. You’ll need to measure out your coffee beans, grind and tamp them properly and add the right amount of water.
Oddly, though, the Krups XP1000 doesn’t come with a tamper. Krups says you can use the back of the included scoop to tamp your grounds, but it doesn’t work too well if you only have enough for one serving.
For all but the most seasoned home baristas, it’ll take some time to master this machine. The good news? There aren’t a ton of hard-to-use features. Really the only inputs are the volume of water, the type of grind, the volume of grounds and the degree of tamping.
And because this Krups espresso machine brews the volume of water you add to the tank and not some pre-set amount, you really do get total control over your beverage.
The trade-off is that you need to be precise to get the same brew over and over. This isn’t a pod coffee maker, like a Keurig or Nespresso machine. Make sure your grind size, volume of water and grounds and degree of tamping are consistent each time to ensure similar results.
It’ll also take time to complete your extraction process. While the machine heats up quickly, that’s only one part of the process:
All told from start to finish, you can expect to take 12+ minutes for a full 8 oz espresso.
Steam espresso machines are essentially electric versions of stovetop espresso machines, such as Bialetti Moka Pot. Because they don’t have pumps, pressure is generated by creating steam in a confined space.
Unfortunately, this pressure is below the 9 bars required for a true cup of espresso. The XP1000 below is able to generate 4 bars of pressure.
Pump espresso machines are able to generate those 9 bars of pressure to produce a true espresso with a rich crema.
The XP1000 is an inexpensive entry-level espresso machine and will produce a very espresso-like beverage. While it isn’t true espresso, and I’ll detail some shortcomings in the Quality of Espresso section below, it gets you almost all the way there for a fraction of the price.
As mentioned in the Overview, the Krups XP1000 is a steam espresso machine. That likens it to a stovetop espresso pot, such as a Bialetti, meaning you won’t get true espresso because it can’t get to 9 bars of pressure.
However, the XP1000 gives you a rich, great tasting espresso-like beverage that rivals many of the four-figure machines on the market, but it struggles to get a good crema. Of course, if you’re brewing a cappuccino or latte, the lack of crema isn’t a big deal at all.
Tip: You can try to get a better crema by using a finer grind. It still won’t be great, but you may be able to achieve better results.
Experiment with different grinds, water/ground volumes and degrees of tamping to figure out which combination produces the best beverage for your tastes.
Compact and attractive, I love the look of the Krups XP1000 espresso machine. Its matte design is easy on the eyes and easier to keep clean, and the rounded, well-built look gives it the appearance of a reliable espresso machine — which it is.
The plastic exterior is fairly scratch-resistant and durable enough to take a beating, and I had no issues with it over several weeks of use.
In my supplemental research about the worst complaint I came across was the on/off indicator light going out after 18 months.
Should something happen Krups offers a 2-year warranty on the XP1000, which is pretty good for a kitchen appliance these days.
Prior to first use, you’ll want to run 1 or 2 full water-only cycles to flush the internal components. Sometimes you get that plastic or rubbery smell for a couple of early extractions, but that’ll dissipate quickly.
The steam wand creates a ton of condensation, which collects on the machine. If anything, this gives you a good reason to wipe the unit down regularly. The wand can also get clogged fairly easily, but the cleaning process is pretty straightforward:
It’s also advisable you never run a cleaning agent through a Krups espresso machine. Instead, you can and should descale with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water.
Fill the water reservoir with 8-10 oz and run through with a full cycle. Then run 2 or 3 water-only cycles to rinse. Keep rinsing if the taste of vinegar is still present.
I love the look of the dome-shaped cap to the water reservoir but man, is that thing hard to remove. During the brew process the combination of high heat and pressure and the water being suctioned out of the water reservoir really seals the cap on good. The rounded shape makes it difficult to get a good grip.
I have two small complaints about the settings knob: