The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino maker has quickly become a household name within a very short period. A lot of people talk about the taste that it produces and how easy-to-use this machine is. Now we’re going to find out how much of that is true in this review!
The machine is semi-automatic, and you can use it at your home or in your office. You are getting a very compact machine that can handle espressos and cappuccinos without a problem, and it won’t cost you a fortune.
If convenience coupled with variety is what you’re looking for, then the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is the best choice for you. It can take care of lattes with ease. There are 6 different beverage programs with 4 milk drinks and 2 different espresso sizes.
This machine is a good choice for those who are new to the world of coffee. If you are looking for a machine to unleash the barista within you, then the Cafe Barista is not the right choice for you. It has bits and pieces of everything packed in one machine.
So should you go for the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista? Read on to find out in this Mr. Coffee Espresso & Cappuccino Maker Review.
Who should go for a semi-automatic espresso machine?
As Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is a semi-automatic machine; therefore, we need to see what such a machine can achieve in the first place. A semi-automatic machine has all its functions and operations automatic, excluding the pump. You have to control the pump to activate or deactivate it manually.
As you’re controlling the pump manually, you can decide how much water content should be in your shots. You won’t find this feature in a super-automatic espresso machine.
Additionally, semi-automatic espresso machines also come with inbuilt grinders. Therefore, you can use coffee beans, and your machine will grind them for you. With freshly ground coffee, the taste of your cup will improve ten folds.
If you’re looking for a decent amount of control over your cups, then you should choose a semi-automatic machine.
Other processes, such as boiling or grinding, will be automatic. But if you don’t want to manually control the pump, then a super-automatic espresso machine will work for you.
|Features||Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista||Breville The Barista||Gaggia Classic Pro|
|Flavor||Overly strong for an espresso.||Balanced taste.||Less flavorful and robust.|
|Brewing capacity||7 cups (57 fl oz).||8 cups (67 fl oz)||9 cups (71 fl oz).|
|Ease of use||Buttons and knobs.||Knobs, buttons, gauges, and easily accessible steam wand.||Gauges, buttons rockers, knobs, and commercial steam wand.|
|Construction||Plastic body inside a metal casing.||Stainless steel body with plastic buttons and knobs.||Stainless steel body with plastic drip tray.|
|Maintenance||Easy descaling technique but takes time.||Very simple descaling, but time-consuming.||Simple but needs practice.|
|Milk steaming||Automatic.||Swiveling steam wand (angled).||Commercial steam wand.|
|Coffee Grinding||No grinder.||Automatic and manual grinder.||No grinder.|
|Additional Useful Features||3 preset functions with 2 operations each, automatic frother, auto shut-off.||Dual boiler, multi-user program, automatic -shut-off, and water reservoir indicator.||Single boiler, filters (pressurized as well as non-pressurized), tri-way solenoid valve, double heating elements.|
|Value for money||Average.||Exceeds the value.||Meets the value.|
Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker Review
The machine emphasizes more on strong-flavored coffee than espresso. There’s no gauge or indicator to show what is the current pressure level. Therefore, you don’t know what is going one with the water content in each of your shots. So basically, the manual control you have on the pump in this machine is also minimal. Hence, the taste that it can produce is a bit inconsistent.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly machine only then, Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is the right choice. It is not the case with its other two contenders here.
The Breville Barista is a top choice, hands down. With high-quality taste where you have total control over what goes down in your cup. Similar is the case with the Gaggia Classic Pro, where you have a decent amount of control over your cup.
The brewing capacity of this espresso machine is close to par if you compare it with the other two here. The water reservoir of this machine has a capacity of 1.7 liters. It means that it can comfortably hold approximately 57 fluid ounce or slightly over 7 cups.
The Breville Barista can hold up to 8 cups in its 67 fluid ounce tank while the Gaggia Classic Pro can hold up to 9 cups in its 71 fid ounce water tank. Therefore, there is only a difference of a cup between all three.
Ease of Use
When we talk about the initial setup of the Cafe Barista by Mr. Coffee, then there are not many complications in this entire process. The instructions that came with the machine are clearly written and simple to understand.
If you are just looking to make a cup of coffee with milk frother, then this machine does a pretty good job. The controls are simple and straightforward.
When using these semi-automatic machines, knowing what pressure you are hitting is imperative. It will enable you to make adjustments to the grind size. But there is no pressure gauge, and you’ll never know what has gone wrong with your cup.
Making a cappuccino might take up to 5 minutes with this machine. And of course, you’ve to grind the beans with your grinder. Then you need to tamp the grinds and connect the machine’s portafilter.
Not to forget about the milk frother settings that you have to deal with at the end. As you can see, the 5 minutes are pretty labor-intensive. It’s especially the case if you consider the taste that you’re going to get is a bit too strong for an espresso!
The Gaggia Classic Pro doesn’t put you through a lot of effort because there are a lot of preset programs available. The Breville Barista rewards you an exquisite shot of coffee. You will notice that all the effort that you do to make your cup of coffee is worth it.
Mr. Coffee has used a lot of plastic in the construction of this machine. But when we compare its cost with other coffee machines, we get value for money. Just make sure that you use your Cafe Barista carefully and don’t mishandle it for long-lasting results.
On the other hand, the construction of the Breville Barista and the Gaggia Classic Pro is top-notch with a lot of involvement of stainless steel and a few hints of plastic, including the buttons and knobs. However, both cost you a few extra hundred bucks.
The involvement of metal doesn’t mean that you can use the machine no matter how you like and throw it around. Both these machines are delicate, with several components involved.
Cleaning and maintenance of Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista can be a bit problematic. Of course, it is a semi-automatic machine, so it will need some additional cleaning. You have to clear out the grinds from its portafilter.
The good thing is that the frother and the milk tank are dishwashers safe, so they are easy to clean. Descaling it requires a solution of water and vinegar, and the process is not very complicated. It will take around half an hour to complete.
When you brew the coffee properly, it is not going to be a huge deal. These coffee grounds will turn into a single solid puck that is somewhat dry, and it won’t leave any mess. But getting good extraction of this machine is very difficult, the coffee grounds become muddy and handling it becomes very messy.
Cleaning and descaling the Breville Barista and the Gaggia Classic Pro involves the same amount of hardship.
The process of milk steaming or frothing in the Cafe Barista espresso machine is decent enough, but not something that would put the competitors off. Its frother produces a lot of foam, but there were larger airy bubbles, which caused the flavor to reduce in richness. Steaming the milk is pretty average because we never got that creamy texture that you associate with an espresso.
For the best quality in milk frothing and steaming, the Breville Barista is one of the top choices. The creamy texture will be there, and it diffuses well with the coffee. A lot depends upon the quality of the beans that you are using, too.
The Gaggia Classic Pro also does a fabulous job (not as great as Breville Barista). But still, it does a pretty good job with a certain degree of creaminess and airing in the froth. We would suggest that Cafe Barista is a good choice for you if you just need a cup of coffee to get you going.
It is a semi-automatic machine that doesn’t come with an inbuilt grinder. Therefore, you will have to go for a separate coffee grinder to use with this machine. As the machine doesn’t have much to offer, you can add a lot of flavor to your coffee by using high-quality coffee beans.
The Gaggia Classic Pro also doesn’t come with an inbuilt grinder, and you will have to purchase it separately. But considering the cost, the Cafe Barista will put you in the right place to save money and invest in a grinder.
On the other hand, the Breville Barista comes with an inbuilt grinder. You get the convenience of not having to invest in a separate grinder. Just add the beans to the hopper, and your coffee will be ready for you.
There are three simple buttons with indicator lights, and you don’t have to learn anything to operate that. There are 3 functions, and each function has two operations. You can make espresso, cappuccino, and latte with each of these buttons, and you also get to choose whether to go for a single-shot or double shot.
Apart from that, you can also remove the water reservoir for easy mobility and cleaning. The milk frothing feature is pretty simple to use.
On the other hand, the Breville Barista is jam-packed with features. There is a separate indicator for water level and an indicator for when your machine needs descaling. The Gaggia Classic Pro comes with a single boiler machine that features pressurized and non-pressurized filters.
For simplicity, the Cafe Barista is a clear winner here.
Value for Money
Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista does come with a meager price, and it is a true money-saving option. But considering the taste that it can produce, we will say that it delivers an average value for money.
The Cafe Barista is also made of plastic, so it is not going to last for long, either. So durability is another loss with this machine.
However, with that being said, if you are looking for a budget-friendly espresso machine, then you won’t find anything better than the Cage Barista.
Who should buy Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista espresso machine
The Cafe Barista by Mr. Coffee is the right choice for you only in the following cases if you:
- Want a budget-friendly option.
- Need a machine that has a compact size.
- Already own a grinder.
- Drink coffee regularly.
- Are looking for preset programs in your coffee machine.
Who shouldn’t buy Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista
The Cafe Barista by Mr. Coffee isn’t your choice if you are:
- A heavy coffee drinker.
- Not the only coffee fan around.
- A huge fan of frothing and latte art.
- Want full control over your cup.
- Want to do some experiments with your coffee recipes.
FAQs for Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista
No, this machine cannot make regular cups of coffee. However, you can make Cafe Americano (hot water with espresso), which tastes very similar to a regular cup of coffee. Most of the machines can’t do that, but the Cafe Barista manages to do a pretty fine job.
Yes, the Cafe Barista can automatically turn itself off when it completes the brewing and frothing cycles. Nevertheless, you will have to turn off the rear power button if you want to turn it off completely. You don’t have to do it on a mandatory basis, but it will help you save some utility costs.
No, the Cafe Barista is not a double boiler; therefore, it will first froth the milk and then brew the coffee. But the good thing is that you only have to push a single button. When you want to use the latte or cappuccino functions, you will have to place your cup on the machine. It will froth the milk, send it to your cup and then start the brewing process.
If you are in search of an espresso machine that is very simple to use and doesn’t come with a hefty price tag, then your search is over. The Cafe Barista by Mr. Coffee is the right choice for you.
Every cup of coffee is just a push of a button away from you. Just add milk water and coffee and choose any of the three functions if you are looking for a latte, cappuccino, or espresso. You can also make your cup single or double shot.
Using this coffee machine involves no complications at all. You need the cup, just make it within a few moments and start to enjoy. The taste is not going to leave you charmed, but it still tastes pretty nice.
Just make sure that you go for good quality coffee beans for the coffee grounds because that is the only way you can control the flavor.