The Calphalon espresso machine makes great coffee. It's easy to use and is priced competitively. Read the review for more details.
Review of a home espresso machine
I recently purchased this Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine. I've been making coffee daily for a couple months now.
So, I thought it would be helpful if I wrote a review on it. Especially given the holidays coming up, I hope you enjoy this post.
In case you have been thinking about buying an espresso machine, I highly recommend the Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine.
I recommend this Calphalon espresso machine
First and foremost, this espresso machine makes delicious coffee. For an espresso machine, that means:
- The water heats up to a good temperature.
- There are enough bars of pressure to extract the coffee fully.
- The steam wand is strong enough to make perfect microfoam.
In addition to those necessary quality measures, this machine is also:
- is easy to use,
- is easy to clean, and
- sits well on a kitchen counter.
This home espresso machine is simple to use
This Calphalon espresso machine is very easy to use. There aren't any complicated buttons or settings.
On the front of the machine, there's an on/off switch. Next to it, there's one big knob that controls everything.
There are four settings on the knob:
- single shot
- double shot
- hot water
The knob is located in a great spot. It's easy to turn it to start pulling the espresso.
It's also located in an easy to reach spot when using the steam wand. There are no awkward angles or anything to worry about.
Can a beginner use this espresso machine?
Yes, I think so. This espresso machine would be good for a beginner.
Given that I once worked at a coffee shop making hundreds of espresso drinks each day, it's a bit unfair for me to answer this question.
However, my partner had never used an espresso machine before. So he was the perfect helper!
This espresso machine is easy enough for him to learn how to use. He also made a delicious cup of coffee after just a few tries.
The manual that came with this espresso machine is very detailed. It's a great start if you are new to making espresso at home.
The home espresso machine automatically stops after extracting one or two shots, depending on what you use.
This is a super handy feature because I often just start the espresso then immediately begin preparing my breakfast. There's no need to watch the coffee to see when to stop the extraction.
It comes factory set to 1 oz for a single shot and 2 oz for a double shot.
I haven't tried setting my own program, but it is possible. You can adjust the pour volume to suit how you like the coffee.
One of my biggest concerns when choosing a home espresso machine was whether the steam wand would be strong enough.
I'm happy to say that this steam wand is powerful enough to make great microfoam. It steams the milk nice enough that I can pour decent latte art on my espresso.
The espresso machine comes with a standard milk frothing pitcher. The size is just right to make one milky latte.
I haven't tried the steam wand with a larger milk frothing pitcher. So I can't say if it would be strong enough to steam enough milk for two coffees at once though.
Two different versions - with and without a built-in grinder
The Calphalon Temp IQ comes in two different versions. One with and one without a built in grinder.
I bought the one without the grinder for a few reasons.
No grinder necessary
First, the espresso machine fits on my counter under the top cabinets. If you have cabinets on top, the extra inches added by the grinder might be a problem.
Second, without a grinder means it is also narrower and takes up less counter space.
Third, the most important reason. I don't think it's necessary.
Personally, I prefer to buy coffee at my local coffee shop and ask the coffee shop to grind the coffee.
That's because if you go to a good coffee shop, they will most likely have better grinders than any built-in home espresso machine would have. If the coffee shop grinds it for you, you'll have more uniform coffee grounds for a better extraction.
While built in grinders are nice because you can grind your coffee fresh each day, if you drink coffee regularly I don't think it will be noticeable.
A good roasted coffee should stay fresh long enough for you to finish the bag. That's even if you ask the coffee shop to grind a whole bag upon purchase.
Just make sure you store your coffee in an airtight container. At home, I use one of these, it's nothing fancy.
This espresso machine is easy to clean and maintain. Make sure you follow the simple cleaning steps after making each coffee.
Portafilter and basket
The portafilter and filter basket are easy to clean. After each use, I hand wash it. The portafilter is not dishwasher safe.
The espresso machine comes with a sharp tool in case the filter basket gets clogged with coffee grounds and you need to unblock the filter baskets. I haven't had this happen to me yet.
The drip tray is very easy to clean. You just slide it out and there are a few parts that snap apart.
It is not dishwasher safe. So, I just hand wash it as needed.
After each use, it's important to wipe the steam wand with a damp cloth. Then, purge the steam wand. That means you simply turn it to the hot water setting for a couple seconds.
I haven't had issues with the steam wand getting blocked. However, if needed, you can use the provided sharp tool to unblock it.
Calphalon espresso machine makes great coffee
I'm very happy with the quality of the coffee made by this Calphalon espresso machine.
Tips to make the best espresso at home
Buy fresh coffee
Most importantly, the quality of the coffee matters. I always buy my coffee fresh from a local coffee shop and ask them to grind it. That way, I know the coffee is recently roasted, and I can get it in a perfect grind size.
Grind coffee for a home espresso machine
When you ask your local coffee shop to grind it, ask them to grind it for a home espresso machine.
It might take a couple tries before you find out what the perfect grind is from your local coffee shop. I usually ask for it a tiny bit coarser than the setting they use in the shop.
That's because professional espresso machines should be able to handle a finer grind than any home espresso maker.
Clean the machine as recommended
Make sure you clean the espresso machine after each use. Cleaning it gets rid of any old bitter coffee grounds. That means, purge and wipe down the group head after each shot.
Also make sure you wipe down and purge the steam wand after each shot, while the machine is hot.
Where to buy the Calphalon Temp IQ espresso machine
I bought my Calphalon espresso machine on Amazon. It came quickly and there was free shipping.
Amazon also tends to carry this machine in it's warehouse deals section. So you might be able to find it a bit cheaper too.
Does it come with everything to make coffee right away?
The Calphalon Temp IQ comes with the coffee machine, the espresso tamper and a milk jug. It's enough to get you started.
However, you'll also want these additional items if you are making coffee regularly. These will save you a lot of hassle. But most importantly, they will help you make better coffee.
- Kitchen scale - This is to help dose the correct amount of espresso grounds. The one I use is small and measures to 1g precision.
- Tamp mat - This gives you a sturdy place to set the portafilter. Any will do.
- Knock box - To discard all your coffee grounds. This is the one that I use, and I like it because it's small. And, the bar slots into the box rather than resting on top.
Other coffee brews
Not ready to buy an espresso machine yet? Here are a few other brew guides on The Worktop you might find helpful. These do not require an espresso machines.
Show me some recipes that use espresso
Still thinking about buying a home espresso machine? If so, let these tasty coffee recipes to inspire you.