Well…It’s Time Again! I’m Buying a New Espresso Machine!!

I couldn’t imagine starting my day without espresso. I bought my first espresso machine in college, and I’ve never looked back. That enchanting aroma, rich flavor and quick jolt of energy are exactly what I need to get going in the morning.

About a week ago, my espresso machine finally kicked the bucket after six years of dedicated service. It’s been awhile since I last bought an espresso maker, but there are some key things that I’m looking for in my new machine. If you’re just buying your first espresso maker, best coffee maker or looking to replace an old one (like me), I’m going to share some tips (ones that I use personally) to help you find the right machine for your needs. I’d highly recommend visiting Brown’s Coffee at

Know Your Drinking Habits – And Your Schedule

When do you drink espresso? How much time do you have to brew? These are important questions because they determine whether or not an automatic or manual machine is the best option for you.

If you have time in the morning, you can save yourself some money by choosing a manual machine. And by manual, I mean you’ll be grinding your own beans and tamping yourself. If you’re in a rush, an automatic machine may be your best option – but it will cost you.

Oh, and let’s not forget the trusty Moka Pot. I’d say it takes the most amount of time to brew espresso in a Moka Pot, so while it’s an affordable option, it may leave you with no time for your morning espresso.

Is Versatility Important?

Do you enjoy a good cappuccino, latte or Americano? If so, you’ll want a machine that comes with a steam wand or frother. Most espresso machines – even entry level models – come with a frother. But not all do. Check to make sure that the machine you’re considering offers one.

Some espresso machines, especially the high-end models, offer numerous drink options. If you have the budget and a taste for a variety of coffeehouse-style drinks, these machines are a smart investment.

Know Your Budget

It should go without saying that you’ll need to keep your budget in mind when buying an espresso machine. At one time, espresso machines were pretty pricey. Now, you can buy an entry-level model for as little as $40.

First, know what your budget is. Then, find the best quality machine in your price range, and go from there. I’ve reviewed machines in just about every price range from under $100, all the way up to machines that cost several thousand dollars. So, if you’re having trouble finding a good quality espresso maker, I recommend checking out my reviews to help you find a reliable model.

When I buy an espresso machine, I look for three key things: a bean grinder, frother and 15-bars of pressure. This way, I get convenience, versatility and the right amount of pressure to brew a great cup of espresso. So, if you’re in the market for a new espresso maker, keep these points in mind. Happy shopping!


Here Are 5 Reasons Why I’m Obsessed with Jura Espresso Machines

Jura is a brand I simply love. While I don’t own all of these machines (who does?) the quality and taste are definitely worth the price. Known for their high-end machines, a Jura will last a lifetime and provide you with the aroma of an authentic café in the world’s fanciest coffee shops.

Here are 5 reasons I’m obsessed with Jura espresso machines:

1. Intelligent Pre-Brew Aroma System

Most of the Jura brand’s models come with a pre-brew aroma system. This is a system that allows espresso to fully develop. When you walk into the room, you’ll smell a strong scent of espresso just like you would in one of the world’s most renowned cafes.

2. Coffee Bean Grinder

High-end machines come with coffee grinders. After all, you’re paying for the best of the best with a Jura. One thing I can’t live without – most of the time – is a coffee bean grinder. Built-into most Jura models is a conical burr grinder that guarantees the utmost in flavor at all times.

These grinders may or may not be dual grinders, depending on the model.

With a variety of grinding levels, you’ll be able to make coffee or espresso exactly to your liking with a Jura.

One extra benefit is the direct-to-brew feature that some models include. This means that the machine will go from grinding to brewing without you touching a button – besides brew.

3. ThermoBlock Heating System

Do you like burnt coffee? Me neither. Espresso’s taste is a direct consequence of the brewing temperature among other factors. If brewed at too hot of a temperature, espresso will have a burnt taste.

Using a specialized ThermoBlock heating system, Jura machines ensure the perfect brewing temperature at all times.

This allows of maximum flavor extraction and a delicious full-bodied taste that makes espresso worth drinking.

4. Water Filter

Want to know another factor in the perfect espresso? Water.  That’s right. Water plays a major role in how coffee and espresso both taste. If you’re not currently using filtered water, I highly suggest you give it a try.

Jura machines have water filters that remove the impurities found in water to leave a delicious taste. There is even chlorine used in water that will have a dramatic impact on the way your espresso tastes.

If you want the best tasting coffee, a built-in water filter is a must-have.

5. Jura Focuses on Quality

When it comes down to it, the previous 4 reasons for loving Jura lead up to the manufacturer focusing on quality. These machines do everything from descale and self-clean to heat using an efficient ThermoBlock heating system.

There is also 15-bars of pressure used to develop a rich, smooth crema on your espresso.

Jura even includes a 2-year or 6,000 cup warranty on all of their machines. This is a long warranty that ensures your espresso machine works for years without worry.

From taste to quality, there are very few espresso machines in the world that can compete with a Jura – they’re that good.


Coffee With Kate Is Back – This Time I’m In Peru!

Most people travel to Peru to see Machu Picchu or catch a glimpse of the Nazca Lines from high in the sky. Me? I’m traveling to Peru in pursuit of one thing – coffee.

Strangely enough, it wasn’t always easy to find a decent cup of coffee in Peru. Despite being a major coffee-producing country, it really wasn’t a popular drink with the locals. Of course, that’s all changed now. And so far, I’ve visited quite a few charming cafes that serve up delicious coffee. And I’ve found some great places to buy beans and bring back as souvenirs.

Café y Chocolate Valenzuela – Arequipa

In Arequipa, there’s a small café called Café Valenzula just outside the Plaza de Armas. It’s a quaint little café, and they’ve been selling chocolate and coffee for more than 50 years. You can purchase coffee beans in the shop, or venture up the tiny winding staircase to the café. I believe they also have a nice selection of top rated espresso machines available inside as well.

If you’re in Arequipa, stop in for a cup and stay for a while.

Café Perla – Cusco

While in Cusco, I stopped by Café Perla – which is highly recommended on TripAdvisor. The espresso was fantastic and the place had a cozy atmosphere. While you won’t find beans for sale (at least not when I was there), they do have a great variety of desserts, snacks and treats to go along with your coffee.

Café Bisetti – Lima

Lima has quite a few great little coffee shops, but Café Bisetti has been my favorite so far. The coffee was amazing, and the atmosphere was cozy. And if you prefer to stay outdoors, you can drink your coffee in the back garden. They roast their own beans at the café, and I hear that they sometimes do demonstrations of their roasting process. I wasn’t lucky enough to witness it,but hope to in the future.

Café Verde – Lima

Café Verde is another fantastic place to sample Peruvian coffee. Like Café Bisetti, they roast and blend their own coffee. The atmosphere is great, and the coffee is wonderful. And you can’t miss the café – look for the green building on Av Sta Cruz.

Buying Peruvian Coffee Beans

In all honesty, you can buy some great quality Peruvian coffee at any local supermarket. You don’t have to visit a specialty store or café, although you can buy some really high quality beans if you do. If you happen to be in Lima, Wong and Plaza Vea are two great places to buy coffee beans.

Even the local airports serve up a good cup of coffee. I grabbed a cup on my way out of the airport in Lima, and some of the stands sell gourmet coffee, like Café Britt and Cocla.

Finding a great cup of coffee in Peru isn’t too hard. And you’ll find plenty of Starbucks here. But I encourage you to stop in the local cafes instead. Many of these small shops roast and blend their own beans, so you get a truly unique cup of coffee and support local businesses.


Copyright © 2015 Coffee with Kate