Both machines operate on different principles. The newer Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker I wrote and raved about operates with a high pressure pump and small water pre-heat unit. Once the pre-heat unit is warmed up, water can be pushed through the coffee holder cup immediately. This saves some power and is convienient. The older Mr. Coffee Espresso Machine operates on a steam boiler principle. Up to 4 shots of water are sealed in a boiler that heats up under pressure with the steam being forced through the coffee to make your espresso.
Normal Design Use?
The pump designed Hamilton Beach machine works good, but is apparently not designed for very much use. Over the last ten months I have gone through two of these machines! The combination of the pump and the small hole and screen in the coffee holder make this system less reliable. The units died a slow death in that it took longer and longer to get the two shots to drip, not trickle, into your cup.
Every couple months or so, I’d have to get out my Philips screwdriver and dis-assemble the coffee holder cup and screen. Each time it would speed up the espresso cook time. There seemed to be an awful lot of maintainence to keeping this machine healthy. Finally the pump would weaken and not do the job. I was committed to this system after my former rave about it. Naturally, I assumed a possible manufacturing problem, or the unit had infant mortality. The second unit was almost the same
We use these machines 2 or 3 times a day and I can only guess that the design engineers at Hamilton Beach consider this way beyond “normal” use?
K.I.S.SI’m sure everyone has run into the kiss principle (Keep It Simple Stupid). After the second Hamilton Beach machine failed, I had to resort to making filtered coffee instead of espresso just because I wanted my morning beverage. Live was hectic for a couple weeks until I had a chance to break down and purchase another Old Faithful, Mr. Coffee Espresso Machine. After the absence, this espresso tasted really good.
Because of the natural pressure produced in the boiler, the coffee holder cup doesn’t have the fine screen of the other machnine that kept getting clogged. Simple, not much to go wrong. And yes it is “production ready” in that they last me two to three years each! Cost is also reflected in the simplicity principle as the Mr Coffee unit runs about 40 bucks compared to $70 for my retired Hamilton Beach units.
So I’ll use a little more power, and wait a little longer each morning for my espresso now, confident that I have the write low cost machine for the purpose. Someday, who knows, I may get one of those fancy machines for several hundred dollars? Will those hold up any better?
Have you used fancy new tools of some kind only to wish you had stuck with the “old reliable” technology that took more effort or time?? Tell us about your KISS lessons below in the comments, then tweet this post!