Espresso Machine Recommendations
Weekly Update: Coffee Maker & Espresso Machine Recommendations
Posted on 4/27/2012 12:30 EST
If you're a coffee lover who wants to stick to a budget, making your morning cup o' joe at home is a well-trod first step towards frugality. For less than the cost of a few weeks of fancy "designer" coffees at the local coffee bar, you can buy a cheap coffee maker or espresso machine and save big time. We also have new blog posts on outdoor pools and home improvement, as well as tips for kitchen savings.
Budget models come in for harsh criticism in online reviews, but we found 12-cup coffee makers from Hamilton Beach and Mr. Coffee that claim plenty of fans and cost less than $50. Another of our top picks is a Black & Decker machine that dispenses hot coffee directly into an included travel mug. It's an affordable alternative to those expensive single-serving pod brewers that are all the rage.
Yes, you can make a good cup of espresso at home - or a latte or cappuccino, if steamed or frothed milk up your enjoyment factor. We found several semi-automatic espresso machines with price tags under $250 that turn out a robust brew crowned by a golden crema. Three of our top picks take ground beans (the fresher, the better) or (pricey) single-serve pods, and one is a (proprietary) capsule-only model meant for die-hard espresso drinkers (no frothing wand here).
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Next time you're in the market for new kitchen utensils, take a cue from the pros and skip the fancy kitchen supply stores and head to the local hardware store. Beyond the many inexpensive kitchen products that enterprising hardware stores now offer, you'll also find a variety of tools that don't seem like cheap kitchen utensils at first glance - we're thinking of items like needle-nosed pliers, blowtorches, and paintbrushes - but may come in handy just the same.
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