Krups XP2070 Espresso and Filter coffee
The Krups XP2070 is a stylish brushed stainless steel and black plastic unit. The combination of espresso and filter means that it's physically bigger than other machines we've tested at 35x32x31cm (Width x Height x Depth) - my measurements from the actual unit and weighing in at 3Kg.
It looks very good on a work-top, but be warned it's not suitable if you have wall units above your counter-top because you access the water containers by lifting up lids on the top. You need a good 25cm additional clearance above the unit for comfortable operation.
The machine really is two coffee makes in one. From the picture you'll see a central illuminated LCD panel. Controls to the left are for the espresso machine, to the right for the filter machine. Each is powered independently - just switch on the one you want to use.
My first, and just about only gripe with the machine is when you switch it on. It insists on you setting the clock before allowing you to do anything else. The clock can be used to automatically start the filter machine first thing in the morning, but for most people I'm guess that will not be a highly used function. For those of us that like to turn appliances off at the wall, it's irritating to have to set a clock each time you power-up. In my case I just pressed enough buttons to let me get further.
The left hand portion of the unit is the espresso machine. This was excellent. You can use either ESE (Easy Serve Espresso) 'pods' or ground espresso coffee. you are provided with three filters - one to take the ESE pods, then two ground coffee filters for either single or double serving.
Water for the espresso component is added to a removable plastic container that is inserted into the top of the device. For those in hard-water areas the water container can be fitted with an optional water-filter.
Water is forced through the coffee with a 15 bar pump. For those that like cappuccino there is a milk frothing attachment.
For the perfect espresso it's recommended that cups are warmed - and for this there is a warming plate on the top of the unit.
I tried both ESE pod and ground coffee, both giving excellent results.
As nice as an espresso is - it can be a little time consuming and when in a rush or want fresh coffee for more than one person, filter is very much more convenient. The right-hand portion of the Krups machine contains a full filter machine with a ten cup jug capacity.
The filter element contains all the standard features one would expect of a good quality machine including the ability to vary the strength of the brew, a hot plate to keep the pot warm and anti-drip feature integrated into the jug lid.
Water for the filter machine is poured into an integrated contained under a flap in the top of the machine. This is completely separate to the espresso container. It does however also have the option of taking a water filter which is great news for those of us living in hard-water areas, or who just don't trust what's coming through our taps!
As I said earlier, for those people that like to wake to the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafting around your dwelling, you can fill the Krups the night before, set the timer and it'll be waiting to wake you in the morning.
A little subjective, but I love the look of the Krups machines over others we've reviewed, particularly for the modern kitchen, but that's really up to you to decide!
The inclusion of water filter options in both halves of the machine is to be welcomed, as is the ease of use and the lack of mess.
Searching the Internet I found the Krups available at Amazon for only £179.99 including shipping. When you think this offers the flexibility of filter or espresso, ESE or ground coffee then compare that with the ESE espresso only FrancisFrancis machine recently reviewed, at around £250 - this is excellent value for money.
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