The Lafeeca Espresso Machine 19 Bar is a budget espresso machine (with milk frother) based on espresso machines you would see in coffee shops. Stylish in its looks, choose between a single espresso, double espresso or remove the drip tray and opt for an Americano in a whole mug.
The adaptable Lafeeca Espresso Machine 19 Bar is designed to speedily deliver top quality lattes, cappuccinos or which ever coffee beverage takes your fancy. Plus, this is achieved with a price that will appeal to many home brewers. These are our first impressions but read until the end to see if the Lafeeca Espresso Machine 19 Bar provides an all round great espresso making experience or if the manufacturer needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
Before plunging into the review of the Lafeeca espresso, machine lets look into what a 19 bar coffee machine is and the difference between 19 bar and 15 bars.
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What is a 19 Bar Espresso Machine and is it Better than 15 Bar?
If you’ve ever pumped a tire on a bicycle you’ll be familiar with PSI (pounds per sqaure inch). 1 bar is approximately equal to the atmospheric pressure at sea level. When an espresso maker uses 19 bars, the water is forced through the coffee grounds at a pressure 9 times that of the natural atmosphere. 9 bars equates to around 130psi while 19 Bars equates to a more powerful 275.572psi.
Contention has existed among coffee aficionados for many years about whether a lower psi is better than a more powerful bar rating for producing the best espressos with delicious crema.
The lower Bar school claim that steam pushed through coffee grounds at a lower rate extracts more oils and flavor. The higher bar school dispute this claim and points to the benefit of a faster produced espresso with 20 bars. In my opinion while the quality difference is fractional to say the least, a minimum of 15 bars will produce a top quality espresso with crema.
Lafeeca Espresso Machine 19 Bar Review (With Milk Frother)
The Laffeca is light at only 7.9 pounds which is good news if you wish to pick up and store the machine regularly. Saying that, it does not take up much of a counter top footprint being only 8 inches wide. This is about 1 and a half inches wider than the De’Longhi Dedica, though still firmly places it in the narrow espresso machine category.
The gleaming black plastic with chrome looking accents is appealing and would be a fit with any kitchen color scheme. There is a white version too, which looks stylish. However, don’t forget to use non-abrasive cleaner on this plastic body.
The compact machine has a 900 ml detachable water tank (with a nice folding handle) that fits snuggly with a click to the back. The advantage of a clear tank is you can see when it needs refilling.
If you have read my other machine reviews you’ll know I like the taller cup feature. The Lafeeca Espresso Machine 19 Bar kindly obliges. Slide off the drip tray and there is a lower level which allows you to place a mug in position for Americanos.
Unlike many budget espresso machines, a single trustworthy dicast, aluminum boiler is preferred to a thermo block solution.
A single shot filter and double shot filter are included with a plastic portafilter with grounds tamper. If you want something more stylish in steel Amazon has many available. They also hold ESE pods if you like the trend in exploring flavors from custard to cookie flavors. The mind boggles.
How To Operate The Lafeeca Espresso Machine 19 Bar
3 Buttons line up vertically. Press the lowest ‘on’ button which glows red. Press the top button for an espresso. The machine will have heated to the right espresso temperature within 60 seconds. If you opt for the multi-shot espresso, your beverage becomes an Americano. Make sure you have a taller cup in place for the latter.
Press the middle button to ready the machine for the milk frother option. You will see the hand on the pressure gauge slide past the cup icon towards a 3 o’clock position. Thanks to the pressure safety shut off, there won’t be any issues of it exceeding optimum steam temperatures. Remember to have your pitcher in place.
Watch and listen to a pleasant gurgling as steam is injected into your cold milk. The result is a cafe style heavier milk froth for cappuccino. Keep the steam wand deeper in the milk for less froth, suitable for lattes style drinks.
Wipe off the steam wand and purge after use. Please note, allow the temperature to cool down, with the hand sliding back to the cup icon before brewing another espresso.
Things To Like
- The overall look with steam gauge
- Folding handle on the water tank
- 60 seconds preliminary heating
- A strange curved design means you can’t keep your coffee cups warm after pouring
The Lafeeca Espresso Machine 19 Bar is a very capable and diminutive espresso machine for a budget price. Ideal for a small apartment or kitchen, the Lafeeca won’t take up much of a footprint, though produces big quality bistro style espressos.
There is only a sixty seconds wait for the boiler to reach optimum temperature. ‘Bistro style espresso while looking good doing it,’ should be Lafeeca’s axiom as it sits handsomely while humming into life. The odd barrel shaped top reaches a warming temperature, though I’m not sure why they didn’t make it flat so you could keep a cup warm. Its a small issue.
Despite its plastic facade, the Lafeeca has a well built aluminum boiler and durability issues shouldn’t worry you as the manufacturers offer a healthy one year warranty. The Lafeeca Espresso Machine 19 Bar can’t be faulted at this price range. Check out the competitive price we found on Amazon (we may get a small commission)