Sure, we all have nice espresso machines right?  Our debate is "should I get the PID"ed double boiler or go with the trendy old is the new "new" heat exchanger model? We are troubled by the inconsistency of a couple degrees the folks with a single boiler thermostat controlled machine must deal with and we envy the delightful extraction of flavor the lever machine crowd enjoys. What if you do not live in this level of espresso purgatory at worst or espresso nirvana at best? What if espresso hades is your residence and thanks to the all powerful wallet and it's other demands, this is where you will stay for at least the current version of eternity? Where do you go, sweet child - where do you go now?

Krups is an old German company that used to sell Swiss made pump espresso machines - maybe they still do but the focus here is the four dollar to twenty dollar used Krups XP4000 and XP4030 semi automatic thermoblock pump powered espresso machine.  Before I found the Gaggia, this machine was the best thing my espresso had going for it. With a decent hand grinder and a non pressurized basket from a Mr Coffee espresso machine (that is a story for another day, gentle reader) I was able to create something resembling decent espresso.

Easy does not enter into the equation though. Temp surfing involved using the steam heat function judiciously - ride it too long and watch as the programmed controls empty your thermoblock of water in something that mimics a 3-way controller on a standard machine - all the hot water intended for the shot ends up in the drip tray if your timing is off. 

Pressure through the small Krups thermoblock isn't the same as pressure in a boiler either - the grind is either spot on or your shot ends up watery or you choke the machine - in between these frustrating results lies an average shot at best - the best you can hope for is a middle of the road, not awful tasting shot.  Every now and then I play with one of these machines just to see what I can come up with, but using something nice will spoil you quickly an the experiments are no longer as much fun.

The Krups XP4000, XP4030, and the thermoblock Breville machines that have an identical portafilter and probably identical internals are OK if that is all you have available - any port in a storm espresso anyone? But as soon as you can, you will want better. Sideways thumb depending on your situation - are you broke? Then it is great. Just cheap? Get ready for your money's worth then - you did not spend enough to buy happiness.

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Comments

Submitted by Chamie on
..on buying a cheap espresso machine soon. I love reading about the high-end ones, but they're just not in the budget anytime soon. And did I mention I love your descriptions?

Submitted by jbviau on
Fun that you were able to find and use a non-pressurized basket here. You've come a long way since then!

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>It is hard to accept that good espresso equipment does not come cheap - there are hand operated options for the grinder and starter machines available for under $300 - probably why a lot of people go with an illy or Nespresso capsule system since the entry price and the learning curve are more convenient.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>Yes, I was able to work around the machine's short comings but not with a tremendous amount of consistency. This was the machine I bought for $3 at the local thrift - If I had paid $100 - $150 for the machine knowing what I know now I would be very disappointed.

It looks like you got a lot of crema from your shot there. My advice with regarding to buying an espresso machine on budget is to look closely on CL or ebay, there are good deal to be had but you sometime must know how to work on espresso machines.

I don't know where I stand on these because while I hate to be a snob the nasty espresso that my mother made out of these little machines has me put off. I think if you are like yourself and just NEED espresso without being able to afford something else you can get these machines to get good results for what they are, but if you are after good coffee then maybe you should stay away.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>Yes, craigs list and ebay are good sources of used machines - my Gaggia Coffee came from Ebay - works like a champ this day.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>are you thinking of the Steam powered espresso machines maybe? The krups XP4000 and XP4030 are maybe ten years old at the most - these have vibratory pumps similar to what is inside a Gaggia and have a 3 way Solenoid - the 52mm filter handle will hold a decent amount with the right basket and a decent shot is possible, but hard to achieve.

Submitted by yeahyeah on
It's hard to beat $3 for a machine, although for $100 or so I'd probably make the jump to one of the cheaper Gaggias.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>Agreed - for the price of admission it was a fun ride - the Gaggia is in a different league though.

Submitted by wakeknot on
you did produce good crema, but, of course, that does not equate to ideal espresso always.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>For the Krups XP4030 decent shots were difficult to pull and consistency was not something I could count on - when the shots looked like that (probably ground with my modified Hario Skerton) they were as good as I could get out of the machine - decent but nor remarkable espresso - just satisfying enough to keep me interested in finding out what better tasted like.

It's not impossible to get acceptable coffee from a lowly machine like these. But it does take some luck when the moon and sun align. Definitely, the trend seems like the more you pay, the more happiness in coffee you're likely to get. No other way. :P

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>consistency is what costs - consistent temps and pressure make pulling a shot a lot easier compared to these less expensive units.

Krups XP4030 Espresso Machine Review

| by

Sure, we all have nice espresso machines right?  Our debate is "should I get the PID"ed double boiler or go with the trendy old is the new "new" heat exchanger model? We are troubled by the inconsistency of a couple degrees the folks with a single boiler thermostat controlled machine must deal with and we envy the delightful extraction of flavor the lever machine crowd enjoys. What if you do not live in this level of espresso purgatory at worst or espresso nirvana at best? What if espresso hades is your residence and thanks to the all powerful wallet and it's other demands, this is where you will stay for at least the current version of eternity? Where do you go, sweet child - where do you go now?

Krups is an old German company that used to sell Swiss made pump espresso machines - maybe they still do but the focus here is the four dollar to twenty dollar used Krups XP4000 and XP4030 semi automatic thermoblock pump powered espresso machine.  Before I found the Gaggia, this machine was the best thing my espresso had going for it. With a decent hand grinder and a non pressurized basket from a Mr Coffee espresso machine (that is a story for another day, gentle reader) I was able to create something resembling decent espresso.

Easy does not enter into the equation though. Temp surfing involved using the steam heat function judiciously - ride it too long and watch as the programmed controls empty your thermoblock of water in something that mimics a 3-way controller on a standard machine - all the hot water intended for the shot ends up in the drip tray if your timing is off. 

Pressure through the small Krups thermoblock isn't the same as pressure in a boiler either - the grind is either spot on or your shot ends up watery or you choke the machine - in between these frustrating results lies an average shot at best - the best you can hope for is a middle of the road, not awful tasting shot.  Every now and then I play with one of these machines just to see what I can come up with, but using something nice will spoil you quickly an the experiments are no longer as much fun.

The Krups XP4000, XP4030, and the thermoblock Breville machines that have an identical portafilter and probably identical internals are OK if that is all you have available - any port in a storm espresso anyone? But as soon as you can, you will want better. Sideways thumb depending on your situation - are you broke? Then it is great. Just cheap? Get ready for your money's worth then - you did not spend enough to buy happiness.

Category: BLOG

@sam

December 11, 2011 | by EricBNC


consistency is what costs - consistent temps and pressure make pulling a shot a lot easier compared to these less expensive units.

yeah

December 11, 2011 | by samuellaw178

It's not impossible to get acceptable coffee from a lowly machine like these. But it does take some luck when the moon and sun align. Definitely, the trend seems like the more you pay, the more happiness in coffee you're likely to get. No other way. :P

@Wakenot

December 4, 2011 | by EricBNC


For the Krups XP4030 decent shots were difficult to pull and consistency was not something I could count on - when the shots looked like that (probably ground with my modified Hario Skerton) they were as good as I could get out of the machine - decent but nor remarkable espresso - just satisfying enough to keep me interested in finding out what better tasted like.

crema

December 4, 2011 | by wakeknot

you did produce good crema, but, of course, that does not equate to ideal espresso always.

@yeahyeah

December 4, 2011 | by EricBNC


Agreed - for the price of admission it was a fun ride - the Gaggia is in a different league though.

Krups

December 3, 2011 | by yeahyeah

It's hard to beat $3 for a machine, although for $100 or so I'd probably make the jump to one of the cheaper Gaggias.

@Intrepid510

December 3, 2011 | by EricBNC


are you thinking of the Steam powered espresso machines maybe? The krups XP4000 and XP4030 are maybe ten years old at the most - these have vibratory pumps similar to what is inside a Gaggia and have a 3 way Solenoid - the 52mm filter handle will hold a decent amount with the right basket and a decent shot is possible, but hard to achieve.

@Son Ton

December 3, 2011 | by EricBNC


Yes, craigs list and ebay are good sources of used machines - my Gaggia Coffee came from Ebay - works like a champ this day.

I don't know where I stand

December 3, 2011 | by intrepid510

I don't know where I stand on these because while I hate to be a snob the nasty espresso that my mother made out of these little machines has me put off. I think if you are like yourself and just NEED espresso without being able to afford something else you can get these machines to get good results for what they are, but if you are after good coffee then maybe you should stay away.

nice crema

December 3, 2011 | by sontondaman

It looks like you got a lot of crema from your shot there. My advice with regarding to buying an espresso machine on budget is to look closely on CL or ebay, there are good deal to be had but you sometime must know how to work on espresso machines.

@jbviau

December 3, 2011 | by EricBNC


Yes, I was able to work around the machine's short comings but not with a tremendous amount of consistency. This was the machine I bought for $3 at the local thrift - If I had paid $100 - $150 for the machine knowing what I know now I would be very disappointed.

@Chamie

December 3, 2011 | by EricBNC


It is hard to accept that good espresso equipment does not come cheap - there are hand operated options for the grinder and starter machines available for under $300 - probably why a lot of people go with an illy or Nespresso capsule system since the entry price and the learning curve are more convenient.

Ha!

December 3, 2011 | by jbviau

Fun that you were able to find and use a non-pressurized basket here. You've come a long way since then!

I'll be looking for your advice...

December 3, 2011 | by Chamie

..on buying a cheap espresso machine soon. I love reading about the high-end ones, but they're just not in the budget anytime soon. And did I mention I love your descriptions?

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