Krups EA9010 Espresso Machine review

Skip Starbucks and make perfect lattes at home with this robotic barista in a box

If you have $2,500 and several minutes every morning to spare, the Krups EA9010 just might be for you.
If you have $2,500 and several minutes every morning to spare, the Krups EA9010 just might be for you.
If you have $2,500 and several minutes every morning to spare, the Krups EA9010 just might be for you.

Highs

  • Easy to use
  • Lots of options
  • Self-cleans
  • Elegant milk foam feature

Lows

  • Expensive
  • Loud
  • Takes a while to make some drinks
  • Some options are unintuitive

When an automatic espresso maker comes with it’s own glasses, you know you’re getting a serious machine. The Krups EA9010 is such an item. It brews coffee with ease and even manages to clean itself. We just wish it was a bit quieter and could go a few more drinks before needing maintenance.

Look and Feel

At first glance, the Krups EA9010 is impressive. You instinctively know it’s going to make you a good cup of Joe… and it does (more on that later). Its silver and black color combination is both sleek and masculine. Though, it is prone to attracting fingerprints. Everything in the unit is well contained. For example, the steam nozzle is hidden within the machine and automatically comes down to steam the milk froth and then goes right back up and cleans itself. Additionally, there’s a coffee scoop that fits perfectly into unit, just above the left compartment that stores the cleaning fluid and grounds collection container. The scooper even has a small brush that extends from the end of it to help keep the machine tidy. You’ll find plenty of thoughtful details like these throughout the EA9010.

The Krups even magically steps up the flavor of basic beans.

The top of the machine sports a large compartment that can hold 9.9 ounces of whole beans. There is a smaller section that takes ground coffee. It’s obvious where the ground coffee goes, but how it opens is not. If you want to use ground coffee, you’ll need to pick a specific coffee from the menu, then press the button with a scoop icon on it. Presto, change-o, the latch opens and you can scoop in your coffee. Besides not being exactly intuitive, you can only use ground coffee in a handful of brews. This option also provides a way for you to have decaf and caffeinated coffee in the machine, without having to think too much about which section stores decaf.

One of the nice things about the design of the Krups EA9010 is that it’s pretty minimal. It sports a dual spout for dispensing coffee that is adjustable, so you can fit a couple different mug sizes underneath it. If you remove the drip tray completely, it can accommodate a taller glass. The water tank fits perfectly behind the right panel. In addition to the coffee scoop button, there’s an on/off button and a color touchscreen. Although it’s not a backlit screen, we typically didn’t have issues reading the display. That said, you might have to adjust where you place it, since some of the darker text is a bit hard to read in certain lighting sections.

Krups EA9010 Coffee Maker
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Aside from the coffee ground container, operating this coffee machine is straightforward, and that’s thanks to the easy menu UI. You pretty much select the drink you want, how strong (one to three beans) you’d like it, how much you want, and it gets busy making it for you. We just wish it had some sort of back button. In some situations, such as self-cleaning options, it was hard to get out of the menu.

Features and Use

Setting up the Krups EA9010 takes just a few minutes. It is large (15-by-11.6-by-15.5 inches), so you might want a little help taking it out of the box. The initial set up includes selecting a language (16 choices), picking your country, setting the date and time, and choosing volume unit (ounces or milliliters). From there, you can fill the tank and start making coffee in the two included glasses. There’s also a lot more you can do, as well.

Among the many items included in the welcome pack, there’s a Claris aqua filter system, an Anticalc kit, and a test stick to determine water hardness. All these are to help guarantee you’re using the best water possible to brew some java. You’ll find another plastic cylinder-shaped item in there as well. That’s the tool you use to secure the water filter into place. We found it easy to operate and quickly secured the filter in place within the water tank.

Like the Jura Giga 5, it’s also a self-cleaning machine and it likes to be cleaned a lot. After making about 10 drinks, the machine already requested to be cleaned. If you find yourself too far down the cleaning menu options, we found the only way to stop the process before it started was to turn off the machine. That said, it did an excellent job of telling us when to empty the grounds and drip tray, which we appreciated.

If you’re wondering what sets the Krups EA9010 apart from other expensive automatic espresso and cappuccino making machines, it’s the two-step frothing technology. At least, that’s what was pointed out in all the marketing literature. Rightfully so; it’s a big part of why it makes restaurant-quality cappuccinos. Another bonus is that it preheats the milk in the cup, which cuts down on the accessories you have to clean.

It’s a process to make a cappuccino, but the machine really does all the work and keeps you informed every step of the way. All you need to do is select cappuccino from the onscreen menu, choose a size (small, medium, or large), pour the amount of milk requested on the screen, and place the cup under the nozzle. Press Ok. The steam nozzle descends from the machine and heats and froths the milk in the cup. The ground espresso is poured in the cup via the two spouts. The whole process takes about the time it takes to place an order for a cappuccino from a chatty, attentive waitress at a nice restaurant.

There are 17 coffee drink recipes onboard, and while for most of these you can only make one cup at a time, there are a couple of options that let you brew two cups of java (just be ready to swap out the filled cup for an empty one). The basic drinks the Krups can make include hot water, hot milk and foam, latte, cappuccino, ristretto, espresso, and coffee. It also has Black Specials that include lungo, doppio, long black, Americano, red eye, and morning coffee. There are a few White Specials also: milchkaffee, café au lait, and flat white. So there’s no lack of choices. With such an intriguing name, we had to try the Milchkaffee, and it was way too good. The little icons accompanying the drink are supposed to tell you what goes into the beverage, though they could be hard to decipher.

If you don’t want to wade through all these options every morning, you can set up favorites. There is a favorite menu option where you can enter your name on a keypad, pick a color, and save up to eight drinks. This is particularly useful if the Krups is used by a lot of people. That way you don’t have to enter your preferences each time you make a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, the Black and White Special drinks can’t be saved as a favorite – so café au lait enthusiasts will have to make it from scratch each time.

Performance and Taste

Overall, we were impressed with how good the coffee tasted. It even magically stepped up the flavor of basic beans. The biggest drawback of the Krups EA9010 is all the noise it makes when brewing some java. Depending on what function the machine was doing, we occasionally found the sound reminiscent of thunder. For example, we tested how loud it was when it ground beans for a cappuccino, and it registered at 80.7 decibels, which is like an alarm sounding.

Brew

Temperature (Farhenheit)

Brew time

Coffee Amount

Amount of Cups

Taste

Coffee 159.2 1 min 6 seconds 5 oz 1 Strong
Cappuccino 164.4 2 min 5 seconds 6 oz 1 Balanced/perfect foam
Café Latte 156.4 1 min 56 seconds 6.7 oz (Medium) 1 Strong & well-balanced
Espresso 151.7 51 seconds  1.8 oz 1 Strong
Black Special:
Lungo
157.7 56 seconds 2.3 oz 1 Very strong
White Special:
Café au lait
142 2 min 12 seconds 5.7 oz 2 Balanced

In our tests, we measured coffee temperature, how long it took to make, and overall taste. According to the National Coffee Association, coffee temperature should be maintained at 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. For some that still might be too hot to drink, for example the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit found that 175 degrees is a safe temperature. We measured taste based on the type of coffee you would expect from a professional barista. If you like strong coffee and fluffy cappuccinos, the Krups EA9010 is up to the task.

Conclusion

There is a lot to like about the Krups EA9010, most notably it makes some darn good coffee. Although there are some quirks in the menu interface, it’s a fairly straightforward system and easy to use. We just wish the bean grinding process wasn’t so loud. If you’re looking for an automatic espresso maker that looks as good as the java it brews, the Krups EA9010 won’t disappoint. At almost $2,500 it just might break the bank, though.

Highs

  • Easy to use
  • Lots of options
  • Self-cleans
  • Elegant milk foam feature

Lows

  • Expensive
  • Loud
  • Takes a while to make some drinks
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