Review: Krups EA9000 is the Cadillac of personal coffee makers

krups ea9000 1Hello. Our name is Digital Trends, and we are raging coffee addicts. It started with the occasional dark roast from the corner cafe, but things quickly spiraled out of control when we got our hands on the Krups EA9000 fully automatic barista machine. It makes everything we want with just a couple taps, and now we go through a whole bag of beans just about every day. Now more than ever we realize that we’re powerless against coffee and our lives have become unmanageable, so we’ve written this review of the EA9000 in hopes that you will learn from our mistakes. 

Look and Feel

Out of the box, the EA 9000 looks quite impressive. The machine is constructed out of both plastic and aluminum, but you can hardly tell. From a short distance away, the silver plastic side panels almost pass for brushed metal, giving it a clean and luxurious look that won’t sorely stand out on your countertop. The plastic construction feels pretty stout too – not that it’s likely you’ll encounter a situation where you’ll need the machine to withstand a beating or anything. Still, we don’t know if you’ve been attending your anger management classes, and we know how impatient you get when you’re waiting for coffee, so some extra durability can’t hurt. 

Size-wise, the EA9000 is on the bulkier side. It’s definitely bigger than any drip coffee maker we’ve ever owned, and considerably larger than most espresso machines we’ve laid eyes on, but when you consider how many functions it performs, it’s quite compact. Krups has clearly honed its spatial reasoning skills with years of Tetris.

Features and UseKrups EA9000

As Krups’s flagship coffee machine, the EA9000 comes decked out with every bell and whistle you could hope for. Krups bills it as a “fully automatic barista,” which (in addition to being a great name for a crime thriller set in Starbucks) is an extremely accurate description. It’s a full-service coffee robot that can make whatever you want – coffee, espresso shots, cappuccinos, lattes, or just hot water – all at the push of a button. It’s the pinnacle of convenience, and although it might sound like a Nascar pit crew at times, it’s still one of the coolest appliances we’ve ever used. 

Using the machine is a breeze. Just fill it up with water, install the filter if you’d like, pour in the beans, and you’re ready to go. It’s got a grand total of two buttons, and everything else is done on a 3 x 4 inch touchscreen. Although touchscreen interfaces aren’t exactly its area of expertise, Krups did an excellent job with the EA9000’s UI. Setting up the machine and tweaking the preferences was incredibly easy – so much so that we ditched the instruction manual after the first few minutes and never looked back. If you’ve ever used a smartphone or a tabbed web browser, you should have no trouble navigating the EA9000’s menus.

The EA9000 comes decked out with every bell and whistle you could hope for.

Maintenance is also pretty simple. The machine will periodically run a self cleaning cycle to ensure that it never gets dirty, which is awesome, but also a bit annoying at times. If you’re considering buying one of these badboys, you should know that this machine is a bit of a hygiene freak. It’ll prompt you to run the cleaning cycle every time it starts up, to which we advise pressing “NO” unless you’ve got five minutes to kill. This isn’t much of a problem once you figure things out, but we definitely got frustrated with it a few times when it made us wait for our morning brew. 

In addition to being a hygiene freak, the EA 9000 is a picky eater. It prefers whole beans over pre-processed grounds, and it uses its design to force those preferences on you. The bean hopper has a huge hatch that you can open and fill with ease, but there’s only a small hatch for grounds – a hatch that stays locked until you explicitly tell the machine you want to use grounds. After you press the right buttons, the hatch unlocks and lets you shovel in grounds one scoop at a time. It’s a bit of an inconvenience, but if you buy this machine, there’s no need to get grounds in the first place. It has a grinder built in, and grinds the perfect amount just before it makes your drink – resulting in a uber-fresh brew every time you use it. 

Layers

Performance and Taste

We used this thing a lot – partially because it’s insanely convenient, partially because we were fascinated by it, and mostly because it makes excellent coffee. We burned through our first bag of Stumptown beans in less than two hours because once the first person brought a beautiful tri-layered latte back to their desk, everyone else had to go get one too. 

The espresso the EA9000 makes is top notch. Just tell it how much you want, designate how strong you’d like the shot to be, and hit go. It’ll fresh grind the perfect amount of beans, pump some hot water through them, and draw out a silky stream of dark mahogany-colored brew with a thick head of cream.

Lattes and cappuccinos were correspondingly excellent, and watching them be made is almost as fun as drinking them. If you don’t already have a clear mug, you should invest in one; Trust us – it’s truly a sight to behold. After a few taps on the touchscreen, the machine instructs you on how much milk you should fill your mug with. Place it on the deck, hit go, and the automatic steam nozzle slowly lower into the milk, froth it up, and retract to make way for the incoming shot of espresso. It’s mesmerizing to watch the layers form in the glass. 

Conclusion

We really don’t have much to gripe about here, but while the EA9000 is probably one of the best espresso machines money can buy right now, its price point puts it well out of reach for most consumers. The machine retails for $2,500, and can be found for around $2,000 at certain stores. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly 769 grande vanilla lattes from Starbucks. It’s definitely not a budget appliance,  but if price is no object for you, we’re sure you’ll fall in love with this machine.

Score: 8.5

Highs:

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Brews excellent coffee in a wide range of styles

Lows:

  • Hyperactive cleaning cycle
  • Expensive
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