Home Tech KitchenAid’s New Espresso Machine Won’t Wake Up Your Roommates

KitchenAid’s New Espresso Machine Won’t Wake Up Your Roommates

0 comment
Silver espresso machine on countertop

KitchenAid is one brand that has had a place in every kitchen I’ve ever had, even growing up. When I bought my own KitchenAid stand mixer for the first time after college, my apartment finally felt like a place where an adult lived. My affection for that stand mixer cannot be overstated, so naturally my ears perked up when KitchenAid announced that it was revamping its range of espresso machines.

There are three new fully automatic espresso machines: the KF8, KF7 and KF6. Then there’s the KitchenAid semi-automatic espresso machine, plus a 2-in-1 with a built-in burr grinder. I love a good, fully automatic espresso machine for its ease and convenience, but there’s a part of me that just longs for the practiced ritual of brewing your own espresso at home. The first of these machines to arrive at my door was the semi-automatic, so here we are. Keep an eye out for my review of the machines soon.

Attentive counter footprint

I’m a lifelong apartment dweller, and one of the many lessons I’ve learned from a lifetime of apartment hopping is the value of counter space. When I first placed the KitchenAid semi-automatic espresso machine on my countertop, I couldn’t help but smile.

This is a fully featured espresso machine with a built-in burr grinder, And it fits in the space previously occupied by my rice cooker—a strip of countertop too narrow for other practical uses. This machine is narrow, clocking in at approximately 13 inches wide and 15 inches high. It fits comfortably, with room to spare, under my somewhat low-slung kitchen cabinets.

Photo: Jaina Gray

Due to the tight space in my kitchen, it is sometimes difficult to access the water reservoir on the back of the espresso machines I test. Most of the time I have to struggle to remove the reservoir and take it to the tap, or resign myself to filling it by carrying cup after cup from my sink to the machine. The KitchenAid Semi Automatic navigates effortlessly through that little stumbling block thanks to the wheels on the bottom. I can simply pull the machine away from the wall, turn it to the side and remove the water tank completely.

I was initially concerned that the machine would be too slippery with the wheels, making it difficult to secure the portafilter in place without the whole thing sliding all the time. Fortunately, the wheels are smooth, but it does take some muscle to move – and that’s a good thing. To rotate the portafilter into place, you still have to tighten it with one hand, but you usually have to do that with small espresso machines anyway.

The wheels also make it much easier to clean under and behind the machine. I’m currently testing another espresso machine on my other countertop, and it’s so heavy that it’s a huge pain to move it around to clean up any spilled coffee grounds or ultra-fine coffee dust that may have built up behind the machine. A literal pain, given my chronic back problems.

Whisper quietly

This KitchenAid machine has a certification of Calm down Mark, which means it’s been tested to make sure it’s as quiet as possible (there’s a cute little Q sticker on the front of the machine). I was skeptical because even quiet grinders can get quite loud. I was wrong. This semi-automatic machine is perhaps the quietest espresso machine I have ever tested.

Grinding the beans produces only a small mechanical whirring sound. It’s so quiet you can carry on a conversation while it grinds – a test that every other grinder that has come through my kitchen has failed, even the quiet ones. The mill is also remarkably consistent. It produces a ground coffee that is fine enough for espresso and coarse enough for other coffee brewing methods. I think it can completely replace a countertop coffee grinder, no matter what other type of coffee you like to make.

You may also like