Smeg ECF01CRUK Coffee Machine Review
Though more expensive than what you’d normally expect for an espresso coffee machine, the Smeg ECF01 is well worth it. For those who love products that are functional as well as beautiful, this is a great addition to your kitchen.
If you are looking for an espresso coffee machine that will make a statement in your kitchen, we think you’ll love the retro styled Smeg ECF01 espresso coffee maker.
The 50s look is complemented by some industrial touches to create a stunning machine.
You’ll have to pay quite a bit for the beautiful design.
But the Smeg ECF01 is not just about looks. It can produce a barista-quality cup of espresso. If you prefer a cappuccino or other milk coffees, the coffee maker has a steam nozzle to froth up the milk.
The ECF01 is available in several colours including a brilliant red that makes for an eye-catching centrepiece on your counter. Read on to learn more in my Smeg ECF01 coffee machine review.
Table of Contents
- 1 Smeg ECF01 Coffee Machine review
- 2 What are you buying?
- 3 How easy is it to use?
- 4 What accessories are included?
- 5 Smeg ECF01 Coffee Machine key features
- 6 Anything else you should know?
- 7 Conclusion
- 8 Where to buy?
Smeg ECF01 Coffee Machine review
What I like
- Stunning design
- Excellent build quality
- Good quality coffee
- Ground coffee and pods
What I don’t like
- Quite expensive
- Takes some practice to operate
What are you buying?
1. A beautifully designed retro espresso coffee machine
Every component of the Smeg ECF01 is designed not just to work well but also look good.
For example, the filter holder is stainless steel with a beautiful retro handle to secure it into place. The frame and cup tray are also stainless steel.
The front of the machine has a glossy finish that reflects the cup sitting on the tray and the coffee pouring into it.
One of the upsides of having all these stainless steel parts, apart from the aesthetics, is that the ECF01 is incredibly well built and durable.
2. 15-bar pressure for maximum flavour extraction
The ECF01 pushes the water through the coffee filter at a pressure of up to 15 bars.
At this pressure, the hot water is able to extract the most flavour from the coffee without turning bitter. You get a rich intense flavour without any acrid aftertaste.
3. Steaming nozzle
The Smeg ECF01 is primarily and espresso coffee machine. But you can make milk coffees as well without having to buy any other appliance.
Just use the attached steam nozzle to steam you milk to the right frothiness.
It takes some practice to get the steaming right. But with some trial and error, you’ll be able to make varieties like flat white, cappuccino, mocha and latte.
4. Rapid thermoblock heating
The Smeg ECF01 uses Thermoblock heating technology to quickly dispense hot coffee or steam.
With this type of heating, it doesn’t have to heat the entire tank of water. Instead, only the required amount of water is heated.
It takes less than a minute for the coffee machine to heat the water.
Another advantage of this technology is that the machine is able to switch quickly from dispensing coffee to steam – usually around 10 seconds.
The Smeg ECF01 comes with three filters.
One is for a single-shot espresso. It makes rich coffee that’s not overly strong.
The second one is for a double-shot espresso. It’s great for those who love strong coffee. You can also use this filter when you are preparing two cups of coffee.
The third one is for coffee pods. That’s right, you can use either ground coffee or soft pods.
Another versatile feature we love is the removable steel tray.
When you are gilling a tall cup of coffee, removing the tray provides more clearance under the coffee spouts. So you are not just limited to standard size coffee cups.
6. Small footprint
If your counter is small or already overloaded with appliances, the Smeg ECF01’s small footprint is easy to work with.
It’s just 15cm wide and 33cm deep. It takes up minimal space and you most likely won’t need to put it away after making coffee.
7. Adjustable temperature and quantity settings
You can adjust how hot you coffee comes out. There are three temperature levels ranging from low to high.
You can also adjust how much coffee the machine dispenses. Options are 1 cup or 2 cups.
Unless you want weak coffee, only select the 2-cup option when you are using the 2-cup/double espresso filter.
8. Auto shut-off settings
You can adjust how long it takes for the machine to automatically go into standby mode when it’s not in use.
Options are 9 minutes, 30 minutes and 3 hours.
How easy is it to use?
If you’ve used an espresso coffee machine before, the Smeg ECF01 is no different. If this is your first one, you’ll be brewing great coffee in no time.
There isn’t much to figure out. The control panel has only three buttons – for a single shot, double shot and steam – plus a knob on the side to release steam.
The stainless steel filter holder is easy to attach to the coffee machine.
Once you fill the tank with water, you just need to wait for the water to heat and then press the coffee or steam button.
The steam nozzle is easy to use. What some people may find a bit challenging is steaming milk to the right consistency and frothiness.
That takes some practice. You can also ask a barista friend for some steaming tips.
You can customize your coffee’s taste and flavour by adjusting how it is. Use the double espresso filter and then press the two-cup button to make stronger coffee.
Remember you can also adjust your coffee’s temperature.
Maintenance is pretty easy.
Clean and rinse the steam nozzle every time you use it. Also rinse the coffee machine before first use, when it’s not been used for several days and after around 200 coffees.
Check the manual for rinsing instructions (basically, you dispense hot water to rinse the boiler outlet and steam to rinse the frothing nozzle).
Other parts than need regular cleaning include the drip tray, water tank, filter and the rubber tip of the steam nozzle.
Every once in a while, you’ll also need to descale the coffee machine to remove build-up calcium deposits.
The control panel will alert you with an orange light when it’s time to descale.
To set when the light comes on, you’ll need to measure your water hardness and configure it into the machine using one of the buttons. You can set your water as soft, medium or hard.
What accessories are included?
Here’s what you get in addition to the coffee maker itself.
- Three filters: One for single shot espressos, another for double shot espressos (or two cups of coffee) and a third for use with soft coffee pods. The pod filter works with standard ESE coffee pods.
- A combined measuring spoon and tamper: One side scoops just the right amount of ground coffee and the other tamps it down for a stronger flavour.
Smeg ECF01 Coffee Machine key features
- Stunning design.
- Excellent build quality.
- Compact design that’s convenient for small kitchens.
- Makes good quality coffee.
- Includes steam nozzle for frothing milk.
- Rapid heating technology.
- Accepts ground coffee and coffee pods.
Anything else you should know?
If you are looking for a gift idea for a coffee lover who has an eye for good design, we highly recommend the Smeg ECF01.
It’s one of the most giftable coffee makers.
Though more expensive than what you’d normally expect for an espresso coffee machine, the Smeg ECF01 is well worth it.
For those who love products that are functional as well as beautiful, this is a great addition to your kitchen – as you could see in my Smeg ECF01 coffee machine review.
Where to buy?
- Amazon UK: >> Click here to see today’s price