Best value espresso machine.
Six months ago I bought a Kmart microwave (now re-branded as ANKO) for $45 and couldn't believe how good it is, so when I saw the ANKO coffee machine for $85 I figured Kmart have found a good manufacturer of kitchen appliances, so bought it as a Xmas present for myself.
After 40 years of percolators, dripolators, plungers and Moka pots my first espresso machine was a basic Breville, bought about 10 years ago and with that I learnt how to make a good coffee, how to use a grinder, what sort of beans to buy etc. It started to lose pressure after 5 years of 3 times daily use, so I moved onto the Caffitaly pod system sold at Woolies to try out that system. I discovered I could save money and still make a reasonable short black by refilling the pods with my favourite coffee beans ground in my original Breville grinder, (being retired I have the time to refill pods).
I am on to my third Caffitaly maker, they seem to last about 2-3 years, (when they come on special for about $45 I would buy a spare, so I could instantly replace the old ones), but upon seeing this Kmart ANKO and checking it all over in store I was very surprised at its smart black and chrome compact size (smaller than the pod machine), the ease of filling with water with its fold down handle on the reservoir, the temperature gauge and the simple button operation.
Getting it home I found firstly it is very quiet, It holds a lot of water, it heats up in half a minute, the portafilter produces excellent crema, and all in all it makes an excellent espresso shot. (I use ALDI beans roasted in Melbourne, and have done so for many years and grind them as I need). I don't take milk with my coffee so cannot comment on the frother. In the 24 hours of ownership I have pulled 6 shots for my wife and I and am learning how to get the grind and tamping just right.
I should say in comparison I recently installed a very expensive DeLonghi machine with inbuilt grinder at my seniors' organisation, and even being 10 times the price (and three times more complex to use) is only half as good as this Kmart machine.
Now all I need is to find water with dissolved volcanic minerals like in Naples and I will be set.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
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