F Felicia Kloewer

Crew Review: Ascaso Basic Espresso Machine

Jan 2, 2017 · ascaso · espresso · review · semi-automatic
Crew Review: Ascaso Basic Espresso Machine

 

How Does It Compare?

Entry-Level Espresso Machine

Simple barely begins to describe how practical the Ascaso Basic Espresso Machine is for people looking for their first semi-automatic espresso machine. The Saeco Via Venezia has always been a popular choice amongst new or budget-focused baristas, but when it was discontinued there was a gap for another machine to take its place. Enter the Ascaso Basic. It’s affordable, compact and easy to use. Its controls are limited to an intuitive on/off button, brew button, steam button, and the side-mounted steam knob. There’s hardly any learning curve to operate the Basic! And functionally speaking, the Basic has user-friendly features built right into the machine. One of the features is the three-way solenoid valve that releases pressure from the portafilter. This helps prevent the classic “portafilter sneeze,” where coffee grounds basically explode when you twist the portafilter off.

Accessories For Budding Baristas

One of the features you shouldn’t overlook when buying a semi-automatic espresso machine is the accessories that come with it. Equipped with non-pressurized, pressurized and pod baskets, the Ascaso Basic Espresso Machine has all the accessories that make it easy to improve your technique. And with the pod adapter, anyone in the family can brew a delicious cup of coffee without any fuss! The 57mm chrome-plated brass portafilter offers double spouts and a solid, weighty feel in-hand. One thing we noticed on the double spouted portafilter was that the spouts were closer together to help keep the coffee in the shot glass and not the drip tray!

Design

As far as design goes, the Ascaso Basic Espresso Machine’s compact size and soft corners will easily fit on small counter spaces. At only a little over 12-inches tall, it’s right on par with other entry-level espresso machines. And, you know what? For a lot of new baristas, this size is perfect for some trying out a new hobby—at least, we think coffee is a fantastic hobby! Even though it’s a small machine, it holds 2-liters of water to brew a few lattes without rushing to the sink. That said, there is one design elements that makes us scratch our heads. The cup warmer. While the Basic’s compact size means the thermoblock heats both cup warmer and group head the Basic has a slanted no-rail lid. This design means that most mugs just won’t stay put! Overall, the cup warmer is a poorly designed feature that we would have loved to use.

Conclusion

The Ascaso Basic Espresso Machine is a welcomed addition to the small lineup of entry-level espresso machines. It’s easy to operate, packed with features and priced perfectly for people looking for their first semi-automatic. It has all the accessories you’ll need to begin brewing, with extra features that give you room to grow! The Basic is nothing short of a great beginner espresso machine!

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