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Which? reviews Smeg ECF01 coffee machine

First impressions of retro espresso maker revealed

You might be tempted by the stylish vintage look of the new Smeg espresso coffee maker, but it’s got a steep price tag to match.  We took this pricey £280 coffee machine for a spin to bring you our first impressions of its coffee making skills.

The ECF01 coffee machine joins a growing range of small kitchen appliances made by Smeg as part of its retro 50s style line. The range includes kettles, blenders, toasters, juicers, mixers and more – all with the same eye-catching look made famous by the iconic retro style Smeg fridges.

This Smeg is available in four high-gloss colourways: cream, pastel blue, red and black. It certainly looks good, but is it worth paying a premium for? We tried it out to see if it deserves pride of place in your kitchen.

Get our verdict on this coffee machine in the full Smeg ECF01 first look review.

Smeg ECF01 espresso coffee machine – what you get

This Smeg comes with minimal accessories. There are three filter baskets included for different drink options – one for making an individual coffee, one for making two espressos at once, and another for using ESE pods (disposable coffee pods which look like tea bags). You also get a coffee tamper and scoop for measuring and preparing your coffee grounds.

In addition, this coffee machine has a steam wand for frothing milk, so you can expand your coffee making range into cappuccinos, lattés and more.

These features are pretty standard for a traditional pump espresso machine. If this is the type of coffee machine you are after, we’ve found five Best Buy coffee machines in this category which cost £150 or less, some of which have looks to match the Smeg.

Find out which models we recommend by heading to our round-up of the best coffee machines.

Do you need to spend more to get great coffee?

The price of espresso machines can vary wildly, from just £50 to well over £500. Price isn’t a reliable indicator of coffee making ability though – we’ve found Best Buys at both end of the spectrum.

Some basic-looking coffee makers have surprised us with top notch espressos, while some pricey models have disappointed on taste – despite having classic Italian looks.

If budget is your main concern, you might be tempted by the cheaper prices of capsule coffee machines. Models from Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Tassimo and and even Nespresso can be found for less than £85. But be aware that, as with spares for razors and electric toothbrushes, the ongoing cost of coffee capsules can really add up, so you’ll find they can be more expensive than ground coffee machines in the long run.

Check out our coffee machine reviews to compare hundreds of coffee machines and find the right model for your budget.

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