A long time ago, I donned the barista apron at a coffee chain. I loved my time there for the most part, and took pride in trying to perfect the ideal cup espresso drink. Fast forward to today, and while I’m on the opposite side of the counter now, I really appreciate when my coffee is made fantastically.

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I could barely contain my excitement to try out Cuisinart’s Espresso Maker when they contacted me a while ago. I wanted to see if I could dust off the old barista skills and try and make a decent espresso. I’d definitely recommend reading the booklet it comes with if you’ve never touched an espresso machine before, but it’s fairly straight forward to use.

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Some of the reasons I enjoyed testing out the Cuisinart Espresso Maker is that, to me, it was pretty simple to use – with just a matter of switching between the two main buttons. It’s also very easy to clean – many parts of it slide off easily and can be hand-washed and dried. One big reason I like it? If you’re not into tamping your own espresso down, the machine can take coffee pods (mindblown!). I haven’t had the chance to try this feature yet, but I look forward in doing so soon! I also love the warmer on the top of the machine, which heats up my mugs while I steam the milk or make the espresso.

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Some of the more challenging parts of the machine is that the steam wand does take some time to get used to – there were a couple tries to get the milk frothing perfectly. I think the steam wand could use a smaller bit at the bottom to distribute the air more evenly. Also, if you’re really picky with your espresso, it will take a bit of practice to perfect your shot. The Espresso Machine is definitely something that requires a bit more finesse – its not a plug and go type machine where you press a button and your coffee will be made for you. That being said, I don’t think it should deter anyone from trying to make a latte or a cappuccino at home. It certainly is more cost effective than running to your local cafe on a daily basis!

With that being said, I wanted to share two recipes I made with the Espresso Machine that are usually my go-to when visiting a local cafe. To make it at home is just as delicious  – if not better!

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Caramel Macchiato

1 cup milk (I like using lactose free milk or almond milk)
1 espresso shot
caramel sauce
1 pump of hazelnut syrup (optional)

1. In a mug, add the hazelnut syrup to the bottom.
2. Steam the cup of milk in the Cuisinart Espresso Maker, make sure you have some nice, dense foam!
3. Using a spoon, hold back the foam and pour the milk into your mug. Add foam to the top.
4. Top your Macchiato with the espresso shot.
5. Drizzle caramel sauce on top.

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Matcha Latte

1 cup milk
3-4 teaspoons powdered matcha

1. It’s important to note that you should follow the instructions on the matcha powder you get, because they vary. The one I used is concentrated and so I added hot water (using my espresso maker!) to the bottom of the mug and 3 teaspoons of powdered matcha and mixed well.
2. Steam the cup of milk in the Cusinart Espresso Maker to the desired temperature and make sure to create foam.
3. Using a spoon, hold back the foam and pour the milk into your mug. Add the foam on top.

I can’t wait to use this machine more often – especially with warmer weather coming up – iced lattes and mochas are in my future!

For more information on Cuisinart Canada, check out their website here: cuisinart.ca

Disclosure: Cuisinart Canada sent me product to review and try.

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