The Krups EA9010 makes a very good first impression. It's colourful and intuitive touch screen display and solid stainless steel case is reminiscent of a quality catering standard coffee maker. It would look at home in any top-end B&B, hotel and, of course, your kitchen!
Like any good coffee maker the EA9010 can make a variety of coffees. It even has a function to dispense only hot water or to froth and heat milk by itself. This makes it great for creating your favourite tea and making luxurious hot chocolates in addition to gourmet coffees.
The EA9010 is a true bean to cup system and makes coffee by grinding fresh beans using a conical burr grinder located in the bean hopper, and can hold 250g of beans at one time. This is about average for a unit of this size. It also has a ground coffee chute which can be accessed using a small flap on top of the device. You can then add your favourite coffee blends and enjoy those using this machine too.
The coffees it can produce are quite varied and, thanks to its easy to use touch screen display, you can make each coffee exactly to your tastes by varying the amount of milk, temperature and coffee used. Just some of the pre-programmed coffees it can make are Ristretto, Espresso, coffee, Caffe Latte and Cappuccinos – in total 17 drinks can be made. And, as mentioned earlier, it can also dispense hot water and make hot, frothed milk.
Looking at the front of the device you'll find, and can access, everything you need to create coffee, top up the water and beans and also keep look after the maintenance of the unit. The key parts can be easily accessed using a series of flaps directly on front of the device. Krups made this a conscious choice, and is a decision we appreciate, because it removes the need to turn the machine around or slide it to access the water tank or empty the coffee grounds etc. The best part is the flaps are seamlessly integrated into the design and don't look like flaps or access points and this keeps the appearance very neat and stylish.
There are two drip trays included with this device they can be removed as one unit or as two individual trays for easy emptying.
The first drip tray is located in the base of unit and catches the waste water from the automatic cleaning processes and any residual water remaining after preparing a drink.
The dispensing drip tray makes up the second part of the tray system. This can be removed to allow the machine to accommodate larger cups. This is great to see because this was a problem with one of the EA9010's predecessors the EA826e which had a problem accommodating larger mugs. It will allow you to use almost any size mug you already own, but Krups have even included two free cappuccino mugs with this unit – so you're covered either way!
Behind the right hand side flap in the front of the unit you'll find the water tank. This can be slid out for easy filling and can hold a very respectable 1.7 litres of water. This means it should easily make around 6-8 drinks before needing refilling (of course this will vary depending on the type of coffee you're making). This should prevent the need for frequent refilling. Krups have also included a Claria filter which can be fitted inside the water tank. This carbon based filter removes impurities from the water such as pesticide residues and lead and copper deposits. It helps make the coffee taste better and is also that little bit healthier for you.
You can also set the temperature of the drink produced. Using a system common to Krups devices, the EA9010 uses a scale from 1 to 3, with 3 being the hottest. Despite seeming like an arbitrary setting it is one you're sure to appreciate because it prevents the machine making very tepid coffees which need to be drunk fast and can't be savoured. This is a problem we have found with some other coffee machines which produce 'warm' drinks.
How to Use It
Using the EA9010 is a breeze. It is one of the most simple and automated approaches to making great coffee we've seen. It also has one of the best approaches to making a decent, heated and foamed milk as simple as possible.
A quick note about the touch screen display: Sometimes we mention using the touch screen display to 'program' or access settings. To prevent being mundane we have not listed each step you need to follow here. However, using the display is incredibly easy and intuitive and if you can use any modern phones such as the iPhone or Android devices you should have no trouble using this system.
Start by selecting the drink you want to make by selecting this using the LCD display. Then all you need to do is place the required amount of milk into your cup and start the dispensing process. It really is that simple. The machine takes over the preparation of the milk at the right times and also prepares and dispenses the coffee.
You can program the machine to prepare coffee to fit the size of your favourite cup and then save this setting under your name. In total the machine can track 8 custom drinks per profile and manage a total of 8 profiles. However if you'd just like to use the machine you can and cut off the dispensing process at anytime if you're worried your cup might overflow.
Once the dispensing process starts you'll notice a nozzle descend into your drink with a soft mechanical whirr. This nozzle is really something magic and really makes the preparation process so simple and hands off. The nozzle can heat and froth the milk automatically to a perfect foam, and once finished it automatically retracts back into the machine. This has to be the most elegant solution to preparing milk we've ever seen in any domestic coffee maker. Not only that but the nozzle will also automatically clean itself once this process is complete!
Using the nozzle system also has another knock-on advantage – it stops milk from being used inside the machine itself. This prevents the need to fill and clean a separate milk tank and having to wash any fiddly pipes when you're finished making your coffee. This is one we can sometimes be dissuaded from an integrated milk frother – it is high maintenance.
You can even set the machine to automatically switch itself on and be ready and waiting for when you get up in the morning or home from work. But don't worry about this raising your energy bills, the unit can also be set to automatically switch itself off after a set duration of inactivity. This can be up to 2 hours and is set in 15 second intervals.
Knows and Remembers What Drinks You Like and How You Like Them!
We mentioned earlier about programming a profile and drinks. This can be found under the 'Favourites' menu and allows you to save your favourite coffee recipes to suit your exacts tastes.
Each profile is stored under a colour-coded name for easy access EG 'John' and you can configure how you like your drink from the frothing time and amount of milk used through to coffee strength and temperature. We've never seen this amount of control before and it sure to please any coffee fanatic.
This program is also smart and it will limit the quantities used to make sure you still end up with the right drink. For example, for a cappuccino it won't allow you to select 75% coffee, because it wouldn't be a cappuccino anymore!
Cleaning and Maintenance
Lastly we'd like to touch on cleaning and maintenance. A sore subject, I know, but very important because if a coffee machine requires a tedious cleaning regime after use it probably won't get used too often – effectively making it a waste of money.
The EA9010 doesn't disappoint here either. It features automated cleaning programme and descaling programs which can be set to run itself with minimal intervention. It is very straight