Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine: A Budget-Friendly Espresso Maker That Delivers

Published on Jan. 24, 2024, 4:14 p.m.

Espresso: A Brief History

Espresso originated in Italy in the early 20th century as a method of brewing coffee using high-pressure hot water to quickly extract coffee grounds. It was invented to shorten the brewing time of coffee to suit the fast-paced modern life. Espresso is known for its intense flavor, rich body, and signature crema (coffee foam).

Espresso culture is deeply rooted in Italy and is an essential part of Italian daily life. Coffee bars are the center of Italian social life, where people enjoy espresso, exchange ideas, and relax. Espresso is not just a drink, but a way of life and a cultural symbol.

For coffee lovers seeking café-style drinks without the café-sized price tag, the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 presents an affordable and compact espresso making option. But does this budget-minded machine pull its weight when it comes to performance? Our review covers all the details on this wallet-friendly espresso maker.

Overview

  • Product Dimensions: 8.94” x 10.79” x 11.81”
  • Weight: 8.14 lbs
  • Material: Plastic
  • Wattage: 850 watts
  • Water Tank Capacity: 1.5 Liters
  • Milk Frothing Wand: Yes
  • Pressure System: 15 bar

 Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine

Key Features

  • 15 Bar Pump Pressure - Extracts flavorful espresso shots
  • Thermoblock Heating - Rapid water heating for brewing
  • Steam Wand - Froths milk manually for creamy foam
  • Removable Water Tank - Easy to refill and clean
  • Easy to Clean - Detachable parts for convenient maintenance

 Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine

Design

The Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine has a compact plastic body with silver and black accents for a clean, modern look. The 1.5 liter removable water tank allows monitoring of water levels. The tank is made from durable Tritan material, and the transparent design adds visibility. The stainless steel steam wand and portafilter give it a sleek, polished aesthetic.

 Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine

Ease of Use

As a semi-automatic machine, the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine features an intuitive push-button control panel, allowing you to pull espresso shots and steam milk with one-touch buttons. The simple interface means beginners can start brewing quickly. Heating up takes around 45 seconds before pulling your first shot.

 Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine

Coffee Quality

The 15 bar pressure produces a dark, intense espresso with a modest layer of tan crema on top. Users describe the espresso as robust and full-bodied with nice aroma. The coffee is brewed at an optimal temperature, ready to be enjoyed immediately.

The Science Behind Espresso Extraction

Espresso extraction involves complex physical and chemical changes. High-pressure hot water (usually 9 bar or above) passes through the coffee puck, dissolving aromatic substances, oils, and soluble solids from the coffee beans. The higher the pressure, the faster the extraction and the stronger the flavor of the coffee.

However, excessive pressure can also lead to over-extraction, resulting in bitterness and burnt flavors in the coffee. Therefore, the pressure of the espresso machine needs to be precisely controlled to achieve the best extraction results. The 15 bar pressure of the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 performs well among entry-level espresso machines, sufficient to extract rich and balanced flavors.

Brewing Functions

The Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine uses ground coffee rather than pods or capsules. It comes with both pressurized and non-pressurized filter baskets for brewing both single and double shot volumes. This machine excels at making basic espresso and milk-based drinks like cappuccinos and lattes.

Pressure System

Its 15 bar pump pressure provides adequate extraction power to draw out aromatic oils and flavor compounds from the coffee grounds, making it suitable for an entry-level domestic espresso maker. However, higher-end models use 19 bars or more.

Safety Features

The plastic housing doesn’t retain much heat. The machine features overheating protection for safer operation. It meets ETL safety standards for the US market.

Milk Frothing

The steam wand can accommodate up to 12 ounces of milk at a time. With practice, it can produce foam with fine microfoam texture. The steam wand is made of stainless steel, ensuring durability. However, the noise level during frothing is significant.

Water Tank

The 1.5 liter water tank allows brewing 3-4 drinks before needing a refill. The tank is made of durable, BPA-free Tritan material for peace of mind. For daily home use, plan to refill every 1-2 days.

Maintenance

Aside from descaling every 2-3 months, the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine requires minimal regular maintenance thanks to its removable, dishwasher-safe parts. The mostly automated operation reduces cleaning needed between brewing. It is recommended to adjust the descaling frequency based on the hardness of your water.

 Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine

Brand

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in China,** Bonsenkitchen aims to make quality cooking appliances accessible to home cooks worldwide. They offer an array of small kitchen electronics that simplify everyday cooking tasks. This espresso machine upholds their commitment to value while providing café-worthy functionality.

 Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine

Use Cases

The compact Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine is ideal for espresso lovers with limited space. Its modest footprint makes it easy to keep on the counter for daily use. The 1.5 liter tank also enables brewing multiple drinks before refilling. With its frothing wand, this machine can craft lattes and cappuccinos for family and friends.

User Feedback

Overall, the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 earns mixed yet primarily positive reviews, scoring 3.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon based on over 800 global ratings.

In terms of performance, satisfied owners praise the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine for pulling rich, intense espresso shots consistently. Many describe the espresso as robust and flavorful with a modest layer of crema. Some feel the 15 bar pump pressure provides ample extraction power at this price point. However, others note the espresso lacks the complexity and thick crema of higher-end machines.

Regarding milk frothing, users mention the steam wand can produce velvety foam texture that mimics a coffeehouse when you find the proper technique. But several lament the noise level during steaming is significant, making conversation difficult. A handful of owners say the wand power feels mediocre and struggles with larger volumes of milk.

In terms of design, customers appreciate the stainless accents and compact footprint fitting small spaces. However, some critique the machine’s mostly plastic housing as feeling cheaply made. Owners also wish the 1.5 liter water tank was larger so they don’t have to refill as frequently.

The most common complaint relates to reliability - a significant portion of negative reviews cite issues with leakage either from the water tank or internal tubing connections. Others report malfunctions with the pump or heating element after a few months of use. This highlights potential quality control problems on Bonsenkitchen’s end.

Considering its ultra-low price point, most agree the CM8008 provides satisfactory performance for basic espresso and milk frothing. While it lacks the polish and precision of costlier models, its affordability makes it a reasonable starter machine for at-home baristas on a tight budget.

 Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine

Pros

  • Produces good espresso flavor
  • Heats up quickly
  • Simple interface
  • Compact size
  • Brews coffee at optimal temperature
  • Budget-friendly price

Cons

  • Plastic build feels cheap
  • Small water tank capacity
  • Reports of leakage
  • Mediocre steam wand power

Value

For its low price point, the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 delivers respectable performance, making it a great value. While it may lack some features of higher-end models, its affordability and decent performance make it a great starter model for at-home baristas on a budget. Many users report that they are satisfied with the performance of the machine, considering its price.

Conclusion

For its budget price point, the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 delivers quality espresso-based drinks and foamed milk with few frills. While it may lack some features of higher-end models, its wallet-friendly price makes it a great option for beginners and budget-conscious coffee lovers looking to enjoy cafe-style coffee in the comfort of home.

 Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 8.94” x 10.79” x 11.81”
  • Weight: 8.14 lbs
  • Material: Plastic
  • Wattage: 850 watts
  • Water Tank Capacity: 1.5 Liters
  • Pressure System: 15 bars
  • Maximum Cup Height: unknown

Box Includes

  • Main unit
  • Portafilter
  • Single shot filter basket
  • Double shot filter basket
  • Measuring scoop
  • Tamper
  • Milk frothing wand
  • Removable water tank
  • Instruction manual

User Manual

  1. Prepare: Grind coffee beans to a fine powder. Use the scoop to fill the filter with coffee grounds and tamp them down with the tamper.
  2. Add Water: Open the water tank lid and fill the removable tank with water, ensuring the water level does not exceed the “MAX” mark. Place the tank back into the machine.
  3. Preheat: Attach the filter to the brew head and turn counterclockwise to the “locked” position. Place an empty cup on the drip tray. Press the power button and wait for the pump button indicator light to turn on.
  4. Brew Coffee: Once the indicator light is on, press the pump button to start brewing. When the desired amount of coffee is reached or the coffee color becomes lighter, press the pump button again to stop brewing.
  5. Froth Milk (Optional): If you want to make a cappuccino or latte, press the “Steam” button and wait for the steam button indicator light to turn on. Insert the steam wand into the milk and slowly open the steam knob to start frothing. Close the steam knob when the desired amount of foam is reached.
  6. Clean: Always clean the filter, drip tray, and steam wand after each use. Descale regularly to maintain optimal performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine make different types of coffee drinks?

Yes! The Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine is designed for versatility. Beyond classic espresso, the integrated steam wand allows you to create delicious cappuccinos, lattes, and other milk-based espresso drinks.

Is this machine difficult to clean?

The Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine prioritizes easy maintenance. The drip tray, steam wand, water tank, and other key components are removable, making cleaning quick and convenient.

How much coffee can the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine make at once?

The Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine features a generous 1.5-liter water tank. This translates to approximately 10-12 cups of coffee before you need to refill it.

Is the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine suitable for beginners?

Absolutely! While coffee enthusiasts of all levels can appreciate it, the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine offers intuitive controls and simple operation. Even if you’re new to making espresso at home, you’ll find this machine user-friendly.

How noisy is the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine during operation?

The manufacturer does not provide precise noise level data for the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine. However, espresso machines generally produce a moderate amount of noise during the brewing and steaming processes. This is normal and to be expected.

What grind size should I use for the Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine?

The ideal grind size for espresso is typically finer than drip coffee. For the Bonsenkitchen CM8008, it is recommended to start with a medium grind and then adjust based on your taste preferences. If the coffee tastes weak or flows too quickly, you need a finer grind. If the coffee tastes bitter or flows too slowly, you need a coarser grind.

Tips

  • Use Fresh, High-Quality Beans: For the best-tasting espresso, start with freshly ground, high-quality coffee beans.

  • Experiment with Grind Size: The coarseness of your grind influences extraction. Experiment to find the ideal grind size for your taste preferences.

  • Tamp Consistently: Consistent tamping pressure helps ensure even extraction and flavorful espresso.

  • Descale Regularly: Depending on your water’s mineral content, descaling your Bonsenkitchen CM8008 Espresso Machine periodically will help maintain performance and longevity. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended descaling frequency.