SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine: A Compact and User-Friendly Option for Espresso Lovers

Published on July 15, 2023, 6:18 p.m.

As more and more people look to recreate the coffee shop experience at home, espresso machines have become an increasingly popular kitchen appliance. For espresso enthusiasts looking for an affordable but high-performing machine, the SHARDOR EM3209 is an excellent option.

The SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine is a semi-automatic espresso maker with a 20 bar pressure system, allowing it to extract rich, full-bodied espresso shots. Its compact size and sleek stainless steel design make it an attractive addition to any countertop. In this detailed review, we’ll take a close look at the features, performance, and ease of use of the SHARDOR EM3209 to see if it’s up to par for home brewing.

SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine

Overview

  • Brand: SHARDOR
  • Model Name: EM3209
  • Color: Stainless Steel
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4” x 10.7” x 13.5”
  • Weight: 10.69 lbs
  • Pressure: 20 bars
  • Wattage: 1350W

The SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine has a stylish and compact footprint, taking up minimal counter space. The stainless steel exterior gives it a sleek, modern look.

Key Features

  • 20 Bar Pump: Delivers high pressure for rich, aromatic espresso with thick golden crema.
  • Fast Thermoblock Heating: Advanced heating system provides quick start-up times of under 30 seconds.
  • Precise Temperature Control: Maintains optimal brewing temp for espresso and steam.
  • Manual Steam Wand: Lets you texture milk manually for cappuccinos and lattes.
  • Single and Double Shot Filters: Choice of brewing single or double shot espresso.
  • Cup Warming Tray: Keeps cups heated before use.
  • 60 oz Removable Water Tank: Large capacity and easy to refill.
  • Easy to Use Interface: Buttons and digital display for effortless control.

Design and Convenience

With its durable stainless steel housing and modern aesthetics, the SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine will look sharp in any kitchen. Its compact footprint takes up minimal counter space.

Despite its small size, the machine offers great convenience features. The 60 oz removable water tank makes refilling easy, while the backlit LCD display clearly shows brewing parameters. The warming plate on top keeps cups hot for better flavor.

SHARDOR EM3209 20 Bar Espresso Machine

Ease of Use

This semi-automatic machine allows you to conveniently brew espresso and steam milk with the push of a button. The intuitive interface ensures that even beginners can get the hang of it quickly. From power on, it delivers espresso in around 30 seconds thanks to the rapid heating system. To master the machine faster, new users are advised to follow the steps in the manual to try different brewing and milk frothing techniques and to watch related tutorial videos for a better understanding.

Brewing Functions

The SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine uses ground coffee in a portafilter rather than pods or capsules. It comes with both single and double shot filter baskets to accommodate different brew volumes. This machine excels at pulling rich, intense espresso shots and frothing milk for cappuccinos or lattes.

The Importance of the 20 Bar Pump

The 20 Bar pressure pump used in the SHARDOR EM3209 is crucial for making espresso. The high pressure ensures that water passes through the coffee grounds more effectively, extracting the coffee oils and aromas, resulting in a rich golden crema, a key indicator of quality espresso.

Coffee Quality

With its 20 bar pump pressure, the SHARDOR produces exceptional espresso with a thick, long-lasting caramel crema. The PID temperature control extracts maximum flavor for a bold, aromatic cup.

Milk Frothing

The manual steam wand allows you to create silky microfoam or creamy froth for drinks like cappuccinos and lattes. The correct technique is to submerge the wand into the milk while keeping the tip just below the surface, moving the pitcher to incorporate air evenly into the milk. Once the milk has expanded in volume and reached the desired temperature, fully submerge the tip to smooth out the foam.

Water Tank

The substantial 60oz tank allows brewing multiple drinks before refilling. For average use, plan to refill every 2-3 days.

Temperature Control

PID technology maintains precise water temperature during brewing for consistent flavor extraction.

Pressure

The 20 bar pump provides excellent pressure for extracting espresso’s complex flavors and aromatic oils.

Innovative Features

The SHARDOR stands out for its substantial steel body, quick heating system, and low-pressure pre-infusion technology in its price range.

Additional Functions

This SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine features a warming plate to keep cups hot but does not offer programmable options.

Cleaning

The removable parts and drip tray are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Backflushing the group head is recommended weekly.

Noise Level

The pump and steam wand produce noise during brewing typical of home espresso machines. Vibration is minimal.

Safety

The durable steel housing and electrical system meet safety standards. The unit has auto shut-off.

Power

Its 1350 watt heating system requires a standard 120V outlet. A 3 foot power cord allows flexibility in placement.

Maintenance

Other than backflushing, no regular maintenance is required. The machine is designed for consistent home use.

Cost of Use

With reusable filter baskets rather than pods, the SHARDOR provides affordable daily operation. Occasional descaling is recommended.

Brand & History

SHARDOR is a newer brand launched in 2018 focusing on price-conscious customers. They aim to deliver quality and performance at budget-friendly prices.

Who It’s Good For

The SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine is ideal for:

  • Beginner home baristas looking for an affordable starter machine
  • Espresso enthusiasts seeking strong, intense espresso shots
  • 1-2 person households that occasionally make drinks for guests
  • Those with limited kitchen space needing a compact footprint

This machine meets the needs of someone making 1-5 drinks per day and wanting to recreate café style espresso without investing thousands. While not for coffee pros, it delivers solid performance for casual home use.

Those wanting to regularly make many milk-based drinks may want a machine with a more powerful steamer. However, for straight espresso, the SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine is extremely capable for the price.

Customer Reviews

Overall, customer reviews of the SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine are very positive, with the machine earning an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. In total, 67% of users gave it a 5-star rating, with 14% and 8% awarding 4 and 3 stars respectively.

The vast majority of users praise the SHARDOR for pulling rich, flavorful espresso shots consistently. They find the crema produced to be high-quality with a smooth, creamy texture. Many note they are impressed by the bold espresso flavor that rivals specialty coffee shops.

In terms of ease of use, users report the semi-automatic operation and push-button interface make it simple to brew drinks. The rapid heating up within 30 seconds makes it convenient for morning coffee with little waiting required. Several reviewers commented on how quiet and mess-free it is during the brewing and steaming process.

Users mention the durable stainless steel build and modern aesthetics make it an attractive addition to the kitchen. They appreciate that the compact size takes up minimal counter space. Some noted the included warming plate keeps their cups hot for better drinking temperature.

Areas for improvement noted include the short maximum cup height, making it incompatible with travel mugs or large cups. Some users found the manual steam wand tricky to master at first when frothing milk. A few comments mentioned occasional temperature fluctuations when pulling multiple back-to-back shots.

Overall, feedback indicates the SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine delivers exceptional espresso-making performance and milk steaming abilities at an affordable price point. For beginners and enthusiasts alike seeking cafe-style drinks at home, the SHARDOR represents a budget-friendly option with few downsides. Most agree it’s an impressive machine for the price that makes it easy to craft high-quality lattes and cappuccinos.

Pros

  • Powerful 20 bar pressure for rich, aromatic espresso
  • Fast heat up time under 30 seconds
  • Precise temperature control for optimal extraction
  • Manual steam wand to texture milk
  • Single and double shot filters included
  • Large 60oz removable water tank
  • Compact footprint saves counter space
  • Durable stainless steel housing
  • Easy to use button controls
  • Affordable price under $160

Cons

  • Steam wand has a learning curve
  • Housing may show minor cosmetic scratches
  • Some plastic parts feel cheaper quality
  • Shorter warranty period than premium brands

Value

Considering its consistent performance and extensive features, the SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine offers excellent value for money. Compared to models that cost twice as much, its high-pressure extraction, rapid heating system, and built-in frother perform comparably to more premium models. This machine provides an economical way to make espresso at home, particularly suitable for coffee enthusiasts with a budget who do not want to compromise on coffee quality.

Conclusion

For its price point, the SHARDOR EM3209 Espresso Machine is a formidable home espresso machine. It provides commercial-level pressure and temperature control for rich, flavorful espresso drinks. The fast heat up time and intuitive interface make it a user-friendly option for beginners and coffee enthusiasts alike. While not perfect, it’s an excellent balance of performance, features, and value.

SHARDOR EM3209 espresso machine

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 12.4”D x 10.7”W x 13.5”H
  • Weight: 10.69 pounds
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Wattage: 1350 watts
  • Voltage: 120
  • Water Tank Capacity: 60 oz
  • Milk Frothing Wand: Yes
  • Cup Warmer: Yes
  • Pump Pressure: 20 bar

What’s Included

The SHARDOR EM3209 comes with the following in the box:

  • Espresso machine
  • Single shot filter
  • Double shot filter
  • Coffee tamper
  • Measuring scoop
  • Cleaning brush
  • Water hardness test strip
  • Instruction manual

SHARDOR EM3209

How To Use

  • Fill water tank
  • Power on, wait for ready light
  • Grind fine espresso grind coffee
  • Pack ground coffee firmly into portafilter
  • Insert portafilter into group head
  • Place cup under spout
  • Press either single or double shot button
  • Steam milk by inserting wand deep into milk, then raise to surface while texturing
  • Enjoy your espresso drinks!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get the perfect crema on my espresso?

The 20 bar pressure system in the SHARDOR EM3209 helps extract espresso shots with a rich, golden crema. Using freshly roasted coffee grounds and tamping the portafilter firmly and evenly will also help achieve good crema. The stainless steel boiler keeps temperature consistent during extraction for optimal crema.

Why does the machine show an error code after steaming milk?

The SHARDOR EM3209 uses a single heating element for both brewing espresso and steaming milk. After steaming, the heating element needs time to cool down before it can heat water to espresso temperatures again. Allow the machine to rest for a few minutes before brewing espresso after steaming milk. Releasing some steam can help speed up cooling.

How do I get silky milk foam?

Adjust the steam wand to just below the surface of the milk. Keep the tip immersed as you tilt and move the pitcher to incorporate air into the milk. Once the milk has increased in volume, submerge the tip fully to smooth out the foam. Steam until the milk reaches your desired temperature.

Usage Tips

  • Use freshly roasted coffee beans and grind right before brewing for optimal flavor.

  • Distribute grounds evenly and tamp firmly to extract properly. Tamping tool included.

  • Preheat cups on the cup warming tray so espresso doesn’t cool down too quickly.

  • Descale regularly with vinegar solution to keep machine in top condition.

  • Adjust grind size and dose to dial in flavor profile you prefer.

  • Clean steaming wand immediately after use as milk can clog holes.