Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine The Best Home Brewer for Lattes

Published on July 25, 2023, 11:38 a.m.

Espresso is a concentrated form of coffee served in shots and is distinguished by its complex extraction process. The 15-bar pump pressure, essential for optimal espresso, forces hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, extracting rich flavors and oils that are often lost in other brewing methods. This high pressure creates the signature crema that tops a well-made shot, indicating freshness and quality.

Making delicious espresso drinks at home has never been easier thanks to the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine. This semi-automatic, 15 bar machine allows you to pull rich, flavorful shots and steam milk like a pro. In this review, we’ll cover the key features, performance, and overall value of this compact and affordable home espresso maker.

 Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine

Overview

The Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine features a sleek, modern design with stainless steel accents. It’s compact at 12.7” x 12.7” x 7.48” and will fit well on most kitchen counters. The 15 bar pump provides excellent pressure for extracting espresso. There’s a steam wand for steaming and frothing milk, removable drip tray, single and double shot filters, and portafilter with tamper included.

Key Features

  • 15 bar pressure pump for rich, concentrated espresso extraction
  • Built-in steam wand to easily texture milk for lattes and cappuccinos
  • Removable water tank for convenient filling
  • 2-tone design - black and silver for sophisticated look

Ease of Use

With automatic flow and steam buttons, the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine is easy and straightforward to operate. Simply fill the water tank, grind espresso, dose and tamp it, lock the portfilter into the group head, place your cup under, and press either the single or double shot button. The flow stops automatically when complete. Steaming milk only requires inserting the wand into the milk, turning on steam, and waiting for it to reach desired temperature and foam levels.

Scientific Insights: Coffee Extraction

Extraction is the most crucial aspect of coffee making, and the 15 bar high-pressure pump system of the espresso machine is key to achieving the ideal extraction. Scientific studies show that the higher the pressure, the more effectively it can extract the rich aromas and flavors from the coffee grounds. This high pressure ensures that water flows evenly through the coffee grounds, maximizing the extraction of coffee oils and aromatic molecules, which is crucial for home equipment to mimic the level of professional coffee houses.

Espresso Extraction

The 15 bar pressure delivers outstanding results, pulling 1-2 oz shots with a rich, caramel crema. The water reservoir is easy to fill and holds enough water for several drinks before needing a refill. Between the pressurized filters and tamper, it’s simple to achieve an even, compacted puck for flavor extraction.

Ensuring the correct grind size is crucial for optimizing the flavor of the coffee. Too fine a grind can lead to over-extraction, making the coffee taste bitter; too coarse, and it may result in a brew that is too weak. The adjustable grind size setting on the Ihomekee CM6826T allows users to precisely control the granularity according to personal taste and the type of coffee desired (such as espresso or Americano), ensuring the best flavor experience every time.

Coffee Bean Selection and Roasting Impact

When using the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine, the choice of coffee beans and their roasting level can significantly affect the flavor and quality of your espresso. High-quality Arabica beans are often preferred for their smoother, more aromatic profiles compared to the stronger and more bitter Robusta beans. The roasting process also plays a crucial role. Lighter roasts tend to preserve the bean’s original flavors and offer a higher acidity, which can bring a brighter note to your espresso. On the other hand, darker roasts create a richer and more robust flavor that is typically sought in traditional espresso. Understanding these factors can help you tailor your coffee experience to suit your taste preferences perfectly.

Grinder Compatibility

The Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine performs excellently with a range of grind sizes. The ideal grind size for espresso is fine, which this machine can accommodate perfectly, ensuring optimal extraction. However, it’s also flexible enough to handle slightly coarser grinds, which might be preferred by those who enjoy a lighter espresso with a quicker extraction time. This versatility is a significant advantage for home baristas experimenting with different types of coffee beans and roasting profiles.

 Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine

Milk Frothing

The steam wand makes it easy to froth and steam milk for cappuccinos and lattes. It’s a single hole tip, providing modest power. While it doesn’t create the silkiest microfoam, the milk becomes hot and foamy enough for most home use. The removable plastic covering allows for easy cleaning.

Build Quality

The exterior is mainly plastic but seems fairly sturdy and durable. Interior components like the portafilter, filter baskets, and steam wand are metal. Overall construction quality is decent for the price point.

Noise Level

The 15 bar pump system results in pressurized brewing that generates some noise. But users find the noise level acceptable and on par with other home espresso machines.

Power

With a 1350 watt heating system, the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine delivers adequate power for quick brewing and steaming. It uses a standard 110 volt power supply.

 Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine

Cleanup

The drip tray, portafilter, filter baskets, water reservoir, and steam wand are all removable and dishwasher safe. Users mention the plastic water tank may retain coffee odor over time. Regular cleaning is recommended.

 Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine

Suitable Uses

The Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine is ideal for home use. It’s the perfect compact size for a kitchen counter and can deliver one or two shots at a time. The steam wand has enough power for personal milk-based drinks. It’s not suitable for high-volume use like in a cafe.

User Feedback

With over 40 customer reviews, the Ihomekee CM6826T espresso machine has garnered largely positive feedback for its performance and value.

The vast majority of users are impressed with the rich, concentrated espresso shots the machine is able to produce thanks to the powerful 15 bar pressure pump. Many mention the espresso has a thick crema and robust, multi-dimensional taste that rivals coffee shop quality. Users seeking a strong brew are very satisfied with the full-bodied flavor.

In terms of milk frothing capabilities, users mention the built-in steam wand heats and textures milk quickly with little effort. It’s easy to achieve light, frothy foam for topping cappuccinos and lattes. Users highlight how the wand saves the hassle of using a manual frother.

Regarding design and build quality, most users are pleased with the modern, compact styling featuring intuitive controls that make the machine easy to operate daily. However, some note the plastic exterior feels a bit cheap and prone to splashing during cleaning.

When it comes to ease of use and maintenance, users find the removable tank and parts make cleaning straightforward. Many appreciate how simple it is to pull consecutive shots or steam milk with the semi-automatic functionality. However, a few users faced issues with pump pressure and steam wand performance declining over time.

Considering its affordable price point, users largely agree the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine provides very good value. It delivers solid espresso-making capabilities for much less than higher-end machines. Some reviewers did caution that more expensive models may offer better longevity.

Overall, customers praised the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine as a budget-friendly option for crafting quality homemade espresso drinks, especially for espresso shot flavor and milk frothing ability. Some concerns exist around long-term durability and build quality. For the price though, it’s a compact, easy-to-use starter espresso maker.

Pros

  • Pressure produces rich, flavorful espresso shots
  • Steams milk quickly for at-home lattes and cappuccinos
  • Easy to operate with automatic buttons
  • Removable parts make cleaning simple
  • Affordable price point around $80

Cons

  • Mostly plastic construction
  • Small water tank requires frequent refilling
  • Milk frothing could be better
  • Some reliability complaints

Value

With an MSRP of $79.99, the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine is very competitively priced compared to other entry-level machines. The performance and features allow you to make genuine espresso drinks at home. For an affordable starter espresso maker, it’s an excellent value.

 Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine

Conclusion

If you’re seeking an inexpensive way to enjoy espresso, cappuccinos, and lattes at home, the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine is a great option. With 15 bars of pressure and automatic operation, it can produce quality espresso and steamed milk without breaking the bank or requiring barista skills. Just don’t expect the absolute finest drinks - for the price, it delivers very good performance and value.

Specifications

  • Pump Pressure: 15 bar
  • Materials: Stainless steel, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
  • Dimensions: 12.7” x 12.7” x 7.48”
  • Wattage: 1350 watts
  • Voltage: 110 volts
  • Weight: 7.21 lbs
  • Model Number: CM6826T
  • Warranty: 2 years

Box Includes

  • Espresso machine
  • Portafilter
  • Single shot filter basket
  • Double shot filter basket
  • Coffee tamper
  • Measuring scoop
  • Steam wand

User Guide for the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine

Before First Use

  1. Priming the Pump: On first use, the machine might not pump water due to air blocks in the water line. Follow these steps:
  2. Fill the water tank to the maximum level and ensure it’s securely placed.
  3. Turn on the machine and wait for the indicator light to flash.
  4. Place a cup under the steam wand and turn the steam knob to release water until a steady stream appears. This indicates the machine is ready.

Brewing Espresso

  1. Preheating: Turn on the machine and press the power button to start heating the water. The indicator light will flash until the water is ready.

  2. Preparing the Portafilter:

  3. Select the appropriate filter basket (single or double shot) and place it in the portafilter.
  4. Fill the basket with medium-fine ground coffee and tamp it gently.

  5. Brewing:

  6. Lock the portafilter into the brew head and place a cup underneath.
  7. Press the single or double shot button to start brewing. The machine will stop automatically once the shot is complete.

Frothing Milk

  1. Preheating the Steam Wand: Press the steam button and wait for the indicator light to turn solid.

  2. Frothing:

  3. Fill a milk pitcher to about one-third with cold milk.
  4. Insert the steam wand into the milk about half an inch deep.
  5. Turn the steam knob to start frothing, keeping the wand submerged for even steaming.

  6. Cleaning the Steam Wand: After frothing, immediately wipe the wand and purge any milk residue.

Maintenance

  1. Descaling:
  2. Add a descaling agent to the water tank and fill with water to the maximum level.
  3. Run the machine through several brewing and steam cycles until the tank is empty.
  4. Refill the tank with clean water and rinse the machine.

  5. Cleaning:

  6. After each use, remove and rinse the portafilter, filter basket, and drip tray.
  7. Wipe down the exterior and steam wand with a damp cloth.

Troubleshooting

  • No Water Comes Out: Check the water tank level and ensure the machine is turned on. Make sure the steam knob is fully turned off.

  • No Steam: Ensure the steam button is pressed and the steam knob is correctly turned on.

  • Espresso Extraction Issues:

  • If espresso comes out too slowly, check that the grind size is not too fine and that the coffee is not tamped too tightly.

  • Milk Frother Not Working: Clean the steam wand to remove any blockages and check the water tank level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine produce a thick crema?
A: Yes! The Ihomekee CM6826T features a 15-bar pump system. This high-pressure system is essential for a rich, velvety crema, considered the mark of a well-made espresso.

Q: Is it easy to froth milk with the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine?
A: Absolutely. The machine comes with a built-in steam wand that allows you to create frothy milk for lattes, cappuccinos, and other delicious espresso-based drinks. The removable tip of the steam wand makes cleanup a breeze.

Q: Can I use taller mugs with the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine?
A: Yes, thanks to its removable drip tray, the Ihomekee CM6826T easily accommodates taller mugs or cups, giving you more flexibility in drinkware.

Q: Is the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine easy to use?
A: The Ihomekee CM6826T is designed for ease of use. It features single and double shot functions, and the included instructions provide clear guidance to help you brew delicious espresso-based drinks right away.

Q: Can I trust the quality of the Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine?
A: Ihomekee takes quality seriously. Each part of the machine is ETL safety approved and BPA-free. Additionally, they offer a 2-year hassle-free replacement warranty and 24/7 customer support, ensuring peace of mind with your purchase.

Tips

  • Preheat your cup: Warm up your cup before brewing your espresso for the best temperature and flavor.
  • Fresh beans: Using freshly ground coffee beans will significantly improve the taste of your espresso.
  • Experiment with grind size: For the perfect espresso extraction, play around with different grind sizes – a finer grind provides greater intensity.
  • Clean regularly: Keep your Ihomekee CM6826T Espresso Machine in prime condition by rinsing the portafilter and steam wand after each use, and periodically descaling the machine.