Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine - Great Value for a Compact Espresso Maker

Published on Sept. 19, 2023, 4:59 a.m.

Espresso, originating in late 19th-century Italy, is an integral part of Italian coffee culture. Renowned worldwide for its intense flavor, rich aroma, and unique brewing method, traditional espresso is crafted by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, typically served in small 30ml cups. Beyond its standalone enjoyment, espresso serves as the base for various coffee drinks like cappuccino, latte, and macchiato.

The Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine is an affordable and compact single-serve espresso maker compatible with Nespresso pods. This review will provide an overview of the key features, design, performance, pros and cons of the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine based on customer reviews and hands-on usage experience.

 Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods

Overview

The Crux 17643 espresso machine features a sleek, modern design with black and copper or black and silver color options. It has a 24oz water tank capacity and uses 19 bars of pressure to brew espresso. The machine is programmable, allowing you to customize brew size and strength. It is compact at only 14” wide, making it easy to store.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with Nespresso pods
  • 19 bars of pressure
  • 24oz water tank capacity
  • Programmable settings
  • Single and double shot brewing
  • Fast 25 second heat up
  • Removable drip tray and water tank
  • Automatic and manual operation

Design

This Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine has an elegant copper or silver accent on the front and top. The control panel is simple with just three buttons - one for single shot, one for double shot, and one power button. The water tank and drip tray are removable for easy cleaning and filling. At just 6.2 lbs, it has a small footprint perfect for counter space.

 Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods

Ease of Use:

The Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine earns top marks for its sheer simplicity and ease of use. The intuitive control panel has just three large buttons - one for power, one for single shot, and one for double shot. Users love the effortless process of inserting a Nespresso capsule, choosing a size, and brewing a perfect espresso every time. First-time owners can start enjoying espresso drinks without a complicated learning curve. Operation is straightforward enough for even novice users.

A Brief History of Espresso: From Milan to the World

The story of espresso traces its roots back to late 19th-century Milan, Italy, where inventor Angelo Moriondo is credited with developing the first espresso machine. His groundbreaking contraption revolutionized coffee preparation, introducing the concept of forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee at high pressure. This innovative technique yielded a concentrated, intensely flavorful beverage that quickly gained popularity among Milanese coffee enthusiasts.

In 1906, another Italian inventor, Desiderio Pavoni, refined Moriondo’s design, creating the espresso machine that would become the industry standard. Pavoni’s machine, with its lever-operated mechanism, allowed for greater control over the brewing process, further enhancing the quality and consistency of espresso.

From its Milanese origins, espresso’s popularity spread throughout Italy, becoming a cornerstone of Italian café culture. The post-World War II era witnessed espresso’s global expansion, as Italian immigrants introduced their beloved beverage to countries around the world. Today, espresso is ubiquitous in coffee shops, restaurants, and homes, enjoyed by millions daily.

The Science of Espresso: Unveiling the Secrets of a Perfect Cup

The art of crafting the perfect espresso lies in a delicate balance of science and technique. At its core, espresso production involves forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee under high pressure, typically between 9 bars (129 psi) and 15 bars (217 psi). This pressurized passage forces water molecules to extract the flavor compounds and essential oils from the coffee grounds, resulting in a concentrated, intensely flavorful beverage.

Several factors influence the quality of espresso, including the grind size, water temperature, and brewing time. The grind size should be fine enough to allow for proper extraction without clogging the machine, while the water temperature should be between 195°F and 205°F to ensure optimal flavor extraction. The brewing time, typically between 25 and 30 seconds, determines the strength and intensity of the espresso.

Beyond these technical aspects, the art of espresso making lies in the barista’s skill and experience. Baristas must meticulously control every step of the process, from grinding the beans to tamping the grounds to operating the machine, to ensure a consistently delicious and well-balanced espresso.

The Cultural Significance of Espresso: A Global Phenomenon

Espresso has transcended its role as a mere beverage, becoming deeply embedded in various cultures worldwide. In Italy, espresso is a way of life, an integral part of daily social interactions. Italians savor their espresso standing at the bar, engaging in lively conversations and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of their local cafés.

Espresso’s popularity has extended far beyond its Italian roots, becoming a beloved beverage in countries across the globe. From the bustling cafés of Paris to the trendy coffee shops of New York City, espresso has become a symbol of modern coffee culture, representing a quick, convenient, and flavorful way to start the day or socialize with friends.

Performance

With 19 bars of pressure and fast 25 second heat up time, the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine makes authentic espresso. It can brew both single and double shots at the touch of a button. The pressure consistently extracts bold, aromatic espresso with thick crema on top. Owners love the simplicity of using Nespresso pods which result in a quality shot every time.

Heating System Explained

The Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine incorporates a powerful heating element for rapid water heating. Upon pressing the brew button, water passes over the heating element, reaching the ideal extraction temperature within a mere 25 seconds. This design ensures your coffee is consistently hot for optimal flavor.

The Importance of Water Temperature

Several users commented on the coffee’s less-than-ideal temperature. Water temperature is one of the most critical factors in creating a rich and flavorful espresso shot. The ideal water temperature range for espresso extraction lies between 195°F and 205°F. Insufficient temperatures can lead to under-extraction, resulting in weak or overly acidic coffee.

Noise Level:

Multiple reviews do cite the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine as louder than comparable single-serve espresso makers. The brewing process itself emits a buzzing noise that some users find irritating. However, the noise is temporary and worth it for the great-tasting espresso produced. The machine is still suitable for office use and won’t wake up the whole household when brewing your morning lattes.

Cleaning:

Maintaining the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine is simple thanks to the removable drip tray and water reservoir. Users emphasize how easy it is to empty the drip tray and rinse out the water tank as needed. The pieces come out and go back into place seamlessly. A descaling agent is included to flush out the internal tubes and valve systems. Overall, keeping this machine clean is quick and convenient.

 Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods

Use Cases:

  • Home or office use
  • Single serve coffee
  • Espresso drinks like cappuccinos
  • Quick morning coffee
  • Compact size for apartments, dorms

User Feedback Analysis

Reviews for the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine are mixed, averaging 3.4 out of 5 stars. Satisfied customers praise its compact size, fast heat up time, and authentic espresso comparable to expensive machines. Many love the simplicity of popping in a Nespresso pod and enjoying a quality shot of espresso with thick crema using the automatic brewing mode. The programmable settings allow customizing brew strength and volume as desired. For the affordable price, it meets expectations as a basic, no-frills espresso maker.

However, a common complaint centers around the temperature of the espresso. Numerous reviews mention the coffee lacks sufficient heat straight from the brewing process. Users report having to microwave their espresso to make it hot enough for enjoyment. Clearly the heating element and thermodyamics of the water flow need re-engineering to produce hotter output temperatures.

Another pain point is quality control. Several users experienced defective units that leaked water all over their counter during the first use out of the box. The malfunction points to substandard manufacturing practices allowing units with damaged internal tubing or improperly sealed valves to get shipped to customers. Closer inspection is required before packaging to prevent dissatisfaction upon delivery.

Additionally, the machine produces significant noise during the 25 second brew cycle. The loud buzzing sound prompted some users to return the product for a quieter alternative. Others considered the noise a temporary nuisance worth tolerating for the quality espresso produced.

In summary, when functioning properly, the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine delivers solid performance and value for budget-minded Nespresso fans. However, the flaws around temperature, defects, and noise must be addressed in future models to satisfy a wider range of customers. With some refinements, Crux could have an exceptional and highly recommended home espresso machine.

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Removable 24oz tank
  • Programmable for custom brewing
  • Powerful 19 bar pressure
  • Fast 25 second heat up
  • Automatic and manual modes
  • Accommodates single and double shots
  • Compatible with Nespresso pods

Cons

  • Reports of early defects with leaking water on some units
  • Several reviews mention espresso is not hot enough
  • No milk frother included
  • Louder operation

Value:

Considering its affordable price point, the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine packs tremendous value as a compact single-serve espresso maker. For under $100, it delivers authentic espresso with thick, bold crema that rivals expensive café-bought drinks. The machine pays for itself quickly based on the money saved by making espresso drinks at home versus purchasing them daily. Overall, it’s a fantastic value for cash-strapped coffee lovers.

 Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods

Conclusion

For the very reasonable price point, the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine delivers tasty espresso drinks. The slim design saves precious counter space while still offering convenient features like a sizable water tank, programmable settings, and automatic brewing. While there were some complaints about units leaking and espresso temperature, the machine remains a great budget option for Nespresso capsule lovers looking for an affordable at-home model. With proper care and maintenance, this simple-to-use espresso maker can brew cafe-quality coffee for years to come.

 Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 14.17” W x 11.22” H x 4.99” D
  • Weight: 6.2 lbs
  • Pressure: 19 bars
  • Tank Capacity: 24 oz
  • Power: 1260 watts
  • Heat Time: 25 seconds
  • Automatic and Manual Modes
  • Removable Drip Tray and Water Tank

Box Includes:

  • Crux 17643 Espresso Machine
  • Instructions Manual
  • Descaling Agent

How to Use:

  1. Fill water tank with fresh water up to max fill line
  2. Insert Nespresso capsule into brew head and close lever
  3. Place cup under dispenser
  4. Press button for single or double shot
  5. Enjoy freshly brewed espresso!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods work with other brands of capsules besides Nespresso?

A: While designed specifically for Nespresso Original Line capsules, the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods might be compatible with some third-party capsules of similar dimensions and construction. However, for optimal performance and to avoid potential damage to the machine, sticking with genuine Nespresso capsules is always recommended.

Q: How large is the water tank on the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods?

A: This espresso machine boasts a generous 24oz removable water tank. This substantial capacity means you can enjoy multiple cups of espresso before needing to refill, saving you time and effort.

Q: Can I customize the size of my espresso shot with the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods?

A: Absolutely! This versatile machine features an adjustable size function. Effortlessly choose between a single or double shot of espresso to perfectly tailor your coffee experience to your preferences.

Q: How easy is it to clean the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods?

A: The Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods is designed with hassle-free cleaning in mind. The removable drip tray prevents spills and allows for quick and effortless cleanup, ensuring a tidy countertop and a consistently well-maintained machine.

Q: Does the Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods have a long preheat time?

A: No, this machine features a rapid preheat time. You can enjoy a delicious cup of espresso in just a few seconds, making it ideal for those who want a quick caffeine fix without compromising on quality.

Tips

  • Start with fresh, filtered water: The quality of your water significantly impacts the taste of your espresso. Using fresh, filtered water helps create the ideal flavor profile.
  • Descale regularly: Depending on the hardness of your water, regular descaling is essential to maintain the longevity and performance of your Crux 17643 Espresso Capsule Coffee Machine for Nespresso Pods.
  • Experiment with different Nespresso capsules: Nespresso offers a wide variety of flavors and intensities allowing you to discover your perfect cup of espresso.
  • Store your capsules properly: To preserve the freshness of your Nespresso capsules, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
  • Consider a capsule holder: A dedicated capsule holder organizes your capsules and adds a touch of style to your coffee station.