Krups Steam Toy: What was it supposed to make?

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jmatt

#1: Post by jmatt »

I don't even know if "Krups Steam Toy" is the official name, or merely a snide moniker.

However, while visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, we talked coffee, and my mom pulled out a Krups Steam Toy that I had ALLEGEDLY given her as a gift a decade ago. (Man - do I feel sheepish now).

Anyway, we got it to work - kind of. I tried to make espresso by tamping the grinds into the portafilter. The machine could barely get any coffee through the grounds. I pulled the carafe out from under the flow after I had about 4 ounces of fluid.

I eventually got the steam wand to work (it had been clogged). It actually put out so much steam I couldn't prevent it from super foaming all the milk in about 10 seconds no matter how deep I put the wand.

Here's my question: What in the world was this machine supposed to be able to make? Strong coffee? Did anyone ever use these, or like my parents, did they get used twice and then shoved into the back of a cabinet?

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Worldman

#2: Post by Worldman »

Yo, jmatt,

I had 3 Krupps steam toys over the first decade or so of my espresso making experience and they can produce an espresso-like substance.

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I use the back side of a Cimballi plastic tamper for tamping the grounds.

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The machine was "hot wired" several years ago (~20) so that it is always ON whenever the cord is plugged in. This allows me to wait until it is about to explode (well, OK, it will never explode since the boiler cap is a pressure release) BEFORE I switch it to brew...thereby providing more than enough pressure for a 2 oz. double.
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She also has ample pressure for frothing milk and I have NEVER experienced the "super foaming" you mention. She does, however, steam like a "banshee" producing a pretty good micro-foam.
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I think these steam toys fall somewhere between the (ubiguitous, in Italy) moka pot and a real espresso machine.

Oh, BTW, the steam toy is what we sometimes use for camping.
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For camping it is either the Krupps steam toy - OR - the Gaggia Espresso.
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Len

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HB
Admin

#3: Post by HB »

I owned one too and used it in blissful ignorance for years. It wasn't until last year that I finally said adieu after a final Bench roundup:

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Early days of HB's Bench included a Krups "steam toy" (true confessions)

The Krups steam toy doesn't produce an espresso because it's only capable of generating a couple bars of pressure. The water hitting the puck is boiling, producing a burnt, bitter flavor. At the time I drowned it in milk and thought it was pretty good. Your standards move up as you gain experience. The thread What does your typical espresso rate? describes the SCAA's espresso judging criteria. By that measure, the Krups' espresso would be lucky to garner a "1".
Dan Kehn

Mark08859

#4: Post by Mark08859 »

I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of us started our espresso journey with either a steamer or some type of stovetop model.

jmatt

#5: Post by jmatt »

Worldman wrote:. . . The machine was "hot wired" several years ago (~20) so that it is always ON whenever the cord is plugged in. This allows me to wait until it is about to explode (well, OK, it will never explode since the boiler cap is a pressure release) BEFORE I switch it to brew...thereby providing more than enough pressure for a 2 oz. double.
The one I bought my mother must have been a very early model. There isn't even a switch for "brew." When you turn it on, it's on. There were no other switches. Brew pressure and steam pressure are one and the same. It never stopped spraying some water out the steam wand. It took several minutes to push water through the grounds (and I only tamped with my thumb).

I'm beginning to think the espresso machine I have, which I thought was horrible, is actually pretty good. It's a Black & Decker. It uses a 58mm portafilter. Has a vibratory pump. Uses a switch to change between brew temp and steam temp. Can generate a whirlpool in milk while steaming. Easily makes nice microfoam. And can make a 2oz double in 30 seconds. It has a nice deep drip tray. In all, it looks like the ancestor to the Silvia.

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prof_stack
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#6: Post by prof_stack »

Hey, that's MY Krups machine in the photos!! :lol:

Yeah, I started on that one and also blissfully made "espresso". When my Barista was in the shop for maintenance I brought out the Krups and relearned how to use it for 10 days. Sure did appreciate the Barista after that!

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Psyd

#7: Post by Psyd »

Take a look here to see what the lil Krupses can do. I used to get a remarkably decent espresso out of 'em when I travelled. Now that I got the big machine up and running, Silvia is my road partner. I gotta say, though, for ease of use and weight consideration, I may just start taking the Rocky and one of the old Krupses with me.
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

jmatt

#8: Post by jmatt »

Psyd wrote:Take a look here to see what the lil Krupses can do. I used to get a remarkably decent espresso out of 'em when I travelled. Now that I got the big machine up and running, Silvia is my road partner. I gotta say, though, for ease of use and weight consideration, I may just start taking the Rocky and one of the old Krupses with me.
You gave me a great idea: Anyone can make a great latte with a Brewtus and a Macap (OK - it's not perhaps that easy). However - there should be a contest:

Who can make the best espresso-based drink using the following equipment:

1) Krups steam toy
2) Whirling blade grinder
3) Whole beans bought off the shelf at Wal-mart
4) No scale
5) No commercially made tamper - find the flattest round surface as close to filter-basket size you can.
6) No timer
7) No thermometer

I'd bet I could only make a horrible drink.
I'd bet some of you could still make an awesome drink.

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prof_stack
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#9: Post by prof_stack »

Who can make the best espresso-based drink using the following equipment:

1) Krups steam toy - Got it
2) Whirling blade grinder - Got it
3) Whole beans bought off the shelf at Wal-mart - This is gross.
4) No scale - Got it
5) No commercially made tamper - find the flattest round surface as close to filter-basket size you can. - Hey that's what I do now!
6) No timer - For what? It wouldn't do any good anyway.
7) No thermometer - stop steaming when the hand burns? I like it!

I'd bet I could only make a horrible drink. - Hey, you'll relearn how to do it...
I'd bet some of you could still make an awesome drink. - Well, I thought they were awesome...
Great idea, but I think I'll worry more about learning how to use a lever machine.

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HB
Admin

#10: Post by HB »

jmatt wrote:I'd bet some of you could still make an awesome drink.
Only "awesome" to those weaned on the swill served at most restaurants and cafes.

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With Daryn's permission from mmm...mmm...good!!!
Dan Kehn