The Cafelat Robot manual lever espresso machine has been eagerly anticipated since Paul Pratt revealed it in April of 2016. Anyone who knows about Paul would have high expectations because of his reputation as a premier restorer of espresso machines from the 1950s and 60s. The Robot is Paul's interpretation and upgrade of the Faema Baby, a manual pourover machine introduced in 1950. It embodies the beauty of an ultra-simple pourover machine. Is the in-cup performance equally appealing?
CONCLUSION: This type of espresso maker requires an external means of heating water and obviously doesn't steam milk. So latte lovers need not apply. Is the Robot a suitable purchase for a beginner? I think so, but beginners may be frustrated with any capable espresso machine, because they will be learning for the first time to adjust dose, grind, and temperature. They'll also be learning about coffee freshness, storage, and which coffees work well for espresso compared to other brew methods.
People with shoulder injuries may find the Robot challenging to use if they encounter difficulty pressing down the levers. For me, the Robot can serve as a daily driver with an easy workflow that's very quick from start to finish. The heirloom build quality will allow the Robot to outlast me. Its beautiful design, inexpensive replacement parts, and "bang for the buck" in consistently brewing excellent espresso combine for my high rating of price/performance.
- Small, high quality manual coffee maker that makes real espresso
- Uses few parts, no complicated electronics and only premium materials like stainless steel - it is completely plastic free
- All you need is ground coffee and hot water from a kettle.
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5)