Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine Review 2022: A Smart Way to Brew!

After working as a professional barista for many years, Arne Preuss founded Coffeeness.

You won’t find a lot of espresso machines that satisfy both beginners and experienced home baristas, but the Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine attempts to strike the perfect balance.

Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine Review Overview

You won’t find a lot of espresso machines that satisfy both beginners and experienced home baristas, but the Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine attempts to strike the perfect balance.

In my Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine review I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this affordable mid range machine. I ordered one of these babies to test out, and I’ve spent a lot of time putting it through its paces. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

Calphalon Temp IQ

A smart way to brew!

Thermoblock and PID control

Compact design

Easy to operate

Powerful steam wand

Quite noisy in operation

Only comes with dual-wall filter baskets

Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine Review Overview

Before I dive into the details of this espresso maker, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. There are two versions of the Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine – one with an integrated grinder and one without. I’ll be reviewing the latter model that only costs $349.99 on Amazon.

So, without further ado, let’s dig into the key features of this machine – starting with its Italian pump. The pump delivers 15 bars of pressure when you brew. If you know anything about pressure, you’ll know that 15 bars is a nice sweet spot for home coffee makers. With that said, you only really need 9 bars of pressure for espresso extraction.

Calphalon Temp IQ Overview with Things in Box.

As far as its design goes, this espresso machine has some sleek stainless steel on its exterior. This gives the machine a classy, durable look, but there’s still plenty of plastic in evidence.

The water reservoir holds 67 ounces (2 liters), which is more than enough for one or even two people. I love a water tank that’s big enough to last me more than a couple of days without refilling, and this one certainly fits the bill. Plus, the reservoir feels solid and well constructed, which is a big plus.

Speaking of measurements, I don’t want to skip over the cafe-sized portafilter on this espresso maker. The 58 millimeter portafilter holds more grounds and you can distribute them more evenly. As a result, you’re looking at better water dispersion and more even extraction. However, I was disappointed to only find double-wall filter baskets in the box. Sure, double-wall baskets can come in handy if you can’t get a fine enough grind, but I much prefer single-wall filter baskets. I’ll talk more about that later in my Calphalon Temp IQ review.

While I’m on the subject of extraction, let’s talk about the biggest selling points of the Calphalon Temp IQ. Namely, its thermoblock heating technology, pre infusion and PID temperature control. I’ll go into more detail a bit later. However, for now you should know that these features play a big role in getting consistent espresso.

Calphalon Temp IQ Features

Thus far, I’ve gone over the basics in my Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine review. But do this machine’s features really pass the test? I’m a tough grader when it comes to delicious espresso, so let’s find out.

Compact Design

The design of your espresso machine may not affect its performance. Still, what are you supposed to do with a bulky espresso maker that won’t even fit on your kitchen counter?

Clocking in at 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms), the Calphalon Temp IQ may not be the most lightweight machine out there. However, it’s still relatively compact. In fact, the Calphalon uses its limited dimensions well, especially when you consider the features you’re getting.

Much of the front of the machine is sleek stainless steel, and that’s the only color option you’re going to get. But hey, I’m not complaining! Although the stainless steel design looks good, it’s worth mentioning that the lid , sides and a few other components are black plastic.

User Interface

Calphalon Temp IQ User Interface.

Remember how I said the Calphalon Temp IQ does a good job appealing to both beginners and experienced home baristas? A lot of that has to do with its simple user interface. If you’re used to trying to decipher the symbols on small manual espresso makers, you’ll appreciate the straightforward dial on this coffee maker.

The dial includes settings to select single or double shots, hot water and steam. You’ll also find two indicator lights – one for steam and one to let you know when the machine is ready to dispense espresso.

There’s also an on/off switch on the front. Like I said, there’s no guesswork when it comes to figuring out how to operate this espresso machine.

You won’t have to interfere with the machine when you brew espresso. Instead, it’ll stop once it’s extracted 2 ounces (59 milliliters) of espresso into your cup. That said, you can use volumetric control to program your preferred shot size. That’s another point towards optimal espresso extraction in my book!

Water Tank

Calphalon Temp IQ Water Tank.

The capacity of this espresso machine’s water tank definitely doesn’t disappoint. It holds 67 ounces (2 liters) of water and uses a hinged lid to make filling it up even easier. When it comes to cleaning, you can just remove the entire reservoir and rinse it out.

In my experience, removable water tanks can sometimes be a little flimsy, making it difficult to carry them back to the machine when they’re full. However, the Calphalon’s tank is nice and sturdy, which earns the machine points from me!

Thermoblock Heating System

Who wants to wait fifteen minutes for their morning espresso? Not me, which is why I’m a big fan of the Calphalon’s thermoblock heating system. Thermoblock heating systems don’t just give you consistent hot water temperature, they also heat up quickly.

Of course, the espresso machine will still need to preheat. However, it shouldn’t take as long as a machine with a boiler. Instead of ten or fifteen minutes, you’re looking at about a 30 second wait time. Talk about an upgrade!

Another perk to using thermoblocks over traditional boilers is that they’re typically more energy efficient, since they only heat the water you’re using.

PID Temperature Control

Along with the thermoblock heating system, you’ll also get PID temperature control. I’ll say it again – this is one of the biggest selling points of the Calphalon Temp IQ for me. PID temperature control regulates your machine’s temperature and pressure. It’s common in more high end espresso machines, so I was surprised to see it here. I’m not complaining though!

Essentially, the PID temperature control is going to ensure that the hot water hitting your coffee grounds is at exactly the right temperature. As a result, PID temperature control plays a big role in brewing espresso that’s consistently delicious every time.

Portafilter

Calphalon Temp IQ Portafilter.

All espresso machines have a portafilter, but those on most home machines are smaller than what you’d find in your local coffee shop. The Calphalon Temp IQ is a rare exception to this.

Like many commercial machines, the Calphalon uses 58 millimeter filter baskets. What’s the big deal? For starters, the hot water will more evenly soak your tamped espresso grounds

However, as I already mentioned, you’re forced to use dual-wall filter baskets. These are designed for use with pre ground coffee, and work by creating an additional pressure barrier to help produce fake crema. 

That’s all very well, but when you’re using a good coffee grinder and high quality beans, it’s more difficult to get convincing results. With that in mind, I have a message for the manufacturer: supply single-wall filter baskets if you want home baristas to take your machine seriously!

My only other complaint is that the included tamper is made of plastic. I’d definitely recommend buying a stainless steel tamper for more consistent results.

Milk Foam

Frothing Milk with the Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine.

The steam wand on the Calphalon Temp IQ is commercial-grade, but it’s also manual. If this is your first espresso machine, there may be a learning curve when it comes to creating latte art and creamy froth.

However, the ballpoint tip makes it easy to rotate. Further, thanks to its great pressure, I doubt most people will have much trouble creating foam for a cortado coffee or espresso macchiato. I had no problems whatsoever during my Calphalon Temp IQ review, and I managed to whip up some lovely, fine-textured microfoam.

One thing I do appreciate about the Calphalon is that it comes with a stainless steel milk pitcher. That may not seem like a big deal. However, if you plan to make milk based coffee drinks, you’ll need a decent pitcher. Anyway, I certainly don’t mind that this coffee maker saves me from having to make a separate purchase!

Cup Height

Brewing into espresso cups is one thing. However, it’s nice to have the option for brewing into a taller glass or travel mug for a latte macchiato or americano.

Fortunately, the Calphalon doesn’t fall short on cup height (literally), and you can always remove the drip tray if you need more room. I tested this out, and was able to fit my favorite travel mug under there with room to spare.

By the way, that same drip tray also uses a floater to let you know when it’s full. That takes the guesswork out of wondering when your countertop is about to flood!

Cup Warmer

One thing that really enhances a good espresso is drinking it from a warm cup. While you can use hot water, I’m always happy to see a cup warming tray. A quick 20 or 30 seconds on the Calphalon Temp IQ’s warmer will do nicely. Plus, it’ll make all the difference to your espresso, believe me!

Warranty

All of Calphalon’s espresso machines and coffee machines have three year limited warranties, which is pretty impressive. The warranty covers manufacturing defects or other imperfections. However, any damage that your Calphalon espresso machine gets from neglect or misuse won’t fall under the warranty’s coverage.

How To Use the Calphalon Temp IQ

Espresso from the Calphalon Temp IQ.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking up this coffee maker in my Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine review. But how do you actually use it to brew espresso? Here’s a step-by-step guide to navigating the Calphalon Temp IQ, so you can brew consistently delicious espresso.

  1. As with all espresso machines, you’ll need to start by filling up the removable water reservoir then pressing the ON switch.
  2. Place your espresso cups on top of the warming tray and allow them to warm up. Once the READY light is on, take your espresso cup and position the steam wand inside of it.
  3. Turn your dial to the HOT WATER position and fill half your cup with the hot water. You can turn the dial back to its original position when you’re done.
  4. Using either the one or two cup filter basket, turn the dial to the single shot button and let the water flow, holding the portafilter under the group head.
  5. When the READY light goes out, turn the dial back to the original position. 
  6. Wipe the filter basket dry, dose your ground coffee into the basket and then press down firmly and evenly with the espresso tamper.
  7. Don’t forget to wipe off the edges of your single or double shot filter basket to get rid of any stray coffee grounds.
  8. Insert the portafilter into the group head and crank it until it’s in the center position. 
  9. Empty out the hot water from your espresso cup and place it under the spout.
  10. Depending on which of the dual wall baskets you chose, turn your dial to the 1 SHOT or 2 SHOT setting.
  11. Your extraction should start automatically and then shut off when it’s finished. Don’t forget to leave the portafilter in the machine if you’re going to steam milk.

Calphalon Temp IQ Observations

Let’s just say it took a little time to dial in my shots during the testing phase of my Calphalon Espresso Machine review. Those pesky pressurized filter baskets didn’t make it easy to get good results. I started by dosing the portafilter with 20 grams of finely ground coffee, doing my best with the plastic tamper. Unfortunately, the extraction was very erratic, indicating a lot of channeling in the basket. 

Next, I decided to compensate for the dual-wall basket by using a slightly coarser grind size and increasing the dose to 22 grams. I was really careful to settle the grounds evenly and I pushed the flimsy tamper to the limits of its ability. This time I was happier with the extraction. The machine produced a 2 ounce (59 milliliter) double shot in around 25 seconds, and the flow was much more stable.

As for the taste of my espresso, I’d say the Calphalon Temp IQ did the best it could under the circumstances. Although the shot tasted a little flabby and underwhelming, I think the machine definitely has potential. 

After checking on Amazon, I found a bottomless portafilter with a single-wall basket that’s compatible with the Temp IQ. If you’re considering buying this espresso maker, I’d highly recommend getting hold of this additional portafilter while you’re at it. I truly believe you’ll be able to get excellent espresso from the Temp IQ with the right equipment!

Calphalon Temp IQ Cleaning

Cleaning the Drip Tray of the Calphalon Temp IQ.

Most people aren’t too fond of cleaning and descaling their espresso machine or coffee maker. However, if you want to wake up to great espresso that doesn’t require a trip to the coffee shop, you’ll need to take care of a few things.

The Calphalon espresso machine is going to need regular maintenance, but it shouldn’t take hours. The manufacturer recommends purging any water from the group head and steam wand before and after every use. You’ll also want to wipe down the portafilter, drip tray, and water reservoir on a regular basis. Oh, and make sure these parts stay clear of the dishwasher.

Every couple of months you should use espresso machine cleaning tablets for the milk pitcher and filter baskets. This will help prevent the baskets from getting clogged with coffee grounds.

As far as maintenance for the steam wand goes, make sure you’re purging any excess hot water after you use it for milk foam. Plus keep a dedicated damp towel handy for keeping the steam wand free of milk residue.

In general, your Calphalon espresso coffee machine is going to need descaling every so often. With regular use, you should be descaling every 4 to 6 months to prevent too much buildup. For more detailed instructions about descaling this machine or using the included cleaning pin, check the instruction manual.

Calphalon Temp IQ Specifications

 Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine
ManufacturerCalphalon
NameTemp IQ Espresso Machine With Steam Wand
Water tank capacity67.6 oz / 2.0 l
Removable water tankYes
Water level indicatorYes
User interfaceDial, lights, switch
Pre-infusionYes
Water filterNo
Milk frothing systemManual steam wand
Dedicated hot water spoutNo
Removable drip trayYes
Double espresso optionYes
ESE pod compatibleNo
Housing materialStainless steel
Boiler materialN/A (thermoblock)
Auto shutoffNo
In-the-box accessoriesInstruction manual, tamper, 2 x pressurized filter baskets, stainless steel milk pitcher, cleaning disc, cleaning pin
Weight15 lb / 6.8 kg
Dimensions (H x W x D)15.3 x 13.9 x 11.6 in / 38.9 x 35.3 x 29.5 cm
Current price on Amazon$349.99

Calphalon Temp IQ vs Other Espresso Machines

Now that I’ve covered all the details of this machine in my Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine review, let’s see how it compares to similar coffee machines on the market.

Calphalon Temp IQ With Steam Wand vs Temp IQ With Grinder

I mentioned earlier that there’s another version of this machine called the Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine With Grinder. Costing $654.80, the biggest difference here is the addition of an adjustable burr grinder.

Although it’s a little less compact than the machine I’ve been reviewing, you’ll get the same water tank. However, this machine offers programmable volume control, meaning you can precisely tailor your espresso shots. Since a great grinder can make all the difference, I’m not opposed to the adjustable grinder at all  – even if it does tack on a heavier price tag.

See Also: Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine with Grinder Review 2022

Calphalon Temp IQ vs DeLonghi EC702

There are definitely some big differences between the Calphalon and the DeLonghi EC702 Espresso Machine, starting with the latter machine’s $298.15 price tag.

There’s no cafe-sized portafilter on the EC702, no thermoblock heating and it has a smaller water tank. It also features a pannarello steam wand instead of the commercial grade manual wand you’re getting with the Calphalon.

See Also: DeLonghi EC702 Review 2022

Calphalon Temp IQ vs DeLonghi ECP 3630

At $184.75, the DeLonghi ECP 3630 is another espresso machine lacking some of the Calphalon’s most attractive features. The ECP 3630 is a small manual espresso machine, so you’ll just be getting the basics.

That said, if you don’t mind a smaller water tank and no thermoblock heating, you might appreciate the compact size of the ECP 3630.

See Also: DeLonghi ECP3630 Review 2022

Calphalon Temp IQ vs Others Comparison Chart

 Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso MachineCalphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine With GrinderDeLonghi EC702 Manual Espresso MachineDeLonghi ECP 3630
ManufacturerCalphalonCalphalonDeLonghiDeLonghi
NameTemp IQ Espresso Machine With Steam WandTemp IQ Espresso Machine With Grinder15 Bar Pump Espresso Maker EC702Manual Espresso Machine ECP3630
Water tank capacity67.6 oz / 2.0 l67.6 oz / 2.0 l44.0 oz / 1.3 l37.0 oz / 1.0 l
Removable water tankYesYesYesYes
Water level indicatorYesYesYesYes
User interfaceDial, lights, switchDial, lights, switch, buttonsDial, buttons, lightsDial, lights
Pre-infusionYesYesNoNo
Water filterNoNoNoNo
Milk frothing systemManual steam wandManual steam wandManual steam wandManual steam wand
Dedicated hot water spoutNoNoNoNo
Removable drip trayYesYesYesYes
Double espresso optionYesYesYesYes
ESE pod compatibleNoNoYesYes
Housing materialStainless steelStainless steelStainless steelStainless steel
Boiler materialN/A (thermoblock)N/A (thermoblock)Stainless steelStainless steel
Auto shutoffNoNoNoNo
In-the-box accessoriesInstruction manual, tamper, 2 x pressurized filter baskets, stainless steel milk pitcher, cleaning disc, cleaning pinInstruction manual, tamper, 2 x pressurized filter baskets, stainless steel milk pitcher, cleaning disc, cleaning pin, cleaning brushInstruction manual, tamper, 3 x filter baskets, measuring spoonInstruction manual, tamper, 3-in-1 filter basket, coffee scoop
Weight15 lb / 6.8 kg21.7 lb / 9.9 kg11.4 lb / 5.2 kg9.8 lb / 4.4 kg
Dimensions (H x W x D)15.3 x 13.9 x 11.6 in / 38.9 x 35.3 x 29.5 cm16.0 x 13.6 x 12.6 in / 40.6 x 34.5 x 32.0 cm11.6 x 9.1 x 11.0 in / 29.5 x 23.1 x 28.0 cm11.9 x 7.2 x 9.6 in / 30.2 x 18.3 x 24.4 cm
Current price on Amazon$349.99$659.00$297.35$190.39

Verdict: Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine Review

Calphalon Temp IQ

A smart way to brew!

Thermoblock and PID control

Compact design

Easy to operate

Powerful steam wand

Quite noisy in operation

Only comes with dual-wall filter baskets

I’ve reached the end of my Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine review, so did it pass the test? With features like a PID controller, cafe-sized portafilter and an intuitive user interface, this one scores a high grade on paper. However, in practice you’ll need an additional single-wall filter basket and a better tamper to get the best out of the Temp IQ.

That said, I really appreciate the attention to detail that’s gone into the design of this compact machine. Honestly, I feel like the price is a steal for what you’re getting. As long as you’ve got a great coffee grinder to pair it with, you should be able to start making decent espresso based beverages with this machine right off the bat.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine Review. Got thoughts about this temp-controlled espresso machine? I’d love to hear them!

Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine Review FAQ

Yes, you can use any plant-based milk with the Calphalon Temp IQ, including oat milk.

While I’d still recommend a great grinder to go with it, the Calphalong Temp IQ is definitely capable of making great espresso that even coffee snobs will love.

Yes, you can use the commercial steam wand to make hot chocolate with this espresso machine.

Given the Calphalon Temp IQ’s advanced features, it represents excellent value for money.

Although you can use pre ground coffee with the Calphalon Temp IQ, you’ll get the best results by grinding fresh. Check out my coffee grinder guide 2022 for inspiration.

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