Casabrews Espresso Machine Review: A Great Budget-Friendly Option!

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

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In today's Casbrews espresso machine review I'll be taking a look at a budget-friendly offering from a rising star in the home espresso machine sector.

In today’s Casbrews espresso machine review I’ll be taking a look at a budget-friendly offering from a rising star in the home espresso machine sector.

Having recently checked out the Casabrews 5700 Pro, I decided it was high time I got my hands on one of this brand’s machines. So, I ordered the Casabrews CM 5418 Espresso Machine to test out for you. Heck, I even bought the Casabrews 3700 Pro too!

And while I’ll be focusing on the CM 5418 during this Casabrews espresso machine review I’ll make sure to talk about my experiences using both machines. So, without further ado, let’s take a first look at what we’re dealing with.

Great value!

Casabrews CM 5418

Slim, sleek and not at all bad

Compact and lightweight

Sturdy construction

Easy to use

Professional steam wand

Only pressurized filter baskets

Overview: Casabrews 20 Bar Espresso Machine

There can be little doubt that Casabrews has quickly made a name for itself since launching in 2020. For instance, the Casabrews 5700 Pro has become a TikTok sensation, with millions of videos hyping it up.

However, there are still those who dismiss Casabrews products as sub-par Chinese knockoffs of Breville and DeLonghi machines.

I guess I understand where folks might be suspicious of a brand without a proven track record. Still, the people at Casabrews seem to know what they’re doing, and the manufacturer’s machines are selling like hot cakes.

Costing just $149.95, the Casabrews CM 5418 is about as budget-friendly as it gets. This is a compact and lightweight home espresso maker that’s been designed for small kitchens. However, I was surprised to find some pretty awesome on-board features.

For starters, the professional steam wand is a big step up from the pannarello-style wands you generally see on machines at this price point. What’s more, the machine’s construction feels sturdy and durable, with plenty of metal finishing. That’s certainly a breath of fresh air, seeing as most espresso machines under $200 feature an abundance of plastic.

Of course, the Casabrews CM 5418 is intended as a beginner espresso machine, so a few of the accessories are pretty basic. I’ll discuss those a little later. That said, you really couldn’t hope for a more approachable and intuitive espresso maker. Seriously, a quick browse of the user manual is all you’ll need to get started.

Casabrews CM 5418 Espresso Machine Features

Let’s continue this Casabrews espresso machine review by looking more closely at the standout features involved. A little later I’ll talk about my experiences using the machine and whether it can deliver the goods.

Casabrews Espresso Machine Parts

Size and Design

As I already mentioned, this Casabrews espresso machine is compact enough to fit in even the smallest of kitchens. In fact, I could see it being ideal for dorm rooms or even RVs. What’s more, at just under 9 pounds (4 kilograms), the CM 5418 is nice and lightweight, so it’ll be easy to move around if needed. Just remember, though – you’ll need additional space for a decent burr grinder to get the best results.

In terms of design, this Casabrews 20 bar espresso machine is sleek, streamlined and attractive. I happen to love its slim silhouette, and the prominent pressure gauge on the front of the machine lends it a cool, retro vibe.

Colors

If you’re a regular Coffeeness reader you will have guessed that I bought the Casabrews espresso machine with a natural stainless steel finish. Then again, my photos have already given that away! Still, if you want to jazz up your kitchen, there are a number of different color options available:

Just be aware that you’ll likely have to spend a little more for some of these options, especially the more popular ones.

User Interface

Casabrews Espresso Machine User Interface

In keeping with its minimalist design, the Casabrews espresso machine’s user interface is simple and straightforward. There are four backlit buttons up front, one for powering up the machine, two for selecting shot sizes and one for engaging the steam function.

Below the buttons is a large pressure gauge, which not only adds aesthetic value but also comes in mighty handy. Seriously, I love an espresso machine with a pressure gauge seeing as it can help you diagnose issues with your grind size and puck preparation.

Sure, this particular gauge doesn’t offer detailed information about the pressure in bars. Still, it’s got a clearly marked “Espresso Zone,” so you’ll know when you’re in the right ballpark.

Volumetric Control

As I mentioned above, you can choose from a single shot button and a double shot button for preparing espresso. The Casabrews espresso machine comes with preset shot volumes for each, but you can tailor these thanks to the volumetric control function.

Doing so simply involves holding down the button for a few seconds then pressing it again once you’re happy with your shot volume.

Personally, I’d recommend taking advantage of this function seeing as the presets were way off the mark during my testing. Then again, you can also just press the respective button during extraction to stop your shot. This would be a better idea for those who like to weigh their espresso shots on a coffee scale.

PID Temperature Control

These days, PID temperature control is fairly common in even the most affordable espresso machines. Still, it’s worth noting that the Casabrews 20 bar espresso machine has a PID installed.

So what does that even mean? Well, the PID constantly monitors water temperature, meaning you can be assured of espresso brewed at the correct temperature. With that said, this espresso maker uses thermoblock heating rather than a traditional boiler.

I’ve got nothing against thermoblocks – the Casabrews espresso machine will be ready to roll in just a few seconds. However, I recommend running hot water through both the group head and portafilter before making a shot.

After all, achieving temperature stability across the board is one of the key factors in successful espresso preparation.

Professional Steam Wand

I was actually quite surprised to see a professional steam wand mounted on the side of the Casabrews espresso machine. Plus, it rotates 360-degrees on a ball joint, making it nice and versatile.

Sure, this compact machine doesn’t generate the kind of steam pressure you’ll enjoy with a premium model like the Ascaso Steel Duo. Still, I found that it was more than up to the task of creating silky microfoam. Heck, I even managed to make some pretty latte art during my testing.

Portafilter

Casabrews Espresso Machine Portafilter

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the Casabrews espresso machine portafilter. After all, I’ve tested enough budget espresso makers to know the ropes.

So, I’ll give it to you straight by saying that this particular portafilter is a little flimsy. Plus, the filter baskets don’t sit very well in the filter holder.

What’s more, the machine only comes with pressurized filter baskets. I won’t go on a rant about that – I get that most folks buying this machine won’t care. Still, those who are serious about espresso preparation will struggle to get satisfying results without single-wall baskets.

On the other hand, you can get perfectly serviceable espresso using pressurized baskets. That’s because they iron out any inconsistencies in grind size and tamping.

Tamping

I wasn’t surprised to find a combination plastic scoop/tamper thing in the Casabrews box. Heck, even some prosumer espresso machines come with espresso tampers that need to go straight in the trash.

During the testing phase of my Casabrews espresso machine review I made sure to use the included tamper. However, if you end up buying this machine I’d highly recommend picking up something better.

You won’t have to spend much – you can pick up a decent metal espresso tamper for less than $20.

Removable Drip Tray

Casabrews Espresso Machine Drip Tray

While the Casabrews espresso machine’s drip tray isn’t exactly huge, it’s deep enough that you won’t need to empty it more than once a day. Well, depending on how much espresso you drink, that is!

And in case you were worried about overflow, there’s a neat red flotation device that’ll pop up to warn you the tray is full.

With the drip tray attached you’ll have plenty of headroom for brewing into espresso cups. But if you want to brew into a travel mug or latte cup you can remove the drip tray altogether. That worked out well for me during my testing, although the space below the drip tray is quite narrow. So much so that I couldn’t fit my beloved Coffeeness mug in there!

The Casabrews 20 Bar Espresso Machine in Use

I didn’t have super high hopes during the testing phase of my Casabrews espresso machine review. After all, with its pressurized filter baskets and budget price tag, how good could this thing be?

Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised by how well the CM 5418 performed. Once I’d set the machine up and filled the 34-ounce (1-liter) water tank, it was ready to go in under a minute.

I started by pulling a double shot of espresso, dosing the portafilter with 12 grams of coffee. And seeing as I was dealing with a pressurized basket I made sure to use a coarser grind size than I would with a single-wall basket.

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Maybe I just got lucky, but the Casabrews espresso machine did a great job right off the bat. Seriously, 30 seconds after hitting the button I was sipping a pretty darn good espresso with an abundance of aromatic crema.

One thing I will say is that getting the used puck out of the 51mm portafilter was a pain in the rear end. The filter basket doesn’t sit in the filter holder snugly enough, and kept popping out into my espresso knock box. Still, I’d call that a minor annoyance rather than a dealbreaker.

Next I decided to make a latte. And seeing as you can’t make coffee and milk foam simultaneously, I decided to steam milk first. However, once I was ready to pull a shot the machine didn’t want to cooperate.

Frustrated once more, I consulted the user manual only to discover that the Casabrews CM 5418 is equipped with an overheat protection feature. Fortunately, all it takes to get past this hurdle is to open the steam wand for a few seconds and then make espresso. Once I’d done that, I was able to enjoy a superb latte, sending my caffeine levels through the roof!

Casabrews Espresso Machine Cleaning

In my experience, cleaning and maintaining the Casabrews espresso machine is a breeze. I shouldn’t have to mention it, but make sure to thoroughly wash all removable parts before using the machine for the first time! That goes for the removable water reservoir as well as the portafilter and filter baskets.

Casabrews Espresso Machine Water Tank

As for daily maintenance, you’ll need to rinse the portafilter and filter baskets after each use. Oh, and it’s probably a good idea to wipe off the shower screen and group head too.

To keep the machine looking its best you can wipe off the exterior with a damp cloth. Elsewhere, make sure to wipe off the steam wand with a damp cloth after each use.

Every so often the Casabrews CM 5418 will need to be descaled; it’ll flash its lights to let you know. There are detailed instructions for this in the user manual, but don’t be alarmed – it’s not complicated. Incidentally, if you want to learn more about espresso machine maintenance, check out my exhaustive guide to coffee maker cleaning and descaling.

Casabrews CM 5418 Technical Specifications

Casabrews CM 5418
Manufacturer

Casabrews

Model number

CM5418

Product category

Manual espresso machine

Housing material

Stainless steel

Color options

Baby Blue, Cream, Deep Black, Pink, Sapphire Blue, Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

1

Portafilter size

51 mm

Tamping

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

33.8 fl oz / 1.0 l

Number of boilers

1

Pump pressure

20 bar

Maximum cup height

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

Grinder

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

Specialty drinks

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1350 W

Weight

8.6 lb / 3.9 kg

Dimensions

12.0 x 5.9 x 12.3 in
30.5 x 15.0 x 31.2 cm

Warranty

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: User manual, tamper/scoop, 2 x pressurized filter baskets, cleaning pin

Current price on Amazon

$139.99

All specifications

Casabrews CM 5418 vs 3700 Pro

Casabrews Espresso Machine Comparison with Automatic

As I mentioned at the start of this Casabrews espresso machine review, I also bought the Casabrews 3700 Pro to test out for you. What can I say – I couldn’t help myself!

The 3700 Pro is essentially the same machine as the CM 5418, but comes with an automatic milk frother rather than a steam wand. Plus, its portafilter is a little more advanced, even if it still only has pressurized baskets. Oh, and you’ll have to spend a good deal more for this model – it’ll set you back $188.99.

So, is the extra money worth it? Well, that depends. Personally, I’ll take a manual steam wand over an automated frother any day. However, I can definitely see why some folks might appreciate the convenience.

On the other hand, I found it quite tedious to clean the milk frother. I mean, sure – you can remove the milk tank and store it in the fridge. But you do have to clean it at some point!

In terms of performance, I found the espresso from the 3700 Pro to be equally as impressive as from the CM 5418. And I have to say the milk frother did a perfectly good job. Still, it didn’t produce anything close to the silky foam I achieved using the other model’s manual steam wand.

Ultimately, both these Casabrews machines performed better than expected. I particularly appreciated the useful pressure gauge on each machine, and the espresso quality was certainly up to par.

Verdict: Casabrews Espresso Machine Review

Great value!

Casabrews CM 5418

Slim, sleek and not at all bad

Compact and lightweight

Sturdy construction

Easy to use

Professional steam wand

Only pressurized filter baskets

I’d say I’ve done a good job of making my feelings clear during this Casabrews espresso machine review. But in case you’re still unsure, here’s the lowdown: The Casabrews CM5418 is a better-than-expected espresso maker that can deliver great espresso and milk foam.

I’d say this machine is ideal for beginners or those who want a no-fuss espresso experience.

That said, I’m wary of recommending it to those who want to get into espresso as a hobby. Honestly, I’d say you’re better off saving your pennies and buying something a little more advanced. Trust me, the Casabrews espresso machine will feel limiting quite quickly if you want to dive deep into the espresso rabbit hole.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Casabrews espresso machine review. Do you own this compact beauty? Share your experiences using it in the comments section!

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Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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