The Espressione Concierge Review: A Space-Saving Super-Automatic Espresso and Espresso Machine?

I probably sound like a broken record, but as long as a grinder does a decent job of processing your coffee beans, and the brewing unit produces a reasonable espresso, it almost doesn't matter which super-automatic espresso machine you buy. That's because many devices are surprisingly similar in form and function.

I probably sound like a broken record, but as long as a grinder does a decent job of processing your coffee beans, and the brewing unit produces a reasonable espresso, it almost doesn’t matter which super-automatic espresso machine you buy. That’s because many devices are surprisingly similar in form and function.

They all start with the same basic concept, move on to the external design and continue by focusing on the inner workings of the machine. When it comes to this déjà vu effect, the is way ahead of the whole list of nearly identical super-automatic espresso machines at a similar price. We believe them to be white-label versions, from the brands Espressione, Tchibo, Grundig, Caso and Beko, all based on the Severin KV8090.

What? Severin? Grundig? Beko? Caso? These are not standard brands in our super-automatic espresso machine reviews, you say. That’s right — you may recognize those names from toasters or old TVs!

The following video is in German, but keep reading. I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this white-label super-automatic espresso machine.

In fact, those same old toaster and TV brands are exactly why I responded to your requests to test the cheap Severin espresso machine without a milk frothing system. Since it’s the foundation of several white-label products, it only made sense to start there.

Available in the U.S., the white-label Espressione Concierge 8212S is the same exact espresso machine as the Severin, except that it has the addition of a steam wand for frothing milk. It sells for $470.

In the UK, on the other hand, Beko has three versions available based on the Severin. One is the CEG5301X that does not have a steam wand. The other is the CEG5311X that comes with a steam wand. There is also a CEG5331X that has an automatic milk frothing system and external milk carafe. The CEG5301X sells for £220, whereas the CEG5311X is available for £279, and the CEG5331X is £309.

This review will focus on the Espressione Concierge, but the photos will be of the Severin and the Grundig.

Would you say I’m a fan of this machine? Well, yes. There are good reasons why I believe this to be a decent, budget-conscious super-automatic espresso machine.

An inexpensive super-automatic espresso machine

Espressione Concierge

A budget-friendly, space-saving coffee and espresso machine.

Very compact

Simple operation

Ideal for those who live alone

Good espresso

Not high quality enough in comparison

Four Different Super-Automatic Espresso Machines, One Identical Technology? From Severin to Beyond!

Super-automatic espresso machines without a milk frothing system are a niche category, but they enjoy great popularity. In general, when the option to froth milk is not a requirement, the machine becomes smaller overall. These dimensions make it suitable for small kitchens or as a super-automatic espresso machine for those who live alone, for example. 

However, in the case of the Espressione Concierge, the size did not increase with the addition of the steam wand. The price comparison is usually right as well — $400 to $500 is absolutely fine. Well, assuming there’s a quality matchup.

The Espressione Concierge certainly meets the basic requirements, especially if you live alone. Plus, with a width of just 7 inches (18 centimeters), the sleek Silver and Black machine’s “slim design” fits into almost any nook or cranny.

CategoryEntry
ManufacturerEspressione
NameConcierge 8212S
TypeSuper-automatic espresso machine
Removable brew groupYes, partial
Casing materialPlastic with stainless steel parts
Milk frothing systemSteam wand
DisplayNo
AppNo
User profilesNo
Water container capacity40 oz / 1.2 L
Maximum spout height6.3 in / 16 cm
GrinderStainless steel cone grinder
Bean hopper5.64 oz / 160 g
Two bean hoppers/compartmentsYes
Grinding levels5
Powder chuteYes
Pot functionYes
Coffee drinks at the touch of a buttonCoffee, espresso
Adjustable coffee temperatureNo
2-cup functionNo
Hot water functionYes
Water filter cartridgeYes
Weight7.8 kg / 17.2 lbs
Dimensions (length x width x height)15.6 x 7 x 12.6 in / 40.0 x 18.0 x 32.0 cm

Now, the general design is another story: since 2016, it seemingly has been used multiple times over as the basis for all of the machines mentioned here. Seriously, you have to look long and hard with a magnifying glass to tell apart the Espressione Concierge, Beko CEG5301X, Severin, Tchibo, CASO Café Crema One as well as the Grundig KVA4830.

Sometimes the touch control panel is on the front, and sometimes it’s on the top. Perhaps there is one more curve in the housing or even one less grind setting. Some can froth milk, while others cannot. It just depends on the brand model. That said, they all have a slim design and are compact

In fact, the Tchibo and the Severin variant are so similar that I asked Tchibo whether it is a white-label product. Tchibo didn’t want to say anything about that, though, probably because it would have burned a hole in the marketing promise that the first in-house super-automatic espresso machine was developed specifically for Tchibo coffee beans. 

Before I ramble on about the differences between these machines, let’s take a look at a table, which hopefully makes things pretty clear.

CategoryEspressione ConciergeSeverin KV8090
ManufacturerEspressioneSeverin
NameConciergeKV8090
TypeSuper-automatic espresso machineSuper-automatic espresso machine
Removable brew groupYes, partialYes, partial
Milk frothing systemSteam wandNo
DisplayNoNo
AppNoNo
Water container capacity40 oz / 1.2 L40 oz / 1.2 L
GrinderStainless steel cone grinderStainless steel cone grinder
Bean hopper5.64 oz / 160 g5.64 oz / 160 g
Two bean hoppers/compartmentsYesYes
Grinding levels55
Pot functionNoNo
Coffee specialties at the touch of a buttonCoffee, espressoCoffee, espresso
Adjustable coffee temperatureNoNo
Milk (froth) temperature settingsYesYes
Two-cup functionNoNo
Hot water functionYesYes
Automatic cleaningYesYes
Programmable water hardnessNoNo
Water filter insertYesYes
Weight7.8 kg / 17.2 lbs7.64 kg / 16.84 lbs
Dimensions (H x W x D)15.6 x 7 x 12.6 in / 40.0 x 18.0 x 32.0 cm15.5 x 7 x 12.4 in / 39.5 x 18.0 x 31.5 cm

As you can see, these models are very much the same

In this next video, in German, unfortunately, we have once again compared the Grundig model to the Severin 8090. You can see how much they are alike.

Setting Up the Machine & Grinder

There’s something liberating about super-automatic espresso machines that can be set up in less than five minutes. The Espressione Concierge can be ready to brew its first cup of coffee in no timeand without instructions or experience.

Once you unpack the machine and give it a quick rinse, there are only two things you need to do. First, adjust the cone grinder to the lowest setting to maximize flavor and aroma. Then, press the button for coffee or espresso. That’s about all that can be adjusted anyway.

A close-up of the Severin KV8090 super-automatic espresso machine with an espresso.

However, the Espressione Concierge does give you the option to adjust the amount of coffee drawn per cup. Just hold down the respective beverage select button and only release it when there’s enough coffee in your favorite cup. It goes from 0.85 – 8.5 ounces (25 – 250 milliliters) — which is a very good range!

Even though the grinder’s volume is 69.1, I find the sound a bit raspy and slightly annoying. Sure, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s “loud” in the sense of a really negative rating, but it can get on your nerves.

The Severin KV8090 super-automatic espresso maker volume measurement reading.

Coffee & Espresso From the Espressione Concierge: Good!

If you can’t adjust anything or very little, you run the risk of not liking a machine. So, no matter how good the coffee beans you add to the machine are, if you can’t make adjustments, that can be frustrating.

However, these worries were not confirmed with our test of the Severin KV8090. The espresso in the 0.85-ounce (25-milliliter) version had decent chocolate notes, a pleasant body and a nice creamy texture, which matched the quality of beans we used. We expect the same of the Espressione Concierge, of course.

Per usual, the coffee from the Severin tasted a touch too watery for me. On top of that, there was a hint of something my taste buds could not identify but did not appreciate. 

Cleaning: The Slim Design of the Espressione Concierge Comes At a Cost

Fact: the notion that compact super-automatic espresso machines are easier to clean doesn’t always hold true. Yes, models without milk frothing systems eliminate any concerns about the potential of rancid milk. Still, there are other issues to consider.

For example, you have to be extra careful with the brew group. Though it can be removed from the side and is an ultra-low profile to save space, the brew group has a different design than full-sized super-automatic espresso machines.

When you do remove the brew group, you don’t get to remove the entire thing. The counterpart to the plunger remains in the machine. That said, a lot of coffee can accumulate quickly on both the removable part and the part you can’t take out.

So, if you ignore my tip about cleaning the brew group daily, your machine will become unusable in a very short time.

A look inside the brew group of the Severin KV8090 super-automatic coffee maker.

It doesn’t help if the water filter allows you to delay descaling the machine or whether you perform all cleaning cycles according to the operating instructions. The brewing unit is the absolute sticking point here.

The Verdict on the Espressione Concierge

The  we tested is a thoroughly successful “part-automatic coffee maker” that doesn’t cost a fortune and quickly makes coffee at the touch of a button. No more. Less is hardly possible — which is also true of the Espressione Concierge.

An inexpensive super-automatic espresso machine

Espressione Concierge

A budget-friendly, space-saving coffee and espresso machine.

Very compact

Simple operation

Ideal for those who live alone

Good espresso

Not high quality enough in comparison

Besides the fact that the Espressione Concierge has an elegant design, inclusive of an LED panel and touch keys, the addition of the steam wand offers functionality that many people will appreciate. Even if you aren’t a Cappuccino drinker, the steam wand can help you make some incredible hot chocolate.

If you live alone, have limited space or are not able to make a big investment with a machine, you’ll certainly be happy with the Espressione Concierge. Its polished look would definitely liven up any dorm room. As one of the best budget-friendly espresso machines around, it has a lot to offer for $470, as do the Beko models for £220 to £309.

Those who demand a bit more from their coffee machines should look around for alternatives in my super-automatic espresso machine reviews. You might especially be interested in one of the options from DeLonghi or Gaggia.

Have you purchased the Espressione Concierge 8212S or one of these other white-label machines? Did you get one with or without a milk frother? Share your questions and experiences with the community.

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