KitchenAid Espresso Machine Review: Better Than Expected!

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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I must say I'm quite surprised to find myself writing a KitchenAid Espresso Machine review. When I think of KitchenAid, the first things that spring to mind are upscale blenders and stand mixers.

I must say I’m quite surprised to find myself writing a KitchenAid Espresso Machine review. When I think of KitchenAid, the first things that spring to mind are upscale blenders and stand mixers.

However, it turns out that the manufacturer has been expanding into the lucrative coffee equipment market in recent years. So, can KitchenAid deliver the same level of quality with its coffee makers as it does with other appliances?

Understandably, I’m a little skeptical. Still, hoping to be pleasantly surprised by the KitchenAid Espresso Machine I bought one to test out. Without further ado, then, let’s dive into this KitchenAid Espresso Machine review. I’ll give you the lowdown on my experiences using the machine as we go!

Suitable for beginners

KitchenAid Espresso Machine

Great value for money

Compact design

Affordable price tag

Dual temperature control

Thermocoil heating

Easy to use

Badly designed portafilter

No water filter

KitchenAid Espresso Machine Review Overview

If you’re familiar with the KitchenAid aesthetic, this machine will be instantly recognizable. In fact, it almost looks like the manufacturer has taken one of its famous stand mixers and somehow morphed it into an espresso machine!

Jokes aside, the KitchenAid Espresso Machine isn’t the most attractive coffee maker I’ve ever seen, but its curved lines and utilitarian vibe will fit nicely into most kitchens.

Speaking of fitting in, the KitchenAid is definitely on the compact side, making it ideal for kitchens with limited counter space. With that said, the removable water tank pulls up from the rear, so overhead cabinets might get in the way.

Kitchenaid Espresso machine user interface

Costing $349.99, this is no budget machine. However, my first impressions were of a well-built espresso maker with more than a couple of cool design features.

I’ll go into more detail later in this KitchenAid Espresso Machine review, suffice to say the steam wand and commercial-grade portafilter looked pretty impressive right off the bat. What’s more, I’m always happy to see stainless steel options, so points for KitchenAid there.

Aside from its 15 bar Italian pump and thermocoil heating, the biggest selling point of this espresso machine is its consistent temperature control. KitchenAid makes a big deal about how this is the first residential machine to feature dual temperature sensors. Again, you can be sure I’ll go deeper into that a little later.

KitchenAid Espresso Machine Features

Now that we’ve got a better idea of what we’re dealing with, it’s time for the nitty gritty! Let’s continue this KitchenAid Espresso Machine review by looking at the features and components involved.

Housing Material

As I mentioned earlier, you can get hold of a stainless steel version of the KitchenAid Espresso Machine, although it’ll set you back a little more. Still, as you can see from the photos, I opted to buy the plastic version.

While I’m often disappointed by plastic housing on coffee makers, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall build quality here. Suffice to say, the KitchenAid felt pretty darn solid for the price. That said, I’m sure the stainless steel model will feel more premium.

Colors

It’s always nice to have options, which is why I’m pleased to see that the KitchenAid Espresso Machine is available in more than just one color.

Regular Coffeeness readers will know that I’m always likely to go for a neutral tone. However, I’m well aware that some of you like to express yourselves! With that in mind, here are the color options available:

I don’t know about you, but Empire Red sounds a bit ominous to me. It makes me think of that evil overlord guy from the Star Wars movies. I think I’ll stick with Brushed Stainless Steel!

User Interface

There’s really nothing complicated or intimidating about this espresso maker’s user interface. In fact, I’d say beginner home baristas will have no problems getting started without studying the user manual. With that said, learning to adjust the shot volume or temperature did require some reading time.

Located on the front of the machine, the user interface consists of four buttons with LED lights. The first is for selecting coffee, steam or water and the second lets you select between single and double shots. Then there’s a button for initiating the cleaning cycle as well as one for starting or stopping the brew cycle. See, I told you there was nothing complicated!

Removable Water Tank

Earlier in this KitchenAid Espresso Machine review I mentioned that the removable water tank is located at the rear. That means you’ll have to pull the machine out if it’s sitting beneath overhead cabinets in your kitchen.

Kitchenaid espresso machine removable water tank

I guess that’s not ideal, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. Anyway, the machine only weighs 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms), so you’re not exactly going to get a workout!

What I like about the KitchenAid’s 49 ounce (1.4 liter) reservoir is that it’s easy to remove, using the integrated handle. Plus, the clear plastic means you’ll be able to keep a close eye on the machine’s water levels.

Thermocoil Heating System

If you’ve spent much time researching home espresso machines, you’d be forgiven for getting confused about thermoblocks and thermocoils. What’s the difference and which one is better? As it happens, both offer rapid heating, so you won’t need to wait for half an hour for your espresso machine to be ready.

The KitchenAid Espresso Machine is equipped with a thermocoil, which uses a single tube to heat water. Unlike thermoblocks, which use several pieces, a thermocoil may need a little time to recover in between shots. Still, we’re talking seconds, so no biggie.

Anyway, once you’ve switched the KitchenAid on, it’ll only take around 45 seconds to come up to temperature. That’s pretty darn impressive if you ask me!

Temperature Control

As you probably already know, consistency is key when preparing espresso. With so many variables at play, being able to control things like grind size and dose is vital. That’s where the KitchenAid Espresso Machine’s temperature control function comes into play. 

As I already mentioned, the folks at KitchenAid want you to know how big of a deal this is. And really, who can blame them? The fact that this espresso maker has a pair of smart temperature sensors is really cool.

The machine can ensure optimal temperature during the extraction process, which means you’ll get consistent results every time. Let’s call that a win, shall we!

Portafilter

For a machine at this price point, I was initially very impressed by the KitchenAid’s 58 millimeter portafilter. Many home espresso machines come with cheap, lightweight portafilters, but this one is nice and substantial. What’s more, the portafilter design features recessed dual spouts, so it’ll sit flat on your counter. That’s only going to make tamping easier.

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However, during my testing I experienced quite a few irritating problems with the KitchenAid portafilter. For starters, there’s a plastic insert in there, around which your espresso tends to pool. So, I had to keep taking the filter basket out to clean up. But if you take the plastic out, you’re left with two gaping holes instead of spouts. Overall, the design of this thing leaves a lot to be desired.

The KitchenAid Espresso Machine comes with four filter baskets, two of which are single-wall and two of which are dual-wall. I was going to say you should just throw the pressurized dual wall baskets in the trash. However, it’s probably a good idea to keep them around for pulling the odd decaf coffee shot from pre ground coffee.

Tamper

Kitchenaid Espresso machine tamper
Kitchenaid Espresso machine tamper

Another sign that the folks at KitchenAid actually care comes in the form of the included espresso tamper. All too often, manufacturers just throw in a useless plastic tamper as an afterthought. However, with the KitchenAid Espresso Machine you’ll get a tamper that’s actually worth having.

Sure, it’s not the best I’ve ever seen, but it’s made from stainless steel and has some weight to it. I can only hope that someone from Breville is reading this. Guys, I love your machines, but you need to up your tamper game!

Cup Warmer

As you’ve probably guessed, the top of the KitchenAid Espresso Machine doubles as a cup warmer. This isn’t actively heated, but it’ll do a nice job of warming your espresso cups. And I shouldn’t have to tell you that espresso always tastes better from a pre-warmed cup!

Steam Wand

Kitchenaid Espresso machine steam wand

Another standout feature of the KitchenAid Espresso Machine is its commercial-style manual steam wand. I’m often frustrated by steam wands on budget espresso machines because they simply don’t have enough versatility.

While I found the steam to be a little awkward, at least it rotates 360 degrees and can tilt forward or backward. That’s a real plus when it comes to creating microfoam seeing as you’ll be able to steam milk at just the right angle.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the machine comes with a stainless steel milk pitcher. Way to go KitchenAid!

Cup Height

Unlike a super automatic espresso machine, you won’t be able to adjust the spout height on the KitchenAid. From my experience, you won’t have any problems fitting a latte macchiato glass under the portafilter. Still, you might need to remove the drip tray if you’re brewing into a taller travel mug.

Speaking of the drip tray, it’s not the biggest, so you’ll need to empty it regularly. The good news is that there’s a nifty little indicator that’ll let you know when it’s time.

The bad news is that I experienced liquid continuing to drip from the portafilter for up to 30 seconds after pulling a shot. So, you’ll be seeing that indicator more frequently than you’d like!

Accessories

I’ve already mentioned a couple of the included accessories during this KitchenAid Espresso Machine review. Still, for the sake of completeness, here’s a list of what you’ll get:

  • Coffee scoop

  • Tamper

  • Milk pitcher

  • 4 x filter baskets

  • Cleaning brush

At this point I should discuss a pretty cool optional accessory that can be paired with the machine. The KitchenAid Automatic Milk Frother has been designed to attach to the espresso machine.

Costing $79.99, this is actually really cool for those who don’t care about manually steaming milk. From what I can tell, the automatic frother works pretty well and even has a microfoam adjustment dial.

Warranty

KitchenAid appliances are known for being well made, but faulty machines make their way out into the world from time to time. In the unlikely event that your espresso maker turns out to be a lemon, the manufacturer has you covered with a one-year limited warranty.

Essentially, KitchenAid will send you a replacement machine, free of charge. Of course, you’ll need to have your proof of purchase handy. Still, if you bought the machine on Amazon you’ll be able to find it in your order history.

How To Use the KitchenAid Espresso Machine

Remember how I said there’s nothing complicated about this machine? I wasn’t kidding! Seriously, getting started with the KitchenAid Espresso Machine is about as easy as it gets.

Before using the KitchenAid for the first time, you’ll need to rinse the water tank and filter baskets. Once that’s done, fill the water tank with cold, filtered water.

Turn the machine on and let it heat up. Once the lights stop blinking the KitchenAid is ready to roll. However, I’d recommend flushing the group head and steam wand before launching into espresso preparation.

Incidentally, you’ll get the best results from the KitchenAid Espresso Machine if you’re using high quality coffee beans ground fresh. If you don’t already own a grinder, check out my burr coffee grinder guide for inspiration!

Drink Preparation

Kitchenaid Espresso portafilter making an espresso

Earlier in this KitchenAid Espresso Machine review I mentioned that you’re able to adjust shot volume and temperature. That’s really cool because you’ll be able to dial in your shots according to the type of beans you’re using.

For now though, I’ll give you a quick rundown on how to pull a shot of espresso with this machine.

  1. Start by grinding your coffee beans and dosing the filter basket. If you’re using the single-wall, 2-shot basket, I’d recommend a starting dose of 18 grams. This is the point where you’ll really appreciate having a coffee scale at hand.

  2. Tamp the bed of ground coffee firmly and evenly, then lock the portafilter into place in the group head. I should point out that it’s a good idea to hold onto the machine as you’re doing this to prevent it from moving around too much.

  3. Toggle the first button to select espresso, then use the second button to select your desired number of shots. Finally, press the Start/Stop button to begin brewing.

  4. The machine will start by pre-infusing the coffee, then the extraction will begin. There’s no timer function, so it’s a good idea to use your phone to time your shots. Ideally, a single shot should clock in at around 20 seconds, and a double at around 30 seconds.

Kitchenaid Espresso machine making an espresso

If you want to make a cappuccino, espresso macchiato or other milk based specialty, you’ll need to steam milk before or after espresso extraction. It’s simply a case of selecting the steam function and pressing Start/Stop.

KitchenAid Espresso Machine Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning and descaling an espresso machine, there’s a lot less to worry about than with an automatic coffee maker. That said, there are a few important things to take care of on a regular basis.

I recommend giving the filter baskets a good rinse after each use. As for the steam wand, make sure to keep a dedicated damp cloth handy. Wipe off the wand after each use and you won’t have to worry about nasty milk residue building up.

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At the end of each day’s use, remove the shower screen and give it a good rinse. It’s also a good idea to backflush the machine with water, using a blind filter basket. Once a week, backflush the group head using a pinch of Urnex Espresso Machine Cleaning Powder in the blind basket.

Seeing as the KitchenAid doesn’t have a water filter, descaling the thing is really important. Fortunately, the machine will let you know when it’s time to descale. Once the Clean light is blinking, you’ll need to perform a descaling cycle, which will take around 10 minutes. I’d recommend using Durgol descaler for this.

KitchenAid Espresso Machine Specifications

KitchenAid Espresso Machine
Manufacturer

KitchenAid

Model number

KES6503

Product category

Manual espresso machine

Housing material

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Color options

Black, Charcoal Grey, Empire Red, Stainless Steel

Milk frother

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Portafilter size

58 mm

Tamping

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

47.3 fl oz / 1.4 l

Number of boilers

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

Grinder

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

Specialty drinks

0

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1460 W

Weight

17.0 lb / 7.7 kg

Dimensions

11.3 x 13.2 x 6.4 in
28.7 x 33.5 x 16.3 cm

Warranty

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: Coffee scoop, Tamper, Milk pitcher, 4 filter baskets, Cleaning brush, Instruction manual.

Current price on Amazon

$349.99

All specifications

KitchenAid vs Other Espresso Machines

Thus far, I’m more impressed by this espresso maker than I’d expected to be. Still, my KitchenAid Espresso Machine review wouldn’t be complete without looking at the competition. Let’s see how this machine fares in comparison with a couple of other reasonably priced home espresso makers.

KitchenAid vs Calphalon Temp IQ

Calphalon temp IQ espresso machin with espresso

Costing $274.99 on Amazon, the Calphalon Temp IQ is in the same price range as the KitchenAid Espresso Machine. In fact, I named the Calphalon “Best Entry-Level” machine in my home espresso machine guide 2024. 

The Calphalon Temp IQ definitely earned that award – it features PID temperature control, thermoblock heating and a commercial-grade manual steam wand. What’s more, I was impressed by the machine’s build quality during my hands-on review.

The only letdown was the absence of single-wall filter baskets. The Temp IQ is only equipped with pressurized filter baskets, which won’t go down well with more experienced baristas.

See Also: Calphalon Temp IQ Review 2024

KitchenAid vs DeLonghi Dedica

DeLonghi Dedica overview with an espresso

I’m a big fan of the DeLonghi Dedica, although aspiring home baristas might quickly outgrow this nifty little machine. Still, for $220.99, the Dedica is a really affordable starting point.

Like the Calphalon Temp IQ, this espresso maker only comes with dual-wall filter baskets. However, I was still able to get pretty good results during my hands-on review. As for the DeLonghi’s panarello steam wand, I actually loved the pillowy milk foam it produced. All in all, the DeLonghi Dedica is a solid option for espresso beginners.

See Also: DeLonghi Dedica Review 2024

KitchenAid Espresso Machine vs Others Comparison Chart

KitchenAid Espresso MachineCalphalon Temp IQ Espresso MachineDeLonghi Dedica EC685
Manufacturer

KitchenAid

Calphalon

De’Longhi

Model number

KES6503

BVCLECMP1

EC685

Product category

Manual espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Manual espresso machine

Housing material

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Color options

Black, Charcoal Grey, Empire Red, Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Black, Metallic, Red, White

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

58 mm

58 mm

51 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

47.3 fl oz / 1.4 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

37.2 fl oz / 1.1 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

4.8 in / 12.2 cm

Grinder

N/A

N/A

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

N/A

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

N/A

N/A

Specialty drinks

0

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1460 W

1350 W

1300 W

Weight

17.0 lb / 7.7 kg

15.1 lb / 6.8 kg

9.3 lb / 4.2 kg

Dimensions

11.3 x 13.2 x 6.4 in
28.7 x 33.5 x 16.3 cm

12.8 x 9.8 x 12.2 in
32.5 x 24.9 x 31.0 cm

12.0 x 13.0 x 5.9 in
30.5 x 33.0 x 15.0 cm

Warranty

1 year

3 years

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: Coffee scoop, Tamper, Milk pitcher, 4 filter baskets, Cleaning brush, Instruction manual.

Included Accessories: Stainless steel milk jug, Tamper, cleaning disc, Cleaning pin, User manual.

Included Accessories: Tamper / coffee scoop, 3 x filter baskets, Instruction booklet. Optional water filter not included.

Current price on Amazon

$349.99

$274.99

$220.99

KitchenAid Espresso MachineCalphalon Temp IQ Espresso MachineDeLonghi Dedica EC685
Manufacturer

KitchenAid

Calphalon

De’Longhi

Model number

KES6503

BVCLECMP1

EC685

Product category

Manual espresso machine

Hybrid espresso machine

Manual espresso machine

Housing material

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Plastic with stainless steel parts

Color options

Black, Charcoal Grey, Empire Red, Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Black, Metallic, Red, White

Milk frother

Steam wand

Steam wand

Steam wand

User interface

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

Buttons and dials

App

User profiles

Memo function only

Memo function only

Memo function only

Portafilter size

58 mm

58 mm

51 mm

Tamping

Manual

Manual

Manual

Removable water reservoir

Water reservoir capacity

47.3 fl oz / 1.4 l

67.6 fl oz / 2.0 l

37.2 fl oz / 1.1 l

Number of boilers

1

1

1

Pump pressure

15 bar

15 bar

15 bar

Maximum cup height

4.5 in / 11.4 cm

4.0 in / 10.2 cm

4.8 in / 12.2 cm

Grinder

N/A

N/A

N/A

Grind adjustment levels

N/A

N/A

N/A

Bean hopper capacity

N/A

N/A

N/A

Specialty drinks

0

1

1

Pre-infusion

Adjustable coffee temperature

Adjustable milk foam temperature

2-cup function

Yes

Yes (non-milk drinks only)

No

Hot water function

Hot milk function

Milk foam only option

Water filter

Power consumption

1460 W

1350 W

1300 W

Weight

17.0 lb / 7.7 kg

15.1 lb / 6.8 kg

9.3 lb / 4.2 kg

Dimensions

11.3 x 13.2 x 6.4 in
28.7 x 33.5 x 16.3 cm

12.8 x 9.8 x 12.2 in
32.5 x 24.9 x 31.0 cm

12.0 x 13.0 x 5.9 in
30.5 x 33.0 x 15.0 cm

Warranty

1 year

3 years

1 year

Notes

Included Accessories: Coffee scoop, Tamper, Milk pitcher, 4 filter baskets, Cleaning brush, Instruction manual.

Included Accessories: Stainless steel milk jug, Tamper, cleaning disc, Cleaning pin, User manual.

Included Accessories: Tamper / coffee scoop, 3 x filter baskets, Instruction booklet. Optional water filter not included.

Current price on Amazon

$349.99

$274.99

$220.99

Verdict: KitchenAid Espresso Machine Review

Suitable for beginners

KitchenAid Espresso Machine

Great value for money

Compact design

Affordable price tag

Dual temperature control

Thermocoil heating

Easy to use

Badly designed portafilter

No water filter

At the start of this KitchenAid Espresso Machine review I mentioned that I was a little skeptical. I worried that the manufacturer was simply jumping on the espresso maker bandwagon. However, after taking a closer look, it seems like KitchenAid really means business. 

In truth though, I was only able to get passable espresso from this machine. I experimented with dose and grind size, but the KitchenAid couldn’t really deliver anything special.

With that said, I feel like this is a solid option for those who want a compact, affordable machine that’s easy to use. As for more adventurous espresso explorers, I’d recommend looking elsewhere.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my KitchenAid Espresso Machine review. What’s your experience using this machine? Tell me all about it in the comments section!

KitchenAid Espresso Machine Review FAQ

You can definitely use non dairy milk with the KitchenAid Espresso Machine. You’ll likely get the best results with soy milk or oat milk.

The KitchenAid Espresso Machine is made in China.

Given its affordable price tag, the KitchenAid Espresso Machine is a great option for those on a limited budget.

As long as you perform regular maintenance and descaling, the KitchenAid Espresso Machine should last for at least 10 years.

Your coffee expert
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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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