This $60 Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Maker is a perfect low-budget starter appliance for small kitchens

Pull double (or quadruple) shots with the cute, compact, Mr. Coffee steam espresso maker

Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Maker with stainless steel metal milk frothing pitcher on marble kitchen countertop with white tiled kitchen wall in background
(Image credit: Future / Camryn Rabideau)
Real Homes Verdict

If you’re particular about your espresso or want to make lattes daily, this probably isn’t the machine for you. However, if you’re new to the world of espresso and would like to make an occasional drink at home, it’s a solid, budget-friendly option! Many similar-functioning machines cost over $100, with high-end models over $500.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    XL portafilter brews up to four shots

  • +

    Built-in milk frothing wand

  • +

    Water pitcher, measuring scoop, and frothing pitcher included

  • +

    One-year warranty

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No single-shot option

  • -

    Measuring scoop is ineffective at tamping

  • -

    Hard to get portafilter into machine

  • -

    Machine splatters coffee

  • -

    Hand-clean only

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

A shot of Joe is one of my favorite treats, and with the Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Maker, I can easily make them right in the comfort of my own home — and save a little cash in the process. To see if this budget-friendly espresso maker is worth bringing home, I tested it out for a week (I'm a product reviewer specializing in home and kitchen products), making lots of lattes to replace my morning cup. 

While the appliance does have a few quirks, I thought its overall performance was impressive considering its compact size and wallet-friendly price point, and I’ll be keeping it around for those times I need an extra jolt of caffeine. 

This compact espresso maker is a new release from Mr. Coffee, which is known for its budget-friendly kitchen appliances, and it’s surprisingly affordable at just $60. In addition to brewing fresh shots of espresso, it’s equipped with an easy-to-use milk frother so you can whip up lattes and cappuccinos that will rival your favorite barista’s. That’s not to say it's perfect. The tamp isn’t very effective, and you have to wrestle the portafilter into place. Not to mention, all the pieces are hand-wash only. However, none of these factors are deal breakers.

  • Model number: BVMCECM-STMMN-BL
  • Dimensions (in.): H12.28 x W6.46 x L8.62
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Water tank capacity: 8 fl oz (US)
  • Cord length (in): 24
  • Wattage: 900W
  • Accessories included: Plastic water pitcher, plastic espresso measuring scoop, and stainless steel milk-frothing pitcher.
Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Maker: Quick list

Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Maker review

Setting up the espresso maker

When this small coffee maker arrived, I was surprised at how light the box was. The appliance was packaged in a thick layer of foam and wrapped in an additional plastic bag — not the most sustainable — but it was fully assembled right out of the box. All I had to do was remove a few pieces of tape holding the drip tray in place and insert the portafilter. Before using the coffee maker for the first time, the manual says to run water through it to rinse it out.

Using the espresso maker

Camryn Rabideau, a caucasian woman using plastic measuring jug to fill Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Maker machine

(Image credit: Future / Camryn Rabideau)

To make an espresso, start by filling up the water tank using the measuring cup that comes in the box, using its lines to pour the right amount of water for either two or four shots of espresso. There’s no option for a single shot, but I found you can stop the brew cycle when you have as much espresso as you want.

Camryn Rabideau using measuring scoop to measure Illy ground espresso into Mr. Coffee espresso maker portafilter

(Image credit: Future / Camryn Rabideau)

Next, I used the included scoop to put ground espresso into the portafilter — the handle-like piece that has a little basket on the end for your coffee grounds. Again, there are lines to let you choose between 2-4 shots, but they’re on the outside of the filter basket, making it tricky to fill precisely. 

The back of the scoop is flat, allowing you to tamp down the espresso, but honestly, it’s pretty ineffective. If you buy this machine, I’d recommend picking up a cheap tamper (a small tool to push down coffee grounds) more effectively. This 51mm stainless steel coffee tamper on Amazon is cheap and highly-rated by shoppers.

Camryn Rabideau putting portafilter into Mr. Coffee Steam espreso machine

(Image credit: Future / Camryn Rabideau)

Putting the portafilter into the machine is a task that’s easier said than done. The manual says it’s a tight fit — and they weren’t kidding! Because the machine is so lightweight, it tends to slide around as you twist the portafilter into place, so you have to use some muscle to hold it down and twist the handle. 

Hopefully, it will loosen up over time, otherwise, you’re in for an arm workout every time you want to make a drink! This is worth keeping in mind if you have any trouble with your grip strength.

Test 1: Making espresso

A double-walled espresso mug filled with espresso that has a thin layer of crema made using the Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Maker

(Image credit: Future / Camryn Rabideau)

To use this coffee maker, you simply turn the dial on the side of the machine to start brewing. It takes around two minutes for the water to heat up, before it presses hot steam through the espresso grounds to extract all that delicious caffeine. I have a special espresso glass that’s perfect for one shot, but I found it’s easier to brew into a mug — it splatters a lot less.

I don’t consider myself an espresso connoisseur, but I thought the drink was pretty good! There wasn’t a thick layer of crema (the reddish foam on espressos) like other fancier machines create, but it was still flavorful and the foundation for a great latte. 

Test 2: Frothing milk

Contributing editor, Camryn Rabideau (a caucasian woman) frothing milk in stainless steel metal pitcher using the Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Maker

(Image credit: Future / Camryn Rabideau)

The Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Maker has a built-in milk frother on the right side that allows you to froth milk for your drinks, and the small kitchen appliance also comes with a handy metal pitcher for the task. 

If you’re making an espresso drink, the instructions say you should pause the machine mid-brew to froth your drink. However, I also successfully did it after the brewing was complete, so I don’t think it matters when you do it, as long as there’s hot steam left. 

I filled the pitcher roughly halfway full with milk, then inserted the spigot (the little faucet where the espresso comes out) under the surface of the liquid. I turned the dial to the froth setting, and it started jetting out hot steam and making the milk bubble. 

The milk steadily increased in volume (which is why you don’t want to fill the pitcher up too high) and temperature, and I turned it off when the outside of the pitcher was hot to the touch. 

Contributing editor, Camryn Rabideau, a caucasian woman pouring frothed milk from a stainless steel metal pitcher into a pastel pink ceramic mug which is placed on a marble effect kitchen countertop

(Image credit: Future / Camryn Rabideau)

Once my milk was ready, it was just a matter of pouring the espresso and milk into a mug. I also added a pump of delicious DaVinci caramel syrup (from Amazon), a scoop of sugar, and voila! A delicious latte. It tasted every bit as good as the ones I buy, and even my partner gave the drinks two thumbs up.

Cleaning the espresso maker

Cleaning this coffee maker is fiddly, but only takes a few minutes. The first, and most important, step is to release any extra steam in the machine. To do this, you unplug it, then turn the dial to the steam setting. It will sputter out any leftover steam, and only then is it safe to take off the water tank lid.

Beyond that, you just need to wash the portafilter and frothing spigot. I dumped my used espresso into the trash, then rinsed out the filter and portafilter. Occasionally, there was a bit of residue left inside them, but it wiped off easily with a sponge. 

A reminder that these pieces are hand-wash only — it says it on the handle — so don’t risk ruining them by putting them in the dishwasher. As for the spigot, the black rubber cap slips off for easy rinsing, and you can wipe down any lingering milk foam with a sponge or paper towel.

How does it compare?

The Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Maker is one of the cheapest espresso makers we've tested, but there are better-looking designs out there, with larger water tanks so you don't have to fill it as often. All of the alternate options I've listed have longer cable lengths too; one of the things I wish I knew before buying a small coffee maker for
my power outlet-poor kitchen.

How we test espresso makers

Mr. Coffee Steam Espresso Maker accessories on white marble kitchen countertop

(Image credit: Future / Camryn Rabideau)

Here’s what I looked for while trying out the machine, in line with how the internal Real Homes team tests coffee makers

Unboxing: I looked at how well the machine was packaged and if the materials were sustainable (such as using cardboard instead of Styrofoam). 

Operation: After reading through the instruction manual, I made multiple drinks, and observed how long the machine took to warm up, how easy the controls were to operate, and how loud it was.

Drink quality: I made several drinks with the coffee maker, including espresso and lattes, and as I drank each one, I evaluated the brew strength and temperature. I also made drinks for friends and family to get their opinions on the flavor. 

Ease of use: I considered whether the appliance was easy and intuitive to operate. I also looked at the machine’s instructions, noting whether they were clearly written and easy to follow.  

Ease of cleaning: I cleaned the machine after each use, noting how long it took and if any special tools were required. 

Camryn Rabideau
Contributing Reviews Editor

Camryn Rabideau is a writer and product reviewer specializing in home and kitchen products. In her five years as a product tester, she's tested hundreds of items first-hand, including many, many kitchen appliances for Real Homes, and also works on our sister brand, Homes & Gardens. Camryn does her product testing from her small homestead in beautiful Rhode Island. Her work appears in publications such as Forbes, USA Today, The Spruce, Food52, and more. When she’s not tinkering around with the latest home gadgets, she spends her time tending to her animals, working in her garden, or crafting.