Struggling to find an affordable yet handy espresso machine that can make excellent espresso?
Have a look at the Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine which literally makes us impressed. We have found quite a few similarities with the Breville Infuser in terms of features, however, the Calphalon comes with an inexpensive pricing tag compared to the Infuser.
So, in this comprehensive guide, we will share Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine Review and detailed explanations of some critical features that you may not get from anywhere.
Stick around and let’s get cracking…
Calphalon Espresso Machine – At A Glance
Calphalon is an American brand of appliances, cookware, bakeware, and cutlery. It’s founded by Ronald M. Kasperzak in 1963 and is now located in Perrysburg, Ohio. Since the beginning of the establishment, they have been gaining more and more popularity for their durable and corrosion-resistant cookware. It all happened due to Mr. Kasperzak’s revolutionary invention of hard-anodized aluminum cookware.
Although Calphalon is vastly famous for their cookware, they do produce electric appliances as well. Most importantly, those are more affordable than their competitor’s products available in the market.
Calphalon Temp IQ is a sturdy espresso machine that is capable of producing cafe-quality espresso inside the comfort of home without spending tons of bucks in coffee shops. It’s all possible because of its Thermoblock heating system, PID temperature control, 15-bar Italian pressure pump, ease of usability, and many other key aspects which we will talk about in the review segment.
Moreover, as we have said earlier, you will find it almost similar to the famous Breville Infuser which comes with an even higher pricing tag.
Benefits of This Handy Espresso Machine
Before diving into the review, let’s have a look at what benefits Calphalon espresso machines can bring for us. These will help you to decide whether you want to buy this espresso maker or not.
- Can make decent espresso with a rich crema on top. Just make sure to use good quality coffee beans and the right filter basket.
- Comes with an inexpensive price tag. Compared to the price, the manufacturer has added quite a few necessary features which will help you in making robust-flavored espresso.
- Features a 15-bar pump which is great for optimal flavor extraction out of the coffee grounds and eventually ends up with a nice layer of crema on top of the espresso.
- Has a pre-infusion phase to bloom coffee grounds before the final extraction. This will ensure that all the grounds are completely wet, it plays a vital role in pulling an even shot.
- On-demand hot water will let you make tea, hot cocoa, chocolate, or even authentic americano in a flash.
- The steamer can do a decent job in delivering velvety milk foam for making Latte or Cappuccino. Besides, the ball joint connection makes the steam wand easy to move.
- Although it’s a compact-looking machine, it comes with a pretty large water reservoir which holds 2 liters of water.
- The top cup warmer ensures that the authentic espresso taste is not ruining because of cold serving vessels.
Moreover, the Temp IQ from Calphalon comes with additional components to make the brewing smoother such as a stainless steel milk pitcher, steam wand top cleaner, single and double shot pressurized filter basket, and a nice tamper. Finally, the machine is backed by an awesome 3 years of limited warranty from Calphalon.
- 15-Bar Italian pump delivers the right amount of pressure for maximum flavor extraction and produces a beautiful layer of crema for your Espresso
- Dial interface for selecting steam, hot water, and pre-programmed single and double shots
- 58mm café-sized porta filter holds more grounds and ensures even water dispersion and extraction for robust flavor
- Thermoblock heating technology and PID temperature control delivers even heat for consistently great-tasting Espresso, and pre-infusion gently blooms The espresso grounds for optimally extracted Espresso
- Removable 2.0L water reservoir with hinged lid for easy filling
Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine Review
The Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine has a pre-infusion feature. The purpose of pre-infusion is to cover the coffee grounds with hot water before the final extraction begins. This helps to extract more flavor from the coffee grounds and makes a better-tasting espresso shot.
Thermoblock heating element + PID Temperature Control
The Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine features a Thermoblock heating element. It’s a type of heating element that heats water when it travels through the block. Although water comes in contact with that heating block for a short time, the Thermoblock heating system is powerful enough to increase the temperature to an optimal level that will make perfectly-temperatured coffee and dry steam. This sort of heating element uses less energy than other types of heating elements, which is another benefit too.
The PID temperature control of the Calphalon Espresso Machine is a great way to maintain the temperature of your coffee. It adjusts the temperature in small increments so that it never goes over or under the desired temperature. This is a good thing for espresso because if the water gets too hot, it will burn off some of the flavors and make your drink taste burnt. Similarly, low temperature can result in an under-extracted shot that tastes sour.
Ease of use
A single dial-based control panel makes this espresso machine super easy to use. You don’t need to have any critical technical skills to operate this machine. There are certain positions for a single and double shot of espresso along with hot water and steam.
All you need to do is turn the machine On and when the READY light is solid, rotate the dial to any of 4 positions according to your needs. The machine will then take a few seconds to heat it up and start the process in no time.
This machine comes with a commercial-sized 58 millimeters portafilter which is great for even water distribution and producing cafe-quality espresso within the comfort of your home. Its wide size helps coffee grounds to spread evenly and makes the tamping job a lot easier.
With the machine, you will get two filter baskets (single and double shot) that can be suited perfectly into the portafilter.
Although the handle is made of plastic and connected with the main part using glue, it will work just fine unless you attach it to the group head aggressively.
Effortless Milk Texturing
The steam wand of the Temp IQ is as good as some other competitors such as Breville Barista Express or The Infuser. Of course, it’s a manual steamer and to froth milk, you just need to turn the rotating dial to steam position and place the wand at about 45 in order to eliminate large bubbles. Needless to say, this steamer is powerful enough to produce shiny microfoam along with creamy froth for Cappuccinos, Lattes, and many more.
You will notice that the tip of the steamer is not screwed so that you have to remove it for a thorough clean. However, you can clean any cloggings using the cleaning needle.
Stainless Steel With Plastic Made Exterior
This machine is made of both plastic and stainless steel. If you look from the front, the glossy stainless steel will entice you easily. Apart from the front, both sides, the top, and the water reservoir are made of plastic but at an affordable price range, we don’t think that these are enough for a deal-breaker. Overall, we think it will add a little aesthetics to any kitchen for sure.
Large Water Reservoir
The removable water reservoir of Temp IQ holds 2L/68 approx. of water which is impressive for such a compact-sized espresso machine. Due to this large capacity, you don’t have to fill the reservoir frequently which sometimes feels cumbersome. So, with this machine, you can make quite a few shots of espresso before you have to fill it again.
Top Cup Warmer
Warm serving vessels alongside perfectly-temperatured coffee play a significant role in delivering a pleasant tasting espresso. Calphalon has taken this consideration seriously and included a cup warmer on top of the machine. It’s made of plastic but can do a good job in warming espresso shot glasses or cups. There’s a small place as well for storing the tamper too. So, there’s no room for lowering the temperature of your espresso.
15 Bar Pressure Pump
When it comes to espresso-making, pressure is one of the most significant aspects just like temperature, and grind size. The Temp IQ espresso machine featured an Italian 15 bar pressure pump which is recommended by many coffee connoisseurs. This standard pressure pump will ensure that the shot of your espresso is perfectly extracted rather than under or over-extracted that tastes sour and bitter respectively.
Innovative Drip Tray With Internal Storage
The drip tray of this machine reminds us of the drip tray of Breville’s espresso machine. Yes, they are all identical. There’s enough place under the stainless steel grate for holding any accidental espresso shot or water. Inside the drip tray, you will notice a small clean me knob which will pop up when it’s time to dump out the liquids from the drip tray.
How To Use Calphalon Espresso Machine
In this segment of the guide, we will learn how to use the Temp IQ espresso machine with some simple steps. So, let’s hop to it…
- Fill the water reservoir up to the max line with some fresh cold water in order to avoid frequent loading.
- Grab your grinder unless you are using the With Grinder version of Temp IQ. Grind your coffee beans at the desired grind size. Now, place either a single or double shot filter basket and put coffee grounds into that basket. Lastly, tamp the coffee grounds to make an even bed which helps to make an even extraction.
- Attach the portafilter with the group head and press the On/Off button. You will see that the light is flashing which indicates that the unit is heating up.
- When the light is solid, rotate the dial to either 1 or 2 shot positions. Place your shot glass underneath the group head and within a short time, the flow of espresso should be started.
- When you get the desired amount of liquid, rotate the switch to the Ready position to stop the flow.
How To Froth/Steam Milk
For frothing or steaming milk basic procedures are all the same. Before immersing the steam tip into the milk pitcher, turn the switch to the Steam position and let residuals come out that were stuck inside the wand.
After making sure that the steam wand is clear and good to go turn the switch to the Ready position again and now immerse the wand tip into the milk pitcher at about 45 for optimal steaming/frothing output. When the milk pitcher is too hot and hard to touch, turn the rotating switch again to the Ready position and that is pretty much it.
Since the Calphalon Temp IQ comes with an inexpensive price tag we would dare to say that it’s the most perfect semi-automatic espresso machine in the market. We have noticed some drawbacks of this machine which you should know before going to get one. Let’s find out some.
- The portafilter is made of stainless steel and the filter basket holding part is connected to the handle using glue which is definitely poorly built. So, to get durable support, you shouldn’t use the portafilter aggressively.
- Aside from the front, most of the exterior parts are made of plastic. The handle of the portafilter is also made of plastic along with a cup warmer, drip tray, tamper, and water tank.
- Unless you purchase the With Grinder version of Temp IQ, you can actually program your drink. This means you have to depend on the machine vastly for espresso quality.
- The instructions manual mostly focused on the With Grinder version. (Make sure to follow this guide along with the instructions manual to avoid any inconvenience).
These are some of the disadvantages that we think you need to know before buying a Temp IQ espresso machine. If you consider the price point, these drawbacks aren’t deal-breakers, that’s for sure as you can do all the basic brewing jobs smoothly, in fact in a perfectly, we would say.
With Grinder or Without Grinder?
You already know that the Calphalon Temp IQ has two different versions: With Grinder and Without Grinder. In this segment of the guide, we will try to get an assumption about which one should be right for coffee drinkers.
The Temp IQ with grinder model is nothing special, to be honest apart from a little different front panel and integrated grinder. The grinder does a pretty good job though. However, we don’t think it would be a great choice to buy an espresso machine with an integrated grinder as many manufacturers try to put more effort into either the coffee extraction part or the grinding part. But we want the best out of both, isn’t it?
If so, we think it would be a much smarter decision to purchase a separate grinder such as Breville Smart Grinder Pro. That way, you will save some bucks and get the optimal grinding output for better espresso.
After all, we are standing with the Non-Grinder version with a separate handy grinder.
Breville Vs Calphalon Espresso Machine
As we have mentioned multiple times the Temp IQ from Calphalon has quite a few similarities with Breville Infuser and Barista Express. The Calphalon With Grinder version is almost identical to the Barista Express while the Non-Grinder version is like the Infuser.
However, Breville’s product comes with a much higher pricing range because of its durable build material and most importantly superior coffee out. We would say, Breville’s products are reasonably priced. So, if you have a decent budget to buy such a machine then don’t wait, go for it.
Now, if you are on a budget or just set foot in the espresso world and don’t want to break the bank then Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso machine would definitely be a bang for the buck.
Should You Buy a Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine?
Like we said in their previous segment if you are on a budget but craving for getting such a machine that can make espresso similar to the way Breville’s machine makes then the Temp IQ could be a great choice for you. To us, this machine is hands down one of the best semi-automatic espresso machines that come with an affordable price range. Although, you won’t get some additional features such as programmable brewing and manual temperature control it can get the job done efficiently.
Is Calphalon A Good Brand For Espresso?
Yes, without any doubt. Calphalon’s espresso machine can make great espresso because of its cutting-edge brewing technology such as pre-infusion, PID temperature control, and thermoblock fast heating system. After all, its affordable pricing tag helps the machine stand out compared to other espresso machines in the market.
Where Is Calphalon Espresso Machine Made
The manual says it’s made in China however the materials and parts that are used in building the machine are made in Ohio, USA. Overall, the machine seems sturdy and doesn’t feel that cheap. Compared to the price, we would say, it’s pretty well-built.
What Material Is The Portafilter Made Of?
The portafilter is made of stainless steel therefore rust-resistant and will provide durable support. Due to the stainless steel as the build material, it retains heat pretty well which is a key to producing an enjoyable shot of espresso.
Finally came through all the way to the end of the Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine Review. We hope this comprehensive guide will help you in understanding various aspects that will make your decision-making easier.
Its compact and sleek design along with top-notch technology will attract any coffee lover to get one. Moreover, a three-year warranty also gives peace of mind that the machine will last for a while.
If you have any questions/thoughts regarding this guide, please feel free to write them in the comment section below, we would love to answer them. Also, don’t forget to share it with your coffee lover friends who are looking for a decent yet inexpensive espresso machine.