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Aldi Kuchef Semi-auto, Advice Requested

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  • Aldi Kuchef Semi-auto, Advice Requested

    Hi all,

    I am looking to pick up my first machine and Aldi have this semi-auto espresso machine on sale from this coming Wednesday, could anyone offer their opinion on it? Should I be worried about the "advanced crema system filter"? I have read advice to avoid portafilters with these types of systems. Also, often aldi use rebadged products, does anyone recognize it as something else and know of reviews of the original?

    I am tempted to give it a try anyway and use the 60-day no questions return policy if it doesn't suit.


  • #2
    It'd probably be on the same level as a Breville BES250 or Sunbeam EM3600, entry level gear with the same thermoblocks, same thermostats and same functionality. The design elements of this machine look like they've been directly copied from equivalent Breville and Sunbeam machines. The top cover looks Breville, the drip tray and float look Sunbeam.
    I do like the overhanging cover where the buttons are located on top of the machine, this is a new design on this style of machine.

    The so called advanced crema system is just a dual wall basket, the same as used by most manufacturers on their entry level machines. This machine will probably take baskets that fit Brevilles and Sunbeams which means single wall baskets are an option.

    Temperature stability when pulling a shot is not very good and you will taste this no matter what you do. You'll want to make sure that you remove the froth enhancing tube on the steam wand as these are rubbish. From the video, it appears that the machine has a steam tip similar to Breville entry level machines which are quite capable of producing good microfoam with some practice.

    A problem I see is that the collar looks like it has tabs that prevent the group handle from being turned too far to the right. This means that when your group seal wears a bit, you can't compensate by tightening the group handle more as it only turns a certain amount. I see this problem with heaps of Breville BES250's. If you can check the machine first and see if this is indeed the case I would avoid it.

    Seeing as it does have that 60 day return policy, might be worth giving it a go anyway to see if you like this style of machine or if you would rather save up and buy something a bit better.
    There is plenty of support on these forums for the Sunbeam EM6910 and EM7000, Breville Dual Boiler, Rancilio Silvia, Lelit machines and much more.


    • #3
      I would strongly recommend taking your money elsewhere. Machines such as these are notorious for producing terrible coffee. I would suggest looking at secondhand machines, you can find great machines such as the EM6910 that have been barely used for about what you would pay new for one of these. Make sure you also consider what grinder you are using, as they are equally as important in making espresso. Have fun starting your coffee adventure!


      • #4
        Welcome aboard,I begun my journey with a very simple Aldi branded espress machine some seven years ago,still operational albeit somewhat worn and used regularly when away in our caravan.
        Our coffee mad son scoffed at it at the time I brought it home,said it would last a week.......well it's still going strong.
        Yes,there are appliances that last less then the 60 day return warranty,expensive brands also sometimes don't go beyond their warranty either.
        I am typing this on an aldi tablet 3g and the works at $140 ,tried the sumsung/iPad which were far more expensive (much more fragile) ,this more then doe's the job!
        Ports filter wear can be taken up with a cardboard shim under the seal so no big issue there.
        I suggest to you,go on try it out and if any problems you have ease return options.
        I have four em6910's now that because of little things, were tossed out,bit of TLC and are now running perfectly!
        Evolve with your coffee maker,remember : good technique and good beans equals excellent coffee.
        Last edited by mulquemi; 12 October 2014, 12:28 PM. Reason: Typo


        • #5
          Hi Mukah,

          Differing opinions aside, no machine no matter how good will give you good coffee if you don't have a decent grinder to go with it. Pre-ground coffee, will be stale and not necessarily the right grind for the machine. So i would advise that you get a good grinder and fresh coffee beans regardless of your decision on which coffee machine that you buy. There are heaps of threads on here that can inform you on good grinders - new or second hand.

          Best of luck with the start of your journey, you won't regret it!

          Cheers, Dave


          • #6
            Are you happy with the coffee you get served at McCafe, Wild Bean Cafe, Starbucks, Gloria Jeans and the like? If so then you'll probably be happy enough with this machine. If your tastes are more refined and you like stronger coffee with more flavour then it will probably disappoint. I'm sure it will perform ok for what it is, it just has some limitations that's all.


            • #7
              Haii Mukha, I have an espresso coffee machine from last 5 years and I enjoy my coffee each day. It boost me up from start of the day and I am energetic always. I suggest you get a new one because it will last for long and you have to well maintain it. Till now I didn’t have any issue with my espresso coffee machine. All the best!!


              • #8
                A few years ago as my second espresso machine I had an Aldi Mezzo Espresso Italiano coffee machine. It was an Italian built thermoblock machine. Unlike the Aldi Kuchef it came with single walled baskets. It produced acceptable coffee when using a good grinder and good quality freshly ground coffee and some temperature surfing.

                In the Aldi video about using the Kuchef machine they used preground coffee and too much water through the grounds so the coffee would not be expected to be very good.

                Perhaps the Kuchef would be ok if you could get single walled baskets to fit and use fresh coffee.



                • #9
                  I ended up with a Kuchef espresso machine which I brought second hand, and while it looked amazing, it was hard to overlook its fundamental flaws, such as the part that holds the coffee (with the handle) not even fitting into the machine, so that water pours out when in use (I have attached a rubber band to the handle to get as much as possible to go into the drip tray). It also leaks like a bitch; all under the unit and has destroyed the shelving it has been sitting on. Thismorning I woke up and the steamer has died. Sipping on a "coffee straight into cold milk" right now so pretty keen to get the word out there. In summary: never worked properly and died suddenly. I recall reading this thread before I brought the bastard, so here is your warning, peeps.


                  • #10
                    interestingly,I collected an identical machine from my local recycle shop for $5.00 and despite the machine operating initially at the test plug (at the shop it ) failed to steam after setting it up at home.
                    I opened the kurchef up and located a failed steam thermostat,replaced that and has worked beautifully ever since.
                    Some people are just in lucky I suppose,I also replaced the group seal with a spare Breville seal I had and it fitted nicely.
                    Now added to my collection (55 at last count!).I must look at moving some on some day!
                    More information please as I maybe able to help.