Open Thread: Ambiano Espresso Maker

Last Updated on December 6, 2020

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Aldi can be a great place to go for coffee you can make at home. The grocer sells everything from fair trade single-origin organic coffee to donut store blend ground coffee to classic decaf, and Aldi even sometimes sells seasonal specialty coffees with pumpkin spice or maple bacon flavors.

Aldi also occasionally sells coffee makers you can use at home so you can skip the Starbucks drive through and save a few bucks. Options in the past have included a programmable coffee maker, a cold brew coffee maker, and a single serve coffee maker.

What we haven’t seen Aldi sell, though, is an espresso maker. That changed when Aldi offered an espresso maker for a limited time in December of 2020.

Espresso, which originated in Italy, is different from coffee because of how it’s prepared. Coffee beans used for espresso are usually ground to a finer texture, and they are roasted for a longer time.

Espresso machines generally differ from coffee makers because they force hot water through tightly packed fine coffee grounds. As a result, espresso has two distinct layers consisting of strong coffee on the bottom and a small amount of foam or crema on the top. It generally has a concentrated flavor and more caffeine per ounce, but espresso is usually served in a smaller portion, which ultimately nets you less caffeine than a traditional cup of coffee.

With that said, here’s what we know and don’t know about the espresso maker Aldi is selling.

What We Know:

Ambiano Espresso Maker

The Ambiano Espresso Maker cost $79.99 in December of 2020.

Espresso makers from other retailers such as Target and Amazon come in a variety of sizes and styles, and the Aldi one is not the cheapest on the market, but it’s also by far not the most expensive one either.

The Aldi espresso maker is being sold alongside a Bodum Gourmet Coffee Maker assortment that runs $16.99 each, but this post deals specifically with the espresso maker.

As far as we can tell, this is the first time Aldi has sold an espresso maker. We don’t have any record of it in our own posts, and we can’t find any earlier versions in Aldi’s warranties and manuals section. However, on a different note, Aldi occasionally sells a tea latte concentrate that contains espresso.

What We Don’t Know:

We haven’t gotten our hands on one of these Ambiano Espresso Makers, so we don’t know how well it works. We write open threads on products we have not yet tried, and our hope is that this can be a landing place where others can share their thoughts and experiences with the product.

We also don’t know who makes this espresso maker or if it comes with a warranty.


Have you used Aldi’s Ambiano Espresso Maker? Tell us what you think in the comments below. 


About Rachael

Rachael is the Senior Editor for Aldi Reviewer. When she isn't busy shopping at Aldi, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and collecting house plants. You can learn more about her at www.rachaelsjohnston.com.

42 Comments

  1. Aldis did sell a fantastic 15 bar machine with heated frother a few years ago, under the Crofton brand. It was excellent. A very heavy machine. Looked a lot like a Capresso model. They charged $69 for it.

  2. I bought one today as soon as I saw the ad. Tried it out and it produced a delicious cup of espresso. The directions are about 14 pages, which consist primarily of warnings. A code to scan for a video of how to use it, in addition to the CYA booklet, would be nice.

  3. Bought this today, has a frother and 15 bar pump pressure. Water tank that holds 39 oz. has auto shut off after 29 min per specs. 3 year warranty. The water tank cover is a bit flimsy and the overall construction of that tank is similar to the nespresso tanks. Has a tamper and scoop included. Has 2 cup and 1 cup capacity filters. Heating time about 1-2 min for water. Really a great deal for what the specs are.

    • Thanks for the info!

    • How is the steam wand? I’ve had the cheaper delonghi machines in the past and they have something in the design of the steam wands that create more foam than I’d like…is this similar? Thanks

      • Steam wand is mediocre. Does make a ton of foam in seconds. The wand itself It’s about 3 or so inches from the 90’ angle point so it’s pretty awkward to Make velvety milk with microfoam, but—-it is totally doable- just take a couple practice runs. I actually had to use a Moscow mule mug get get a short enough receptacle to make the frothed milk. Still a super value!!

    • Can i use normal coffee for the machine instead espresso ,i like to drink coffee and wonderi g if this is possible.

      • Espresso isn’t a type of coffee, it’s a method of brewing. You can use whatever you want. Do keep in mind that most pre-ground coffee is typically too course to get a really good pull, so I would suggest you get the bulk beans in a grocery store or such, and use the grinder to get a fine grind.

        Or buy your own grinder.

      • I believe they mix the espresso with hot (boiling) water in Italy and it’s called an Americano…their version of American coffee. You could probably put in fewer and courser grounds and get something like normal coffee. Not sure why you would bother, when you can buy a regular coffee maker for about 1/3 of the cost of this machine.

  4. I picked on of these up a few days ago. I worked as a barista for a small coffee shop, and while it’s not a $2000+ VBM machine, it makes really good cup of espresso.

    The wand is dang near useless without a lot of practice. Really easy to get a lot of smooth foam, but you can barely get the milk hot doing so. Lattes are dang near right out, but man can you make a mean cappuccino.

    Lightweight plastic abounds, but heats up fast and definitely punches well above it’s price class. The included tamper does the job, but is awkward as hell; get something better for that role.

    • Is the portafilter pressurized?

      • It has to be somewhat for it really make the crema. It’s not like a VBM head or something though. I do note that there does tend to be a decent pool of water on top when I remove the basket.

        There is a water pump that runs during the whole brew cycle, so that’s something. The market blerb on the box says 15bar, make if that what you will.

        Fact its, it really *does* make a stupid smooth pull.

    • I had the same issue. Fix- microwave the milk for 60 seconds first then foam away. Perfect latte

      • After two weeks of using it, I’ve gotten good and can heat the milk with little, or a lot of foam, as I desire.

        Just takes practice.

  5. Aldi sold Espresso makers back in 2019 and 2017 under the same name. The biggest complaint seems to be, that the grinder wore out after a few months.

  6. At $80 it’s hard for me not to purchase it, but I do not have the counter space and I’m trying to save money. My moka pots and chemex do just fine for me.

    I had a crappy Mr. Coffee steam espresso machine, I imagine that this one would be better?

    • Now that I’ve owned for a week, it really is a good machine. I’ve never gotten such an smooth pull so easily. I’ve gotten I’m some good practice with the steaki wand and it makes a really, really, silky milk froth.

      I’d the build quality holds up over the years, it’s an incredible machine. You do gotta practice with the wand through, otherwise you get a metric ton of foam.

      I have little counter space as w ll, but it is quit compact. Takes less room than a keurig.

    • We had the old Mr. Coffee espresso machine and learned that it was actually pretty highly rated. It broke after 4 years and we bought a new one. It was terrible… didn’t even label how many bars it had and made some kind of coffee, but definitely not espresso. Produced no crema either. Just made the first cup with this Aldi machine and am satisfied with it. The machine seems a bit lightweight and plastic but works well (so far).

  7. I bought one and am new to home espresso making – I’d love a stylish $500-$1000+ machine but have always wondered if I would actually use it. I’ve been very happy so far; have made some delicious cappuccinos; not problem with the frothed. This machine punches above its weight. And I have a small kitchen so the size is right!

  8. *no* problem with the *frother* darn it.

  9. Works wonderfully!!Priced right.

  10. OK folks, bought the Aldi’s Ambiano Espresso Machine ($79.90) three days ago and want to give it my honest review. Being a die hard espresso drinker (“cafecito” as my Cuban roots refer to it) and after looking at the features this machine offers (and comparing it with others) I decided to give it a go! And I’m very glad I did! After doing all the preliminaries to get it ready to go, I went ahead and made my first cup (made it a number of times since then). Success from the start! We Cubans like our cafecito with a “kick” and this machine delivers!! Like all its features: pressure, temperature, etc. and I have no issues with the water tank lid. Works for me just fine. I like the overall, Italian design and I like the fact that I have space to keep 4 cups on top of it without an issue.
    I will put the frother to the test but to be honest, I’m set in the way I make my “café con leche” and have a great tool to create the froth the way I prefer it.
    Recommend this unit and all I can say is, get it while it’s available. The price is right and with a 3-year warranty, it’s a no brainer. I want to close this review by giving you the formula for a serious “cafecito”.
    First and foremost, use filtered water, second, get a good espresso coffee brand. I like Pilon’s nice and robust blend. Rule #1, keep the coffee in an air tight container that you can pump out the air. It keeps it fresh. Google it, there are plenty to choose from out there.
    Third, use the two-cup brewing filter, fill it with coffee to the max line making sure you pack it down well.
    Place holder into the machine and once it reaches around 190+ degrees, it’s ready to be turned on.
    DO NOT pour directly into the espresso cup/s! instead, get one of those stainless steel oversize pouring cups (holds about 6-8 oz depending on size you buy) and add 1 “full” teaspoon of Aldi’s “Simply Nature organic cane sugar”. It makes all the difference! White sugar is for espresso drinkers wanna bes!
    Only allow 2.2 oz of the coffee to pour into the container (measure it, pour it into the container and make an approximate mark so you know when to stop pouring). Push the stop button, wait a few seconds to allow it to drip and immediately blend the sugar with the coffee using a portable, cordless mini mixer. Recommend the Norpro Deluxe Cordless Mini Mixer 5 piece set for about $10 online (use the stainless steel rotary blade but don’t overdo the mixing). You will end up with an amazing “crema”. Follow these instructions and you will be in for a delightful espresso experience! Plus you will start being recognized as an “espresso master” : )

  11. We saw this at Aldi and I immediately went to this site and checked out the reviews. Based on the positive feedback, we picked it up and could not have been more pleased.

    We used Cafe Bustelo pre-ground espresso. The grind is consistent and the flavor is very good.

    We use the provided scoop for a single shot. Add it to the portafilter, level it, tap it to get it to settle, tamp it (ensure it doesn’t go over the max line) and then pull the shot.

    We get consistently good results. No channeling. Good crema. The puck isn’t overly wet when done.

    The frothing wand is fine. We have a $3000 espresso machine at work and I can get silky smooth milk foam with that machine. This one is a bit more of a challenge, but the espresso itself is comparable to our pro machine at work.

    I highly recommend this machine. You’re not getting a $1000+ machine, but for under $100, you’re getting a terrific espresso maker.

    • This, very much! Excellent espresso, workable steam wand that can make a perfectly frothy and silky milk, but takes practice. The quality of the shots is phenomenal, period. ESPECIALLY for something this price.

      The shots could easily go toe to toe with a $500 machine.

  12. Just bought this machine today, and it is excellent. I have a Breville at home and a Crofton from Aldi about 4 years ago that we have at the cabin. When I saw this one today, I knew I had to buy it as a backup. Used it and it made an amazing espresso, nice and hot and the frother worked perfect!

  13. I bought this machine the week it came out and I’ve been loving it! One issue is the tamper is not as heavy as I would of liked. I bought one online and it was the wrong size. Does anyone have a good guess as what mm tamper to try? The one I tried was 58mm and afterwards I realized that is more of a professional size.

    • It will be the same size diameter as the plastic one supplied with the machine – looks like 48mm; 49mm at most. I’m also going to get one to make sure I can apply enough pressure. But I am absolutely loving my machine and the coffee comes out great every time. A local cafe is charging $6 for a cappuccino – mine cost about $1.25!

  14. Hey guys,
    I love your opinions on the machine.
    I was thinking about getting a new coffee strainer/filter, that is single-walled instead of the double-walled ones that came with the machine.
    Does anyone has experiences with single-walled strainers and do you know if a generic 51mm strainer would fit?

    Looking forward to your opinions,
    Dan

  15. I was in quarantine so missed this when it came out. Was at Aldi last night and found one on sale for $49! Glad I grabbed it after reading the comments here.

  16. Hey guys, has anyone else noticed that when using the steam wand it isn’t very “dry”? Like there’s quite a lot of water, not just steam. It seems to do a great job of steaming milk (I actually take the external sleeve off and just use the steam wand underneath) but if I steam into an empty jug without milk I see quite a build up of water.

    • I noticed this too, but don’t generally use that function so haven’t really tried to resolve the issue. Will be following this for advice!

  17. Has anybody compared this machine to any other similarly priced ones? Wondering if anyone with this machine has also used maybe the Delonghi Stilosa or Delonghi ec155 and has any thoughts on the comparisons? Thank you so much

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