Open Thread: Ambiano Espresso Maker

Last Updated on December 6, 2020

This post contains affiliate links.

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 Co-Founder of Aldi Reviewer. When she isn't busy shopping at Aldi, she enjoys cooking, gardening, writing gothic romance, and collecting more house plants than she probably should. You can learn more about her at www.rachaelsjohnston.com.

66 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.

      • Yes. You can use any coffee grounds of your choice. You will have to find which coffee ground you will like in your coffee.

  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.

    • If years they fixed that this time around… It doesn’t have a grinder any longer

      • It looks like they fixed that this time around… It doesn’t have a grinder any longer

        Dang autocorrect.

        • I purchased Ambiano espresso machine early January. It was the last one in the store. It was on sale at $59.95.
          After a few weeks of practice foaming milk, we’ve gotten good making cappuccino. We use it everyday.

  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.

    • Interesting that you should mention the water in the puck. I have the opposite experience — the used coffee grounds are sopping when I go to empty them. It is a minor inconvenience but definitely unique in my espresso making experience, which is not inconsiderable.

      Are there implications in the watery puck? Does anyone have a ‘hack’ to avoid this?

      General review: After a short learning curve have been using it as my primary coffee source. I think it’s great, makes better coffee than the MiniKrupps machine it replaced. I’ve all but given up on the steamer wand though. Heat my milk in the microwave.

  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.

    • Wow! Great find! My local Aldi still has it full price, I might check out some other stores for a discounted one 😂

      • Hey there! Aldi worker here. Aldi has automatic price changes that go thru the system and we sometimes don’t catch them in time to print a new sign that reflects the current price. So the sign still might say 79.99, but the what it rings up will be different. My Aldi currently has these marked down to 55 bucks. So it’ll be worth to ask an employee to double check the price for you! Hope this helps 🙂

  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!

      • According to the instructions you should run the steamer for several seconds into an empty cup before you steam the milk. I do that each time and a small amount, not a massive amount, of water is released. Is that what you are seeing?

        • This. I turn it just enough that only water shoots out, and when it stops, turn it slightly more until you start getting steam, then I let it go for a few seconds just steaming, and then it’s usually good.

          As the manual says, takes about 10 seconds. Kind of easy to miss this one line in the book though.

  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

  18. Love mine so far! Stopped at an Aldi on a long drive home and am glad I did! My local Aldi does not carry many household items.

    Couldn’t find any reviews except for the comments in this blog! Yes it’s not super fancy but it does the trick! Thanks for the recommendations everyone.

  19. I brought one of these machines in the UK about 3 years ago and it did make a good cup of coffee. However, the steamer was very difficult to clean. Eventually I replaced it with a traditional mokka and an Aldi milk warmer/frother. These are both very easy to clean, portable, take up a lot less counter space (mokka is stove top anyway) and quieter. I will say that this is the second Aldi milk warmer in just over 12 months though….

    Sorry, don’t have a website…

  20. Love this thread! Has anybody figured out how to not have the “wet puck” problem? The coffee left in the filter always has a bit of water in and is very soggy, and a bit of water in the filter holder itself…not a massive issue given the quality of the coffee and the milk steaming, but if there’s a fix I’d love to know it!!

    • It seems like more the tightly packed into the filter the coffee is, the less water. That’s the best i can offer. I have a decaf that seems more finely ground than my other coffees (caff and half-caff) and it doesn’t take on much water. And I LOVE the machine.

  21. Jumping on the positive bandwagon – love this little coffee maker! Particularly pleased that most of those on this thread with far more home espresso experience equally like the machine. Can second a number of recommendations: use the larger filter cup; open the steam wand fully to release water in the line before steaming; get a small steam cup ’cause the wand is short. Last, I think the handle on the water reservoir is absolute genius design! Impulse buy at the time and glad I did it!

  22. anyone one having trouble with the steamer? after a few months of use it seems to be dying on me.

    • Can’t say I’ve had any issues, after, eh… 6 months-ish.

      Has any calcification perhaps blocked the tube? What exactly is happening that makes it seem to be “dying” on you?

  23. My steamer’s a bit temperamental. For about a week it was making a horrendous, loud sort of scream every time I used it, and was not really producing froth, just scaldingly hot milk. That’s ended now and it’s back to normal. I clean the inside wand regularly but not sure if that caused the earlier problem. Separately: have people been doing a cleaning cycle with vinegar or another substance?

  24. I am in the process of setting up my expresso machine. We cannot get the water to come out. HELP!!!

    • If you’ve filled with water, have the water reservoir attached correctly and have removed the red plastic tab from the water reservoir (I think that tab stops the water) then unfortunately you might have a faulty machine 😬

      I actually bought a second machine and had this same problem with it and had to return it. water just wouldn’t run through it at all.

  25. Steam wand issues! Anybody else have this? I’ve noticed after a couple of months of use, when I initially run the steam wand to purge it of the water and get to tht dry steam stage, there is a drip of water from where the steam wand exits the machine 😭 anyone else experience this or know a solution?

  26. My husband bought this machine and held on to it for my birthday. Nice little machine, good coffee, but we have a well with hard water and in the 3 days we had water in the tank, calcium built up inside it. I could buy bottled water for it, but that’s really not realistic for us. I cleaned up the machine and will be either returning it or selling it.

  27. Sorry, I know this is an old thread now, but am wondering how quickly the espresso pours out of the portafilter for you all? I love the machine but it seems to flow much faster than I would have expected. I believe to pull one shot of espresso it should take 20 or so seconds but with this machine is have a full mug if I left it running for the that long 😂

    • I run my shots for about 28 seconds. Is the coffee ground for espresso (ie very fine) and are you giving it a good tamp? The fineness of the grind is a big thing. I also bought a new, heavier tamper.

    • You need to use finer ground espresso powder. Too coarse and it will come out too fast (and too thin) like in your case; too fine and it will not come out at all.

  28. Mine won’t pull anything at all. The pump runs, but, nada.
    The book isn’t any help. Anyone have (& fix) this issue?

  29. I bought two of them; both had the same issue, seem to be broken right out of the box. No water will come through at all; like some other reviewers here have mentioned as well.
    I removed the red transport tap and the water tank is properly seated. There is water in the bottom receptacle of the machine where the tank goes in; but the pump somehow cannot get itself primed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.