Are you on the hunt for the ultimate espresso machine to elevate your daily brews?
Look no further! I have found that the Calphalon IQ temp is an excellent blend of style and functionality.
I've used and tested countless espresso machines, from the Nespresso to prosumer espresso machines.
In this Calphalon espresso machine review, I'll talk about how it performed for me, so you can decide if this is the espresso machine to help you unlock your inner barista.
Calphalon Temp IQ Review – My Ratings & Top Features
I rate the Calphalon Temp IQ espresso machine 4.5 out of 5.
I have found it's capable of brewing cafe-quality espresso with a rich crema. It has a stainless steel build, a Thermoblock heating system, a PID, and a decent steam wand.
It's one of the best espresso machines around $300. It retails closer to $500 but you can regularly find it on discount through online stores.
Here's exactly why I rate this espresso machine so highly.
Who Should Buy The Calphalon Temp IQ?
Calphalon Temp IQ is best for users who want to learn how to make a great espresso shot. It’s a great choice if you’re on a budget but want a machine that makes great-tasting coffee and has a powerful steam wand.
Overall, it’s a good option if you want an entry-level espresso machine that can make coffee shop quality drinks.
Finally, this is one of the best espresso machines at this price point if you want to learn how to make latte art.
Why I Decided To Review The Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine
I’ve been hearing great things about the Calphalon Temp IQ espresso machine for a while, so I had to give it a try.
Not many espresso machines at this price range have a PID controller, pre-infusion, 58 mm brew head, and volumetric shot control.
I was intrigued by its promise of delicious espresso and wanted to check how the espresso brewing technology works in practice.
My expectations were high, and I’m glad to say Calphalon delivered.
Espresso Cups Brewed Per Day
Level Of Experience Needed
I'm a home brewing enthusiast who's used and tested several espresso machines over the years. I started with Delonghi EC 155 and recently upgraded to Breville Barista Express.
Money Saved Per Year
Favorite Drink To Brew
What’s It Like To Live With The Calphalon Temp IQ
I used the Calphalon Temp IQ espresso machine for a month to make everything from espresso to different milk-based drinks.
Here’s my experience using this machine, from unboxing to brewing espresso.
What's In The Box?
Here’s what you get when you order a Calphalon Temp IQ espresso machine:
Calphalon states that orders placed before 12:00 p.m. ET ship the same day—orders placed after 12:00 p.m. ET ship within 24 hours on business days.
The shipping is free for all orders.
You can also get free express shipping as this espresso machine is above $150.
I placed my order on Tuesday evening and received it on Thursday. The coffee machine was well-packaged and arrived without any damage.
Pulling My First Espresso Shot
Calphalon Temp IQ is a semi-automatic espresso machine, so it requires some work on your part, and there’s a learning curve.
However, it’s nothing major, and I didn’t have any issues pulling my first shot. I washed all the removable parts and primed the machine before first use.
Once this was done, I could pull my shot:
- I placed the single wall filter basket in the portafilter.
- I placed ground coffee in the portafilter and tamped it.
- I attached the portafilter to the brew head.
- I moved the dial to the one-shot position. The espresso extraction automatically started and stopped.
Overall, the first shot was decent, and the machine worked well. However, I found Calphalon recommends preheating the portafilter and the cup.
The next time I pulled a shot, I preheated the cup and tamper on the cup warmer tray. I also preheated the portafilter with hot water from the brew head.
This resulted in a hotter brew, and I found it created more consistent espresso results.
First Time Frothing Milk
If you haven’t used a steam wand before, this will be the most challenging part of using a semi-automatic espresso machine.
Here’s how I frothed milk the first time:
- I filled the milk jug to just below the bottom of the spout.
- I turned the dial to steam and waited for the light to stop flashing.
- Once the steam light was on, I inserted the steam wand’s tip just below the milk’s surface.
The Calphalon espresso maker created better froth than my local coffee shop, and I was impressed.
Here are some tips and tricks for using the Calphalon steam wand:
Overall, this commercial-grade, high-quality steam wand does a great job of steaming milk for lattes and cappuccinos.
It has a ballpoint and is easy to rotate, which makes use easy. That being said, it’ll take time to get used to working a steam wand if you’ve never done it before.
Note From A Barista!
The milk pitcher is only 6 oz, which I found small. You’ll have milk overflow and a huge mess unless you’re careful.
How Much Control Do You Have Over the Calphalon Temp IQ Espresso Machine?
You have an impressive amount of control over the Calphalon Temp IQ espresso machine.
Customizable Shot Volumes
Unlike most espresso machines in this price range, the Calphalon Temp IQ espresso machine has a volumetric shot volume.
This means you choose between single and double espresso by turning the dial.
The espresso maker pours the exact amount of water needed to pull the chosen shot and automatically stops brewing.
This means less work for you. However, you can change the preset volume to get bigger and smaller shots.
You can stop the pour at any time during the extraction by pressing the same button twice.
You can also save your preferred dose by pressing and holding one shot or two shot buttons for four seconds.
Insert the portafilter as you normally do, then press and hold the button. The espresso machine will start to pour.
Once it reaches your preferred volume, press and hold the button again, and the machine will remember the setting for future extraction.
Calphalon Temp IQ has a Thermoblock heating technology with a PID temperature control.
The Thermoblock heating system is energy efficient and preheats the espresso maker to 198 degrees in 30 seconds.
PID temperature control constantly monitors the temperature and makes adjustments, so you have consistent extraction.
This temperature technology ensures optimal espresso extraction. But it gets even better. You can make temperature changes to ensure espresso shots taste exactly how you want.
Calphalon espresso machines let you change the temperature from 190 to 205 degrees in 2-degree increments.
I found even small changes in temperature result in big flavor differences, so this is a great option.
How Does Calphalon Espresso Machine Handle Different Roasts?
The Calphalon espresso machine handles different roasts very well. I’ve used it with light, medium, and dark roasts and had good results with all.
Of course, I had to change the grind settings depending on the roast I used, but I generally had flavorful espresso shots.
Moreover, the Calphalon version with a coffee grinder has an integrated burr grinder.
This adjustable burr grinder lets you choose between 30 grind settings, so you can control the size of the espresso grounds size and get the shot flavor you want.
Tips From A Barista!
Use dark roast for milk-based coffee drinks, or the milk can overpower the coffee flavor.
Look, Feel, and Size Of The Machine
Calphalon espresso machine leaves positive first impressions. It has a stainless steel finish and chrome accents that make it look sleek and high-end.
However, there are also plastic parts. The machine is plastic on the sides and has a plastic cup warming tray on top.
There’s a steam wand on the right side and a stainless steel group head located in the center.
You’ll see a control panel above the group head. The control panel has a dial button, single and double shot options, and the option to choose between a hot water dispenser or steam wand.
The control panel has a toggle for turning the machine on and off and two indicator lights: one for steam and one to let you know when the machine is ready to start brewing.
A large drip tray with a floater is located at the bottom. Finally, the 70 oz removable water tank is located at the back.
Calphalon thought of little things as well, such as preheating the cups on the warmer trays, which cuts down a step in your espresso prep.
The machine also has a decent cup height. You can remove the drip tray to get more room and even fit your travel mug.
Overall, the machine has an attractive, simple design.
The version without a grinder is more compact, with dimensions 12.2 x 9.84 x 12.8 in, so this good espresso machine won’t take up much space on your kitchen counter.
What Drinks Can It Make?
Calphalon espresso machine can make a wide variety of espresso drinks:
Overall, the built-in steam wand and programmable features let you make various fresh coffee-based beverages. You can also get hot water for tea and hot chocolate.
Note From A Barista!
The espresso maker isn’t compatible with coffee pods. You should use freshly ground beans for the best espresso quality instead of pre-ground coffee.
How Easy Is It To Use?
Calphalon espresso machine is easy to use. That being said, keep in mind that Calphalon espresso machines are semi-automatic.
You can’t press a button and get a drink ready in seconds. Instead, you need to put in some work.
The design lets you experiment and get a better-tasting espresso. The brewing style is easy, even for barista newbies.
The interface is extremely simple, and you won’t find yourself wondering what this button does or how to make a cappuccino.
The only part that requires a steep learning curve is the milk steaming. Still, you’ll get creamy froth for lattes and cappuccinos after a first try. Plus, you can even work on latte art.
How Long Does It Take? (From Heat Up To First Sip)
It takes about a minute to a minute and a half from heat up to the first sip of espresso. The compact machine needs around 40 seconds to preheat.
You’ll know the machine is ready to start making espresso when the ready light shines steadily. Then, it takes about 30 seconds to pull a shot.
In case you’re making a milk-based drink, you’ll have to wait for 15 seconds for the machine to switch between brewing to steaming and around 30 seconds to steam milk.
Overall, it takes just over two minutes to get a latte or a cappuccino, which is impressively fast.
Does It Have A Water Filtration System?
No, Calphalon Temp IQ doesn’t have a water filtration system.
This is one of the machine’s flaws, as water has impurities that build up over time.
However, I don’t think this is a major issue. You’ll have good espresso quality if you descale the machine regularly.
How Hard Is It To Clean and Descale?
The Calphalon Temp IQ isn't hard to clean and descale. Daily cleaning involves hand washing the portafilter and filter basket.
This great espresso machine comes with a cleaning tool you can use if the filter basket gets clogged with grounds.
The drip tray has a few parts that snap apart and is easy to slide out, so you can empty it as needed. Keep in mind none of these are dishwasher-safe, so you need to wash them by hand.
The part that requires the most cleaning is the steam wand. You must wipe it off after each use and purge it to remove the milk residue.
Otherwise, milk will curdle and ruin your espresso cup. Finally, you should wipe the stainless steel exterior with a damp cloth.
You should also descale every four to six months.
The descaling process takes around 10 minutes, which is shorter than most espresso machines I used. You can find detailed instructions in the user manual.
My Favorite Parts About The Temp IQ
The steam wand is one of the best things about this espresso machine. It creates finely textured microfoam that makes my lattes taste better than at most coffee shops.
A 58 mm brew head is larger than most other espresso machines, which have a 51 mm or 54 mm.
The larger size means the water can soak the coffee beans more evenly, and you have better extraction.
The water reservoir has a massive 70 oz capacity, so you can make Americanos, lattes, and cappuccinos without having to refill often.
My Least Favorite Parts About The Temp IQ
I didn’t like how noisy the espresso machine is. The steam wand screams when you place the tip on the milk’s surface, and I found it to be unnecessarily loud.
I also didn’t like that it doesn’t have a 100% stainless steel design. I’d especially like the tamper and the portafilter bottom to be replaced with steel instead of plastic.
Finally, there’s a learning curve. However, this is to be expected with semi-automatic coffee machines.
Calphalon Temp IQ Vs Similar Coffee Machines
Here’s how Calphalon Temp IQ compares to other popular machines in this price range.
Calphalon Temp IQ Vs DeLonghi EC702
Unlike the Calphalon Temp IQ espresso machine, DeLonghi EC702 doesn't have a 58 mm portafilter and no Thermoblock heating system.
EC702 uses a Pannarello steam wand and not a commercial-grade one you can find on the Temp IQ.
DeLonghi EC702 has a dual-function filter basket, so this espresso machine is compatible with both ground coffee and ESE pods.
It has a compact design, so it's a great option for smaller kitchens.
Overall, both machines are good choices, but you’ll get a more consistently delicious espresso with the Calphalon Temp IQ.
Calphalon Temp IQ Vs Breville Bambino
Unlike the Calphalon, which has Thermoblock heating technology, the Bambino uses a Thermojet heating system, so it has an extremely fast start-up time — it heats up in three seconds.
The Bambino also has a powerful steam wand that lets you create coffee shop-quality lattes and cappuccinos.
It also has volumetric controls for single and double shots, which ensures consistent results.
Unlike Calphalon, which has a version with and without a grinder, the Bambino doesn’t come with a built-in grinder.
Overall, the choice between these two espresso machines is up to you.
They are both great options for a first espresso machine, make excellent espresso, are beginner-friendly, and will satisfy most home baristas.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Yes, you can use oat milk with Calphalon Temp IQ. However, whole milk creates the best milk froth results.
Yes, you can make hot chocolate with the Calphalon Temp IQ because the wand doubles as the hot water dispenser.
How you set the time on a Calphalon coffee maker depends on the exact coffee maker you have. On the Calphalon Temp IQ, you can program the machine to brew coffee by pressing the single and double shot buttons.
If you don’t already have a burr grinder, it’s better to get the Temp IQ with an integrated grinder.
Is The Calphalon Temp IQ Worth Your Money?
I have found that the Calphalon Temp IQ is absolutely worth your money. It’ll help you elevate your espresso game and create better drinks than what you get in your local coffee shop.
The brewing process is simple, and you can program the drinks to get the exact flavor you prefer.
Finally, the commercial-grade steam wand lets you make thick foam for cappuccinos or thin microfoam for lattes. You’ll become a barista in no time with this espresso machine.
Calphalon Temp IQ