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Swan Retro Pump Espresso Machine review

Swan Retro Pump espresso machine review

A good espresso maker will save you money on shop-bought coffee and produces good results in no time. Read our review of the Swan espresso machine, which has a vintage aesthetic.

Swan SK22110 Retro Pump espresso coffee machine

Pros: good results for price point, steamer attachment with dial control
Cons: large footprint

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Star rating: 4/5

Buy now from Amazon (£89.95)

With a vintage aesthetic and decent espresso quality, this Swan Retro appliance is our favourite pump espresso machine available for under £100.

We found the espresso produced by the SK22110 to be very good, considering the machine’s reasonable price point. It can be ever so slightly on the weak side, so we do suggest you really pack the filter with ground coffee to get a decent strength and consistency.

That said, the espresso had a lovely crema, and a relatively mild flavour that lent itself well to making long drinks like americanos and lattes.

The machine is pretty simple to operate, with few advanced features or settings to speak of. This would make it a good pick for beginners, but less suitable for enthusiasts who want to apply a personal touch to their espresso. A dial controlling the force of the in-built milk steamer is the machine’s most interesting option for users craving creative control over their coffee.

We spent about 20 minutes prepping this machine’s components and fitting them together: a reasonable setup time that’s roughly in-line with most other electric espresso machines we’ve tested.

The SK22110 is simple to clean, with a smart drip tray and grille design that’s a little smoother to work with than some of its competitors. We strongly advise carefully removing the hinged lid when cleaning the water tank, as this will make it much easier to get at the inner walls of the tank with a sponge.

In terms of footprint, the SK22110 is a little on the large size. Some of you may consider that a good thing, since the machine looks so smart, especially when teamed with other appliances from the Swan Retro range.

Efficiently packaged in recyclable materials, this appliance carries a relatively low environmental cost in-transit. Interestingly, some of its components look like they may have come off the same production lines as those used in the Sage Bambino Plus – a higher-end, higher-priced machine with similar functionality to the SK22110.

Star ratings: 
Functionality: 4/5
Results: 4/5
Ease of cleaning: 4.5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5

Buy now from Amazon (£89.95)

Swan retro espresso maker being tested in a home setting

Photo: Alice Ostapjuk

Specifications: 
Pressure: 15 bar
Capacity: 1.2 litres
Colour: cream, blue, green or grey
Material: stainless steel
Item dimensions: 28.5 x 20 x 31.5 cm
Item weight: 3.58 kg
Special features: 15 bars of pressure; steam pressure control; 2 cups at once; detachable water tank

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This review was last updated in September 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.