One thing I’ve learned on my journey to better home-brewed coffee beverages is that the machines that do a good to great job are not inexpensive. With the cost of these beverages when created in storefront shops easily topping the $5 mark, home machines make more sense than ever.

As I have learned through experience, for coffee/espresso/cappuccino lovers, the quality of the end product from better machines can be outstanding. On the other hand, if outstanding home-brewed coffee beverages is not as appealing as the convenience factor alone, then all of this will be lost on the reader. That is to say, pod-based machines might be good enough. Inexpensive machines may satisfy. There is nothing wrong with that!

**As an Amazon Associate, I may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases through links in articles. Your cost will be identical.**

This GE Profile machine, currently priced at $679, is in the middle of the pack. There is a $729 fully automatic, while this one is semi-automatic. The difference is that the user is in charge of frothing in this machine while the automatic model delivers a finished beverage to the user with one touch. I like the flexibility of this machine, which is why I chose it.

So, what’s with this machine? Let’s take a look!

  • Coffee machine
  • Tamper
  • Frothing cup
  • Filter set
  • Cleaning kit
  • Owner’s manual with warranty

Unbox, READ THE MANUAL, WATCH THE ONLINE VIDEOS (1), assemble, test the water using the supplied strip, adjust the grind as specified, set up the App with Wi-Fi. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice some more. Since this machine offers a variety of options, try them all. Clean the frother as specified. Find the grind setting(s) that work best with EACH set of beans and for each beverage.

Become accustomed to the 15 grind levels and make note of favorite settings. A metal conical burr grinder grinds the beans. Very nice!

Grinding and tamping takes some practice to get it just right. Just enough and not to tightly nor too loosely packed.

Espresso? Cappuccino? Latte? Flat white? And so on and so on. What have I gotten myself into? For newbies, the learning curve can be a bit daunting. For those upping their game with this, perhaps, the first machine with all these capabilities, please be patient and do not judge the procedure or result harshly without a few weeks’ practice and experience. It gets easier, I promise.

The guts of the machine are an Italian-made 15 bar pump that slowly increases its pressure to draw out the flavors from the grounds. Ideally, you, the at-home barista, will become expert at this process, learning from the manual and videos the importance of the grinding and tamping process to avoid overfilling and over tamping. Such an art!

Download and install the SmartHQ App. This is where users can view and change some of the settings.

Grinding for a single or double dose is automatic. Place the selected 58mm portafilter with 19-21 grams capacity in position. Choose the dosage, which can be adjusted through the Wi-Fi app, and smile your best barista smile.

The bean hopper can hole .6 pounds of beans, which is enough for several finished beverages. It is sealed and UV resistant to preserve bean freshness.

There is a generous 95-ounce water reservoir along with a cup warmer at the top of the machine. I suggest warming the cup before brewing to jump start the process and make that cuppa joe start out hot. Some of the water is used for automatic cleaning and will also be used for frothing OR for delivery of hot water alone that can be used for brewing tea.

The steam frother can create microfoam textures and thicknesses for all the cool drinks, including lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites, and so many others.

Now that I’ve practiced and have developed a bit of confidence, it’s time to . . .

  • Not every cup will be perfect at the jump, owing to the need for more practice to avoid screwing up! It’s going to happen, so accept it, get over it and move on. AND don’t blame the machine. The machine is fine. Really it is.
  • A fan of cappuccino, this is my go-to beverage. I ground the beans for a double, as I like it strong. I touched the display with my choice. My cup was pre-warmed from its time on the warming tray.
  • The grounds were delivered to the selected double-layer, double-shot portafilter. I removed it, trimmed the grinds and removed the overage, tamped, then moved the portafilter into position for brewing my Lungo. Look it up!
  • The brew delivered, it was time to froth, so I placed the cup back on the warming tray.
  • We like to use and froth oat milk, but use whatever you may wish. Swing out the arm and into the included stainless steel cup, holding it as shown in these videos and other linked above. The frothing control knob is turned to steam and that process begins to the desired frothiness per volume.
  • Down came the cup. In goes the froth and it’s time to test. I am getting good at this, but not yet perfect!
  • Once again, practice does make perfect, or, at least more than acceptable for now. Perfection will come in due time.
  • Cleaning is also important, so do as I and follow the procedures as given.

Given the cost, this is a highly competitive machine with nothing about which to complain. With others similarly priced, I am not aware of significant benefits of others that are not present here, with the possible exception of faster heating to the ready state. To me, this capability is not worth the added cost of others with this feature. The high quality Italian mechanism still delivers the goods; fine cups of our favorite coffee beverages.

One exception to the above is the option for automatic instead of semi-automatic capabilities. There is an argument for one-button automatic operation that removes the need for the tamping, etc. However, semi-automatic operation at this price point provides greater fine-tuning of the final product.


One year manufacturer’s warranty.

Pin It on Pinterest