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If you’re looking for a stylish retro coffee machine that won’t break the bank, the Swan Retro One Touch Espresso Machine is a great option. It’s easy to use at the push of a button with handy design features, but really excels at making lattes.
See: the best coffee machines
There has been a popular rise in retro-style appliances that work well to add that vintage 50s feel to any kitchen. And while retro coffee machines tend to be expensive (Smeg for example), this Swan Retro One Touch Espresso Machine is an affordable alternative.
With its elegant design, the semi-automatic machine offers three great coffee drink options: espresso, cappuccino and latte. Plus, there are no complex features to master, just easy-to-use one-touch buttons.
But while it looks the part, can it also deliver premium coffee? I put it to the test by making my favorite milky coffees to find out…
Rating of the ideal home: 4 out of 5 stars
Reasons to buy
- Ideal for making frothy lattes and cappuccinos
- Attractive vintage retro design
- Easy one-touch operation
- Affordable device
- Available in 10 different colors
Reasons to avoid
- Drips after each cup is made
- Removable drip tray feels a little flimsy
- Only has three drink choices
Swan Retro One Touch Espresso Machine
- Coffee maker
- Filter holder
- Inserts (1 cup or 2 cups)
- coffee press
- Milk pot
- measuring spoon
- cleaning brush
- Instruction booklet
The set up was quite simple and hassle free. Surprisingly, the coffee machine was light to lift and carry, and the green tone brought a pop of color to my countertop. Once I filled the water tank, I also filled the milk tank and tied it in place before turning the machine on. My favorite feature was the temperature gauge up front that goes up as the machine heats up. Once it hits the coffee cup icon (within 90 seconds), it means you’re ready to brew your favorite cup of coffee!
The advantage of this machine is that you can use ground coffee or pods, depending on your preference. I used fresh ground coffee in the portafilter and the handle attached to the machine. Just be careful how you attach the portafilter as it is not an exact 90 degree angle and it may not fit properly. I had to watch the insert indicator on the machine carefully and turn clockwise to the lock position.
Using the Swan Retro One Touch
There are three options for espresso, cappuccino and latte. With a touch of a button, you can select a small or a large cup. It even has a slide-out drip tray to place your small cup. As a big fan of lattes, I first chose a cappuccino option. Steam pressure control on the milk jug allows you to create just the right amount of froth to your liking. As I watched the temperature gauge go to work, I ended up with a very tasty (and frothy!) cappuccino. Keep in mind that the steam pressure is quite strong so tends to get a bit messy.
Then I tried the small espresso cup option. Although it made aromatic coffee in no time, I didn’t like the taste too much. However, after experimenting with more milk-based coffees, I found this is where the machine excelled the most. Plus, the machine has a handy cup warmer rack at the top of the machine to keep your favorite cup of tea toasty warm.
Despite making great frothy coffee, there is a downside. After each cup, there is continuous dripping from the spout, which can be a bit troublesome to keep the drip tray clean. Also, the plastic drip tray as well as the sliding tray seem a little flimsy, so be careful when handling it. But for such an affordable price at £129.99, you can easily overlook these minor issues. Although it lacks fancy features, this makes it a perfect entry-level coffee machine for beginners.
Clean and maintain the The Swan Retro One Touch Espresso Machine is quite simple. The removable drip tray and milk container can all be taken apart and washed in the sink with warm water. The portafilter, on the other hand, is a bit tricky to clean. If you have a lower worktop, you will need to reach under the stand to clean it properly with the bristle brush provided. Either way, it shouldn’t take long.
Ideal Home Verdict: Should You Buy the Swan Retro One Touch Espresso Machine?
For barista-style coffee lovers who love a bit of retro chic in their kitchens, you’ll love the Swan Retro One Touch Espresso Machine. Simple one-touch operation makes it easy to use when choosing from the three available options. And the handy, adjustable milk frother makes delicious lattes and cappuccinos. The basic operation and lack of complicated features make it a great entry-level coffee machine for a budget.
Best of all, it’s available in 10 different colors so you can choose the tone that will suit your kitchen. Compared to expensive retro design coffee machines, it’s reasonably priced – probably even cheaper than buying your daily lattes at your local cafe!
About this review and our review
Cynthia Lawrence is a freelance lifestyle and homes/interiors journalist, writing for various national publications. With an unhealthy obsession with all things home and garden, she also has interior design. Blog. When she’s not spending her time surfing online for decorating inspiration to remodel her 1930s home, she’s busy browsing through some pretty awesome appliances.
A regular contributor to Real Homes, she has written for Livingetc., Gardeningetc., Ideal Home, T3.com, Top Ten Reviews and House Beautiful, among others. the Swan Retro One Touch Espresso Machine was tested extensively over a period of two weeks. This was while Cynthia and her husband were working from home which meant it was in heavy use with regular (and much needed!) coffee breaks. She loves lattes and milk cappuccinos, so this machine was right up her street!