You might think of GE when you think of light bulbs or jet engines or maybe large home appliances like washing machines, but until recently you wouldn’t really think of them in regards to high end coffee makers.
But guess what, GE has jumped into the high end automatic espresso machine game. I bought one at full retail price from Amazon with my own money so I could review it, and because I wanted a second automatic espresso machine anyway to run through beans when I’m testing coffee so I can still keep my regular coffee in my daily Krups automatic machine.
The GE comes in a nice box, tightly packed, with good instructions. It was straightforward enough to assemble that I didn’t really use the instructions until we turned it on and it gave us an error message about the brew capsule. That turned out to be apart that we hadn’t fully put into place until it clicks. Once we finished that up, the machine booted right up and ran a long rinse cycle to prepare itself to make coffee for the first time.
The machine has no buttons that stick out, so it’s quite sleek looking. The water tank is also hidden in the back in a black area instead of a transparent one — which is a bad idea in my opinion because you can’t easily see how much water is in the machine without lifting the water tank to check. So, add points for looks really cool and subtract points for utility.
When you turn it on, you’ll see all your coffee options on the top edge of the espresso machine. You can make an espresso, an Americano, and lungo, get hot water or make a “custom drink.”
The first thing the machine does when you turn it on is go through a short rinse cycle, so you’ll want to have a coffee cup sitting there waiting. (If you don’t, the stand for the cup also has a drain that goes into a container that you need to empty along with the used coffee pucks after every 8 cups of coffee regardless.)
In the hopper on top, which is hidden under a panel, there is an adjustment knob so that you can make the coffee maker grind the beans finer or courser. Finer grind means stronger coffee, FYI.
Once again, the hidden hopper makes the machine look super sleek — sort of like Darth Vader’s personal coffee maker. But as far as utility, you’ll never see that you’re running out of beans unless you open the lid and check inside.
Here’s what I consider the stupidest thing about the GE Profile espresso maker though. It’s the fact that it does not have a screen that gives you messages, and instead relies on colored LEDs to tell you what is going on.
But here’s the thing. Who would possibly be able to understand or memorize what the LED colors mean without keeping the instruction manual handy? Take a look for yourself at how many different flashing options there are! It’s like trying to memorize an entire chemistry periodic table of elements chart.
My Krups machine has a screen that tells you specifically with message along the lines of “Empty trays!” or “It is required to run a cleaning cycle.” or “Preheating water.” or even “Water tank is empty, please fill.” This is very clear.
With the GE, some of these notifications do also show up in the form of words on the top of the machine. For example, it will tell you to Empty Waste, Add Water and Descale. So I suppose it gives you enough information, but I still find the light show to just be confusing.
However, the machine does make very good espresso / Americanos. And isn’t this the most important job of a coffee machine? So it’s a winner in this regard.
It’s also easy to empty the waste basket for the used grounds, and the handle for the water tank is sturdy so it is easy to carry back and forth from the sink.
I’ve been using this machine now for months, and use it daily as my decaf specific machine. So I keep my Krups loaded with regular coffee, and the GE loaded with decaf. Before, I would make individual decaf coffees by grinding the beans myself and using an Aeropress, which makes a great coffee but is slightly less convenient.
The only problem I have had with it is that the descale light on top of the machine will not go off. It evidently doesn’t recognize that we completed the descale cycle. I haven’t bothered to call GE for support about it yet because the coffee machine operates perfectly otherwise.
Some people want a coffee maker that looks sleek. This one fits the bill if you want something that has a sleek, futuristic and minimalist look.