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Best Super-Automatic Espresso Machine-Reviews

Two cuts of ewspress with heart cookies

Best Automatic Espresso Machines You Will Love

by Kathie FitzPatrick

So how do you find the best espresso coffee machine? There are many choices of home espresso machines out there.  The variety sometimes seems as vast as the stars in the sky. Well, perhaps not quite that vast!  But it is a bit confusing to say the least.  This article will review our top favorite picks in the realm of Semi-Automatic and Super-Automatic Espresso Machines in order to help you determine the best automatic espresso machine for you.

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Warm up those Winter Days and Nights with SOUP!

Whether it’s a Dutch Oven…Make Soup…

… A Croc Pot … or A Big 6 quart pot…Make SOUP!

By Kathie FitzPatrick

There is something about a good bowl of home made soup . . . it seems to warm the body and soul and put a smile on your face every time! Whether it fills you up to go back to work at the office, back to school to face the test, or out to shovel the driveway, it makes lots of healthy fuel for the both the body mind and spirit!

White Lentil Soup With Bacon

Fill the chosen cooking vessel with about 3/4 water. Decide if you will use a small bag of white lentils or a large one depending on your pot. Use the water to lentil ration indicated on the bag.  Place one or two pork ham hocks in the pan, salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 diced onion and two or three chopped celery stalks, plus chose sliced carrots.  Let come to a boil, then simmer for about 3 1/2 hrs or until lentils are tender.  Serve with chopped fresh parsley and sprinkle with real crumbled bacon. Be sure you also serve your favorite hot bread and a salad. This makes a healthy, satisfying combination whether for lunch or dinner!

White Lentil Soup with Swedish meatballs

Make the white lentil soup with ham hock as described described above.  In large fraying pan make your Swedish meatballs, turning them often as you fry them for even results.

Swedish Meatballs

In large bowl combine 1 package of lean ground beef (1 or 2 lbs or so) with half the amount of ground pork sausage. Add 1/2 diced medium onion, 2 eggs, 1 cup breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 tsp nutmeg or so depending on your taste; mix well. Shape into small meat balls about 1 inch or so. Fry in pan with a small amount of olive oil coating the pan. When cooked through and through, drop into the pot of hot white lentil soup mixture. Serve with you favorite hot bread, real butter and green salad. Yummmm!

Italian Pasta Fajole

In a large iron pan with cover or Dutch oven, place chopped left over beef chuck roast or diced beef stew meat, and place in hot pan with a little olive oil. Stir in fresh or dry rosemary, and Italian seasoning of your choice or herbs from your garden such as Oregano and Thyme.  Let flavors cook into the meat.  Add five cups of water and one bag of dry mixed bean mix.  Then stir in 3 cups chopped canned tomatoes, Italian style if you can get them.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil then turn heat down to simmer for 4 or 5 hours.  Shortly before serving  pour into boiling mixture, 1 half bag pasta shells. Cook until tender about 9 minutes. Serve with joy, add hot sourdough or faoscia bread! Make green salad with Romain lettuce, spinach, tomato and artichoke hearts…and Italian dressing. This is a family recipe!


Easy Split Pea Soup

The simple recipe for this warm satisfying soup is as old as the hills, and then some! My grandma Elizabeth, on my Mom’s side,  who’s family did a homestead farm in Oklahoma, always had a pot of beans of some kind simmering on the stove.  Split pea is one of those easy, tummy warming ones!

Fill large pot with lid (or croc pot) about 2/3 or so with water. Place one or two ham hocks in it along with either a small or large bag of dry split peas.  Read the mix to water ratio on the bag.  Add a couple of chopped/sliced carrots, 1 diced onion, and a couple of stalks of chopped celery; salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil then simmer 3-4 hours of until the split peas are tender, and liquefying into soup.  Serve with Honey corn bread and your favorite salad!


Quick Five Bean Chili

This is easy and quick! Decide on the amount you want to make. Say, using 2 lbs ground beef would be an average amount serving about 6 people.  In large frying pan cook the ground beef stirring frequently until thoroughly done.  Add salt and pepper to taste and about 3 TBS chili powder, or tailored to your taste.  Use the same frying pan with lid if large enough or transfer to a larger cooking pot with lid.

1 can white northern beans

2 cans pinto beans

2 cans kidney beans

1 can black beans

1 can of chipolte beans, or any other kind of beans you like that would be compatible with Chili.

1 can chopped tomatoes, Mexican style or plain

Use the liquid from the canned beans as a base.  Cook on medium heat for at least 30 min to 1 hour.   Simmer longer to let the flavors continue to release and mix well into the chili.  Shortly before serving add small slices or bits of sliced or chopped fresh green bell pepper.  Let cook barely through and through to keep crisp.

Five Bean Chili–a quick favorite!

Serve with Taco chips or your favorite bread.


Easy Chicken Soup

They say chicken soup is good for the soul, and everything else that ails you. This is probably true!

Basic Home made Chicken Soup

If you have just finished off a baked or roasted chicken, or even brought one home from the deli on the way home from work . . . you may be looking at the chicken carcass, that also made a few tasty sandwiches, thinking, “Now what? Is it time to toss it?”

No!  You can make delightful, warming chicken soup with the remainder, and you’ll be glad you did!

Place the chicken “carcass” in a croc pot or stewing pot, add water up to the three quarter point of the pot or so.  add salt and pepper, I chopped onion, 3 stalks chopped celery, and 2 chopped carrots.  Bring to a boil then let simmer 3 hours. This going to create a “base stock.”

From here decide which kind of chicken soup do you want?

Chicken rice – add 2/3 cup of rice to the boiling mixture.

Chicken vegetable: add your favorite variety of veggies such as potato, green bean, broccoli or other. You may wish to add additional  sliced carrots.

Chicken Curry: Add 1 tsp curry powder.

Chicken Oriental: Add 1 or two egg whites, stir until; add dried Chinese style mushrooms, diced fresh green scallions. Serve; make enough to freeze and enjoy another time!


Grandma Ruby’s Homemade Soup

Here is a simple and easy home made soup recipe sure to please!  Take a large beef bone and place in a large cooking pan with 5 to 6 cups of water.  Add chopped potatoes, 3 stalks chopped celery, 1 chopped onion, 3 large carrots, add salt and pepper to taste, 2 cans pinto beans, one can black beans, 1 can kidney beans. Stir in 2 small cans or one large can tomato soup.  Optional: add corn;  Add braised beef pieces. Bring to a boil, then cook for 4 hrs – 5 hrs. on medium heat until the soup looks well blended and the flavors and have released throughout! Add sage or thyme if desired.  Serve with honey cornbread.

Need some new soup making vessels?  See Dutch ovens here on shopgourmetkitchen.com.

See stainless steel pots:  click here to buy on Amazon:


KitchenAid Artisan 5 Quart and Other Selections

Have fun with decorated Christmas cookies!

KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer 5 -Quart

Best Selling Mixer – KitchenAid Artisan

By Kathie FitzPatrick

KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red    Do you love making decorated cookies for all holidays? Scroll down for the Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe:


No more cramped hands. Enjoy making Valentine cookies using the Artisan Mixer for the cookie dough.


KitchenAid makes one of the best Mixers on the planet!

KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer 5 qt. Enjoy this high quality Mixer, both beautiful and study! This Mixer is dishwasher safe and is deal for all your mixing needs for every recipe and baking need. This Mixer comes in a wide variety of colors.

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KitchenAid Artisan-Choose from all the color options to find the one that best matches your style and your personality.

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Top 10 Favorite Grills From Amazon

Grilled steak with green salad

Grilled steak with potatoes with green garnish.

The Joy of Grilling!

By Kathie FitzPatrick and Douglas Roberts

The barbeque . . . there’s nothing quite like it! There is no doubt that grilling  is a favorite way of cooking, and part of our way of life not just in the USA, but in much of the rest of the world as well!

People Love Grilling!

People love to grill meats, vegetables and corn on the cob! There is something about it that adds a festive flare to any occasion, and often brings the liveliness of the outdoors into our dinners and other celebrations!
Need some creative ideas for grilling? Try this info from “Grill Mates,”   from McCormick:  http://bit.ly/2NG49an

Creative ideas for grilling are endless!  You might want to explore ideas for marinades for your favorite cuts of meat. Explore creative combinations adding green salads and fruit salads to your table with your favorite grilling creations!  You can Google your heart out on these topics, believe me!

Dynomighty Outdoor Gas Grill– an Amazon Favorite

Let’s Take a Look at Some of the Top 10 Favorite Grills from Amazon

Best Outdoor Grills: Top 10 Gas Grills

Considering a new outdoor grill for your deck, porch, patio, or backyard? The choices are many and varied. But be forewarned. The seemingly unlimited choices could lock you into an endless loop of possibility. You can easily waste hours – even days – in your search. But wouldn’t this time be better spent enjoying a delicious barbecued meal with friends and family instead?    I think so!

We’ve narrowed the field for you. Below is our selection of the best outdoor grills we’ve discovered. These are the top 10 gas grills we found based on our experience and that of other buyers. You might say this is also a favorite’s list from Amazon. Which one will be the best fit for you? Well that depends on your specific needs.

Choosing the right gas grill makes meal preparation easier and more convenient. This in turn means you’ll use your new grill more often to savor the flavors unique to outdoor cooking.

Number One: Napoleon Gas Grill

Napoleon is a quality brand of grills and it’s evident from every detail on this model.

Fans of outdoor grilling love this barbecue because it gives you everything – quality, performance and style. It’s a considerable size too at 26.2 inches x 64.2 inches x 50.2inches and weighing in at a solid 188 pounds.

ideal for large family get-togethers and party hosting. But of course, you could also use it for smaller family meals anytime you want.

The Napoleon Prestige 500 features 48,000 BTUs and 500 in.² of primary cooking area. There are four main burners (all heavy-duty grade stainless steel) one infrared rear burner, and one infrared side burner as well. It’s a sizable grill that can handle up to 30 burgers at once.

Napoleon Gas Grill 500, a top favorite seller on Amazon

Napoleon is known for its quality and a big part of that is the high-grade stainless steel used in construction. But that’s not all. Quality, it seems, is engineered into every detail like the wave-style cooking grill grid. It’s a unique design to Napoleon that provides a more even heating across the entire grill area.

This model is essentially a full outdoor kitchen. It comes with side shelves and an integrated towel bar. But what sets the Napoleon apart are the two interior halogen lights and illuminated controls, making evening grilling fun and safe.

One side of the grill contains the infrared side burner – which is excellent for getting a steakhouse quality sear on those prime cuts of meat, or to prepare side dishes or sauces. The other side provides counter space for food prep, utensils, spices, and sauces. This side also folds down for easier storage, or to make the grill a little more compact.

To purchase the Napoleon 500 Gas Grill from Amazon, click here:

With the charcoal smoker tray, you can convert your Napoleon Prestige 500 to a charcoal grill -and grill directly over charcoal – whatever you want. This is an even more enticing way to enjoy this grill!

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Everybody Loves Instapot!

Instapot – Your Ideal Helper in the Kitchen!



Instapot helps you save time for what’s really important.


Instapot- 6 Qt-Multiuse 6-In-One Pressure Cooker

Instapot LUX6043 V3 6Qt  6-in-One Multiuse Programmable Pressure Cooker

In this hectic world the cooks for the family whether they be Moms, Dads, young married’s or single people, definitely need a break!

With Instapot, you can get the meat for the upcoming meal done in a fraction of the time, which makes the meal assembly after getting home a snap.  In the morning, set the meat of your choice in the Instapot, with the prescribed amount of water, seasonings and temperature. While you are at work it can be cooking to a tender, mouthwatering state ready to delight everybody who will joining you at the dinner table.


Family cooking together in their kitchen.

Instapot 6 in 1 – Like 6 Appliances in one

Instant Pot Lux 6 qt multi-cooker, combines half a dozen kitchen appliances in one handy cooker. It’s a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, sauté, steamer, and warmer. The Instapot prepares dishes up to 70% faster to support your busy working lifestyle.

Built with the latest 3rd generation microprocessor technology, up to 240 minutes pressure-cooking up to 24 hours delay start, automatic Keep Warm up to 10 hours, 3 temperatures in Saute & Slow Cook this machine is sure to do a great job in your kitchen whether you are home or waiting to  get home.

The healthy, stainless steel (18/8) inner cooking pot made from food grade 304, has a no chemical coating, 3-ply bottom for even heat distribution, fully sealed environment ideally traps the flavors, nutrients and aromas within the food itself.

Can even boil eggs

Put one cup of water and some hardshell  eggs, set the timer for for 5 minutes, then let sit for an extra 5 minutes, put in cold water, and peel with ease. This is just one of the handy tips you’ll learn from Instapot. The appliance comes with detailed directions and many valuable tips.

Power supply: 120V – 60Hz

Power: 1000 watts

Conclusion: Instapot is one of the best modern appliances for our busy lifestyles helping us to start and mind dinner until we can get home from work or other activities. . 

To purchase the Instapot LUX6043 V3 6Qt  6-in-One Multiuse Programmable Pressure Cooker on Amazon, click here:

Italian Espresso Machines-Reviews & A Little Bit of History

Table of Contents

Italian Espresso Machines-Reviews

By Kathie FitzPatrick

Italian coffee machines-in-love-with-italy_zylunYuO_L

No, espresso did not originally come from Seattle.

Thanks to North African and Turkish merchant traders who brought the early concept of espresso through Venetian ports to Italy in the early part of the 20th century during the Renaissance period, coffee had already become a part of daily life in Italy. In the year 1763 there were 200 coffee shops in Venice.

Then about 140 years later, in 1903, a businessman, Luigi Bezzera, was trying to figure out a way to make his coffee faster. He was an owner of a manufacturing business and was losing patience with how long it took to make his coffee each morning.

Bezzera delightfully discovered that by adding steam pressure to the coffee making process this not only cut down the time of the brewing process itself, but created a far stronger and more robust cup of coffee. It was a new creation of its own. Upon further study and tinkering he cleverly came up with what he called his “Fast coffee machine.” The word “espresso” means fast in Italian.

Vintage teapot with dry tea and rose buds over black metal background

However, Bezzera was not as talented in marketing as he was creating the first espresso maker. In 1905 he sold the rights to another businessman, Desidero Pavoni. From there a short time later the machine was patented.   Also within a short time Pavoni’s name was associated with everything having to do with espresso.

In current times Italy now has over 200,000 coffee bars and growing.

It’s fun to look at the history of espresso coffee creation! Today we are going to take a big leap forward in time and review some of the favorite Italian espresso machines for the home. So now you will get a good look at all things “espresso machine Italian,” and make the right choice for the best Italian espresso machine for your personal home!

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How to Use Coffee to Build Relationships

Having coffee together adds a warm positive note to both your discussion and work projects.

Having coffee together adds a warm positive note to both your discussion and work projects.

Sitting Down and Having Coffee Together is Much More Powerful Than you May Think.

By Kathie FitzPatrick

We know we love drinking coffee . . . and we know a lot of other people like to drink coffee.
So enjoying coffee is something we can potentially have in common with people, both current friends and soon to be friends, and business associates.

Use having coffee as a relationship building tool

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Best Top 10 Food Processors

Today’s 10 Best Food Processors – The Favorites

Fruits and vegetables ready for your favorite recipes

By  Kathie FitzPatrick

Food processors are probably the most useful kitchen appliance around today. While processors have been around for decades, the number of brands and models available today is truly astonishing. This can be a huge problem though if you’re looking to buy. With so many different choices – it can be confusing.
The purpose of this article is to simplify the process for you. Here is a sampling of the Top 10 Food Processors–the favorites.

I’m convinced that a food processor is most valuable kitchen appliance anyone can own. I often wonder how I ever got along without one. If you don’t yet share this sentiment, it’s likely that you soon will because owning your own quality food processor will simplify your kitchen life.
What makes food processors so helpful?

Food Processors make chopping vegetables for your favorite recipes so much easier.

Breville Sous Chef Food Processor – 16 cup

A food processor saves you enormous amounts of time. When you think of all the work you do in the kitchen to prepare a meal, where is most of your time spent? Chances are you spend most of your time doing prep work. It’s the kind of stuff the professional chefs don’t have time for – that’s why they hire assistants to do the grunt work for them.

Processors have come a long way. The first generation of food processors transformed the cooking experience. Today they’re even better at performing a much wider variety of functions. They chop, grate, shred, mix and dice . With the right blade, you can make dough for bread, pizza, pies – and more.

While most people use food processors to prepare vegetables and fruits, you can also use it to slice pepperoni, grate cheese, or even make your own breadcrumbs to top off a lasagna or casserole.

Food processors are amazing in their ability to prepare fresh homemade salsas, hummus, veggies for coleslaw and other salads. Plus, they’re a real time saver when making other things such as soups, dips, and sauces.

You can use a food processor to make your own curry paste, or to prepare incredible salads with finely chopped vegetables, or stews with a slightly larger cut.
You can even make your own nut butters and create healthy spreads. Chop fresh nuts to top off desserts – or to add to cereals or salads. You can also make homemade salad dressings that taste incredible are super fresh – without any additives.

The sky is the limit with a capable food processor like those below. The time they save you in the kitchen will make a huge difference in your meal preparation. You’ll be inspired to try new dishes because of the time saved with your new appliance.

Now let’s take a look at the top 10 food processors available.

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Favortite Amazing Kitchen Gadgets Available on Amazon


Make Your Life Easier With These Brilliant and Amazing Kitchen Gadgets!

Here are some of the amazing kitchen gadgets available on Amazon. These are simple but brilliant gadgets that will make your life easier in the kitchen and life in general!

From quick slicing, cleaning, coring fruits and vegetables and more . . . you may want one of each!   Turbo charge your kitchen to a new level of efficiency with these simple items that speed up food prep and make food display in a more beautiful fashion. Here is a quick video that will review them!



1.  Pizza scissors – Scizza

Scizza. . . Get your amazing pizza scissors on Amazon

Dreamfarm Scizza – Pizza Scissors, Non-Stick and Pizza Stone Safe Pizza Cutter and Server (Red)

  • Scizza is a pizza cutter that perfectly slices any pizza on any surface and even serves too.  Handy kitchen gadget for all pizza lovers
  • Scizza won’t scratch your non-stick pans or dull on pizza stones
  • Hardened German stainless steel blades provide a sharp, long lasting, durable cutting edge
  • Non-Stick nylon base won’t scratch cookware and is heat resistant up to 205°C/ 400°F
  • Pizza scissors that easily work through deep dish pizza too.
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  • Click here to buy these handy pizza scissors  on Amazon
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  • 2.   SMOOD 

Smood potato avocado and vegetable masher

Smood- Mashing avocado

  • Dreamfarm Smood – One-Press Spring Coil Potato Masher with Silicone Pot Scraper (Red)

  • Make mashing potatoes or other cooked vegetables easy!
  • Effortlessly creates smooth mash in seconds by trapping food and forcing it through the thin gaps between the collapsing stainless steel spring coils
  • Soft multi-grip handle is ergonomically designed to be held in several comfortable and efficient hand positions
  • Unique spring design eliminates jarring on the wrist by absorbing the downward force
  • Silicone scraper makes it easy to clean the pot or bowl and is heat resistant to 260-Degree c/500-Degree f
  • This product is dishwasher-safe
  • Make life easier with this amazing kitchen gadget!
  • Click here to buy this handy kitchen item on Amazon!   
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  • 3. TAPI

  • Dreamfarm Tapi – Faucet Drinking Fountain, Fits Most Taps (Assorted Colors)

  • TAPI- Makes kitchen tap into a water fountain

  • Convenient tool makes your kitchen tap into a water fountain. Great for traveling too!
  • Tapi fits onto your kitchen tap and lets water pass through it normally
  • Squeeze it to redirect the water up, creating a drinking fountain
  • Drink or rinse your mouth straight from your tap without worrying about dirty hands, glasses  or cups
  • Not sure if it will fit your tap? Go to the Dreamfarm website for a fitting guide. Made of water-safe rubber.
  • Includes ONE Tapi, color will vary.Click here to buy TAPI on Amazon 
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4. Temji

Temji. Regulate the temperature in your shower or kitchen tap with Temji

Temji is a very handy tool that helps you adjust the water temperature on your kitchen tap or in your shower! This product recently moved from Amazon to Dreamfarm.  Here’s the link:

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5. Teafu

Infuse tea and eliminate the mess!


Dreamfarm DFTE8210 Teafu Tea Ball Strainers, Assorted Colors

Amazingly convenient tea infuser! Be kind to yourself. Buy a few of  these in various colors!

  • Eliminate the mess by squeezing out every last drop of tea into your cup before standing teafu up on the kitchen counter;
  • Easily scoop your favorite tea into teafu just like using a spoon because it opens completely flat;
  • Ergonomic handle makes it easy to squeeze teafu and infuse your tea quickly;
  • Premium-grade silicone is heat resistant to 500 farenheit.
  • Dishwasher safe;

Click here to purchase Teafu

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6. Garject

Amazing garlic press- Garject

Dreamfarm Garject – Self-Cleaning Garlic Press with Peel Eject (Red)

  • The Garject presses unpeeled garlic, scrapes itself clean, and then ejects the peel. Amazing.
  • Automatically scrapes off any excess garlic and cleans itself as you open up the handle
  • This product has a very clever design which ensures all of the pressed garlic gets into your meal and never on your fingers
  • Simply push the ‘peel eject’ button to shoot the peel into the trash, then rinse under water and garject is clean
  •  Dishwasher safe. Place on top rack
  • Truly amazing kitchen gadget

To buy  Garject on Amazon, click here

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  • 7. Chopula

  • The amazing Chopula…get yours today!

  • Dreamfarm Chopula – Super-Flexible Chopping Sit Up Spatula – Safe for Non-Stick (Red)

  • Chopula is a spatula that is thin and flexible for flipping and strong for chopping on its side. Amazing
  • Great for separating meat or eggs in a pan, flipping pancakes, or serving right to the pan
  • Keep counter clean thanks to the clever bended handle which holds the head upward
  • Flexible, large head slides easily under food for a clean lift or flip that keeps even fragile food in one piece
  • Dishwasher safe; Non-stick safe nylon is heat resistant up to 250°C/480°F
  • Materials: Nylon
  • Love it!
  • Buy Chopula on Amazon right here
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Are There Health Benefits to Drinking Coffee?

Love Coffee?  Are You Drinking 3 or 4 Cups a Day? It might Just be Very Good For your Health!

Studies show that coffee in moderation is actually good for your health.

Studies show that coffee in moderation is actually good for your health. Scroll below for the video YOUR BRAIN ON COFFEE

By Kathie FitzPatrick

There are certain things we love . . and some things we even feel guilty about indulging in. If you love coffee, relax.  Drinking one to four cups a day may protect you from developing a number of various diseases, according to current clinical studies.

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Small Espresso Machine for the Home

“Where is that Small Espresso Machine that I Will Love?”

"Where is that small espresso machine that I will love...and will fit neatly on my kitchen counter space?"

“Where is that small espresso machine that I will love…and will fit neatly on my kitchen counter space?”

Small Espresso Machine for the Home

Ever found yourself looking over the display of home espresso machines on-line and wondered if the one you like would fit your limited counter space?

Or maybe starting with evaluating a small espresso machine is just the way to go from the very beginning.

Let’s take a look at a selection that should answer the question and give you a wonderful espresso machine that will make those really great coffee drinks you are looking forward to!

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