Krups Virtuoso

Name: Virtuoso
Brand: Krups
Type: Espresso
Operation: Manual
Capacity: 1.1 litres

We all know that Krups is a brand that is very focused on the success of its wide range of automatic coffee machines. It always seems that armoured coffee machines are relegated to second place in their catalogue, with well worked out and resolved models, but less popular and eye-catching than other competitors. This gap has been partly filled by the launch of the Krups Virtuoso in 2020, an espresso machine with a portafilter that can boast certain interesting qualities in a fairly competitive segment: that of mid-range espressos.

Its credentials leave no room for doubt, right from the start: a very up-to-date design, with hyper-reduced dimensions, a robust stainless steel body, and of course the much-desired compatibility with the single-dose bags in the ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) format, which allows us to use the machine with both ground and single-dose coffee.

We do not find anything in this Krups Virtuoso that is not already in other similar coffee machines on the market. Still, we must be fair and acknowledge that in this model, the appearance is better resolved, and the finishes are of quality.

However, let’s not forget that there are no miracles. If we want to enjoy a very compact coffee maker, the space must be reduced somewhere (usually the water tank, which in this model goes from the usual 1.5 litres to just over a litre scraped). In short: we will have to refill the water more often.

Krups Virtuoso XP442C: it couldn’t be simpler

The control panel of the Krups Virtuoso XP442C model could not be simpler. The main control panel consists of only four controls, arranged in a square shape. The two on the bottom serve to make the coffee: one or two cups as you like (actually the only thing these controls do is regulate the amount of water used in the extraction, so the thing is that if you choose the double espresso, you use the double filter, which admits more coffee).

At the top are the machine’s main switch and the button for activating the use of the steamer, which in turn has the force regulation dial on the right-hand side.

And if we look up even further, we come to another basic element that is to be expected in a coffee machine of this price: the cup-warming tray, which is so necessary if our espressos are not to lose temperature when they are served. In the case of the Krups Virtuoso, this tray again gives an impression of a good, quality finish.

But it is too small and barely enough to hold two small glasses or cups. Without a doubt, this is a small consideration that we must assume in exchange for enjoying such a narrow and versatile design for modern kitchens.

Krups Virtuoso: Main characteristics

  • 15 bar pressure pump.
  • Thermoblock water heating system.
  • Removable water tank of 1.1 litres.
  • Bodywork with stainless steel finish.
  • Cup warming tray in the upper part of the machine.
  • Adjustable professional steamer.
  • Hot water service through the steamer. If you only want to prepare an infusion, you will have no problem with this machine.
  • Control panel with backlit buttons.
  • Removable anti-drip grid, made of stainless steel.
  • Automatic switch-off system (the machine switches off half an hour after the last use, if we leave it on).
  • Used to make one or two espressos at the same time (or a double espresso, if you prefer).
  • Includes a set of two filters for the filter holder: one for normal espressos and one for double espressos compatible with ESE single-dose.
  • Accessory included: the typical measuring spoon at one end and press at the other.

Advantages of the Krups Virtuoso espresso machine

  • The quality of the steamer, at least in terms of touch and appearance (we have not used it in the first place), seems much more solid than the usual tube of other machines.
  • The body is made of stainless steel.
  • The dimensions of the design are very tight, in particular the width. If you are looking for a very narrow espresso machine, this is a good choice.
  • The compatibility with ESE single-dose machines.

Disadvantages of the Krups Virtuoso espresso machine

  • The water tank with just over one litre is slightly below the average of its competitors.
  • The price/performance ratio is somewhat unbalanced. Some of its direct rivals are more economical with the same performance. Or, at least, we miss some additional function such as the pressure gauge integrated in the front panel.
  • The coffee maker is very narrow, and that is a virtue when it comes to positioning it, but a disadvantage if we want to place more than two cups or glasses on the pre-heating tray.

How the Krups Virtuoso works: videos

There’s not much mystery about how this Krups Virtuoso works, especially if you’ve operated similar espresso machines before.

The basic operations are reduced to choosing whether you want to make one or two coffees or use the steamer. For each function, a single button is pressed, making it as simple as possible. In any case, if you want to have a complete view of this piece, we recommend you check this review by the colleagues of the French Maxicoffee channel:

Why buy the Krups Virtuoso coffee machine?

Well, the truth is that seeing this model on the market has been a real joy for us. Besides, it seems that it had had quite a lot of acceptance (at least in the first months of launch, which is when we wrote this review). It is a breath of fresh air in Krups’ range of manual espresso machines, which seemed a little rusty and anchored in the past with the usual classic models (Calvi, Opio, Classic Pro Inox).

We understand that the firm is more focused on its line of super-automatics. Still, this Virtuoso XP442 is a machine much more adapted to the times, particularly in the design and bodywork section. If you need a good compact machine, this is the one for you.

The closest references to this model, which also come from prestigious brands, could be the legendary Delonghi Dedica, the Cecotec Cafelizzia, or the H.Koenig EXP820. As you can see, the similarities between them are evident, and in many cases, the choice will depend on which brand we like or trust the most.

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