Wirsh Espresso Machine Review (A 20-Bar Powerhouse)

wirsh espresso machine review

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Navigating the realm of espresso machines can be a daunting task, especially for those venturing into the realm of home brewing for the very first time.

With a market flooded with options, discovering that sweet spot where affordability, user-friendliness, and top-notch quality meet can be a real challenge. Enter the Wirsh Espresso Machine – a semi-automatic machine that pledges to deliver on all three.

Crafted with both novices and seasoned domestic espresso brewers in mind, this pocket-friendly yet versatile espresso coffee machine aims to please. I’ve spent the past two weeks testing the Wirsh espresso machine, and I’m excited to share my thoughts with you.

So, if you’re in the market for a budget espresso machine, I suggest you stick around; this might be just what you’re looking for.

Let’s dive in.

Wirsh Espresso Machine At A Glance

the wirsh espresso machine close up image

The Wirsh espresso machine boasts a powerful 20-bar pressure pump that can effortlessly extract the finest flavors from your coffee grounds.

It comes with a sizable 1.25L removable water reservoir (42 ounces), ensuring uninterrupted brewing sessions and more than enough to cater to large families or office coworkers.

Also, it’s worth noting that the top of the machine stays warm and can be used as a cup-warming function, so your espresso isn’t being poured directly into a cold cup. This is great and removes the need to preheat your cups with the steam wand prior to brewing. However, I still found myself doing just that, more out of habit rather than necessity.

hot plate for warming espresso cups

I especially like the inclusion of both single and double-shot filter baskets that allow for a more customizable brewing experience, accommodating coffee lovers seeking a quick morning shot or a leisurely afternoon indulgence.

Wirsh espresso machine accessories

The preinfusion function is also a nice feature to have and aids in blooming the coffee before extraction. Other espresso machine manufacturers often overlook this function, but it definitely makes a difference to the overall quality of the espresso extraction.

Design, Construction, And Aesthetics

The Wirsh 20-bar espresso machine is well-made and seamlessly marries aesthetics with functionality. Its striking stainless steel exterior, polished to a mirror-like finish, not only exudes a contemporary elegance but also reflects the machine’s sturdiness and durability.

This is more than just a kitchen appliance; it’s a statement piece that adds a touch of sophistication to any culinary space.

Upon first glance, the machine’s components’ layout is easy to understand and provides everything the user needs. The thoughtfully arranged LED display panel is clear and concise, presenting brewing options with a modern minimalism that avoids overwhelming the user.

the Wirsh espresso machine front LED dial

The backlit buttons, each serving a specific purpose, are intuitive and responsive, ensuring a hassle-free selection of your desired espresso style. With a single push of a button, you can brew a single or double espresso shot with ease.

The attention to detail in the design extends to the functional aspects of the machine as well. The portafilter’s weight and balance feel just right in hand, and although I would have preferred a nonpressurized basket, the choice to ship the machine with this style makes it easier for those new to espresso making to perfect a shot with ease.

Aftermarket bottomless portafilters are readily amiable, so it’s easy to upgrade once you feel comfortable with the process.

steaming milk with the Wirsh machine

The steam wand makes crafting lattes and cappuccinos super easy and boasts an ergonomic articulation that allows for precise control over frothing, ensuring that even intricate latte art is within reach for beginners and enthusiasts alike.

How Easy Is The Wirsh Espresso Machine To Use?

One of the most striking aspects of the Wirsh espresso machine is its user-friendliness. From setup to daily operation, the machine takes the guesswork out of crafting the perfect espresso shot.

The backlit buttons offer a selection of brewing options.

At the same time, the steam wand’s ergonomic design facilitates seamless frothing for those luscious cappuccinos and velvety lattes.

Cleaning and maintenance are equally straightforward, with detachable components that ensure hassle-free upkeep.

Backflushing the machine is also easy with popular third-party products that are readily available for a 51mm portafilter setup.

Mark Morphew tamping coffee
locking in the portafilter into the Wirsh coffee machine
extracting espresso with the Wirsh machine
Mark Morphew tests and reviews the Wirsh Espresso Machine

Improvement On Previous Models

Having experience with its predecessor, the smaller brewer, the Wirsh 15-bar espresso machine, I must highlight the substantial improvements that the 20-bar model brings to the table.

Although not really needed to brew a good shot of espresso, the enhanced pressure pump does translate to a more robust extraction, resulting in richer crema and a fuller body. You don’t have to worry about the pump struggling even with an extra fine grind and overly hard tamp.

Mark Morphew inspects the Wirsh Espresso Machine

Also worth mentioning is the upgraded water reservoir capacity that minimizes the need for constant refills, catering to the demands of both solitary coffee enthusiasts and lively gatherings.

Additionally, the refined steam wand design showcases Wirsh’s commitment to refining their products based on user feedback.

How Does The Wirsh Compare Against Other Espresso Machines?

When pitted against its competitors in this price range such as the popular De’Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine or the Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, the Wirsh espresso machine’s 20-bar pressure pump becomes a defining factor.

This robust pressure, while not entirely unheard of, places the Wirsh in a league of its own in terms of espresso extraction precision.

The higher pressure allows for a more thorough extraction of flavors from coffee grounds, resulting in a richer crema and a more nuanced flavor profile.

While many machines boast 15-bar pressure or, in some cases, only 9-bars, the Wirsh’s additional pressure level yields a noticeable difference in the final cup, making it an enticing choice for enthusiasts who appreciate depth and complexity in their espresso.

Some things That I think Need Improvement

Steam Wand Angle: The steam wand is positioned conveniently, but I feel it could open outwards a bit more.

This change would help people who are new to making latte art. It would also make it easier to froth milk for lattes and cappuccinos.

Tamper Spoon Size: The spoon that comes with the tamper is small. This doesn’t affect how it works, but some might prefer a slightly bigger spoon.

This could make it more comfortable and easier to use.

But if you’re taking espresso seriously, you shouldn’t use a measuring spoon but rather a good quality coffee scale and grind your whole coffee beans fresh before each extraction.

Max Indicator on Portafilter: Sometimes, the marker that shows the maximum level on the portafilter can be confusing when you’re trying to lock it in place.

If this indicator was clearer, it would help make the locking process smoother, especially when the portafilter is filled to the top.

My Recommended Aftermarket Wirsh Machine Accessories

The tamper provided with the Wirsh machine could be better and is actually a measuring spoon tamper combo.

The spoon is kind of useless as you should measure your coffee with a scale and grind your coffee before each brew.

If you do purchase this machine, I recommend investing in an aftermarket espresso tamper.

One I found to be an excellent fit for this particular machine is one actually sold by Wirsh themselves (so you know it’s going to fit perfectly), you can buy that here. It takes out the guesswork of tamping your espresso puck and is perfect for beginners.

If you prefer to use a bottomless portafilter rather than the provided pressurized basket, you must ensure the prongs are no thicker than 4mm and, of course, 51mm in diameter.

I’ve done some of the legwork for you, and after a lot of trial and error with different products, I ended up purchasing a bottomless portafilter directly from Wirsh. It is a new product from their range, and it fits perfectly.

I definitely recommend picking one up if you’re serious about brewing the best espresso possible. You can find the Wirsh bottomless portafilter here.

Conclusion: Should You Get The Wirsh Espresso Machine?

In the realm of home espresso machines, the Wirsh 20-bar espresso machine emerges as a commendable contender.

Its thoughtful design, impressive 20-bar pressure pump, and user-centric features make it a compelling option for both beginners and seasoned baristas seeking an elevated coffee experience.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to brew barista coffee drinks at home without a hefty investment or just a coffee lover seeking a budget-friendly option, the Wirsh espresso machine is well worth considering.

The Wirsh gets a thumbs-up from me!

Wirsh 20 Bar Espresso Machine With Pressure Gauge

wirsh espresso machine review

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Why Should You Trust Us
Mark Morphew Resident Coffee Expert Mark has over 20 years of experience in the catering and hospitality sector. He takes his years of knowledge and expertise and applies it to critiquing coffee equipment and brewing gear.

Since the creation of the Bean Ground coffee blog in 2014, Mark Morphew and a small circle of coffee hobbyists have rigorously tested, reviewed, and researched coffee gear. In most cases, they have purchased the items themselves with the sole intention of rating and evaluating.

In that time, they have built up a list of quality points to look for and what makes specific equipment better than others. They cut through the noise and marketing hype that often surrounds products to give you their unbiased opinions so you can make clear decisions on your next purchase.
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