Expert Review: Terra Kaffe TK-01 Espresso MachinePublished on 07/11/2023 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the espresso machine, which I was loaned by Terra Kaffe in June 2022 to test.
TK-01 with illuminated touch screen and attached milk carafe. All photos courtesy of Matthew W.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the espresso machine, which I was loaned by Terra Kaffe in June 2022 to test.
New York, New York, is the bustling “city that never sleeps” largely because there is a cafe offering the ‘World’s Best Cup of Coffee’ on every street corner. That kind of caffeine concentration keeps the city percolating with vitality. Still, the COVID-19 pandemic kept people home with cabin fever, fiending for their favorite local barista’s double shot of espresso or latte to get them through the day.
So what happened when the espresso world found itself trapped indoors and isolated? Home espresso making became more popular than ever. Yes, the Nespresso machines of the world benefited tremendously, but most espresso drinkers quickly realized that the pod life is just an overpriced and underwhelming cup of drip coffee.
Terra Kaffe: The TK-01 is a T.K.O.
What’s the best way to get a tasty espresso on the run? Out with the pods and in with the super-automatics! For those that want a quality shot, Americano, or milk-based espresso drink from bean to cup in under a minute, enter Brooklyn’s own Terra Kaffe!
The Terra Kaffe TK-01 Espresso Machine is presented beautifully and without fault. It’s carefully boxed, and the unboxing and startup experience was painless and fun. It’s an amazing home machine for those that want their favorite espresso drink dialed in within seconds.
About the gear
- Model: Terra Kaffe TK-01
- Boiler Type Thermoblock
- Pump Type Vibratory
How it performs
What I love about it
So what makes the Terra Kaffe TK-01 so good? Well, it’s priced very reasonably compared to other super autos with similar features. For well under $1,000, the TK-01 is a steal. It extracts a great shot, and after tinkering with the milk setting, it makes a quite tasty cappuccino and latte. I can also tweak the settings to personalize the drinks to my liking, allowing the machine to create a latte and my favorite: a flat white.
There isn’t an extensive menu. It’s simple. Espresso, Americano, latte, and cappuccino, and once I dial in the milk setting, the TK-01 can make several more drinks with a few more taps of the gorgeous, minimalistic touchscreen. The Terra Kaffe also has hot water for tea and steamed milk on tap with no warm-up time. The stainless steel milk carafe connects easily to the brew head, and when not being used, it disconnects and stores nicely inside a refrigerator. A neat sanitary feature that may get overlooked is that milk and coffee only mix in a mug and not in the brew head or hoses one may find in other machines.
There are doors on both sides of the machine, one that conceals the water reservoir and the other that houses the puck disposal bin. The water reservoir holds enough water for a dozen shots or so, and the integrated water filter means that the machine rarely needs descaling. There is a good size bean hopper that doesn’t add additional height to the machine, and there is an ambient cup warmer on the top of the Terra Kaffe.
It fits under standard cabinets with enough space to fill the bean hopper, has a relatively small footprint, and even cleans itself after each milk-based drink. The finest setting on the grinder works well, and although it’s not the most solid puck, it pulls a solid espresso shot with a nice crema. In the super-automatic market, it’s certainly the top contender in its price range.
Issues I’ve encountered
While the TK-01 is an awesome machine that is really enjoyable to use, there are a few things to be aware of. Like all technology, there are occasional bugs. The water tank gets misaligned from time to time, but a little friendly nudge gets it back to where the silicone exit point is flush and creates suction. Easy fix. There have been a few times when the cleaning system didn’t run properly due to the aforementioned tank misalignment. Again, just make sure the tank is flush inside the machine, and it will instantly fix the issue.
The machine’s casing is largely plastic, and many of the components are also plastic. However, in my opinion, Terra Kaffe created a very aesthetically pleasing machine, and the plastics do not look and feel cheap like other machines on the market. No, the TK-01 is not fully metal, but I wish certain aspects of the machine felt sturdier; however, I put it through rigorous testing, and it has proven to work like a champ.
If one is looking for a reasonably priced, super-automatic bean-to-cup machine, then the Terra Kaffe TK-01 may be for them. Connect with me or one of my fellow Coffee & Espresso Experts here on Curated and check out the Terra Kaffe TK-01 today. With a 30-day and 150-shot trial period, one can’t go wrong, and they will save a lot of time and money in the long run. Here’s to the TK-01 for the win! Cheers!