Swan Retro Espresso Machine Review

If you are a fan of vintage-style kitchen home equipment, Swan’s vary suits the invoice. We’re reviewing the logo’s unfashionable coffee espresso system, which is available in 9 other colors.

Design & look

  • 1.2 litre tank
  • Temperature gauge
  • Steam wand

Weighing 3kg, this system is a light-weight equipment with a colored plastic frame and a chrome dial, buttons, and trim. Topped with a steel cup rack, it additionally has a steel drip tray and steel steam wand. Okay, the remainder of the construct is rather plasticky and the chrome trim may now not final endlessly, however what you lose in durability, you acquire in genre.

In the field, you’ll be able to get a 15-bar system, a scoop and tamper instrument, a couple of 1-shot and 2-shot clear out baskets, a portafilter, a broom and a handbook.

The system itself is neat at 31cm top, 20cm broad and 27cm deep, despite the fact that you should upload some other 8cm for the portafilter maintain. Its frame color – in our case, cream, however it is advisable to go for sage, pastel blue, gray, red, red and extra – manner the system’s presence feels some distance much less implementing than it could have finished in black or stainless-steel. Indeed, it mixed in with our cream tiles, which calms the sense of worktop litter.   

The clear tank slots into the again and suits 1.2 litres of water. You can fill from the faucet or in situ; the tank has a swing-back hinge that may be complicated to start with, however manner you by no means unintentionally lose the lid. The cable could also be a good 97cm lengthy.

Swan retro espresso machine water tank

The drip tray has an invaluable waft valve, so you’ll see when it is complete, and the grill is detachable for simple cleansing. You too can are compatible a 250ml mug below the portafilter spout, so there may be capability to dispense an coffee without delay into your latte or cappuccino mug.

Interestingly, the handbook will provide you with urged shelling out volumes for each an coffee and a cappuccino, with the latter wearing milk quantity ideas. We spotted this particularly as a result of handbook dispense espresso machines do not at all times include a useful handbook and this may increasingly prevent a little research time.

The system is managed from 3 buttons at the entrance: steam, pump, and tool. You too can regulate the steam wand’s energy by means of a dial, which is amazingly helpful and will provide you with a marginally of barista authenticity.

The entrance panel additionally has 3 indicator lighting for pump, energy, and steam, which inform you when the system is on and whether or not the temperature of the water is top sufficient to dispense espresso or steam milk. There’s additionally a temperature gauge, which takes the guessing out of the heating-up sport.   

Swan espresso machine side view

Using the Swan Retro Espresso Machine

  • Pre-heating procedure provides some other degree to coffee making
  • Compatible with ESE pods or floor espresso
  • No pre-set volumes for shelling out

Before you do the rest, you want to clean the equipment and pre-clean the system, which comes to operating water throughout the system and portafilter. Once it’s been correctly wiped clean in step with the directions, you are ready to make use of it.

Every time you flip at the system, your first step is to pump some water thru right into a cup to verify the heating procedure kicks in. This is the place the temperature gauge is useful, as you’ll see it heating up. 

Swan then suggests preheating the system, portafilter and your cup. When the temperature gauge has reached the purple “cup” area, you dispense sizzling water into your cup for twenty seconds earlier than shutting it off and throwing the new water away.

At that time, you fill the clear out basket, tamp it down, position the clear out basket within the heated portafilter, repair the portafilter again in position and press the pump button to permit the espresso to run thru. When you’ve gotten allotted for lengthy sufficient, merely press the pump button once more to prevent the go with the flow. 

So, from a chilly get started, you’ll flip the system on, pump a place of water thru to set the water heating, then wait till the temperature used to be suitable for espresso, pump extra water thru to warmth the system, portafilter and your cup, throw that water away, after which fill the basket with espresso and dispense your drink.

It’s a three-stage procedure, this means that it takes longer and is a little more tough than you could be expecting. 

Swan machine dispensing coffee

However, the ensuing espresso used to be spectacular: darkish frame, superb crema, Guinness presentation. The scent used to be aromatic and the drink a excellent temperature with a wealthy, potent style.

What used to be noticeable used to be the compacted nature of the grinds when it got here to drain the clear out basket, which urged the system’s pump works successfully to penetrate throughout the espresso.       

Swan machine and coffee

Steaming milk

  • Adjustable steam wand
  • Dial regulate
  • Milk jug now not integrated

To steam milk, transfer off the pump dispense button, depress the steam button, after which wait till the steam indicator gentle comes on. You can see the temperature needle emerging, which comes in handy.

Swan suggests then you definately flip the steam knob on for fifteen seconds to filter chilly water within the gadget earlier than you insert it into your milk jug (a steel jug is highest as a result of you’ll assess the warmth of your milk at the aspect).

When you’ve got finished that, put the wand into your jug and slowly flip the dial to steam your milk. The dial makes the method of steaming very controllable, and we need to say it is a very efficient milk steamer: rapid and frothy. There’s a pull-off cylinder on the finish of the wand; we wager that is to offer protection to in opposition to steam spray.

The end result used to be an excessively high quality cappuccino certainly: person who rivalled maximum espresso store choices.     

Price and availability

The Swan Retro Espresso Machine is to be had from a variety of shops. The highest value lets to find is on Amazon, the place it is currently available for £75. It’s additionally available from AO.com on the similar value, despite the fact that Amazon has extra color choices. Currently all (black, blue, cream, inexperienced, gray, orange, red, red, yellow) are in inventory.

This coffee espresso system is a part of a huge unfashionable vary that comes with (look forward to it) pans, jugs, kettles, toasters, gradual cookers, air fryers, enthusiasts, salt and pepper turbines, mixers, bread containers, microwaves, canisters, scales, mugs and mug timber, refrigerators, freezers, refrigerator freezers, roasting trays, casserole dishes and extra, all to be had in the similar colors. You can browse the whole vary at the Swan site.

It’s an awfully complete vary that may permit you to package out your kitchen with matching home equipment and equipment.

As smartly as this system, Swan additionally makes a unfashionable genre One-Touch Espresso Machine. It’s to be had from Amazon for £125, and is just a little greater, with an hooked up milk tank and extra computerized purposes. 

Swan coffee machines additionally come within the Nordic (more practical strains and a wood-effect trim) and Gatsby (gold trim, rather steampunk) types.


The Swan Retro Espresso Coffee Machine is a trendy equipment that makes a excellent cup of espresso and steams milk smartly. Okay, there may be an extra degree and a little bit of fuss to the method, and you could favor the One-Touch for ease of use, but when genre is vital to you, you might be not likely to search out this type of design and vary of color choices at a an identical value level somewhere else.

For extra coffee system choices, take a look at out round-up of the most productive coffee machines we have examined. If you would like to look wider number of espresso makers, take a look at our highest espresso machines of a wide variety: pod, coffee, clear out and bean-to-cup.


Swan Retro Espresso Machine: Specs

  • Manual shelling out coffee system
  • 15-bar power
  • 1.2 litre tank
  • Compatible with floor espresso & ESE pods
  • Comes with portafilter, tamper & one- and two-shot clear out baskets

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