Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine review

A perfect choice for those entering the world of home brewing

Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine being tested in writer's home
(Image: © Future)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is a fantastic espresso machine for beginners or anyone excited about embracing a retro aesthetic in their kitchen. This espresso machine makes 1-cup and 2-cup espresso and can steam milk and dispense hot water for a myriad of barista drink creations. If you are willing to dedicate some time to craft an espresso drink but are overwhelmed by the bigger and more expensive machines, the Galanz espresso machine is for you!

Pros

  • +

    No frills, easy-to-use espresso machine equipped with a milk steamer, perfect for beginners

  • +

    Stylish retro design available in Hot Rod Red and Bebop Blue

  • +

    Can brew espresso and double espresso via its interchangeable 1-cup and 2-cup filter baskets

Cons

  • -

    If you are looking for a more hands-off and quick espresso-making experience

  • -

    The machine’s retro design with loud colors may not appeal to all users

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Galanz’s retro appliance collection combines timeless aesthetics with modern functionality. Known for its stylish designs, Galanz appliances evoke a sense of nostalgia while offering cutting-edge features. From espresso machines to other kitchen essentials, Galanz seamlessly blends vintage charm with contemporary convenience, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of homes and kitchens.

In the world of best espresso machines, the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine stands out for its stylish design and user-friendly features. If you're a beginner seeking an easy-to-use machine with the added bonus of a steam wand for milk frothing, this could be an ideal choice. At first glance, the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine makes a bold statement with its deep red hue and charming retro design. Weighing in at a mere 7.3 lbs, it's a compact addition to any countertop, making it an attractive option for those with limited kitchen space. The package arrives complete with a portafilter, 1-cup, and 2-cup filter baskets, a double-sided scoop and tamper, plus a user manual and quick start guide for a hassle-free setup.

As a first-time manual espresso machine user, the journey with the Galanz model was not without its initial challenges. I initially tamped the ground coffee too firmly, which led to difficulties in locking the portafilter into position, but I overcame that hiccup with a bit of user finesse. The machine's lack of automatic stopping for single or double shots demands attention from users who need to discern the right moment to halt the extraction process. However, with a bit of experimentation and practice, I found that making espresso with the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine was an enjoyable and straightforward experience, making it a contender for the best coffee maker.

Alexandra Pamias
Alexandra Pamias

Alexandra Pamias has been reviewing household appliances as a freelance writer for two years. She has tested everything from robot vacuums and coffee makers to fans and air fryers. Alex reviewed this coffee maker from her studio apartment, where she lives with her partner. Her favorite coffee drink is espresso with a little milk and sugar. 

Galanz Retro Pump: Key specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
TypeEspresso
Dimensions9.44 x 11.61 x 11.92 inches
Weight7.3 lbs
Water Tank Capacity1.5L
Filters1 cup and 2 cup capacity
Type of coffeeGround coffee
ColorsRetro Red and Bebop Blue
Pressure15 bar
Steam Wand1350W

Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine being tested in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

Galanz Retro Pump: Price & Availability

The Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is available to buy on: Amazon for $120.00, Wayfair for $124.09, Walmart for $202.44 (for the blue version only) and Home Depot for $123.53 - all down from the original list price of $149.99 - except Walmart, of course.

Compared to very similar espresso machines on the market, such as the Hamilton Beach 15 Bar Espresso Machine ($79.99) and the De'Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine ($85.99), the Galanz model is pricier without offering additional perks that would justify the over $50 dollar price difference. 

Despite the higher price compared to similar models, the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is a more affordable option compared to most espresso makers. It is a great first espresso machine for inexperienced users at home, and it’s also very stylish. 

Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine being tested in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

Galanz Retro Pump: First impressions

The Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine arrived in a cardboard box and came with the additional components needed to make espresso: a portafilter, 1-cup and 2-cup filter baskets, and a double-sided scoop and tamper. The machine also arrived with a user manual and a quick start guide. When I first pulled the espresso machines from the box, I was delighted by the deep red color and lovely retro design I associate with the Archie comic book Pop’s Chock'lit Shoppe (if you know, you know). However, the outside of the machine is made of plastic, which may seem cheap-looking to some. It does not take up a lot of space on my countertop, so I recommend this espresso machine to users with small kitchens. The espresso machine is also very light, 7.3 lbs, so if you need a machine you can easily move around, this Galanz model may be a good fit. 

As a first-time manual espresso machine user, I consulted the quick start guide and the user manual, in that order, to get a sense of how easy the setup is for a beginner. I filled the 1.5L water tank, a perfect size if you are making espresso every day multiple times a day, and plugged in the machine. I switched the machine on by flipping down the ON/OFF switch on the left. Once the light stops flashing, then the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is ready to use. Galanz recommends flushing the machine before you make your first cup of espresso, so I flipped down the espresso switch (the one in the middle) and waited until the water stopped flowing through. 

Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine being tested in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

Galanz Retro Pump: Performance

To make my first espresso with the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine, I packed ground coffee into the portafilter equipped with the 1-cup filter basket. According to the user manual, I have to tamp the espresso using 30-40 lbs of pressure. I wasn’t sure what that meant, so I tamped it firmly and wiped the excess ground coffee from the filter basket. The first try did not go well at all. I had issues inserting the portafilter into the group head and turning it right to lock it into position. Once I forcefully managed to lock it into place, I flipped down the espresso switch, and while the machine sounded like it was working, no coffee flowed through into the cup. 

There are a few cleaning and maintenance steps you have to take to keep your Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine in tip-top shape. When using the steam wand to froth milk, you want to make sure to clean it after every use to avoid milk building up. You should run clean hot water through the wand after every steaming session remove the wand from the machine, and run it under water in the sink, too. Make sure the wand has been cooled completely before handling. The filter basket should also be cleaned after every use by disposing of the used ground coffee and running hot water through it on the espresso machine without coffee in it. When testing out this espresso machine, I made way too much watery espresso because I wasn't paying attention. 

After a rocky start, which was entirely user error, I found making espresso with the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine to be a fun and straightforward experience. As much as I enjoy the occasional espresso in the late afternoon to help me get through the rest of my work day, my true joy is my morning flat whites. Thanks to the Galanz espresso machine, not only can I brew coffee manually, but I can also steam milk using a steam wand that lives on the machine. 

Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine being tested in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

While the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine only makes 1-cup and 2-cup espresso, the steam wand allows users to create a variety of barista beverages such as lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and more! I experimented with the steam wand and was very pleased with how beautifully the milk was steamed. To use the steam wand, all you have to do is make sure the power switch is flipped to ON, and the steam switch is flipped down. Before you insert the steam wand into the mug with milk, you have to make sure to “purge” it. When you first turn the steam/hot water dial (located on the side of the machine) counterclockwise, a little bit of water will come out before the steam does. You want to avoid getting this extra water into your milk, so let the water flow into an empty cut and then place the wand into the milk to froth. Steaming milk is a very loud process, with noise levels reaching 86 dB.

Aside from making espresso and steaming milk, the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine can also dispense hot water. All you have to do is flip the power switch on, and when the light stops flashing, you turn the dial on the side of the machine counterclockwise, and hot water comes out. The switch on the right should be up.

There are a few cleaning and maintenance steps you have to take to keep your Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine in tip-top shape. When using the steam wand to froth milk, you want to make sure to clean it after every use to avoid milk building up. You should run clean hot water through the wand after every steaming session remove the wand from the machine, and run it under water in the sink, too. Make sure the wand has been cooled completely before handling. The filter basket should also be cleaned after every use by disposing of the used ground coffee and running hot water through it on the espresso machine without coffee in it.

Aside from cleaning the steam wand and portafilter, the outside of the machine can be wiped down with a damp cloth. The drip tray and water tank can be removed from the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine for easy washing too. There are no instructions that I could find for descaling the machine.

Galanz Retro Pump: Taste Test

I have been a coffee drinker since I was a teenager, trying all types of coffee drinks: americanos, macchiatos, iced coffee, and cold brew. But my absolute favorite way to consume caffeine is through espresso, specifically with milk and sugar. While I have been using pod coffee machines for many years now, testing out the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine was the first time I extracted espresso on my own at home. But I did accumulate some experience using a professional espresso machine at the restaurant I worked at, so I wasn’t a complete novice.

I tested the Galanz espresso machine using ground coffee purchased at Trader Joe’s. I recommend buying coffee beans and using a grinder for that perfect cup of coffee. But using ground beans is also a good solution for those who don’t have the time or equipment to grind coffee at home. The first cup of espresso I made with the Galanz espresso machine ended up being too watery since I didn’t stop the espresso extraction in time. However, I figured out how to use the machine properly in no time.

The coffee I extracted from the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine was not too bitter or acidic. My only complaint is that I wasn’t able to produce the lovely crema I usually get with my Nespresso machine satisfactorily. This could be an issue with the machine or user error, but it made the coffee less satisfactory. On the other hand, the steam wand performed very well, frothing and heating up the milk to make delicious lattes and cappuccinos. 

Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine being tested in writer's home

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine?

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Score Card
AttributeNotesScore
Price & availabilityMore expensive than similar models but overall an inexpensive option perfect for beginners. 4/5
DesignSmall and compact, this stylish and retro machine fits on most counterspaces and spices up your kitchen aesthetic. But the plastic outer housing cheapens the look.4/5
PerformanceMakes espresso tasty single and double espresso but doesn’t satisfactorily produce the crema espresso is known for.4/5

Buy it if...

You are a beginner and want an easy-to-use machine to brew espresso

Once you get the hang of it, the Galanz espresso machine easily extracts 1-cup and 2-cup espresso.

You are looking for a retro espresso machine that will elevate the style in your kitchen

The espresso machine comes in two delightfully loud colors, Hot Rod Red and Bebop Blue, that are sure to be conversation starters with guests. 

You want a coffee machine that also allows you to steam/froth milk

This machine has a steam wand that easily steams milk and even dispenses hot water.

Don't buy it if...

If you are looking for a more hands-off and quick espresso-making experience

The Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine may not be difficult to use, but it still requires a time commitment.

If you prefer more understated appliances that blend into the surroundings

This espresso machine comes in two very bold colors that may not appeal to everyone. 

How does the Galanz Retro Pump compare?

A similar espresso machine to the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine is the Hamilton Beach 15 Bar Espresso Machine, which retails for $99.99 on Amazon. Another similar machine is the De'Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine, which retails for $85.66 on Amazon. Both machines have 15 Bar Pump Pressure, milk frother/steam wands, and two different-sized filters for the portafilter. With that said, the Galanz espresso machine is hands down the most stylish, but for people looking for a more understated machine, the Hamilton Beach or De'Longhi version may be a better fit. 

How I tested the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine

  • I made myself two espresso per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon for two weeks. I also steamed milk once a day in the mornings.
  • I spent time testing out the different features, including brewing espresso using the different filter sizes, steaming milk, and dispensing hot water for tea.
  • I cleaned and maintained the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine following the manual directions.

I tested the Galanz Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine in my home for two weeks, making several espresso drinks per day to ensure I understood everything the machine had to offer and any potential limitations. I taste-tested the coffee with and without milk and sugar, too. 

Read more about how we test

Alexandra Pamias
Contributor

Alexandra Pamias is a freelance writer residing in vibrant New York City, specializing in all things kitchen and home appliances. With a passion for cleanliness and order, she turns her compact studio apartment into an organized haven, proving that big city living can be both stylish and practical. Alexandra is your go-to source for tips on keeping your space spick and span while making the most of it! She has reviewed kitchen and home products for Homes & Gardens, Real Homes, Tech Radar and Top Ten Reviews.