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MarkPrince
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MarkPrince
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,522
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Thu Apr 26, 2007, 12:00am
Subject: Capresso CoffeeTEAM Therm
 

Capresso CoffeeTEAM Therm

We take a product overview first look at the latest coffee brewer from Capresso - quite possibly the first auto drip maker with a timer that we can recommend (for the timer, of course!)
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Cathi
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Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 484
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cremina '67, Coffex
Grinder: Macap, KA Pro, Troesser,...
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex CM-8, KMB
Posted Fri Apr 27, 2007, 6:22pm
Subject: Re: Capresso CoffeeTEAM Therm
 

Love your cup collection.  Oh, eh, nice review, too.  Sorry.
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Dub
Senior Member


Joined: 1 May 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Abbotsford
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Aroma *(upgrading...
Grinder: Campresso Infinity
Vac Pot: Black & Decker Infuse Brewer
Posted Fri Apr 27, 2007, 9:41pm
Subject: Re: Capresso CoffeeTEAM Therm
 

Hi Mark,

I convinced my friend to pick up this machine from a supplier in Vancouver.  After using it together with him as a high end coffee maker for the office...there are several quirks that I have against this machine standing up to its cost and reputation.

First, over time the swing action of the filter basket has not worked properly.  If you notice carefully it is finicky when you close the main lid on the machine which covers both the water reservoir and the filter basket; ofter the filter basket does not properly swing over to main lid and does not trip the start mechanism in regards to the automatic mode.

Secondly, the ground coffee chamber chute leaves at least one to two scoops worth of coffee in the area for the next time you grind and brew...aka, it works by grinding enough coffee to push down the chute to filll the basket.  Every time, it leaves at least one or two scoops worth of ground coffee in the chute for next time you go to grind and brew coffee.  This means that you are now stuck with stale coffee in the chute for the next day if you want to use the machine.

Third, you can not access the conical burrs to clean out without voiding your warrantly (aka, the manual advises against cleaning the grinder because you have to access it via unscrewing the grinder).

On top of all of this, I found that although it brewed at the right temperature...the overall cup of coffee does not seem to be any better than a standard brewer.  I was left wanting more.  (my typical coffee maker is a Black and Decker electric vac pot).  I have since bought and brought into work a Bodum Santos for my morning coffee.

Just for reference, I ship in Inteligentsia coffee for my daily cup.

Cheers, Dub

P.S.  On a positive note, the unit does come with an amazing thermal carafe.  It does keep the coffee warm for an above average time compared to others I have used.
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MarkPrince
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MarkPrince
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,522
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sat Apr 28, 2007, 3:00am
Subject: Re: Capresso CoffeeTEAM Therm
 

Hey Dub.

Almost everything you mentioned I have found in testing this machine too, which will be covered in the Quickshot. The one thing we haven't had a problem with is the filter basket, as you described.

One thing about that - as you know, the three part filter basket assembly has to be fit together "just so" in order for everything to work. The removable portion with the brew stop spout at the bottom has to be put into the machine in a specific way, with the handle up, then you have to lock down the handle so it is sitting tight in the filter "cone" (I don't know what else to call that). And I've been using a SwissGold filter with it, and had to remove the extendable part of that filter basket, because with it in place, it doesn't swing into place properly. It does with Capresso's own nylon permanent filter.

Anyway, could this be why the entire filter assembly on your machine doesn't swing over correctly? That middle part - the removable filter holder, has to be properly locked down, otherwise it will not clear the lid.

Oh, and I've found in testing another problem. IF you don't tighten the lid on the carafe all the way, sometimes it is too high to let the filter assembly swing back fully - it misses the target by just enough so that the spring on the brew stop is pressed by the lid, but it's not sitting completely over the lid's hole - so coffee ends up pouring all over the counter.

Yeah, the amount of coffee left over in the chamber is bad. And worse still, the machine is designed to grind, expecting that chamber to be full. So what happens is, if you set it to grind for 10 cups, it grinds for enough time to produce probably 70 grams of coffee (I don't know, I haven't measured the volume of grinds yet by weight), but it pushes 10g out of the chute that's been sitting there, and leaves 10 new grams in the chute.

If you empty the chute out, it will grind the 70g again, but leave up to 10g or more in the chute.

But it's a tradeoff they had to make. If you read our consumer reviews long enough, you know people constantly complain about a product not being able to sit under a kitchen cupboard. People make their Mazzer Minis look butt ugly with mods to replace the hopper with a cup or something else... in many case just so they can sit the grinder under their cupboards.

Capresso had to design a machine that could sit under a cupboard. Because of this, you have a hopper that's tiny (holds barely 80g), and a nearly horizontal chute design that has to stretch far enough to fill a filter basket and deal with the basket's diameter. There's only so much they could do. I have, in my rough notes, commentary on this and how maybe a future design could alleviate this somewhat, but for now, it's a tradeoff minus. Still, I'd rather have 10 grams of stale coffee out of 70 in a timer-set machine than a full 70g of stale coffee ;)

I was not aware of the whole warranty thing. I may email Kramm about that to see what he has to say about it. I guess you could just run some Grindz through it ;)

One last thing that will be in the review. We've found we have to set the brewing amount higher (like 8 cups), but only put in enough water for six cups, to get a brew strength that was suitable. Part of it has to do with one of the things that is bad on almost all consumer drip coffee makers - crappy dispersion of the brewing water over the grounds. This Capresso has a very narrow dispersion over the centre of the coffee. It helps a LOT if you don't put the carafe in right away when it starts brewing - let the filter basket fill up a bit and infuse more coffee, then put the carafe in place before it overflows - but this can't be done if you set the timer for a morning cup.

Mark

 
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Dub
Senior Member


Joined: 1 May 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Abbotsford
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Aroma *(upgrading...
Grinder: Campresso Infinity
Vac Pot: Black & Decker Infuse Brewer
Posted Sat Apr 28, 2007, 8:03pm
Subject: Re: Capresso CoffeeTEAM Therm
 

Hi Mark,

Everything you mentioned in your post as things you have found when using (aka: carafe lid needing to be closed or else coffees all over the place and the 6 cups of water to 8 cup grind difference)...I too have learned through using this machine.  I just forgot to mention in the post.    

Your points about the trade-offs for design functionality have made me less critical over the product.  However, at 400 bones Canadian, one should be aware of this before making the purchase (and the thanks has to go your way for being so dedicated to letting others make an informed decision).

For my own money, I still like my Black and Decker Infuze brewer.

Thanks again, Jason

P.S. are you planning any cupping sessions soon?  I really enjoyed the one I was able to make.
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MarkPrince
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MarkPrince
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,522
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Wed May 2, 2007, 2:17am
Subject: Re: Capresso CoffeeTEAM Therm
 

Just curious - no comments on the different photo style used for this First Look?

I wrote this in the article:

"As a side note, I decided to try and do something a bit different with the photos for this 1st look - instead of the usual neutral backgrounds of white or black, I shot it with, well, backgrounds - let me know what you think in the comments."

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
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Foxbat
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Foxbat
Joined: 28 Apr 2002
Posts: 68
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia
Grinder: Macap M4, Solis Maestro
Drip: Barista Aroma 8 cup
Roaster: HWP, HotTop
Posted Wed May 2, 2007, 4:16pm
Subject: Re: Capresso CoffeeTEAM Therm
 

Hey Mark,

I liked the photos in this First Look. The backgrounds add a little something; maybe more of a sense of life to the pictures. And it helps to see the coffee equipment "in place"; it gives me a sense of how it would fit into my own kitchen space (or dining nook space, as that's where my coffee equipment tends to live.)

Anyway, I hope you decide to continue to go with this style.

--Bruce

 
Bruce Harlick
Game Designer, Writer, and Editor
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mhattemer
Senior Member


Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: capresso
Grinder: capresso burr
Drip: capresso cofee team therm
Posted Sun May 27, 2007, 11:17am
Subject: Re: Capresso CoffeeTEAM Therm
 

One problem we have had with this machine is it occasionally (too often) spills coffee all over the counter so we never use the automatic timer feature. It doesn't seem to matter how we set up the machine. Sometimes it works fine and the next time spills all over the place. Makes good coffee though. We set it at 10 cups strong and put in 8 cups of water.
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MarkPrince
Moderator
MarkPrince
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,522
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sun May 27, 2007, 12:54pm
Subject: Re: Capresso CoffeeTEAM Therm
 

mhattemer Said:

One problem we have had with this machine is it occasionally (too often) spills coffee all over the counter so we never use the automatic timer feature. It doesn't seem to matter how we set up the machine. Sometimes it works fine and the next time spills all over the place. Makes good coffee though. We set it at 10 cups strong and put in 8 cups of water.

Posted May 27, 2007 link

I've noticed the spilling problem. What happens is, the filter housing makes it over just far enough to have the "pour stop" valve go up a bit to let it start flowing through, but it doesn't line up properly with the lid's brewing hole.

I've also discovered why - the lid has to be tightly screwed shut when in the brewing position. And the manual says this too. Once we did this, we have had about 80 successful (no mess) overnight scheduled brews work just fine.

Also, make sure the carafe is sitting properly in the machine - if part of it is sitting on the slightly raised lip, this would cause the same problem.

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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keithrt
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Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Posts: 2
Location: North Yarmouth
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Sep 13, 2007, 8:03am
Subject: Re: Capresso CoffeeTEAM Therm
 

I purchased this machine about a month ago. Although the aesthetic design and timer are superb as noted in the First Look, the machine suffers from a major flaw. When the grinder starts, it grinds the beans resting at the bottom of the hopper on top of the grinder, but frequently carves a 'cave' in the bottom of the beans and beans stop feeding into the grinder. About half the time I end up with a pot of slightly coffee-tinted water. The flaw, I believe, is in the finger guard in the center of the hopper. It's not high enough to allow the beans to flow into the grinder.

I spoke with their product support people and they've heard this complaint before. The support person was kind enough to send me a larger 4" hopper on the theory that the finger guard was higher (it isn't) and the weight of the additional beans would help feed the beans into the grinder. Alas, it didn't work. This morning I ended up with the same tepid pot of water.

My solution to this problem is simple. This weekend I will take my Dremel tool, cut off the finger guard, and grind the posts down flush with the bottom of the plastic hopper. If that fails to solve the problem, the coffee maker will be returned. For $300, I shouldn't have to put up with this.

Keith
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