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Capresso C1000 Super Auto - J.R. Oldroyd's Review
Posted: January 25, 2006, 10:43pm
review rating: 7.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Capresso C1000 Super Auto
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More About This Product
Arrow The Capresso C1000 Super Auto has 28 Reviews
Arrow The Capresso C1000 Super Auto has been rated 7.78 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Capresso C1000 Super Auto reviews have been viewed 143,985 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Wes Marshall 8.20
Mark Fletcher 8.00
Scott Pace 8.00
John Cauffiel 7.50
Roy McGinnis 7.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 5.8
Manufacturer: Capresso Quality: 6
Average Price: $799.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $699.00 Cost vs. Value 3
Where Bought: Williams Sonoma Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 4+ years Overall 5
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Salvatore, Krups
Bottom Line: As an espresso machine, this is not the best choice.  As a regular coffee machine, this is very expensive, although very easy to use.
Positive Product Points

Push a button.  It makes coffee.

Negative Product Points

Intermediate-level machine, at best.  Decent coffee, but nothing spectacular.

Detailed Commentary

I bought this machine 7 or 8 years ago, and was impressed then.  As my tastes have matured, and my knowledge and understanding of espresso have developed, I realize that this machine is not what you need if you want shots like those from experienced baristas in Italy, France or Australia.

This machine is a great, general purpose strong-coffee maker, though.  It grinds, doses, tamps and pulls the shots all at the push of a button.  You can adjust the water volume to give you a shot-sized amount, or a cupful.  Hold the brew button longer for selecting about 9g of coffee (a good amount for a single shot), about 12g (ok for a 1.5 shot) or about 15g (a bit low for a double shot).  You fill the machine up with water and beans, turn it on, and in about 3-4 minutes it's ready to make coffee.  Push the button and 30 seconds later, there's your coffee.  If you want frothed milk, turn a knob and 45 seconds later you can froth.  It has a wand designed for dummys to use, that sucks air in from the top and requires no skill at all to froth.

Thing is, and what I've learned over the years, is that almost everything about this type of system is WRONG when it comes to making good espresso.  Filling the machine with beans and leaving them there for days pretty much guarantees you're using stale beans much of the time.  The grinder, while it does have an adjustment, can't be set fine enough.  The machine doesn't heat hot enough for proper espresso extraction.  In the whole of the time I've been using it, I've complained that the crema is not what it should be, and the shot is not hot enough.  I no longer think of this as an espresso machine.  It's really a "strong-coffee" machine.

I did find a web site once that described, with pictures, how you can open the machine up and adjust the grinder to something finer.  That helped.  You can also pre-heat the cup and pull a blank shot through the system before you brew to pre-heat the coffee pathway, and that helps some, too.  But the fact that the brew chamber isn't hot enough means the shot doesn't extract properly, the crema will be poor, and the resulting aroma and flavors will be wanting.  Another concern is the fact that it's hard (in fact almost impossible) for you to reach the internal brew chamber and grinder surfaces that come into contact with coffee.  Old coffee will build up and can't really be clean away.  The machine does have a program which washes the brewed coffee pathway with soap, then rinses, but there's no means to clean the grinder or brew chamber.  Thorough cleaning of old coffee grinds and coffee oils is another important factor in making good coffee.

Still, I liked the C1000 for cappuccinos and for simpler "cups of joe" where the exactness of the bean freshness, temperature, cleanliness, etc are less critical factors.

If you're not after ultimate espresso quality, or your tastes haven't gotten to that point yet, or you can't be bothered with a system which demands you learn proper barista techniques, this machine's for you.  When your tastes and interests mature, you'll want something else.

I've moved up now to a Salvatore (reviewed separately on this site).  The Salvatore costs a heck of a lot more, but it's a real espresso machine.

Buying Experience

Williams Sonoma.  They took my money, gave me the box, and said bye.

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review rating: 7.0
Posted: January 25, 2006, 10:43pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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