This unit is highly flexible, allowing for the adjustment of both volume of coffee ground and water used per drink. Other features include a bypass doser and in tank water filter. It is a sharp looking machine, warms up quickly and produces excellent expresso and crema coffee at the push of a button.
Negative Product Points
The frother is a pain to use, requiring a "semi-automatic" purging between cups; (2) The grinder is impossible to access to clean or service and will probably wear out long before the life of the other components; (3) The screen is hard to access to clean; and finally (4) the machine uses one hell of alot of coffee, or is it us?
My wife and I were using a drip machine with a $20 grinder and Gevalia coffee and thought it was great. Then we went to a party where the host had a Netpresso machine and the coffee was vastly superior. So I brought one. The machine has its place and produces good expresso and crema coffee for 50 cents a shot or proprietary pod. But, we began drinking a whole lot of strong coffee, so I started the process of researching the super automatics.
This machine tops the list. For anyone who likes to get up in the morning and push a button for an excellent cup of coffee, this machine should be considered. The "One Cup" button grinds 9, 11 or 13 grams, tamps and pre-moistens the coffee, dispenses from 1 oz to 8 oz of water through it (instantly adjustable), then dumps the grinds into a container for disposal later when full. The "Two Cup" button always grinds 15 gr and doubles the possible water volume. However, higher water volumes produce unacceptably weak coffee. There is no waiting between shots. The machine tells you if grounds need dumping or if it needs water or cleaning or rinsing or whatever. Its really cool.
The coffee is nothing short of excellent! As good as the best local (Austin) coffee houses. We start the day with expresso then move to larger cups. This is the crema da croppa. We are spoiled and go through a 1/2 lb of beans daily. This is more than the machine is rated for and may shorten its life. I don't care. I purchased the extended warranty. We have become coffee fanatics.
I ordered a Rocky grinder so the alternate doser can be used to its full potential and justified it by rationalizing that the included grinder will probably be the first component to wear out. I may get a Silva just so I can see how the other half live, constantly worring over how to produce an exceptional cup of coffee. There simply is no such hassle with this machine. It is consistent.
The main drawback is the frother/steamer. It is a pain to use and must be purged between cups. I solved the problem with a stand alone frother from Capresso for $60. It is the same type incorporated into their more expensive super automatics. Speaking of which, buy the frother and the less expensive 1000. Forget the add'l expense of the digital readout or second boiler. The second drawback is that it does not produce coffee hot enough to suit my wife. Probably a function of drinking drip coffee for 30 years. Anyway, she solves the problem by nuking it for 30 seconds (heresy, but does not destroy the creama). Lastly, it is made out of plastic, but it is sharp looking plastic.
Conclusion: Worth every penny!
I highly recommend William Sonoma. They exchanged the machine when I experienced problems with the frother, i.e., loud noises and shooting pulses of water interspersed with the steam.
Three Month Followup
I still highly recommend the product. I took the Silvia and Rocky to the ranch and use a Millenium and Mini at home in the morning. The Capresso makes very good Swiss coffee during the day and decaf shots for milk drinks at night for us. It is a very useful machine.