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Solis Master 5000 Digital - Craig Shields's Review
Posted: November 17, 2003, 8:28am
review rating: 8.5
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Solis Master 5000 Digital
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More About This Product
Arrow The Solis Master 5000 Digital has 9 Reviews
Arrow The Solis Master 5000 Digital has been rated 8.13 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Solis Master 5000 Digital reviews have been viewed 38,742 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Myr 8.50
Craig Shields 8.50
MYR 8.33
Alex S 7.33
Michael Douma 4.66

Previous Review Next Review
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.2
Manufacturer: Solis Quality: 7
Average Price: $850.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $700.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: WholeLatteLove Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 month Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: Just starting Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Isomac Tea
Bottom Line: Not for espresso fans, but a great on-demand coffee machine for the office.
Positive Product Points
  • Easy to use - just push a button and go
  • Fresh coffee - ground at the time of pulling the shot
  • Style - looks good in the office
  • Customization - set the grind, dose, and water volume
  • Easy to clean - you don't have all the mess of a real espresso machine
Negative Product Points
  • Coffee quality - good for "americani" but not for espresso shots
  • A bit plasticky
  • Small water tank - need to refill constantly
  • Dreg drawer sometimes thinks it's full when it's not
  • Inconsistent volume from cup to cup
Detailed Commentary

Full disclosure:   I'm one of those anal home roasters who has a dialed-in Mazzer Mini and an Isomac Tea at home.

We bought this for our office after my boss lost a bet.  Most of the folks here (seven overall, five coffee drinkers) are used to Charbucks/DunkinDonuts, but I've gotten them hooked on fresh roasted coffee.  We bought this machine so we could make cups as needed; as consultants, we can work some crazy hours and need a hit from time to time.

The machine finally arrived.  We unpacked it, plugged it in, and ... nothing.  A call to WLL lead to a call to Solis.  The problem, apparently pretty common, was that the sensor for the front door was misaligned.  A few minutes later (and calling back WLL - though nice, they weren't too well informed on trouble-shooting this machine, so I gave them a heads-up on the problem), we were cranking out coffee.

Overall, it makes a very good Americano.  We have one button set for a full coffee mug (for weaker coffee) and one for a half mug (double up for a stronger coffee), and we like the ability to choose.  One disappointment, for me at least, is the espresso.  Maybe it's the long plastic maze the coffee flows through (or maybe it was the Illy beans that came with the machine), but it was nothing close to what I'm used to.  A bit sour and bitter and a touch too cold.  These sins are not readily apparent in the Americano-style coffees we typically pull, though.

Overall, it's a great machine for a small office.  With many more people, the small water tank would become an issue for us, but it works for now.  It serves good, fresh, on-demand coffee that doesn't cook on a hotplate.

Buying Experience

WLL were quite pleasant.  As mentioned, their tech support aren't too familiar with this machine, but they quickly pointed me in the right direction.

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review rating: 8.5
Posted: November 17, 2003, 8:28am
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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