Capresso Cafe Manual Espresso Maker Review
Considering its cheap price, the Capresso Café's lackluster performance isn't surprising.
A rather baffling control system and poor design make this espresso maker difficult to use and clean.
The Capresso Café is a rather annoying device to use, with a confusing control layout. One switch determines if it is in water or steam mode, while another dial controls if the steam wand or espresso maker are being used. If you have the swtich on water mode and turn it towards the steam wand setting, boiling water jets out of the steam wand. Turn it the other way, and the water goes into the espresso maker. With the button in steam mode, you get the choice of steam out of the steam wand, or steam out of the espresso maker.
If that sounds confusing, that is because it is.
To pull a shot with this espresso maker, you load the filter, tamp the grounds and replace the portafilter. You then start the flow of water with the controls.
The machine then dispenses water until you turn the dial off.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The Capresso Café requires some maintenance, with the water reservoir needing refilling every day or two, and the drip tray requiring emptying. The plastic cover for the drip tray also required cleaning often, as you can't clean up spills and drops by just wiping it off, as you can with most machines.
One step that also caused us some issues was cleaning out the filter after pulling a shot. The usual way to do this is to take the portafilter with the filter in it and bang it on the edge of a trash bin, with the effect that the puck of coffee grounds falls out into the trash. Instead, on this machine, the entire filter had an annoying habit of falling out, even with the retaining clip held in place. We then had to retrieve the filter from the trash.
There are no customization features on this machine: you can't change the temperature, water flow or steam level.
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