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Like a Ferrari: a frustratingly fickle machine
on March 3, 2006
I bought a Capresso 114.01 espresso machine via Amazon in December of 2005. I had selected it in part, because of the high "bar" pressure rating. Upon receiving it, the first shot of espresso took several minutes to make. The coffee just drips out one drop at a time. The manual suggests "using a coarser grind than other espresso machines". I tried progressively coarser grinds until I was at the coarsest setting of my burr gringer...the coffee was getting weaker, and coming out a little faster, but still taking many minutes for one shot of espresso, with a weak and bitter result and no crema. The manual suggests tamping the coffee ever so lightly. Good suggestion, because if you tamp it with more than a feather's weight of pressure, you get no coffee flow at all. I called Capresso technical support numerous times. They suggested disassembling the machine--unscrewing the metal screen on the body of the machine where the water comes through-- and cleaning it. I did this to no avail. Besides, one shouldn't need to service a machine that is less than a month old in this way! After two months of frustrating, hit-and-miss results, I returned the machine to Amazon. Because it's after the 30 day return period, I may not get a full refund, but I'm glad to be rid of that piece of junk. I have since purchased a $180 Krups XP 4000 espresso machine that just works beautifully, with any grind of coffee (even very fine), any tamping pressure (even quite firm), the machine produces 2 shots of espresso in 25 seconds flat with tons of crema. What a relief!