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Cappuccino Century - Jamie Roberts's Review
Posted: February 22, 2003, 10:33am
review rating: 7.8
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Cappuccino Century
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Arrow The Cappuccino Century has 1 Reviews
Arrow The Cappuccino Century has been rated 8.80 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since February 3, 2003.
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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.8
Product Reviewed: Cappucino
Manufacturer: Brasilia Quality: 9
Average Price: $1,500.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $1,500.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Zuccarini Imports Toronto Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 2 years Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: A great machine that makes great coffee from ristretti to milk drinks--if you like the way it looks!
Positive Product Points

This machine will give you, with a little practice, terrific shots and milk drinks. It's very compact (will fit under a standard 18" counter if you don't use the cup warmer) and modern looking (black enamel and stainless) in a  The professional group head, great temperature stability, easily programmed shots, and incredible steam--lots and lots of steam--makes entertaining easy too :) The Cappucino also works really well with distilled water, so it's easy to keep it very, very clean.

Negative Product Points

Most of the interior parts and layout are excellent--copper boiler and brass and stainless fittings, as you'd expect. The overall fit and finish (outer), however, is not quite as good as Livia, and there's plastic where you might not expect plastic. The bubble switches seem out of place with the rest of the machine. Still, it's better looking than the picture here (which seems distorted horizontally a bit).

One other minor negative: it takes a minimum of 30 minutes to heat up, so if you're looking for a fast shot, this isn't the machine. However, you can keep it on all day (just make sure the reservoir is full if you don't have the machine plumbed in).

Detailed Commentary

I bought the Brasilia Cappucino a couple of years ago, and after the learning curve going from a consumer Gaggia machine to this, I've been really happy with this. I use it at home, and I haven't plumbed it in; the machine can be permanently connected, though, if you like.

This machine is right on the verge of being a professional machine. Plumbed in, it would be a great machine for an office or a small restaurant, and, like the Livia, can be a bit of overkill for a home machine. If you enertain, however, this machine will knock out coffee after coffee--straight shots or milk drinks--with ease. The Cappucino doesn't have a procon pump, so if you want to coax the most consistent crema out of borderline beans, it may not do the job.

But with freshly roasted and well-blended beans, this is a great machine. The very best thing about the Cappucino is its temperature stability (key for good espresso) and in its ability to steam lots of milk without a pause. I've never seen a machine in this price range with the raw steaming capability of the Cappucino--Brasilia have definitely got the heat / steam capability down (hence the name?).

The only downside here, really, are the aesthetics, which aren't for everyone. You don't have the gleaming stainless steel pomo design of the Giotto or the sheer elegance of the Livia. But in black enamel with stainless steel accents, the Cappucino would be at home in any bar in Toronto's Little Italy :)  I would have liked different switches, but the ones here are functional, if not distinctive-looking. Form definitely follows function here.

The guages and automatic capability of the machine are great too. You can program the water throughput volume for four different drinks (singles, doubles, ristretti or long shots) and there is a manual water switch, as well as a hot water tap (great for instant soup or tea).

Interior construction is excellent: copper, brass, stainless steel. The worst part is the standard ULKA pump, and I've heard of folks rebuilding their Cappucinos with procon pumps instead (after the warranty is over, of course).

Did I mention steam? This thing makes the best steamed milk hot chocolate in the world, a necessity here in the Canadian winter :)

Buying Experience

I bought the Cappucino from Zuccarini Imports in Toronto. They're an established professional Gaggia importer right downtown on Davenport, a block past the Faema store. They've been there since the 1950s, I believe, and they're family owned and run. They sell everthing from Gaggia's consumer line to professional machines and restaurant supplies, and they also carry Brasilia and Pasquini products (notably the Livia).

As a store, they are fantastic--they perform onsite service, delivery and setup anywhere around Toronto, and are knowledgeable and really helpful. I would not hesitate to buy from them again!

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review rating: 7.8
Posted: February 22, 2003, 10:33am
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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