It is a functional, unobtrusive NOT fully automatic maker of GOOD espresso and cappucino!
Positive Product Points
Easy to use, quick warm-up time, can be kept on stand-by, cleans up readily. Makes good-tasting crema espresso, sits on kitchen counter where it is not in the way but readily accessible. My previous model (111) required repair to pump every other year and finally required replacement. The pressure relief feature should give it a longer life-span between repairs.
Negative Product Points
Uses a lot of water (as pressure on heating coil and pump are relieved after each cycle).
I believe that the enjoyment of espresso is in the drinking. It is not in the ritual of measuring the coffee, checking the temperature, pressure, height of ‘crema’, etc. All intermediary steps necessary should be minimal and incidental (as well as transparent) to its production. For the infrequent cappuccino, frothing should be a quick and clean process. Cleanup should be simple. Reasonable frothing with homogenized milk should be successful. Three ounce (double ‘shots’) portions of espresso should be a capability of the machine with no wait-time between. Likewise for frothing: no wait-time. The water tank should be easily accessible for refilling. However, I don’t want to forego the measuring of the coffee, the tamping and seeing the spent grounds in favor of the super automatic machines. Some things do not have to be automated, but having a pump action over the older boiler arm-actuated method is an advantage for those of us that are somewhat physically challenged. This machine seems to be an ideal answer and in its design to reduce stress on its heating coil and water/steam delivery system may require fewer return trips for repair in average use.
Capresso has an 800 number. Over six years I had my old #111 repaired four times. This last time it could not be repaired so I bought a new one from them. Other than for the time involved in receiving their mailed return label, my packing my old machine and taking it to UPS and Capresso receiving it and examining it, it was only three days before the new machine was at hand, unpacked and in operation! Coversations were extremely courteous, pleasant and helpful. As in the past, their response time was very good.