If you must have a combo machine, this might do. Seven grams of coffee retained! Small Showerhead, Maybe the 455 is better
Positive Product Points
Nice Grinder, Brews hot, generally good build quality. Decently made, carries out it's prime functions as expected. Coffee better than Krups Aroma-Control
Negative Product Points
Seven grams coffee retained from one pot to the next. Tiny shower head. More complex than the ST600 will need more maintenance.
I got this used for a steal. Needed a bit of clean up and to be recalibrated for proper grind. After I took care of the basics I decided to set it up to brew six cups and to set it to grind for 10. If you can restrict yourself to six or maybe eith cups yeild you can get good coffee from this. So I weigh the beans, and the grinder actually runs dry at the end. After a brewing I regularly measure 6 or 7 grams of coffee retained in the grinder and path. Seems to be a bit much. I measure this not by subtraction but by sweeping outhe feeder channel, running the machine to spin out more beans fron the chamber (remember the burrs were running dry) and the resweeping the tiny amount spun out.
The 1/2 inch in diameter shower head seems tiny, as opposed to the three inch honker in the Capresso st600. This unit will not be wetting the grounds rapidly with a 900 watt heater, nor evenly with this shower head.
Coffee is not quite to the level of the Presto Scandinavian, but very close to it, so it's well above the standard Mr coffee consumer stuff. I'd rather have an infinity/st600 combo (available for about $150 total at the time of writing). To make it simple in the morning you can weigh the beans on the night before, and put the water in the maker. Flip a switch on the girnder, dump the grounds into the filter, hit a button: that's not so harsh in the morning.
Whether I'd rather grind the night before for my wife's morning cup, or budget for an extra 7 grams a day of wasted coffee, is still an open question. I guess the dollars wasted is not so bad but the disrespect to the bean is.
Running this thing without brushing out the channel results in a large amount of stale coffee being brewed and that is not on for me.
Hey Capresso, why not elevate the entire grinder mechanism, then have a steeply slanted feeder channel? Do this and leap into the lead again.
On my ratings: the cost vs value takes in the $15 price. I would buy this all day at $15 but at $200 standard retail, I would think about waking up five minutes earlier. However, my wife must have coffee within a minute of walking into the kitchen, so the quest continues.