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Capresso 551 Burr - Peter Bishop's Review
Posted: April 25, 2003, 10:02am
review rating: 7.5
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Capresso 551 Burr
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More About This Product
Arrow The Capresso 551 Burr has 40 Reviews
Arrow The Capresso 551 Burr has been rated 4.96 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Capresso 551 Burr reviews have been viewed 129,673 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Beth Sanguine 9.00
William Fite 9.00
Lance Goffinet 8.50
Benjamin Kieran 8.50
Dennis Rogers 8.33

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 4.0
Manufacturer: Salton Quality: 3
Average Price: $80.00 Usability: 4
Price Paid: $50.00 Cost vs. Value 2
Where Bought: Linens'n'Things Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 1 year Overall 4
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Rocky
Bottom Line: Don't waste $50... not even if it's just for drip.
Positive Product Points

Grinder has a small footprint and looks OK (in my kitchen environment anyway).  Grind good enough for drip machine.  Fairly accurate timer for a cheap machine.  Better than a blade grinder... just.

Negative Product Points

Excessively messy and noisey.  Fairly small bean hopper.  Very cheap plastic construction.  Major static problem.  Stiff and inaccurate grind control.

Detailed Commentary

The unit was purchased as a replacement for my old blade grinder.  This was at the start of my coffee adventure, and I can now look back with a more objective eye.  I certainly liked the look of the unit sitting on the store shelf.  I did some quick investigation, and the idea of a burr grinder was (at the time) an exotic, and "serious" departure from the blade machine I was currently using.

First impressions... grind before bedtime so I don't wake the house in the morning :)  The noise level was surprising!  The process of removing the collection bin to dispense into the filter could not be done without creating a mess.  Coffee and chaff everywhere mainly due to the static problem.  It should be said that it was slightly less mess (as far as stray grouds are concerned) than upending the blade grinder, but the light coffee chaff got everywhere due to the static.

The grind is erratic.  While grinding for drip, there's a lot of powder generated, which tends to clog on the wall of the collection bin.  I developed a routine to shift it, which meant tapping the bin on the side of the sink before taking the top off to dispense.  This dislodged most of the clogged grounds, but eventually cracked the plastic bin (I only tapped lightly... honest!).  Replacement parts are readily available from Capresso... they were helpful.

The erratic grind was not really a problem for drip... if using a paper filter.  When I tried the gold-tone filter a lot of the small stuff gets through.  Obviously this problem makes French Press coffee a tad muddy.

The grind adjustment was a joke.  The wheel on the side would contstantly lock solid and I gave up trying to swap back and forth between drip and press.  Luckily it jammed on the drip setting, as the amount of fine grounds produced during a so-called French Press grind made it highly unsatisfactory.

The timer on the front worked just fine.  Probably the finest engineering on the unit :)

I have now graduated to a Silvia/Rocky combination.  I find I don't want to keep swapping grinds with Rocky (just let him deal with grinding for Silvia) and will be getting a cheap burr for the drip coffee.  I still have the Capresso, but will not be using it.  I'll go and buy another cheap burr grinder for that purpose...

Maybe that's the measure of it... I'd rather take my chances with another cheap burr grinder that use the Capresso again.  There's a DeLonghi at Costco for $25... sort of looks like a mini-Rocky.  I'll make a label that says "Rockette" and sit them next to each other.  The Capresso waits for the yard sale...

Buying Experience

Retail store purchase - off the shelf.  No problems.  Capresso seem to be fine to deal with for spare parts etc.

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review rating: 7.5
Posted: April 25, 2003, 10:02am
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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