If you're a daily coffee drinker—by the potful or one K-cup at a time—you have…
Capresso is a USA-based, Swiss-owned marketer of high-end coffeemakers, espresso machines, grinders, electric water kettles, and frothers that has been in business for twenty years. Having said this, it’s unlikely you’d think that this company markets affordable espresso and cappuccino machines. It’s not every day that you see the words ‘affordable’ and ‘high-end’ used in the same sentence, or come across a modestly priced, upmarket espresso and cappuccino machine. Capresso, however, does indeed market such coffeemakers. Take for example the Capresso 303.01 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Machine.
The Capresso 303.01 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
Steam-driven espresso machines are few and far between these days, especially as folks learn more about ideal brewing temperatures for different coffee preparations. Steam pressure has the bad rap of burning the coffee, and while it will create a nice level of pressure for your espresso extraction, it isn’t going to give you those phenomenally complex and sweetly balanced espresso shots a lot of people covet.
But what steam pressure does give you is value : Without an additional piece of equipment in the mix, machines that use steam pressure for their extraction tend to be on the cheaper side of the cost spectrum. Capresso’s 4-Cup Espresso & Cappuccino Machine is one such animal: For under $60, you can quickly and easily brew up a few cappuccinos on a daily basis without a lot of fuss or muss.
The Capresso 303.01 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Machine is a breath of fresh air for coffee enthusiasts who may have grown tired of sifting through exorbitantly priced, high-end espresso and cappuccino machines in order to find a coffeemaker that’s affordable but effective and easy and enjoyable to use.
If you’d worry that the espresso and cappuccino machine will fall short of useful features, don’t, because those at Capresso made sure that the coffeemaker of theirs comes with a wide array of useful features that make it truly effective. To begin with, the espresso and cappuccino machine comes in at only 7 lbs, which makes it easy to handle and move around. The espresso and cappuccino machine is also 9.8″ x 7.5″ x 13.2″ in dimensions, which assures you that it will fit snugly on your kitchen countertop, coffee table, or dining table.
If you’re finnicky regarding how your coffee is brewed, the espresso and cappuccino machine comes with an exclusive coffee/steam function that gives you control over both brewing and steaming, enabling you to adjust the strength of your cup of espresso or cappuccino to your taste, making each cup truly enjoyable.
If you wouldn’t like waiting long for your coffee to be ready, the espresso and cappuccino machine comes with a swivel frother with adjustable steam output, which enables you to steam milk in mere seconds. The espresso and cappuccino machine also come with a powerful steamer/boiler, which not only warms up in just 2 minutes, but also makes up to 4 cups of coffee in less than 5 minutes.
If you dislike hard-to-clean coffeemakers, you’ll love the espresso and cappuccino machine’s dishwasher-safe carafe and removable drip tray, both of which make cleaning the coffeemaker a cinch.
The rest of the useful features of the espresso and cappuccino machine are: a boiler cap with a built-in safety valve as well as a filter holder with a thumb guard, both of which make the coffeemaker safer to use than most of the other espresso and cappuccino machines currently available in the market.
Despite the Capresso 303.01 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Machine appearing as quite a useful coffeemaker indeed, a small number of consumers have noted and made known online a few drawbacks to it. According to them, the espresso and cappuccino machine requires a lot of attention when it brews, the frother doesn’t function as well as expected, and the coffeemaker begins to break down only after a brief period of use. Nonetheless, the espresso and cappuccino machine received a rating of 3 and a half stars out of 5 on Amazon.
Pros The Capresso 303.01
You’d expect that a machine driven by steam pressure would give you a lot of power when steaming or frothing your milk, and in this machine’s case, you’d be right. After we pulled our shots, we let the steam loose and it nearly blew our milk across the room — thankfully, we realized quite quickly that the steam valve’s knob could be regulated for more or less pressure. It produced an okay microfoam (it has a panarello that auto-froths and you have little control over this) very quickly in our 20 oz. milk pitcher, and after we drained all the steam pressure, we guessed we probably could have used a larger pitcher and still had success. The wand isn’t super long, however, so bear that in mind.
Quantity over quality
If you ascribe to the more is better school of life, and quantity means more to you than quality, then the fact that you can set this baby up for four shots in one go will be a huge plus.
You’re basically working with an enclosed boiling pot of water, a hose and a filter head. Not much to encase here and the machine’s size reflects that. Nice and petite for the space-conscious.
Cons The Capresso 303.01
We didn’t know this was possible, but yes, too much steam can be a bad thing. Especially when it’s coming into contact with your arguably very tenderhearted ground coffee. While we pulled four shots in one extraction, the shots definitely tasted on the burnt side and more closely resembled what you get from a stovetop/moka pot than what you’d get off a pump-driven espresso machine. Crema? Forget it.
Because you’re working with only steam pressure to get the job done, you have to be careful to release all the built up pressure before you remove either the portafilter or the cap to the boiler. We had a lot of pressure built up after making our lattes, and it was a few minutes before it all released. We had ugly visions of early morning fogs frighteningly punctuated by exploding portafilters, spewing coffee grounds all over the place. Definitely take care to release all of the built up pressure before doing anything with portafilter or opening up the boiler cap.
The Verdict of The Capresso 303.01
If you really can’t justify spending more than $100 on your espresso machine, or being able to whip up two fairly average cappuccinos quickly is your prime directive, this machine may be your ticket. The espresso results from a pump machine far outweigh the savings that you get with a machine like this, so we’d opt to save our loot and jump right into a machine that is pump driven. However, if you love stovetop/moka pot espresso and you want an easy way to do that in the morning, plus have steamed/frothed milk, this could meet your needs very well.
A great place to buy The Capresso 303.01 is on Amazon and here is why
– All the reviews are like having hundreds of really good friends give you their personal experience with the espresso machine, then taking all of that personal experience and giving it a star rating. You’re buying quality when there are hundreds of fans of the machine.
– A friendly UPS driver will deliver it right to your door. No waiting in line, no hauling it in your car. No sore muscles or achy back the next day.
– Amazon has the best price 99% of the time. Amazon constantly watches competitor pricing and makes sure you get the best deal. They do a ton of business and take advantage of economies of scale, which means you get the savings!
– FREE shipping. Enough said.
– Returns are easy. Amazon recently shipped a car, and they ship a ton of large items, all day, every day. If they can ship a car, rest assured, you will get your espresso machine in perfect condition. BUT if for any reason it comes damaged, it is super easy to return. Just print out a UPS label, slap it on the box and a friendly UPS driver will pick it up, free of charge. This is way easier than waiting in a return line at Williams & Sonoma talking with a snoody sales clerk.
– 800-watt espresso and cappuccino machine with 4-cup capacity
– Coffee/steam selector; adjustable coffee strength; swivel frother
– Safety boiler cap with built-in valve; filter holder with protective thumb guard
– Illuminated on/off switch; removable drip tray; dishwasher-safe glass carafe
– Measures 9-3/4 by 7-1/2 by 13-1/4 inches; 1-year limited warranty
The Capresso 303.01 is really an ideal machine for brewing coffee drinks like espresso, latte, and cappuccino for home use and for entertaining guests at home.
Given this detailed review of the Capresso 303.01 4-Cup Espresso and Cappuccino Machine, we hope you’ll start to seriously consider owning a high-end but affordable coffeemaker like this one so as to not miss out on the benefits of having such a home appliance.