Normally when I see something with a name like “Ultima” the warning bells go off inside my head. Products with such a dubious label rarely, if ever live up to such a claim.
I wondered then how the Capresso Ultima Espresso Maker (Model #121) would perform. Would it do the name justice? Or would it fail miserably?
Billed as “The world’s most convenient semi-automatic coffee and espresso/cappuccino machine”, the Ultima takes away the steps in the espresso making process that some people find highly annoying and time consuming.
Admittedly, some people love these steps so if you are a purist, this may not be the espresso machine for you. So what did they differently from other espresso makers?
For one thing they have incorporated a 53 oz. water basin into the unit. According to Capresso this will allow you to make around 30 espressos. The actual number will be slightly less depending on how many cappuccinos you make.
While having a water reservoir doesn’t seem like a big deal on the surface, its pretty convenient to not have to stop after every espresso to refill a small chamber that can only hold enough water for a single or double esprresso.
Having water available is one thing, being able to quickly heat the water to the necessary pressure in a timely manner is another thing all together. Waiting for espresso can be almost painful with lesser units. But with the Ultima’s 18-bar ThermoCoil heating/pump system, wait times are a fraction of what they might be.
But, what really is exciting about the Ultima is the way it handle the espresso grounds. This is the point where the purists out there might be horrified. But for me, its pure genius. The thing I always hated about making espresso was dealing with the tamping, the cleaning and the disposal of the espresso grounds.
Sure, I found it fun for the first twenty or so espressos, but after that it became more work that I really wanted to do, and my espresso maker would usually start to gather dust.
All that has changed with the Ultima. You see the Ultima will tamp and dispose of the used espresso grounds for you into an internal hopper. When the hopper is filled, you just slide the tray out and walk it to the trashcan.
Let me walk you through making an espresso with the Ultima:
- Grind some espresso bean in your favorite grinder.
- Place two scoops of ground espresso into the top of the Ultima.
- Give the top of the Ultima a 1/4 counter clockwise turn and push down the handle. Espresso is now tamped.
- If the machine is already at the proper temperature, turn the switch on and watch your espresso flow. When you have the desired amount, turn it off.
- Release the lever on top, and complete the counter clockwise turn you started earlier, bringing the espresso fill point back to the front.
- Machine is ready for more espresso.
No muss, to fuss. It really is that easy. I instantly fell in love with this unit, it exceeded even my expectations. You can even use flavored coffee in this unit as long as you run some hot water through it afterwards by turning the unit on without any espresso in it.
While some people might find the $300 price tag a bit steep, I have to say that not having to deal with the usual espresso making frustrations is quite nice. I really didn’t think this unit would live up to its lofty name, but once again Capresso has delivered a product that any coffee aficionado would be proud to own.comments powered by Disqus