02/12/2000 - Purchased Capresso C1000 unit at William-Sonoma for $899. Manually cleaning the internal screen after every few cycles is no big deal. The User’s Manual documentation is a bit over-engineered and could be simplified or reformatted for easier reading and troubleshooting. You do not want to use oily coffee beans as they will stick together and clog the burr grinder. The grinder is also bit noisy, yet produces the perfect cup of pressure-brewed coffee or espresso every time. After using this for a week, I’ve never enjoyed coffee from anyone else including formal restaurants. It was initially pricey but definitely worth every cup.
You can also make milky or foamed coffees, thanks to a tube that can be placed in a milk jug (or Panasonic’s own optional “Milktank” accessory). Or just have the machine squirt out hot water for tea-making. You can also tweak the amount of coffee, water and milk, and the temperature before a drink is made, and save up to four of these combinations on the machine as personal favourites.
The ESAM3500.N features programmable menu settings, meaning that you can easily adjust the coffee temperature, water hardness, the 1h to 3h automatic shutoff, start time and clock. Regardless of how picky you may be when it comes to coffee, you’ll definitely get to prepare a delicious cup of your favorite blended thanks to the 5 settings for coffee strength, including extra strong, strong, regular, mild and extra mild. On top of that, there are 3 buttons which make it easy to choosing the cup size (large, espresso and ristretto).
It uses a stainless steel conical burr grinder to get your beans just right, and it has a high-pressure system to extract more flavor in less time. The foam frother is remarkable as it produces fine foam that will make your coffee look and taste so much better. You can clean the system out relatively easily, and it allows you to control the strength of your beverages. Finally, it has an energy saver mode, and it’s slimmer than other two-cup models.
In addition, the Capresso website offers plenty of data for using this espresso machine. Among other things, it provides a downloadable user manual along with PDF files containing a variety of delicious hot milk frothing recipes so you can prepare such things as different types of teas, soothing milk drinks and several different types of hot chocolate drinks.
So what’s the coffee like? It’s tasty, especially if you stick with the simpler, non-milk varieties such as espresso, and comes out of the pods with a nice crema on the surface. You have very little control over how the coffee is made, of course, and aficionados using a £25 AeroPress will be able to beat the Jovia for taste every time. But this machine is so convenient and easy to live with that it charms you regardless.
For those who tend to like their java a bit more robust and flavorful, this espresso machine offers a coffee and steam wand that you can use to adjust the potency of your coffee. If you prefer a bit less vigor to your morning espresso, simply move the wand to the steam side to add a bit more water. This will allow you to share your espresso maker with those around you who prefer a stronger or milder taste you do and still keep everyone happy.