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Capresso 121.01 Ultima Semi-Automatic Coffee and Espresso/Cappuccino Machine
List Price: $440.00

Our Price: $298.00

You Save: $142.00 (32%)


Product Description

The best of coffee culture in one convenient package. Eliminating all the strenuous steps of conventional espresso/cappuccino machines ? tamping, hot filters and stubborn sieves ? this all-in-one center lets you pour in the coffee, switch on the pump and enjoy! One-year warranty. Model 121.

By eliminating the usual fuss and mess, this 1,200-watt machine makes it easy to brew espresso and make cappuccinos and lattes at home or in the office. It's semiautomatic because all that's required is to fill the water tank, place ground coffee into a receptacle, and pull a lever. Within seconds coffee flows from the double spout, which adjusts for different cup heights, into one or two cups. No tamping is required because the machine tamps the coffee precisely and automatically. Nor is it necessary to clean used coffee grounds out of a messy filter holder, because there is no filter holder, and the machine automatically discards grounds into a waste tray. The tray also catches overflows, and a light shows when it needs emptying.

For steaming and frothing milk to make cappuccinos, lattes, and hot chocolates and for delivering hot water for tea, there's a wand that rotates out to fit inside a pitcher or cup. The coffee receptacle accepts 7 to 15 grams (one or two fillings of the included scoop), and the powerful pump supplies enough hot water each time to fill cups from 1-1/2 ounces to 12 ounces, which means it will make a big mug of regular coffee as well as an espresso. The 53-ounce water tank is transparent for water-level monitoring. Water heats quickly thanks to the 1,200-watt heating coil, and a thermostat light shows when the water is hottest. The machine has internal storage for the power cord and comes with clear instructions, drink recipes, and a one-year warranty against defects. --Fred Brack

  • Brews from 1-1/2 to 12 ounces of espresso or regular coffee in seconds
  • No-mess, no-fuss: automatically tamps coffee and discards used grounds
  • Removable 53-ounce water tank; double brewing spout fills 2 cups at once
  • Steaming wand froths milk for cappuccinos and caffe lattes
  • Measures 15 by 16 by 12 inches; 1-year limited warranty

Customer Reviews:

  • Best Machine I have found for this Price Range
    I own two, using them each for over two years now. Heavy use: Four breves every a.m. and coffee for guests many evenings. Makes excellent espresso shots or full cups of coffee/crema. Foams well (I take off the air tube that automates foaming for those not wanting to work to get true microfoam; with tube off, it works even better if you have the patience to get microfoam.) What I really like, though, is the cleverness of the mechanical design: no need to deal with grounds after each shot. Do follow directions to periodically get rid of mineral deposite by running a vinegar solution through it. (I learned this the hard/expensive way.) Now, if I could just get the hang of the pour in order to do a full-leaf rosseta. :-)...more info
  • Savvy Shopper
    A whole-hearted 5 stars for this coffee machine.

    Within 2 minutes of stumbling into my kitchen first-thing in the morning, only semi awake - I am sipping a delightful brew.

    It is extremely easy to produce good espresso using pre-ground coffee with this machine. Less than 1 minute from cold the warm-up light goes off, indicating that it is ready to start brewing. One or two scoops of coffee dumped into the convenient coffee funnel, a quarter turn of the top handle and a light press down, a press of the pump button - and it begins to deliver a stream of coffee into the cup(s), accompanied by that wonderful aroma. Even pre-ground (fine grind) canned coffee produces an impressive crema.

    Cleanup (between cups) is a snap too. As soon as the coffee is brewed, an easy 3/4 of a turn of the top handle discharges the spent grounds into its internal storage bin and readies the machine for the next dose of coffee. Keeping the 53 oz water tank filled is the only other routine task.

    The frother/steamer works very well - Cappuccinos, Lattes and Lungos (Americanos) are a snap, as are teas and hot chocolates. Immediately after each use with milk, a quick burst of steam and a wipe of the wand with a damp cloth keeps it functioning well.

    A warning light will tell you when it is time to empty the used grounds and there is also an indicator for a full overflow tray. Now (or at least once per week) would be a good time also to remove the top part (carousel) of the machine and the water tank and hand-wash and rinse them, and also to clean the frother thoroughly.

    Longevity is the only question I have about this excellent machine. I shall add to this comment if I have any issues.

    ...more info
  • "THE VERY BEST IN IT'S CLASS" and much cheaper!
    Capresso Ultima Semi-Automatic machine -- "WORKS" AND "WORKS"............... I don't know if you noticed how quality has drastically changed (for the bad) over the last 10-15 years with EVERYTHING YOU BUY. This machine was very well thought out for basically anyone to use, HANDS DOWN... One of the greatest assets is the fact of being so SIMPLE to clean...

  • Rocks!
    Makes excellent espresso/crema. So much cleaner and easier to use than traditional espresso machines and I do not need the additional automatic features of the more expensive Jura machines. My only complaint is that it isn't a sleek/attractive appliance. But the espresso doesn't disappoint and I am totally pleased with the machine....more info
  • Lukewarm Espresso
    I love this machine. I tried every possible way to get it to make hotter espresso, but could not. I called support, but they were not able to help. BTW, I worked at a coffee shop during my undergrad and a I own one of those cheap small Krups espresso machine at home that produces espresso a lot hotter than this machine. Sadly, I have to return this machine....more info
  • Weak coffee
    I read all the positive reviews here, and purchased Capresso. I am disapointed. The best feature is the ease of use, automatic disposal after brewing, and a large water tank. Unfortunately, there is no way to make a strong coffee in any quantity in this machine. It only takes a scoop and a half of coffee, and a scoop is barely bigger than a teaspoon. Try to put more, and the lever will not close, or worse, open mid-brewing, dumping your coffee inside the machine. I tried several kinds of coffee and several levels of real results. I can make better expresso in my old 4 bar steam machine. My Capresso is going back....more info
  • Does as advertised
    This item works well. Just make sure you follow the procedures in using it. There a few simple steps to making a cup of coffee, if you miss one, it won't work.

    Also, I agree the coffee isn't piping hot. It's hot but not super hot. A colleague of mine (item purchased for office) commented on this and she knew nothing about the unit and had not read any reviews.

    Also, the price seems a bit high for what it is. The quality of construction is not the highest. But I am not sure there is a comparable product out there....more info
  • Bravo!
    I has to chime in along side of those giving the rave reviews on this excellent Espresso/Cappuccino machine. I have owned it now for a little over 7 months and it is making delicious cappuccinos like it was brand new. This machine is a joy to use. At first, I wasn't getting good crema, but I realized that it was because I was not grinding my coffee enough. The cheaper pump machine I had before this couldn't handle fine grind and I had forgotten that true expresso grind is very fine. This 18 bar machine put me back into Crema Zone once I started grinding coffee as it should be ground for making espresso.
    Cleaning this machine is easy, not getting burned emptying the grinds after each cup is a godsend and the powerful milk frother that whips up beautiful froth without the user having any special skill is the topper!
    Take a look at the competition, the very high priced competition, and come back and buy this Swiss made marvel.
    All the best...more info
  • Expresso Love
    If you like expresso than this machine is well worth having in your kitchen.

    It is amazingly easy to use to prepare anything you would like, including expresso and cappuccino which I had found a bit intimidating/not successful with before I got this machine.

    It is pretty easy to set up and get ready to make your drink, takes me a couple of minutes or so at this point, and the machine is quick and easy to maintain.

    All in all one of the better items that I use often in the kitchen....more info
  • Had my unit for 5 years, and still works!
    I was happy to see that this product is still selling. I got it as a Christmas gift about 6 years ago and about a year later the top got stuck and it was still under warranty so the company shipped me a new one. Well, here are my pros and cons:
    - Makes a great lattes, I can make it just the way I want, without paying a fortune.
    - I like Starbucks coffee so I buy my coffee from them and have them grind it.
    - Customer service was great!
    - Steams milk perfectly, not sea form.
    - Easy to use.
    - Looks cheap, but has held up to 5 years of use.

    - I can't put 2 scoops in because the pressure handle won't hook correctly, ok with me because I usually only make one cup anyways.
    - It doesn't make 2 strong cups of espresso (OK if you don't like your coffee too strong; as I don't)
    - Cleaning takes a few mins, so I don't grind my own coffee because between grinding, making the espresso, steaming your milk and cleaning, it can take 10-15mins.

    Gave this product a 3 because it isn't perfect, but I suits me, it doesn't leak, it makes lattes just they way I like it, and it still works! Good Luck!
    ...more info
  • Best Cappuccino Maker
    This is a great machine -- if you maintain it. The semi-automatic operation is unique. After making each cup, a rotation of the carousel dumps the grounds into a container which needs to be emptied periodically, when the red light comes on. Much less fuss than machines that require you to empty and clean a basket after every cup. And much less expensive to use than units that use capsules.

    However, this unit requires regular maintenance. At least once a week, I remove the carousel and rinse all parts in the sink to remove accumulated coffee grounds. Once, the carousel release lever got stuck, and I broke it while trying to release it. Capresso replaced the machine under warranty.

    For good results, you need consistency in the grounds of your coffee. A blade grinder won't work. I've been happy with the Capresso burr grinder which I bought.

    Our nightly treat is a cup of cappuccino with some Bailey's Irish Creme, topped with cinnamon and chocolate flakes. ...more info
  • Starbucks quality at home
    I finally faced the fact that my $30 steam espresso machine was never going to produce the coffee that I was paying almost $4 a cup for at Starbucks. While researching espresso makers on the internet I noticed that most all of the more expensive pump machines are the same detachable handle design that means having to go through the slow and tedious process of filling- attaching-make the shot-remove(carefully, it's hot)-empty(hot grounds)-and repeat until you've finally made a 4 shot iced Americano. The only way to avoid this was to buy an automatic machine-$2000+. No way, I love good coffee, but I'm not shelling out that much. Then I came across the Capresso Ultima. Absolutely brilliant design, easy to use-easy to clean. By the time you rotate the top to discard the spent grounds, it's ready to dispense the next shot-just add coffee, bring down a lever, and push a button. Starbucks quality at home, and at a price worth the money. There's a DVD and warranty included....more info
  • Great coffe for few months
    We bought this machine and the grinder from amazon few month ago. It makes great espresso with excellent taste. We enjoyed it for few month before it broke. It started leaking coffee during brewing process. There is a rubber ring that is supposed to keep the pressure. That rubber is of very bad quality, it enlarged and it doesn't fit well anymore. Because there is not enough pressure during brewing all good coffee leaks into the sink area and we get some crapy tasting liquid in the cups.
    This machine is just a waste of money. I was looking online to buy and replace that rubber that leaks, but I coudn't find specific one for this model. I've read reviews that Capresso does not sell gasket parts separatelly and there is nothing else you can do with this machine except throw it away....more info
  • Best Machine For Price
    Easy to clean. Makes expresso extremly fast and easy, best machine ever purchased. No more filters or compacting. What a great machine....more info
  • a little tempermental
    This machine will make a decent latte, but you must steam the milk through two full cycles to get it hot enough. The heating element will over heat and shut the pump and machine down if you try to make more than two at a time....more info
  • Great Coffee/Okay Espresso - Poor Heating
    I got this machine as a Christmas present in December 07 and after using it for over a 1 1/2 years, there are some valid statements in the current reviews. On first opening of the box, I was disappointed in the cheap design of it. The majority of it is plastic, except for the arm, drip grill, and drip dispenser. For $300, I thought it would be designed better.

    When I first got it home, I was excited to try and it and have to say it took me a couple of times to figure out the loading of the espresso. The instructions say that a max of 2 cups (using the provided measuring spoon) should be used. What they didn't say is that you have to make sure the arm 'locks' in place to disperse the espresso correctly instead of it draining into the grounds disgard bin and then overflows into the drip drain. This can get messy and it took a couple of times for me to figure it out. In reading other reviews, everything they say is accurate. It is easy to maintain, it does need to be cleaned, but I had it for 1 1/2 years and cleaned it once a week, if not every two weeks. Having the disgard bin is nice and makes it easy for a quick cup of Crema Coffee in the morning if espresso is not your thing. The frother wasn't worth a darn and I ended up warming up my milk via my microwave. Until the power button went out, I had to heat up the coffee in my microwave for 30 secs daily.

    Ultimately, in asking the question 'Would you buy it again', the answer is no. I am looking for a single-cup coffee brewer, probably the Breville. Breville BKC600XL Gourmet Single-Cup Coffee Brewer...more info
  • Great Engineering. Great Espresso & Coffee!! Price can't be Beat!
    I was compelled to leave a review for the Ultima because I just have to say how pleased I am with it. This little machine is awesome! I'm a self proclaimed coffee snob and perfectionist. I reviewed several machines before settling on the Ultima. I'm definitely glad I did. Makes a great espresso with nice layer of crema. If you want a great cup of coffee it'll do that too as you can control when to stop the pump. Prep is easy and the more comfortable you get with it the easier it gets. I recommend it 100%. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it'll only take 2 scoops of coffee at a time limiting the amount of coffee you can make a time. Also not the prettiest machine but you'll get over that as soon as you start making coffee. I had a Krups pump driven before this that cost around the same and was slicker looking but an inferior product. These are minor points though. Overall, price and quality wise it can't be beat....more info
  • I love this machine
    I love this machine. I read several reviews prior to buying it. Most were good. One stated that her machine wouldn't work no matter what the grind. It clogged. I was concerned about this, but it never happened to me. My machine is not at all picky. I like that it's semi-automatic so that I have control over how to make my coffee. It's easy to make and easy to clean....more info
  • Great machine
    Did not want to spend 500 plus dollars on a automatic, so I comprimised with the semi auto Capresso. I enjoy the flavorful coffee and it is a snap to use. simple put the coffee in the machine, rotate it, press the handle down and turn the pump on. It would be nice to set the amount of espresso that it makes, but wait 5-15 seconds depending on your taste likings and you have coffee house quality espresso. I would give it a five stars if it allowed you to set the amount of water / espresso that flowed through the machine every time you pressed the pump button, without having to manually turn it off....more info
  • Capresso does it again!
    This is the 2nd Cappresso espresso/coffee maker I have owned and I love it. The first was a combination unit with a manual espresso/cappucino maker on the left side, and a standard coffee maker on the right. It still works after 10 years, but I saw the Ultima and loved the idea of it being semi-automatic.

    The Ultima makes great espresso, with a rich and thick crema. The European style "coffee crema" it makes has become our favorite though. It is rich and flavorfull, and is quick and easy to make. In only about 3 minutes you can fill a thermal mug with 12 ounces of great tasting coffee to take with you as you head out the door to work.

    When I am not in a rush, using the milk steaming/frothing feature works flawlessly. It does intentionally time out, but I have found that the milk is fully steamed by that point.

    Also, Capresso's support is superb. I obviously have not needed it for the Ultima, but I did need a replacement o-rings and springs for the mechanism that stops the cofffee when you want to pour some in your cup before the brewing is complete. I just called Capresso, and each time the sent me the parts quickly, no questions asked.

    I highly recommend Capresso products, and the Ultima is a great machine at a reasonable price for the convenience and capability it offers....more info
  • Best espresso machine for the price
    This machine was recommended to me by my best friend who owns a coffee company, and supplies and sets up hotels and high end restaurants with expensive espresso machines, and who is quite the perfectionist. He was going to set me up with one of his commercial machines, which would have taken up a lot of room, and would require a water feed, etc, and he had owned one of these machines a few years ago a told me to buy it. It's so easy to use. Tamps the grind to the correct pressure, disposes of the grounds with no mess, easy to clean, easy to load the coffee,easy to load the water, nice crema, great pressure. My only two complaints are that it is initially not quite as hot as I would like for Americanos, but I just steam the final brew a little, and it is plenty hot, and I wish the steam spout was just a little bit longer. The initial heat cycle is only 30 seconds, so by the time you have the coffee loaded and tamped, it is ready to go. I just don't think you can find a better designed, easy to use machine for the price that will make espresso this well....more info
  • We make the best espresso in town with this machine
    You can call us espresso afficcionados, although not the type who would spend a thousand dollars on a machine. None of the restaurants and cafes in Hoboken (which is very near NYC and has plenty yuppies) make as good espresso as our Capresso Ultima. We've had this machine 4 years! We've contacted customer service once and they sent us a replacement o-ring immediately but I didn't need it, just had to clean the machine a bit better. It's so easy to use, clean and maintain. I've owned a few machines along the way, but this one beats them all hands down. You really can't go wrong, as long as you get a (Capresso) burr grinder or good quality espresso coffee....more info
  • Fantastic but quirky
    This unit makes great tasting coffee drinks, makes them quickly and easily. For this, it deserves at least four stars. My wife and I love this maker. I would vote for it for president of awesome.

    This review will focus more on the negative points (i.e. "why it's not 5 stars"), but make no mistake that I love this espresso maker. There are a few things you should know before taking the plunge:

    1) For starters, know that Capresso's customer service is *fantastic*. A real person answers the support line (after a brief menu system). For warranty service, they ship the replacement parts with a return UPS label. Let's see... awesome, fab-oo, terrific, um... did I say awesome yet?

    2) It *is* sensitive to the grind of the coffee. I was having temperature and flavor problems until I started using a finer grind. When purchasing at Starbucks, ask for #4. Their standard espresso grind will not work (no liquid comes out). If the grind is too coarse, the coffee doesn't get hot enough, and extraction is poor. For best results, get a burr grinder (I have a Breville that works fabulously).

    3) DO NOT EVER turn the handle the wrong way. If the handle binds up when turning the correct way, it means the waste hopper is full -- clean it before making another cup. If you fail at either of these caveats, you may be sending it in for repair.

    4) Make sure you keep coffee grinds out of the water hopper. If a grind or some other grit gets into the water valve, the Ultima will pee all over your countertop.

    5) Remove the carousel and clean out the waste grinds at least once a week. They tend to cake up, especially if you get lazy about dumping the hopper.

    ...more info
  • Why did I wait so long???
    We went to Europe last year and I tasted expresso for the 1st time. I intended to get a good machine after that but procrastinated. Bad decision. The coffee is great, and this machine makes all the difference in the world....more info
  • Super easy Espresso drinks
    This machine makes espresso drinks very easy, fast, and tasty. I have a very nice tradional espresso machine with portafilter. I can make a fantasic shot of espresso with The tradional machine but it takes me about three times longer to prepar then with the Capresso Ultima. The Capresso makes a pretty darn good shot also. Its so easy to use and it cleans up easy. It looks and feels sort of cheap with all the plasic but if it works flawlessly for a few years I can overlook the cheap plastic feel. My tradional machine wheights about 35lbs the Capresso wheights about 1/3 of that wheight. I talk about the weight a lot becous in my exprince heavy steel things tend to last longer the cheap plasic. Not to say that the Capresso Ultima is cheap, Its not. I just dont trust all the plastic. I gess that if they would have used more steel the price would have been a lot higher. At the price point it is, its very afordable for the quality of the drinks you can make with it....more info
  • A decent machine that works well
    This machine does exactly what it says it does; makes shots and contains the mess to an internal container that is easy to dump out. We like to clean the machine every day, which takes between ten and fifteen minutes. Right after we make coffee, we run hot water through the steam spout and the espresso maker to clean the lines. Then we rinse off the top, wipe the excess beans into the container, and wash the other parts.

    We have one complaint; after a week or two, the steam arm only works in the closed position. It spits water and steam out the wrong end of the tube in the open position, burning and drenching a small area around it. Luckily, we just like lattes, and the closed position heats milk and creates a lot of foam.

    We like it because we're unlikely to spend $800 on an automatic, and the thought of finely ground espresso all over my kitchen makes my skin crawl....more info
  • Works like a champ!
    We have had the machine for 11 months now and we are extremely happy with it. Easy to use, crema is great, easy to clean! Great value for the money. I would buy it again....more info
  • Wonderful machine for home use
    This is a great espresso machine. My wife and I have used it for 2 years without any problems. The machine works just as advertised, and it is simple to use. Cleaning the machine is also easy.

    My only word of caution is about the machine's ability to rapidly produce lots of steamed milk. For two mochas, the machine can steam milk from the fridge up to about 120 degrees, but then the steam runs out and the machine needs a minute to steam again. I've found that by steaming the milk first, then making the espresso shots, the machine is ready to steam again and will get the milk easily to 160 (when I stop because that's where I like it). So if you're planning on making lots of drinks at once, you might need a machine that is more powerful, but for two coffee drinkers, this one has been great....more info
  • Love this machine
    I bought this machine about 6 months ago and love it. Yes, it is a bit quirky to get used to, but once you get used to the system, it works great.

    The expresso has perfect crema, and is quick to do the shots. My only real pet peeve is that it sometimes does not froth milk hot enough.

    Otherwise, I would recommend this machine to anyone wanting great expresso....more info
  • Great For The Office!
    When moving into our new office, I was looking to get an espresso machine, but was concerned that getting folks to clean it out after using it would prove too difficult. I came across the Capresso and decided to give it a try because it was self cleaning.

    Almost a year a half later I'm extremely satisfied with this amazing machine. Because it's used differently than most espresso machines, it takes a bit to get used to it. But once folks get the hang of making espresso, it's a breeze to use.

    For my office, the self-cleaning function is far and away the best part of this unit; add the coffee into the chute replace the cover, turn the handle and crank it down and turn on the pump. Cleaning is as simple as lifting the handle and turning the crank around once. The grounds dump cleanly into the interior tray, which can hold quite a bit.

    This really is a great unit that makes having espresso drinks at the office easy (and clean)....more info
  • quick to use, easy to clean
    I got it 3 week ago, and am very happy with it. It makes good espresso.

    I took my time to read the instruction, which was very clear and nicely illustrated. This is helpful.

    It's very fast, I turn on the power to heat the water while I grind the beans. When I'm done grinding, the water is heated and ready, I just pour the ground coffee into the machine, turn, press down, and hit a switch, and a few seconds later I get my espresso. Another turn and the used coffee grounds are dumped, and it's ready for the next used. It literally takes less than a minute to make an espresso.

    I use it about 3-5 times a week, and clean it once a week. Just pop off the top, rinse off the coffee grounds, and wipe off the little coffee ground left inside the machine (easily accessible). Pull out the bottom to dump the used coffee grounds and overflow. The cleaning process takes only a few minutes. It doesn't get any simpler than this....more info
  • Great Intermediate Machine
    My wife got this for me (certainly with some mild suggestion from myself) for Christmas last year. I had previously used a Delonghi 15 bars machine that required a lot of prep and cleanup work for each cup prepared, so I wanted something more automatic but mid-range priced.

    This machine is perfect. The crema is right on, the pressure is consistent and the thermacoil brings it to the most excellent temperature. Not many reviews I've seen make mention of how well the frothing system works, though for most pure espresso fans such as myself that probably doesn't rank quite as high on the priority list.

    This machine not only makes a great cup but it's ideal for a workgroup. I've colleagues in my workplace who take time out of each day for a round of Illy, and this machine is intended for quick turnaround - but make no mistake, quality is NOT sacrificed!

    Cleanup is relatively easy. I've seen nothing that encourages nor discourages the immersion of the carousel unit uptop, but I've cleaned it multiple times in soapy water and then rinsed it thorougly and run a few rounds of hot water from the machine to clean it up. Limescale is easily correctable with a few rounds of white wine vinegar, you need not use anything more sophisticated.

    HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend it. I took it home and my workplace coffee-club is consistently griping. Looks like we need to get another one......more info