Ultima PRO Programmable Espresso & Cappuccino Machine Review - Elegant, Modern, Café Perfection Anytime (Recipes Included)

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Capresso, the manufacturer of specialty drink machines and accessories has recently launched the Ultima PRO Programmable Espresso & Cappuccino Machine for home use marrying the elegance of a silky, smooth, espresso to the convenience of home artistry.

Unpacking the Ultima PRO Programmable Espresso & Cappuccino Machine, I was reminded of an episode of Sex in the City, as Carrie Bradshaw and Aleksandr Petrovsky, played by Sarah Jessica Parker and Mikhail Baryshnikov, were dining in her apartment and he heads to the kitchen to make an after dinner espresso, when we find our ultimate New York writer, who has a shoe closet to rival Imelda Marcos, doesn’t own an espresso machine.

Finding the perfect espresso machine, as we find, is somewhat like finding the perfect blend of beauty: sleek, modern, contemporary or downtown, neon, funky. Then, of course, for the brew master, the novice or the beginner, the machine eventually reflects the owner.

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I received the Ultima PRO Programmable Espresso & Cappuccino Machine: Contemporary, attractive silver and black standard home size machine with touch programming illuminated buttons, allowing the choice to dispense one or two cups of the Italian café drink that has migrated and become a staple of American coffee drinkers.

Unlike a coffee maker, to make perfect espresso, the machine is just the beginning and knowing the parts of the machine, unless one has spent time working as a barista somewhere, lessons will be necessary.

Of course with the Ultima PRO Programmable Espresso & Cappuccino Machine and the extensive recipes and manuals the manufacture provides, and with any quest knowing the lingo, allows one to present oneself with a level of expertise even flying blind so the familiarity of the tools becomes second nature.

First step, fortunately the Ultima PRO Programmable Espresso & Cappuccino Machine  has Illuminated icons for ease of use. Always helps to know the right button to push.

How Things Work

Featuring a self-tamping portafilter and programmable cup sizes, the Capresso Ultima PRO Programmable Espresso and Cappuccino Machine is the perfect choice for easily brewing delicious espresso and cappuccino at home.

The Ultima PRO is equipped with a large self-tamping portafilter for incredible ease of use.  The two independently programmable cup buttons can be set for up to 6 oz. of espresso.  Simply push and hold either of the buttons and watch as the liquid is dispensed into your cup. 

Once you have achieved the desired volume, push and release the button again, to lock in the setting.  A powerful milk frother creates steam for thick, rich cappuccinos, while the hot water setting can be used for aromatic Americanos.  

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Polished stainless steel accents and heavy-duty construction make the Capresso Ultima PRO the centerpiece of any kitchen counter top.  A large warming platform keeps cups at the perfect temperature while integrated storage keeps your extra accessories neatly stowed atop the machine. 

The handy water-level window gauge makes it easy to know when it’s time to refill the removable tank, and the drip tray overflow indicator tells you when to empty any waste water without a mess.  With all these features and more, the Ultima PRO is without a doubt the most convenient pump espresso machine in the Capresso lineup!

What's Next

To save time the Espresso Community has a set of universal terms one needs to know if one is planning on creating expresso speciality beverages at home. Asking for the coffee thingy for an espresso machine will send you home with more tools than needed and a serious dent in the wallet.

Dose, grind, tamp, and yield are the four major terms one should be familiar with as one navigates the elite world of home espresso speciality beverage preparation.

Espresso is a fine grind; even more than one might usually grind for coffee. It is recommended an espresso grinder be purchased as it dispenses enought for the portafilter. I advocate having a specialty coffee store grind the roast to an espresso grade and allow for the learning curve.

Tamping is the second most important step. Espresso, as well all know from waiting in line at any specialty coffee shop and watching, is created by water running through the portafilter, a the silver mold that locks under the water dispenser. The portafilter concentrated compact molded, disc, filled with coffee. Tamping in a tool used specifically to press the grind into the concentrated mold of the portafilter.

The Capresso Ultima PRO Programmable Espresso & Cappuccino Machine is equipped with a large, self-tamping portafilter with two sieves for 1 or 2 cups.

Yield, of course, is the amount of espresso that is produced which is usually a 2oz yield of espresso (a typical espresso shot cup).

The Capresso Ultima PRO Programmable Espresso & Cappuccino Machine  also is equipped with a unique 2-step frothing system which preheats the milk and froths it directly in the cup along with the espresso for a perfect drink. After each use, the system automatically cleans the steam nozzle thoroughly.

The Crafted Coffee Culture, for the connoisseur, makes the brews, blends, and specialty combinations available with a few lessons, creating the novelty and uniqueness of home speciality beverage preperation perfection possible for everyone.   


Espresso Based Beverage Recipes

Creating gourmet espresso based beverages at home is extremely simple once you learn the basic recipes.     Follow the drink preparation notes below and use them as a guide to create your own specialty drinks. 

Drink Name Preparation
Espresso 1-1.5 ounce shot of coffee brewed at high pressure in 20-25 seconds.  espresso is the basis for many gourmet coffee specialty drinks.   
Ristretto 0.5-0.7 ounce shot of coffee brewed at high pressure in less than 20 seconds. The ristretto has a very intense flavor that is bolder with more body than a traditional espresso.  
Lungo 2-4 ounce shot of coffee brewed at high pressure for 45-60 seconds.  The lungo has more of a bitter taste than espresso as more water is extracting the coffee’s flavor.  
Macchiato A shot of espresso topped with a spoonful of frothed milk served in a demitasse cup. 
Espresso con Panna A shot of espresso topped with whipped cream in a demitasse cup. 
Espresso Affogato A scoop of gelato or ice cream "drowned" in a shot of espresso.  
Cappuccino A shot of espresso topped with 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 frothed milk in a large cup.  
Latte A shot of espresso topped with 2/3 steamed milk and a few spoonfuls of frothed milk in a large cup. (less frothed milk than a cappuccino)  
Latte Macchiato Fill a cup with steamed milk and top with a few spoonfuls of frothed milk.  Pour a shot of espresso on top of the foam to “mark” the latte. 
Caramel Macchiato Fill a cup with steamed milk and caramel syrup then top with a few spoonfuls of frothed milk.  Pour a shot of espresso on top of the foam to “mark” the latte. Add caramel sauce to the top if desired. 
Mocha A shot of espresso mixed with chocolate syrup topped with steamed milk.  Add whipped cream and cocoa powder to the top if desired.  
Hazelnut Latte A shot of espresso mixed with hazelnut syrup topped with steamed milk and a few spoonfuls of frothed milk. 
Vanilla Latte A shot of espresso mixed with vanilla syrup topped with steamed milk and a few spoonfuls of frothed milk.
Americano  A shot of espresso topped with 6-8 ounces of hot water.  

To make an iced version of the above recipes, simply use cold milk in the place of steamed or frothed milk.  

Never pour hot milk over ice as bacteria can form. 

"How Things Work" and Espresso Receipes courtesy of Capresso.  

For more information on the Ultima PRO Programmable Espresso & Cappuccino Machine: http://www.capresso.com/espresso-machines/ultima-pro.html


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