Posted Sun Nov 17, 2002, 5:02pm Subject: My Isomac Tea saga - the happy ending!!!
Most of you have read and many responded with helpful suggestions and commentaries to my previous posts about the initial difficulties I experienced with my newly purchased Tea. Apologies for the delay in this follow-up but I've had a travel schedule that delayed my being able to finalize all the arrangments and then get home to test the corrected unit. So.... I'm here.... it works like a dream.... I'm a happy camper.
First and foremost - it comes as no surprise to those of you who have dealt with him but it warrants repeated mention that Chris Nachtrieb and Chris Coffee Service are really in a class of their own when it comes to customer service. The only company I've ever had any interaction with that is as responsive as Chris on customer service is the company I work for
this place funds my espresso habit (writer's disclaimer - I was the original customer service department at my company and continue to do front and backline troubleshooting/problem resolution to this day)
We're reknowned among our customers for customer service but I think Chris raises the bar even higher. He came in on a weeknight from home in order for me to pick up the machine, he offered suggestion and alternatives on how best to resolve the problem when it occurred and he overnighted a replacement part at no cost. When that failed to correct the problem, he arranged for immediate return of the machine at his cost to be repaired. He made it very clear that his desire from the start was to simply provide me with a replacement machine but a new shipment was not due for awhile. I made it clear to him that I simply wanted to get this machine working. Within 24 hours of the time my unit arrived back at his facility, his technician Chris Cramer had located "a tiny piece of gunk in the grouphead - probably some sort of production residue". It was determined to be the culprit in blocking grouphead flow. I asked to pick up the machine in person as I was passing through Albany the following week.
I arrived in Albany at about 6:30 PM this past Monday. Roger, the service department manager, had agreed to stay as late as I needed him to be there in order for me to pick up the unit. It was plugged in, heated up and ready to go - we tried a few test shots with some Illy and voila! Crema, smooth taste, proper density and color.... just what I needed. Check this fact out - Chris of the service department and Roger were staying later after I left because they were in the process of changing out ALL the handles on EVERY Isomac unit in stock. I had complained about the handles in this forum and before I even had a chance to mention it to Chris Nachtrieb, he had found rock solid replacements and made plans to change them all out (my machine was already changed over when I got there).
Where, you might ask.... was Chris Nachtrieb (the company owner), during this time? As it turns out, he was on a well-earned and long awaited golf trip to Hilton Head. He had already advised me of this by email and apologized for the fact that he wouldn't be there when I picked up the machine. Several days after I returned home, having had only one chance to try it out and not yet making the time to post this follow-up, I received an email from Chris. He actually took the time out while on his vacation to check the forums for a followup and wrote me directly to check and ensure that everything went smoothly and that I was satisfied. Satisfied? that's an understatement! I got a great machine at a great price and when a problem occurred, the customer service was the best I've ever received. Lest you think that this is just some small operation where the owner has to jump to do all these things in order to make ends meet... think again. Chris runs a full service coffee and beverage distribution service that services an enormous number of state offices, businesses and restaurants in the Capital District and beyond. Their warehouse is chock full to the very high ceilings with thousands of bottles of spring water, thousands of bags of coffee and espresso, pods, commercial grinder, espresso machines - you name it. On my first visit there he gave me a tour. They have two or three large delivery trucks, a fair size number of employees, a beautiful facility in suburban Albany, two separate demo rooms and a warehouse that measures somewhere around 14,000 - 16,000 square feet. It's a first class operation all the way and the Internet sales of espresso machines and grinders appears to be something he pursues for the passion of it - not as the primary way to produce revenue. The fact that he gives such personal service to so many people is more than just a bit impressive (read user reviews in the consumer reviews section - you'll see dozens of testimonials from people who received this type of service from Chris).
If you think I'm rambling on just a bit too glowingly you can feel free to blame me for that but a business that is run in such a way to deserves to get recognition and credit for it. Hats off to Chris Coffee Service (Chris Nachtrieb in particular) - I'll be tipping back a few cups to them in the future and know where I'll be making all my future purchases!
milnerb1 Senior Member Joined: 25 Sep 2002 Posts: 405 Location: Gig Harbor, WA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Vivaldi II, Isomac Tea,... Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Solis Mulino Roaster: Behmor 1600, BBQ drum,...
Posted Sun Nov 17, 2002, 7:08pm Subject: Re: My Isomac Tea saga - the happy ending!!!
So glad to her of satisfactory resolution of the issues with your Tea.
Chriscoffee's level of customer service is nothing short of amazing and I have experience the same service from him myself. I can think of no other way to describe it than completely "over the top".
Regarding the portafilter handles, I had also complained about them as well as the new steam/water handles, which was what initiated his request to Isomac to get the old-style handles/portafilters back.
A few days ago, he send me, unsoliscited and at no charge, new portafilter handles AND those old-style "star-shaped" steam and water handles.
He said that if any of his customers are unhappy with Isomac's new portafilter handle design or the new steam/water handle design, he would send them out the old-style ones. He told me that I was the first one to have expressed dissatisfaction with this new design, but "one unhappy customer is too many".
Cudos to Chris!! I'm an extremely satisfied customer as well.
Posted Tue Nov 19, 2002, 11:44am Subject: Re: My Isomac Tea saga - the happy ending!!!
I'll be sure to post some pics once I manage to be at home for long enough to use the machine! I was actually home this past weekend for tyhree whole days but was out of espresso beans. I did have some blend that I roasted up for drip coffee. It was "okay" for espresso shots but didn't produce enough crema to do decent latte art (due to the type of beans - not the fault of the Tea!). I have a large assortment of beans coming in from Sweet Maria's - hoping to get a batch of Monkey Blend roasted on Friday night and try pulling some shots when I return home again the following Tuesday night (I seemto be away from home more than I'm there these days!
I'll be in Charlotte NC this weekend for three days. I'm already planning to try Dilworth's for coffee but if anyone can recommend other Charlotte area roasters please help me out!
The best and only reward I'm capable of giving him is offering him my business and recommending him to anyone else I talk to. So my call is in and I'm waiting to get a few questions answered. But you can count me in on the list of Tea/Mazzer owners in the next week or two.
It doesn't matter to me that we're on opposite coasts and it wouldn't matter to me if his prices weren't the best (they appear to at LEAST be competitive with the best). Service like that is worth it!
jeru Senior Member Joined: 18 Sep 2002 Posts: 44 Location: Corvallis, OR Expertise: Intermediate
Espresso: Isomac Tea Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Tue Nov 26, 2002, 6:38pm Subject: Re: My Isomac Tea saga - the happy ending!!!
I've been following this thread with interest due to the fact that I am a new Tea owner as well. I don't have the experience that Owen does, but I certainly wouldn't want that to result in me not adequately evaluating my machine. I've noticed also that my pressure gauge (the one on the right) doesn't reach much over 5 bar during a shot pull. Also, my crema is pretty good about half the time, but I don't really have much to compare to... Should the pressure gauge reach 9 bar? I definitely don't have some of Owen's symptoms: pressure relief spray is significant after the shot is stopped, etc... so it seems like the pump is ok.
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