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the detailed review - sl 70 review
SL 70 Review - Overview and History
Introduction | Overview | Out of the Box | Operation Etc. | Performance | Comparisons | Conclusion
Members' Reviews
Write a Review for the Solis SL-70
With non-restrictor basket, its in the Gaggia/Rancilio class.
James Schulman, Oct 12, 2001
More of James Schulman's Review:

Boiler, group head, steam pipe and fittings of brass, piping up to the boiler is nylon/plastic.  Electrical components and wiring have a commercial grade look.  Interior chassis is heavy guage steel.  Exterior is  light guage steel and...
High quality components and good-to-great espresso at a very reasonable price.
Dave Dawes, Apr 22, 2002
More of Dave Dawes's Review:
Being an espresso newbie, I did quite a bit of research before purchasing the SL70 (thanks CoffeeGeek!). I was leaning heavily towards the Silvia/Rocky combo, but the less expensive alternative of the SL70/Maestro was a better fit for my budget.

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The Solis Crema SL-70 semi automatic espresso machine is a machine that has matured well over the years, and is a machine targeted at the "upscale" budget range of the consumer espresso market. Typically found for just under $300, it is by no means an inexpensive purchase, but in the realm of high quality espresso machinery, it is on the lower end of the scale.

Product History

The Solis SL-70 is now a veteran machine of the home espresso market. Solis originally introduced three espresso machines, the SL-70 Crema, the SL-80 Crema, and the SL-90 Crema in late 1993 (first online mention of it in Usenet is in late 1994), and quickly they became "desired objects" in the world of quality home espresso machines. The SL-90 was especially intriguing because of it's "automatic" features, not really seen before in the consumer espresso machine marketplace, but the SL-70 was also seen as a great machine at a great price.

In the mid to late 1990s, interest in the machines grew, but the main Solis importer of the time was causing problems with both the retailers selling the product, and Solis, the Swiss company that made the product. Orders weren't shipped, damages happened, and for a while, the SL series of machines were not on the "recommended" list for many; not because the machines were bad - but because getting them was often a serious chore. Along the way, the SL-80 machine was also discontinued in North America, and still hasn't resurfaced to this day. Not much is known about this machine over on these shores. It is essentially a SL-70, but with a flowmeter and some other electronics inside. It wasn't a good performer and that was one of the reasons why it kind of disapeared.

In the late 1990s, exclusive importation of Solis products into the US was picked up by Baratza LLC, and the fortunes for the machine on these shores turned around 180 degrees. Baratza was an upstart company and Solis was their first (and to this day only) espresso machine line. With excellent customer service and dependable stock, Solis machines were picked up by more and more vendors online and in retail storefronts, and soon people started talking about about Solis machines as a viable espresso machine purchase.

Around 2000, Solis introduced a new colour scheme to the SL series lineup, black and silver, which is a vast improvement over the previous green and white model, and the anthracite version. The black and silver model is now the only colour imported into the US.

Other small changes occurred in the SL-70 during it's 9 year existence, though not as many as the more electronics-laden SL-90. Minor improvements in pump, materials, and thermostat tweaking inside the machine have made it a good veteran for today's market.

(ed. note: before I was personally on friendly terms with Baratza, I was continually impressed with 3rd-party reports about their excellent customer service and dedication to making sure every customer was happy. In fact, it was this out of the ordinary customer service that drove me to get to know these folks better and to develop a friendship outside of the world of coffee and espresso. To this day, excellent customer service is a hallmark of the company; and while I've tried to minimize my personal comments to this effect in this review, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this excellent quality adds some serious value to any Solis product purchased. So I'm mentioning it now - the value added to any Solis product by the after-sales service you receive is nothing to be sneezed at :) and don't take my word for it - search Google Groups to see for yourself.

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Introduction | Overview | Out of the Box | Operation Etc. | Performance | Comparisons | Conclusion
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Detailed Review Sections
Arrow 1. Introduction
Arrow 2. Overview
Aarow 3. Out of the Box
Aarow 4. Operation Etc.
Aarow 5. Performance
Aarow 6. Comparisons
Aarow 7. Conclusion
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