UPDATED AFTER 5 YEAR OWNERSHIP -- Very well made and classic, will last a lifetime and will become the center piece of you kitchen every morning ... and the last one you will buy .
Positive Product Points
THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE GIOTTO PREMIUM ... Solid, very well made, simple engineering makes it reliable and will last for many many years to come. Many pointed out that its "big" and take lots of place, but that is all the beauty of this machine, its a well designed object, beautiful in the kitchen as well as a serious espresso machine.
Negative Product Points
I beleive it is a little overpriced and if you buy make sure you order a tamper as well since ECM cuts the corner on that item and send you a very very cheap plastic one and not even the right size. The instruction manual is useless, better read as much as you can on this web site, you will learn more. Noise can also be an issue. There was a rattling sound, it was quickly resolved I simply opened the machine and find out that wires connected near the pump were knocking on the machine floor when the pump was on. I simply bought these little cushion used to place under the leg of a chair to protect the kitchen floor. I sticked the cushion between the machine floor and the wire and since then, its absolutely fine.
The machine perform well above my expectation. It is much more than anyone need for simple home use. It can handle lots of shots and foam lots of milk without any problem. Why this one not an Isomac machine. Simply because of design, and robustness. Both I beleive will produce the same espresso quality.
It is VERY EASY to use, takes minutes to take out of the box and make your first shot, but, and that where the fun start, it takes a while to get it right. You will have lots of pleasure perfecting your technique and learning about your machine but it will take time. But if you worry about crema ... just dont, with this machine and freshly grinded coffee, you will have it all the time ... almost !
I beleive ECM is asking its suppliers not to lower prices, as they all ask the same price and seem not to want to lower much. I have paid substancially less, 1350 USD for the ECM Giotto Premium. You should shop around and use that as a benchmark. I will not disclose where I bought it since I beleive, they would get into "trouble" with ECM. But definitively, shopping for a better price IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST.
Read the previous paragraph
Three Month Followup
OVER TWO YEARS NOW - never had any problem what so ever, the machine looks like brand new. The only thing to notice and to watch is when removing the water tank YOU NEED TO DRY THE INSIDE OF THE RECEPTACLE WHERE THE SENSOR IS. Often, when you remove the tank, the plastic hole around the sensor inside the machine get filled with water. If that occur, it will interfere with the sensor in disabling it to realise that the tank is empty. The result is that even if the tank is empty, pump will keep running so will the heating element. If you dry properly, replace the empty tank and AFTER fill the tank with water you should be fine. If you have scratches on the drip tray, just use a polish paste for chrome and it will remove it easily -
One Year Followup
5 Year FOLLOWUP- Just cleaned the machine today, I have had the machine for 5y 4 months - There are still no sign that it is worn off, once cleaned, it look like new, and I have used it extensively. The only worry, is recently when doing decalcification, there are traces in the water of chromed metal. Essentially, when pourring hot water to flush the decalcifier with hot water out of the boiler, there a residues of metal that I beleive could be comming from nickel since the boiler is plated with nickel. I must say that i rarely use the hot water dispenser residue most accumulate at the bottom of the boiler, would I use the hot water more often thing would be far different. Other than that, the machine as worked fine everyday and can easily say that it has been used for 4 espresso every day for 5 years 4*365*5=7300 espresso total ... I have paid 1300 at the time, 1300 divided by 7300 shots, gives me an average cost of 18 cents per shots - will probably last at least another 5 years easy -