Its a beautiful brute of a machine that delivers good expresso shots without a lot of fuss or glitz.
Positive Product Points
Solid construction. Heat exchange boiler. Hot water spigot. Easy to use.
Negative Product Points
Small water tank. Water filler tubes from tank to boiler not well engineered.
I had used a Capresso Ultima for about 5 years with good results. When it was time for a new machine I decided on the Expobar after considerable research including reviews from this web site. I had been using a Krups Barista II burr grinder for many years but it would not grind fine enough for this machine. I then purchased a Solis Maestro Plus and found it to be a good match for this machine. This was my first experience with a pressurized brew group and it took me a few days to get the proper grind/blend combination. Now I am able to brew consistantly good espresso shots. I did think the shots were too high a temperature so I contacted WLL and they walked me through adjusting the pstat to lower the temperature. Works to my satisfaction now.
I do not drink many frothed milk drinks but I do enjoy an occassional macchiato. I had limited experience frothing milk but I have no trouble with the steamer on the Expobar. I use a 12 oz frothing pitcher and fill it to just cover the frothing tip by about 1/2 inch and am able to obtain a thick smooth cream.
My wife is a tea and hot chocolate drinker and really appreciates the hot water tap.
Because of our use of the machine for coffee, tea and/or hot chocolate I have to refill the reservoir at least once a day using a filtered water pitcher.
I empty drip pan every day and it is more than adequate for our use.
No problems with order. Delivered on time. I did have a small problem getting up and running but a phone call to Whole Latte Love's service department helped me solve the problem without much delay.
Three Month Followup
Satisfaction with the machine and the espresso it produces continues to be very high.
I was a little apprehensive the first time I removed the shower screen for cleaning but the process was straight forward and simple. I have removed the screen along with the gasket twice in six months but it really did not need to be cleaned.
I backflush the brew group every other day with plain hot water (no detergent). I backflush with Urnex about every six weeks.
The price was reduced after the first of the year so this is now a real bargain for an HX machine.
One Year Followup
Have used the Expobar for over a year with no problems. I recently replaced the Expobar single cup filter basket with a La Marzocco single basket. My problem with the Expo basket was that I was unable to find a suitable grind to prevent the filter basket from "choking". A good machine!!