This will look great on the Shelf with maybe a back light for years to come. Just don't use it very much.
Positive Product Points
What a great look this product has. I like it anyway. I does remind me of pictures of Achille"s fist machine in 1945. The Group stays nice and toasty. Loads of Steam.
Negative Product Points
High infant mortality rate. Leaks. Seems to be plenty of Manufacturing defects. Cheap internal plastic parts in the pressurized water loop. Leaks. Low steam volume with a non desirable "Turbo froth wand," which is also sometimes called a pannarello. Really small drip tray. Poor service with long repair times. I believe no longer in production.
I have been in Thailand for a while now and finally can communicate enough to find a decent coffee roaster. So I went out to find a machine to have in my home. When I saw the Achille, I feel in love with it's looks. I thought that will look very nice in my home. I was correct! If you read my Buying Experience, you might guess that I have not had very much time with the Achille as yet. Yes, almost two months now but only a little over a week of light use. (I use two to three shots a day) Actually it is loads of fun with a lever machine. Something about the process makes you feel more involved when you are leaning on that lever. With fresh coffee, you can pull a fairly nice shot some of the time. I feel that the lever throws more variables into the already complicated equation of espresso. The Achille is currently in the store's repair center awaiting parts. They said just yesterday that it should be only one MORE month waiting for parts and re assembly. When I first took the Achille (Fourth one that I had) I decided to buy a cheap machine to last me for a while. So I bought cheap little Mini Mex. It last one month. Now it is in the shop for just not turning on. Yesterday, I asked the store if they would order me a Rocket R58, but they could not. So I bought a Gaggia Baby Twin to last me for this next month. Today, I heard not only from one of the Owners of Rocket, but also the local Rocket distributor who ordered the R58 today. I will be here in two months. So, if the Gaggia Baby only last one month,. I will have the Achille back for one month before I can put it in it's rightful place on the Shelf to look pretty.
The first one that I brought home was very easy to set up and start to use. I got my grind sort of dialed in (how do you know with a lever machine with arm actuated variable pressure ) and really started to be relieved with how easy this was shocked with the start of the second day. Electrical shock that is. So packed that one up and grabbed another one after trying to convince the sales personnel to take their shoes off and let it leak a little. I did a little more about perfecting my techniques with the second machine until after a week, both the status lights stopped functioning. (and it leaked a little.) So back to Central Chitlom Mall (Bangkok) I went to Power Buy to just get my money back. However, the staff were so nice about the whole thing, (Hey, it's the land of Smiles) I decided to give it another shot (pun). They brought out the Third machine, put water in it and turned it on in the store. However, the pressure gauge didn't work, So I took the Fourth one. This latest machine has been in the shop for a month with a month to go.
Three Month Followup
It took nearly four and a half months to get my machine back from service. In the mean time I ordered a Rocket R58 (first one in Thailand) and I am very happy with that one. So, true to my word, the Achille is now a display piece as I always liked the way it looked. I will use maybe if the Rocket R58 fails and the Gaggia Baby Twin will not work out storage and the "little steam toy" won't turn on. Buy an Achille if you wish, you can order parts Faster from Orphin Espresso. But I was going for warranty work. So ends my experience with the Achille and Gaggia altogether. I sleep better now. :-)