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Isomac Millenium - Tim Nelson's Review
Posted: November 8, 2002, 9:30am
review rating: 6.7
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Isomac Millenium
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Arrow The Isomac Millenium has 28 Reviews
Arrow The Isomac Millenium has been rated 9.25 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since February 23, 2002.
Arrow Isomac Millenium reviews have been viewed 174,688 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Norbert Rawles 9.00
Brad Owen 8.31
Rob Hall 7.64
Morris Kainuma 7.44
Mary Alice Lynch 7.13

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.4
Manufacturer: Isomac Quality: 10
Average Price: $1,250.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $1,100.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Chris' Coffee Service Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 6 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: Aficionado Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: none
Bottom Line: If you are willing to give a little bit of countertop and a lot of $$$ for the best espresso, you can't go wrong with the Millenium...or with Chris.
Positive Product Points

This is a very well-constructed and powerful machine, capable of making the best espresso with a minimum of fuss, in addition to providing abundant steam and hot water.  It is stunningly beautiful.

Negative Product Points

None significant.  Shutoff switch for reservoir needed adjustment.  Long warmup for proper extraction. Mounting for group head could be stiffer.

Detailed Commentary

I have used a wide variety of machines, including a multi-group professional machine at work, but had never owned a machine of anywhere near this quality before.  Chris was truly excellent in walking me through the pros and cons of my options: deciding to "go  for it" over a Silvia was a tough decision, but one that I have not regretted for a single moment.

This machine is clearly for the committed.  It is not small or light, but should last a very long time (longer than I?) if cared for.  Most importantly, it makes really excellent espresso, and is very forgiving of small variations in grind and tamp.  Although the instructions tell you that you can begin operating the machine as soon as it first comes up to pressure and the "ready" light comes on, the machine requires more like 10-15 minutes to equalize temperature throughout the group.  Until then the coffee I use (Freedom - not an over-roasted american, but more like what you would find in northern Italy) is a bit thin and under-extracted for my taste.  My solution to the morning-problem this presents was to buy a $20 Radio Shack timer, so everything is ready to go when I wake up.  If you are in a hurry, you can rush the heat-up a bit by releasing some already-hot water through the brew head.  

I do not agree that it "overheats" and burns the coffee without the release of some water before brewing as some others have posted.  Also, one reviewer noted that the steam wand accumulates water when not in use.  That is simply the result of residual steam re-condensing and is an unavoidable side-effect of a nice big wand.  Blow a little steam through before the first steam job...takes 5 seconds.

The switch under the reservoir needed some adjustment to shut the machine off when the reservoir is dry.  The comment about the mounting for the group head is simply that the front of the machine flexes a little when engaging the portafilter firmly.  It is still well within the elastic limit of the sheet-stainless front panel (i.e. this causes no harm) but when the thing already weighs 50 lbs., it would have been a simple matter to add a stainless plate behind the front panel to stiffen the mounting.  Just a super-picky point from a physicist with the habit of over-engineering things.

And that is what this is really all about: for almost any purpose, and in nearly every respect, this machine is over-engineered...just the way I like it!

Buying Experience

Chris has been excellent in every respect.  His support, both before and after the sale have been without fault, and his price was more than fair.  I will do business with him again.

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review rating: 6.7
Posted: November 8, 2002, 9:30am
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