If you want to try the best, go ahead !!! I dont think you will be disappointed.
Positive Product Points
From my experience with other machines here are the positive points of the GS/3 :
Quality of workmanship and material
The possibility to adjust all settings easily
PID give incredible stability
Really quiet to used
Built in timer
Large capacity water tank and dip tray
The machine is on the low side and fit perfectly under my 16 inches cabinet
Very efficient warming cup tray
Negative Product Points
Nothing is perfect, here are the main grips with the GS/3 :
Dip tray is sometime difficult to put on or off
Water condensation in steam wand
Shutting down the machine is a pain
When I first saw the Lamarzocco GS/3 back in 2006 in Coffeegeek site, I know I want it. Itís look like the holy grail of espresso machine but the price was OUT OF THIS WORLD. We have only one life to live and couldnít wait to have this machine. 5 years later (I am a very patient person) the beast is at home. What a beautifull machine. The finish and quality of construction is incredible. And me who was thinking the Expobar was heavy this one IS heavy weight.
I have owned several espresso machines in the last 20 years. Gaggia classic, Silvia, ECM Giotto and Expobar Brewtus II.
Each one was, in my opinion, an upgrade from the last one.
Our used is making around 6 traditional cappucino and some espresso a day.
What is the main advantage of the GS/3 over the machine I have had, is the attention to details, incredible tempeture stability and very quiet. The built in timer is very pratical. I am waking up the weekend 2 hours before my wife and can make coffee now without disturb her sleep. I have used this machine for 8 month and very satisfied with. The weekend, I let the machine on for all day and I am sure I will be able to put on superb espresso shot one after another.
I have tried a lot to steam milk for 1 cappucino but was not satisfied with the texture. I have had to learn to microfoam the milk a different way because the steam is a lot more powerful than my other machines. Now, I make a first espresso shot and when beginning the second shot, I steam milk for the 2 shots. I used Illy traditional cup and need around 5 onces of milk for both cappucino.
Here is a solution for the shutting down problem : I have program the tea button for 1 once of water and its serve me from time to time to warm espresso cup and when not shutting down proprely you will just have 1 once of water to sponge.
Thatís difinitively a great machine with a lot of nice features and a few bad points, but for me, the best up to now. The price is really high but like other high end things, Its a good reason to live.
From the Expobar, who was the best machine I have had, the main difference are : PID precision, consistency (I dont remember making a bad shot on the GS3), I am tasting much more differents flavors in the cup, and steaming capacity.
For now, I think my upgrade path is at his endÖ..perhaps who knows hahaha.
I have bought this machine from IDrinkcoffe as a store demo. Slawek was really friendly over the phone and by email to answer my long list of questions. The machine was carefully sent by truck and arrive in perfect condition.
I am a french speaking and have tried my best for an english review. Many thanks for understanding.
Three Month Followup
Snorrrrrr !!! All run perfectly. A true gem.
One Year Followup
All I can say, the machine run perfectly. I am really happy and dont want to upgrade anymore.