This is a true Italian made E-61 HX machine with great build quality and looks.
Positive Product Points
This machine has great build quality. Esthetically it is very pleasing to look at. It has great heat stability and abundant steam. I like it because its a true E61 lever and you can have pre infusion if you choose.
Negative Product Points
Seriously, nothing I can find right now.
I took my time in reading about lots of machines before I made my move to upgrade. I wanted an E61 HX machine. I am very pleased with everything about this machine.Last night I got it set up and followed 1stLines advice in using the in tank water softener and using water I had put in a large pitcher with the Osar150 water softener pack inside. I made three double lattes and steamed the milk effortlessly. The list of features on this machine and build quality when coupled with the introductory price I paid makes this a remarkable deal. Check out some of what you get with this machine.
E61 Grouphead - hot water circulates from the heat exchanger through the grouphead and back to keep the grouphead and your portafilter nice and hot. Manual three way grouphead valve allows back to back espresso extractions. Large 1.8 liter copper boiler provides ample steam power for home and office use. Boiler pressure gauge. Multi-directional no-burn steam wand allows the user to pivot the steam wand in the right position for milk frothing and steaming. Multi-directional no-burn hot water wand allows movement for larger and smaller cups. We recommend not pulling out more than 4 ounces at a time and to wait for the pump to complete refilling the boiler before pulling an additional 4 ounces. Easy on/off switch to turn power on and off. Green light indicator for power. Removable water reservoir for easy cleaning - should be cleaned with detergent every two weeks. Low water cut-off switch: A low water cut off switch is underneath the reservoir to power off the machine when the reservoir is low on water. XP700 Mater pressurstat: this is an upgraded version regulator to monitor the steam pressure in the boiler. Parker solenoid valve utilized to control the automatic water refill of the boiler. Small-style over pressure valve is used to maintain the compactness of this machine. Anti-vacuum valve is incorporated to remove any vacuum from the boiler when it cools down. Frame: Stainless steel (not polished). Body: Polished chrome colored plastic side panels, stainless steel satin finish back panel, and front face polished vertical body panel. Removable stainless steel drip tray with plastic insert and stainless steel drip tray cover add a really nice touch. Stainless steel cup warmer tray (must be removed to refill water reservoir) and as with any machine, cups can take up to 2 hours to preheat using a cup warmer tray. You can use the water wand to flash heat your cups.
I really think this is one of the most important aspects of any equipment purchase. When you buy a machine you need to have people you can trust behind you. I think of it in a way as a partnership or a long term relationship. Its like joining a family in a way. Now there are a few good families out there and I think those who look around will find out quickly which ones are preferred because they have earned it. There is nothing worse than investing in an expensive piece of equipment and finding out the people who sold it to you dont really care. Jim at 1st-Line and his team care. They make it their business to sell,service and be there long term. The buying experience,shipping experience and involvement with 1st-Line has been first class.