Stylish machine that produces great espresso and isn't super expensive. What more could one want!
Positive Product Points
Superb espresso coffee plus excellent steam pressure. I'm able to get my milk frothing just right on the Cuadra.
Negative Product Points
Not the easiest machine for a novice to use. But hey no automated machine will produce coffee as good as this, that's the tradeoff.
In my university days Iíd worked in a couple of cafes which gave me the good fortune of being able to use a commercial espresso machine. Being a barista was a great skill to learn but has now left me with expensive taste equipment wise! After flying through a couple of brand name machines from various Home stores, I decided to fork out $2000 and something (donít tell my husband) and treat us to something more heavy duty. I have had my La Nuova Era Cuadra for around four months now and am totally satisfied. It looks great in full chrome and is a beautiful retro styled machine. There are two things that impress me the most; the great steam pressure and the commercial E-61 group head which produces beautiful espresso. It is also a heat exchanger machine. The dual pressure allows me to extract espresso and steam a (almost perfect!) jug of milk simultaneously. This is what I found most annoying with the cheaper machines Ė you either couldnít do both at once or as soon as you tried to do both, you would lose too much pressure giving you awful, thin steamed milk. The Cuadra is a semi- auto machine, this means the operator has to manually control the coffee making procedure. I was a tad anxious of the manual start/stop lever concept of the extraction process, but my supplier very kindly walked me through the notions of producing cafe standard espresso. My finished product now demonstrates a thick, rich, honey coloured crema that smells GREAT and tastes even better every time! The crema lasts a long while too. The only thing I had to get used to was that the group head is exposed and hot, hot! .. Lesson learned after leaning on it once! OUCH! After a whole lot of research and conversation with the professionals in regard to the importance of the coffee grind, we have recently upgraded the grinder as well. And WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! My extractions taste and look so much smoother, to which I can now put down to not only my excellent coffee-making skills, but the precision and degree of the metal-burr grinder. I purchased a Macap M4 grinder which is also chrome, so looks perfect next to the machine! We tend to leave our machine on day and night, but if it is switched off then itís good to know that the Cuadra only takes about 20 minutes to heat up and reach pressure. Thatís handy when youíre in desperate need for a cuppa!!! As you can tell, I canít complain and I love my Cuadra Espresso machine!
Couldn't be more helpful. Plus they gave me 2 bags of coffee and a steel tamper.