Stylish, robust, delightful. A part of our family :)
Positive Product Points
In the last nine months that we've had this great coffee machine, it has never failed us. I simply love the smell of a fresh cuppa in the morning, and the cuadra does a perfect job. At first I was wondering if I shouldn't pay a little more to get a more expensive HX machine, but I'm glad I saved myself a couple of hundred dollars in the end :) This machine will do what any isomac millenium or la mondiale will do. They're all fitted with an E61 group head.
Negative Product Points
The only negative thing I have to say about this machine, is that I bought the stainless steel one, because the red ones were out of stock. Red would have gone better in our new kitchen ;)
This machine is getting used several times per day, and always delivers. My wife and I are both avid coffee addicts, and whilst I like my espresso, she is more into her cappuccino. (after nearly a year of trying, she's still hopeless at latte-art, but don't tell her I said that!)
I love impressing our guests with cafe-quality coffee servings whenever they come over. Besides that, it's simply a lot of fun to pretend to be a professional barista. The Cuadra lets me get away with a lot of mucking about. When I first started out, I managed to make a big mess of things, and never seemed to got the espresso just right. Turns out that this was all my fault, because I wasn't using my coffee grinder at the optimal settings, and I tamped the ground coffee too firm in the portafilter.
The machine is sturdy, always ready to go, has great steam power, and just looks and feels like it will last us for years to come.
I can whole heartedly recommended the Cuadra to anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of a semi-professional heat exchange (HX) coffee machine. You won't be disappointed.
Not much to say about the vendor. We googled a lot for reviews of several HX machines, and via an Australian coffee forum, we found http://www.espressoitalia.com.au/ to be the online shop with the best price :) We rang them to make sure they had the machines in stock, they verified and were quite helpful over the phone, when we processed our payment and gave them our shipping details. We were lucky because they gave us a free Barista training school voucher (which I still haven't used yet!)