Double boiler, plumbed in, adjustable, and amazing coffee, you can't go wrong with Vivaldi!
Positive Product Points
I love the fact that I can easily make a great coffee in a very short amount of time. I have enjoyed entertaining and making multiple drinks with no down time.
Negative Product Points
The drain is less than ideal.
I spent a lot of time on coffeegeek reading prior to upgrading my espresso machine. I previously owned a Gaggia Baby, but knew it was time to move on to a real espresso machine. The most important thing to me in getting a new machine was ease of use in getting the best espresso. I decided that a double boiler was the way to go because my wife prefers her morning latte, and I need to have my 2 espressos prior to leaving for work. The other factor that was important to me was durability or service availability if needed. I knew Chris coffee would stand behind their product if needed (I haven't needed any help because everything has worked perfectly). The only part of the machine that has been a bit of a disappointment has been the drain. I bought the standard drain kit, and found that it wanted to leak. I ended up filling the hole I drilled in the tray and I just dump it frequently. I don't think you could find a better machine unless you want to spend at least twice as much money. If you live in or near Iowa, and want to try the machine feel free to contact me to set up a time.
Excellent. Chris believes in providing good customer service before and after the sale.
Three Month Followup
I continue to be very happy with the machine. I find that I can enjoy the differences in the beans, and count on the great consistancy of the machine. I have become the limiting step instead of my equipment. I don't have much for the upgrade itch because it would take a small fortune to outperform this machine.
One Year Followup
I am now 5 years out. I had my first service issue, and am VERY impressed with Chris Coffee. My machine was making more noise. I had an immediate email From Chris's service department talking me through the trouble shooting. They sent me links to potential parts I could need to repair it. Turned out that the reverse osmosis water system didn't have adequate water pressure. I plumbed it through a filter and pressure regulator and all is well again.