Quality, Looks, and Simple to use. At 2 dollars a day this machine is paid for, even if I got it at a sale. If you drink expresso or expresso drinks each day, this is the one.
Positive Product Points
Looks superb, simple to use, never quits working, easy to clean (see below),
Negative Product Points
one of the knobs was stripped from over torque on shut off. I switched the knobs and we now watch who uses the machine. I have since repaired the stripped knob and all is well. If you are really cranking the expresso you may run out of water but we have several cups each day and only fill the reservoir about every 10 days. If it runs out of water while running, simply fill the tank and turn back on and there is usually enough reserve water heated and pressure to go on without waiting.
I bought this machine as a sale item that was not moving. Little did I know that it was a steal. Consistantly it has worked to give good expresso and mochas. We have used Peets coffee(recently experimenting with various other beans and grinds). We have no problem with frothing. We have never gone to a different probe. We did find that different brands of milk and varying % of the fat did make a difference.
The machine gives a set pressure of the water into the delivery cup so if you want that variable then this is not the machine.
About 6 months ago I began to question the taste and quality of the coffee and crema. I began to search for a new machine and hit on the "1st-line" web site and read their data on what it takes to keep your machine up to date (ie.cleaning etc). I used the cleaner that they sell (urnex) and found a renewal of the quality of my expresso. (Case of Press on Regardless who needs the road map.) You will need to buy a blind cup which is available from several vendors. I have now learned to clean regularly!
The machine has been a beauty. I like the slogan as printed on the side as I have been to Italy and appreciate the reference to their art and music. I have never had a major problem with the function of the machine in daily, 3 years of use. The Machine fits easily on the counter and under our cabinets. It is easly moved out from under the cabinet to load the water when needed. We only use a purified bottled water, very little scale if any. I do not use distilled water which may have a taste of its own.
A steal. I would buy it at the current price if I had to do it again. I have bought several items from "1st-line" and although this machine was not bought there I have bought several items from them and they are very good #10/#10 I have communicated with them by emai and phone very pleasant experience.
Three Month Followup
Well passed the 3 month date see the one year follow up Value is excellant Paid $800
One Year Followup
Almost 4 years the machine continues to pump out the coffee day after day. No problems. Regular cleaning is always needed in any machine. A 10 in all areas.