Big, heavy, exceptional quality home unit capable of commercial duty with consistant expresso results!!
Positive Product Points
Very heavy machine able to produce plenty of hot water, pressure, and steam. Very consistant expresso produced. At 75 pounds, solid in every aspect.
Negative Product Points
Takes a while to warm up. In morning I need to plan ahead to have water heated for the first shot. Helps a lot to prewarm dispenser when I turn the machine on. At least 20-30 minutes is really needed for good quality expresso. The water unit is self contained, but it is difficult to estimate when to add water without visually checking the reservoir. 2+quarts of water capacity needs to be checked and refilled every 2-3 days. The unit shuts off when water level reaches minimum amount. If the S24 is left on throughout the day, it will cycle through a substantial amount of the contained water. It is much more efficient to turn on and off unit after each use versus leaving the S24 on all morning or afternoon while I'm at work.
Overall the Rancillio unit is everything I expected. I did quite a bit of shopping and reviewing other units prior to my purchase. I did call several venders asking advice about my purchase and also their recommendations. It seemed most everyone was leaning to the fully automatic units vs this manual machine. I wanted more control over my expresso and do not find grinding, tamping, and dispensing any problem at all. I did seriously consider a fully plumbed unit, but have adapted well to the manual addition of water as needed. At least this eliminates the remote possibility of another water leak in the kitchen and one less water line. The S24 is taller than the standard cabinet height, but having moveable shelves in one area of the kitchen made my selection much easier. Also having a sink next to the unit solves disposing of coffee grinds no hassle. Once I have warmed the S24, it does an excellent job of expresso. Some of the other units I reviewed seem to give off a lot of heat over the top of the unit. They seemed to keep their cups at a higher temperature. I'm not sure I would appreciate that much heat in the kitchen. The Rancillio seemed to radiate less heat (which is a BIG plus), but once warmed up it feels quite hot. I have never wished for more heat, or a hotter cup. Once dispensed, the expresso is plenty warm. Excellent crema, which also varies by the type and brand of coffee I use that day.
Very pleased with the polite responses to questions and emails. At first, I wasn't waiting long enough for the unit to heat up and felt my expresso was too cool. Once I solved this problem with their help, everything is great. Shipped as stated, on time, and no problems.