Great machine, good value, robust and nicely built.
Positive Product Points
Excellent contemporary clean design, good pressure, solid and well made, stable temperature, well crafted filter, easy to clean, large water tank, low water cut out.
Negative Product Points
Unreliable. Electrical smell (reduced with time), short milk wand, poor steam difuser, limited space for mugs or taller cups.
Bought this from Peter Maturi in Leeds a couple of weeks ago after our Kenwood Café Retro packed in.
Had been hunting for a good machine for some time – had my heart set on a Rancilio but very limited in the UK and was a bit unsure about getting on online due to potential problems with returns / maintenance etc.
The Steel Uno was offered at a reduced price as it had been a display item. Look like it had had very little use and was a bargain £250 – they were on the web for £400.
First thing you notice is it seem very robust. The body is 100% stainless and the filter is really nicely made – much nicer than the cheap looking filters from the Gaggia Baby and Classic.
The Uno heats up quickly but is producing a rather unpleasant ‘electrical’ smell which seems to be subsiding. Still very much a novice and finding it hard to get the ideal grind and tamp. Get the odd shot which comes out ok and most are drinkable but still a long way off before getting consistent results. Problem seems like sit with my grinder - Starbuck's Barista just doesn't produce a fine enough grind. I am replacing this with an Iberital and will update this review with the results.
Another issue is that the puck comes out with one or two crators which I suspect is a result of the steam difuser not doing it's job properly. Again I will address this once I have sorted out the grind.
Milk frother producing amazing micro foam but the wand is too short for small quantities of milk. Also has a limited clearance for the cups which, I suspect is a problem shared with most espresso machines as they are designed for expresso / capuccino cups.
Over all very pleased with the Uno.
Bought from Peter Maturi. Staff very helpful. Have promised to take it back / have it fixed if anything goes wrong.
Three Month Followup
Machine failed a few months ago. Was sent back and had various items replaced. Supplied us with a sheet advising cooling by running water through the filter before and after use. Up and running and producing great (better than before) extractions. Repairs also seems to have resolved the pitted puck issue below.
One Year Followup
Well the machine has failed again twice since the last update. Three months ago, the seal between the unit and the filter split which the Ascaso repairs contract said was general maintenance. Still cost £50 to fix. Now the steam wand has lost all pressure - the unit is generating pressure but for whatever reason (the valve?) this isn't coming through to the wand. Won't be paying to have it fixed again. Throwing good money after bad. Will become a very expensive bit of scrap metal. Wouldn't recommend an Ascaso.