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Ascaso Steel - John Winslow's Review
Posted: January 16, 2008, 3:54am
review rating: 7.9
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Ascaso Steel Espresso Line
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More About This Product
Arrow The Ascaso Steel has 20 Reviews
Arrow The Ascaso Steel has been rated 8.13 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 19, 2005.
Arrow Ascaso Steel reviews have been viewed 152,522 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Leszek Nowosielski 9.50
Jeff Spirer 9.00
Damian S 9.00
Sean Sweet 8.60
Ryan Johnson 8.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.4
Product Reviewed: Uno PM Prof
Manufacturer: Ascaso Quality: 8
Average Price: Varies Usability: 9
Price Paid: $600.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Zenari's Cafe Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 1 week Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Starbuck's Barista
Bottom Line: I never thought an espresso maker would be something to fall in love with.....  Now I know!
Positive Product Points

This beauty has clean straight lines.  It looks great in the kitchen and doesn't steal a tonne of counter space.  It heats up to optimal operating temperature in no time and holds the temperature well through steaming and pulling of shots.

Negative Product Points

As is typical with lower end prosumer machines, this one ships with a cheap plastic tamper.  Hardly enough strength in it to handle the requisite 35 pounds of tamping pressure.

The instructions are not entirely clear on the indicator lights on the Uno PM Prof and relate more to the higher end machines.  This is not a big deal except I almost returned the machine until, while emptying it, the third led lit up.  Now I knew it was the low water warning light.  A little clarity is a good thing!!

Detailed Commentary

I was shopping for a Miss Sylvia.  It seems the local specialty shops that used to cary the Racillio Sylvia have turned to Ascaso line and the Baby Gaggia Twin.  Unable to find Miss Sylvia, and not liking the size of the Baby Gaggia, I went to Zenaris to see if they might have one Sylvia left for me.  Seems they no longer carry it.  The owner of the shop showed me this little gem and I was sold.

The packing material was first rate.  A UPS dude in a bad mood would have to kick it around excessively in order to damage it in transit.  My wife was ready to divorce me for buying yet another espresso machine.  Her outlook changed when she saw the look on my face as I peeled all the protective sealant away from the stainless steel and chrome parts.  I guess I looked like a kid at Christmas.

My first draw of espresso tasted like something one would mix up and drink in a gravel yard.  Horrid and weak to say the least.  The second draw was the exact opposite....  Nothing came out the portafilter.  The third draw was like a little piece of heaven had fallen into my shot glass.  Pure ecstasy!!  After I read the quick start directions, and for once followed them, the coffee came out perfect.  This is the fastest I have been able to draw a three tone crema with any new machine.

Steaming took a little time to get used to.  After having perfected latte art micro-foam with a La Pavoni Europicola and my Starbuck's Barista, it took some time to get used to the side hole surfing required for this machine.  The steam is very strong and steaming is very fast with this machine.  But, like anything, playing made perfect.

Buying Experience

Purchasing this machine was a blast.  The owner of the shop is about 200 years old and has been in the espresso / sandwich shop business for 199 years of it.  While I pondered whether or not to give up my search for Miss Sylvia I was treated to free espresso and a tour of the internal workings of this machine.

I would buy another machine just to hear this guy's accent explaining all the parts, boiler, brew group etc etc etc.

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review rating: 7.9
Posted: January 16, 2008, 3:54am
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