Good practical starter machine for someone who likes milk drinks.
Positive Product Points
Easy to use, large water tank. Pressurized Portafilter. Price. Came with some stainless cups.
Negative Product Points
Pressurized Portafilter. Steam wand enhancer only makes froth, no microfoam.
Got the Cafe Roma as an early Christmas gift from my fiancee. I wanted an espresso maker and only knew that a pump machine was better than a steam driven machine, that was the extent of my knowledge a few weeks ago. Know a little more than that now, wondering what I got in to here.
The pressurized portafilter basket is easy to use and since I don't have a grinder yet, (had no idea that was so important before purchase) and the first shots were pretty bad using some Cafe Bustello (to be expected I guess), but in a latte or capp couldn't tell a big difference from chain coffee houses. I bought some coffee from a local roaster and had them grind for esspresso and made some shot within an hour of grinding, made a huge difference in the shot, I actually enjoyed the taste without milk.
Had read that some get clogged portafilter baskets with this model. I also experienced this yesterday, but used the supplied tool to clear the basket hole, machine has pulled 3 or 4 double shots since and no trouble. Going to be ordering a non-pressurized portafilter if this clogs completely or I get a good grinder.
Was expecting more out of the steam. The enhancer attachment is just a stainless tube that make froth and things are enhanced. However, if you remove the tube, it looks like a more traditional wand, although short. For ease of cleaning and allowing more control, the tube has already been placed in the kitchen drawer. With only one week of use I can get plenty of froth without the attachment.
As a first machine this is easy to use, doesn't break the bank and lets me make lattes at home. Maybe the best thing is that you can control the milk to coffee ratio, Starbucks lattes just taste like milk to me. Better coffee also makes a huge difference in taste, probably shouldn't have wasted 5 bucks on bad coffee just to play with the machine for practice. I've tried light tamps to very heavy tamps and there is no real difference in the shot, but that is why I like the pressurized portafilter basket, makes it easy for a morning latte when you need to be leaving for work, very soon.
I think this machine works just as it should, I like it and enjoy the coffee it makes.
Gift, purchased at bed bath and beyond with a 20% off coupon, so very easy and cheap.