Great beginner machine and for an excellent price. Disocntinued now.
Positive Product Points
Unbelievably cheap for having an electronic quantity control that comes preset or is user-programmable. Has preset for single and double. The hot water feature is nice. Machine takes less than 30 seconds to heat from cold. Steamer works well. Came with a single and a double sieve. Makes good crema if grind is proper. 18 bar pressure delivers good results. Outputs at the proper temperature!
Negative Product Points
You have to prime by sending a single shot to the hot-water feature after steaming. The steamer is a little slow to get started and does output a little water at the beginning before the steam starts flowing. It didn't come with a tamper. After three years of use, I believe the feature selector (espresso/hot water/steam) is starting to wear out and under espresso pressure will leak some water under the machine.
I never appreciated American coffee. I always thought it tasted bitter and nasty. I just thought I didn't like coffee and couldn't understand why so many people submitted themselves to the tortuous taste. Then I moved to Europe for 1.5 years for work, and of course there I experience REAL coffee! My first purchase back in the US: an espresso machine.
This machine worked very well. It did take a little bit of practice to get the grind and tamping right, but once I got into my routine, the machine performed great and produced excellent tasting espresso.
The hot-water dispenser was very useful in producing Americano coffee for relatives that weren't quite up on the espresso culture.
After three years of at least one espresso per day (average of probably 10-15 per week), the machine has started to leak water underneath when producing the espresso. I think perhaps the thermocoil or some seal has a leak that surfaces under the 18-bar espresso pressure. It could also be the physical lever that switches the functionality of the machine from espresso to hot water to steam.
All-in-all, for getting this machine at half-price because it was already discontinued and clearanced, I had a GREAT experience! I have just purchased a Capresso Ultima (mainly because my wife looks forward to its auto-tamping and dumping feature to alleviate some of the coffee mess in the kitchen). I'll write a review on that one soon!
Sorry, I don't remember where I bought this. It was some coffee shop in Utah, over the Internet.