Good machine to start learning with, practice making espresso and frothing on this machine then upgrade as your skills develop.
Positive Product Points
Easy to use and a good learning tool for the novice. Makes a good espresso considering its price. I have only tried this using pre ground supermarket coffee and i am still getting good crema, still waiting to get a decent grinder then bring on the quality coffee beans. Removeable water tank makes it easy to refill and empty.
Negative Product Points
Steam wand is a bit too short making it diffucult to use a decent sized pitcher. The plastic tamper is not brilliant but will suffice for novices. Needs a 51mm tamper which is an odd size i think. Difficult to find supplier in UK. You need to unscrew the frother attachment to clean it properly which is a bit annoying. The plate which covers the drip tray makes an irritating gritty feel against the bare ceramic bottom of cups, so i just do with out. Ceramic on plastic feels much better.
I am in UK so my prices are in pounds sterling and not dollars as indicated.
I am a coffee newbie so i am still learning the ropes. Making espresso is so easy on this machine, I am getting good crema and extraction times from store brough pre-ground coffee. Straight off i was getting 25 secs extraction times for 1oz of espresso using the naff plastic tamper supplied. I have been using the single shot basket and tamping with about 30 lbs of pressure. You need to run water through an empty portafilter a few times to get the machine up to temperature before you make an espresso.
I am still learning to froth milk, which i am finding difficult to get enough foam for a cappuccino. I need more practice, I have not tried taking the frothing attachment off as recommended by another reviewer.
If anyone can give me tips on frothing milk using this machine please let me know.
Cant wait to get a grinder and freshly roasted beans for this baby.