I wanted a no-fuss super auto and that is what I got :)>
Positive Product Points
Very easy to use and makes a great cuppa. works for my espresso's, grosser schwartz, and my wife's cappuchinos equally well. digital disply reminds you for everything.
Negative Product Points
Be gentle on the plastic housing. I haven't broken it "yet", but it is plastic. Ground coffee spills out into the interior tray a bit, particularly when using the bypass doser. Instructions could be better, I say that about just about everything these days - but you can figure it out easy enough. I confess I didn't watch the video either.
I've only had this machine for a month, but these reviews were very helpful to me in my search, so i thought I'd contribute at this point. It is just what I was wanting in a machine, come down stairs in the morning, fire it up, tell it what I want, and it makes it. No fuss, no muss, and no cleaning before I head for work.
I loke a variety of coffees, espresso, grosser schwartz, and the Brazilian style morning coffee. It has settings for single, double and a long shot. For an americano, the long shot and fill the cup with hot water works nicely. The long shot is very much like the Brazilian morning coffee, rich and creamy with good strong flavor.
The espresso is good, but not fantastic and one would expect from an auto machine. However, a bit of tuning with the grinder settings and it became much better. I switched coffees and had to do it again, but it just took a couple of test shots and was done. Better than a carefully ground, measured and tamped hand pulled shot? no, but better than you can get anywhere in town here including Star$s.
It comes with a water hardness test strip and helps you set it for your hardness. Mine was a 2, city water through a 10 micron ceramic and carbon filter. I haven't tried other waters to see how sensitive it is. The hardness has to do with when it will remind you to descale according to the book.
I'm concerned about the durability, particularly with the way the brew area door swings open when you remove the drip tray, but I hope with very careful handling it will last.
The startup and shutdown cleaning cycle is great. It doesn't pass a shot of steam or water through the steam wand, so I do that by hand at least once a day if I've been doing much frothing. Oh, the frothing want works great, making very nice foam, but not that stiff marange stuff.
Easy, EbAY and a great seller.
Three Month Followup
I'm still loving it. We average 4-5 shots a day and have had no trouble. The ginder adjustment took a bit to get used to, you have to remember to adjust it while it is grinding. However, once I had it set, the only time I've worried about it is when I change coffee beans. Coffee bean hopper could be larger, it lasts just under a week for us. I use an old carafe to catch the cleaning and warm up water that runs through on startup and shutdown. That keeps the under tray containment dryer and the crud level down. It is easier to run the carafe through the dishwasher once in a while than scrub the plastic tray with all of its dividers and slots.
One Year Followup
Still working great. I run about 4 shots a day through it and have had no problems. It is a bit messy inside with spilled coffee (dry) and some grounds. I run the grounds cup, tray, etc. through the dishwasher about once a month. I've descalled it once. it went fine. Coffee quality has not deminished over time. Hopefully, I'll get many more good years out of it.