Gorgeous machine that makes perfect espresso cup after cup.
Positive Product Points
Makes great espresso and does a good job of frothing milk. It is the only two things it does which for what I wanted is great. I've had the machine for 5 years and made 2 to 4 cups of coffee everyday and still going strong.
Negative Product Points
I wish it had a water level indicator, instead it just starts beeping half way through making a coffee, telling you it has run out. Stopping an espresso half way through, refilling and then finishing does not make a good espresso. It is also a little slow getting things to the correct temperature if you are making coffee for 10 people. The light to show it has power has gone out and it does not appear easy to replace - but that is not the end of the world.
I love espresso (and sometimes macchiato). I also love gadgets and was prepared to spend a lot more than I did on this machine to buy whatever seemed best. I looked long and hard at some of the lever machines.
However my wife (and all her friends) loves cappuccino's and latte's so I needed something that frothed milk well and most of the lever machines did not appear to fare so well with that. I often work from home and make the coffee, but not always and my wife was less likely to use a lever machine so I thought the investment was better in an easy to use machine.
This machine has three settings. Standby, steam and coffee. It really couldn't be easier. Tamp the coffee into the basket, put it into the machine and turn the knob and a few seconds later coffee starts coming out. You can stop it when you have enough, or it stops after a certain amount of time. Enough to fill a standard cup if you like a long black, although making two espressos I would say it makes a bit much so I stop it early. It has a fairly fancy steam wand that makes good frothy milk.
I have had the machine for 5 and a half years and made 2 to 4 espressos pretty much everyday in that time. It has never failed or broken down (although it didn't actually work when it first arrived and got replaced). My wife makes coffee for her friends whenever they visit and finds the machine very very easy to use. Personally I drink no coffee over bad coffee so it hasn't saved me money because I don't buy coffee at shops, but my wife would buy a coffee everyday and when you work out this costs about 40c per cup against $3 to$4 at a coffee shop I would say it repaid itself in the first year of ownership.
The machine is also beautiful, and whilst I don't think that should be a major factor in the purchase decision, it does take up space on your bench so it is nice to have something pretty sitting there.
The only negative that really matters is that there is no water level indicator. It starts beeping when it has run out, but that is too late. It is a bit slow when you need to make lots of coffee, but we don't do that often.
All in all I couldn't be happier with my purchase and it is great to think that it is still going strong 5 years on.
Bought from an online store in Italy and had it shipped to the UK. Vendor was fine, but as the machine is Italian of course it didn't actually work when it arrived. Shipped it back, got it back and has not missed a beat since.