If you really want to control the quality of your drinks, this machine allows you to be as good as it gets.
Positive Product Points
Aesthetically beautiful. It is easy to clean and maintain. Access to internals is extremely easy should repair or replacement be necessary. Totally dependable. Properly fed it produces superb shots and magnificent microfoam. There is an Expobar Users Group website for support.
Negative Product Points
Like a previous reviewer mine leaked when I first got it. The repair took about ten minutes and never reoccurred. It came with a single hole steamer end. I replaced that with a double hole end made for the Brewtus. It takes a bit of time to warm up. I use a torque clock to start it up about 45 minutes before I get up. This gives it all the time it needs to fully heat up and warm my cups.
I was upgrading from my 20+ year old Gaggia and had thought about a super auto machines. The rep from WLL said that they would be easier, but not an upgrade. She recommended the Expobar line. I looked at the machines and fell in love with the Lever. I love the E61 group, the solid feel of a 50+ pound machine, and the ability with practice to create perfect espressos and lattes. Combining the purchase of this machine with a Mazzer Mini proved to be an excellent choice. The mini once tuned to the proper grind is amazingly consistent. I weigh my grinds on a gram scale, and produce gorgeous crema every time. It took about a month of using the machine to get everything finetuned. I read an amazing amount of information in that first month, none of it wasted. Finding the ideal grind, learning to tamp properly (it helps to have a quality steel tamper that fits you portafilter properly), finding the correct weight of grinds, and then learning the art of steaming and pouring the microfoam all became far more relevant when the machine I was using was this fine. Friends come to my home every weekend for their espresso. Given the number of choices in the area I consider that a true testimonial to quality of my drinks and the machine I use to produce them. The Expobar lever is built to professional standards. No piece of equipment can go on indefinitely without needing some minor repair. The accessibility of the internals ( about 5 screws to remove the incredibly solid Stainless Steel case which surrounds the machine on three sides) makes any repair a relative cakewalk. The Gaggia on the other hand was a nightmare to access. I have had the machine for two years. I use it at minimum two days a week. During summer and vacations (I am a teacher and have lots of time off) I use daily. It just keep plugging along without a moments pause. I expect it to outlive me and become a family heirloom.
I have very positive feelings towards WLL. The sales rep spent a lot time on the phone with me, really listened to me, and made her recommendations based on my experience and lifestyle. The machine arrived within a few days even though shipping was across country. All further purchases from WLL have been equally satisfactory. Whenever I have had questions I have found them to be knowledgeable. Their website is a veritable fountain of information with lots of tips on improving your drinks. The one negative, and i posted this on their internal forum, had to do with their lack of candidness in terms of their claim to have fully inspected the machine before it left their warehouse. The Expobar is packed in multiple layers at the factory. The inner most layer is a adhesive plastic sheeting that covers all of the access screws and the stainless steel surfaces. This material had obviously never been disturbed. The styrofoam surrounding the machine had no signs of ever being removed from around the machine. Making untruthful statements just didn't fit in with the rest of the service I received from them prior to getting the machine and since. It still disturbs me that they never admitted to the truth. However, I consider this a small faux pas in an otherwise great relationship.