i've read many bad things about this machine, but i still buy it anyway. just love that girl with her tongue. i think it's the cutest logo in the planet.
i've the new edition model. and i read the manual. and i did my first shot using double basket and that leaving that clever plastic tamper on top of coffee puck. first shot wasn't really good because i didn't lock it in tight enough, some water leaked out during the shot, but judging from my eye, the pour is very smooth, warm honey like.
second shot i decide to follow the manual method of making cappa, i pulled the shot first, then waited about 30 sec to get good steam. i used smaller pitcher than i normally use. acceptable microfoam was easily achieved. i poured a good heart. however, i thought the coffee was left there too long.
i switched on the pump to get to acceptable brew temp, during that time, i ground next shot. i filled it up to the rim, leveled, and tamp. forget about 30 pound thing, just give it a firm tamp that all coffee is compacted together. i left the tamper disc inside. another good espresso shot again.
last test shot, is cappa, and this time i decided to steam first then brew. the steamwand is positioned very badly, i had to tilt pitcher, make tsh tsh sound for a while, when the desired amount of foam was right, i lifted the pitcher up. steaming is pretty easy for one cappa.
after that i switched on the pump to get the boiled water out, and simultaneously i grounded, dosed, tamped, and again i leaved the tamping disc inside. when i finished the temp came down right to where espresso shot should be pulled. swirling the pitcher, i watched the pour, very nice warm honey like. this time it was clearly a rosetta cappa.
i think the key is to know the ability of the machine. this machine was designed mainly for pod use. but not many coffeegeeks would have a look at pod. so it needs some cleverly designed, patented, tamper disc. it works as a tamper that actively compact the puck when water is pumped down from grouphead, which will somehow ensure a firm tamp. also it works like second showere screen that spread the water throughout the puck, ensure even extraction. it has small channels inside the disc, which will serve like preinfusion chamber inside my e-61 la scala butterfly grouphead. it also serves as splash guard, since this machine has no three-way release valve. i can literally remove the portafilter after pulling the shot, just be careful to do it a bit slower than my usual tempo on e-61 machine.
i'm pretty enjoy the brewing of espresso so far, thick crema, no sign of overextract (fresh beans required).