Our old espresso maker died after several years. After reading many reviews I was thoroughly confused about the quality. The design of the Francis Francis was very appealing -- what a good looking machine, and we saw reviews saying it wasn't so bad. Also, with a brass boiler and everything, it seemed like, it must make pretty good coffee. Wrong! The output was inconsistent and mostly, disappointing, whether it was packets or fresh ground coffee. After awhile, I bought another machine on ebay for a fraction of the cost (called a Flama Zentrum -- I can't find reviews of the Flama anywhere!) -- much higher quality, consistent, so we gave up the pretty Francis Francis and now we have great coffee. Oh, well.