I tried and tried. But I never pulled a good shot with this machine. Stick with vendors with a liberal return policy.
Positive Product Points
Produces real espresso, with syrupy mouth feel and good crema. Warm up is quick. 3-Way solenoid valve is nice feature. Doesn't take up a lot of room on kitchen counter. Stainless Steel construction is nice.
Negative Product Points
Every shot, without even one exception, is sour. Small boiler is inadequate for steaming. I have to wait in the middle of steaming 6 ounces of milk.
I'm new to making espresso. Every single shot from this machine has been sour. I've adjusted the OPV valve pressure, tried several different surfing techniques, tried different beans, different grinds, different tamps, and the end result is espresso that is sour to exceedingly sour. The only thing I can drink out of this machine is a cappuccino. You may be discounting this review, thinking I'm an idiot and your experience will be better. (And I hope it is.) But if you are new to espresso, this may be your experience, so stick with vendors with a liberal return policy.
Amazon always does a good job. Machine arrived relatively quickly. Paid a fair price. The best part is their return policy. (No questions asked, I got the authorization online, and they pay the postage.)