Great fun to use. Excellent results with practice. Sleek & sexy looking.
Positive Product Points
Makes excellent tasting espresso with some practice Frothing with bare wand produces great microbubbles after practice Deep removable drip tray Sleek polished nickel finish easy to fill and clean fast heat up Only 8 inches wide Small boiler means I can clear out stale water fast at the beginning of the day.
Negative Product Points
bare frothing wand could be a little longer
This machine has worked out very well for me, although I suffered through 3 1/2 months of wildly varying pour times until I switched from the Gaggia MM to the MDF grinder. Now I can get pours in the 20-30 second range most of the time. I get excellent crema. Sometimes I wonder if I'm sometimes getting too much :). It is very easy to keep clean . Also, the eight inch width takes up less counter space than most other models. I like the deep drip tray, especially because I can remove it and pour directly into one of those tall glass cups with a pedastal. I can make great microfoam with the bare wand from 4 oz of milk in a 20 oz pitcher (instructions in Ken Davids Espresso book did the trick). It would be easier if the wand were about an inch longer. The hot water dispenser allows me to make great Americanos as well.
I know some people are put off by the plastic parts and the aluminum boiler, but the plastic parts feel good to me and contrast well with the polished nickel finish for quite an elegant look. And I like the boiler for its quick heating , fast recovery and the ability to quickly clear stale water from the boiler from the day before, just because of the small capacity. I'm just careful to use the right cleaner on the aluminum boiler (Cleancaf).
My buying experience on Ebay was pretty uneventful. I got the machine from Steve who works at Electra-Kraft. He was very forthright and even sent me an extra power cord and wiring diagram because the machine didn't seem properly grounded. It turned out that the wire polarity was reversed. When I reversed them where they connected to the power cord, the grounding problem disappeared.