GREAT entry level espresso machine that makes shots equivalent to much costlier machines.
Positive Product Points
Outstanding pump and inside materials. Ease of use, very easy to use, even for me as a new espresso maker. Very quick to warm up. Created excellent crema from my first shot.
Negative Product Points
Plastic construction. Water tank causes leaking everytime you refill because of design. Frother design makes it hard to get pitcher underneath except after pulling unit to edge of counter. Instruction manual is very limited. Had to really figure it out on my own.
Great product that makes great espresso with lots of great crema. Gaggia has really created a product that is impressive in the under $200 category. They really made the right proce/quality tradeoffs in my humble opinion. Buy this product if you want to spend less than $200 to get a great espresso drink.
Key to the outcome is a great grinder. I purchased a Solis Maestro that was as expensive as the maker but a really wise investment. The combination of the two really works.
Biggest cons are in some of the materials used, plastics, tray at bottom not designed the best. Frother comes out at an odd angle. Water tank design causes leaks from the tubes that pull the water to the pump. Instruction manual very limited.
Purchased on e-bay, see eBAY note below.
I bought this product off of eBAY. First time buyer and wanted to buy from a reputable espresso machine seller. Bought from Espressopeople.com. Very good customer service. Only problem was that the unit I purchased was a return and it had some scratches on the unit. Saved 50 bucks over their listed price (200) on the unit so I guess that it to be expected. Be careful and vigilent when buying through eBAY was my lesson.
This site really helped me in my selection process.
Three Month Followup
This machine has really been a great first espresso machine for me. I make espresso on average 5-6 times per week with the Carrezza. It is very reliable in terms of quality of the output. My only complaints would be (in order of priority) the pump ddoes not seem to do well when making multiple (more than two double shots) shots of espresso in a row, the steamer will sometimes not work immediately after making a shot, the unit can be hard to clean effectively. The same is true for the SOLIS Maestro grinder, it is terribly designed form a ease of cleaning perspective.