An excellent mid range domestic product at an entry level price.
Positive Product Points
High quality espresso maker with plenty of power, self priming 15bar pump, large easy to fill resevoir, simple controls which produces good espresso and plenty of steam.
Negative Product Points
Terrible manual, rather too tall to fit easily under kitchen wall units, cheap plastic tamper and measure. The steam tube position and angle make it difficult to use with deeper containers. The clearance between the portafilter and the drip tray preclude the use of all but shallow cups.
I had done my research on the web, and had a shortlist of makes to look for in the UK. The local Curry's (electrical chainstore) surprised me by having Gaggia models in stock. The Carezza was 100 UKP (142 USD) - I now suspect it was mis-priced and should have been 160 UKP (228 USD). I snapped it up accepting the free vaccuum packed coarsely ground coffee. The A5 sized, photocopied manual gave pause for thought. The fonts, shading and diagrams probably looked reasonable in printed form, however they did not reproduce well. The instructions were succinct, and do not match the advice on most websites. They refered to an item not included - and not important ('Perfect crema' device). The machine came with a coffee pod adapter, this has not been fitted. The water resevoir may be filled by lifting a hinged lid on the top, or by sliding the resevoir sideways, either partially or fully for removal. This works well for me since the machine is located below a wall mounted kitchen unit. In operation the Carezza operates essentially the same as the popular Gaggia Espresso, having (I believe) essentially the same internals. It came up to temperature quickly, and produced plenty of steam taking about 15seconds from switching to steam. The temperature calibration seems spot on - but has not been specifically measured. My only reservation of the product is in the size, - it is a bit bulky! If it fits into your kitchen then it is a great buy, if it doen't, then on my experience with the Carrezza, I would buy an alternative Gaggia with a smaller footprint. I found it possible to make good espresso with almost no learning curve (thanks to much reading on this and other web sites).
Curry's is an electrical retailer with no product knowledge on hand. I later had superb advice and espresso shots offered in Whittards from a Gaggia trained salesman, where they sell the same unit with an ancilliary pack for 160 UKP (standard list price).