Isomac Tea II = fantastic Italian espresso and cappucino. Good value for money!
Positive Product Points
Great value for the money, Iíve bought the new Tea II with upgraded and better stainless boiler and internal parts. The machine is easy to use. Itís build rock solid and of heavy quality steel! With the traditional lever action, itís fun to use. It produces very consistent Italian coffee and cappucino. And I think a machine from a topbrand as Isomac is very reliable. Steaming power is great to get a nice latte. With 2 gauges it also satisfy the information geek and barista who wants to know whatís happening. The gauges are also placed in an ergonomic smart way. Other machines may have gauges that you canít see when youíre pulling a shot, or you have to sit on you knees! From a subjective point of viewÖthis is a good looking machine with better looks than other machines!!
Negative Product Points
The machine can get hot on the outside when used all day. Maybe insulating the boiler can prevent this a bit. Maintainance of a HX machine is allways a boring jobÖ.cleaning the grouphead, descaling. But ofcourse this helps the lifetime value of your machine and get daily fresh coffee, so you really must do this.
I purchased this machine after owning a Rancilio Silvia. Iím a bit picky about everything I buy. I decided to make an good choice while taking the plunge into the world of good espresso, so I decided that I got the very best for my small home use. After that, I thought and compared a lot between machines and brands. I wanted to get a better pro-machine which is capable of making constant Italian espresso. And this Isomac does this job perfectly! With the E61 grouphead itís much better than the "Rancilio-class" of machines (I also owned a Quickmill and Gaggia). Also, the Isomac Tea is more impressive, shinier (more beautiful) and more convenient (can brew shot and steam at the same time). I purchased it, along with a Macap grinder, this works great with the Isomac. I must say that fresh grinding is essential with these machines. You can adjust the grind exactly to your machine and get really fresh coffee. Setting the machine up was relatively straight forward. The instructions that come from Isomac are terrible, but my supplier www.casabarista.nl has a good manual that they made their own. These guys give good personal advise how to install, use and maintain the machine. I think this is essential for these kind of E61-machines. You just have to know how to make good coffee from a pro-machine. Itís not difficult, but when you donít know everything, your coffee wonít come out fine. And thatís a shame if you spend over Ä 1000!!! So, my advise its to get a good supplier whoís an E61-specialist and/or take an espresso workshop, thatís fun to do and you will get the maximum out of your machine. This will give you the daily pleasure of great espresso and cappucino.
When I started with the machine, I attempted to pull a shot once, but the espresso came out too fast: 10 sec. No crema. After some fine adjusting of the grind, the shots became more and more perfect: 25 sec. Great crema, good taste. The Tea has an additional gauge for the pump pressure. I prefer using this as an indicator of shot quality: I can set my grinder to pull a standard or ristretto shot and see the difference reflected in pump pressure.
The Tea is constructed from nice polished, thick stainless steel. Even the boiler is of steel. Itís a real presence in any kitchen, your guests/family will like it too! You will get nice extraís with the Tea: two dedicated complete portafilters, one for single and one for double shots. And the possiblity to add a fixed water supply. These extraís donít come with other machines in this price range! Further on, I got some free espresso beans of Macafe, which has better crema and taste than Iíve ever seen. And yes, Iíve used a lot of beans of popular brands like Illy, Lavazza, Segafredo, Barbera etc.
I backflush every week just with water and also with cleaner every four weeks (but I use the machine a lot). Descaling the machine is around every 2 months.
I bought the Isomac Tea II from www.casabarista.nl ,who are a pleasure to deal with. First, they delivered the new version Tea II at a good price. Second, they give good service and know a lot about E61-machines. They have trained baristaís who will help you and tell everything you need to know about the machine and how to make great espressoís. It has been a pleasure to work with them on the few occasions when I have had questions, before or after the sales. Itís a company with a nice personal feel to it. Will do business with them again, for other coffee stuffÖ