I recomend this product and think it is a value to a anyone who is a beginner like me.
Positive Product Points
Worked well. pulls nice shots, still working on consitancy. Built in grinder is handy, can get good looking "fake" Crema with anygrind - any coffee. Very Easy to use.
Negative Product Points
Grind even on lowest-highest settings makes Expresso Powder. I hade hoped with 12 settings there would be more options between grinds. But no noticalbe differance from setting grinder on 1 or 12 or anything in between. Over heating Fuse Needs to be user replaceable. Blew fuse while cleaning machine (ran about 2 cups of water thru all at once and over heated it) Now must pay $$ to send it back to fix this $1.50 part. No options i can find as of yet to use it with a different basket without a Crema disk.
This is my first espresso machine. I have been very happy with it out side of the few problems I have had. After four months I am still in search of the perfect cup, but getting closer. But have become much more critical of espresso made for me at shops since owning this one. It takes some getting use to as different grinds and tamping can really effect taste but look pretty much the same with the Crema’ disk. Makes decent espresso and for the money is a good buy. Easy enough for a beginner to use and get decent results. Machine has paid for itself with good results so far.
I purchased this as new online. It may have been used or reconditioned as the steaming wand was pretty gunked up right out of the box. But may have been manufacturing residue. Do not know for sure.
Three Month Followup
I sold this machine so i could get a Mazzer Grinder and a Silvia. OUtside of the Thermal breaker not being user servicable i would still recomend the unit to someone who is not to picky, likes the convienence of an all in one, and it not ready to be obsessive about espresso.