Hearty classic machine that makes a great espresso shot.
Positive Product Points
High build quality. Compact. Asthetically pleasing classic design. Great automatic milk frother as well as traditional frother included.
Negative Product Points
Chrome finish can show stains easily.
As of this writing I've owned this machine for about two weeks and I can say that I've not had the problems that many reviewers are complaining about. I produced a wonderful smooth shot everytime that I've operated the machine.
My package contained a great video that walks the user through every step of the process. The box instructions were also clear and concise. I'm not sure if other purchasers got the video but it is well worth watching.
Here is the process that I use for brewing. 1) Turn on the machine and let it get hot (7-10mins) 2) Open the steam valve until the boiler light goes on. 3) Grind, firmly tamp and put the basket on the head. I use an aluminum tamper instead of the enclosed rounded one. If you can't get the basket on you've got too much coffee in the filter. 4) Once the light goes out it's time to brew. 5) Lift the lever and wait for the coffee to dribble into the cup. (aprox. 5 sec) This make take a while if you tamp too hard. 6) Bring the lever down with firm and even pressure. This is where the machine can tell you a lot about your grind/tamp. If it's too hard to pull then you've tamped too hard or ground too fine. Too easy and your tamp is loose or grind is too coarse. I prefer to adjust grind since I tend to tamp the same every time.
A feature that I really liked was the automatic milk frother. It's great if you don't want to froth a lot of milk. Just put the rubber tube in a cup of milk and open the steam valve. Cleaning is easy too, just put some clean water in the cup and run it through.
This was an in store purchase so the personal attention was great. The sales representative was knowedgeable about all the machines that I was looking at.