Buy this machine if you're starting out in the Espresso world - GREAT ESPRESSO WITH A LITTLE PRACTICE!
Positive Product Points
- Great looking machine - Large drip trays - Good-sized water tank - Built-in grinder (didn't have to drop an additional $200-$400 on a grinder!) - Great espresso
Negative Product Points
- Even with the large water tank, it needs to refilled pretty quickly, but maybe it's our espresso-drinking habits! - No 3-way solenoid; I'd love if this machine had one, specifically for backflushing - Even though the stainless steel finish is attractive, we find ourselves cleaning it ALOT, so it will keep up it's appearance. - No cup/demitasse warmer (but if you run a blank shot through, into your cup, it should heat your cup slightly, then put cup upside down on top of machine, after wiping the cup down quickly, of course)
We wanted an espresso machine immediately after returning from our honeymoon in Fiji, Sydney and Auckland. When we were in Sydney, we kept coming across cafes where we would taste "great" espresso. I'm not too sure how they would compare to espresso in Italy, but they tasted darned good! The second day back home, we brewed a pot of drip coffee and couldn't believe our tastebuds! They seemed to be screaming at us because we were tasting such a metallic flavor in coffee we made in our (then) beloved coffeemaker!
At first, we were looking at SuperAuto's, but after reading countless reviews and articles (Thanks CoffeeGeek & Whole Latte Love!), we decided on a Semi-Auto. That decision extremely helped us narrow down our choices. From there, we looked at the Rancilio Silvia, much attributed to the numerous glowing reviews online, but the price (along with a needed grinder), was getting a little high for us. This seemed like an issue for many machines out there - you'll buy a "great" machine, then find out, a "great" grinder is vital to making a "great" espresso!
Upon finding the La Pavoni Napolitana machine (not too easy to find reviews on this machine), and searching out reviews and specs, comparing it to MANY others, we decided on purchasing one. Not to mention that everywhere we looked the average price was $519.00, but we surprisingly found it at Amazon.com for $399, but had to REALLY look and dig into their website to find this price. On top of that, they only had three available at the time, at this price.
Lastly, because it IS a SEMIAuto machine, it WILL take some practice to make your "best" shot. Be prepared to taste some really bad espresso, but over time, it will become better and better!
Great experience, just for the price of the machine - found on Amazon.com, after much searching and digging.
Three Month Followup
Our machine is still going strong, plus our barista skills are improving little-by-little!