Great machine for the price. Makes a nice crema from first pull. Good machine that allows anyone to make a great coffee right from the start. Fantastic value.
Positive Product Points
nice looking machine easy to use big drip tray good crema small footprint copious amounts of steam very fast to heat up pressure guage is very helpful to determine proper grind
Negative Product Points
very light machine, so have to hold it when tightening/loosening the portafilter water reservoir is a pain to access (just not convenient) slight leakage from portafilter (would rate the machine higher if not for these issues)
We have had this machine now for 3 months and it has been making excellent crema shots since day 1. The machine heats up the water very quickly and reliably makes good shot after good shot. The machine heats up so fast to get steam ready that you barely have time to fill the milk pitcher... this is a good thing!!!! The drip tray is plenty large enough and you don't have to empty it on a daily basis. The pump functionality is also very cool. If hot water or an Americano is desired, you can leave the steam button pressed in, push the pump button and hot water will come out of the steam wand. My previous machine (Ascaso Arc) would not do this. It also really helps to refill the boiler with water after finished steaming.
The water reservoir is my only beef with the machine. There is a viewing port on the left side of the machine to see how much water is left (this is a good thing), but refilling it is a pain. While the plastic bottle reservoir is easy enough to remove, it is terribly inconvenient. Remove all your tampers, cups, etc from the top of the machine, pull out the 2 hoses from the reservoir, remove the water bottle and refill and reinstall.... total pain. Luckily we have a funnel that fits into the bottle without removing the hoses or removing the bottle. This allows us to refill on the fly when we've been less than careful about the water level.
That aside, it's been a great machine so far. It looks great, doesn't take up too much counter space and makes a great coffee. The guys at idrinkcoffee.com were also fantastic to deal with and sent along a pound of beans and a really nice metal tamper with wooden handle (miles better than the plastic job that came standard with the machine).
Hopefully the machine can stand the test of time.... updates to come....
The guys at idrinkcoffee.com were also fantastic to deal with and sent along a pound of beans and a really nice metal tamper with wooden handle (miles better than the plastic job that came standard with the machine). When I called to place my order, the machine was on back order but they were right on with the timing and the machine arrived as promised. It was very well packaged and the extras were a very pleasant surprise.
Three Month Followup
It's been 6 months and I have to say that this machine consistently makes great coffee. Of course, the fresher the ground beans, the better the crema (but isn't that always the case). It's really tough NOT to get a good coffee from this machine. I use a Krups burr grinder set at the finest setting and it seems to be perfect for this machine. There is a copious amount of steam for frothing milk, the unit heats up very quickly. Unlike my previous machine, Ascasc Arc, this one has not popped a temperature sensor(3 times - finally had to install a resettable temp sensor and reset weekly!!), burned through any wiring nor has the boiler crapped out (3 times on the Ascaso). The machine is still not perfect, but the negatives are FAR outweighed by the positives. The portafilter will still leak 3 out of 5 times, regardless of how tight it is put into the machine. Refilling the machine is still a pain, removing the top, and pulling out the container to fill is just too cumbersome. A small funnel works well, but it's a design that is just not convenient. The last issue is the weight of the machine. The machine is very light, so tightening the portafilter means that you have to brace the machine or else the whole unit will move across the counter. Like I said though, these faults do not compromise the quality of the coffee that this machine consistently can make and for the price, it is a great value. Hopefully I can echo these comments when we hit 1 year with the machine.