A well built, great performing machine with the capability to steam and brew at the same time.
Positive Product Points
Quality shots, excellent finish, fast heat up time, easy to use, easy to refill water reservoir, nice fun factor.
Negative Product Points
Drip tray is plastic, steaming takes some practice due to lack of adjustment, no pid
I have only had this machine for 2 weeks, and it is my first, but I absolutely love it. The feel of the Livietta is pro quality. I shopped around for a long time and nothing that I saw locally compared to the T2 in terms of finish and quality. The portafilter is top notch. I haven't used it as much since I first got it, but the water reservoir being removable is a nice feature. The only thing I would improve is the drip tray. I would make it stainless instead of plastic. It does not affect performance, though. I ordered mine with the matching base with two drawers, paired with the Lux stepless, doserless grinder. The base has a drawer that doubles as a knock box, complete with a rubber knocker-thingy to remove your puck. The packaging also contained a tamper (cheap), cleaning disc, cleaning solution, cleaning brush, and single and dual filters. When I first plugged it in I was shocked at the short wait time on heat up. You can be ready to pull a shot in about 3-4 minutes, including the time to shoot a blank! On to performance.
The first evening I got it, after dialing in the grinder, my wife and I were super impressed with the quality of the shots that I was getting with the T2. I was able to get a great tiger striped crema after 2 shots! (using WWL Buzzopolis) . . . and I had never pulled a single shot!! I was really excited. The steaming wand is in a nice location on the left of the machine and is able to move to whereever you desire without burning your fingers or having to use a rag, thanks to the rubber on the wand. The steam comes out gradually to avoid large bubbles when first steaming. It has taken quite a bit of practice, but this week I was getting great microfoam from the T2, and was pulling off some latte art. The dual thermoblock allows me to start steaming anytime during the brew process. I've found that my preference is to start to steam right after the shot is through. This is a major advantage over other machines at this price point, making it really unique. This combined with the appearance of the package is what sold me on it.
I am having a ton of fun with this machine. I'm experimenting with different beans, grinds, tamp pressures, etc. I look forward to using it for years to come and will try to keep my review updated. Thanks for reading.
The ordering experience was excellent with Whole Latte Love. With little coaxing they threw in a nice Rattleware Tamper, 20 oz. frothing pitcher, and some coffee. WWL was helpful with a few probems with my shipment. They have sent free coffee when there are complications. Areas they could improve in are (1) the music that they have playing when they put you on hold. It's the same 3 or 4 songs over, and over! (2) They are slow on returns.
Update, 6-22-11: I've changed my entire opinion of Whole Latte Love recently. I placed a simple order for a pitcher and some demitasse spoons and completely botched it. They immediately charged my card and, low and behold, never shipped my order. Even after calling two weeks later the order was not shipped immediately so I called and cancelled the order. They have the worst customer service I have ever had to deal with.
I DO NOT recommend buying from them.
Three Month Followup
I am still using this machine on a daily basis for a complete year now and have had no issues with functionality, appearance, etc. I highly recommend this espresso machine for the beginner/novice.
One Year Followup
I am still using this machine on a daily basis for a complete year now and have had no issues with functionality, appearance, etc. I highly recommend this espresso machine for the beginner/novice. 10/29/2012 - I have now owned this machine for two years. I recently had to perform my first repair. The steam that the machine was producing was dramatically decreased so I called Pasquini direct and they were very helpful in diagnosing my issue. They thought that it sounded like the thermoblock may have some build up. I decided to perform the repair myself even though it was still under warranty, since I don't trust WLL anymore. I also had the option of sending it in to Pasquini as well. The parts were extremely cheap direct from Pasquini and I received them within the week. The repair was simple enough by just drawing out where everything went. I soaked the heating element in vinegar and scrubbed on it some with a toothbrush and reinstalled it and it works better than NEW!! I believe that with Pasqini's support and parts availability that I could repair anything on this little machine and it may last me for many, many years to come. Thanks for reading.