Very well made, easy to use, easy to adjust, beautiful to look at, very easy to keep clean. Large reservoir will brew several cups and steam lots of milk without worry of running low on water. Cups stay very warm on the top. Separate, easy to read gauges are nice. Hot water tap is great for Americanos.
Negative Product Points
Not much negative to say about it, but if I had to change one thing I would make the drip tray area a few centimeters bigger front to back, as water tends to drip in the front during use.
This is my first espresso machine. I started out considering the Rancilio Sylvia, which is how I came across the CoffeeGeek site, and that's when my life changed for the better. Really. I had no idea this site existed and spent two solid days reading reviews of all kinds of machines. I realized right away the Sylvia would not be adequate for my needs, and the many references to Chris's Coffee led to a phone call, which I will elaborate on in the next section.
Anyway, I've been using this machine for a few weeks now and I'm quite comfortable with its relative ease of use, clear gauges, and simple maintenance. The drip tray slides out the front very easily, and the screen above it lifts out so you can check the tray before sliding it out. The stainless steel is not only beautiful in the kitchen, it is very easy to clean - just a wipe with a wet rag is all it needs. I can make several cups at a time, and froth milk for the same, without worry of running out of hot water. Filling the reservoir is simple, as all you have to do is lift the screen off the top.
When it arrived both gauges were reading high. It was very easy to adjust both of the settings, and the service people at Chris's Coffee couldn't have been nicer in explaining the procedure. Since those adjustments I haven't had a bit of trouble.
When I first called to ask about various machines I talked to Chris, who gave me 45 minutes of his time without a second thought. I felt like I was his best customer and I hadn't even bought anything yet. I decided to visit before I made a final decision on a machine, and the only thing they failed to do was roll out a red carpet. Really, the service was that good. His staff spent three hours each for two consecutive days showing me various machines and grinders, teaching me how to grind coffee, pull shots and froth milk so I would be comfortable with the equipment I bought. And this was before I had even purchased anything. They also suggested I talk to the service technicians about the machines I was considering, to get their opinions on operation and reliability, and both the guys I talked to were more than happy to take the time.
I'm not exaggerating when I say it was probably the most positive and satisfying buying experience I've ever had. From the uncommonly friendly and generous service to the coffee and accessories they gave me at no charge to the pleasant follow up calls, it was great from start to finish.