This machine was easy to use, and I enjoyed making lattes at home. The taste was good, although I am not going to say my palate is fancy by any means, but it was an absolute suitable replacement for starbucks.
Negative Product Points
Getting the steam hot enough took some time, but that was fine for me, considering the price range we're in. I had this machine for only a year and a half. It developed electrical issues and had to be thrown away (or repaired per Saeco, however the cost of repair was not justified compared to the cost of the unit). I am disappointed because I felt I took great care of the machine. Cleaned it, descaled it, preheated it, etc. I'm not sure I trust shelling out another $300 on a new one.
This machine could be used for espresso shots and had a wand for steam. Making enough steam for 2 lattes took a lot more time. But in this price range with a single boiler I would expect that. Over time the thermostat was breaking down and it would not get the milk hot enough. The steam light came on, but it wasn't getting the milk hot, and the light would turn back off pretty rapidly - meaning it wasn't ready for steam. Then the electrical issues - it was throwing the GFI breaker. And then it wouldn't get hot enough to even pull a shot. So at that point iced lattes were also out of the picture.
Let me say - I did preheat this every morning. Cleaned it well, cleaned the wand, descaled it, etc. to the best of my admittedly limited knowledge - I did read the manual - and I operated it how I thought was correct, and took good care of it - how I thought was correct.
I did a lot of research on how to get it fixed, but was told it needed to be sent away to a Saeco authorized facility... I figured by the time you consider shipping... parts... labor... shipping it back to me... it wasn't really worth the repair. Which was the sentiment in a lot of reviews. So I ended up throwing it out.
It just felt like a complete waste. And I am very disappointed. I want another machine... but I am afraid to get something that will break in a year. And I am not sure I am at a $500 or $600 espresso machine level. I really just want to make really tasty lattes.
Was bought online, everything was fine with the buying and shipping.