Though my friends are coffee drinkers, I'll NEVER give up my Barista and afternoon lattes.
Positive Product Points
- Small Footprint - Easy Use and clean-up - Same results every time
Negative Product Points
- occasional overflow from filter - you have to master the technique to make great foam - a bit noisy, at times, while steaming milk
After much internal debate, I decided I HAD TO HAVE a Barista. The price in the stores was too expensive for me so I went the e-bay route.
My timing was off for some of the auctions but I fell into this one. The machine is a bright yellow and I thought it would make the kitchen sunnier - it does every time I make my afternoon latte. And we named it "MAX" - it's right there on the water tank so that must be it's name!
I've had this machine for 2 years and have used it almost every day. And, yes, I'll admit to using it twice in a day a few times. Sometimes we fight over who gets to make latte, but come sun or rain, we make them.
I haven't figured out how to get it to be quiet when steaming the milk. Sometimes it's a low sound - which is great because I like to watch TV while steaming. Other times it's a high pitched squeal that my cat doesn't like.
We use Lactaid because of intolerance to lactose but it foams like a champ. Yes, whole milk adds that extra creamy feel, but the Lactaid is tasty.
After a little practice I was able to get WONDERFUL foam. Thick, dense foam with tiny bubbles that lasts for quite a while. I've read reviews where the person was never able to get anything but the big bubbled airy foam but both users of this machine are able to get GREAT foam.
It has a tendency to "spill over" at the filter while pulling the espresso - but I believe that's because I like mine a bit stronger and tend to really fill the basket. And it's not an everytime thing. I guess everyone has the right to be temperamental.
ALSO... Last year, for my birthday, my DH bought me a FrancisFrancis X1 (in neon green). We tried it and I have to admit that I LOVE my Barista so much that I hated the FF. I ended up e-baying it and it went to a lovely woman - locally.
I bought my Barista on e-bay. It was used (little) and the personal was "going thru financial difficulties". Great correspondence, fast shipment. Arrived clean and ready to go with videotape and instructions.