2016
05.04

espresso machine review

Been using this espresso machine for several months now and couldn’t be happier. It’s one of the best espresso machines to buy today. It took a bit of fiddling to figure out the right grind and quantity to get a good pressure, but once I got that right for my beans it’s been smooth sailing. A couple of years ago I had given up espresso and just gone for the convenience of Keurig k-cups. Wow. I had forgotten what real coffee tastes like. There is simply no comparison (I guess that shouldn’t be surprising). It’s worth the extra few minutes every morning to get an Americano to savor vs. something with caffeine to get me out the door.

I’ve owned “super-automatics” that grind and tamp and discard all internally, and I was always disappointed with the lack of control over the espresso as well as the finicky, easily broken innards. Taking the brew group in and out was always worrisome as I was afraid of breaking something — which eventually always happened. With this unit I get the convenience of the grinder on-board (and a GREAT grinder no less), but the rest of the unit is solid and low-tech so I’m expecting it to last a long time.

The steamer is really easy to use and, just as important, easy to clean. I’d avoided making lattes with previous machines because the steaming want was such a huge pain.

Read about how to choose the best espresso machine here.

One caution. After working hard to get the grind setting just right (it is changed with the numbered wheel on the left side of the unit), I was cleaning the machine and when I ran my dishrag over the wheel it zipped to some new setting! Aaak! I hadn’t made a mental note of the perfect setting I’d finally found so it took me a few times to get back to the right setting. So, when you’re wiping the machine down, be careful not to undo the work you’ve done finding the perfect grind setting!

PROS –
Beautiful design
Hot water option for teas is great
Once you figure it out, espresso is delicious
Grinder is great to have and works fine
Price is right

CONS
It really took a while to figure out how to pull a good shot
Although cleaning is easy, I was a little surprised how often machine asks me to clean it with the tablets (about once every 2 weeks)
This may just be me but it seems that when I make a latte or cappuccino it gets cold a little quickly, even though cup is pre-heated and textured milk seems hot enough
Water tank is plastic and seems a little cheap, but I guess for the price, not so bad

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