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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With great coffee comes great espresso
I collect and repair espresso machines as a hobby and the Presso stands out as the lowest cost and easiest to use of my collection. With careful attention to grind, fresh coffee and good water, the espresso produced by the Presso rivals or beats a fair number of far more expensive machines. No, the Presso doesn't make as good espresso as my Expobar, but it also costs...
Published on March 8, 2011 by Mike Karr

versus
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Espresso that's fun!
I got this beauty about 2-3 weeks ago so I had to play with it a bit before I decided to review. The first few shots were not good at all to be honest. I tried to use the manufacturers plastic spoon/tamper and it yields poor results...no crema whatsoever! I was a little disappointed to say the least. So I did a little research online to see where I may be going wrong...
Published on March 3, 2011 by Dan S.


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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With great coffee comes great espresso, March 8, 2011
By 
Mike Karr (Kansas City, KS United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Presso Espresso Machine (Kitchen)
I collect and repair espresso machines as a hobby and the Presso stands out as the lowest cost and easiest to use of my collection. With careful attention to grind, fresh coffee and good water, the espresso produced by the Presso rivals or beats a fair number of far more expensive machines. No, the Presso doesn't make as good espresso as my Expobar, but it also costs 1/10th the price and I can't throw my Expobar in a bag and go on a trip. Paired with a quality hand grinder I can produce beautiful and delicious espresso drinks. The provided milk frother is pretty good, again, not as good as the steamed milk produced by my Expobar, but it is seriously easy and darn good.

Some considerations: Grind too fine and you'll end up with more of a workout than you planned. Don't be afraid to experiment a little. You need to adjust grind frequently to compensate for differences in beans and humidity. This is true of any espresso machine. Don't use preground coffee. You'll get no crema and substandard taste. Use freshly roasted beans. Less than a month old from roasting at the longest. Don't worry about using "espresso" beans. Just try some different coffees that you like. Keep your machine clean. Wash it regularly, and dry it well to avoid spots on the shiny surfaces. Keeping it clean will also keep away rancid coffee oils. Again, true of any espresso machine. It isn't a must, but it might be helpful to warm up the Presso by pouring some hot water through without any coffee in the portafilter.

Fresh, quality coffee, a good grinder, and good water are the key to good espresso, regardless of the machine you own!
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly good customer service, November 11, 2011
By 
This review is from: Presso Espresso Machine (Kitchen)
So I got my new Presso and I don't know much about making espresso but I read the directions and also watched some videos on the web. I give it a go and it's failing horribly. First time the water runs right through without me pressing the handles. OK, probably my grind was too coarse. So I try some commercially ground coffee I've got in the fridge. This time the water spurts out the top of the machine with very little pressure from me. So I figure there's a factory defect and I email the company. A couple hours later, while waiting for a response I try again. This time it works just as I would've expected. I put moderate pressure on the handles and coffee comes out the bottom. Some more hours later and I make another even better shot. By now I've got a response from the company waiting in my inbox.

That was fast. Less than 5 hours!

OK, but I totally expected the response to be like this:

"Dear [insert customer name here], please make sure to read the instructions as the problem is most certainly you. If the problem isn't you then the problem is likely your coffee. In no way will we admit the problem might be the machine until you badger us for a few weeks."

Instead the response was like this:

"Sounds like there's a problem. Let's get you some replacement parts right away. Or if you want a full refund we can do that too. Let's fix this."

Amazing. I have rarely seen such prompt and courteous and helpful service. I emailed them back and thanked them and explained that the problem seems to have sorted itself out. Then I came here to tell you all the story. This is a great product with a great team standing behind it.

Oh, and the coffee is good too. :)
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gateway drug, April 17, 2012
By 
This review is from: Presso Espresso Machine (Kitchen)
Seriously, the Presso literally MAKES you obsess over you coffee.

They say you cannot truly own something unless you take it apart and put it back together again, understanding every little component. The Presso is elegantly simple, and lends itself to this process. A good cup of espresso requires the perfect storm: The right combination of water temperature, water pressure, grind size, tamp pressure, roast type and bean/blend type. Mess one or more of these things up, and your espresso just isn't very good. But when all these components come together in one pull, the Presso gives you a small creamy cup of perfection. It is immensely rewarding, but only when you take the time to truly understand what goes into making a good espresso.

If you have the time to grind your beans each morning, your Presso will serve you well.

If you have the patience to look through pages of literature on bean types and blends, on extraction pressure and temperature, and have the wherewithal to be choosy, your Presso will serve you even better.

If you obsess over how many grams of ground you put into the portafilter, or how hot the machine is before the shot, or how hot the water is when it is poured into the machine, or exactly how many seconds it takes for you to pull a shot from start to finish, your Presso will make you a cup better than most coffee shops around you.

If you have the enthusiasm to source your own green beans and roast in small batches from week to week: (your green beans are no more than 10 months old, your roasts are no more than 10 days old, and your grinds are no more than 10 minutes old) your Presso will bring a tiny tear of joy to your eyes when you pull that perfect ristretto, so thick it flows like warm honey.

For coffee lovers: If you have the time and enthusiasm to understand and fall in love with 'espresso dynamics', to coin a phrase, this is a truly excellent product, with rewards that increase exponentially with refinement. For a fraction of the cost of an automatic machine that makes a comparable espresso.

If this sounds like too much work, and you can afford it, you might be better served by an automatic machine.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Espresso that's fun!, March 3, 2011
This review is from: Presso Espresso Machine (Kitchen)
I got this beauty about 2-3 weeks ago so I had to play with it a bit before I decided to review. The first few shots were not good at all to be honest. I tried to use the manufacturers plastic spoon/tamper and it yields poor results...no crema whatsoever! I was a little disappointed to say the least. So I did a little research online to see where I may be going wrong. Here's a list of things I've done to end up with great espresso and lots of crema:

1. I built a tamper @ work from aluminum. I made it almost exactly size for size with the basket (51mm diameter) so no grind sits on the wall of the basket after tamping. This also helps you stay level when tamping. If there is more clearance you may tamp off level and your shot will be uneven. You need a good tamper. I cannot stress this enough. Check out Reg Barber. I made mine with the C Flat shape to account for the indent for the snap ring that holds the basket to the PFilter body.

2. I cut the bottom off the stock PFilter (bottomless PF) to get feedback on my tamping technique. I found this the most worthy modification as it shows you whats going on with the shot, plus the crema you get is unreal. There is more oxygen hitting the coffee as it leaves the basket in turn giving you great crema.

3. I made a funnel for the PFilter so i can use the WDT method of dosing the PFilter. Then I chop and level the grind. Then tamp. Check out WDT online. It removes all the clumps from the grind so no air pockets and no cracks in the puck. All you need is a funnel (i used the bottom of a multivitamin container) and a bamboo skewer or any thin stick type object.

4. I overfill the water container past the 2 shot line, then I pull the arms to the top and pull down 1 time and hold at the bottom for about 5-10 secs...ive seen ppl pull down, then pull back up and go for a 2nd pull...i think this ruins the shot...there will be excess water in the canister, so once u remove your cup, then replace with another and toss the excess.

I would give this a 5 rating, but i had to make some changes and additions to get great, consistent shots. I recommend the presso to anyone who loves to tinker around with things. It will make great shots, you just need to be persistent.

I paid 75 bucks new...i got lucky.

Update April 2012: I've gone as far as I could with the Presso. I had a great time learning and it is a fun machine to toy with. I attempted some finer grind to find the pressure required to pull the shot resulted in a broken plunger (plastic). Needless to say I had to order another, but I'll have you know, the company has every part for purchase and the prices are fair. I was up and running within a week. Great customer service! I think if the plunger was made of metal this machine would be amazing. I also don't like the rubber faux group head piece. I find it flimsy and results in the puck being disturbed to some extent. It also seems to allow coffee grinds into the plunger which results in pressure loss at the O-ring. If you are picky with your cleanliness these issues are not a big deal, I just found it annoying first thing in the morning when I'm at my laziest. I've since bought a pump driven machine and I'm very satisfied. But this review is about the presso so I won't go into any detail.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a Barista, I am impressed!, March 23, 2012
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This review is from: Presso Espresso Machine (Kitchen)
I have been a barista for 3 years now. In the coffee shop environment, you can't help but become a little bit of a connoisseur. A few years ago I bought a cheap little espresso maker where you put the water in the top and you have to wait for the thing to heat up. Overall I was completely unimpressed, so I didn't think I would buy an espresso maker until I could afford a very nice one. The espresso was very watered down. Then I found the Presso, and it got many good reviews from connoisseurs, so I decided to try it. I was quite impressed! The results are definitely comparable to any of the coffee shops I have worked in, my boyfriend even swears my Presso is better. I love the hands-on feel of it, and it's very simple to use.

The best review I can give this product is a couple days ago our espresso machine at the cafe I work at broke. I asked my boss if I should go home and get my Presso, rather than sending away our regular customers. She agreed, and we have been using it all week. Every customer, the same customers who have been coming in for years and getting the exact same thing the exact same way, have not been able to tell the difference. What I will say, is if you do have a coffee shop, I would not recommend buying a Presso as your only espresso maker, because microwaving as opposed to steaming your milk is very time consuming. However, I will say that this espresso maker is high quality product, even passed the test to work in a restaurant! I would highly recommend it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not recommended, March 6, 2013
This review is from: Presso Espresso Machine (Kitchen)
I purchased a Presso as I admired the simplicity of the machine. The espresso was fine and I enjoyed the process. After 6 months the piston developed a crack resulting a inadequate pressure.

A simple matter I thought - clearly a defect in the plastic piston as it failed under light use in a short period of time - just ask for a replacement piston. I was even prepared for some nominal costs. After an email to Presso customer service, then another, 13 days later they responding with a link to their spare parts ordering page. To replace my broken plastic piston would cost nearly a quarter the cost of the entire unit!

I cannot recommend a product that a manufacturing itself won't stand behind.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great machine, but Presso USA not servicing the warranty, November 21, 2012
This review is from: Presso Espresso Machine (Kitchen)
Makes an incredible cup of coffee.
However, the Presso USA division is not selling any more machines nor providing warranty service.
This was confirmed to me by both the USA customer service and the UK Presso HQ.
UK confirmed they would honor the warranty for one year (USA paper work said two years).
However, I'm sure parts are going to cost more from the UK.
Also, the retailer I bought my Presso from said they would honor the warranty for one year.
Right now, the risk is worth the cost for me, BUT.....
BUYER BEWARE!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius. If you love espresso, you'll love this!, November 14, 2012
By 
G. Wright "Wrighty" (Windy Harbor, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Presso Espresso Machine (Kitchen)
I'm anal when it comes to coffee.

I have a LaCimbali machine at home, I roast my own coffee because I cannot get the beans I want, roast right and fresh enough. If you roast coffee, you'll appreciate that if you go to all that effort, you need a decent machine to the make your espresso, and the Presso doesn't disappoint.

The unit comes with a non standard portafilter, so a standard tamper will not fit. However, it comes with a coffee spoon which has a flat back and perfectly fits the portafilter so you can compress the coffee quite nicely.

It took me a while to get the grind right, and a little experimentation to get the amount of coffee right, but I found it works best when you preheat the unit by passing water through the top piston and portafilter a few times before you put the coffee in, have a slightly coarser grind than you would on a normal machine, pack it reasonably hard. Try to do this quickly so that as much heat is retained in the head and in the portafilter, then fill the top a little over the recommended mark. I do this because I've found that by slightly overfilling a good hard push on the arms makes a perfect espresso with a nice crema. One pull is not enough to get all of the water through the head, but if you use less water you inevitably end up pushing some air through. By overfilling you only push water through and you can do one, pull of a consistent pressure all the way down.... drink your coffee, then put a cup back, pull the rest of the water through and discard. You'll then find a perfect cake of coffee inside rather than a mess of muddy water.

I take this travelling and camping and have bought a few now for others that love coffe, but can't get to Italy for their coffee hit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!!!, November 5, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Presso Espresso Machine (Kitchen)
This machine is not only beautiful to look at, it produces better espresso than the super automatic contraption I replaced it with (which sprung a leak among its spaghetti mess of wires and tubes inside). Super simple, super elegant. BUY IT! To pull the perfect shot, follow their tips: lightly press down (almost without moving) the handles at first to wet the coffee until the first drops come out. Then push all the way down and watch the luscious extraction and foamy crema flow! One more tip: get a decent grinder, that perhaps made the most different. We got the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder here on Amazon and it works perfectly. WOW (Oh, and no electricity!)

additional tip: to keep the aluminum spot free, wipe down with a drop of olive oil. It gives is a warm luster and repels water.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect! Here's how you get great aroma, December 4, 2012
By 
hoosier_grad (West Lafayette, IN USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Presso Espresso Machine (Kitchen)
Length:: 0:06 Mins

This is a perfect manual espresso machine. You'll need a good kettle to go with it. My choice is the Bonavita 1-Liter Variable Temperature Digital Electric Gooseneck Kettle. As well as a good grinder. I use the quiet Capresso 565 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder, Stainless Steel. And of course good beans, such as Kicking Horse Coffee Three Sisters Medium, Whole Bean Coffee, 2.2-Pound Pouch. I also recommend that you use a nice espresso shot glass Bodum Pavina 2-1/2-Ounce Double Wall Espresso/Shot Glass, Set of 6. The tamper that comes in the box is plastic, you should really get a better tamper Espresso Tamper 50 & 60 Mm Sizes Cast Alloy Hand Coffee.

Here's how I pull a good double shot with my equipment.
1. Heat water to 212F
2. With the handles down, fill the water chamber with water, to heat the Presso
3. Put the portafilter in the kettle without the basket, and wait for the temperature to go back up to 212F
4. At the third finest level (two clicks from finest), grind beans by placing timer to 4.
5. Fill the filter basket, level the coffee grinds gently with your finger, and tamp the grinds down (you'll need to check a couple of methods)
6. Dump the water that you've put in the Presso for heating
7. Pull up the Presso handles, halfway up, till the bottom of the plunger is visible (it is important to do this before you place the portafilter, because the vacuum will disturb the pressed coffee)
8. Take the 212F portafilter, put the full filter basket in it, and place the portafilter in the presso
9. Fill the presso with water all the way to the bottom of the plunger (this is more than the water that will pass through the coffee; you do this to not lose pressure; air compresses, water does not compress. trust me on this one)
10. Slowly pull down the handles, until the first drop of espresso hits the shot glass. Wait 5-10 seconds
11. Pull down the handles slowly, so that you finish the pulling in about 20-30 seconds.

Old review (consider this the cons of the Presso):
I got mine about a couple of months back. Now the plunger broke, it is plastic. The US distributor site displays a message saying they are no longer a distributor of Presso. After checking the UK site, I found out they have a new name now, ROK. ROK is not available in US yet. Perhaps parts are compatible.

Stay away from this product, or wait for ROK to be available in US.

Edit: You can purchase parts from the UK site of Presso. I also found out that the ROK parts are compatible with Presso. So, if and when ROK is sold in US again, we'll be able to use the parts from the new product. I will keep the rating until parts are available in the US.
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