92 of 97 people found the following review helpful
great looking machine, great tasting espresso,
This review is from: Espressione Café Retro Espresso Machine, Red (Kitchen)
I almost didn't buy this machine because I was worried about some of the negative reveiws I've read about it from users. However, it was the only machine its price range that really caught our eye, so we went ahead and purchased it and have been using it for about six months. It is hands down the best machine I've ever owned. It has great features, and the espresso is the best espresso I've made at home, and better than most espresso I can buy in american coffee shops. A quick rundown of the great features.
1. It looks great. It heats up quickly, and it is very simple to use.
2. The size of the water resevoir is pretty generous. It holds enough water for about 24 shots. You can expect to get a little less if you are steaming a lot of milk, but if you are steaming at the recommended temperature, the machine is very water efficient, and you shouldn't see a dramatic drop. We use it every day to make at least two drinks (at leeast 4 shots), a lot more on the weekends, and we refill only about once a week, roughly. The design also makes it quite easy to refill, I've been in the middle of steaming or pulling a shot when I realized the reservoir was low, and refilled whiled pulling the shot. This is awfully convenient.
3. The machine comes with a disc you can put inside the porta filter to make a sort of fake crema by whipping the coffee, which is popular on upper-end machines these days. However, if you are using good coffee, and grind your beans fresh, and brew the coffee at the recommended temperature, the machine produces a wonderful genuine crema without the disc. I never get an espresso in a coffee house with a crema as good. (crema has more to do with the the quality of the coffee than the machine, but cheaper machines that pull the coffee way too hot never produce good cremas because of the crazy temperatures.)
4. The steam wand does a great job of genlty steaming and frothing without scalding the daylights out of your milk. I've heard a lot of complaints about the steamer, but in my experience it works perfectly, and easily.
5. It does come with an adaption for pods, if you're into pods (blech.)
6, I love that the machine has a temperature gague that allows you to control the temperature of your steam and coffee, and not just indicator lights. It allows you to have a lot more control over the quality of your espresso.
A few things that are so so, the included tamp is flimsy and useless, get yourself a nice heavy one. The drip tray does feel a little light and cheap compared to the rest of the machine, but it is perfectly functional. The Cup warmer isn't very successful at warming cups. But these are minor quibbles I have with it.
I'm sure if I were willing to pay 4 or 5 times as much, I'd get a better espresso, but for the price, I couldn't be happier with this machine. It beats any of the little starter machines you get, and makes better espresso than machines that cost twice the price, in my experience. I'm very happy with this machine.
Tracked by 2 customers
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 27, 2011 11:03:48 AM PST
B. Shephard says:
Where do you find a more heavy duty tamp? Any suggestions?
Posted on Aug 31, 2013 9:49:51 PM PDT
Leanne Gault says:
Hello. I have the same model machine but from a different brand, ariete. I have been hard at work trying to get it to well... work. I've put in the coffee, tamped it. Added the water to the reservoir, turned the machine on and flicked the switch to the coffee cup, but nothing. No water comes out, much less coffee and I have no idea what to do.
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