Top positive review
370 people found this helpful
Love it! Pros and Cons + Tips
on August 13, 2016
Update August-6-17: Still going strong after almost two years!
Original Review and Tips:
I love this thing. I've been using it multiple times a day for almost a year I think. Every day it makes amazing espresso, and as long as I keep it clean it preforms beautifully. This thing is also easier to maintain and requires less cleaning than other cheaper espresso machines I've tried.
A tip for anyone looking to make actual espresso at home, I recommend looking for a local roastery in your area. I use to buy bulk beans online like many people, but once I tried local whole beans and found a blend I liked, the difference was amazing. Bean choice is very important if you actually want to enjoy your espresso!
A few tips I picked up for using this machine:
1. A few people complained about the grind amount knob not going low enough. To counteract this, I changed the cup size to "Single" and increased the grind amount by turning the knob to the right. This gives me the perfect amount of ground coffee every time.
2. If the machine keeps going over or under on the pressure gauge, try cleaning the grinder. And remember to clean with those desolvable tablets when the clean me light comes on!
3. You can get cheap replacement cleaning tablets here on amazon. I chose Urnex Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets here on amazon, and they work great!
4. You do not need to order a separate tamper, the one included is perfect.
5. The included frothing cup is small but works for me. Some might need a bigger one.
6. Do not underestimate the need for a burr grinder. Trying to make good espresso without one is like trying to hammer a nail with an inflatable hammer!
Some of the features I love (Pros)*
1) The grinder. I know many would rather use a separate burr grinder, but this thing works perfectly fine, and is easy to clean. Many complained about the coffee machine heating up the beans too much if you leave them inside the hopper, but I actually store my beans in a special container outside of the hopper, and use the included the scoop to pour in the beans when I grind them.
2) The frother is amazing. Much much better than cheaper machines.
3) Clean me light is awesome. Always reminds me to keep up on this things maintenance, and helps prolong the life.
4) The Stainless steel is beautiful. (It is not 100% stainless on the outside though, a little bit of plastic, see cons.)
5) The pressure gauge. Absolutely invaluable in making good tasting espresso. I would not recommend buying any machine without one. It really helps with learning and getting it right!
6) The included tamper is perfect.
7) Creates perfect pucks of coffee to dumb out in the trash.
8) The hot water dispenser is an awesome addition!
9) Is an all-in-one, meaning I don't need to buy a separate grinder!
10) Just makes good coffee.
11) Great manual included for lots of useful information.
12) Has an automated cleaning cycle to clean the insides of the grouphead. Awesome!
14) Includes a beautiful copper dosing tool.
15) Includes tools to clean out the filters.
Some things that bother me (Cons)*
1)The top of the machine is plastic.
2) The bottom sides of the machine is plastic
3) The water tank needs to be refilled often
4) The bottom water catcher thing (sorry) needs to be emptied often, but its not too bad.
5) The coffee grind separator doesn't really seem to help much, but it does help keep it out of the water below and little bit, which keeps it from smelling!
6) Expensive, but to me, was a very worthwhile investment for how much coffee I was buying from the shop.
7) Can't seem to find inexpensive filters for the water tank, however, I use filtered water instead of tap.
*Might add more later as I think of them!
This thing is also great for making sweet frappicinos and iced drinks.
For caramel flavored drinks I use Hershey's Caramel Syrup
For vanilla flavored drinks I use Torani Vanilla Syrup that I get cheaply from a bulk wholesale store in my town.
For my sweet drink of choice I mix the two, add a double shot of espresso, 2% milk, and top with whipped cream and caramel syrup.
Nothing beats a great espresso in the morning!
Added tons of pictures.
Edit: It seems quite a few people had problems with the machine dying on them, If your machine died on your please comment on this review with any information you think may help, such as the level of maintenance you preformed while your machine was working, the brand of water filters and cleaning tablets you used, etc.
Maybe we can find a common cause of this defect!