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the detailed review
Solis Crema SL 70 Review
Detailed Review Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2002
Author: Mark Prince
Machine Class: Semi Automatic Dual Purpose Boiler
SL 70 Review
Product Supplier

Baratza LLC
Bellevue, WA

Product Pricing

The SL-70 sells for $375 (updated July 2005), and can be found from a variety of vendors online. If you would like to support CoffeeGeek.com, you can purchase the Solis SL-70 Espresso Machine through our Amazon Affiliate Link.

The Legalese
This review and all its parts are ©2003-2005 CoffeeGeek.com and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author or this website. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) or if you would like to purchase a printed version of this review for commercial or private use, please contact us at info@coffeegeek.com for further details.

The Solis Crema SL-70 espresso machine is one of those "unknowns" out there, one of those machines that doesn't get a lot of press, or isn't mentioned often when people go online looking for recommendations on what machines to buy. These days when Gaggias, Rancilios and Isomac machines are all the rage, the Solis linup is often led by the SL-90, an "automatic" espresso machine and the bigger brother to the SL-70, and Solis' lineup of super automatics and grinders.

But the Solis SL-70 should be a serious contender for the "budget" (yes, we consider $300 or less to be a budget machine) espresso machine crown if you peruse its specs. We were curious to see how well the machine stacked up, and when we requested a sample machine from the folks at Baratza LLC for Detailed Review, they were more than happy to help out. Baratza is proud of the abilities the SL-70 has, and they felt confident the machine would stand up to the rigors of a CoffeeGeek Detailed Review.

NB: with the dropping US dollar against the Euro and other currencies, as of July 2005, the lowest price for the SL-70 is around $375US. Still a bargain, compared to the other machines in this range costing $500 or more).

We have had this machine for two months now, and have put it through some serious paces, using up almost 10 kilograms (20lbs) of beans during the process. We also pitted the SL-70 against some serious competition, including a Nuova Simonelli Oscar, a La Pavoni Lever machine, an Elektra Nivola and a Saeco Via Veneto (a machine costing only $70 less than a sale-priced SL-70). This detailed review shows the results.

We would like to thank Baratza LLC (website) for supplying this machine to us for Detailed Review consideration.  If you would like to support CoffeeGeek.com, you can purchase the Solis SL-70 Espresso Machine through our Amazon Affiliate Link. You can also purchase the machine in Canada from Morala Trading Co. in Ottawa.

Review, Section by Section

In this detailed review, we'll be looking at several key factors, discussing each one at length:

  • Product Overview, including initial impressions, some history, published and "real" specifications, materials used, product build, and other assorted notes.

  • Operation and Maintenance, where we look at the everyday operation of the machine, step by step usage of the machine, and some tricks to get even more out of it. We'll also look at how normal maintenance plays a role and what we liked and didn't like about the way the machine worked and the way you needed to work the machine.

  • Machine Performance is where we get down to the serious issues of how the machine performs as compared to other espresso machines. We also evaluate our expectations of the machine and whether or not it delivers.

  • Comparisons will feature some head to head looks at the SL 70 and some direct and indirect competition.

  • Conclusion is where we provide our final say on this product, and our recommendations and ratings.

This review was a pleasure to build, and when you get to our conclusion page, you'll find out why. The SL-70 is a suprising machine in many areas, most of them very pleasing.

Please choose from one of the following sections:

Introduction | Overview | Out of the Box | Operation Etc. | Performance | Comparisons | Conclusion
WebMotif Net Services Inc., the parent company of CoffeeGeek, has had prior business dealings with Baratza LLC (we built their website). This relationship has had no bearing on the objectivity of this review.
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Detailed Review Sections
Arrow 1. Introduction
Aarow 2. Overview
Aarow 3. Out of the Box
Aarow 4. Operation Etc.
Aarow 5. Performance
Aarow 6. Comparisons
Aarow 7. Conclusion
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