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Ascaso Basic - John Gilchrist's Review
Posted: September 4, 2010, 8:04am
review rating: 0.0
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
Ascaso Basic
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More About This Product
Arrow The Ascaso Basic has 1 Reviews
Arrow The Ascaso Basic has been rated 6.80 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since July 25, 2008.
Arrow Ascaso Basic reviews have been viewed 15,870 times (updated hourly).

Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 6.8
Manufacturer: Ascaso Quality: 7
Average Price: $325.00 Usability: 7
Price Paid: $279.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: 1st-line Aesthetics 5
Owned for: 1 week Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Saeco Barista
Bottom Line: Great price for what you're getting. With a little play can produce great espresso for a home machine.
Positive Product Points

Good portafilter weight. Plenty of steam and brew power. Good temperature range and control.  Modification products available for group-head and portafilter, as well as some internal components.

Negative Product Points

Light-weight ABS plastic body gives a flimsy feel to the machine. Pressurized portafilter creates perfect crema despite quality of coffee or final espresso shot. Machine's group-head does not evenly distribute steam over grinds for uniform extraction.  Steam tube froth aider cannot create micro-foam, and steam wand is too short for steaming if the tube is removed.  No steam wand modifications could be found for sale.  Power cord runs alongside the water reservoir, so it can prevent the tank from installing flush. Slanted top doesn't work well for cup warming

Detailed Commentary

Great little machine, that with a little experience can create a great shot of espresso for a mid-range home machine.  Same internals as the ARC, Versatile and Dream models, but for a better price due to ABS plastic body.  The temperature stays stable, and switching between steam and brew is quick and easy.  The portafilter is heavy and retains heat well, and the pressurized basket creates perfect crema every time.  This can be deceiving because it appears to be a good shot despite quality and freshness and grind of coffee.  The pressurized basket can be swapped out for  a non-pressurized basket found at seattlecoffeegear.com.  Furthermore, the group-head does not allow for uniform distribution of steam over the coffee grinds.  This can also be modified using parts found at seattlecoffeegear.com.  The steam pressure is sufficient, however, the steam-tube cannot create mocro-foam.  What I've found works better is to remove the tube and steam that way, though this is more difficult because it makes the steam-wand too short.

For the price, this machine is a great starter espresso machine.  With simple modifications at a price of about $50, it is still a steal when you compare the machine to the Ascaso models with the same internals but higher prices. There is no reason I wouldn't buy this product again except to say I would want to upgrade to a Rancilio Silvia.

Buying Experience

I purchased this product from 1st-line Equipment, and it arrived within three days. Free shipping.

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review rating: 0.0
Posted: September 4, 2010, 8:04am
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
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