I feel like I am having my cake and eating it, too!
Positive Product Points
Same as others: - great espresso! fantastic crema! - every single time -easy to use -easy to clean -machine is small and light (but substantial) - great for small kitchen or other unlikely spot (e.g. office) -can purchase a travel case(it is that light) - I really might take it on certain trips! -freshness of capsules -easy, prompt reordering with good customer service -variety of capsules makes entertaining a breeze -large water resevoir - easy to refill and see when it needs refilling -maunal operation (it is semi-auto) allows me to choose how much water I want to add to each shot!!!!
Negative Product Points
It would be nice to buy the capsules locally but it is not a very serious drawback becuase of their ordering and delivery service. (That's why I gave it a 9 on usability).
I preferred to buy the titanium model but it could only be special ordered which would have taken a long time. If the machine were more expensive, I might have waited - but this model is all about convenience, so why wait?! It would be more convenient, however, if you could get the macine you want just as easily... (that's why I gave it a 9 on aesthetics).
I was VERY skeptical about this machine! It seemed too little, too easy, too "inexpensive" to make the really good stuff! But, I was at W/S on a day the Nespresso representative was there making free samples - I could hardly say no! I was very pleasantly surprised and liked the espresso very much. I figured it was a fluke and went back several times trying different "flavors" and asking more questions. By then, the rep had me making my own espresso on the store machine - good move - because that did it for me! I decided one day that I was not going hime without that C190! I bought it without hesitation and with much excitement.
I had not had a good espresso in soooo long! I have a Gaggia Classic tucked away in the closet since I moved (two years ago). It was too big for the kitchen I have now and I just was not using it often enough to take up all that counter space. It took me a while to get the hang of it when I first got it years ago but after long periods of lack of use, I have to re-learn how to get it right each time. I never could work the frother very well and stopped using it in preference of a stove-top frother I bought in Amsterdam (an extra step and more cleaning). Although the Gaggia has indicator lights for temperature, making multiple cups of espresso for entertaining was "iffy", at best, and often just useless to try. But, when everything goes right, it is superb. Since then, my lifestyle has changed and I cannot spend all day making the perfect espresso anymore. ( I have been substituting the stove-top Bialetti (great for traveling) but hardly comparable)!
I was so thrilled that my original doubts about the Concept machine were dashed completely. I can't stop making coffee! Like Ross' review, I am now making more espressos in a few weeks than I had been over a year with my Gaggia. Luckily, Nespresso makes some tasty decafs. Previously, I would never even dream of drinking decaf but I so eager to keep having another great espresso that I rely on those decafs capsules to keep me from taking off. It is so easy and fun to make that you can find yourself maiking a cup ten or twelve times a day!
At first I was worried about the "limited" variety of capsules but then I realized that I would be saving a lot of time and money by not having to store and grind beans all the time. I have a very good burr grinder and vacu-vin containers for storage but if I do not prepare enough then I can have moments of being un-caffeinated (the horror)! We all know what happens if I prepare too much coffee - it is a waste of beans. And I do not always want the same strength and taste - switching beans in this case means a lot more time and work. Please understand that I am not lazy, just very very busy. The C190 allows variety and freshness without compromising on quality. In fact, I have a lot more variety becasue of the capsules and the manual water control than when using a "traditional" machine.
I can make up to fifteen different varieties of espresso (short, long), macchiato, cappucino, etc. - provided I have the capsules on hand, -to suit my taste at the moment or accomodate the taste of my guests individually (now that's some fine hostessing)! When I want to "geek" out, I can play with my Gaggia. But for real, everyday life when I need a quick jolt or a relaxing espresso after a long day, I have the easy Concept machine.
For all this, the price is fantastic!!!
Excellent. Wiliams-Sonoma has a Nespresso representative in the store just to demonstrate their machines. She is very nice as well as knowledgeable, not pushy!, It helps a lot to have a company rep in the store selling the product because they can answer questions with more detail, especially follow-up issues (e.g. how/where to get capsules, how they are made, expiration dates, etc). It says a lot about the Concept machine that W/S would endorse it this way. W/S guarantees the product for as long as you own it!
Three Month Followup
Still loving it! The number of capsule choices are great enough - I tend to order the same ones over again but I keep a selection for entertaining. THis is the only coffee I have ever been able to drink in decaf. - I love this becasue I can drink more coffee! Once in a while, Nespresso will offer a special limeited edition flavor and that keeps things exciting! The machine is so easy to use and so very easy to clean, it is a dream!
One Year Followup
It has been one great year - I still love this machine! Absolutley thrilled. I would buy this machine in a heartbeat and I have recommended it to friends all year long. I forgot to mention in my previous reviews that this machine has a pump with 19 bars of pressure - which was more than any of the other machines in the store, some of which cost thousands of dollars. I have had no problems with the machine or with obtaining more capsules. I have never run out of coffee! I have enjoyed the easy variety and not fel t limited by thte capsules as I feared. My guests have enjoyed the coffee choices and comparing them and I stil love it when they say, "this is the best cup of coffee I have had in a very long time"! :)