Ameican parts and reliability with Italian flair. Rugid and beautiful. A truly commercial machine that really works in the home.
Positive Product Points
This machine is incredibly rugid, easy to use and makes great coffee. It is American made and can be repaired (I have never had to) with easy to find parts. The machine can be converted to direct water line input.
Negative Product Points
An investment, but worth it. No complaints.
I have had the Astro Gourmet for three year and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I was looking for a single group machine with a rotary pump that had an independent reservoir. I discovered the Astro.
The machine heats up in about 10 minutes and brews excellent coffee, cup after cup. There is plenty of steam, which is available even while brewing.
Internally, the machine is extremely simple and rugid. In spite of the fact that we turn it on and off, producing a few cups in the morning and evening, the machine is unaffected by the resulting thermal stresses. When I see EMC Giottos, Grimacs, Isomacs and the Pasquini Livia, they look fragile by comparison. Also, they don't have rotary pumps.
The only machines that are remotely in this league might be the Rancilio S Series or La Cimbali Junior; but I would go for the Astro.
The Astro will last a lifetime.
Ordered over the internet but UPS caused damage in shipping. The dealer made the necessary repairs.