Great value, excellent coffee! Very serious home machine.
Positive Product Points
3.4 liter boiler with internal heat exchanger, rotary pump, excellent coffee extraction, true commercial quality at more than reasonable price.
Negative Product Points
The cup warmer is useless. Service in the USA may be a problem.
It took me half a year to choose the right espresso machine and another year to write this review. After learning the specs of numerous so-called semi-commercial machines (go to http://www.1st-line.com/machines/ and you’ll find most of them), and tasting many liters coffee I came to the conclusion that rotary pump and larger boiler (ideally two separated boilers) are important features that “my” machine needs to have. Bezzera BZ40 comes with 3.4 liter boiler with internal heat exchanger (HEX) and commercial quality heavy duty rotary pump. I didn’t buy an argument of many that “vibration pump is as good as rotary”. In my opinion it is not. Rotary pump delivers better extraction, reacher taste, and theaker creama. Direct group to boiler connection provides excellent heat transfer, and the quality of shots is very consistent. Large boiler with HEX allows you not only to brew and steam simultaneously without any problems. It impressed many of my quests when quite a few cups were served with astonishing quality. The machine is heavy (~70 lb) and needs a 16” x 18” footprint. Direct connection to water line scared me initially, but it turned to be an easy plumbing job after Tood Millar, the owner of The Original Espresso Machine Company (http://www.espressoonline.com) gave me simple and clear instructions. You can find more information about BZ40 specs at Bezzera web site http://www.g.bezzera.it/home_ing.html. The only negative issue that I observed so far is cup warmer. It just doesn’t warm even if the tray is removed! As you can see I’m very pleased with BZ40. But let me tell you something else. My wife, who would never drink espresso aka “that bitter coffee” even in Europe, now “orders” me a cup of espresso every morning. Isn’t it a testimonial!
I bought it for about $1,200 (more than a year ago, when Euro was cheap!) from The Original Espresso Machine Company (http://www.espressoonline.com/). Todd Millar is very knowledgeable and friendly person. His Lucia blend coffee beans were compared by me to many others and still remain my best choice.
Three Month Followup
I replaced group gasket ($10, ~15 months of usage) just yesterday. Other than that Bezzera BZ40 gives me nothing but joy of excellent espresso!