A well thought out machine that's reliable and user friendly.
Positive Product Points
A nice compact machine that doesn't cheat on boiler capacity, but is not a behemoth either. Straightforward button layout and easy programming make it a breeze to operate. Steam wand operation much better with pull down lever, you lower it to the position you want and it stays without springing back like the simonellis. Imported by Grande Italia and warranteed by them; service was prompt and machine well maintained.
Negative Product Points
Limited color selection for body panels, silver, blue or black. Not the biggest steam boiler, loses pressure after 12 consecutive capps then needs a couple of mins. Plastic sneeze-guard chipped after first year.
I found this Carimali company on the web and noticed they sold in this country through an importer in Connecticut. The price was right and I had previously bought a used one that lasted for a long time without trouble so I knew they were reliable little machines. Granted this one doesn't have the Carimali logo on it, but the machine is identical. It's called a Macco Matrix, after checking it's a division of Carimali that makes superautomatics. With two groups and a 7 liter boiler, it was well worth the money purchasing it. From a cold start, the machine takes about 15 minutes to warm up. Pulling double shots on both groups at the same time operating both steam wands, the machine holds well for me in crunch times. Operating an italian espresso bar isn't easy, but at least I don't have to worry about running out of steam since guys here usually don't get milk-based drinks.
I'm a research kind of guy and go by word of mouth. Grande Italia came recommended to me by friends and other establishments as having great coffee. That didn't tell me much about their service or equipment though. I visited their showroom and they seemed friendly and weren't trying to sell me the most expensive thing in the place. We set a time for installation, they came on time, hooked up the machine and gave me and staff operation procedures and training on doing some drinks. I couldn't expect more. Great experience.