Solid machine, modernist aesthetic, would buy again.
Positive Product Points
Temp stability of group head. Ease of use--short learning curve. Power and brew buttons are commercial quality. Build quality is good to excellent and comparable to more expensive machines like the Liva 90.
Negative Product Points
Steam tip. I have the single hole steam tip and a three hole Rancillio from WLL. The single hole tip generates great micro foam but is slow to heat the milk. The three hole tip steams fast, but is more of a challenge to generate microfoam.
Drip tray and cover function fine but are lower quality in fit and feel than the rest of the machine. Minor detail.
Water resevoir is easy to access, but requires removal of the cup warming lid to access.
The Expobar has been in use now for 3 months. On a typical day we prepare 2 lattes in the morning and 2 double shots in the afternoon.
We bought the Expobar to replace a Solis SL 70. The Solis was a great, easy, entry level machine to use and own. My wife and I entertain and we wanted an HX machine to handle multiple drinks for our guests. The taste of espresso brewed on this machine, compared to the Solis, is significantly improved—there really is no comparison.
Like other CK members have mentioned, if the machine is left on and idle for an extended period, we flush the group head with 4-6 oz to cool it. No big deal.
To date, we've been pleased with the machine. We've had no problems and really enjoy the addition to the kitchen. We shopped other machines available in the Seattle area like the Oscar, Livia 90, and ECM Giotto. Our choice really came down to two dimensions: function and value. Based on these points of parity, we concluded that the Expobar is a great value that produces espresso that is comparable to the Oscar, Livia, and ECM.
Bought at WLL. The machine arrived double boxed an in good condition. WLL was patient and professional in answering questions and providing support.