The best experience I've had so far with super auto expresso machines. Very quick to heat-up. It has a very fast pull time for the expresso shots. It can make multiple expresso drinks quickly and efficently. Easy access to the brew unit, dreg drawer, and other ares of the machine. It can handle various types of espresso beans. There were no issues with clogging of beans. Attractive unit and easily accessible water tank. This is a very "smart" machine and requires little thinking or tweaking once you get it out of the box. This machine is head and shoulders above the Saeco Digital Italia!
Negative Product Points
The worst feature of this unit is the poorly written owners manual. In a word----it stunk! But I knew this before I received it because of prior reviews. However, this was my 2nd fully auto type machine (Saeco Digital Italia was the first) so I wasn't a totally stranger to this type of terrain. The beans get hung up on a finger guard above the grinder entry hole. I'm sure the lawyers made them put it on there for liability. You need to push down on the beans once in a while to make sure beans fall into the grinder. Like another reviewer, I plan on cutting the guard off with a dremel tool once the warranty expires. There is also an anoying plastic hinge that gets hung up on the steam wand when you try and move the wand vertically up and down. Not that big of a deal; you just have to get used to it. I'm sure the hinge is there to hold the wand down in place. The plastic dredge drawer chipped a piece off a piece of plastic. I'm not sure how it happened since I've never dropped it on the ground. Either way, it does not affect the performance of the unit; it's just annoying.
Overall a great machine. I did my research on this website before I bought another machine, given my negative experience with Starbucks' Saeco Digital Italia machine. I use my machine quite a bit. I am the sole coffee drinker in my house right now, but when my wife and I entertain the Gaggia gets a marathon work-out. I've never had this machine give me any issues and it has never let me down like the SB machine did. Once in a while, I have to recalibrate the dose volume of liquid shot.
I've saved a lot of money ($$) since making my own coffee in the morning. I rarely go to Starbucks anymore except to buy beans. I've been very pleased with the quality of construction and the quality of expresso drinks it continues to produce. I've never had anyone complain about the quality of their espresso drinks. I plan on doing a follow-up review at the one year mark.
I vacilated back and forth over getting the Titanium and the Titanium SS model. I discoverd the ONLY difference is that the SS has an all stainless steel construction; other than that they are identical. The SS ads more weight and was $200 more in price. If you don't care about that feature forget about the SS.
I'm slightly concerned to learned that Saeco has bought Gaggia, but that's the way of the corporate world...big fish swallowing the smaller fish.
I was totally pleased with the customer service at www.wholelattelove.com. The saleswoman was very pleasant and answered all my questions thoroughly and completely. I had narrowed my machine possiblitities to three. I was set on buying a more expensive machine but she talked me into this model. She was very honest. The unit arrived as described and on-time. I haven't had any issues with the machine after I received it, so I can not speak to any follow-up issues with post sales customer service.
Three Month Followup
Still working GREAT. I have no regrets about this purchase at all. I've never had any kind of glitch! Absolutely no buyers remorse!!