Other than the drip tray filling up more quickly than I expected; the pump failure and the few other minor issues; I could not be happier with the machine and the coffee it produces.
Positive Product Points
Looks good; ergonomics fit my use well; form factor works well in a small kitchen under cabinets; produces excellent, continous steam and continuous expresso; recovers quickly from hot water draw down; the optional plumbed water supply works well; like the nice quality knobs and handles; two hole steam nozzle makes frothing milk easy; I like the way the wands swivel vertically;
Negative Product Points
With plumbed suppy, drain tray fills quickly from pressure bypass when pump is running; drip grate doesn't firmly snap in so it can come loose when being wiped; pump failed after 4 months but see below for pleasant service experience; the pump is a bit noisy;
I've had several dept store machines in the past and had been using a Jura S90 for about two years prior to deciding six months ago that I was not getting the full quality of coffee I could be. CoffeeGeek was one of the main reasons I came to realize this. At the same time I started roasting my own coffee based on the excellent info and green coffee provided by the great Sweet Marias site. So this machine was one part of a trio of home roasting, HEX expresso machine and Cimbali Junor Grinder that revolutionized what coffee could be for me.
I'm pleased with the way the machine functions. I usually steam single portions of milk and it is very easy and quick to double its volume with fine froth. Drawing enough water to warm a latte cup purges the steam from the HEX. The dual gauge makes it easy to see the status of the machine. The boiler pressure has remained steady since I've received it.
The machine fits well under the counter and it is very convenient to have it plumbed into the icemaker water line feed from an R/O water filter. The John Guest fittings that came with the pre-installed plumb-in option were a joy to work with. I had the machine connected within 30 minutes of starting.
Chris Coffee was great to do business with. They were knowledgable, fast, and patiently answered a newbies questions. When pump failed, an immediately replacement was shipped and tech provided excellent replacement directions over the phone while repair was in progress. They also offered to fix it for the cost of oneway shipping either before or after my attempting the repair myself.