Top notch machine for wannabe baristas and pros alike
Positive Product Points
Direct plumbing, consistent performance, preinfusion, sexy in a unique way (definitely a competitor to Wolfgang Petersen's sub controls in Das Boot), did i mention QUIET!!!
Negative Product Points
"Questi Italiani non parlano Inglese" not only poor manual but also suspect the translator must have been high on something while at it :)
I decided to make an educated choice while taking the plunge into the world of good espresso so i followed closely some of the posters' growing pains a.k.a. the Krups-Silvia-Livia continuum, so i decided that i will get the very best for my small home use.
The machine arrived in good condition. The inscription on the steam knob was rubbed off and i didn't mind much but Roger at Chris's picked on my comment (BTW these guys are like Rolls-Royce when it comes to service) and shipped a new one the same day.
You have to see this "macchina" to fall in love with it. Chris converted the machine for plumbing in and sent me the rest of the kit. It only takes a wrench and you are plugged into the cold water (the machine end snaps in without even a twist).
Like others have stated, forget the lights on the front. It takes this beast about 30-45 min. to come in heat :)))
I like the preinfusion idea, and running water through the empty portafilter, but all it takes me is to keep the porta warm is leaving it on the heater side by side with the cups.
I have two tips for users and future users of this machine:
A timer helps but forget the Radio Shacker. It lacks a ground plug and if you are like me you need coffee at 6 AM on weekdays and 9 AM on weekends, so one real life alternative is a
TIMEX Model 12/871
grounded programmable timer with 42 settings per week and backup battery. It is $16 in the cornfields of Ohio, maibe $30 in California ?!
II. If you plan on keeping the machine on a counter under a cabinet you should have the machine converted to direct plumbing by Chris (the kit is very tricky and if you attach it in the wrong place you're toast). This beast weighs 49 lbs after all.
Chris's Coffee is one of the best things that happened to me since i landed at JFK seven years ago. This man and his entourage are totally service oriented. I liked his honesty and help with all my questions.