Copper broilers, stainless steel construction, 4-hole steam wand. A sturdy, good-looking machine that provides dependable espresso and powerful steam.
Negative Product Points
Size; if counter space is at a premium, consider how important the stability of a good machine is to you. Beware dropping assembly piece into machine if you don't want to get to know your machine intimately before your first cup of coffee.
Izzo Alex Duetto III is a good-looking, dependable work horse. Desperate as I was for a good home espresso, I took my time researching and buying since my last experience had been repairs eventually equaling the original cost of the machine by an unscrupulous manufacturer who failed to return calls. With the idea of less need for repairs, I opted for a more heavy-duty machine which also meant more space on the counter, oh well. On the plus side, the Duetto III's polished stainless looks awesome sitting there. After a short learning curve, the Duetto III consistently provides high-quality espresso and powerful steam with minimal seconds between drinks. The pleasure of having the ability to determine the quality of your own cup of espresso, unlike the more automated machines, gives a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment. And, the relief of knowing the machine is unlikely to start leaking in the middle of brewing and leave you without your morning fix, is unmeasurable. Lastly, to avoid scale (heavy in my area), I use distilled water which has the extra advantage of more time between cleanings.
After more machine failures and repairs of machines than I care to remember, I started following several coffee discussion and review resources and one name kept popping up - Chris' Coffee. After I had narrowed down my choices of several prospective machines and had a list of specific questions, I phoned owner Chris Nachtrieb who listened and gave me the pros and cons of each before suggesting one machine that was not on my list. Over the next few weeks, communicating both via email and phone, Chris and his staff answered every question I posed. The prompt and accessible staff, plus the extra year warranty (all my prior machines expired shortly after the guarantee), determined my decision. Since the $$ jump was huge for me, customer service was number one on my list, and so far, Chris' Coffee has delivered.