Expensive initial investment more than justified by beautiful equipment and espresso that will put most commercial establishments to shame.
Positive Product Points
Massive, commercial quality machine which performs flawlessly every day and its consistency eliminates the hit-and-miss problems of controlling most of the variables which relate to the machine in espresso making. Mine stays on 24/7 and is always ready to deliver shots that are better than most commercial establishments...almost every time.
Negative Product Points
Expensive initial outlay and takes up a sizeable chunk of countertop real estate. The initial expense is, in my opinion, justified by consistent, trouble-free operation. This machine must be plumbed in, but rather than a negative, is a huge positive after the simple plumbing procedure is completed.
See Ken Fox's review for the technical aspects of this machine; I will limit myself to the results when using the Cimbali. The commercial quality components pay a huge dividend in terms of consistent, repeatable results. One of the best parts of this stability and quality is the ability to quickly and easily produce shot after shot for a large number of people. Access to huge amounts of steam while pulling shots means that you never have to wait for the machine to recover in order to steam milk for drinks. The steam tip is by far the best I have ever used on any machine and it is as easy to steam small amounts as it is to steam large ones.
Having to plumb in the machine made me nervous since I am not the handiest person around, but the easy fittings and simple instructions meant that in less than an hour I had the machine hooked up to a water softener and charcoal filter which are hidden in the basement. No lost cupboard or counter space, no moving the machine to fill it up and no lost time when making drinks.
This unit is guaranteed to stun people who see it in your kitchen for the first time, and is more than capable of producing espresso befitting its appearance.
I purchased my Cimbali, Mazzer Mini and plumbing from Chris' Coffee and received outstanding service prior to placing an order, taking delivery and post setup. Chris has emailed me months after purchase to see if I am still satisfied with both the product and his business. As good a buying experience of a major product as I have ever had. I heartily recommend Chris' Coffee.