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La Nuova Era Cuadra - Steve Shamah's Review
Posted: September 28, 2012, 6:51am
review rating: 9.0
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
La Nuova Era Cuadra Espresso Machine
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More About This Product
Arrow The La Nuova Era Cuadra has 12 Reviews
Arrow The La Nuova Era Cuadra has been rated 9.25 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 22, 2007.
Arrow La Nuova Era Cuadra reviews have been viewed 84,954 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Geert De Vries 9.00
Steve Shamah 9.00
Vaughan Stanley 9.00
Michelle Leger 9.00
Ken Dang 8.33

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.4
Manufacturer: La Nuova Era Quality: 9
Average Price: $1,300.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $995.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: 1st line Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 6 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Best bang-for-the-buck HX E-61 out there.
Positive Product Points

good looks, outstanding value, solid performance

Negative Product Points

A few niggles like the cup warmer tray, long cooling flushes, vibe pump is kinds loud, but probably not much more so than others.

Detailed Commentary

This is my first semi auto machine, so I don't have too much to compare it to. Having said that, I have found the machine easy to use and service. The coffee has been excellent and the value is tough to beat. I don't see anything that a more expensive HX E-61 does any better or different than the Cuadra.

I have found the machine to be a bit of a "dragon' and thus cooling flushes are a bit on the long side. However, I am only making a latte or so at a time, so it really isn't a big deal. I strongly recommend pairing Eric's E61 thermometer with this machine. That is an extra $90 well spent. Brew temp stability seems good to me. The temp doesn't seem to vary by much more than 1 degree +/- during a shot (at least I assume that is good?).

Steaming is pretty easy and consistent once you get it dialed in. I plugged two of the four holes in my steam tip and that works perfect for me. With the new no-burn wand, you can purchase the Rocket steam tip 4-pack and try all different tips to find one you like.

The forward slant of the cup warmer was kind kind of annoying as cups wanted to slide off the machine when the pump was warming. Four SS cabinet handles from Home Depot took care of that and now I can easily remove the entire tray to fill the water reservoir without even unloading the cups.

The vibe pump is loud, but from what I have seen of other (more expensive machines), this is simply a fact of life of vibe pumps.

At the end of the day you could spend a lot more on a Rocket or Quickmill or other HX machine, but I don't think you will get much difference in the performance. Will those machines hold up better in the long run? Only time will tell, but after almost a year, I have not seen anything that makes me skeptical of the Cuadra's build quality.

Buying Experience

1st line has been great to deal with. Questions have been answered very quickly - even on weekends. Jim was also quick to replace a mildly damaged part at no charge and without having to ask. I would buy from 1st line again without hesitation.

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review rating: 9.0
Posted: September 28, 2012, 6:51am
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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