Domestic users looking to make the step up - indulge yourself. This is great!
Positive Product Points
Great coffee extraction Tough, durable build Consistent quality, steam etc Steam mechanism/valve/wand is great (I think this has been revised over time on the model)
Negative Product Points
I have the T. I needed a tank unit, but I just wish the tank was a little larger. I'm not 100% sold on its looks, but that may change in time It's bigger than it looks in the photos! I love it, but if you are using it for home make sure you have benchspace! Definitely a tip for home users like me (and not really a negative) - but if you buy one of these machines, get yourself a good quality tamper. The unit comes with a plastic one that works fine, but it feels crap.
We purchased this machine for home to replace our IMAT Napolitana / Junior which had been going strong for around 7 years. Those little machines are fantastic and among the best (if not the) domestic class machines you can buy - but they do "run out of puff" if you are entertaining more than 6 coffee-loving guests
Thinking of moving to something with a better capacity and quality, we considered purchase of a commercial unit a long term investment (and obviously a little indulgence) and have so far been very glad we took the plunge!
We chose this unit based on its excellent reviews and relatively good price. I can only compare the unit to domestic units I have owned and used, but the step up was quite profound. Compared to domestic units, the benefits you will enjoy;
Much better extraction. Compared with a domestic machine, you will get much better espresso/crema from the same amount/quality of coffee. You will produce the same quality cup every time.
The quality and feel of the unit is in another league to ANY domestic unit.
Any of this style machine will be in another league in SIZE also. It's quite menacing on the kitchen bench, but it is quite a talking piece and obviously loved by coffee drinking guests.
The steam wand is so much more powerful and consistent compared with my old unit. Feels like it could go on and froth up a bucket of semi-skim :-)
On this particular unit, the steam valve/dial is excellent. Not sure how it actualy works, but its mechanism doesn't let you over tighten the valve. Feels great to use. The wand has a bendy bit in the middle too which is handy. Hopefully it holds up.
Overall, we are extremely happy with the purchase and upgrade machine grade. As mentioned, the choice in this particular machine was purely based on the advise of others/reviews etc, but as a new user at this level I am in love!
Buying experience was great. The store delievered the machine and set up the machine. They gave a demo and threw in a decent 1kg bag of coffee. The machine also comes with a 1 yr on site warranty.
Three Month Followup
Machine is still as per my initial review. I'm getting better with the machine - but plan on doing a barrista course soon just to put that extra polish on my coffees. A very highly recommended machine.
One Year Followup
Wow it's been a year already! The machine is still running like new without a single hiccup.
My machine only makes around 4-6 cups per day (this is our home machine remember) but that would easily ramp up to 12+ on a Sat/Sun. On one occasion I barrista'd with the machine at a school fundraiser selling coffe's and it probably made 150-200 cups in a couple of hours no sweat. Steam pressure was also constant the entire time.
The actual coffee product has produced but this is entirely attributed to my improving skills - can't fault it there. FYI. I clean the machine probably once a month.