I finally finished it. My Rancillio project is nearly complete!
A year ago, while at work at Coffee Underground in Greenville, SC (I know, shameless plug for my employer...), I came across a S27 in storage in our theatre, along with a Nuova Simonelli Mac 2000 (see my review of that great machine), and was offered it by my boss. Knowing I couldn't talk her into letting me buy our 3-group Faema that was de-comissioned, I went ahead and took the red beauty home.
And I fell in love.......
Other than the fact that it took me almost 6 months of researching espresso machine repair (which is now a godsend i'm using now to service machines) to get her running properly, this machine performs incredibly. If the grind is right, it will consistently pull 24-26 second shots, beautiful crema, lovely striping, incredibly spongy mouse tails, and will keep up the pace around 25-30 shots successively and maintain a constant temp. The brass boiler and Procon pump are relatively quiet, good in a kitchen with concrete countertops and brick walls (yes, mine). The boiler itself gets hot quickly (though i'd suggest giving it a good 30 minutes to get to a good stable temperature), and the group, after a cooling flush, pulls the shots as well as maybe the LaMarzocco Linea (another great machine, maybe the best workhorse machine ever).
The steam wand is high powered and heats the milk quickly. I consistently get glossy velvet microfoam with the three hole tip (perfect for the old latte art that i dig on so much). It is one of my best friends, a trusted companion as i train for competition glory, testing new blends and roasts, combining flavors, making beautiful rosettas, and generally making a very bold statement in enhancing the decor of my kitchen.
My sincerest advice to you- if you can get your hands on one of these, by all means do it. I know people swear by Miss Sylvia as far as home machines go, but honestly, other than the Lamarzocco GS/3 P.I.D. controlled slice of god I've had the pleasure of test driving, this HX beast is all you will ever need for years to come as far as home espresso goes.
Now back to pretension......