The price is right! Hand built by an Italian craftsman in the U.S what more can you ask for ?!
Positive Product Points
Excellent shots! Beautiful machine, Heavy duty commercial quality , best warranty , by far the best espresso machine in it's class!
Negative Product Points
Small drip tray. Water reservoir should be supported better incorporating the frame, current design allows reservoir to move a little when refilling. Tamper and rubber disc are too cheap to be included with an espresso machine of this quality.
I was looking for an espresso machine for months, going online reading hundreds of reviews on so called great espresso machines. I checked out chris' coffee and seattle coffee gear video reviews. My problem was I couldn't see anything in person. Being from San Diego nowhere near the coffee mecca, or near any place that sold espresso machines. It was hard for me to just go online and buy something someone else said was "great" what do they know, right! So I google searched "espresso machines in California" and Salvatore came up! I had never heard of him before and thought it was an old website that was expired. After reading the website I called my girlfriend and told her we need to go check this out in person. Fast forward, walking into his shop i met Wendy, looked at all the machines in the show room then Salvatore came over and we started talking about espresso and what type of machine I wanted. The look of the automatic caught me eye initially then he explained the differences and said the lever is by far the best but it is also more pricey. Fast forward ordering it in July and receiving it in October. It felt like Christmas opening the box! I was already to go with my used mazzer mini i bought for $175, along with fresh espresso. After dialing it in I was in espresso heaven! Thick sweet crema shot after shot. Brew pressure remains very stable between drinks, however steaming is somewhat different on this machine. You have to be careful not to open the steam valve too much if you are serving multiple drinks, two of the three steam tips provided have large holes for the size of the machine and pressure escapes very quickly (great for one drink), however the machine recovers very quickly! The pumps are pretty loud especially the refill pump. This machine has been great for everyday use.
Salvatore and Wendy are an espresso lovers dream!
Three Month Followup
The only issue I have is a small hose from reservoir keeps getting disconnected from a barbed tip connection. It happened three times so far, I might have to replace the hose if it happens again but it's not a epic fail. The only reason I think this happened is because the barbed tip gets hot which makes the plastic expand. So over a course of time it gets loose which creates a small leak and I noticed on my kitchen counter. Other than that I pull quality shots everyday. I only back flush with chemicals once a month now as opposed to weekly. I noticed a big difference the lever doesn't squeak after cleaning. I do clean the exterior of the group like the screen every week which keeps a consistent quality shot.