Great Looking, large 2 Liter water reservoir, heavy duty construction Easy to use Simple instruction booklet
Negative Product Points
After use the esspresso ground do not come out like a puck, but is a sloppy mess After steaming the milk and turning machine to "standby" a shot of steam comes out and could potentially burn your hand
This is my first thermoblock system (I had an aluminum boiler machine for 3 years) and It is very fast at warming up. I love the fact that it has a storage area for the supplied group head inserts and the provied cleaning tool. I used the "froth enhanser" once and then didn't use it again after it produced sea foam like results. Perfect Crema every time, however it did take me a while to get the coffee grind right. (30 seconds timed with a black and decker blade grinder). It is the center point and interest to everyone who visits the kitchen area and soon they are hooked. I do have bad news as apparently the machine is being discontinued in Canada by all the stores that I know of.
Negative point - After brewing the perfect shot, the group head comes off to show a black sludge (not the dry puck I am used to) that will make your knock box very slimy. I have learned to just wash it down the sink. (Edit September 14/07: This no longer happens as I have made the grind finer and tamped it with as much pressure as I can)
Great warranty (3months replacement) from Sears
Three Month Followup
The machine is still great. Learned about the slime in the group thing. Just needed to select a finer grind and tamp it as hard as possible. Problem solved. It is starting to get some nicks and scratches on the top where we keep the cups, and I threw away the froth aid peace of garbage.
One Year Followup
I have now had the machine for about three years and the plastic tamper that came with the kit finally broke on me! I have most definately made more than a thousand lattes with the machine and it still works like a tank! I clean once a month with vinegar and water in the tank and run it through and have not done anything major to it. Just need to buy a replacement tamper now.