Brilliant machine - great aesthetics and value for money, but when will they get the filter right?
Positive Product Points
Modern aesthetics, with a solid feel to its thermoblock assembly and a commercial-grade steam wand. Needs very little water and only a short time to cycle up ready for a couple of shots, so that a tankful might easily last 3-5 sessions. Excellent steam delivery from a pivoting/tilting wand when the frothing sleeve is removed. Good extraction pressure and persisting dark crema BUT ONLY WHEN THE ORIGINAL FILTER BASKET IS REPLACED - for details read on.
Negative Product Points
Badly let down by its filter baskets - but all is not lost! Previously posted advice to obtain Krups part MS0907163 is correct - obtainable from any Krups service agent, or online in US. This also applies to some other Breville models, but here's what's interesting. All the aforementioned filters are "pressurized" ie they are double bottomed with multiple ingress holes and only one exit hole. The dimensions and domed shape of the chamber, and the method used to drill the exit hole [punched upwards in the original version] seem to matter enormously. What's more, some Breville and Sunbeam models are already supplied with the "Krups" filter - it has characteristic "two spoons" stamping on its bottom rather than "two cups". The supplied tamper is ineffective - a nice stainless steel or aluminium one can easily be machined down to the requisite 51mm with a power drill clamped in a vice and some fine sanding discs.
I'm on my second device, the first returned after a month because the filter stopped passing even water, despite all cleaning efforts. The new one wouldn't even pass water through, before it had ever been loaded with coffee! I then stumbled on Coffeegeeks website, and some helpful posted reviews led me to the solution!
Breville website contacted - "Many thanks for your website query email, and sincere apologies for you not receiving a response to your first email. Unfortunately, your email of the 5th April reached us at a time we had several customer services staff members away sick, and we are only now catching up on these queries. I have read the feedback you placed on www.coffeegeeks.com and thank you for the most part reviewing the machine well. I have passed your feedback (and that of the other consumers who have experienced similar difficulties) on the double wall filters to our Product Management Team in Australia and asked them to comment. Breville globally takes the feedback of our customers very seriously (it is a cornerstone of our heritage) - many of our new products or product developments come directly from feedback such as yours. Thank you once again for taking the time to give us your feedback, we do genuinely appreciate it". [dated 14 April 2008]
The Breville Ikon has so many delightful features that I "wanted" it to work, and perseverance has paid off. All that remains is for Breville to take the above on board and provide filters that work!
Briscoes very helpful - quick to refund or replace any of the products they sell.
Three Month Followup
No further response from Breville, but this machine still performs brilliantly WITH THE REPLACEMENT FILTER BASKET. It's so good, I have no plans to replace it.