If you have no other options, this can make espresso at home. Though, I'd rather drink from a french press or a cheap coffee maker than drink the Briel's espresso.
Positive Product Points
It makes espresso (albeit generally undrinkable) at home. Were your budget to force you to make espresso at home, this is a serviceable product that performs better than a steam pressure-driven (e.g. Krupps) machine. Crema is good. Heats up relatively quickly. Better experience making an americano rather than a latte.
Negative Product Points
The crema enhancer fools you into thinking you've brewed a descent shot. Shots are thin and not hot. Taste is of poor quality. The foam enhancer on the steam wand is worthless if you have any experience steaming milk. The wand is too short and the steam is not hot enough. The machine is difficult to clean. Managing the portafilter is a nuisance due to the light weight of the machine. The spent grind is soupy and impossible to tamp out.
I received this machine as a gift, due to the fact that I can no longer use the pro machine where I worked as a barista. We knew it was an inexpensive machine, but some of the reviews here made us hold out hope that it would be serviceable. We were wrong.
The machine heats up quickly, if you can walk away and not watch it slowly reach the proper heating point. I usually ran water through the empty portafilter to heat it up. It is difficult to judge at first how much ground espresso to place in the shallow basket. The portafilter is small, so expect double shots to come out weak. I'd commence pulling the shot once the indicator light showed the machine to be ready. The basket and portafilter are designed with a crema enhancer. Sure, you get crema, but the resulting espresso shot is thin, not adequately hot, and too bitter to taste. I tried perhaps 50+ shots with this machine, and all eventually ended up in the sink.
As mentioned, the spent grind is soupy. No puck here. Tamping the soupy mess was a waste of time and effort. I simply had to rinse the portafilter (along with the resulting shot) down the sink.
I consider myself above-average in skill with the steam wand on a professional machine. After two or more hours, I was unable to enjoy a single moment with this machine's steam wand. I quickly dispensed with the foam enhancer. Not only does it get in the way, It is impossible to clean after steaming milk. I unscrewed it and had a marginally better (though inadequate) experience simply using the headless steam wand. There's a small rubber o-ring you'd want to remove too if you choose to do this. Also, since the steam wand is so small, and the machine is so short, removing the foam enhancer gives you more room to fit the milk pitcher under the wand. You'd be better off elevating the base of the machine somehow, allowing you more clearance under the wand.
I've pulled better shots at Starbucks testing their consumer $300-range machines. If you can scratch together a bit more dough, you're better off going up in cost a bit to get a better machine.
I'm going to sell this baby on Ebay, and I'll be honest about its ability to the buyer.
I received this as a gift, so I can't comment on the buying experience.