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Espressione Grace - Brian Carter's Review
Posted: August 29, 2008, 7:24am
review rating: 5.0
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Espressione Grace Espresso Machine
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Arrow The Espressione Grace has 2 Reviews
Arrow The Espressione Grace has been rated 8.40 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since September 6, 2006.
Arrow Espressione Grace reviews have been viewed 15,710 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Brian Carter 5.00
Jennifer B 4.50

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.8
Manufacturer: Grimac Quality: 8
Average Price: $349.00 Usability: 6
Price Paid: $31.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Ebay Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 3 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: none
Bottom Line: Good machine if you can find a super deal on it. If not, go with something else.
Positive Product Points

It looks good
Brass group & portafilter
large reservoir
heats up very quickly

Negative Product Points

Aluminum boiler
pressurized filter basket
confusing priming instructions

Detailed Commentary

I bought this machine cheap on Ebay. This machine is four years old, and apparently has had some regular use. When I first tried to use it, the boiler was not auto-filling. I let it sit overnight, and that seemed to solve the issue. Once I got the boiler to fill, I attempted to sort out the priming instructions. They are a bit confusing, but if you go slow, it works just as it should.

Now to the actual performance. Despite the obvious flaws with the pressurized pf, this machine is capable of pulling tasty shots, at a decent temp, with lots of crema. I'll know better what the actual shot performance is once I get a non-pressurized basket. It heats up really quickly (under two minutes), and is easy to operate. I am a bit disappointed with the steam performance. It comes with a 'pannarello' froth aider, but I removed that. After getting rid of the froth aider, you are left with a single-hole steam wand. The steam power fluctuates considerably during steaming, which makes microfoam pretty difficult to achieve. I'm sure that with some practice I'll get it down though.

I don't know that I'd pay $400 for this machine - but at the price I paid, I am ecstatic!

Buying Experience

Ebay - so it was complicated.

Three Month Followup

This machine is basically the same as all other budget-priced single aluminum boiler machines. It has temp. stability issues, and requires a bit of experimentation to learn the ins and outs. That said - I have found a bean and grind fineness that suit the machine, and I am churning out great espresso and very nice microfoam on a daily basis. Would I buy this machine again? No way. Save your money and get something with a larger, brass boiler.

One Year Followup

I finally scored a proper, non-pressurized double basket for this machine. It is necessary, let me repeat, necessary to make this $10 extra purchase if you want any chance of pulling great shots on this machine. I've really honed in my temperature surfing routine: I let the heating element run its course, which takes the water to boiling (so, 212 F) and then flush until the steam stops. At that point I lock and load and start the shot. This has produced excellent results. I've been fooling the boiler for a long time now to get great microfoam, so I am now totally satisfied with my espresso experience at home. I would never buy this machine for more than $100, so if you can eBay or craigslist, do it - but do not, under any circumstance, pay full price for one.

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review rating: 5.0
Posted: August 29, 2008, 7:24am
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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