The X5 is a solid, stylish machine that is well built and pulls fantastic shots when coupled with a nice grinder and fresh roasted coffee.
Positive Product Points
Brass Boiler makes the shots nice and hot It looks great! The steam wand makes nice microfoam Coupled with a nice grinder and better tamper it makes great shots You can time your shots with the clock
Negative Product Points
Clock is plastic Water drips from wand and brew head slightly Single filter often gets stuck in brew head until you jiggle it out Plastic tamper included is not good enough
I love this machine! I have been using Rancilio's Rocky grinder with the X5 and it makes great shots once you dial in to a blend. The crema I am able to get is abundant with fresh roasted coffee (Intelligentsia's Black Cat and Counter Culture's Toscana blend are my two favorites.) Gobs of nice, syrupy crema! I noticed that when I bought a heavier tamper the shots were MUCH better. I have been able to create nice microfoam for cappuccino's as well. I look forward to surfing the little hole on the side of the steam wand. It really is fun and for some reason it never gets old! The tamper that comes with it is very light, but what is unique is that you can twist off the top of it. I like to tamp with my heavy tamper and then use the included tamper and twist it so the top comes off and sits on the ground coffee in the portafilter. I then pull my shot and it keeps the inside of the brew head much cleaner. I have come to rely on the clock on the top of the machine for timing my shots. I like the fact that you can remove the plug from the back of the machine if you want to.
I bought the machine from Illy. Only bad thing was I had to buy coffee from them for a year. Once I switched to fresh roasted coffee I learned how great a machine it is.