I am very satisfied with this machine. GREAT value for the money and fun to use.
Positive Product Points
Excellent construction, materials and appearance. Footprint not as large as some others in same class.
Negative Product Points
Limited boiler capacity leads to inability to produce many shots in succession. Must let machine completely cool to refill tank.
I was looking for a second machine. I have a Saeco superautmatic that has performed very well for me over the last three years. I moved it to my office and needed a new machine for home. I owned and tried many other machines before: Isomac Millenium, Expobar Office Pulser, Starbuck's Barista, and a Saeco Vienna. Each machine had it's own drawbacks for my situation.
I have always wanted to try a lever machine, and now was as good a time as any. When WLL offered this machine $300.00 off of their usual price, I couldn't let it pass. Especially since I could try it and send it back if I was disappointed.
I researched this machine ad nauseum and read the experiences of others as far as technique and satisfaction. When the machine arrived I had an idea as to how to achieve an acceptable result.
The machine arrived intact and was professionally packed. I unpacked the machine and ran two tanks full of water through it, the first with two "small" spoons of "bicarb of soda" as per the instruction book.
I noticed that the pressure gauge only would get up to about 700 mBar at its maximum. The result was water that was too cool coming out of the group and a poor extraction. I removed the bottom cover by removing the torx screw under the drip tray, found the pressurestat and turned the pressure up. The adjusting screw is a small plastic phillips screw on the back of the pressurestat.
I got the pressure up to 1 Bar and an acceptable water temperature out of the brew group as a result. Adjusting the grind was a simple matter after that. I can now get a decent shot with the grind and tamp that I use.
The steam pressure and amount out of the wand are excellent. I can steam 12 ozs of milk in much less than a minute.
Once you get to know the intricacies of this machine, you can produce a drink both quickly and efficiently.
I use Prestogeorge coffee which is roasted fresh daily in Pittsburgh, PA. The are on the web and also do mail order. In my opinion, they have the best beans for the money. The beans have a nice toasty, oily character and produce a very fine drink.
In summary I would urge anyone interested in a manual lever machine to give this one a try. I am very satisfied.
An important point: I have read a lot of commentary saying that manual lever machines are difficult to use and take a long time to learn to use. I have not found this to be the case. It took me less than 2 days to find a comfort zone with machine and get good results. After about 4 days, I started getting excellent repeatable results. I can't imagine going back to a pump machine now.
In actuality, these machines are quite simple. The operator is in control of the most important aspects of the shot process.
Whole Latte love. They are quite easy to deal with and are customer oriented. I had my machine 3 days after ordering.