You are getting your money worth with this machine and with Chris' Coffee.
Positive Product Points
Sharp looking machine with top notch components that make it easy to operate. No wait for the steam. You get a great cup of espresso with plenty of crema everytime.
Negative Product Points
Bigger water reservoir would be better. Steam wand can be less rigid. I always feel like I am going bend it when cleaning after frothing.
I researched for a home commercial espresso machine for a long period of time. During my search, I think I have been to every websites even European sites and read many reviews, comments, and detail specs of different machines.
I am familiar with Pasquini Livia 90, because my sister has this machine. I was ready to get this, but I did not want to pay over $1,000. I bid on Ebay for a few times, but the price was usually ~900(+) without shipping. I also did not feel comfortable with the after market service, in case I needed it. It was not until I read the reviews at CoffeeGeek that started me to look at other alternatives. After evaluating through Isomac line of machines, I decided to take one step forward and call some retailers. After speaking with Chris, I made the decision to spend the big bucks on Isomac Tea.
What pushed me over to Isomac Tea were the following:
E61 group head,
Clean stylish look,
Easy to get to inside of the machine when necessary, and
Dual pressure gauges.
The manual was only a few pages. It was somewhat useless. But, it was easy to get started. I took the machine out of box, put water in the reservoir, and turn it on. After a few minutes, the light turned green, it was ready to go. The rest was history. Great espresso with lots of crema every time. I had to experiment with frothing milk, depending on if you like USA style dry foam or Italian style wet thick foam taste.
Isomac was trying to save some money when they use same water tank for all the home commercial machines. Tea model has room to fit a 25% larger water reservoir tank. Make sure you use clean water, RO water is your best bet.
Caring and cleaning the machine was easy after Chris explained the procedures to me.
Great buying experience with Chris' Coffee. Chris is very knowledgeable and does not try to sell you a particular machine. He gives you the comparisons between the machines that you are considering, even the one he is not selling. You make the final decision. After my machine purchase, he still takes all my calls personally. When communicating through e-mail, you will get an answer back quickly, even at night. You cannot do wrong buying from Chris Coffee.
Three Month Followup
After six month of using the machine, the only thing I can say is how did I do without this machine for so long. It was one of the best purchase that I have made.
I get a lot of good comments from people regarding the styling of the machine. I am still trying to master the 'wet foam taste', the Italian style cappuccino.
Maintaining the machine is very important. I use only reverse osmosis water to ensure the best quality water supply. This reduces the risk of clogging your machine from any calcificattion. I back flush the machine regularly, every two days. I use the detergent, Urnex, to clean the machine every month. The large drip tray is a big help for not cleaning the machine everyday, and it is great when cleanning the system.
The only draw back of this machine is not having continuous water supply. But, you get use to it, and it is great to have low water supply shut-off built in.