I recommend the machine but hopefully it'll run longer than two years without another major repair.
Positive Product Points
- easily beats the pants off my old Starbucks Barista - consistant quality of shots - good foaming with adapted steam fitting from Chris
Negative Product Points
- it blewded up real bad!
I've owned this machine for just over two years. My experience with this machine seems to be inline with most of the folks here - easy to operate, good quality shots.
I've got the machine on a timer that turns on every morning at about 6am. One morning a month ago, my wife came down to find the machine growling away, steam running down the kitchen cabinet walls and the front panel was so hot that she burnt her hand turning the machine off.
I'm not sure what happened but I suspect that a faulty pressurestat lead to excess temperatures within the machine. So much so that it caused the water tank to deform, which prevented the automatic shutoff from engaging. So the machine boiled itself dry and continuted to try and pump water into the empty tank and the heater remained on. So I required a new pressurestat, heater core, vaccuum breaker, electronic relay and pressure relief valve. The good news is that the machine seems to be working as good as new. I received all my replacement parts from Chris' Coffee and thanks to Roger in the service dept. was able to handle all of the troubleshooting without having to ship the unit. Total cost of parts was about $240 and it took a few orders before we identified all the parts that had failed. I immediatlly noticed that the replacement parts were of a much better quality than the Isomac standard. The standard parts use chrome plated steel and plastic whereas the replacement parts were mostly brass - thus my rating of 7 on the quality of product.
Not that I'd recommend that you tear your machine apart but if you do have problems, you don't neccessarily require an expert to perform the repairs. I'd place the work on a par with building a computer.
My buying experience from Chris was great - but that's the easy part (the sale). Where they really earned their stripes was the after sales service. Friendly, prompt and knowledgable. Seeing as I replaced about 50% of the guts of the machine, I don't feel that the prices were out of line either.