An excellent solidly built espresso machine that should last for decades with proper care.
Positive Product Points
I love the gleaming solid construction of this machine and the way it sits proudly on my kitchen counter. It demands to be noticed! I'm not one for lots of knobs, buttons, and gadgets and I like the ultra-simple flick of a switch to turn the thing on and off. Two knobs for steam and hot water, and a lever that raises and lowers for brewing are all that's needed. A large cup warmer and drip tray round out my favorite features.
Negative Product Points
Da buggah gets HOT. (a little Hawaiian pidgin your way) If you have small kids or clumsy adults, you'll want to warn them of the hulking hazard sitting on your counter.
The machine arrived in the middle of the day when only my 10-year-old and I were at home. The box was so heavy that the cute UPS guy (in shorts with nicely tanned legs!) struggled to get it inside the house. He was so interested he wanted to stick around while I opened the box. I shooed him away so I could bond with my Isomac in solitude (the oblivious 10-year-old doesn't count.) Initially I didn't think I could get the machine out of the box, but there was no way I was waiting for hubby to get home before trying it out. I psyched myself up and hauled the thing to the counter nearly bursting an artery or two. I had Chris from chriscoffee.com bypass the reservoir and send me my Tea with the direct plumb installed. Now I was faced with connecting it to my water line. What a breeze!! Even I, a total mechanic klutz, was able to successfully connect it in 10 minutes or less.
Now for the test. I had some decent beans that I had just ground in my (also new) Mazzer Mini. They looked fine since I had gone through about a half pound of beans attempting the perfect grind. The first shot was great. Tons of crema, nice tiger stripe flow, wonderful aroma. The milk foamed effortlessy but perhaps a little hot for my taste.
Over the course of the next couple of days, I fiddled more with the grinder and the technique for foaming milk and brewed great shots over and over again. Hubby also had no trouble with the process as well, and he generally is not a milk foamer.
The direct line to my water supply was a wonderful decision.....what a pleasure never having to worry about a reservoir again. So far it has worked flawlessly.
Five days ago I received my Caffe Rosto and am roasting my own beans. Now we approach those near perfect shots. The flavor of freshly roasted coffee takes it to that next level. WOW!
When was the last time you bought something only to receive an unsolicited phone call later that day from the seller asking if you have any questions or need any advice? How about from an online order? Once? Never? Well then, you've obviously never purchased anything from chriscoffee.com. It's Friday around 5:00 p.m. Hawaii time (that's 11:00 p.m. NY time) and the phone rings. It's Chris from chriscoffee. WHAT? Yeah, he just called to ask how I like the Tea and if I have any questions. He offers some advice, I gush over the ease at connecting the water line, we chat about our kids, and I razz him about the ocean view, tradewinds, and sunset I am experiencing as we talk. He growls good-naturedly and we say our goodbyes. I hang up mightily impressed.
Being a conscientious buyer, I checked prices on the Mazzer and Isomac before purchasing from Chris. The shipping prices to Hawaii were over $200 for both the Tea and Mazzer from other vendors. Chris offered me a shipping price of $55. Not only did he have prices that equaled or beat anyone else, his shipping prices were a quarter of what anyone else could offer. It was a done deal, especially knowing I was in good hands with customer service. Once I placed my order with Chris, the cute UPS guy with tanned legs was at my door two days later holding my machine. Keep in mind that this was shipped from NY to Hawaii for $55.
Why would anyone consider buying from someone else is beyond me.