easy to get good crema and microfoam but weak for steaming
Positive Product Points
easy to use. You just put in your grinds, tamp and draw. Pump based model. I got more crema from this than from my expensive Ascaso. The froth attachment also generates true microfoam ... but
Negative Product Points
the foam steamer is too weak!
This machine looks and feels a bit better than the typical appliance-store espresso machines - at least it did 10 years ago. I used it a LOT over 10 years, and it definitely paid for itself.
The arm was brilliantly engineered: did not require heavy force to seal, unlike most high end machines - yet it did not leak.
I did return it in the 1st year for free repair when it failed to work one day.
I always did my own grinds, and this machine would produce excellent crema every time.
The major weakness is the froth steamer. It did not have a function to raise the temp/pressure up to steaming level before opening the steam - most pro/sumer level machines do have this function (eg My Ascaso Dream). This meant you had to turn it to steam and let the steam flow for quite a while before putting the milk under ... OR ... steam the milk FOREVER, and rarely achieve the required temperature. OTOH, it did produce some of the sikliest microfoam I ever have seen - the froth attachment works well. Also, the froth attachment is a bit finicky - you must keep it impeccably clean, and don't poke the hole ANY wider. I stocked up on replacement parts for the steamer to keep it fuctioning 100%.
I owned this machine for 10 years. It sat the last year or so unused, and when I went to fire it up, it was jammed - and vinegar wouldn't free it up. A worthy investment to last so long!
I am tempted to buy another for our office, but I want better at home.