Its not really for those who are wanting to produce great espresso.
Positive Product Points
Simple to use with programmable buttons, compact, relatively pleasing appearance, puck ejector button on PF!
Negative Product Points
Lightweight construction, crema-enhancer portafilter, non removable adjustable filter basket device, low steam power, no tamper
When I bought this I wanted to get into espresso but couldn't afford to buy a real machine at the time. A local department store had a 2 year interest free, 6 month deferred payment deal which was too attractive not to miss - worked out that I could get one of these, enjoy something like espresso while I saved for Silvia and Rocky (which I now have).
The Krups is straightforward to use, easy to programme the shot volumes. The manual is well written and easy to follow with regard to details for this. It is best to programme the amounts with coffee in the PF as slightly higher volumes are delivered if it is empty - once set the volumes are very reliably repeated.
I had to make a tamper - Krups suggest pressing the coffee down with the back of the measuring spoon supplied! The PF houses a filter disc and crema enhancer system which moves up and down inside it via a cam operated by turning a bezel on the outside of the PF. It doesn't really hold anywhere enough coffee, certainly no point using the single position. The puck is ejected after use by a button that raises the filter up inside the PF. Because the filter etc stays in the PF with the crema enhancer etc, it is impossible to clean without disassembly (which isn't hard).
The combination of crema enhancer (which pressurizes the PF) and lack of 3 way valve, makes the Krups prone to sneezing (having residual pressure above the puck after pulling the shot which results in splurting out water and grinds a surprising distance - this is messy). If you choke it by having too fine a grind it can actually have so much pressure built up that the PF is almost impossible to remove.
I found it hard to keep the dispersion screen clean - coffee would get behind it and also between the screen and the silicone gasket which is a kind of split sandwich arrangement. Very annoying, but totally remedied by cutting circles of filter paper to sit on top of the puck.
The dispersion screen also needs to be checked for scale build up clogging the holes. It seemed to happen quite quickly even with using filtered water. Regular cleaning with descaling solution is wise, also through the thermoblock.
I coupled my Krups with a Saeco 2002 grinder which I think was a good combination. It produced good coffee, better than a lot of cafes, but not really comparable in any way to my Silvia / Rocky.
I never drink anything but espresso, (or sometimes Americanos) and I never used the steam wand for steaming milk (nobody ever wanted any steamed either) but I did try its steam output into water and just bleeding it out to look at it. It works but its limited.
I think the market for the Krups is for people who want to produce coffee (similar to what they get at cafes) at home and without much fuss - it'll produce crema from anything so it'll look almost authentic for most people. And in the main, most of them will be making cappas so the espresso quality may not be such a consideration for them.