Great for those on a tight budget. It does make real espresso !!
Positive Product Points
One of the least expensive pump espresso machines out there. It does the job. It's easy to refill. It doesn't take up a lot of space. It starts up quickly. Overall it's a great value for the price.
Negative Product Points
Well..it is a budget machine. It's all plastic, portafilter is light and small and doesn't retain heat well. Tamper is cheap plastic (but then they're cheap for much more expensive machines too).
This was my second machine after owning a "steam cheapie". I realized I wanted a pump version but I didn't want to shell out a lot right away. The Gusto more than fulfilled that simple criteria. It comes with a single and double shot basket. Don't even try the single sized one. To make up for what seems to be the standard on most espresso machines, a cheap tamper, I bought a small metal tamper from Charbucks and that works fine for this machine.The water container is easiy removed by handle and refilled. It's easy to setup and by tweaking a Starbucks Barista grinder I was able to produce an OK shot. (By the way..I don't frequent Starbucks it's just one of the only places around here that have some of these doodads and I didn't want to wait) It had crema and it ran in the accepted 20 to 25 seconds for my shot. The machine heated up in a very short time and the steaming was fine but I wouldn't want to do a lot of that at once. For a simple capuccino it was great, better than what I got at Starbucks (that's not saying much, but it was good!) I think that this machine is a good intro for the whole espresso thing and I would reccomend it to anyone on a very tight budget. I don't think it would be a good choice if you plan to entertain a small crowd but it should be fine for 1 to 2 people. I plan to keep this at the office for an occasional double.
Bought a "new in box" on Ebay. There are always several of these being auctioned at any given time.