The Krups Orchestro puts a good espresso bar in my house, just where it is at its most useful!
Positive Product Points
The orchestro is easy to use and just the thing for entertaining. I like espresso for the drinking, not for the making. The Krups brings drinking and enjoyment to home brewed espresso drinks without having to be a chemist or an engineer. The Orchestro looks good in a dining room and is easy for the guest to use. Where I had to spend endless amounts of time preparing espresso drinks for guests with my Gaggia or Saeco machines, the guests get to do it themselves with the Orchestro. We entertained with a guest list of fifty people and did so often. The Orchestro was a real solution for us.
Negative Product Points
The Orchestro is a little difficult to clean because of its size, but not so bad. The automatic cleaning program and the automatic decalcification programs have gotten hung a time or two, but worked well after a restart. The cleaning and decalcification chemicals were so hard to get that once I found a good source, I just ordered a bunch. I use distilled water in the Orchestro because while we lived overseas, we used distilled water extensively and are accustomed to it. The use of distilled water really minimizes the maintenance required with any appliance that uses water. I highly recommend it.
I was first introduced to the Krups Orchestro while serving in Kiev, Ukraine. The Embassy lunchroom used one and I enjoyed being able to get a decent espresso without leaving the compound. After I had used the Orchestro in the lunchroom a while, I decided that I wanted one at home.
We were planning retirement to Gadsden, Alabama at the end of our assignment to Kiev and there weren't a lot of sources for espresso drinks to be found there. While back on vacation, we looked!
I hesitated to spend $800.00+ for an espresso machine since I already had two, but convinced myself that with the entertaining that we were doing at post, and with the absence of espresso bars in the area coupled with my love for espresso, it was a worthwhile investment. That has proven to be so true! We are now retired here in Gadsden and have enjoyed having what is essentially an espresso bar in our home.
Now there are several coffee bars in town to include one Starbucks affiliate in the Cultural Arts center and a Starbucks in Scottsboro, Alabama at the Unclaimed Baggage Center. Birmingham and Atlanta, of course, have them on almost as many corners as they have churches and flea markets. Even though there are ample opportunities for the enjoyment of espresso beverages in the local community now, unlike the situation that was present during our planning period, I still am glad that I spent the money for the Krups Orchestro.
Mowing the lawn is something that I do a lot of. There are days when I wish the grass would die for six months and I could shovel snow, but then I catch myself and remember how nice it is to have 52 excellent weekends a year. Mowing my life away is a small price to pay for the excellent weather and one thing that makes it bearable is being able to get off the mower and have a nice fresh latte in a real china cup in only a few minutes right here at home!
There isn't really a lot that I can say about the orchestro except that it works, it works all the time and it works well!
If Microsoft and Intel would reach the level of customer satisfaction with product lines that the Krups Orchestro has, it would be a very, very happy world!
My worst nightmare was the Orchestro recall. During the Krups recall, I had to send my machine in to a service center. My Orchestro is the 220v model and as it turns out, didn't need the rewire that the 110v ones did. It still took eight weeks to get my machine back and I was fit to be tied by the time I got it back and back into operation.
I am completely happy with my Orchestro and wouldn't exchange it for anything except possibly the newly announced Krups made model. I would have to use the new model to be sure though. I liked my Orchestro so much that I purchased one for a birthday present for my daughter a couple of years back. That is perhaps the only thing that I have given her that she won't part with!
Except for the recall, my total experience with my Krups Orchestro has been totally positive from the purchase to today.
Three Month Followup
See one year follow up. All was good until the mechanical mechanism failed.
One Year Followup
Well, my Krups Orchestra died this past summer. I think it can be fixed, but got a good opportunity for a newer unit and am now using it. The Krups started hanging when it dumped the coffee powder and would restart after an error. It finally got so that it would not recover. I found a Capresso for $400.00 at a local store on closeout and picked it up. It appears to have the same basic mechanism. I hope with improvements. My daughter wants my Krups and I will eventually send it in for repairs for her. If I could get service information on it, I'm sure that the problem is something binding that would be easily repaired.