XP 5020 is expensive for an introductory espresso machine that it is but it has some cool features.
Positive Product Points
1 or 2 cup portafilter - no risk of losing parts. Quiet. Quick steaming and hot water function.
Negative Product Points
It only gives a thin layer of creama. Too expensive for the coffee it gives.
The build is much better than the XP 4020. It has a stainless steel drip tray with significant volume. There is also a little yellow float that rises up when you need to empty the tray.
The portafilter has a good heft. Nice heavy click when the portafilter is fitted in. It changes volume for 1 cup or 2 by a twist of the filter. There is even a button to help eject the used coffee. The external is heavy aluminium but the internals is heavy plastic.
It is MUCH quieter than the XP 4020. I almost thought the XP 4020 was going to blow the first time I heard the 4020 venting the excess water to the drip tray. When the XP 5020 does so, I hardly notice it.
It is probably mostly due to the freshness of the coffee grind (I do not yet have a grinder and buy ground coffee, the horror!), but the crema is not what I would expect from a true espresso machine. It is long lasting but thin, only a few mm thick.
Once the thermoblock is heated up, usually within 30 seconds, all functions like hot water, steaming to actual espresso brewing can take place without hesitation. It is quick. For a cup of hot water for tea, i used to use the microwave. I find the XP 5020 more fun and faster now. But it IS a bit silly to use it for that.
I found that to get the best out of the machine, I need to clean and maintain it frequently.
I still do not know how to get the best from the machine and would appreciate some pointers. So far, I have not seen much reviews (in English) on this model.
Best Denki is a got-all electrical and home goods store. I was pleasantly surprised that the salesperson was quite knowledgeable about expresso brewing and very conversant with the many brands and types of machines they had. He brewed a good cup too.