If you can afford the machine and also a good conicial or burr grinder it is a very good consistant performer with a small footprint on the bench.
Positive Product Points
Design & styling
High Quality Materials and Finishing
All brass and steel construction (except Handles & Knobs)
Good steam and Temperature control
Seal replacement is simple and inexpensive
Negative Product Points
Base of unit is light and tends to rust under drip tray.
Steam wand is a little short and needs to be further away from the boiler.
Must hold machine with one hand while lifting Lever/inserting portafilter.
Dispenses 40ml of coffee not the normal 60ml (Single Lever Pull)
Filter is not fixed in the group head and is hot after making a coffee (Buy another 2-3 large filters and empty grinds after it has cooled a little)
I have owned machine for 11 years and it cost AUD$720, current 2001 AUD$960)
The machine,like any commercial machine needs consistant grind and quantity of coffee.
It takes a little practice to get the machine and grinder balanced (I use a Cunnill, commercial grinder) A blade grinder is not recommended for this machine.
The machine, once balanced with the grinder, produces excellent consistant coffee.
The machine will make up to 10-12 coffees before refilling. Allow the machine to cool a little before refilling and make sure all pressure is removed from the boiler prior to removing the cap (this may take 5 - 10 minutes).
The machine should be left to warm up for 5-10 minutes before use. I have found that leaving the machine on for extended periods, say 1-2 hours, it will become too hot and partially burn the coffee during the pull. I make my coffee/s and then turn the machine off. Leaving the machine on for extended periods also tends to cause cracking in the plastic drip tray caused by the heat, once cracked it needs to be replaced or else the base under the tray will start to rust away very quickly.
I purchased 3 other large filters so that when making mutiple coffees I didn‘t burn my hands trying to empty the hot filter.
Parts availability is good and maintenance or replacement of seals is cheap and easy. A complete seal set replacement is AUD$46. It costs me about $10 per year in maintenance.