A must have machine for the common household barista to make a killer latte to impress the friends and family. It's one step away from going commercial.
Positive Product Points
Pulls great shots of espresso, steams milk beautifully and fast, very easy to make microfoam, compact so it fits on my counter.
Negative Product Points
took a while to get the grind right for the shots, takes about 30 min to heat up when it is first turned on to hit peak temp
I bought this machine to upgrade from my Starbucks Barista machine I got for Christmas several years ago because my more sophisticated taste in coffee required a better machine. I was very impressed seeing it in person. Its all stainless steel and is a good size for sitting on my counter.
It took a few weeks of repeatedly grinding espresso at different settings to get the espresso to extract at the perfect timing. This was not very fun at first because I was very impatient and wanted to use my machine. But it paid off big time. I got the grind setting down, and I noticed that if you use Starbuck's espresso (not recommended) its really hard to get a good shot because the beans are so oily and dark and the machine has a hard time pushing water through the grinds. I found using a roast that isn't as dark as Starbucks is best and the shots pull amazing!
The steaming is so much better than my Starbucks machine, it steams 12 oz of milk in about 30-45 seconds (not commercial, but good for home!) It is really easy to get microfoam for amazing cappuccinos. If you are steaming a lot of drinks (I'd say, more than 3) then it does better taking a little heating break after the third steam... turn the steam off and run some water through the brew head and let it warm back up... then it'll be good for another three drinks. Other than that, it has great performance on the steaming.
Only bummer is it needs to be flushed a lot and the drip tray is very small, so you have to be near a sink or come up with creative measures for holding the water.
I bought from Wholelattelove.com. It was a good experience. They delivered faster than quoted.