heavy duty portafilter, small footprint for tiny kitchens, heats up quickly, cleans easily, seems to have a powerful pump and its easy to fill with water
Negative Product Points
too much water through the steam wand, doesn't froth milk very well(but that could be me)steam assembly seems a bit on the shakey side,plastic exterior makes it feel like a toy
I bought this little machine on ebay because it was cheap. I had been searching for a good pump machine for awhile and had narrowed my choices down to a few low end models(200 to 300$) that seemed to be what someone could make a good start with. Then I saw this little guy on ebay and told myself that I could risk $55 and if I didnt like it ,I could give it away at Christmas, hehe. I took it out of the box and I admit that though I did like its minimalistic design , it felt like a toy, not at all capable of producing anything serious. After a day or so of experimentation I was suprised to find that ,as with all the machines that I have tried so far( my friends all have Saeco classics and Magic deluxes) if you used the proper amounts of coffee, grind and tamp, it really did produce very good espresso, with what I would call a decent amount of crema. The catch is that you have to find the proper amounts on your own. All the measurements that I found listed didnt really apply to this machine for some reason. The measurer that came with it was useless so I used a 2 tablespoon measurer that I purchased at Starbucks. A rounded measure from that and Bingo , all was well in buzzworld. (I have not at this time found a grind that will stall the machine. I read a review that it has the same pump as the Silvia but I dont know if that is accurate.)After that everything fell into place. I enlisted my friend Sal to do a taste test( he has a Saeco Magic deluxe). He said that he couldnt believe how rich and smooth the taste from this little piece of plastic was. Now he is buying one for his office.Sal grew up in Italy and is the person who introduced me to espresso, so you could say I respect his opinion.Thanks for reading and I hope this helps someone.
I bought it from a gentleman on Ebay who seems to sell a lot of Saeco merchandise. It was a seemless transaction and he gave me his cell phone number if I had any problems. He has a two week grace period for returns and faulty products.