Love the mochas. Love the ease. And they're ready at the touch of a button! Wouldn't be without it.
Positive Product Points
This is a follow up to my posting of November 20, 2003, 10:22pm. Ran into a snag! Machine makes consistently good mochas; easy to use with just the press of a button; appears to make good crema but I'm not a pro on this; good steam and froth. You can adjust the grind, strength and volume. You can use the bypass for other types of ground coffee such as decaf.
Negative Product Points
Cleaning is a problem! Hot water is a bit slow. I now had this machine for 9 months. After a thorough cleaning, it no longer works properly. I thought maybe I didn't put it back together right but after multiple tries and my husband trying also (there's only so many ways to put it back together), there was nothing else to do, there was nothing wrong with the way it was reassembled that we can tell. It now takes four shots to get a double with the first two dumping the contents out of the bottom of the machine mostly into the drip tray but some onto the counter. Five calls to Saeco have gone unreturned.
I love this machine. I feel I can't do without it. It's been easy to use with consistent results to match those of espresso shops and stands. Now that it is no longer functioning properly, I have another on the way. Regardless, it has more than paid for itself compared to buying out and I'm the only one using it for myself and friends. (Husband is not into espresso.)
It almost seems like there's some type of vaporlock. It makes audible steam sounds from within during the first two shots that it didn't previously, along with gurgles, and then finally works. If there was a way of running just water for the first two shots, it wouldn't be so wasteful but there isn't. I've tried bypassing using the ground coffee setting (without coffee) but it doesn't clear it. Decalcifying didn't help (use filtered water anyway) and never received a decalcify warning.
Got to hand it to Costco. When I called customer service to get a copy of my lost receipt to mail the machine back to Saeco for repair, I was told to just return it to the local Costco which I will do as soon as the replacement is received.
I'm disappointed in Saeco's customer service but not in the machine and will/did buy it again. Just waiting to receive it. Price is a little higher now, $700 with tax, but worth it. I have comparison shopped and still feel this machine is the right one for me based on features and price. I'm not an aficionado, just like simple, easy mochas and these couldn't be easier.
Three month followup: First replacement just wasn't right. The tray was a little taller for some reason and had consistent trouble fitting the milk pitcher under the steam nozzle. Machine made some uncanny noises and took that one also back to Costco and got another. This one is doing great so far. Pitcher fits fine now and and only occasionally makes the strange creaking noise like a a door in a bad horror movie. Happy again and will keep replacing it as needed.
As stated, Costco provides the best customer service. They have great prices but only a limited selection. Might have considered a comparable machine. Ordered on line today and they already have a tracking number posted.
Wish I could say the same about Saeco's customer service!
Followup: Saeco finally called back and gave some suggestions about what the problem was but this didn't cure it. Was supposed to let them know how it turned out but had already received the first replacement and didn't bother as they may have provided further direction and I no longer had the machine. As long as Costco keeps replacing it, I have no need to call Saeco again.
Three Month Followup
Replaced twice. Couldn't get it to work right after a very thorough cleaning. Returned the machine and the new one just wasn't right so exchanged that one. Doing well now.
One Year Followup
OK, now it's acting up occassionally. When I request a double shot, it doesn't always provide it. So I have to do a second single. Watching it closely in case I have to exchange it again. I'd hate to be without it as I'm very attached. Other than that, it's great. (And other than that, how was the play Mrs Lincoln)