As a super-automatic espresso machine, this is certainly among the best. Highly recommended!
Positive Product Points
After initial setup and tweaking, the machine makes good espresso and espresso/milk drinks with absolute ease. By producing drink after drink, it's terrific for entertaining. The kitchen area (wife acceptance factor) is kept clean and absolutely uncluttered. Maintenance and cleaning are a snap.
Negative Product Points
The absolute quality of espresso produced is not consistent with the best shots pulled by a skilled barista at a good cafe. Temperature stability is also inconsistent.
As a super-automatic espresso maker, the Saeco Magic Comfort + surely ranks at the very top. It offers adjustability in shot volume, grind, and in the amount of coffee ground in its burr grinder. Pre-infusion is programmable, as is water temperature, and once tweaked (see below), coffee of various strength can be brewed with the push of a button. Steaming and frothing are ample, yet controllable for the novice due to the inclusion of the panarello device, a gimmick that actually works. A bypass doser allows the use of preground coffee such as decaf.
When I first received the machine, the grinder was set to grind far too coarsely. The factory must adjust these machines to some misguided fantasy about the American market, because water would rush out, producing a watery, thin excuse for coffee. Would any Italian accept this? A phone call to Whole Latte Love, my superb merchant, solved the problem as I was talked through the procedure of readjusting the burrs. Even though I am not of a mechanical persuasion, the job was straight forward and simple and accomplished within 15 minutes. Good espresso was now produced.
Why do I still have frustration? Only because I recently attended an Espressathon at Intelligentsia coffee here in Chicago and realized just what real espresso is about. It's about that unique burst of complex flavor that I find to be so uniquely Italian. I don't think that any superauto can produce that result, the fusion of beans at optimum with the skill of a master barrista.
For ease of use, the Magic Comfort + is unsurpassed, and it produces good drinks. But for me, I'm now looking for those Intelligentsia shots.
Whole Latte Love is highly consumer oriented. Delivery was prompt with excellent double boxing of the product. Questions about setup were quickly answered .