If you're an on-the-go person, and don't want to spend time to learning to perfect the absolute "best shot" then this is the machine for you! Espresso suggestion, communitycoffee.com, paradise!!!
Positive Product Points
I set out to replace Starbucks, that was the main intent. After reading some the information posted on the this site I was intimidated at the very least. Which brings me to the discovery of this machine. There is no tamping, no measurments, no learning how to make that perfect shot, the machine provides that expertise, and provides it well. Consistency in shot quality and performance has been the machine's finest attribute.
Negative Product Points
I made the initial mistake of using the coffee volume dial to determine the number of shots (I wanted two at a time) -- but this produced a water-down effect. I then discovered that I should have just pressed the coffee selection button twice. From the diagram on the machine it was an easy error. Another note: there are two manual selections, water volume and grind selection. I have found that the best shot is produced at one point after the 1 oz selection and the grind selection should be determined by coffee and taste perference. Remember the grinder selection button can only be adjusted when the grinder is in motion.
This is an excellent machine, I have found my experience consistent and right on the money in terms of producing high quality shots and coffee drinks. I have found that routine daily maintenance has helped considerably in maintaining that high level quality shot. For starters, it is imperative to maintain a clean machine, the cleaning instructions in the manual are poor. This is where the information provided here will come in handy. There are 7 removable parts, 1.) the old grounds dispenser 2.) the brewing device 3.) the drain tray 4.) the plastic frother 5.) the coffee dispensing head on the front panel 6.) the front panel 7.) steel filter on the brewing device. All of these parts can be removed, cleaned and replaced in a matter of minutes, which is not clearly pointed out in the manual. Most of these parts are plastic, which in my opinion makes it easy for snapping off, cleaning and replacing. The most important, out of the group, would be to clean the plastic frother and the bottom of the steel filter after each use. The plastic frother generates build-up on the inside of the device, you have to seperate it and wash it consistently. The other very important area to clean is the bottom of the steel filter after every use, remove the brewing device and make sure to wipe the coffee that builds-up underneath the filter. If all of this sounds cumbersome, it's not, this entire routine takes all of 3 minutes. There is another cleaning that must be performed once a month which is running CLEANCAf (a cleaner and descaler) through the machine, which I found to be incredibly easy and works very well. The majority of my commentary has been spent on the cleaning aspect, because quite simply that's all you have to concern yourself with, this machine with it's ease of use, consistent high quality shot performance, will do the rest.
I purchased the machine from 1st Line Equipment online. Placed my order and received confirmation shortly thereafter, and received my machine a few days later. They through in the plastic frother at no addtional charge and provided a (2) year pump warranty which is not standard, not to mention the excellent price discount and no taxes. "Slick."