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Solis SL-70 - Jim Robin's Review
Posted: February 9, 2000, 11:44am
review rating: 6.2
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Solis SL-70
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More About This Product
Arrow The Solis SL-70 has 25 Reviews
Arrow The Solis SL-70 has been rated 7.21 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Solis SL-70 reviews have been viewed 113,551 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
MW Madden 9.00
Steve Boothe 8.50
James Schulman 8.50
Fr. John Abraham 8.29
Mike Prince 8.20

Previous Review  
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 6.4
Manufacturer: Solis/Saeco Quality: 4
Average Price: $379.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $0.00 Cost vs. Value 6
Where Bought: Aesthetics 6
Owned for: 1 month Overall 6
Writer's Expertise: Aficionado Would Buy Again: n/a
Similar Items Owned: Not entered
Bottom Line: An okay machine for those who like milk-based drinks, don't want to think much about tamping, and aren't concerned about plastic parts and appearance.
Positive Product Points

quick warmup
lots of steam capacity
3-quart reservoir
simple to operate
chromed brass boiler, group, and portafilter
doesn't dominate countertop space
ability to adjust for different cup heights

Negative Product Points

crema-enhancing portafilter design
appearance
a bit too much plastic for my tastes
useless built-in tamper

Detailed Commentary

I bought the SL70 mailorder over the internet for $299 including shipping and a few accessories.  

I liked the machine okay in general, but I could not stand the crema-enhancing portafilter.  The filter basket has pinholes in the bottom, supposedly to enhance pressure during the shot and reduce the effect of variable tamping force.  I would rather have a "standard" portafilter design, because the crema from the SL70, although easy to get, just wasn't nearly as velvety and long lasting as crema I've seen from other machines with "standard" portafilters.  I reached this conclusion after much experimentation with grind and tamping pressure while using fresh roasted beans.  But if you want simplicity and not have to worry too much about precise tamping, this may be the machine for you.  And if you like mostly milk-based drinks, this could be a non-issue.  

The built-in tamper next to the group is useless.  It is too small to fit the basket properly.  I purchased a hand-held 52mm flat-bottomed tamper that fit much better and was easier to tamp consistently with.  

The cup holder and drip tray are plastic.  The cup holder can be inverted to account for various cup heights.  

The front control panel is also plastic.  On my particular machine, the front panel was not fastened securely to the metal body, leaving a slight gap through which water could possibly have entered into the internals.  This really bothered me, and I expected higher quality control on a machine at this price point.  

Although appearance is highly subjective, I think the SL70 is downright ugly in person.  My wife even commented that she thought it would look much nicer and less "plasticy" for the price.  

I returned the unit to the retailer after a week of use in exchange for a Rancilio Silvia, which I think will suit me better.

Buying Experience

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Previous Review  
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review rating: 6.2
Posted: February 9, 2000, 11:44am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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