Versatile machine that produces very good espresso for all levels of user
Positive Product Points
A well designed machine that is outstanding for milk-based drinks, and can be very good for straight espresso with the non-pressurized filter and a good tamper.
Negative Product Points
Would love to have a programmable pour, but I find that I can generally get by.
I bought this machine because of the fact that many different people in the house would use it. My wife loves to use pods because of their simplicity. We have a 17 year old Italian exchange student living with us and he prefers ground coffee and the pressurized filter. I like to fiddle, but am not interested in doing home roasting or spending inordinate amounts of time dialing things in.
This machine meets all those requirements in spades and the final product has been quite good if not perfect.
Working with Whole Latte Love was quite easy and everything arrived as expected, though a packet of Cleancaf that was supposed to be in the box was not there.
Three Month Followup
Since buying this machine, I have found a source of fresh roasted coffee and have been enjoying the non pressurized filter very much as I get excellant crema and taste. I'm at the point of upgrading to a better grinder than my Saeco m2002 so I can fiddle more. What is so great about this machine, is its extreme versatility and ability to make very good espresso with all of its filters. I lurk on the alt.coffee newsgroup and read about people's disdain for this machine. It is not deserved. With a good grinder and good coffee, you can make excellant espresso and excellant milk based drinks that will satisfy all but the most fanatical. If you live in Denver like I do, you won't find a shop that sells anything as good as you can make. The fact that you can teach anyone to make a good drink on this machine only enhances its appeal. I would absolutely buy it again.