Affordable entry level machine. Easy to use for the noob.
Negative Product Points
This machine plateaus quickly if a person has any interest in pouring a god shot of espresso; due to the pressure portafilter. Steaming function is spotty at best and without a more powerful boiler or proper steam tip, microfoam is unattainable.
This machine heats up quickly, has a generous 3L reservoir, is user friendly and looks cool to starbucks shoppers. But that is all.
However, aside from the portafilter handle being flimsy, the pressurized portafilter prevents user from pouring a proper shot of coffee. Because of the pressurized portafilter's design, tamping the grind is unnecessary. But this prevents one from ever pouring a 25-27 second shot. Even with modded portafilters without a pressure attachment, a proper shot is elusive on this machine. Proper grind and tamp generally choke out the pump. Yet, for the first timer, the portafiter does make the espresso shot look like a cascading glass of Guinness and fools the user into believing he or she is a barista.
Foaming milk with this machine takes up to 60 seconds to reach 155 degrees over the duration of several boiler cycles. With due diligence, the user can foam tight bubbles and pour a decent cappuccino with this machine.
Gagga, la Pavoni, Rocket Giotto, numerous Krupps and other department store poorchases (sic).
Three Month Followup
I love my replacement Rocket Espresso. I never looked back after dumping the Barista.