a simple, reliable machine that can produce delicious coffee
Positive Product Points
Reliable. Easy to use. Makes tasty shots.
Negative Product Points
Small boiler takes a few moments to re-heat. Pressurized portafilter difficult to keep clean.
The Barista is a simple, reliable machine that can produce delicious coffee. I used it for years as it came right out of the box. The pressurized portafilter makes it easy to get relatively consistent results. Recently however I got the urge for something more. I installed the Auber PID retrofit and picked up a non-pressurized portafilter. The final piece of the puzzle was getting a Rancilio Rocky grinder. Now my shots totally rock! I took apart the pressurized portafilter to clean it, and man was there a lot of residue built up in there amongst the tiny mechanism, all of which comes into contact with brewed coffee. The non-pressurized portafilter is much easier to keep clean although less forgiving of imperfect grind and tamping. The small boiler does take time to re-heat, so you'll be waiting a few moments between shots. It takes a tiny bit longer with the PID due to the way this control operates, but it's worth it because your temperature is spot on every time. Stock out of the box the machine does stabilize nicely after half an hour of operation. All in all it's a great value for the money, and a great way to learn how to barista in your own kitchen.