Lux delivers a knockout punch to Rocky based on initial impressions and overall value for home use with no-frills.
Positive Product Points
About half the cost of a Rancilio Rocky. Aesthetically pleasing, small footprint so doesnt hog any counter space. Great specs. Easy to use.
Negative Product Points
To some, its small size might make it seem less "professional", which of course it is....But the trend in kitchens/appliances is to look as restaurant level as possible. A doser would be appreciated, leaves coffee grinds stuck in top of chute that are difficult to remove so they dont go stale and end up in your next batch. Instructions are minimal to non-existent. Cheap plastic (useless ) portafilter holder.
Bought this on that famous auction site after refusing to pay what seems to me to be an outrageous amount for a coffee grinder (for a Rancilio Rocky). With decent specs and a price tag of about half of Rocky I thought I would take a chance even though I'd never heard of Nemox or Lux before. Glad I did.
After months of trying to please Silvia (Rancilio) with store bought ground espresso (and failing miserably), an hour after taking Lux out of the box I was brewing darn close to God shots. Crema so thick it almost floated sugar on top.
Lux came pre-assembled, just needed to be wiped down, plugged in and turned on. What could be simpler?
Getting the grind right took some effort and some beans. It took me about 45mins and about a 1/4lb of beans to get the right setting. My mistake was that I was grinding waaaay too fine with it - Silvia used to just flood the store ground coffee with water and finish a double shot in about 6 seconds, so I thought I'd really have to grind finely. Wrong. The first few grind settings were so fine that after tamping the puck looked like it was made of clay...completely smooth and flat. Well, with this setting Silvia acted as if it were using a blind portafilter insert. 25 secs and not a drop , much to my surprise, Silvia was not such a brute after all. The final setting that works for me is a 9 on an 11 scale...anything less is too fine.
The fact that I have finally got Silvia working like she should (through Lux) completely overwhelms any minor dislikes with Lux. These include the chintzy flexible plastic portafilter holder that couldnt hold anything really and will prob break soon enough, the chute that doesnt center the grinds in the portafilter, but dumps them at the handle side of the portafilter, and the grind numbers that arent clearly marked with a contrasting color.
Lux is fairly small for a unit of its caliber, which to me can be a plus for smaller kitchens or ones with counters that are overrun with other appliances, and is cheaper to ship. The 1 lb capacity is fine for me and anything else would go stale in my house before use.
Overall I highly recommend this unit to anyone with a limited budget for their coffee needs but high expectations for value and quality, and will report back with long term results when the time comes.