Summary: I don't know why this product has so many low reviews, either I got the one gem of a machine or Breville no longer makes these like they use to. I bought this product in Sep 2010. Its now Sept 2013 and my machine is still awesome. 3 years of flawless espresso making! I've never had to send it in or use any special cleaner. At most I just run some hot water through it once in a while and wipe it down.
Summary: I owned my machine for 2 years and 2 months. We made on average 4-6 cups per day...usually lattes. I figure I got my money's worth out of the machine, but wouldn't buy it again. I was a barista for 13 years, so I know how to adjust the grind and brew perfect shots. I know how to steam milk without burning it. (put the tip just below the surface to make a sipping sound for good foam. Otherwise the milk backs up into the steamer wand and turns the steam to water.
Summary: I've had this machine for nearly two years... I recently read an online blog on how to make perfect foam and thus perfected my technique.... First, I use 1/2 cup cold whole milk. I add 1tsp of sugar in the raw to the cold milk. I steam the milk first bc if you do the espresso first, the steam wand spits out hot water before it becomes steam. I put a thermometer in my milk carafe and steam away.
Summary: I wanted to purchase a reasonable priced espresso machine for my husband. I did a lot of research and was a little hesitant to purchase this machine due to some of the negative reviews, but I am so glad I did! It's been only two weeks since we've been using it, but the espresso comes out nice, hot, and perfect. I'm not an espresso fan, but I love making lattes and cappuccinos and after a few tries with using the frother I can now make great drinks.
Summary: Just received this item as a Christmas gift. So far, I've only used it to make lattes, but they've been delicious. The machine is easy to use and I seem to be getting the correct espresso extraction. The milk steamer/frother is great, too. I've been using Starbucks whole bean French roast (and a burr grinder) because that's what we had on hand, but I'll be trying espresso pods soon.
Great little machine BUT read the directions and use common sense
Brandon B, Amazon
19 December 2011
Summary: We finally got one of these things from our neighbors after constantly oohing and ahhing over the fine lattes and expressos they served. I am certainly into "good" coffee (fresh beans from a local roaster, no syrups, sprinkles, or flavorings) and my wife is a Chai drinker. I read the reviews and from what it looks like, most negative reviews can be contributed to operator error. First of all: READ the directions! Not just the quick start guide but the book.
Summary: I purchased a rebuilt ESP6SXL model Breville Expresso maker off e-bay (as I did my Ham Radio equipment, by the way) and I am very pleased with the machine I received from the "factory authorized" re-conditioner. This machine will make any kind of coffee I can think of. It was almost half price compared to as new. Only one problem exists. It is very sensitive to the consistancy of the coffee grind.
Summary: I researched home espresso machines extensively before buying the Cafe Modena, noting that virtually all of them had too many owner-reported durability/reliability problems reported to instill much confidence in any selection I might have made. While I liked the features of the Modena, unit #1 only worked properly for ~10 days (making no more than one double-shot latte daily) before its heating element began to fail (I think the unit was from manufacturing batch# 1023).
Summary: This is the first espresso machine I've owned. I've had it about 6 weeks, and make 3 lattes a day - heats up my almond milk in about 45 seconds. A swivel wand would be nice, but that's why others are more expensive - more features. A little difficult (okay, impossible) to see water level, not a big deal to me, I can just open the top door and see.
It works as advertised, but it's a love/hate relationship
Bruce W. Butler, Amazon
3 August 2011
Summary: I am a coffee snob. After years of using inexpensive $69.00 throw away espresso makers (which delivered great cups of coffee nonetheless), I decided to get the Breville Cafe Modena. First thing that I must say is that operating this unit is very easy. Love. But the knob is very hard to twist, particularly if you have arthritis. Hate. The water reservoir is a terrific idea, and you can make at least 6-8 cups before needing to refill it. Love.