Summary: This is my first espresso maker so I do not have alot to compare it to but I'm quite happy with it. It is responsive and quick and the steamer works really really awesome and fast. It also reheats quickly between cups. The red is attractive and it is compact. It is quite loud and vibrating while making the espresso, which doesn't bother me, but you will wake anyone up that is sleeping nearby! The cup tray is not a warming tray, which I would prefer.
Summary: I bought this machine as my first espresso maker about 3+ years go. In general, pulling a great shot takes a lot of time and patience (plus drinking some bad shots.) To start, you need more than just a good machine. You also need a good burr grinder and fresh coffee. On to the machine. I have had few complaints about this machine, and overall find it to be solid and dependable. I recommend buying.
Summary: I was looking for a machine that would make a good expresso and not be too expensive. This model seems to fit the bill. I am very satisfied with the quality of the beverage quality. The appearance of the machine is also good. The build quality is ok, not great but for the price not bad. I would have been happier if the filter would hold enough coffee grounds to make a true double shot of expresso like my old Starbucks brand machine.
Summary: I had 2 less expensive DeLonghi which performed adequately daily for years. This is a very attractive unit and performs somewhat better but the noise is stupid. The rigid plastic water reservoir rattles and vibrates loudly while the pump is operating. You can dampen it by putting your hand on the reservoir but that should not be necessary.
Makes fantastic coffee but could use some improvements
14 September 2012
Summary: I have to say that I love that I got this espresso machine. It has been a lot of fun making tasty espresso at home. This is my first espresso machine and before this I had never pulled a shot of espresso before. After only half an hour of explanation I learned how to easily pull a very tasty shot from this machine. There is a lot of good stuff about this machine, but also a few things I wish were improved upon.
Summary: We really like this espresso machine. For a casual user, the quality of the espresso is worth the manual effort involved. However, if you are a daily user, i recommend getting the automatic version. I also recommend purchasing a frothing pitcher and handheld tamper at same time. The only downside we have found is the frothing wand is a bit flimsy - it pops off when frothing if too much pressure is put on it, so be careful.