Summary: Once we figured out how to use it (with the help of a friend who owned a coffee shop!), we finally had success and the first cappuccino we made was not bad. However, I struggle to get the scoop with the coffee and handle in position - you need a lot of strength, unless we got a bad machine. My husband is the only one who can do this and he even struggles.
Summary: pros -this unit has a great steam generator and portafilter. much better than the mr. coffee espresso that i upgraded from. cons -plastic steam wand is hard to clean. i'd remove the plastic and just use the metal but it is a bit too short -drip tray is woefully too small and badly designed. when you remove the portafilter, the drips miss the tray and make a mess -water resorvoir level gage is hard to read when it is on the counter -power button is on back.
Summary: I had an old,1980's Gaggia, very simple. That's all I wanted when I had to repace it.Simplicity of use and a DELICIOUS cup of strong stuff. Took a couple of days to get used to,and it is kinda loud, but I don't mindThere's no one else to hear.
Summary: After having read some of the reviews on how important it was to prepare the coffee, (measure, press and all that) prior to brewing, I was pleased to find out that the machine was fairly easy to use. Take care in prepping your coffee, wait the prescribed 6 minutes for the correct temperature, and voila, you get great espresso. Still working on making the perfect frothed milk, but I'm getting better.
Summary: I have used this machine for 2 months and make approx 5 cups per day. It works great ! I do recommend that you buy your own tamper, as the one that comes with it is made of plastic and barely pushes the coffee down. the steamer works well too. Just get heavy, solid tamper and you're in business.
PROFESSIONAL BARISTA'S budget friendly best friend
10 March 2014
Summary: If you know what you are doing, that is, if you are not some beginner who assumes that the machine will do the work for you with little to no effort, you will be fine and LOVE this machine! I use a hand crank ceramic burr grinder for my espresso, avoid those horrible blade grinders, again, if you know what you are doing, you know the benefit, no, need for a perfectly ground bean to pull a perfect shot, hence, you will love this machine.
Summary: First, found out it was made in Romania and not Italy - kind of disappointing since a 15 year old Italian Gaggia I had lasted so long. Still, thought I should give it a chance...unboxed it and it's missing 2 parts - though likely an Amazon error as I did get a "used like new" from their warehouse deals (which was SUPPOSED to include all parts - NOT).
Summary: I purchased this for my wife for Christmas brand new and when we opened it for initial use...there was water already in it. We haven't used it much so maybe I will upgrade my rating at a later date.
Summary: I bought this model to replace an Evolution that died prematurely. It makes excellent coffee. However, the placement of the power button (on the back) makes no sense and makes it really easy to accidentally leave the machine on all day by accident, which of course, can kill it. As long as you're really diligent about turning the thing off, it's a decent buy. If I had to do it over again, I'd pay a few more bucks and get the Gaggia Evolution again instead.