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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2009
This is my 4th espresso machine, I don't think domestic ones are really designed to be used daily and I really like my coffee!
When I first opened it I thought it was much smaller than I had expected, it came straight out of the box and was working within 2 minutes.
It has a large diameter coffee holder which stops you dropping grounds all the time and a good solid handle. Although they say 15 bar/Italian pump it does more dribble out than some machines I've owned but the thing is it makes a really great strong & frothy espresso.
I like a strong black Americano and this machine delivers me a perfect one everytime.
It also has a really clever water tank where the lid turns into a handle and when it's filled the weight of the water helps 'click' the discrete bottom located water valve into place, very good design as is the general look & feel.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2009
I was a bit anxious that the quality of this machine, at the low price end of the espresso machine market, would reflect the price paid - but it surpasses it with ease. This machine makes great espresso coffee and quick too! It might look and feel a bit 'plastic' but it does the job. I had a Gaggio and the pump went just out of warranty, it was to cost about £100 to fix, with this Russell Hobbs machine I can buy a new one every year and still save money and get even greater coffee at the same time!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 2010
This is a machine of three stories.

Story 1 - first machine arrived plugged in made espresso, went to make second espresso and water was pouring out profusely at the wrong point on the brew head, had to return machine. All dealt with efficiently by Amazon returns.

Story 2 - second machine arrived and around 20 espressos later, I must say I am very happy with it. The espressos are good, a dense crema (which tells me it is a good extraction), the milk frother is good, though I am still struggling to work out how to unscrew the front hose, so I can properly dis-assemble and clean.

It comes with pretty good instructions (layout is not brilliant), a tamper, two espresso cups.

Because Russell Hobbs does not sounds very Italian you maybe put off but don't be they are honest enough not to include provision for those expensive and inferior tasting "pods".


Story 3 - I am saying farewell to this wonderful little machine, it has started leaking around the brew head and whilst I would have loved to get this replaced Amazon only allow you to do this once. So I have been able to return the machine. So knocking off a star. It was a great machine whilst it lasted.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2010
I bought a Delonghi from Sainsburys at Xmas but there was a loud bang and it stopped working so I returned it but they didn't have any more so I looked through all the reviews again. I came across this Russell Hobbs and thought I would give them a go as we still have a working RH kettle that's about 20 years old. I have been pleasantly surprised it is easy to use, has a tamper and measuring spoon and will make a double espresso quickly. I like strong coffee so I normally use between one and two spoons. I let the water come up to temperature, run some through to heat the cup then throw that away before adding the coffee. I have only used the frother with semi-skinned milk and find it works best if I use a milk thermometer to get the right temperature. I find I need to run the frother until the light goes out then the milk gets to the right temperature on the second go. I like the fact you can swivel the frother for storage but the tube is quite short so I had to get a new jug and making two coffees takes a bit longer. The coffee maker comes with two cups but you can fit a normal mug under which is great for those that like a lot of coffee. A cup warmer would have been nice but I wonder if that's what went bang on my Delonghi and running hot water into a mug works just as well.
Buttons are a bit plasticky but I think they will last.
Overall I really like it and would have given 5 stars if the frother tube was longer.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2009
This is a very good coffee machine for the price. I've used it every day for the past 3 weeks and found it's difficult to make quite strong coffee, but the steamer is excellent.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2009
First I use filtered (britta) water, it makes a big difference.
I also use a fine ground coffee (Illy), if you use regular peculator coffee grounds they may not be fine enough and it makes a difference.

Before I first used the machine I turned it on and left it to warm up and then run water through the machine with no coffee, BE PATIENT the instructions tell you to do this. The pump is really loud until the water fills it, the water comes out opaque from residue left during manufacturing or something. I ran about a liter through the machine before I was happy the water was clean and clear.

Before you use the machine for the first time in the day make sure that it is completely warmed up. Without putting any coffee in the coffee reservoir switch it on and when the ready light comes on run just water through the machine into your cups. This warms the whole machine and your cups. The one flaw is the absence of a cup warmer. Stop the pump and fill the coffee reservoir, use the tool to press it down firmly. It's harder to press the coffee too much than too little. Not pressing the grounds down will give you a weaker coffee and effect the flavor.

Following these simple guides I have been able to achieve a good strong espresso with a good crema layer every time.

Using the steamer to achieve a good frothed milk is a bit of an art. This machine produces a good quantity of steam for warming milk for lattes or moccas. If you want to produce froth use cold milk straight out of the fridge, put a small amount in the receptacle and practice finding the right depth for the end of the nozzle to produce a good froth in the milk. I think not being able to produce a froth with this machine is a lack of practice rather than a flaw in the machine.

It doesn't get 5 because it doesn't have a cup warmer and nothing is perfect. Worth the money and does a good job.

Use filtered water and a good grade of coffee, cr@p in cr@p out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2010
This is a very good first Espresso Machine. I bought it after reading lots of reviews and I am happy I did.
I observed that well-informed and careful users preferred it, and those who gave negative reviews generally did something wrong.

Following DOs and DON'Ts will help you make great COFFEE.


Follow manufacturer instructions carefully, WORD BY WORD.


Getting good crema:
1. Fine ground coffee: Lavazza or Illy, don't even think of Waitrose
2. Tamp it down really well
3. Preferably use filtered water (tastes better)

Making nice froth: This is an art, use Cold semi-skimmed milk, DO NOT BE DISAPPOINTED IF YOU DO NOT GET RIGHT IN THE FIRST ATTEMPT, IT IS A TRIAL AND ERROR PROCESS (unless someone teaches you). The depth of nozzle in the milk, overall depth of milk in cup/jug is important, DON'T WORRY, YOU'LL GET IT. PATIENCE AND PERSISTENT EFFORTS ARE THE KEY.

You won't be able to make multiple cups of coffee simultaneously or in very quick succession, this machine is not expected to perform to commercial throughput levels.

What really sucks?
It's not the machine, but the following customer service reply I got when I wanted an additional filter+handle.
"Thank you for your email, requesting the supply of a replacement filter for your coffee maker.

As this part should not break in normal use, it is not classed as a `consumable item' and as such it has never been stocked by us as a replacement part.

Please therefore accept our apologies as we are unable to assist you further on this occasion."

APART FROM THIS, I WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE, the only condition is YOU MUST LOVE YOUR COFFEE, otherwise you won't put required efforts into it and blame everything else for it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2009
We are most impressed with this Espresso machine, the coffee it produces is equally as good as coffee from a much more expensive machine and better than what you would get in some restaurants. Very good value for money.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2010
Machine broke down after 5 months. Gradually the water pressure dropped month after month so now the machine takes 20 minutes to make small cup of coffee. Actually it switches off itself after that time due to overheating. Then it wont start. Now you may think that there is a 12 months warranty. Well not really. You'll have to package the item carefully and ship it at your own expense to Manchester as Russell Hobbs do not have a service network. Their warranty does not help amazon customers at all as they cannot take the item back to the "shop". So finally after they have had a look at it and confirmed the fault claim (guilty until proven innocent logic) they may send you a replacement. I see today that the product has been removed from amazon due to a customer complaint. Too late for me, but I hope it saves the other customers from experiencing the anger and frustration that I had with this machine and this company. I shall never again buy another Russell Hobbs product. I advise all of you to do the same.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2010
This is a fantastic coffee machine on first impressions. It makes a good creamy espresso. However, the filter has only one hole on the underside and if this blocks the machine is useless. You used to be able to buy a replacement filter a year ago, but now these are no longer for sale through the parts department. At the moment I have a coffee machine which does not work as a result of the design flaw in a £1.50 part. I was meticulous about cleaning my filters. The first lasted 6 months, the second a year. As a former coffee bar worker and someone who likes his coffee in the morning, I do want a machine that's going to last. This is not it.
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