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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars32
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 30 January 2009
machine arrived super-quick and looked fantastic straight from the box.
i read the very comprehensive instructions first (i didn't have any coffee so i couldn't use it straight away) and a couple of things stood out. there was repeated instruction to pre-heat all parts of the machine before brewing but also that the control knob would be stiff to start with and then free up with use. these messages were repeated so many times that it did raise suspicion a little.
well, after a couple of days of struggling with the very stiff knob (fnarr), something has now given and the control valve no longer operates. as an engineer, used to the way such things 'should' feel, i knew the effort needed to operate this control wasn't good and the warning in the instructions seemed to be an admission of a known issue. if this is true i am very disappointed that such a company would do this. i'll try a replacement and see if it is better.
the reason i'll try a replacement (and for the four stars) is because, for the few occasions that i used the machine before it broke, the coffee was fantastic and it was far more easy to make good coffee than you may think if you read the on-line reviews and 'how-to' sites.
assuming i am being paranoid about the warnings and the control knob issue goes away on my replacement, this is a fine machine with all the features you'll need to make great coffee.
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on 10 October 2009
I have had this machine a few weeks now. I read all the reviews here and elsewhere and bought it knowing about it short-commings. The bad reviews are based on fact and so are the good ones it depends how you weight it.

This machine make great coffee and the water tank heats up very quickly. The instructions recommend that you run a cups worth of water through the system to pre-heat all the parts and this seems to help speed up the warming of the cup warmer as well.

Yes it is relatively noisy (about the same as a kettle) and also vibrates, rattling cups will also add to the noise but you can hold them.
The steam wand is good and in steam mode the machines noise changes to a chug chug sound which I think is great. What I would say is that its worth picking up a milk thermometer so you can actually see how long you need to keep the jug under the nozzle. Amazon have one which is very good Kitchen Craft Stainless Steel Milk Frothing Thermometer, Carded Using this will give you perfect results every time. BTW don't bother with the rubber boot on the end of the steam wand, use the wand on its own, it's easier to use and easier to clean.

So should you buy this model? Well after a few weeks of ownership I would say yes. The noise/vibration thing that everyone goes on about I accept as part of the coffee making process which only last a few seconds anyway (the time it takes to fill your cup, the rest of the time its silent) It looks good and is easy to clean and most importantly I think is worth the price. Can you get better machines? Yes, but you will be paying a lot more money, will you get a much better machine for all that extra cash? Probably not.

**UPDATE**
I have now owned this machine for 6 months and I would make the additional observations that clarify other peoples criticisms (I think):-

Grind size is important and will make a difference to how the machine performs; for anyone finding that the machine blocks up after pumping with no coffee coming out and then can't release the filter basket this is for you, the grind size is too small you need to change it.

For anyone getting burnt or bitter tasting coffee you have tamped the coffee down too hard in the filter basket. Experiment with different pressures and spin the tamper a quarter of a turn on the coffee to finish the tamping you will find improvements and eventually when you get it right good tasting coffee. Bear in mind this will change with grind size and coffee type so you need to practise.

After you have turned off the coffee/steam valve wait until you hear a whooshing sound come from the machine before you switch off the power (this is the machine releasing the pressure). This will help stop drips, but guess what? The drip tray is there to catch the drips, yes you do have to empty it sometimes and probably clean it too duh.

As I mentioned before you do have to warm everything up before you get hot results but you only need to do this by passing hot water (no coffee) through the system as soon as the temperature light goes out (after few seconds). If you just leave the machine on to get hot it adds to the sticky control knob problem but this only shows up if a) you leave it switched on for a long time or b) use it several times one after the other. Yes it is a design fault but in normal day to day use it shouldn't affect you.

Would I buy this machine again if it broke? Well yes unless anything else came in to beat it at the current price point with the same or better features. I still think this is a good value machine, but not without its faults. As for coffee making it is an art, if you get it right first time you are lucky but you might have to work at it whatever machine you get.
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on 19 April 2009
I spent quite a lot of time researching my first espresso maker purchase. I love a good espresso and wanted to make my own at home.
After talking to friends and looking online I was leaning towards Gaggia or Rancilio but didn't want to spend that much money.
I had the Dualit grinder and have been a big fan of their approach and design, so I decided to bet my bucks on this one. The design was also a great fit for my kitchen.
The results are in and after a bit of training I can now make an excellent cup of espresso with good foam.
I don't use the frother so not sure how that works.
The two things bothering me and explain why it's not a solid 5 star contender are:
- The heat of the coffee. You need to preheat your cup prior to making the coffee if you want it to be warm till the last sip.
- It makes a lot of noise when in operation. But I'm a drummer so I don't mind

Overall, very happy with the quality of the coffee I get from this affordable machine.
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on 19 December 2008
First thoughts are that is is a nice looking machine. Lovely cream colour and quite compact. Fits nicely with their matching kettle and toaster.

Pros
- Very simple to use and heats up nice and quickly.
- The cup warmer is great and big enough for 2 coffee cups and 2 expresso cups.
- You get three coffee holders, a shallow 1 shot holder, a deeper 2 shot and 1 x pod holder
- Huge water tank
- makes nice coffee !

Cons
- Well mine arrived with one of the plastic lugs broken that holds the water tank on. Currently going throught the Amazon replacement process, so hopefully that will be resolved soon.
- Somethings are slightly plasticy and cheap, like the poor design to hold on the water tank and the black plastic coffee holder handle doesn't feel very secure.
- Drip tray is quite shallow and will fill up quickly if you overflow your cups.
- Quite noisy during operation
- Warming plate takes longer than the water to heat up, so you have to turn the machine on 5 minutes before you want the coffee, to heat the cups
- Ability to have hot water and or steam is a nice feature.
- It heats and froths milk quickly and well
- Just my preference, but it is a shame they didn't put 'Dualit' on the main front instead of 'Expressivo'.

All in all a nice looking machine that does the job but could have had a few more solid feel features built in.
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on 9 February 2009
Very impressed by this machine. I know it's only a baby machine and the real McCoy is a cafe-sized beastie that's on all day etc but this really does what it says - makes beautiful coffee! It does produce a wonderful expresso - good crema - hot enough and very quick. Downside is that it needs the thermoblock element to get the instant heat plus a noisy pump. I've used it a lot to produce expressos, barraquitos, cortados, lattes and cappuchinos . . . it IS a bit of messing about but then that's what making good food is. I have the Dualit burr grinder alongside and I even roast my beans. Another odd thing is that the afterwards is a bit messy - normally the used grinds are dry and you can tap them out but this machine leaves rather a soup behind - OK if you intend to wash them down the sink but not ideal for the knock box. Not sure if you can leave it on for ages but it does take ages to heat up the top plate but that's a nice feature - a hot plate to warm the cups, splendid. All in all, very worthwhile & I would recommend it.
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on 8 January 2009
I received this machine for christmas. As soon as i got the tamp right, it was producing great coffee. It's very easy and fast to use, producing espresso with excellent crema (the thermoblock makes a huge difference - you can have a shot of steaming hot espresso ready in less than a minute from turning the machine on!). From a taste point of view, I can't fault it. However, the steamer is quite weak and in a slightly awkward position. It takes a long time to get the milk to a decent froth and I'm not entirely convinced by how constant the steam is. I'd agree with the previous reviewer - the drip tray is rather small, and seems to fill up quickly.

However, my major gripe is that after 5 days of use, the pump suddenly gave in. So I had to return it to Amazon. Which was a real shame - not what I'd expect from Dualit and hopefully not indicative of a wider fault with the machine.

After lots of research on other machines, I am settling down to this one again - the price is excellent, the quality of the coffee is brilliant and compared to other machines in the price range it appears outperforms them in virtually every area. So, fingers crossed that the pump issue is a one off.
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on 11 May 2009
Having had the previous dualit espresso mahine before which lasted about 7 years with extensive daily usage we were confident to go ahead with the new model. It makes divine coffee with a beautiful crema every time. Looks stylish and does not take up as much room on the work counter as other coffee machines. Can't recommend it enough.
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on 28 September 2010
Bought this two weeks ago and using it every day for espressos and cappucinos. Once you get used to the procedure it actually takes only a few minutes to produce a wonderful cup of coffee. It is slightly noisy (but only for a few seconds) and, yes, the drip tray does need to be emptied after every cup, but we find it is worth the effort. At first I couldn't get the frother to work, but along came engineer husband and pointed out that there needs to be water in the tank to create the steam. Well, what do I know? Duh!
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on 12 February 2010
i am very pleased with this machine - after having read differing reviews - but i find it makes great coffee and is very simple to use - it only takes a couple of goes to completely get the hang of it - i am really glad i bought it

the milk frother also makes great hot chocolate

my local coffee shops will soon be feeling a dip in takings i am afraid! the coffees are just as good as theirs (and better than a lot of places)
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on 29 December 2011
My wife and I don't drink a huge amount of coffee, one after a meal and the odd one or two during the day but do like to have a "nice" coffee. As our Nescafe Dulche Gusto is about 3 years old we thought the logical step would be to buy a proper machine and treat ourselves
This was on offer in my local Costco.
Read the instructions and had a go. It was a touch fiddly to get the foaming right but that's all part of having a new toy right? well after the first dozen times, to be honest it becomes a bit of a pain if you don't get the knack, which I obviously don't, so we stopped using that part. After owning it around a month and less than 100 cups of coffee there was no flow through the bit that holds coffee so I turned the machine off and twisted the holder free. Here's a hint, if this ever happens to you wait a good 5 minutes or so or it will explode hot coffee grounds and some water everywhere.
Took me a good quarter of an hour to clean up, reading up on their website gives half hearted instructions about turning it upside down and unscrewing this and poking things with a pin.
IT'S A COFFEE MACHINE, if I wanted mechano I would have purchased some. Costco accepted the machine back without the packaging and not a murmur as I did not want to take the risk of using it again.

I am sure if you are coffee god and used to all this faffing about it's a great budget machine, it looks pretty but it is noisy, the cups wander about on the base, it's a pain to clean, the coffee I produced was so-so (though this is probably me & /or my choice of coffee's - dow egberts so should have been half decent) and then it exploded on me in less than a month.

I will venture back in to the mystery's of making espresso & cappuccino's at home but will read a lot more and probably spend a bit more money, so for now I am sticking with our Dolce Gusto
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