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802 of 818 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this thing reliable?
I don't often write reviews, but this machine deserves every good word said about it. I have owned one for 3.5 years now, and it's still going strong. So if reliability is what has you sitting on the fence, jump off and buy one. On to the details.

We bought 3 of these in Germany; one as a wedding gift, one for us, and one for my office at work...
Published on 15 July 2009 by Buddha

versus
208 of 224 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great coffee but only lasts for 2 years
Firstly this machine provides great coffee. It is simple to use and everyone who has visited us remarked on the quality of the brews. If it is great tasting coffee you want, in a machine that is simple enough to use then get this but BEWARE.
After two years it broke down. We took it to the DeLonghi registered repairers and the cost to repair was prohibitive. The...
Published on 13 Dec. 2010 by gep


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802 of 818 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this thing reliable?, 15 July 2009
By 
This review is from: De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine - Silver (Kitchen & Home)
I don't often write reviews, but this machine deserves every good word said about it. I have owned one for 3.5 years now, and it's still going strong. So if reliability is what has you sitting on the fence, jump off and buy one. On to the details.

We bought 3 of these in Germany; one as a wedding gift, one for us, and one for my office at work. Unfortunately, when I moved to the UK, I lost the one in the office (office personnel had "joint" purchased it). The one that was a wedding gift is used every day and is still running fine. The office one was used EXTENSIVELY and was still working at the 1.5 year point when I bid a tearful farewell to it. The one in my home... wow. I'm an espresso nut, having lived in Italy for four years. I work that thing to the bone; it has made at least 5 espressos ~every~ single day of those three years that I was home and is still running strong. The only "bad" cup of coffee that I've had from this thing is when I bought low-quality beans.

To address some specific things mentioned in other reviews, I'd just like to say that this thing makes crema so well that sugar will sit on top of it...if you know the trick. Use a properly-sized espresso cup and heat it before making your coffee. Rather than relying on the heater on top of the machine (the silver part in the picture), just boil some water in the kettle and dump it in the cup; it's a lot faster. Adjust the dispensing spout -- the part with two little silver spouts directly above the cups in the picture. That piece moves up and down. The closer you get it to your cup, the better the crema. Adjust your grind; regardless of what others may have experienced, I find the adjustable grind to be perfect. It is, however, VERY dependent on what type of beans you use. I've had to tweak it nearly every time I use a different type of beans to get it to the perfect grind. Also, if you find that the puck grounds get mouldy from sitting too long, my only comment is this -- you're not drinking enough coffee. ;-) Last note before pros/cons/tips -- this machine requires that ~you~ put milk in a container and froth it for cappucino; it's not "fully" automatic, but the frothing bit works great (when used with skill).

Pros
*Extremely reliable (3 machines monitored over 3.5 years with no flaws)
*Near-perfect espresso
*Capability to use pre-ground (separate compartment, one cup at a time) for the decaf crowd
*Great frothing tool for cappucino (see tips)
*Fully adjustable grind, strength (amount of coffee used) and water (for "long" coffees) with single or double cup buttons
*Auto shut-off after about 2hrs

Cons
*A touch on the noisy side during start up and when it grinds
*Can scramble your freeview signal (though this is the fault of house wiring/antenna, not the machine)
*Doesn't know when I'm going to wake up and automatically have an espresso ready for me when I get to the kitchen

Tips
*Read the manual. No, really. Read the manual.
*Use quality coffee. Always. (Lavazza Rosso or Espresso is good, Il Pascucci from southern Italy if you can find it)
*Pay attention to getting your grind set right
*Heat your cups with boiling water before making the coffee
*Make all of your espresso shots BEFORE switching to frothing mode for cappucino
*Use the descaler that comes with it, then switch to white vinegar for cleaning (has worked for me for 2 years)
*Go on vacation to Italy and learn how to make proper espresso and how to froth milk -- it really is an art
*Honestly -- it takes time to perfect the frothing. Don't give up until you've talked to someone that knows how.

So what am I doing on Amazon looking at these if mine is so reliable? Yep, you caught me ... I'm thinking of buying another one for the office here...
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107 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best in class, 25 Jan. 2014
By 
Antoine Camilleri (Malta) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine - Silver (Kitchen & Home)
After going through so many reviews, and I mean many, it seemed I was becoming more confused as to which bean to cup coffee machine I should go for. The market is flooded with these coffee machines, so the dilemma was to find the one which would suit me best at the right price. I learnt that Gaggia was bought by another company (which I am not really fond of), so I finally settled for a reliable brand name "De Longhi"

It has been over 3 years now and this great machine has been through thousands of great espressos and cappuccinos.

I am not new to coffee machines. Having used traditional Gaggia machines since time in memorial, I personally was getting tired of the messy procedure to make an espresso or cappuccino (as is the case with all non bean to cup). I moved on to other quality bean to cup coffee machines(Krups), yet I was never really satisfied.... that is up until the De Longhi Magnifica :)

There are so many detailed reviews, and the fact that you are looking through these reviews means that you are considering buying a coffee machine, and probably considering the "Magnifica". All I can say is just hit the buy button, and you shall be pleasantly surprised at the quality of your future espressos and cappuccinos!!

True, this machine is not the most silent out there, but that does not mean you are going to wake up your better half or the kids unless you have a tiny apartment.

A few tips I have discovered through the years.: See pictures A and B, by viewing "Product Images from Customers"
------------------------------------------------
1. I had the steam rotary knob coming loose a couple of times. If this happens, remove the knob, place the spring over the knob inner collar, and then push back in place. See photo A.

2. Once you get used to building a froth, you can move on to produce denser more pro looking and tasting froth. In order to achieve this remove the black plastic tube (which is used to produce froth). Towards the upper side you will find a tiny hole. This is used to create a venturi effect and suck air during steaming. Cover the small hole with a small piece of tape, put back in place and voila!! See photo B. You will be creating a cream like froth (with some experience). Do not use blue tac to cover the tiny hole, as this could end up in the milk!

3. This machine works best with beans. Ground coffee works fine, but it tends to mess up the inside the machine itself, requiring thorough cleaning very often. Freshly ground beans produce a better tasting coffee.

4. Always keep the user manual in an accessible place, as you would need to refer to it. It explains everything you need to know about the machine. Every time I need to de-scale, I have to refer to the user guide, even though I really know the ins and outs of this machine.

5. Descale the machine using De'Longhi Natural Descaler for Bean to Cup Machines, 2 x 100 ml. They are approved by De'Longhi and relatively cheap.
------------------------------------------------

If you have any questions just leave a comment.... I've become an expert on this machine :)

Did I say that I love the De'Longhi Magnifica? LOL

Keep in mind that the black ESAM4000 version costs more and does not have a cup warmer.

The De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 is one of the few products I can truly highly recommend, meriting a well earned 5 Star rating.

Wishing you some great cappuccinos!!!!
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176 of 183 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good start for bean to cup, 9 April 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine - Silver (Kitchen & Home)
We've had a gaggia classic for about 6 years and finally replaced it with this model.

My wife likes a Caffè macchiato which is stained with froth (why she doesn't just drink espresso I don't know!) We were looking to go for a fully automatic, but just couldn't find something that gave the froth just how my wife wanted it.
Anyway, we've had the machine about 2 weeks now and using Illy coffee beans. It took about 3 days to get the setting just right but now we produce the coffee perfectly every time.

Where people have made negative comments lets put some things into context.

Noise...
yes it makes noise, my dishwasher and washing machine make more noise for a lot longer. Is the short time it makes a noise that much of a problem? The grinder is a bit loud, but no worse than some kettles when they bubble and boil... its about 10-15 seconds of noise.
Then there is a pump that puts the water/steam under pressure... again its there but not unacceptable.

Drips...
After two weeks I just cleaned the trip tray, there was about an egg cup of water in the drip tray BUT I always put an old mug under the valve.
As the device is turned on it primes the system and pushes about 2 fl oz a mug of water through the system. As it purges when you turn off, it does similar. (I know because I use 1 oz shot glasses and the first time I needed to quickly empty the glass as the system primed itself.) if you don't put the mug there, the drip tray will fill quickly. The choice is yours, but I use the mug to clean the steaming wand.

Temperature...
the coffee temp can be set, play with the settings and you find it can be hotter if you want, but remember hotter water effects the coffee taste. So play with it.
Milk/froth is down to you. Read and learn techniques in making milk and froth. I re-read information on this and it reminded me of some bad habits ive got into and some new tricks I hadn't done before and I now make a perfect jug every time. (its more than sticking your wand in and hoping for the best!)

The temperature is then controlled by your own skill.

PROs
Simple to use
Better (and cheaper) than pods/nespresso machines to run
Quicker and less messy than a traditional espresso machine.
Easy to clean
Makes good coffee

CONs
None so far
(why 4 and not 5 stars - because I have no other products to compare against)

TIPS
Use Google to understand how coffee is made (read about grind and temperature); how to make froth; and different coffee types ie the difference between a Café Macchiato and a late macchiato and then this helps you make perfect coffee every time. Also look up about how to store beans and keep them fresh.

I store coffee in a vacuum jar (see vacuvin products for example) it keeps the coffee fresher a little longer.

Think about the type coffee you like; don't just buy the cheapest of the supermarket shelf. There are suppliers on the internet who can sell you beans of specific blends. They can advise you if you ask. Don't buy too much or it will go stale.

Learn how much coffee you get through to maximise your stock. I use about 1KG per month. That's about 90/100 shots.

Oh forgot - purge the steamer into the mug before using it to frothing the milk... there is always a little water in the wand that needs clearing first.
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118 of 125 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still early days, but promising so far., 9 Mar. 2011
By 
Mr. S. Gascoyne "hifisteve" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine - Silver (Kitchen & Home)
OK Amazon, no pressure but I decided to buy this machine specifically because of the number of positive reviews. The way I see it, people are far more inclined to report when things are bad rather than good, so this many good reviews had to be a good thing right?

Anyway, what about the De'Longhi Magnifica ESAN4200 then? Well I'm going to start with the one thing which prevented me giving it 5 stars - It's no super model! Don't get me wrong, it's not hideous, but there's no getting away from the fact that it's silver painted plastic, and then only the front panel. All the rest is just plain black plastic. If you want a thing of beauty then you need to be prepared to fork out £600-700 on a Jura Ena 5.

Now the good stuff:

1. It's thoughtfully designed and quite compact. It hardly takes up much more space than my old, manual Dualit espresso machine that it replaced.

2. Having the water tank accessible from the FRONT is a great idea, as you can slot it between other stuff on the counter and still fill the water easily. In fact you don't even have to remove the tank, just slide it out a bit and top up with a jug rather than carry it full across the kitchen. I don't understand why other manufacturers think hiding them round the back makes anyone's life easy....

3. All the bits that need cleaning (drip tray, coffee grounds bin and brew unit) are easily accessible and removable, and access to the insides is easy for a wipe round. I'm not going to make any comments yet about the build quality as it's early days, and as I say, it's all plastic, but it looks pretty robust.

4. The controls are VERY easy to use. I particularly like having rotary controls for water volume and amount of coffee and it's easier to fine tune to suit your taste.

5. IT MAKES GOOD COFFEE! You will need to have a good play and experiment to get things right, but so far I'm really quite impressed. Assuming you want an espresso strong enough to use to make a latte or Americano (the latter by adding hot water to the espresso, NOT but running extra water through the grounds using the machine), I'd recommend the following:

- Crank the right-hand coffee strength (amount) dial all the way to MAX

- Set the left-hand water volume (drink size) to about 9 or 10 o'clock (i.e. about 1/4 of it's total travel)

Subject to your particular beans, the above should give you a properly strong espresso shot, with the water stopping just as the colour of the extracted brew starts to fade, rather than continuing until it's like dirty water.

Despite the warnings in the instruction manual, I've not found any problems with the speed of coffee delivery, as the pump seems to cope just fine. Obviously this might not be the case if you start adjusting the grinder settings down towards 1 from the factory pre-set 5, but again, this is something to try out.

Overall then, a promising start and hopefully the start of a long and happy relationship. If things work out, I'm planning to work this machine like a dog and possibly treat myself to an upgrade to a Jura next year if I find I use this one enough.

p.s.

After some investigations, I've discovered that the basic internals of this machine (brewing unit, grinder, basically the bits that actually make the espresso) are the same as Delonghi's most expensive machines. So in terms of quality of coffee and robustness of the mechanical bits, this unit is as good as some three times the price. All you get with the more expensive machines is fancy frothing sections and a posh case.
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208 of 224 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great coffee but only lasts for 2 years, 13 Dec. 2010
This review is from: De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine - Silver (Kitchen & Home)
Firstly this machine provides great coffee. It is simple to use and everyone who has visited us remarked on the quality of the brews. If it is great tasting coffee you want, in a machine that is simple enough to use then get this but BEWARE.
After two years it broke down. We took it to the DeLonghi registered repairers and the cost to repair was prohibitive. The repair guy was helpful though as he explained that there is a hidden counter inside that records the number of coffees you have made and so helps the service engineers. His view was that the machine thus broke down prematurely if out of warranty and that we should write to de Longhi. Two letters and two email inquiries later we have given up with them. They did not refuse to do anything about this but simply have ignored all four communications.
So "buyer beware" from our experience this excellent machine will last on medium use for two years before terminal break down, despite careful and sensitive use. De Longhi appear to be indifferent to this limited life cycle. Shame really.
In sum:
Five stars for coffee,
One star for value for money since it lasts two years with medium use,
One star for non existent de Longhi customer service.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to bean-to-cup machines, 5 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine - Silver (Kitchen & Home)
I'd been lusting over a bean-to-cup machine for a while, and received a small bonus payment for an extra bit of work, so decided to treat myself. It took me a while to decide which of the many similar-but-not-quite-the-same models on the market to go far: this one seemed to be the one that was most consistently well-reviewed, so I went for it.

As others (and the instructions) say, it takes a few cups before the taste of the coffee settles even without fiddling with the controls. My first cup was too weak, the second way too strong. It didn't take more than a day or two to find a satisfying combination. We're currently trying out different beans to decide which we like best.

The machine is very easy to set up. The hardest part is getting the water hardness indicator paper out of its protective sleeve. Once you've performed the test and adjusted the settings of the machine accordingly, filled it up with water and beans, you're ready to go. In use, the machine is just as straightforward: set your controls for water and coffee quantity, place a cup under the nozzle, press the button. After switching on it takes maybe a minute to be ready for brewing which is no big deal. When activating steam mode it takes maybe fifteen seconds to heat the water from coffee to steam temperature. (It does take a while to cool back down again, though, so you're best off leaving any steaming to the end of a coffee-making run).

Routine maintenance is straightforward: the water tank is easy to remove and refill; the bin for coffee grounds is a bit harder to access, as you have to open the front of the machine by grabbing the funnel above the nozzles. This bin comes out with the drip tray, and the instructions state that if you remove the drip tray you should also always empty the bin: I think it assumes the bin always goes back into the machine empty - the indicator light prompting you to empty the bin comes on after a certain number of coffees. There are cleaning tasks that need to be performed about once a month or so. This is not a high-maintenance machine!

I've been pleased with the quality of the coffee, as have visitors. For the stronger beans we used, we have found that putting both water and coffee dials at 12 o'clock delivers a good base for an Americano style coffee (i.e., one that is topped up with hot water to make a long drink). It's a bit too intense (and long) for an Espresso style, turning the water dial to about 9 o'clock and the coffee dial to about 10 o'clock delivers (for me) a more pleasurable drink. Of course, this will all depend on the type of bean you are using, so you do have to be prepared to fiddle with the settings (and remember the choices that work best for you for the type of bean you are using). I've found the steamer to generate a decent frothy milk more reliably than the one on my old, fully manual machine - and the coffee tastes better too.

Why only four stars? There are one or two minor niggles. As others have said, the controls feel a little plasticky in use. Since there is a cleaning cycle that takes place when you turn the machine on and off, the tank empties faster than you would expect, so you do feel like you're refilling it quite often: also the bin fills up fairly quickly too. Having now seen how you need different settings for different types of drinks I can see the appeal of a programmable machine, but that's a whole lot of extra cost (and more things to go wrong).

If, when this machine wears out, I'm still happy with the consistency and quality of the coffee that comes out of this machine I might then splash out on a heavy-duty, programmable machine. But as I wasn't sure if a bean-to-cup machine was going to be more than a novelty item, I decided to go for an entry-level machine this time round. I'm very happy so far, and hope it stays that way!

UPDATE: One year on, and I'm still very happy with this machine. I recently "discovered" (in the sense that it was explained in the handbook) that after steaming milk, you can run hot water through the steamer which both cleans out the steamer jet and cools the tank back to coffee-making temperature in a matter of seconds, so if you're tired of waiting for the water to cool down after steaming some milk, this is the way to go (as long as you don't mind using a bit more water). My only gripe is that parts of the inside of the machine can be a bit tricky to clean - some sort of a brush (and in my case, a torch) is needed.
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109 of 118 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent machine all-round., 5 Mar. 2009
This review is from: De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine - Silver (Kitchen & Home)
Just replaced my Nespresso capsule machine with this. Makes great coffee time and again. Very versatile and variable, so well worth spending time to tweak the settings to suit whatever type of coffee you want. Very easy to keep clean and maintain. Warms up quickly. Gives better results and is more consistent than a capsule machine whilst having just as much convenience (arguably more so) and better environmental credentials (no waste capsule or capsule packaging!). Upfront cost is higher than most capsule machines but the running costs will be much lower, and so it will pay for itself within a year and then save me a lot of money for years to come. Buying this over a capsule machine is a no-brainer.

Am being picky by awarding four stars. Would award five stars if it had a more usefully laid out top surface (has three awkwardly-shaped long and thin areas divided up for the beans compartment, ground coffee compartment and the hot-plate for the mugs/cups).

Am very happy with this product so far.

**UPDATE JULY 16th 2011** Still going strong despite a lot of use since its purchase.

**UPDATE APRIL 25th 2012** Machine finally gave up the ghost. Survived three years of intense use. I cannot complain. I heartily recommend it, still.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a coffee machine that is going to be used!, 28 Dec. 2011
By 
David P (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine - Silver (Kitchen & Home)
We have had many varied coffee machines over the years - percolators, filter machines, espresso machines, and even what we have been using for a long time now, a thermos jug with a plastic filter funnel on top. Apart from this last one, all of them, whilst producing acceptable results, have been a faff to use. The jug has been satisfactory, but nothing compares to what we are now drinking from this beauty!

Fill tank, put beans in top, press button. Refill tank when it tells you. Empty waste when it tells you. Clean it when it tells you. And the coffee is superb.

If you are new to the world of real coffee, then be prepared for some expensive trial and error while you find the right bean, and the correct settings for amount of water and strength of coffee for the best results for the way you like your coffee - but persevere, because when you find the right combination for your tastes, the results are mightily impressive. It is fast, simple, the coffee is actually hot - which sounds daft but this is often a major stumbling block for coffee machines, by the time they have finished mucking about the end result is often luke warm - and there is always a wonderful rich creamy crema on top.

A few people complain about the noise. Yes, it's noisy. Grinding beans is a noisy business. Forcing water through grounds at high pressure is a noisy business. It is no worse than other separate grinders/espresso makers that we have owned. It doesn't last long. I suppose it might disturb people nearby if you like a latte at 3am, but other than that, it just is what it is, don't let reports of noise put you off. It's a bit like saying your oven makes nice cakes but does get a bit hot...

Now for the niggles. The "cup warmer" on top is, like every other machine we have had alleging to have such a facility, a waste of space. After the machine has been on for an hour, it might be slightly warm to the touch, but will do nothing to your cups. A quick blast of hot water from the steamer spout is fine. The knobs for adjusting the amount of water and strength could really do with some numbers on so you can more easily remember what settings are good for what.

Er.... that's it. Best home made coffee we have ever tasted. And the price is fantastic. Why you would want to pay perhaps twice as much for something that does the same thing but with an LCD screen on it is beyond me.

Can't comment on reliability yet, we've only had it 3 weeks (a Christmas present I couldn't wait for!), but it seems pretty robust to me. Some report years of trouble free use, others report broken on arrival or after a few days. I guess for anything overtly mechanical like this, you are going to be unlucky sometimes. But it does have a 2 year warranty so you should be able to sort out any mishaps.

Handy hints - if you have been frustrated by the amount of time it takes to switch back to "coffee" mode after you have used the steamer, when you switch back and the lights are flashing at you, put a jug under the steamer and release the pressure. It will be ready again in seconds rather than minutes. And if you want your coffee a bit larger than what you end up with, as soon as the water stops flowing, you have 3 seconds before it starts "clearing away" during which if you press and hold the cup button, you can put more water through until you let go again. Handy if you are making espressos but they come out a bit smaller than you really wanted.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great coffee, 31 Mar. 2011
This review is from: De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine - Silver (Kitchen & Home)
I've had the machine for a few days now and it makes great coffee, using Lavazza expresso beans from Tesco. I have the burr grinder set at a very fine setting to try to get the most out of the beans.
The temperature of the coffee is spot on - you can adjust how hot you want the coffee (read the manual).
As others have said pull the spout as far into the cup as possible to preserve the crema layer which is excellent (sugar will float on top).

Please Don't heat your milk before frothing - micro bubbles are best formed when the milk starts ice cold (5oC)!

If you need to make another expresso shot after using the frother just open the milk steamer knob, it only needs a minute or so to cool the machine to allow another shot - do people not read the manual??

Its a doddle to clean and you can heat the cups up from the frother attachment, don't be boiling a kettle! I haven't used the ground coffee option yet so can't comment.

Buy and enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, quick, artisan coffee at home!, 2 April 2014
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This review is from: De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 Bean to Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee Machine - Silver (Kitchen & Home)
Daunting as the set-up may be, once it has been filled and powered up and the hopper has been topped up with beans, this machine is excellent in every way. The coffee produced is superb, the build quality is robust, and it is extremely easy to use. I leave the strength setting all the way up, as most coffee lovers probably would. I've found that the 11 o'clock position on the left hand dial is great for a full espresso double shot, if you press the single-coffee button. If you want an americano in a larger mug, however, I would advise 1 o'clock position and the double-coffee button. Self cleaning is quick and you barely notice it, and the hot plate on the top is a nice touch that goes mostly unmentioned in the reviews!
One main point - READ THE GUIDE. Learning what the lights mean, what flashing vs steady means etc. makes ALL the difference!
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