Top positive review
725 people found this helpful
Excellent traditional machine - perfect for short/medium long coffees for 2
on 2 May 2006
This is a very well made traditional espresso maker. It's solid, fits well together, and the handle is comfortable. The thick base to the water reservoir part means it doesn't heat up *too* fast over a gas flame, though if you are using gas, make sure you don't let the flames lick up the side of the machine.
Now, for the quality of the espresso it makes. I must admit I was disappointed with this at first - I had been used to a high pressure espresso machine which made thick creamy espresso. At first when using this maker I followed the instructions exactly - not 'tamping down' the coffee and not grinding it too fine. This made a fairly weak espresso. In fact the 6 cup amount made me two good longish coffees, still an improvement in taste over my cafetiere coffee.
To achieve a better espresso I got advice from my Italian and Greek friends. They grew up with these machines, and told me to grind the coffee slightly finer than instructed, and to tamp it down gently (not too hard or you block the holes.) This made me the rich espresso I wanted.
Lastly, about these coffee makers, take them off the heat a little before all the water in the bottom evaporates (also a knack to learn when this is!) You avoid the bitter-end-coffee, and you make sure you're not going to leave the machine to dry out over the heat and possibly get damaged.
You may be interested in quantity - everyone's idea of 'cup' is different. I imagine the 'cup' here is a very short espresso as I usually get about 4 espresso measures out, i.e. 2 double espresso. If I'm using it to make longer coffee, it make me two mugs. It'd be a perfect size if there were two coffee drinkers in your house. For one (like me) it leaves spare for the next day. (I don't reheat the coffee, just add it cold to very hot milk/water, this works well for me.) If you don't want that, or wastage, and are sure you won't want to make coffee for more than 1 person ever, try the 3 cup model.
In all I'm very glad I bought it, and would recommend it to anyone, it just takes a little experimenting to get your coffee how you like it. But even if you're used to espresso from an expensive machine, you should be able to adjust this to get something to satisfy you. In particular, this is an excellent brand, the maker is very well made.