I'm loving my new Brikka, but my experience is that you do need to read the instructions and follow them to the letter. One thing the instructions said was that the first 3 or 4 brews would not be good, well for me this was about the first 10 brews (is some chemical coming off the pot?) which were quite horrible (very acidic). But now it is making gorgeous cafe americanos (where I dilute the coffee with boiling water and add a little milk). The fake crema is fun, but is not what you buy this for and is not worth obsessing about. What you buy this for is a nice (i.e. flavourful) strong coffee, quickly and easily made.