Robust and unfussy
I bought a reconditioned model of this machine, and have had it for about two months. With a bit of practice getting the right quantity/tamping pressure in the right coffee-holder insert (there are 4), I am producing perfect, hipster coffee-shop standard coffees. It's not as easy to use as a Nespresso, obviously, but much more versatile and the grinds are recycled into my allotment with no hassle.
The steam wand is very easy to use, and quite powerful. The machine is also very easy to clean on the outside and inside. Sometimes the water from the drip tray does splash out, even if it's not full, so you do have to keep an eye on that and have dishcloth to hand.
I have found that the best results are with Lavazza 'qualita rossa' beans. That company seems to have figured out the perfect blend and roast consistency. A lot of the single-origin roast beans you can buy from various brands don't seem to produce the same results. I have a Krupps burr grinder and I use the finest setting on that. I don't think one needs to spend another small fortune on the Sage grinder, but I do see the appeal in a machine that regulates the grind and quantity so precisely.
All in all, I am extremely pleased with this machine, which looks great, feels robust and heavy, puffs and snorts steam like Smaug having a good dream on his pile of treasure, and which produces brilliant brews.Read full review
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: Refurbished