I've owned five (yes, 5) of these machines, three here at home and two in a vacation condo. On one hand, it makes a great cup of coffee. On the other hand, it's very finicky. It takes a while to master the technique, and even then, it's just not going to last. Previous reviews are also accurate. (1) You can't use typical espresso grind. It's too dense and the machine will blow its relief valve trying to push water through the filter. I now use the same grind as I'd use for Melita drip coffee, and I don't tamp it hard. This is the big trick. I returned two units thinking they were broken before I figured this out. (2) It's not going to last. I've now made about 500 double shots on my home machine over four months, and this fifth machine is in trouble. The pump is making strange sounds and about one-third of the time the flowmeter doesn't shut off earlier enough. (3) I bought all of mine from Macy's who has (at least within the first month) been extremely good about exchange or refund. I keep the receipts and get a new one no questions asked. You *cannot* send it back to Cuisinart. You must go through a retailer, so buy from one with good customer service. Despite all these problems, when the current machine dies, I plan to exchange it for another one, not ask for my money back. If it has to back for repairs, I might even get a second one and just assume I'll be swapping these things in and out of the shop. My sense is that all espresso machines are high maintenance, and this one certainly isn't an exception. And the coffee really is good once you get the right grind.
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