Rated 4 out of 5 by 1
Rated 4 out of 5 by chipm Perfect Espresso (with a slight mod)
I found how to make this machine work as well as ANY professional espresso machine.
Instead of using the pressurized portafilter (that's the name of the basket-arm combo that holds the espresso), I switched it for a fully manual portafilter.
There are 2 things needed to make this work right: First - tamp the espresso down using 30 lbs per inch pressure (you can use a kitchen scale to get the feel of 30 lbs). Second, preheat your water to ~200F before putting it in the back of the machine. This ensures correct temperature even if the machine would not heat it up to this level.
The results: Sweet, consistent espresso (bitter means it is under-extracted and burnt/sour means it is over-extracted) and a true layer of crema on top (the pressurized portafilter fakes crema, by the way).
16 July 2015