This is my second automatic espresso machine. The other one is now 9 years old and while still functioning, the Gaggia makes a much stronger espresso due to its ability to provide a very fine grind. The Gaggia also has a nice small footprint - very helpful in a kitchen with restricted counter space. I've been using the Gaggia for just over a week and and found many things to like about it. First and foremost, the coffee it makes is very good and very strong. It warms up quickly and accurately dispenses a programmable amount of coffee every time. No more surprise cup overflows because someone touched the quantity knob on the old machine. I love being able to use pre-ground coffee on a per cup basis so we can easily switch to decaf in the evening. The instructions are quite complete and helpful and easy to follow. I have not descaled yet but it looks like a straightforward process as described in the seperate manual There are a few things worth noting. Both the water supply and dregs containers are not very large. The water alert comes on when there is still nearly an inch of water in the container so refilling is required pretty frequently. Add to this the auto clean cycle uses about 2 ounces of water every time the machine is turned on from standby depleting the water even more. The dregs container holds about 5 cups worth of coffee grounds before it is full. Thankfully the alert comes on before your get any over flow of grounds dropping into the machine frame when you pull out the container to empty it. Regarding the cleaning cycle, every time the machine is turned on from standby or off the machine runs a cleaning cycle which dumps about an ounce of water and grounds into the drip pan and another ounce of hot water through the dispenser. I recommend you keep a cup under the dispenser when you turn on the machine. Once the cycle completes you will have your cup pre-warmed by the hot water. Bottom line: You will want to have the machine near a sink and trash receptacle since you will be refilling water, emptying dregs, and emptying the drip pan frequently. All in all the coffee this machine produces far outweighs any inconveniences of filling and emptying the containers.
If you need further help or information please visit our Online Help Center