Those of you who follow me on twitter know that I have a very special relationship with espresso. It's my morning (and afternoon) drug of choice and one of my favorite hot beverages. (Yes, I'm a Starbucks shareholder. That should tell you something...)
I've owned a variety of espresso machines over the years and while none of them would be considered "commercial" quality, some of them were quite expensive for "consumer" grade machines.
When you use a consumer grade espresso machine every day, it eventually dies, even with proper maintenance. They're just not made for that kind of frequency.
So, when my Super Duper Espresso Maker 9000 died a couple of months ago, my wife saved me from the oncoming withdrawal symptoms by stopping at a local Bed Bath & Beyond and buying a Krups XP3200 Opio. With tax (and a coupon) she paid just over $100 for it. (At the time of this post, you can get one on Amazon for $99.99.)
I am so impressed with this little machine.
It heats up quickly, maintains a good constant temperature and consistently pulls a great shot. I find that I have to grind the beans a bit finer than I would with other espresso machines in order to get a really good dopio, but that's too trivial a detail to be considered an inconvenience.
As much as I like this machine, I expect that it will die in a year or two but you know what?
$99 for a couple of years of service is a lot better than the many hundreds of dollars I've spent in the past for my espresso machines. I hope Krups continues to make this model for years to come.