The EM-100 from Cuisinart is a sturdy, well built espresso machine. Unusually, it come with a DVD disc that assists you in stepping through the set up process. This is just as well because the manual sold with the EM-100 is not comprehensive enough.
As there are quite a few things to learn before you start using the machine, it would be good to invest some time in viewing the DVD. Many common problems can be addressed if a user adopts this approach in the first instance. For example, I know many people who have taken the EM-100 straight out of the box and tried to activate the heating light. What they didn’t realise is a small button needs to be turned to a droplet icon for this to happen. This is something that could be overlooked but is covered in the DVD. The DVD also covers a range of other features including the types of coffee drinks you can make, machine maintenance and cleaning the EM-100.
Leaving aside the setup, once you start using the EM-100 you will see that it has all the characteristics of a well built, well speced espresso machine: it’s quiet, it locks easily into place so you know things are working correctly,it has a large water tank and warming plate on it’s roof; it has 15 bars of pressure which produces a great taste – although it should be noted you will have to use the highest quality coffee beans to achieve this taste.
The wand in this machine works well but I found it overfilled the pitcher the first time I used it. The solution:use less milk than you think your going to need as milk tends to double in volume when heated.
A couple of things you need to be aware of: the coffee pod system doesn’t make great coffee but that’s more a to do with the cheap pods that were put into the system than any fault of the machine itself.
Be careful of getting the coffee grind too fine; it will clog the tiny holes in the portafilter basket and jam the machine. But again, cleaning needles are supplied with the EM-100 to prevent this from occurring.