I purchased the espresso maker 4+ years ago after many years of using up cheaper ones every two or three years, in hopes of saving money. The machine was well rated (still is), and my hope was that it would last under normal usage by two people, and that if something went wrong I could replace parts instead of the machine. I had quite a few problems, primarily with a thermostat, from the beginning but phone calls to the seller got answers that worked around the frequent interruptions in heating and I like the coffee it makes. However, recently it started blowing the external GFI in my kitchen. It does not do it consistently, but often, and on my return last week from and extended vacation it, It blew the "breaker" every time I turned it on. I again called Whole Latte Love and this time was told that because it was out of warranty that I would have to send it to them and have it repaired to the tune of around $300 plus shipping and labor. I have tried to have someone locally repair it to save the shipping charges and cannot find any one, so I am ordering a new cheap maker. I am very sad as I had hoped to have this machine for a long time--the reviews said it is built like a tank and that to me means not prone to expensive breakdowns. The difference between an $80 for three year coffee maker and a $6-700 for a 4-5 year coffee maker does not make economic sense to a person on a fixed income. I recommend the Rancilio Silvia to people who have the income to spend the $1-200 dollars per year for slightly better coffee, but will sadly stick with my $20-50per year purchase. I am very disappointed that the machine from Whole Latte Love did not live up to expectations for a long life.
It was conscientiously maintained, used only with distilled water, cleaned regularly and usually produced two lattes a day. On occasion, it was used for more drinks (6 or 7), and did produce a fair share of Americanos and Cappuccinos.
I also conscientiously refilled the steamer boiler after making a couple of lattes as directed by the service department at Whole Latte Love (to prevent the boiler from overheating). Again I loved the machine when it worked, but am very Disappointed to be looking at repairs (plus shipping) that cost almost as a replacement machine after such a short time.
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