Rated 3.3 out of 5 by 3
Rated 4 out of 5 by Flight1000 Great looking machine, good espresso
This machine looks good, is very robust and makes a good espresso. What more could you want? Well, there is probably no such thing as the perfect domestic espresso machine so like all of them it has pluses and minuses.
The most noticeable feature of the Ascaso is its ability to heat up very quickly and maintain temperature even if you make several successive cups of coffee.
There is a guard on the top of the machine to retain cups. It looks good but don’t rely on it to pre-heat the cups. It takes a long time to heat up, isn’t flat and doesn’t reach a very high temperature.
I have been using the machine for about two months and have got fairly familiar with it. I am using the same freshly roasted beans that I used on my previous machine and the Ascolta is producing a much better espresso. One problem I have found is that the ‘crema’ (the cream that you get on the surface of the coffee when it is made correctly) is not as smooth and creamy as I am used to. It has larger bubbles in it. I am not sure what is causing this although the Ascaso works at a higher pressure than I am used to. The crema is sensitive to the type of coffee used so I may need to experiment a little.
I have tried the milk frother a few times. It will produce a nice creamy froth although I have not managed to produce enough froth before the milk starts boiling over and making a terrible mess. This is probably poor technique on my part – it takes time to become a good Barista! – anyway, the jury is out on this one.
One important thing to mention; Ascaso do not seem to offer either telephone or email support (I tried) so if you have problems then this will need to be addressed through your supplier. Anyway, what I really wanted was Barista advice and perhaps it is unreasonable to expect this.
Overall I like this machine. It looks good and is very robust. It would just be nice to have a telephone number to discuss my Barista training!
11 November 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by cb82 Looks great but unfortunately didn't deliver
We received this coffee machine as a wedding gift but unfortunately had to return it twice. Such a shame as it looks amazing. The first one didn't work at all i.e. there was no water flow. Contacted Ascaso customer services who were unable to discuss over the phone only by email, received a reply telling me that I had to put water in the machine, which wasn't helpful. The second time we contacted them we were promised a call back but didn't receive one, in the end we decided best to exchange. The replacement seemed to work great, water came out as it was supposed to, but when it came to making the second cup of coffee and steaming milk, whilst following the instructions to a T (as much as possible as they are really not easy to follow) the pilot light didn't go out as it was supposed to and the whole machine overheated extremely quickly resulting in the filter dramatically exploding off of the machine. What looks like it should be a simple machine to operate unfortunately wasn't for us. On a side note the machine doesn't come with a milk steaming jug; the steamer nozzle doesn't move making it a little bit tricky to work with; you don't have the option of preset single/double shot sizes. As always, great customer service from JL and we have decided to go for the Sage Barista Express instead which so far is amazing.
20 September 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Cassie1111 Lovely coffee
I bought my machine in cream. It looks gorgeous and is very sturdy. It's a powerful machine and makes excellent coffee. I've had it for about two months now and make about four brews a day. The instructions could be clearer - the translation isn't great - and we had a bit of trial and error, but all in all it's easy enough to suss out.
14 April 2014