I've had the Pulsar for about 3 weeks now. As others have mentioned, it has had a slight redesign and no longer has a slot to check water level, and apparently the plastic reservoir was changed to one with a 1 1/2" hole in the top. A friend has a Bezerra, another HX machine in the same price range that has a spiffier Italian design that had impressed me as opposed to the more monolithic look of the Expobar. However, revisiting him, I notice the Bezerra is 6" wider and takes up that much more counter space, and it has a lot of plastic on it. The Expobar has a narrower, deeper footprint. Since you can't really put anything behind the Bezerra, the Expobar takes up less space. The height is just enough so that I can fit it under my cabinets, put some espresso and capuccino cups on top and have it clear the doors. It is also all shiny stainless so, while perhaps not as baroque, looks very professional and handsome and ready for serious business which it is. I love the hot water dispenser and the fact that both it and the steam wand are on ball joint swivels that feel very solid and reliable. My previous machine, a LeLit which is a good single boiler machine, had one wand that felt flimsy. The steam flow with the single hole tip felt slower than I thought it should be. But it is supposed to heat water to 160 in 60 seconds, and it was right on the money. I'm buying a 2-hole tip that is supposed to work faster, but the WWL staff tell me they find the slower process produces a better microfoam. We'll see. I must say the foam is really great, and the steam is very steady as it should be with a HX machine. What is best about the Expobar is the coffee it makes which is after all why I bought it. Once I get the grind dialed in and make sure to run some water before pulling a shot, the espresso is peerless. Thick, thick crema, wonderful taste, can't imagine it being better. I went to the best local espresso shop where they are very skilled and ordered a double when I picked up come Counter Culture Toscano, a great blend BTW, and it didn't taste as sweet and balanced as the one I pull.
How Long Have I Been Using This Product?
Less than 1 month
What's Best About this Product?
Very well made and solid all around. except for the drip tray. The hot water dispenser is great for Americanos, cup heating, and my kids' hot chocolate. Narrow footprint is a plus. Cup warmer works very well. And great, consistent shots that are as near perfection as I can imagine.
Some Helpful Tips For Using this Product:
Empty drip tray frequently before it gets too full. Remove wire tray top first to make it somewhat easier. Fill reservoir every night. Since it sits under my cabinets, I'd have to pull it out to fill, so I picked up a funnel with a long collapsible flexible tip from an auto supply place, and it works great.
My Experience With Using This Product:
The Coffee I've Tried With This Product:
Lavazza Pienaroma, Black Cat, CounterCulture Toscana
Some Improvements I Would Recommend for This Product:
The one great design flaw is the drip tray. Forget that it's plastic, that's irrelevant. It doesn't hold much water, gets filled quickly from the solonoid, and you have to tip is at such an angle to get it out from under the stainless steel column under the brewgroup that if it's half full it spills all over the place. WLL has got to get them to fix this. Other people have mentioned that it's hard to know how much water is in the reservoir which is true. However, with steaming, heat exchange, warming, hot water, etc. I use 3-5 cups of water a day with moderate use, so I just fill it every night, no big deal.
Some of the Other Machines I've Used:
The Type of Grinder I've Been Using:
The Make and Model of My Grinder: