Are Ascaso machines worth buying?
Hello everyone, I have recently bought an Ascaso ARC, but it immediately came to me that I may have overpaid. I can still return it however. The price was about 400$, but is the machine really worth that much keeping in mind it doesn't have a boiler? Won't the quality of espresso be the same as in other cheaper,non-boiler machines? Wouldn't it be a better option to pay an additional 100 - 150$ pounds to buy let's say an Ascaso Steel UNO PROF ? Or are Ascaso machines overally overpriced and unworthy?
I don't have any personal experience with Ascaso machines, but my understanding is that while they make commercial machines the models in their consumer range are more comparable to appliance brands like Breville (Sage) or Delonghi. Whether they're overpriced or not is hard to say and dependent on how they compare to other options I guess.
The pick of the bunch are the 'Professional' models, ie. Ascaso Steel Uno/Duo Pro. These use boilers instead of thermoblocks for brew water and have some slightly better build features. The Uno is a standard single boiler (like a Gaggia Classic or Rancilio Silvia) and the Duo has the ability to steam milk and brew coffee at the same time. I think it has a separate thermoblock for the steam. I see second hand ones for sale occasionally being sold 'as is' due to having some sort of leak or malfunction so they obviously suffer from the odd issue, but like any machine I think they will do ok if the user looks after them properly.
Hope that helps somewhat.