Otto espresso

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 23 September 2009 06:09

The Otto has arrived!

We have purchased one to conduct a full review and see if it really can deliver espresso as claimed. If it does then it provides you with a reduced price point for obtaining espresso at home

First impressions:

Otto was shipped by DHL and given the weight of the product we were concerned that it could easily be damaged in transit. As the images show, we need not have worried. Otto is double boxed in two heavy duty corrugated boxes, then finally you arrive at the presentation box. It is self evident that a lot has been invested in the development of the packaging to ensure the Otto can be shipped around the world and arrive in good condition. Considerable time and expense has also been lavished on what we would call the presentation box, with the contents held in place with custom cut foams of two different densities to ensure the contents is held snugly in place whilst being adequately cushioned at the same time

Otto is supplied with a full complement of kit, so all you have to add is water & coffee

We were initially dismayed when we spied what looked to be a cheap light weight plastic tamp in the box. However when we picked it up we were pleasantly surprised to discover that this is not the case. The tamp is made of the same high density nylon as the handles on the Otto

The health and safety brigade are kept at bay with a tastefully sand blasted ‘HOT’ in a couple of places

We consider the finish to be of an exceptionally high standard, especially the effort that has been put into achieving a mirror finish on the stainless steel body – incredible.

Indeed, the only blemish we have found so far is cosmetic, but in the most visible location on the top of the ‘group head’. The casting has a recess in it for the Otto label to be attached. The edges of the casting around this recess are a little rough and we will suggest to the manufacturers that this be addressed going forward, but we acknowledge that this is purely cosmetic and that we are being picky and many buyers would either not notice, or not care even if they did.

So we’ve established that we’ve just invested in a piece of art, but can it make espresso?

Well, so far we’ve only completed the two ‘test cycles’ where you use the machine as normal but dump the coffee to ensure that any tainting that might result from the manufacturing process is flushed away. As a result we were fairly sloppy in our approach regarding grinding, dosing, and tamping. Hopefully tomorrow we will use it in anger for the first time, with a view to producing espresso.

We are also very impressed with the thought that has gone into the manual, which is extremely simple to follow as a result of its pictorial approach which verges on cartoon like in style. In our opinion this is a stroke of genius.

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