I love espresso drinks--all of them. Thus, I had to have a machine to use every day. I've had several others before the Cuisinart, but none lasted for more than three years. This baby has been with me for over six years now and is still going strong. Brew Performance This espresso machine delivers near perfect espresso with a nice crema on top. Unlike some machines, especially stove top varieties, the espresso never tastes burnt. It is smooth, dark and rich. Of course, one has to have the right coffee ground correctly. But, it doesn't take long to figure that part of the equation out. The only issue I've had with this machine is with the frother. It only lasted three years. I've cleaned it, did everything mentioned on the Cuisinart site and maintenance pages, but it just won't work any more. It isn't a huge problem for me though. I use a hand blender to froth my milk now. Works well! Ease of Cleaning The outside wipes down with a damp cloth. The drip tray removes easily and can be cleaned with soap and water or placed in the dishwasher. I wipe the machine (where the coffee brew head screws onto) with a wet rag after each use. The filter baskets and brew head wash with soap and water easily. Ease of Use I fill the water reservoir with filtered water, fill the filter basket (that is inside the brew head) with coffee, screw it onto the machine and turn a knob for a perfect cup of espresso. It is very easy. When the espresso is done, I remove the brew head and wipe the machine. Done. Design I think it is beautiful. It's sleek and modern. Durability The espresso part of the machine just lasts and lasts. But, the frother died before its time.