This espresso machine is pretty basic - you can pull a shot and froth some milk. But it does perform those functions pretty well. There is always a trick to doing espresso in any machine, and each machine is a little different, so once you get used to this one, you shouldn't have any real problems. The frothing nozzle is a little hard to clean, but I've seen worse (my first Krups model). You have to let the water heat several minutes if you are going to froth anything, and then, you have to choose between frothing or pulling a shot. I tried for a long time to figure out how I could do both with one water load and had limited success. The espresso shot does taste good, and it is nice and strong. The biggest complaint I have with the machine is the handle on the espresso wand. It's plastic, and pretty cheap feeling plastic at that. It hasn't broken, but I always feel I have to baby it. I've had the machine about 2 years and use it maybe 15 times a year. Brew Performance Espresso shot brews tasty and without a hitch. Ease of Cleaning Actually easier to clean than others I've seen. Design A metal handle on the espresso wand would be a HUGE improvement.