To begin with I’d like to outline the biggest strengths of the model: first point is the espresso shot, the 3-in-1 filter holder allows you to select from one espresso shot or two at a time. This is especially significant because most specialty coffee makers don’t accept pods and the ones that do always accept pods exclusively, so there’s no crossover. The second point that it offers both options for the milk frothing: An auto-frother or a conventional steam wand. The third Point is the cup warmer, most espresso machines that offer a cup warming tray use passive heating, which simply means that the heat from the boiler also warms the tray. And the last point is energy saving function, the stand-by button allows you to save energy and money while the machine is not in use.
On the other hand, the only major downside is the fact that it’s got a really small water tank. and filters are expensive, and only last about a month before they need to be replaced. At $20-$25 a month, that adds up quickly, and over time, will significantly increase your total cost of ownership. Also, this machine lacks a three-way solenoid valve, which makes a soupy coffee puck.
From my point of view, EC 860 is worth the money and the advantages of EC 860 outweigh the disadvantage. On balance, if you are tired of drip brew coffee and looking for something that offers enough flexibility and capability to allow you to create a wide variety of coffee shop specialty creations, on the other hand if you want a robust starter machine with enough capability to allow you to make all your favorite drinks, and you don’t mind doing a little bit of the work yourself, then the EC 860 is an excellent choice, and is highly recommended.