Once upon a time, I thought you made a shot of espresso by putting coffee in a basket, the basket in an espresso machine, and turning it on. That was before I owned an espresso machine. Then I learned about all the variables I had to control, and all the contortions I had to go through to control them. I learned that there are three kinds of espresso machine: those where each of the variables had its control setting, those where each of the variables had its control contortion, and those where there was no control and no hope of a good shot.
Now there is the MaraX, which is pretty much the espresso machine you thought you would get before you know anything about espresso machines - no contortions, no settings, but the variables are controlled. There is actually a hidden switch for setting temperature, but mostly this machine controls itself and makes good shots with an absolute minimum of fuss.
CONCLUSION: I was happy using the X for two months. Like the Bezzera Strega and Lelit Bianca, I could use it on all the coffees I usually roast and drink without having to fight the machine and go through contortions. This means the X is punching way above its weight; a basic HX machine requires not just flushing, but a great deal of finesse on dose and grind for lighter roasts; the X is way better in this regard. In this sense of build and shot quality, I can recommend the Lelit Mara X for everyone from beginner to advanced.
Psychologically, this is a hands off machine. I enjoy intervening in the shot; so I like manual profiling machines like levers or the Bianca. Other people like setting up all the variables precisely and ahead of time, for them, something like the Decent is a better choice. If you want no fuss great shots, especially in a tight space, the X may be the best espresso machine out there for you.
- Water tank with a 2.5 liter capacity
- Dimensions: width x depth x height: 22cm x 41cm x 35cm
- Boiler heating element: 1300W
- Power: 230V 50 Hz - 120V 60Hz
- Weight: 18 kg
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)