Well, actually it’s supposedly a coffee maker too, however I decided to modify this a bit and remove the coffee making spout (I bought this used, and the spout leaked…otherwise I may have left it on). Now I only use it to steam milk (and nut/rice milks!), and let me tell you…WOW does it have steam power! And with pressure that high (~1.5-2 bar as a guess) it must make terribly burnt coffee! But I can easily steam a small pitcher of milk in less than 20s (usually around 15s for the amount of milk I use) which makes enough milk for a full cappuccino and 2 macchiatos.
You can see in the pictures it has a safety over pressure valve in the back, but for normal operation has a thermostat. Makes steaming convenient, and with seperate units (open boiler espresso + high pressure dedicated steamer) I think for a low-end price range this is ideal. To get something similar I’d need a good dual-boiler system as a guess.
Heat-up time is about the same as my Caravel (with PID) and so everything is ready to go and I’m not usually left waiting. Also since I often do just straight shots, I can choose not to heat up the steamer most times. Very flexible and ideal for me at the moment.