Yep they are pretty ordinary.
But you have to remember that its probably rated at about 300 watts if your lucky. When you concider that most kettles are 2000 watts and most pressurised espresso machines are about 1200 watts its fairly easy to see why they fail dismally. I would suggest a BIG sinewave inverter and a compact 240V espresso machine would be better - other wise a bialetti (sp?) or some thing like whats pictured below might be more suitable.