Prosumer Machines Basics


Prosumer Espresso Machines Fundamentals  

We put together FAQ so you can be confident taking the right choices with your new Espresso Equipment. We recommend to start your research with our 'How to Choose the right Espresso Machine'? guide, which will take you through the myriads of available technologies in the Australian market and illustrate the difference between ‘generic retail’ espresso equipment and Prosumer equipment. More and more coffee lovers who wish to replicate ‘Café Style’ coffee at home, understand the value of a boiler technology vs. a Thermoblock and of Heat Exchange (HX) Vs. a Single Boiler. Once you have read the guide, check below for more answers to popular questions:    

Are all the Heat Exchange Models on Your Range the Same?

No, but they have many things in Common:

  1. They employ an E61 Brewing Mechanism with a Thermosiphon System (except  the Nuova Simonelli brand)
  2. They can potentially last for many years if well maintained and serviced
  3. They are made in Italy (except the Expobar brand), incorporating high quality, durable materials like stainless steel, copper and brass, and no plastic
  4. They are commercially oriented and can sustain a high pressure and temperature environment
  5. They can brew great espresso if paired up with a good grinder, fresh beans and a skilled operator
  6. They share a similar, simple cleaning and maintenance regime we brief you on either in the docs attached to the machine or during your free training session if picked up from store 

E61 Group Head Vs. Traditional Group Head, which is better? 

We believe an E61 group provides a better environment for espresso and here is why:

  1. As most E61 models also employ an HX technology, they enjoy the benefits of making coffee and steam simultaneously - no compromise with coffee going cold, crema dissipating or milk separating as a result of a long wait from coffee mode to steam mode
  2. The E61 group head is constructed with 4.5kg of stainless steel, heavy mass of metal that keeps the brewing head relatively stable in temperature, therefore optimizing espresso extraction 
  3. The Lever action for brewing with the e61 system, is fully mechanical, as opposed to solenoids controlling passage of water in traditional group head design 
  4. High shower clearance allow for a higher dose, which makes the machine more forgiven, your shots more restricted (more flavors) and your coffee more consistent
  5. Thermosyphon System ensures a well controlled flow of the water through the machine, starting with specific length of piping through choices of group head restrictors and the circular flow of water inside the group head prior to extraction (pre infusion). 

'Profi' Style Lever Steam & Water Taps (Di Bartoli Magica) or the Classic Knobs Style? (Vibiemme Domobar Junior), which way to go? 

We don't believe there is 'better' or 'worse', it is an individual call. However, working with both intensively, we found that the Profi is a much better system to allow achieving consistently of a desired milk texture. When not required to evaluate distance of knob turning, we tend to focus on instantaneously achieving a Whirlpool in the jug, which guarantees silky microfoam milk one time after another. We found students in our workshops achieving microfoam faster with the 'profi' system than those using the traditional steam knobs. Naturally a good Barista can tune in both systems and achieve desirable outcomes with both.

What is the difference between a Rotary pump machine and a Vibrating pump machine? 

Lets look for example at the ECM Manufacture Techinka Rotary and the Vibrating models, or the Rocket Giotto Premium Plus and the Rocket EvolutionThe Rotary model comes with a commercial motor and a switch located at the bottom of the machine that allows you in an event you wish to plumb it in, for water to flow inside directly from your main straight to the boiler. There are some advantages are:

1. Rotary pump is more commercially built, less likely to fail as vibrating pump and is able to sustain
    a higher volume of water. If the machine will receive a good workout, that point might be
    beneficial to you
2. Plumbing in your machine with minimal hassle does allow the joy of automatic refill without
    manually doing it
3. The Rotary pump is much quieter and operating it does 'feel' better. The low noise level might
    be a value with young babies or in an early shift work scenario

We found no bearing on the quality of the coffee among both models

What's the difference between all the Rocket models on your range?

The Di Bartoli Magica and the Bezzera Mitica are in fact identical internally. Both feature the same size of boiler (2L) and heating element (1400w), both have 2 gauges for steam and coffee pressure, 4L tank, same dimensions and weight. The only differences reside within the externals and whether the individual perceive those differences as a value or not. The Mitica has a double thickness side panels as oppose to the Magica where panels are thinner. The Mitica's side panels stretch upwards and form the cup warmer surrounds, with the tank cover located at the back and open upwards. As oppose to the Magica that has a one plate cover removed via metal handles. You can fit more cups on the Magica and you don't need to remove the cups from the cup warmer when required to fill the tank. The Bezzera Domus Galatea is similar to the above two models in boiler and heating element capacity, yet it has a very different presentation externally, with a unique look and an extra focus on design, character and finish. It is also wider than the other two models and occupies larger bench space. It also varies with the design of the steam and hot water taps, featuring stylish knob as oppose to the Lever Taps on both other models.  

What is the Difference Between all the ECM Models on Your Range?
The Technika (T) Vibrating and the Mechankia Vibrating are essentially the same machine internally. The Technika is avaialble both as Vibrating and Rotary models, and the Mechanika only as a Vibrating model (see above Rotary V. Vibrating).

In addition, there are variations with the steam tap design: both models available by default as 'Profi' (see above) and can be modified upon request with no extra charge. In comparison to the Mechanika, the Technika features thicker, double walled side panels with a marginally better quality stainless steel. Both side panels stretch upwards, forming the cup warmer surrounds, that is divided to 2 parts with the tank cover open upwards at the back and a limited cup warmer area at the front. As opposed to the Mechanika, that features a larger cup warmer surrounds that is removable completely by hand rails attached to it. Convenient, should you prefer more cups warmed as well as if you are limited by bench height (extra 3cm height on the Technika). The Technika Profi Rotary being the most popular model is normally available all year around, but other models may fluctuate in stock level. Please contact us for the best availability advice if you are pressed in time getting one.

The ECM Electronika Rotary, another popular model, features a Volumetric touch pad that stops the coffee after 30ml while allowing the barista steaming milk at the same time. Good for home entertainers and for small offices that require multitasking and speed. The Elektronika also comes by default with a Rotary Pump and with the ability to switch to main when needed.  

Is a good espresso grinder more Important than the espresso machine? 

Well, it is as importer as to say the least. If you are after a good coffee you may not see the difference between a $400 to a $800 grinder, but if you are after an excellent coffee, there is a good chance your inexpensive grinder or no grinder at all will prove a liability. We recommend pairing up your machine with a good burr grinder that grinds consistent and fine enough for your new machine. Check our 'How to Choose the Right Espresso Grinder for You'? guide for more on the different features and what it means to you. 

DOWNLOAD THE BUYER'S GUIDE for more essentials to help you choosing a shortlist. Got a shortlist? Click HERE for the next step.