Coffee Machine and Grinder FAQs

Integrated v E61 group?  Machines with integrated groups are ready to brew in 10 minutes whereas machines with E61 groups are Latte ready in 15 minutes and espresso ready in 25 minutes. My advice is to never sacrifice the legendary E61 for the reason of heat up time. A power point timer to switch the machine on 30 minutes before you wake up is all that you need. 

Vibration v rotary pump?  Vibration pumps deliver a lower flow rate and a more gentle pressure ramp up so they are recommended if you are looking for the very best coffee extraction. However, rotary machines are generally quieter. For the best of both worlds look at the Profitec Pro 500 which offers vibration pump performance without the "vibe rattle."

Lever v touch pad control?  For home machines please avoid touch pads. The primary reason for this is that for truly great espresso you need to extract by colour, not by time or by volume. This may sound tricky but don't be concerned at all - you can read about extracting by colour on my training page. A secondary reason is that a touch pad takes away that hands-on manual machine feeling.

Copper boiler v stainless steel boiler?  Over recent years some manufacturers have moved to SS boilers to reduce manufacturing costs. Although copper is expensive, it is the best material for HX machine boilers due to it's high thermal conductivity. SS boilers are fine for DB machines where conductivity isn't a critical factor.  

What about manual lever machines?  Manual lever machines give you the ability to control pressure on-the-run. A lever machine won't make a better coffee than a quality E61 machine. However, with a lever machine you can get a great extraction more consistently. 

Are machines difficult to maintain?  No. Unlike the automatic machines and appliances, manual machines are beautifully simple to use and very easy to maintain. You can see my maintenance schedule on my training page.

Do I need an expensive grinder?  No. All grinders I sell are capable of grinding for great espresso. My advice is to start with machine selection, choose your dream machine, then find a grinder to suit your total budget.  

Do I need a step-less grinder? No. Although steps on appliance grinders can be an issue, with quality grinders it's a different story. You may read about people having problems with steps, but the cause is far more likely to be the operator's workflow.

What accessories do I need?  Great accessories will ensure that you get the most out of every extraction. There are hundreds of accessories on the market. I have chosen a handful of the best and put together some great espresso accessory kits. To view them click here


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