How effective is pressure profiling and flow profiling?
Pressure profiling and flow profiling coffee machines are able to control either water pressure or water flow to enable a controlled “push” onto the coffee puck. There are automatic (electronic) and manual (paddle or lever) options for this capability.
Some manufacturers and retailers claim that profiling changes the results in the cup, but true coffee aficionados, including myself, are unable to notice any difference. One thing is for certain. Unless you have an amazing palate you won’t notice any difference in the cup either. The only tangible benefit of profiling is the ability to control a gentle push onto the coffee puck during the initial stage of extraction.
However, pressure profiling capability is unnecessary for Italian coffee machines with E61 groups as the E61 groups have gentle pressure build up engineered in to their design. The E61 group is legendary for good reason. My advice is to skip pressure profiling and flow profiling and choose an Italian coffee machine with an E61 group. Keep it simple and enjoy great coffee from a traditional Italian machine.
With an effective workflow you will be able to get perfect extractions on any Italian coffee machine without pressure profiling or flow profiling. This is what I do day in, day out, and you will be able to do this as well with a little Home Barista Training