Advantages of E61 espresso machine

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
oscarnyc
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Joined: 1 year ago

#1: Post by oscarnyc »

In the market for a new machine as an upgrade to my 10yr old Gaggia Classic. I like the GC for the ease of repair (I've had to put in new thermostats and switch group) and minor mods for OPV and steam wand.
I've recently been more into espresso and upgraded to a Eureka Specialita grinder.
I'm looking for something which will give me more consistency in shot quality, better steam power and temp/pressure control so I can try lighter roasts.
I rarely make more than 2 drinks at a time, usually just one. I do make milk drinks so steam power is important but it doesn't kill me to wait 1 minute for the machine to heat to steam.
And as you can see, I want something that will last a long time and user repairable. Like to keep it below US$1750.
The Profitec GO seems to check many boxes, and always nice to be on the low end of the budget. What's not clear to me is the advantage of the E61 units vs a "regular"? group like on the GO? For my profile what do I get moving up to something like the Profitec Pro 400?

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BaristaBoy E61
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#2: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

An E61 would be a worthy improvement in function and taste. You already have the experience to handle any maintenance or repair. I would say that an E61 group would be a good match for your abilities and experience.

Choose the machine that most appeals to you.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

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mrgnomer
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Joined: 18 years ago

#3: Post by mrgnomer »

I started with a thermoblock entry level machine and 'upgraded' to an e61. A definite consistent extraction quality improvement.

I like the e61 because it's a simple and well designed mechanical spring and lever espresso extraction engine. It's brass density makes it a great temperature stability heatsink. As a mechanical part it's easy to maintain and simple enough to take apart for cleaning and parts replacement. It's been around for a long time so parts are common and easy to find now and should be well into the future.

The Go looks like a lateral move from a Gaggia. A good e61 would be an upgrade with a bigger boiler, more commercial grade parts, more powerful steam and better extraction control stability. The disadvantage would be longer heat up time but once you got everything heated up the temperature stability would be an advantage.
Kirk
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professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love

Arafel
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#4: Post by Arafel »

I'll give a contrasting reply. I don't think an e61 is all that and a bag of chips. Its tech is over 60 years old, and you don't see it commercially anymore for a reason. It's popular because it looks cool to home enthusiasts and there are no patents, so the parts are readily available, but it has drawbacks, like a long warmup time and iffy temp stability due to the huge brewhead that's out in the air. E61s were designed for heat exchange systems as well.

A GO would be a small improvement. At your experience, and your budget, I'd look at a Pro 300 or Rancilio Silvia Pro

boren
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#5: Post by boren »

The only functional advantages of an E61 machine over the Go would be the option for adding flow control and the built in pre-infusion. Compare with a machine like the similarly priced Lelit Victoria which has PI and you're only left with the flow control option.

The Go and the Victoria on the other hand have many advantages over E61 machines: faster warm up time, better temperature stability, more energy efficient, safer (no burns from exposed hot metal), easier to maintain (to need to disassemble and lubricate).

If you care about flow control and don't want to spend 8K USD for high end machines with this feature like a Dalla Corte Mina or a Slayer, consider an E61 machine. If you don't care about this feature, there are much more sensible options.

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mrgnomer
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#6: Post by mrgnomer »

This is a good exchange I came across discussing whether e61s are outdated, which is where this thread might go.

Do you guys think the E61 grouphead is outdated?
Kirk
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love

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mrgnomer
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#7: Post by mrgnomer »

Arafel wrote:I'll give a contrasting reply. I don't think an e61 is all that and a bag of chips. Its tech is over 60 years old, and you don't see it commercially anymore for a reason.
The reason is probably more the same as why manual transmissions are harder to find. They're phased out for a market that's less interested in learning how to use them and can be convinced the alternatives available are better. For commercial needs in a high volume cafe the new tech fills a need but at home I'd say the interest is in a good extraction and e61s deliver.
Kirk
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love

Arafel
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#8: Post by Arafel replying to mrgnomer »

I think that's a false analogy. I drive a stick and love it. But for espresso extraction, I think a saturated group offers more advantages, whether for home or commercial settings. E61s have some downsides, which I mentioned in my earlier post.

cmin
Posts: 1371
Joined: 12 years ago

#9: Post by cmin »

Arafel wrote:I'll give a contrasting reply. I don't think an e61 is all that and a bag of chips. Its tech is over 60 years old, and you don't see it commercially anymore for a reason. It's popular because it looks cool to home enthusiasts and there are no patents, so the parts are readily available, but it has drawbacks, like a long warmup time and iffy temp stability due to the huge brewhead that's out in the air. E61s were designed for heat exchange systems as well.

A GO would be a small improvement. At your experience, and your budget, I'd look at a Pro 300 or Rancilio Silvia Pro
This, had so many machines across various designs and I would never own an E61 again, from a Delonghi way back when I started to a modded GS3. Honestly even the modded BDB I have I would easily take over an E61 any day.

I will say forget the 300 since you mentioned, I had one as a temp/standby machine and I hated it and had so many issues that not even retailer could figure out let alone me. Forget lighter roast on it, terrible there, no PI or profiling either. That BDB will destroy the 300 whether light or dark roast for taste in the cup, even dark roast is excellent since can ramp the pressure down kinda like a lever or funky stuff like using the stock PI system at whatever power % and pulling a while shot like that if wanted.

My Lucca M58 was fine, for an E61, but I just don't see the point (for myself at least) ever owning one again, just outdated and to many other machines today that outperform. The group looks cool that's about it.

But if OP is set on E61 at that budget there's not many options.

bman0023
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Joined: 1 year ago

#10: Post by bman0023 »

I have a quick mill anita and its been great for me. Looking to upgrade soon. Bu
Honestly its been a great machine and looks good too.