First Espresso Machine Brands to Research and Advice.

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by blizzardporter »

I am a former chef who has fallen in love with espresso. I am currently picking out my first machine. I have a little experience pulling the occasional shot on the restaurant's very straight forward two group machine. I believe it was a Gaggia.
My coffee drinking habits are one espresso shot in the morning and one (occasionally two) cortados throughout the rest of the day. Including my family, it totals 6-8 milk drinks and a shot or two of espresso per day. Nothing high volume, but precision is of the utmost importance to me.
I've opted to go for a DB instead of a SB to start. In my experience of buying chef knives, kitchen equipment, etc. any time I've gone entry level I've ended up immediately wanting to upgrade a month in. The more I can avoid any temperature surfing/idiosyncrasies outright, the better.

- Single group, dual boiler, along with independent gauges and temperature controls.
- Preferably no touchscreen.
- PID temp control.
- 2 bar steam pressure.
- E61 group head.
- Priced around $3k.
- Ease of serviceability. I work on alot of my own appliances, so having available parts and ease of service is a big plus for me.

Of less importance to me:
- Weight and footprint. Assume very generous counter space.
- Noise level is a non-issue.
- Plumbable. For now, I know I'll be using just the reservoir. But when I move, it would be nice to have the option to plumb.
- Flow control. As of now, I want to focus on fundamentals first before experimenting with flow, but having the option to upgrade in the future would be nice.

+ (And as far as pumps go, is there that noticeable of a pressure variation in vibratory as opposed to rotary in your opinion?)

The Lucca M58 and the ECM Synchronika are two contenders that have jumped out at me. Any first hand experience/reviews of these machines would be greatly appreciated. Additionally, which other brands should I add to my list?

Thank you all for your input!

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Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

I would look at the Lelit Bianca, ECM Synchronika, and Profitec Pro 700. The La Marzocco Linea Micra is a bit more, but has some things I consider of great value to me, such as ready in under 10 minutes rather than closer to 45 minutes for an E61-style machine.

blizzardporter (original poster)

#3: Post by blizzardporter (original poster) »

Jeff, thank you for the recommendations! I'll research them a bit more.


#4: Post by Znekcihc »

I currently have the PP700 and absolutely love it with zero problems for the past 6 years.
I owned a ECM Synch for a brief time and loved it even more. No clue why I got rid of it. Practically identical with subtle differences. Both are built in the same factory and are perfect. I guess its more so up to you of which you like the look and feel better? Do you know like knobs or handles? Do you want the gauges on bottom or top?

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#5: Post by yakster »

Make sure to leave room in your budget for a good espresso grinder.

LMWDP # 272

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#6: Post by bobkat »

I really like my Synchronika. I prefer levers over knobs. It has performed flawlessly. I appreciate how it equals or outperforms espresso/lattes from a coffee shop. It is easy to service, which was one of my considerations. When paired with a good grinder, you will get good results.

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#7: Post by PIXIllate »

yakster wrote:Make sure to leave room in your budget for a good espresso grinder.


#8: Post by Coffeechiro »

With your budget o $3K, why not buy a machine with flow control? A must in my opinion.

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BaristaBoy E61

#9: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

This link might go a long way to help you decide.

Choosing an Espresso Machine Rationally

I would also advise that if others in your family will be using this setup, then choose one that's easy enough for them to use at least competently and without intimidation.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"