PID vs HX vs double boiler espresso machine?

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

#1: Post by Nubster »

I'm in the market for a new machine. I believe my Gaggia Pro is starting to show her age. I know I can probably refurb the unit but why not use it as an excuse to buy a new fancier coffee maker...right?

Anyways...I do have a budget of around $1600. I see that I'm in the PID or HX E61 group head territory or a double boiler machine like the Profitec Pro 300 or the Breville BES920XL. But I'm not really seeing anything that has both PID and HX/DB other than the Profitec Pro 300.

I do find that I am very attracted to the industrial look of the exposed E61 group head machines. Maybe I should be more concerned about function but I also feel that if I'm dropping this much money which is a lot for me...I want a machine that I also enjoy looking at. Am I wrong for thinking like this?

Anyways...I guess my real question is...if you had to choose either a PID single boiler or a HX/DB machine, which would you go with and why?

For my use...I'm looking at 2-4 drinks a day, milk based. So I do need good steam but I also only make coffee when I have plenty of time to do so...meaning that I don't have any problem waiting for temps to change between steam and brewing. My grinder is perfectly suitable so I don't need to consider upgrading that. But I'm just trying to learn whether or not there's a good reason why a HX/DB w/o PID will make a better coffee machine than a single boiler with PID or just go with my gut and get the single boiler. The machine in particular that I'm lusting after at the moment is the ECM Classika PID with flow control.

Nubster

#2: Post by Nubster »

I did just find a Rocket Espresso Appartamento for sale locally so perhaps that's an option that will take care of all my issues. PID and HX and E61 and asking price $500 below budget. Watching reviews on youtube now since I never really considered this machine before because new it is above my budget.

***EDIT....I misread a description and thought the Appartamento had a PID but I was mistaken and it does not. So...kinda back to my original conundrum though I'm still very attracted to this deal for the money savings so I may not even worry about the PID vs HX/DB issue though I'm still curious what the thoughts are on the idea of which is better or more practical to own/use for a budget home barista.

DeGaulle

#3: Post by DeGaulle »

Myself I bought a non-E61 and non-PID HX machine 7 years ago for what was, at the time, pretty much the same as your usage pattern. The only issues I have had with it are related to parts that are common to most machines (e.g. vibration pump, pressure gauge). The only upgrade I would consider is a rotary pump machine for durability and less noise during boiler refill, not for reasons of consistency, thermal management or functionality in general. I guess the Appartamento will be very much comparable in performance, both for straight and milk drinks. Put a grouphead thermometer on it and in terms of thermal management the "ignorance-is-bliss" is out the window.
Bert

thirdcrackfourthwave

#4: Post by thirdcrackfourthwave »

Nubster wrote:
Anyways...I do have a budget of around $1600. I see that I'm in the PID or HX E61 group head territory or a double boiler machine like the Profitec Pro 300 or the Breville BES920XL. But I'm not really seeing anything that has both PID and HX/DB other than the Profitec Pro 300.

I do find that I am very attracted to the industrial look of the exposed E61 group head machines. Maybe I should be more concerned about function but I also feel that if I'm dropping this much money which is a lot for me...I want a machine that I also enjoy looking at. Am I wrong for thinking like this?

Anyways...I guess my real question is...if you had to choose either a PID single boiler or a HX/DB machine, which would you go with and why?

For my use...I'm looking at 2-4 drinks a day, milk based. So I do need good steam but I also only make coffee when I have plenty of time to do so...meaning that I don't have any problem waiting for temps to change between steam and brewing. My grinder is perfectly suitable so I don't need to consider upgrading that. But I'm just trying to learn whether or not there's a good reason why a HX/DB w/o PID will make a better coffee machine than a single boiler with PID or just go with my gut and get the single boiler. The machine in particular that I'm lusting after at the moment is the ECM Classika PID with flow control.
HX/DB? An HX has a single boiler with a heat exchanger. HXs and DBs are two different beasts.

There are machines sorta like the Profitec 300. Check Lelit and Quick Mill.

Are you wrong to like the look of an E61? Nope, your money, your kitchen, your aesthetics. Function of e61? I'm not aware of functional problems other than long warm up times.

I would go with a double boiler--consistent temp, no cooling flush, capacity and convenience when (if) switching back and forth if doing multiples.

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BaristaBoy E61

#5: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

I do have a budget of around $1600.
I do find that I am very attracted to the industrial look of the exposed E61 group head machines."
I did just find a Rocket Espresso Appartamento for sale locally so perhaps that's an option that will take care of all my issues. PID and HX and E61 and asking price $500 below budget.
With a group head thermometer, as suggested, I don't see how you can go wrong.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

mgwolf

#6: Post by mgwolf »

You might look at the Quickmill Silvano which does not have an E61 group, but has a PID brew boiler, thermoblock steam, and works well. You can steam/brew simultaneously. About $1000 new.