Suggestion on espresso only machines

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

#1: Post by ppaolo2 »


I own a ECM Mechanika IV but in time I realized I don't need steam wand or hot water tap, my only focus is espresso.
Can you suggest some machines that do not have steam wand and water tap, have a PID and a very stable brew temperature?
I drink mostly medium/dark blends but sometimes I like experimenting with light/medium roast single origin coffees.


#2: Post by DeGaulle »


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#3: Post by HB »

There's also the Cafelat Robot. Minimal footprint, ready to go in 5 minutes or less, good value, easy to use. That said, even with preheating tricks, it's not well suited for coffees requiring high brew temperatures.
Dan Kehn


#4: Post by thoang77 »

If you can find one, the pinnacle of an espresso only machine is the La Marzocco Shot Brewer.

If you're open to waiting an unknown amount of time, the ECM Puristika would be right up your alley. It was introduced at the HOST expo in 2019 but was delayed from its original summer 2020 release since some global event happened that slowed down manufacturing and I haven't seen any form of update after someone said Jan-2021 which has come and gone.


#5: Post by erik82 »

Not with a PID but the Strietman CT2 does the job and makes great shots. The group is, in essence, a saturated group with great stability. And maintenance is really easy.

Also LM used to make a shot brewer which essentially is a GS3 for espresso only.

ppaolo2 (original poster)

#6: Post by ppaolo2 (original poster) »

Thanks for your suggestion, I knew about the QM Carola but had some doubts about the PID since I like to be able to easily raise or lower the temps when I change coffee. Price is nice though.

I'm not too attracted to lever machines, I tend to like more classic overdosed basket 18in 36 out for my blend, I'm into the syrupy and chocolaty stuff.
Had La Pavoni, Riviera, Caravel and while they make good coffee I feel they are not to my personal taste.

La Marzocco looks great but it seems I cannot find it anywhere, I'll look more into it.
Very interested in the new ECM too, I'll keep an eye out about it!

Team HB

#7: Post by Jeff »

You're perhaps limiting yourself by ruling out machines that have steam. Pulling lighter roasts often benefits greatly from variable PI/soak, as well as control of extraction pressure/flow. This week I've been pulling a light-roast Kenyan and finding that if the peak pressure is above around 6 bar, it tastes "flat". With a conventional profile, I've been running 15-25 seconds of soak. Less than that I can't get sufficient extraction to get good balance. Being able to control these took my success ratio with "drip" roasts from 50/50 on an E61 HX that I hit my chosen temperature within 1°F to the point where if it isn't tasting good, I'm reasonably sure it's the coffee not bring suitable for espresso.

Variable PI and extraction profiling are not "entry-level" or cheap-to-add features. They require a manufacturer to actually do some engineering and design work, rather than just crank out another variant of the same E61 box they've been making for decades. Machines without steam are typically targeted at budget-conscious buyers.

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ppaolo2 (original poster)

#8: Post by ppaolo2 (original poster) »

Well, the point for me would be having something that has everything needed for espresso, flow control, temp control, profiling etc.

I wouldn't want to have to miss on something important that is available only in machines with steaming capabilities so I was asking if there's a machine that is specialized in doing the best espresso possibile while being able to control all variables.

In a way I love the concept behind the Decent but I would feel more confortable with something "physical" and less "virtual".


#9: Post by salvia »

There's a La Marzocco Shot Brewer currently in the Buy/Sell-not an option for the OP as it's NYC pickup only, but the seller has some interesting tidbits about the machine, which looks really interesting, and if anyone local to NYC sees this thread...just buy it.

[FS] La Marzocco Shot Brewer - Flow Profiler mod (Local NYC pickup)


#10: Post by coffeeOnTheBrain »

How about a Zuriga :!:
Edit: never mind it doesn't have pid.