- Dual boiler
- Ring brew group with a 0.325L brass boiler
- PID-display to regulate the temperature of the brew boiler
- PID-display showing the brewing time in seconds
- Stainless steel steam and hot-water boiler with a 0.75L volume
- Vibration pump Ulka EX5
- Boiler pressure gauge
- 'No-burn' steam wand
- Boiler insulation
- Heater coffee boiler - 1200 Watts
- Heater steam boiler - 1200 Watts
- Steam boiler can be switched on or off separately
- Water tank with adapter and a 3L volume
- Low water level switch-off
- Available in 230V or 110V
- Weight 18 kg (39.7 lbs)
- Dimensions (WxDxH): 255mm (10") x 415mm(16.3") x 385mm(15.15") without portafilter
So this is a relatively unique little machine. I was originally pretty sold on the BDB, but I was concerned about longevity, and I wanted something that would hold its value. Here are few points of comparison:
- The machine is an inch and a quarter deeper than the BDB, 5 inches narrower, and nearly 10lbs heavier.
- The reservoir is .5L larger than the BDB, the BDB features a .3L brew boiler (smaller), and a .95L steam boiler (larger).
- The BDB has a burn-me steam wand, the Pro 300's is insulated.
- BDB uses 1700W, 115V, and 15A - the Pro 300 uses 1200 or 2400W, 115V, and 20A (I think - see my previous thread for details)
- The BDB has 3 PID's, one in each boiler and one in the group (although you can't adjust the one in the group) - the Pro 300 only has one on the brew boiler, it uses a pressurestat on the steam boiler, and the group is heated by the brew boiler (sort of similar to a Linea Mini)
- The BDB has a reputation as a bit of a slow steamer, whereas I had to find a two hole tip and turn down the pressure because otherwise milk was getting to temp in 6-8 seconds and I'm just not that good.
- The BDB has adjustable preinfusion - the Pro 300 does not have preinfusion capability
- The BDB has timed auto-starting - the Pro 300 does not
- The BDB retails for $1300, the Pro 300 for somewhere around $1500-$1700 (not set yet)
I bought the machine from Clive Coffee as on open box model. As one of Profitec's only two US distributors, they were sent the Pro 300 to test and decide if they wanted to sell - currently they only sell the Pro 700 and their grinder, the T64. So this was that test machine. It's likely that when Clive and WLL finally do start selling the machine, it will be a little different from mine. Mine is still a production machine however, since the Pro 300 has been on the market for almost 2 years in other parts of the world. I have been told by Clive that they will be selling the machine in the near future.
So let me walk you through excerpts of my routine, I think this will highlight a lot of the pros and cons of the machine. There are three switches on the front of the machine, one turns on the machine and starts to heat the brew boiler, next to it is the switch to heat the steam boiler, and up top is the switch to activate the pump. So although I rarely make milk drinks let's say that today my wife wants a London Fog or a Capp.
I turn on the brew boiler, the PID display turns on displaying the software version briefly before switching to the temperature in the brew boiler, there is a little dot flashing on the screen indicating that it is heating. I now quickly activate the pump for 1 second, if I don't do this, then when the water temp gets up to about 75F the machine will make 5-10 pops before quieting down and being fine (presumably a pressure difference somewhere that activating the pump equalizes). Next I switch on the steam boiler, the pressurestat is set to about 2.5bar 1.3bar. The brew boiler reaches temperature in about 2 or 3 mins (I'm serious). The steam boiler reaches pressure in about the same amount of time, however in reality, the condensation in the wand is fooling the machine. Opening the valve will purge the condensation and cause the pressure gauge to drop down to 0 - the heating element will turn back on, and the steam boiler will actually be at temp/pressure in another few minutes. If you purge it a min or two sooner the element will never turn off and it will heat up a little quicker. So five minutes in and the water is up to temp. If you still have the stock 4 hole steam tip, you better be an expert, otherwise I suggest picking up a two hole from Chris Coffee, which makes things a little more manageable. Anyway, the portafilter is heating quickly and will be hot less than 10 mins from start. If you do your part (good coffee, quality grind, even distribution, level tamp, etc.), then you'll be creating excellent espresso in no time. However when everything is right and your shot blonds right at 27 seconds, you'll be surprised to see you're PID displaying a temp ranging from 215-235F. It seems the element turns on while the pump is activated. I don't know how common a feature that is, but truly back to back shots aren't really possible with the Pro 300 - it gets too hot. Either flush some water (it doesn't take much, it's a very small boiler), or insert a cold portafilter which will equalize things pretty quickly.
Other random things and quirks:
- There is no rail on the top of the machine, so don't stack you're cups too high.
- If you actually want your cups hot be prepared to use some hot water, the boilers are insulated, so the cups take a while to heat up just from ambient temperature (at least an hour).
- The machine is only 10" wide, so sometimes it feels a little cramped.
- The drain spout for the 3-way is designed a little oddly, and often doesn't go directly into the drip tray.
- The reservoir fills from the top, but has two big finger holes on the removable cover. In an effort to keep dust out of the water, I keep my Cafelat tamper seat over one and my stack of saucers over the other - it seems to work.
- The machine takes an 8mm group gasket (not mentioned anywhere) if you want to replace the rubber one with a silicon Cafelat.
So let's finish this up. Do I regret buying this machine - no absolutely not. Do I occasionally think the BDB might have been the better choice - rarely, and the feeling doesn't last long. The BDB has a lot of things going for it, but I spent a lot of time in Clive trying to make a better shot with the Breville - trying to convince myself that I was giving up in the cup quality in the name of durability and resale value, but I couldn't. At the end of the day at best they were the same, and most of the time the Profitec was better. Of course I'm not a professional and every bean is different, but that was enough to convince me. I didn't need preinfusion. I don't need autostart when it heats up so dang quickly. I wanted a no burn wand. I wanted a well-built machine. I wanted something beautiful. I bought the Pro 300, and I have no doubt that it will serve me well in the foreseeable future.
I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. I plan on shooting a quick video of my routine just so you can see it heat up super fast.
Here is a link to the manual: http://www.profitec-espresso.com/filead ... Pro300.pdf
Here is a link to the product page: http://www.profitec-espresso.com/en/pro ... o-300.html