Single Boiler Rotary Pump Espresso Machine?

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#1: Post by davidhunternyc »

I've been studying vibration vs. rotary pump espresso machines. At the prosumer level there are quite a few rotary machines but why aren't there entry level rotary machines? For instance, why doesn't the Gaggia Classic Pro have a rotary pump? I would pay extra for one. I like the small form factor of single boiler machines but I don't like the vibration pumps on them. I've researched Home-Barista for answers but it seems like all of the vibration vs. rotary pump threads are from 2009. We are now in 2020 and technology has moved forward. I am sure rotary pumps are much smaller now. Why aren't rotary pumps offered in more machines?

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#2: Post by slybarman »

It won't be a small form factor once you put a rotary pump and associated motor in it.

Anyone (other than you obviously) who is willing to pay for a rotary pump probably wants something with better performance than a single boiler machine will offer.

Rotary pump is mainly an advantage for a plumbed in machine. I am not sure how many people would bother to plumb in a SBDU class machine. That just doesn't feel like the machine most people would commit to on that level.


#3: Post by Eiern »

I'm not sure if rotary pumps have gotten smaller over the years. You already know this, but you can just get a dual boiler with a rotary pump that lets you turn off the steam boiler. Some models like the Bianca isn't THAT huge, especially if plumbed in or some water system under the counter so you can take of the external reservoir. I do prefer the steady lower pitched noise of my rotary machine to the vibration machine I had just before it, both same brand.

I think most buyers wouldn't want to pay more for a bigger and heavier machine just for the lower noise, I am one who would though, but I bet we, on forums like these are a different breed than the guy next door. 8)


#4: Post by michael_pl »

I couldn't find any. Just spent 2 months searching as I'm in a similar boat. I wanted a very small single boiler machine I could plumb in eventually. We drink only 1-2 lattes a week and the rest is straight espresso/americanos. I searched high and low for a premium single boiler machine I could plumb in and it just doesn't exist. I ended up getting a double boiler and I'll simply turn off the steam boiler until the weekend but I missed out on all the benefits of a small single boiler unfortunately. (Quick warm up, small counter top size, less money and things to break, etc).

Closest I could find was the S58 from Clive - it's a Profitec Pro 700 with a remote pump and reservoir. It's the size of a single boiler and quiet / comes with a rotary pump but it's still in it's first iteration. When they can integrate water filters or make the external box smaller it might be worth it to me.

The other option is the Bianca. It's actually not much larger than a single boiler with its external water reservoir which can be removed when you plumb it in. Long story short, what you're looking for doesn't exist. And I was bummed to not find it. A perfect machine for me would have been an ECM Classika with a rotary pump. Oh well I suppose, new Pro 700 gets here today!


#5: Post by davidhunternyc »

Thank you, Michael for your input. Please let me know here how you like your Profitec. Yes, just like Niche Zero transformed the single grinder market, I think someone should do a kickstarter campaign with a small, single boiler, rotary pump machine. This could be a game changer.


#6: Post by michael_pl »

I almost bought an ECM Classika and externally mounted a rotary pump. It wouldn't be that hard, you might need an updated solid state relay to adjust for the varying start up voltage of the pump draw, but I think it would be pretty simple.

If I had access to a metal shop I probably would have. Would have been simple enough to make a small stainless box with nice folded edges, water inlet and exit lines, and some rubber mounts.

The 700 showed up yesterday. I also upgraded the grinder to an Atom 75. I was on the hunt for a QUIET package, and after day 1, I nailed it. grinder is amazingly quick and quiet. 3.5 seconds for a double dose and it's done. So far I need to add a funnel because it makes a bit of a mess but the quiet is amazing. The 700 is larger than I wanted, but is also very quiet and solid. I would say the combination is a 100% win.

I would have liked them both to be smaller and of course, cost less, but I did get what I was looking for. Temperature stable, quiet, and pulls a solid shot of espresso.

You could also consider a lever. I almost went this route as well. I will likely pick up a Londinium Compact whenever it gets around to being released. I'm not a fan of the La Pavoni's or other non pumped "boiler only" spring levers. But - they are silent. So, who knows?


#7: Post by davidhunternyc »

Michael, please let us know what you think of the Profitec Pro 700. It's on my shortlist, but first I want to get a Kafatek Monolith Flat Max in all black. I know, I know, but I would rather have a perfect grinder and continue to use my Robot for awhile than get a middle of the road espresso machine and grinder combo.

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#8: Post by another_jim »

As a historical curiousity, Quickmill produced a home espresso machine with a thermoblock heating and a rotary pump bacck int he 70s, when there were no vibe pumps.
Jim Schulman


#9: Post by STG » replying to another_jim »

Not gonna lie, I kind of like this thing!


#10: Post by michael_pl »

davidhunternyc wrote:Michael, please let us know what you think of the Profitec Pro 700. It's on my shortlist, but first I want to get a Kafatek Monolith Flat Max in all black. I know, I know, but I would rather have a perfect grinder and continue to use my Robot for awhile than get a middle of the road espresso machine and grinder combo.

After half a week I'm quite happy with it. It's nice and quiet and looks fantastic. To be honest though, I think the biggest change in taste has been the grinder I added in. I am coming from an Izzo Alex E61 HX, so other than being more precise with the temp there isn't really a change in the brewing mechanism. The grinder though makes a hugeeee difference. The Atom 75 produces amazingly even fluffy grinds in 3.6 seconds a dose. I added a small funnel and now there is no mess on the counter. It's damn quiet, way more quiet than any of the videos and even I thought would be possible, especially considering how fast it is.

As for the machine, the pump is great, it appears to be well built, the water reservoir is large, I like that I can turn off the steam boiler for a few days if we're not using it, and the knobs work great. A few nit picks, coming from a heat exchanger the steam boiler appears to be slightly lack luster in power. It's currently sitting at about 255* and 1.5bar steam pressure so I might raise the temp a bit and see if it gets it up to 2 bar and see if that makes a difference. Also the drip tray isn't as big as the Alex was so I find I have to empty it a bit more often.

I would definitely buy it again. Comparing to all the other double boilers out there, I didn't like the aesthetics of the Bianca, the Synchronika was originally my first choice but I'm indifferent between it and the 700 from a stylistic point of view, so I saved a few hundred and went 700. I thought about a Quick Mill because my brothers both have them (an Anita HX and one of the small single boilers) and they have been trouble free for almost a decade for them. I'm happy with my choice though because I know I will have to work on this eventually as I did my last one and it should be pretty easy to. Stuff has easy access and plenty of room to remove and replace as required.

Definitely most pleasantly surprised at the difference the grinder has made though, so you're on the right track picking up your preferred grinder first! Hope that helps a bit. Feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions I didn't answer.