Why are E61s popular? - Page 2

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NicoNYC

#11: Post by NicoNYC »

I think you can just look at the equivalent in the automotive world: auto makers routinely use engine platforms for 20 or 30 years, and the most popular models of enthusiast cars are decades old.

By now, the design is proven, there are tons of replacement parts available now and in the future, and we understand all the weird quirks and workarounds necessary to getting good results with it.

baldheadracing
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#12: Post by baldheadracing »

Perspective: https://www.historians.org/publications ... so-machine

Where/when I grew up, there was (diner, donut shop) 'coffee,' or 'Faema' - and Faema machines had the E-61 group. Nobody called it espresso; it was 'Faema' - a brand name that had become generic. My friends - now well into their 60's+, still call espresso, 'Faema.' I don't tell them I have espresso machines, I tell them I have Faema home machines.

The original ECM - before the bankruptcies and lawsuits that led to Rocket and Profitec - became popular for home use in part because ECM used the same group that people were used to seeing in restaurants, corner stores, etc. Long after the association was lost, ECM and copycats ruled the market for home pump machines.

Then Americans discovered espresso, made waves, and History came to a .

(with apologies to Sellar & Yeatman)

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another_jim
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#13: Post by another_jim »

Jeff wrote:Technology has changed over the last 60 years for the E61. (One can argue it was already obsolete by the 1970s and saturated groups.) Same for the last 20 years and the Silvia. Decades of Internet posts still remain active and read. I think that has a lot to do with the "inertia" they both have.
The odd thing is that E61 boxes, i.e. home machines with the E61 head, have steadily improved since they were introduced in the late 1990s. The first E61 boxes were worse than the original commercial E61s, since they had untuned HXes and thermosyphons that needed to be flushed and coddled. Competition first brought out properly tuned HX machines, then dual boilers, we've had Eric's add on thermometer, and recently flow control needle valves, and temperature control from the thermosyphon and group head, rather than the boiler. In the higher end models, we've gone from brass to stainless steel boilers, and from vibe to rotary pumps.

I had an Isomac Tea in the early aughts, and I have a Lelit Bianca now. They both have E61 groups, they are both cased in shiny boxes, but otherwise, they are not at all alike. Making a good shot from the Tea required having had it on for at least two hours, and flushing the group just right for the first shot. It was also a somewhat anemic steamer. The Bianca heats up in twenty minutes, requires no flushing, is a steaming monster and a joy to use. This is equally true for all the other modern DB E61s.

On top of that, it does flow control with breathtaking simplicity, as if the E61, unlike the LM and Slayer groups, had been born to do it. As it was, although nobody noticed at the time. Biologists call it preadaptation, when a body evolved for one environment shows itself in an entirely new light in another environment. The E61s soft pressure ramp, its thermowell in the front and needle valve enclosure in the mushroom were great when the machine was introduced, but as baristas got more competent with pump machines, more streamlined groups worked better for them. But for home users making occasional shots, all these unused control and monitoring features turned out to be just the ticket.

The E61 is preadapted for home espresso hobbyists.
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Stavey

#14: Post by Stavey »

Because they look nice

Jesse.F

#15: Post by Jesse.F » replying to Stavey »

As silly as it seems, I really didn't consider other machines because they just didn't look like "espresso" machines without the E61.

It's popularity also indicates that good espresso can be easily had with it, even if it isn't the best, it wouldn't be nearly as popular if it couldn't produce good coffee.

PeetsFan
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#16: Post by PeetsFan »

BaristaBoy E61 wrote: Why's the turntable still around?
Because a 33 LP lasts 30 minutes, which is how long it takes to make a cappuccino with an E61 machine.

PeetsFan
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#17: Post by PeetsFan »

Jesse.F wrote:As silly as it seems, I really didn't consider other machines because they just didn't look like "espresso" machines without the E61.
In the entire human history of people saying things, nobody has ever said anything as right as what you just said.

E61 Forever!

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Randy G.

#18: Post by Randy G. »

  • Simplicity
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  • Consistent results
  • Good looks as handsome as my wife's current husband
  • Ease of repair with just a few simple tools
  • A lifespan that would make Methuselah jealous
  • Excellent for hand-to-hand combat
  • Makes for a great poster! :wink:
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Pressino

#19: Post by Pressino »

another_jim wrote: On top of that, it does flow control with breathtaking simplicity, as if the E61, unlike the LM and Slayer groups, had been born to do it. As it was, although nobody noticed at the time. Biologists call it preadaptation, when a body evolved for one environment shows itself in an entirely new light in another environment. The E61s soft pressure ramp, its thermowell in the front and needle valve enclosure in the mushroom were great when the machine was introduced, but as baristas got more competent with pump machines, more streamlined groups worked better for them. But for home users making occasional shots, all these unused control and monitoring features turned out to be just the ticket.

The E61 is preadapted for home espresso hobbyists.
Very well said. The biologic analogy is quite apt. It was designed for a specific purpose back in '61 and did it quite well. Later users found ways to adapt the original bauplan and allow it to expand to newer domains. I think Stephen Jay Gould would have liked your analogy...he used similar arguments to explain the "evolution" of other manufactured products, even the Hershey Bar... :D

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another_jim
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#20: Post by another_jim »

Pressino wrote:I think Stephen Jay Gould would have liked your analogy...he used similar arguments to explain the "evolution" of other manufactured products, even the Hershey Bar... :D
Thanks for the Gould shout out, he's my favorite biology writer. Although, IIRC, the Hershey Bar piece is more an elegy about its ever declining size.
Jim Schulman