Profitec Pro 700 Review
Conclusion


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This review continues the use of this site's streamlined format, which includes a simplified 5 star ratings rather than the 10 point scale of the detailed Buyer's Guide. The Profitec Pro 700 ratings are as follows:
  • Overall: 4.25 stars
    Espresso Performance: 4.25 stars
    Forgiveness Factor: 4.5 stars
    Cappuccino Performance: 3.5 stars
Whether you're a newbie or an experience barista, the Forgiveness Factor impacts the quality of the espresso drink you'll enjoy day-to-day. The E61 group has an accepted reputation for ease of use, thus it comes as no surprise the Pro 700 coasts comfortably into a score of 4.5 stars on that front and 4.25 stars for Espresso Performance. This score is especially well earned because Profitec has successfully tuned the group to deliver consistent brew temperature with practically no fussing. Apart from remembering a brief warmup flush if it's been idle for more than 10 minutes, the barista can focus on grind/dose/extraction and most importantly, taste.

For the Cappuccino Performance score, one must consider the desired preparation pace and typical milk volume to select the correct tip. The stock tip has two small holes to slow the pace for beginners, allowing them ample time to focus on properly injecting the right mix of air/heat from the steam wand. The optional tip with 4 holes allows much more steam to pass, which experienced baristas can use to more aggressively swirl the milk. Those who regularly prepare standard cappuccinos (4-6 ounces of milk) will be satisfied with the stock tip and the steam boiler set to 1.2 bar. More experienced baristas will prefer the greater force of the optional 4 hole tip. With these recommendations and recognition of the Pro 700's handy features like no burn steam wand, it earns a solid 3.5 stars.

The Overall score considers the other previously mentioned categories as well as considerations like fit and finish, serviceability, and maintainability. The Pro 700 is based upon the E61 group, which is popular for good reason: It's easy to use, looks great, is reliable and easy to repair. When it comes to brew temperature control, the Profitec is very well tuned, adapting from single cup to group service with little fuss. Its finishwork and construction is a notch above other E61-based models in the same class, earning it a ever-so-slightly higher 4.25 stars overall.

Guest commentary from a former newbie

As part of this review, Phillip of Newbie Introduction to Espresso fame evaluated the Profitec Pro 700, even though he's no longer a newbie! Below are his thoughts on the Profitec Pro 700:
Phillip Marquis wrote:I've used it now pretty consistently for the past few weeks, and no question that it is my favorite one so far. Here's why:

To start, the Pro 700 looks very high end with nice lines and a great finish. The gauges also give a very expensive appearance. As far as the functionality, it is very easy to use. I can't really put my finger on why, but what I mean by "easy to use" is that it seems very consistent compared to all the other machines I've used before. It may just be because I'm become more familiar with what I'm doing, but the dead give away is that now my wife is using the machine a lot. When we had the Izzo Alex Duetto, she stopped using it because she said she could not figure it out. She just said it was too difficult for her to get it right. Now she is using this machine every day. I also like how it is on the quieter side when pulling a shot, and the steamer has plenty of power.

A couple small critiques... you have to turn the steam knob a few rotations before the steam starts. Don't know if there is a reason for this or not, but it seems awkward. Also, the steam wand is loose and does not stay in one spot. Again, being a novice, I don't know if this is intentional of not, but I have to hold it in place with the pitcher when steaming to keep it in the position I want. Both of these minor issues are not really of any importance to me since the machine is incredibly consistent.
To clarify Phillip's comments about the steam knob, the Pro 700 valve isn't a compression type valve; instead, turning the knob compresses a spring that closes the valve. This is different from a compression-type valve that directly presses a nylon or hard rubber washer against a closure. The spring closures prevent overtightening, so the seals last longer. But because the knob tightens against a spring, there's intentionally a little "slack" in the final turn. Once you understand that there's no need to crank down the valve for it to seal, the usage will seem natural and the valve seals will last longer. As for the steam wand not staying in place, tightening the ball joint fixed that.

Phillip's wife Kelley provided her own feedback:
Kelley Marquis wrote:The Profitec... The first home espresso machine I really, actually, honestly can use -- by myself. My husband and I (and I suspect our kids too) have benefited enormously from the introduction to home brewing. Life. Changing. But if I am going to be really honest, even with a Breville Dual Boiler or an Izzo Alex Duetto sitting on our kitchen counter, I still piled my 4 and 5 year olds in the car each morning to hit the Starbucks drivethru. Shameful. I just couldn't get the brew right... I slaughtered the beans even after my husband dialed in the grinder. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong... still can't put a finger on it.

Until the Pro 700 arrived. Maybe it's because we are taking greater care in the storing of our beans, maybe because I finally found my favorite type of bean/milk combo, or maybe it's because I finally watched the videos that my husband and Dan made (I'm the worst.) Whatever it is, I can actually brew an awesome latte, the kind that make you congratulate yourself after the first sip. Love this machine. The espresso pours like satin and the machine looks lovely on a counter top.

The only eh thing, the milk steamer turny knob thing (pretty sure that's the technical term) seems loose, takes several turns to get the steam started. Obviously, that is a minor thing compared to the magic espresso elf that the manufacturers fit into the machine. Who has, for reason unknown to me, transformed me from a coffee hack to a barista ;)
I do agree with Kelley that the Pro 700 is quite easy to dial in, though I feel that's a quality shared by many espresso machines based on the E61 group. Thanks Phillip and Kelley for the fresh perspective!

Acknowledgements

Without the support of HB sponsors, reviews such as this would not be possible. I would like to thank Profitec GmbH for the evaluation equipment. I would also like to thank Counter Culture Coffee and Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea for the test coffees used during this review.

Background information