969 Coffee Elba 3 Espresso Machine Review

969 Coffee Elba 3 Espresso Machine Review

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Though little recognized in North America, 969 Coffee’s prosumer espresso machines, handmade in Italy, are nicely value a better look. Their hottest dwelling mannequin is the Elba, a warmth exchanger espresso machine with some formidable specs at an affordable value.

In this evaluation, we’ll look extra intently at this under-the-radar machine to search out out if it warrants extra consideration.

Summary: The 969 Coffee Elba 3 Espresso Machine

  • Compact and reasonably priced semi-automatic espresso machine
  • Heat exchanger boiler and E61 group for dependable brew temperature stability
  • Powerful heating component for spectacular steam strain

This is a stupendous, well-made machine, and it’s fairly simple to get nice espresso out of it!

– Christopher T

The Full 969 Coffee Elba 3 Review

In this part, we’ll dig into the specs of the 969 Coffee Elba 3 in additional element. Let’s learn how it feels to personal and function this prosumer-grade espresso machine.

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969 Coffee Elba 3 Espresso Machine Review
  • Brewing Capacity
  • User Friendliness
  • Milk Frothing
  • Build Quality
  • Cleaning and Maintenance

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Brewing Capacity – 3.5/5

The 969 Coffee Elba 3 is a warmth exchanger espresso machine, so it has a single boiler with a definite part for lower-temperature brew water. This means that you can pull a shot of espresso and steam milk concurrently whereas retaining the machine extra compact than a twin boiler.

The Elba 3’s boiler is copper, a premium boiler materials not typically seen at this value. Though copper is a bit much less proof against corrosion than stainless-steel, the opposite well-liked selection, it has superior thermal properties (1). 

The boiler measures 1.5 L, which is comparatively small in comparison with the competitors. For instance, the Rocket Appartamento, among the finest Rocket espresso machines, has a 1.8 L boiler. However, the Elba 3 compensates with a much more highly effective heating component than most in its class. It provides 1500 W in contrast with the Appartamento’s 1200 W. This brings the Elba to temperature in a short time and provides it super steam strain for its dimension, which we’ll focus on additional within the Milk Frothing part beneath.

An replace to the Elba 3 from earlier fashions is that it’s now simpler to regulate the OPV, the overpressure valve. This means that you can change pump strain, offering one other pathway to optimize extraction for various coffees.

User Friendliness – 3.5/5

As a warmth exchanger espresso machine, the 969 Coffee Elba 3 requires a little bit of know-how as a result of it is advisable use cooling flushes to handle the brew temperature. The longer the cooling flush, the decrease the temperature will likely be. This takes a little bit of trial and error, nevertheless it’s essentially the most environment friendly strategy to regulate the brew temperature as soon as mastered.

Other than that, which is customary observe for any warmth exchanger espresso machine with no PID, the Elba 3 could be very easy to make use of, which, based on coffee store proprietor Pablo Caballero Agudo, is a key function of any prime espresso machine (2).

A high quality machine will provide help to to provide higher cups extra constantly and with much less effort.

It has a couple of key options that set it other than the competitors; essentially the most modern is the totally detachable drip tray. Thanks to Elba’s six-legged design, all the drip tray might be eliminated for simple cleansing or to stash away between makes use of to unlock extra counter area. This design additionally makes it simpler to brew into tall journey mugs.

The 2.5-liter water reservoir is abundantly sized for a fairly compact machine, and it’s simply accessed by sliding again the cup tray up prime. This is a intelligent design versus the extra frequent have to both flip up or completely take away the highest of the machine.

One criticism about this machine is that it lacks a devoted scorching water faucet, although it retains it smaller and extra reasonably priced. For most customers, it’s a minor inconvenience, however in the event you take pleasure in tea or Americanos, you’ll want a separate kettle.

Milk Frothing – 3.5/5

As I already talked about, the Elba 3 has a compelling heating component, which permits for intense steam strain from a machine of this dimension, seen on the boiler strain gauge. With the stainless-steel steam wand, you’ll don’t have any downside getting ready the silky microfoam you want for latte artwork.

Because the steam boiler is comparatively small, you gained’t be capable of put together many drinks in a row earlier than ready for it to recuperate. Expect about two to 4 lattes. However, because of the highly effective heater, restoration is speedy.

Build Quality – 4/5

The construct high quality of the Elba 3 is great. This is a prosumer-grade espresso machine with a metal body, stainless-steel exterior and equipment, chrome-plated brass group, and copper boiler. It comes with a single spout and double spout portafilter, accompanied by two shot filter baskets.

The Elba 3 has a minimal footprint, much like different well-liked small-space fashions just like the Lelit Mara or Rocket Appartamento. 

It measures 9.2” broad by 16.9” deep by 15.7” tall. But it stands out from the gang by providing a wide range of designs.

You can paint the outside white, black, or a extra vibrant choice like crimson or orange. Accents might be black plastic or gentle or darkish wooden. If you prefer to tailor your home equipment to your house, the 969 Coffee Elba 3 is a good selection.

The Elba Mini

If even the Elba 3 nonetheless feels a bit overwhelming to your area, think about the Elba Mini, one of many smallest prosumer espresso machines available on the market. It’s good for one or two individuals. This tiny warmth exchanger mannequin has a 0.85 L stainless-steel boiler, 1200 W heating component, and a pair of L water tank – all in a body measuring 7.8” broad by 15.7” deep by 13” tall. Impressively, the Mini even provides PID temperature management.

Cleaning and Maintenance – 4/5

Most prosumer espresso machines, notably these with an E61 group, have comparable cleansing and upkeep wants. Along with emptying the drip tray and topping up the water reservoir, it’s necessary to often clear all over the place coffee oils can construct up, just like the bathe display screen and filter baskets. Use the included backflush disk to backflush often with filtered water and fewer steadily with cleansing resolution.

As lengthy as you comply with the producer’s beneficial cleansing procedures, upkeep wants must be minimal.

Prosumer machines use heavy-duty parts designed to endure. Additionally, the Elba 3 has a couple of failsafes to keep away from catastrophic harm.

Anti-flood safety cuts the pump in the event you’ve been brewing for greater than 90 seconds, and low-water detection ensures the machine will shut off earlier than the boiler runs dry.

Don’t Buy the 969 Coffee Elba 3 If…

You don’t make milky drinks – If you’re not serious about lattes or cappuccinos, it can save you cash and get a really high-end machine by choosing a single boiler, twin use design. For instance, the ECM Classika features a PID and, like all ECM espresso machines, is understood for its best-in-class construct high quality.

You need extra correct temperature management – If you prefer to experiment with single-origin specialty coffees, you may want the accuracy of PID temperature management (3). It will value a bit extra, however a twin boiler just like the Lelit Elizabeth or M&V Vesuvius will likely be value it in the long term.


For a compact and reasonably priced warmth exchanger espresso machine with enjoyable fashion, the 969 Coffee Elba 3 – or the even tinier Elba Mini – is a good selection. Though this model flies underneath the radar, it shouldn’t. The Elba 3 consists of the whole lot you anticipate from a prosumer mannequin, together with an E61 group, copper boiler, {and professional} steam wand.

  1. Morris, J. (2020, December 23). The Faema E61 Espresso Machine. Retrieved from https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/january-2021/the-faema-e61-espresso-machine
  2. Prinsloo, M. (2018, November 9). How Do Espresso Machines Work? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2018/11/how-do-espresso-machines-work/
  3. Partida, V. (2017, December 5). PID vs. Pstat. Retrieved from https://coffeetechniciansguild.org/weblog/2017/11/21/pid-vs-pstat

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