ECM Espresso Machines: Top Picks and Reviews

ECM Espresso Machines: Top Picks and Reviews

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Many prosumer espresso machines share the identical “stainless-steel field” look, however they aren’t all created equal. ECM is a model that distinguishes itself by providing excellent construct high quality and considerate engineering. 

The ECM line-up will not be overly intensive, and as an alternative, it’s fastidiously curated. There is only one good ECM machine for each type of espresso lover. And on this article, we’ll allow you to discover yours. Regardless of your priorities, one in all these high seven ECM espresso machines is ideal for you.

At A Glance:

The 7 Best ECM Espresso Machines in 2021

There aren’t any dangerous ECM espresso machines! They’re identified for his or her unbelievable espresso, best-in-class construct high quality, and beautiful design. According to CEO Michael Hauck, the model pairs previous and current know-how to create these trendy but timeless machines.

We accumulate previous espresso machines and have an interest within the know-how concerned. We like to open machines to see how a lot engineering went into these merchandise.

Our high seven picks replicate a variety of fashions, every hanging its stability between price and options. Read these mini-reviews for the crucial facets of every, then maintain studying by the client’s information to discovering the proper ECM machine for you.

1. ECM Synchronika – Best Overall

Specifications

  • Boiler type: Dual boiler

  • Boiler dimension: 67 oz steam boiler, 25 oz brew boiler
  • Pump sort: Rotary
  • Water tank capability: 101.4 oz
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 16.25” x 13.25” x 18.7”

As the model’s solely twin boiler, the Synchronika is ECM’s largest and most spectacular machine. Indeed, it could be one of the sought-after prosumer machines in the marketplace, which is why it was a straightforward selection for our high ECM mannequin this 12 months.

The Synchronika desires nothing, particularly in case you add on the optionally available move management machine. The stainless-steel steam and brew boilers are independently managed by PID, guaranteeing temperature accuracy and stability (1). 

In the most recent mannequin, the PID has been upgraded for increased steam energy, so it’s sooner and simpler to make silky microfoam for latte artwork.

Because it has a rotary pump, the Synchronika may be plumbed on to a water line. Not solely is that this handy, but it surely permits for correct low-pressure pre-infusion. This longer, gentler pre-infusion improves extraction to convey out further taste notes (2).

The Synchronika is extremely well-engineered, a trademark of the ECM model. Even the basic E61 group comprises some distinctive upgrades to make it extra sturdy and enticing. The inner body is a single piece of metal, and the mirror-finish stainless-steel wrapped exterior is beautiful. Although, in case you don’t thoughts paying a little bit extra for aesthetics, the all-black Twenty fifth-anniversary version of the Synchronika with wood accents is a showstopper.

For a way more in-depth take a look at this spectacular prosumer espresso machine, learn our full ECM Synchronika review.

2. ECM Technika V Profi PID – Best Heat Exchanger

Specifications

  • Boiler type: Heat trade

  • Boiler dimension: 71 oz
  • Pump sort: Rotary
  • Water tank capability: 101.4 oz
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.25” x 12.6” x 18.6”

The Technika V Profi PID is a warmth exchanger espresso machine sporting lots of the options you’d extra usually look forward to finding on a double boiler, so it stands out from the gang. At a number of hundred {dollars} lower than the Synchronika, it offers a pleasant stability between superior know-how and price.

In specific, the Technika has each a PID and a rotary pump. The PID provides you extra management over the steam boiler temperature, and thus the brew temperature. Though it received’t provide the identical exact management over brew temperature as it could in a double boiler, you’ll nonetheless be getting improved temperature stability and sturdiness versus a stress stat.

Thanks to the rotary pump, this machine can both be plumbed in or run from the water reservoir, flexibility few warmth exchanger machines can boast. And as a bonus, it’s actually quieter than a vibration pump.

The Technika V is a brand new mannequin, changing the lengthy well-liked Technika IV. The Technika V retains all the pieces beloved concerning the IV, however provides a couple of useful upgrades. For instance, the PID show now doubles as an computerized shot timer, and the steam and sizzling water controls have a contemporary type.

Interested to know extra? We have an in-depth ECM Technika review.

3. ECM Classika PID – Best Single Boiler

Specifications

  • Boiler type: Single boiler

  • Boiler dimension: 33 oz
  • Pump sort: Vibration
  • Water tank capability: 101.4 oz
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.75” x 9.84” x 17.75”

For anybody extra enthusiastic about pure espresso than milky drinks, the Classika PID provides unbelievable worth. The high quality of espresso it may well produce is on par with double boiler machines twice its price, with the one trade-off being which you could’t steam milk concurrently.

Many manufacturers take a look at single boiler machines as entry-level fashions. But as an alternative, ECM has used the Classika as a chance to make an reasonably priced machine for severe espresso lovers who occur to choose straight espresso. The Classika is filled with superior options; it simply doesn’t have two boilers. 

With the PID, you get impeccable brew temperature management, and also you’ll see minimal temperature fluctuations. The up to date E61 group head is the precise one discovered on ECM’s high fashions just like the Synchronika, so you’ll be able to even add move management to this machine (3). And as a result of it has just one boiler, it’s one of many smallest machines in the marketplace to boast this know-how.

Of course, you’ll be able to nonetheless steam milk with the Classika, and it’s only a bit extra cumbersome than with a twin boiler or warmth exchanger. The boiler is small, so it takes a little bit longer, and after steaming, you might want to cool and refill the boiler earlier than you pull a shot. If you’re repeatedly making lattes for a crowd, this most likely isn’t the machine for you.

The Classika sports activities the identical attractive design as the remainder of the ECM line-up, with mirror end stainless paneling, a refined PID show, and a stress gauge. 

You can discover out extra in our full ECM Classika PID review.

4. ECM Mechanika V Slim – Best Value

Specifications

  • Boiler type: Heat exchanger

  • Boiler dimension: 74.4 oz
  • Pump sort: Vibration
  • Water tank capability: 101.4 oz
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.5” x 9.8” x 17.5”

If you just like the workflow and design of a warmth exchanger espresso machine however don’t require all of the bells and whistles of the Technika, then the Mechanika V Slim is the machine for you. It has a considerably cheaper price, however you’ll be able to create equally scrumptious espresso and milk-based drinks with a little bit of temperature management know-how.

Unlike the Technika, the Mechanika V Slim has neither PID nor rotary pump, however these are the one variations. It has the identical up to date E61 group, a formidable stainless-steel construct, and even a touch bigger boiler. 

The lack of PID is the largest change as a result of you’ll be able to’t set the boiler temperature immediately. Instead, you handle utilizing cooling flushes. Sure, it takes a little bit of apply to learn the way lengthy and ceaselessly to flush to attain the suitable brewing temperature. But as soon as mastered, many customers discover they like this technique as a result of you’ll be able to regulate brew temperature extra shortly. 

The vibration pump is barely louder than a rotary pump however is equally able to producing the required stress. The predominant distinction is that the Mechanika can’t be direct-plumbed, so it’s not as sensible in high-volume conditions like a busy workplace.

What stands out concerning the Mechanika Slim at first look is its dimension, and it’s even smaller than the Classika, measuring lower than 10 inches extensive. If you’re pressed for house however nonetheless need to put together milky drinks like a professional, you’ll be able to’t beat this mannequin.

5. ECM Casa V – Best Entry Level

Specifications

  • Boiler type: Single boiler

  • Boiler dimension: 13 oz
  • Pump sort: Vibration
  • Water tank capability: 101.4 oz
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 14.96” x 8.26” x 14.56”

There are fairly a couple of entry-level semi-automatic prosumer espresso machines in the marketplace, and these machines could all look fairly comparable. But don’t be fooled; the ECM Casa V is a reduce above the remaining.

What makes it stand out from the gang? First of all, there’s the construct high quality ECM is understood for. From its stainless-steel outer casing to the commercial-grade elements inside, the Casa V is made to final a few years.

The brew stress gauge and simply accessible OPV tucked beneath the drip tray distinguish it from cheaper choices just like the Gaggia Classic Pro or Rancilio Silvia from a efficiency standpoint. These options make it simpler to dial in an ideal shot and repeat it repeatedly.

The Casa V is a single boiler machine, so it may well’t brew and steam concurrently. But it’s nonetheless a big improve from the thermoblock heater present in low cost machines. You can count on higher brew temperature stability and much superior milk-steaming capabilities. The increased steam stress and drier steam of a boiler are key for reaching good microfoam for latte artwork. Plus, with a 1200 Watt heating ingredient, the Casa V is sweet to go in simply 5 to 7 minutes, almost as quick as a thermoblock.

The Casa V is a superb selection for small areas and households with only a few coffee drinkers because the smallest ECM machine, and it lacks the capability for increased quantity settings.

For extra particulars, try our ECM Casa V review.

6. ECM Elektronika II Profi – Easiest to Use

Specifications

  • Boiler type: Heat trade

  • Boiler dimension: 71 oz
  • Pump sort: Rotary
  • Water tank capability: 101.4 oz
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 16” x 12.6” x 18.6”

The ECM Elektronika II Profi is among the model’s newer fashions. It shares some options with the opposite warmth exchangers, the Mechanika and the Technika, however distinguishes itself with programmable volumetric dosing. It’s the one computerized prosumer espresso machine on this checklist, making it our choose for best to make use of.

Instead of timing your photographs or watching a scale, you program the amount of water you need to go by the group and begin the shot. An inner move meter ensures that it’s going to cease robotically. This is frequent in industrial espresso machines as a result of it frees up the barista to steam milk or interacts with clients. For dwelling customers, it offers the identical hands-off advantages. 

Of course, in case you choose to be in management, you’ll be able to run this machine in guide mode as nicely. But in case you’re not going to reap the benefits of the volumetric controls, the Technika, which is similar value however features a PID, is probably going a greater purchase.

7. ECM Barista A2 – Best Commercial Espresso Machine

Specifications

  • Boiler type: Heat exchanger

  • Boiler dimension: 473 oz
  • Pump sort: Rotary
  • Water tank capability: n/a
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 22.6” x 27.6” x 21.3”

The ECM Barista A2 is a high-quality industrial espresso machine good for a mid-sized to the massive cafe. With two teams, two steam wands, and a 473-ounce copper warmth exchanger boiler, it may well sustain in all however the busiest coffee retailers.

Like the Elektronika, the Barista A2 makes use of programmable volumetric dosing, making drink preparation much more environment friendly in a busy situation. Rather than worrying about shot timing, baristas can deal with steaming milk, chatting with clients, or doling out meals. The Barista A2 additionally provides electronically managed pre-infusion, guaranteeing extra scrumptious espresso with much less effort.

The steam temperature is PID managed, so count on glorious temperature management and stability, good for a 3rd wave cafe serving specialty coffee. It makes use of the identical upgraded ECM E61 teams because the prosumer fashions, and it has a twin stress gauge to watch pump and boiler stress.

A couple of options specific to industrial machines make this one shine. It’s easy to empty the boiler for transport and entry the within for service. While service is one thing you hope to keep away from on a house machine, common upkeep is anticipated with a industrial espresso machine. This is unrelated to the Barista A2’s high quality, which is exceptionally excessive, however only a truth of life for a machine making a whole bunch of espresso a day.

How to Choose the Best ECM Espresso Machine

Like I’ve already mentioned, each ECM espresso machine is a superb one, so selecting the most effective comes all the way down to discovering the suitable mannequin to fulfill your wants. This purchaser’s information asks you the questions you might want to just do that. 

What do you intend to make use of it for?

This is a vital first query to ask your self earlier than buying any espresso machine. Will you be utilizing this machine at dwelling or for a enterprise? What type of drinks do you intend to make?

A industrial machine has particular necessities. One, it have to be commercially rated, which suggests it has been independently examined to make sure it’s protected in a busy, high-volume atmosphere (4). Two, industrial machines, just like the ECM Barista A2, are designed for increased capability. They might need a number of group heads, larger boilers, and volumetric controls, all of which permit for sooner drink turnover. And three, industrial machines are constructed to increased sturdiness requirements, as they’re anticipated to provide much more espresso of their lifetime. 

These options make them significantly costlier upfront, however after all, the thought is you’ll be utilizing them to earn money.

If you’re shopping for a machine for dwelling, the second query to ask your self is what sort of drinks you’ll be making. If you principally get pleasure from straight espressos or Americanos, it can save you some huge cash by selecting a single boiler machine. But in case you choose milky drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, it’s nicely price paying a bit extra for a twin boiler or warmth exchanger so you’ll be able to steam milk and pull a shot on the identical time.

One type of machine ECM doesn’t make is a lever espresso machine. If these pique your curiosity, check out the choices from Elektra.

If you want experimenting with single-origin specialty coffees, go for a single or twin boiler with a PID, just like the Classika or Synchronika (5). This provides you the very best management over brew temperature, making or breaking a novel coffee (6). On the opposite hand, in case you choose to stay with a basic espresso mix, you’ll be able to most likely get away and not using a PID and put the price financial savings towards an excellent grinder.

Where does it want to suit?

While dwelling espresso machines do are available a variety of sizes, they’re all fairly giant for probably the most half. So it’s price interested by the place your machine will reside and measuring the house before you purchase.

The smallest machines are usually the single-boiler fashions, just like the Classika and particularly the Casa V.

But if you’re pressed for house, don’t really feel like you might want to sacrifice the power to make milky drinks.

Heat exchanger machines may be simply as tiny with the suitable engineering. ECM has made the Mechanika V Slim simply as slender because the Classika by reorienting the boiler.

Double boiler machines will at all times be the most important for the easy purpose that two separate boilers, and infrequently two unbiased management techniques, want to suit inside. If you could have your coronary heart set on a double boiler, make sure to maintain its dimensions in thoughts.

What pump sort is best for you?

Rotary pumps have the popularity of being increased high quality than vibration pumps as a result of they’re costlier, however this isn’t strictly true. A rotary pump actually has some benefits, however the distinction in espresso high quality between the 2 pumps will likely be undetectable for the typical dwelling consumer.

So why pay extra for a rotary pump? 

Two causes. The greatest purpose is {that a} rotary pump lets you plumb on to a water line. This is essential in a industrial setting, however it may be handy at dwelling. It eliminates the annoying process of filling the water reservoir and permits for line-pressure pre-infusion, although it does restrict your capacity to maneuver the machine round. Many ECM machines, together with the Synchronika, Technika, and Elektronika, will let you seamlessly change between the water tank and plumbing.

The second purpose some individuals choose rotary pumps is that they’re quieter. In common, your grinder will likely be louder than both type of pump, however in case you’re actually seeking to decrease decibels within the morning, a rotary pump could also be worthwhile.

Do you need move management?

Flow management has grow to be very fashionable in the previous couple of years. In espresso machines with move management, you’ll be able to modulate the brewing stress on the group as you pull a shot; this additional stage of management, in line with skilled barista Fabrizio Sención, can enhance extraction and doubtlessly tease new flavors out of a coffee (7). 

It advantages how we method and extract espresso, and helps us to make sure that all of the grounds are evenly saturated with water.

This is a enjoyable and scrumptious approach to play with one more variable for true espresso nerds.

To sustain with shopper calls for, ECM opted to develop an aftermarket move management machine which you could add onto most E61 group heads (8). Initially, the move management mod needed to be purchased and put in individually, however at current, one may be added at no additional price. This is presumably to maintain up with competitively priced move management machines just like the Lelit Bianca or the M&V Vesuvius.

If you’re enthusiastic about move management, you should purchase any ECM semi-automatic machines with an E61 group: the Synchronika, Technika, Mechanika, and Classika.

The Verdict

If you’re purchasing for a prosumer espresso machine, you’ll be able to’t go fallacious with a mannequin from ECM. The model pairs Italian custom with German engineering to make lovely and useful espresso makers constructed to final. 

Our high choose in 2021 is Synchronika, ECM’s sole twin boiler espresso machine. It has each function you would ask for, together with PID temperature management, a rotary pump, and even optionally available move management. Or, in case you’re not able to drop the massive bucks on a twin boiler, the Mechanika V Slim is a top-notch warmth exchanger machine at a really affordable value.

FAQs

ECM espresso machines are made in Milan, Italy, the house of the espresso machine (9). They aren’t mass-produced; expert technicians handcrafted every.

ECM and Profitec are “sister firms.” They share a CEO, and in lots of instances the inner elements of their machines are equivalent or almost so. Of the 2, ECM is understood for barely higher construct high quality and extra refined design, with barely increased costs to match.

“Single boiler, twin use” is one other approach to discuss with a single boiler espresso machine, and it’s about the truth that the one boiler is used for each steam and espresso, so you can’t pull a shot and steam milk on the identical time.

  1. Partida, V. (2017, December 5). PID vs. Pstat. Retrieved from https://coffeetechniciansguild.org/weblog/2017/11/21/pid-vs-pstat
  2. Aloe, R. M. (September 14). Pre-Infusion for Espresso. Retrieved from https://towardsdatascience.com/pre-infusion-for-espresso-dab5185b8094
  3. Burton, G. (2011, January 11). The E61 Group Head: An Oldie however a Goodie. Retrieved from https://www.fivesenses.com.au/weblog/the-e61-group-head-an-oldie-but-a-goodie/
  4. Kitchen Appliances Pro. (2020, January 26). Espresso Machine Certifications. What are they and what are the variations? Retrieved from https://www.kitchenappliancespro.com/blogs/information/espresso-machine-certifications-what-are-they-and-what-are-the-differences
  5. Rhinehart, R. (2017, March 17). What is Specialty Coffee? Retrieved from https://scanews.coffee/2017/03/17/what-is-specialty-coffee/
  6. Fekete, M. (2019, February). How brew water temperature results espresso extraction. Retrieved from https://www.beanscenemag.com.au/brew-water-temperature-effect-espresso-extraction/
  7. Grant, T. (2020, July 29). How Flow Profiling Affects Espresso Extraction. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/07/how-flow-profiling-impacts-espresso-coffee-extraction/
  8. Bryman, H. (2019, April 10). Whole Latte Love and Profitec/ECM Launch Flow Control Device for E61 Groupheads. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2019/04/10/whole-latte-love-and-profitec-ecm-launch-flow-control-device-for-e61-groupheads/
  9. Radaelli, M. (n.d.) Global coffee tradition has a Milanese Flavor. Retrieved from https://luminosityitalia.com/pages/Milan-impact-on-global-coffee-culture.html

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