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Monday, June 12, 2006

Home Espresso Machine

The thing about the home espresso machine is that... they just about all suck. With the exception of few double boiler machines, nothing is truly designed for the home environment at all.

All the single boiler machines don't have good temp stability and the "dual-use" boiler is nothing more than a hack.

All the HX(heat exchanger)/E-61 machines are a bastardization of commercial parts into smaller packages (a hack). With a flushing routine (another hack to fix a hack), you can get some temperature stability once it reaches equilibrium. But think about it... how ridiculous is that you have to spend more than a thousand dollar for a piece of equipment that you need to modify and hack to get it to work. The reason for all these hack/mod jobs is that the thing is just not designed right.

Among all the dual boiler machines, Reneka Techno is one of the closest thing to what a properly design home machine is. There is quite a bit of technology that goes into that thing... compact rotary pump, built in pre-infusion, inlet water preheater, vertical boilers, economy mode to turn off steam boilers, brew boiler feed to steam boiler to promote circulation... etc. Unfortuantely, it's too ahead of its time and recieved too little attention here. It would have been real nice to see a updated model in the states.

So looks like a GS/3 it is. I don't know how I am going to get the money, but there is just nothing out there that could do what I want.

ps. I am convinced that all these home users who claimed to have excellent shots from their home machine CONSISTENTLY are either:

1. Using a very "simple" blend that has huge temperature tolerance.

2. Never tasted a properly extracted shot by a skilled barista from a temperature stable commercial machine.

3. Don't have good tastebuds.

- Ben

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