caferacer Senior Member Joined: 22 Mar 2004 Posts: 101 Location: NYC Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Expobar Pulser Grinder: Rocky
Posted Fri Aug 10, 2012, 7:10pm Subject: Expobar Office Pulser
It's been years since I have posted here but last night as I was backflushing my Expobar it occurred to me that this machine is now over six years old and it continues to serve me well, day in and day out. If you do the math (at least two drinks a day for six years) this Pulser has pulled well over 4,000 shots, steamed a couple of thousand pitchers of milk and the hot water has poured through countless Chemexes and Aeropresses. So if you are using the search function and you search on reliability, Exbobar or Pulser, I hope you find this a helpful data point.
Problems: last year a fitting on the boiler loosened slightly and the machine was leaking steam. I re-tightened the fitting and the problem went away.
Maintenance: monthly backflush cleaning. O-ring changed twice (available from Chris Coffee). Do not give-in to the temptation to use a thicker o-ring in order to gain headspace. This will simply make it impossible to fully seat the portafilter.
Upgrades: Chris Coffee sells a Rancilio portafilter with the bottom cut out that fits this E61 perfectly. This allows for the use of a triple basket and much naked espresso porn ensues. I also highly recommend a two hole tip for the steam wand. It is incredible how much of a difference it makes over the stock single hole. Also, I use a timer so that it is good and hot when I get to it in the morning.
Coffee!: Pairing the Pulser with a Rocky I make two milk drinks every morning then frequently have a shot when I get home from work. Weekends are shot filled extravaganzas. I am lucky here in Brooklyn to have Stumptown's Hair Bender roasted about five blocks from my house so that it what I use most often. I have also gone through dozens of bags of Black Cat, Gimme's Leftist Blend, and George Howell's truly awesome Alchemy. Some coffees benefit from a slightly longer flush but I have gotten great results with no other modifications. Would I like pressure and temp guages? Sure, but mainly because they look cool. I have always imagined that my next machine would be something other than an Expobar but when I think about it, no appliance, vehicle or person has ever been as reliable as this machine. I keep waiting for it to die so I can justify an upgrade but I just can't kill it!
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