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ECM Recommendation?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > ECM...  
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whatrulooknat
Senior Member
whatrulooknat
Joined: 9 Jan 2002
Posts: 59
Location: Carmel, IN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Mon Aug 12, 2013, 1:31pm
Subject: ECM Recommendation?
 

To the collective,

Does anyone have experience with the ECM Technika machine?  Impressions?  Would you buy it again?  How does it compare to other machines you owned?

I am in the market for a new machine, and this one is under consideration.

Thank you for your consideration,

Bob
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MDiddy
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 118
Location: PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP
Drip: Cuisinart DCC-1200
Posted Mon Aug 12, 2013, 4:42pm
Subject: Re: ECM Recommendation?
 

whatrulooknat Said:

To the collective,

Does anyone have experience with the ECM Technika machine?  Impressions?  Would you buy it again?  How does it compare to other machines you owned?

I am in the market for a new machine, and this one is under consideration.

Thank you for your consideration,

Bob

Posted August 12, 2013 link

I've had my Technika IV for about 45 days now, so I'll ring in here.  

Buy the machine.  :D

Plain as that.  This thing is awesome.  I've stepped up from a Breville Infuser, to a La Nuova Era Cuadra II, to this guy, and it blows the doors off of everything I've used before.  I've also see quite a few other machines, Rocket's, Expobar's, etc., and the build quality on the ECM is, bar none, above the rest.  It's built like a tank.  Designed great.  And works a treat.  I've pulled some incredible shots on this thing once you get your grind dialed in.

Everything about the ECM is top notch from the inside out.  The rotary pump is the quietest one I've ever heard.  My machine is plumbed in (do this if you get the ECM) and just a joy to use.  No worries about running out of water mid-shot.

I can't speak highly enough about the Technika.  I love it and would buy it again in a heartbeat.  

Also, dealing with Jim at 1st Line has been a sincere pleasure.  I've visited his shop 3 times now (while he was helping with my Cuadra), and he is always helpful and responsive, both over the phone and via email.  He's earned my business from here on out for any future purchases.
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whatrulooknat
Senior Member
whatrulooknat
Joined: 9 Jan 2002
Posts: 59
Location: Carmel, IN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Tue Aug 13, 2013, 7:12am
Subject: Re: ECM Recommendation?
 

Very helpful, thank you.

Like you, the machine's aesthetics and low volume are incredibly alluring to me.  Plumbed in is the next logical step, I believe.

For the past 8 years now, I have been running on an Expobar Brewtus 1, purchased from Whole Latte Love.  My experience with the machine, the company and Todd (!) have all been terrific.  One comment he made was serviceability.  I have replaced pumps and opvs in my Brewtus and I am not an engineer.

So, a dual boiler to a single boiler HX.  Now what do you think?

Bob
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,726
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Aug 13, 2013, 1:26pm
Subject: Re: ECM Recommendation?
 

HX is not a single boiler in the way most think of a SBDU, The boiler stays at a constant temp and does not change like a SBDU is required to do. The brew circuit flows through the boiler which is at steam temp. The brew circuit is designed to give a constant and consistent temp water to brew with.

The DB has two boilers, each set at a different temp. One for steaming the other for brewing. This requires more components to be inside the machine, thus they cost more.

Both need a flush for clearing the spent grounds from the group head. Nearly all DB require a warming flush and all HX require a cooling flush. Both machines can produce outstanding espresso when operated properly with quality beans and properly ground.

Neither is better than the other nor is one worse than the other, they are two different ways to get to the same end. Some prefer to use the same beans to make the same shots with little variance others like to change things up often and sometimes in the same brewing session. The first is a candidate for a DB machine while the latter may be better served with a HX.

PID offers a very consistent temp control but is slow to change settings, rather the machine is what takes time to catch up to the rapid changes that the PID makes when changing temp.Thus a DB with a PID is great for multiple exact same shots with exactly the same temp. They also have a slightly easier learning curve as the machine removes the temp variable from the table.

A HX is a machine that will not benefit from a PID as it will be controlling the steam temp, not your brew water temp. The HX can make the same shot time after time or it can vary the temp up or down a few deg at the desire of the operator to use different coffee beans or to tweak the shot just a little by slightly adjusting the time between shots and or flushes. For this reason, it will require a bit more operator skill to get the most from it.

Which is better for YOU depends on what you want out of the machine and how you like to work. The higher price point of most DB machines does not make it better, it simply has two boilers, two temp control circuits and more components so it costs more to make.

What do YOU want from the machine?


To the above, I do not mean to put down the SBDU machine, not at all, if you do not like to steam milk and are only after straight shots, a quality SBDU machine with PID and often with a 1K+ price point cant pull straight shots with the best of them These machines will have large boilers and  often an E61 group head, though that is not a requirement for quality espresso, skill by the operator is again the most important part of the 4 Ms as it always is.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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MDiddy
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 118
Location: PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP
Drip: Cuisinart DCC-1200
Posted Tue Aug 13, 2013, 3:53pm
Subject: Re: ECM Recommendation?
 

^ This is so well said.  Perfect IMO.

Some people feel to meet their needs, they need a DB, others, prefer an HX.  It really just boils down to what you feel you would like.


I can tell you from experience, the Technika, due to the design of the HX system, requires the smallest cooling flush I've ever seen.  Less than 1 oz.  It's  a simple, lever up for 2 seconds, lever down, and you're ready to pull your shot.

The rebound on the machine isn't the fastest, again, due to the HX machine, but it's not slow by any means.  It's ready to pull a second shot about 3 minutes after the first pull and every shot after.

It really is a great design.
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SylvainMtl
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Apr 2006
Posts: 142
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra Sixties A3
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly with...
Posted Tue Aug 13, 2013, 6:16pm
Subject: Re: ECM Recommendation?
 

3 minute rebound for a HX, are you sure?  What takes so long? grouphead ?
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MDiddy
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 118
Location: PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP
Drip: Cuisinart DCC-1200
Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 8:53am
Subject: Re: ECM Recommendation?
 

SylvainMtl Said:

3 minute rebound for a HX, are you sure?  What takes so long? grouphead ?

Posted August 13, 2013 link

I may be a little on the high side, perhaps more like 2 - 2 1/2 minutes, but it doesn't rebound as fast as my Cuadra did.  Then again, that thing was a dragon.  It would sputter hot water and steam for a good bit and require an 8-10 oz flush of water, where as, this one does not.  I like that trade off personally.
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fozzybear
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Manufacture Technika IV
Grinder: Mazzer mini
Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 10:58am
Subject: Re: ECM Recommendation?
 

I've had mine for a couple of weeks.  

The machine is a solid piece of engineering.   I bought mine at Morala trading where I had an opportunity to pour over, and use other systems I was considering (they have a training area upstairs with a number of the machines ready for use).  

The machines I looked at (well..the short list anyway) included the Alex Duetto (a double boiler system) and a rocket giotto (an almost identical looking system to the ECM).   All systems were very good, and I'm sure I would have been happy with any of them.   The deciding factors for me were as follows:

- No obvious benefit **for me** to the double boiler (btw I can pull shot after shot with no pause in between and water temperature is consistent - I would be concerned about a 3 minute rebound) as I am not as concerned about the level of control a PID provides (**I do find that you need to backflush before starting your first shot in the series).  Clearly this is a personal decision.

- The machine *felt* better put together - kinda like the difference between a BMW and a Honda (those Germans really know their engineering).   When I spoke to the guy at Morala I let him know that I wanted I machine that would be reliable for at least a decade.  He immediately pointed me to the the Technika.   As others have said, the relative simplicity of design (as compared to the dual boiler Alex Duetto) results in less problems and cheaper maintenance.   He also told me that, from a servicing perspective, they find that the machine is *very* well laid out inside as well.  This results in easier access, quicker disassembly/reassembly which means lower service costs.  

My experience with the machine so far? - *love it*.   It makes it very easy to get very good results (the limiting factor here is my skill, not the machine).  I had previously been using an Ascaso Uno unit (subsequently moved to the cottage) and the ECM blew me away.   The steam is constant and copious.  Bringing a milk up to temp for my morning latte takes almost the same amount of time as pulling my shot (yes, I do them at the same time with no adverse affect to brew temp, pressure or steam pressure).   Another element I really like is the steam wand.   Typical steam wands have all kinds of crevices that make it difficult to keep clean.  Not so with the ECM - very smooth wand, simple to clean.  

I would absolutely buy this machine again.  No remorse whatsoever.
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1stline
Senior Member
1stline
Joined: 24 Jan 2002
Posts: 495
Location: Freehold, NJ USA
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Undisclosed
Grinder: Indisclosed
Vac Pot: Bodum Electric
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 12:12pm
Subject: Re: ECM Recommendation?
 

fozzybear Said:

...The machines I looked at (well..the short list anyway) included the Alex Duetto (a double boiler system) and a rocket giotto (an almost identical looking system to the ECM).   All systems were very good, and I'm sure I would have been happy with any of them.   The deciding factors for me were as follows:

...

Posted August 14, 2013 link

Great to hear that Morala likes the machine! Although the ECM may look similar to the Giotto, under the hood, there are some notable differences in favor of the ECM Technika:

a) Stainless boiler
b) Superior grouphead design
c) Thicker frame

It is the last reason mainly why we replaced the Rocket line with the ECM line. If you have the rotary pump versions, it is important to lightly descale through the grouphead once minimum every 1-3 months. This will help in temp stability, keep the pump deals from getting damaged, as well as avoid blockage problems in the grouphead. However, do not heavy descale as you can remove all the lubricant from the grouphead. Good luck and keep us posted!

 
Sincerely,
Jim Piccinich
Business Partner
1st-line Equipment, LLC
www.1st-line.com

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/1stline
Twitter: http://twitter.com/1stline
Blog: http://1st-line.blogspot.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/1stlineespresso
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whatrulooknat
Senior Member
whatrulooknat
Joined: 9 Jan 2002
Posts: 59
Location: Carmel, IN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Fri Aug 16, 2013, 10:26am
Subject: Re: ECM Recommendation?
 

Thank you for your informational responses!

Last question:

How about the steam power?  A few videos suggest that one should use the 4 hole tip vs. the original 2 hole tip.

What is your experience like?

Bob
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