If you want electronic dosing, all chrome pro espresso machine at home, this is the only machine for the price I think.
Positive Product Points
True home/pro machine. Large boiler, large drip tray, pro pump, electronic dosing-adjustable. Switch from pour over to plumbed in, easier than any machine I have seen. ECM have a great history and dont skimp money on the machine, its solid and all chrome, neat and tidy under the hood. Spares universal, plus ECM carry all parts, so should last a lifetime.
Negative Product Points
..fiddly running drain from drip tray, only of concern when plumbed in. Not a major problem but could be set up better seeing as this machine is also made for commercial setup. ..Forgot to add, it came with plastic tamper worth a dollar. You need to buy a real tamper. Why they (ECM) do this when you spend so much on their machine is strange....
Great machine, I have tried most home pro machines around and finally settled on the ECM A1. It is electronic volumatic dosing which puts some coffeegeeks off, but once you have used it, or worked in a coffee house you wont go back. it has 3 buttons for different pours, and they are all adjustable, so you can program any button to your preferred serve, ie strong, etc or you can have it push on push off long as you like. Advantage being anyone can use the machine which saves explaining lever system. Plus you can run around after you push the button etc.
Its really a nice machine for a small cafe or restuarant. I have had 20-50 people in my house and worked the machine non stop and it always keeps up. Mine is plumbed in and runs fantastic. Little noise from the pump, when taking water but not much. Is good on electricity, takes 15 minutes to reach right temp etc, and then its set, and doesnt draw much power after that. It is similar to giotto premium, just larger boiler, electronic and better pump, plus true plumb in fittings. Other things as well, but just to let people know what its like.
Only other machine I consider better is ELEKTRA T1, but that machine does not have pour over, hence its smaller machine, and a lot more expensive, but its the only machine I would ever upgrade too. I am always looking for one at a good price. Keep me posted coffeegeeks.
The A1 is a large machine, 1/2 as big again as the giotto premium. It is solid, heavy, and all chrome, looks great, easy to clean, and having dual guages you can watch water pressure etc, machine covers come off easily, so adjustments etc seem easy to do. A few other people I know, now have this machine, and none have had any problems or faults with this machine. I would not go back to pour over unless I had too, bleeding water off is easy and makes nicer coffee, but I have used the machine as pour over for a few months and its great in this set up too. Drip tray is large and so is the tank for this purpose.
Machine looks best on a centre bench, not against the wall as it has a lit back (ECM light) which looks great, people always comment how expensive and professional it looks. In a small cafe set up it would be ideal. I shall do another review in 6-12 months.
Not sure why their is not more of these machines around, Im in australia and have seen quite a few here, but america dont seem to have many, mine has 220 volt system but its available in 120 volt as well. I know its a bit pricey new, as its 1 step above most similar home machines. Overkill, ? not for another 500 or so dollars I think. Well worth the extra.
Bought as new, demo from dealer. wont name him as no longer ECM dealer but was nice to deal with. Gave me a great price as the machine had only 60 or so espressos through it. Follow up phone calls as well.