E61 group head remain a favorite choice among home barista enthusiast including this ECM Barista that I unboxed. It’s heavy with polished look and truly showing its gorgeous look at every side, not limited to the fitting, gauges, badge, handles, and yes, thick stainless plate, all made by high quality materials. Should I say again for those who have not had a chance to read my previous post here, this is not a machine manufactured in Milano, Italia, but made in Heidelberg, Germany. The distributor of ECM in Indonesia had personally requested to the manufacturer to upgrade the machine with rotary pump instead of vibe and change the steam handle with a quick steam system. The two new features have given ECM Barista a professional taste and I can’t wait to try gorgeous beast.
As soon as the machine sit properly on the table, I examined the power chord, water connection and ensured everything were OK. Previously I read the manual, the mantra for every unboxing and to understand better how this machine works. ECM barista has a direct plumbing means we just connect the hose to water reservoir underneath my kitchen cabinet. It saves my pain to having refill the water.
One thing I most like about this rotary pump, which easily suck the water using longer hose in oppose to vibration pump. The drip tray outlet hose is directed to the North side and it can’t be re-oriented. I connected the hose and put its end to separate container, done.
All checked and I switched “on” the machine, the buzz was heard, quite noisy though.The pump was slowly sucked the water to fill the boiler and it took less than a minute. After a while, a “sssshhhh” was heard again, the machine was heating up with very minimum “ssshhhhh”.
Slowly the boiler pressure gauge was reaching to 1.5 bar and it all took about 20 minutes. The pump pressure has been set to 10.5 by the manufacturer and I let as it was.
You may adjust the pressure by opening the cup warmer tray, but I did not do that to avoid any damages, after all this is a first hand look with some test on espresso.
ECM has two manometers, boiler pressure on the left and pump pressure the right so user will know what is happening during the brewing process. After half and hour, I started to flush the water to let any unnecessary odor, dust, or even unwanted particles from the newly installed machine, just in case.
Finally, I was ready for a cup of coffee and Schiebello was chosed from similar distributor that lend me the machine for this unboxing. Schiebello is an Australian coffee brand and I often enjoy drinking it for my morning coffee, it is pure Arabica coffee.
Below were the workflow during the espresso shot :
1. Adjust the grind. I prefer fine grind and light tamp
2. Dose the coffee into single basket, about 10-11 gr. Tamped the coffee.
3. Lock the portafilter into the group head after several flushings.
4. Brewing time, set to 27 seconds for 30ml espresso shot
5. Lever up … and slowly a golden thick crema filled the measuring cup, stopped in 27 seconds extraction.
6. Done as you may see the quality of my shots in below pictures.
What about the steam ? The ECM has “no burn” steam wand and easily adjusted to the correct position for milk frothing. In addition to that, it only took less than 10 seconds for a single serve latte with a silky smooth texture. My latte art was not as good as my barista guru, below was the best I had ever tried 🙂 All in all, this really a basic review based on my experiences with ECM Barista and I would like to point some of pros points :
There is no such a perfect machine, it never will, however I am willing to see further improvement on ECM Barista as follows :
This is the machine I have been wanting for, rotary pump, quick steam, sturdy build quality with rigid stainless plate and most important, can deliver a good cup of espresso right from the start. While the machine can perform very well, unfortunately not many reviews we have read about this Germany ECM. If I may conclude, this machine is suitable for those who want to enjoy using high-end home-machine with commercial features such as rotary pump and quick steam. With the price tag of 2200 Euro equivalent to 2900 US$ dollar ECM is aiming for those who want a high quality materials, a high-end machine that can be enjoyed for a very long time. Is this OK for a small cafe ? No harm at all.
Note: ECM Machine, coffee grinder, and coffee supplied by PT Harvest Coffee Forenity, Phone : 6221-5793 1719