Make Coffee You Love!
How Does It Compare?
The Rocket Espresso Premium Plus with PID’s high-quality build and timeless design will always be in style for us! We thought another review of this heat exchanger was in order. The Premium Plus’s headliner is the PID that maintains consistent boiler temperature alongside the E61 brew head—a favorite feature in the Rocket lineup. The Premium Plus shares many of its design elements—E61 group, professional-quality portafilter and 1.8-liter heat exchange boiler—with Rocket’s littlest machine, the Appartamento! But while the Appartamento has a lot to offer, the Premium Plus still has a leg up with its PID that allows home baristas more control over their espresso. An we love more ways to tweak our coffee! While the machines in Rocket’s lineup have different features, they all sport the same hand-built Italian pedigree and top-notch materials. Check out the Premium Plus and see what it has to offer.
The Rocket Espresso Premium Plus features an insulated 1.8-liter copper boiler to maintain temperature stability. What does that mean for you, coffee friend? The thermal retention helps your machine consistently brew delicious espresso! Paired with the PID, we can program the ideal temperature—we’re more than pleased with the results!
As a refresher, the PID (proportional integral derivative) measures and controls the temperature in the boiler. Since this is a heat exchanger, you’ll want the boiler set higher than the brew temperature. Fortunately, Rocket has provided a manual with a helpful guide on how to program the PID to the ideal temperature.
Like all Rockets, the Premium Plus comes with stainless-coated brass portafilters sure to stand the test of time. Rocket includes two standard baskets, single and double, and, best of all, two portafilter styles, the single and double spout—oh man, do we love these spouts! Match the basket size to its corresponding portafilter and never worry about prying off the basket again (your fingers will thank you).
Eager to perfect your frothing technique? The Rocket Premium Plus with PID features powerful steaming that quickly heats milk in seconds. Before you know it, your milk is heated and ready to pour! We’ll never discourage beginner baristas from getting their hands on this machine, but the power requires patience and practice. Experienced baristas will appreciate the speed—just like rush hour in the cafe. That said, everyone can appreciate the fluidity of the articulating steam wand that makes it easier to texture your milk at any angle.
Wrapped in polished stainless steel and a clean, cut style, the Rocket Espresso Premium Plus with PID is a timeless centerpiece for any barista’s kitchen. The PID is hidden away under the drip tray to maintain a clean surface unburdened with electronic lights. The Rocket’s lever and knob control design mirrors traditional espresso machines, while the PID brings this machine into the modern age—you really get the best of both worlds with the Premium Plus!
The Premium Plus also comes in two styles, the Cellini and Giotto. The Cellini features straight side panels that create a simple, boxy body shape while the Giotto features more dramatic geometric side panels that extend out and taper back down at the drip tray. That Giotto has a wider footprint than the Cellini, but that is the only difference between the two models.
While Rocket Espresso has introduced us to new models like the Appartamento, the Rocket Espresso Premium Plus with PID continues to amaze us with it’s built-in PID. If you love to change up your beans or simply want more control over your espresso, the Premium Plus is for you. Don’t forget that the Premium Plus has two styles—check out the Rocket Espresso Cellini Premium Plus with PID and Rocket Espresso Giotto Premium Plus with PID.
How Will You Use Your Superautomatic?
Rolling out of bed to a freshly brewed tall, skinny vanilla latte waiting in the kitchen is the dream—but you have to pick the right machine to get you there! With the variety of superautomatic espresso machines available, you might feel overwhelmed with all the differences. Fortunately for you, we have reviews, comparisons and gear guides—like this post—about superautomatics to help narrow down your top choices!
In this post, we will recommend how to choose between mid-range, intermediate, and advanced superautomatics. A great place to start finding the machine for you is to imagine your morning cup of coffee. Are you drinking lots of lattes and cappuccinos? Do you like to customize each cup? Or perhaps you are more of a casual coffee drinker, who enjoys things more simple and straightforward.
Thought about it? Good! Here’s one more question to get you started: How many drink options do you want?
Keep things simple—the fewer buttons the better!
Rub the sleep from your eyes and welcome the simple operation of mid-range superautomatics. These machines excel at offering home baristas smooth, consistent espresso with an affordable price tag. Their affordability can be largely attributed to fewer features, but if you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Less is more” this is one of those cases. Your drink menu features a couple of espresso volumes (generally, single and double) and a milk frothing option. They skip latte or cappuccino buttons and forgo one-touch brewing in favor of manual milk control. That’s a bonus for barista’s interested in more steaming control!
Simple Features, Less Customization
If you’re a casual coffee drinker who just takes their coffee with milk, a mid-range superautomatic will fit the bill. You’ll still have features such as adjustable grind setting, programmable espresso and brew temperature, but less programmability. Typically, these machines remember your settings but have fewer individual buttons and lack multiple profiles. If you want to tweak, adjust or customize and have the machine remember your preferences, read on!
Variety is the spice of life!
Feeling like a tall, double shot, non-fat, vanilla soy latte with extra whip? OK, so we don’t know of an espresso machine that adds whipped cream, but there are plenty of intermediate machines that will do the rest! Programming the volume and brew temperature is a must-have to be considered intermediate. Like most superautomatics, our customization is offered in a limited range for quick and convenient customization. Typically, the settings are presented in low to high within the ideal range, so home baristas don’t have to worry about brewing at the wrong temperature.
Must Have One-Touch Drinks
In the drink menu, you’ll find classics ready to brew with one-touch technology—another must-have feature on these machines. Milk siphons systems, whether it’s in a carafe or external milk hose, draw and steam milk and then instantaneously brews espresso. Intermediate espresso machines are pre-programmed with the appropriate ratios of espresso to milk for drinks. Some machine even offer programmable milk volume too!
Profiles For The Whole Family
Best of all, some machines feature programmable profiles for the whole family! Use the profiles to save everyone preferred drinks from a vanilla soy latte to a traditional cappuccino. The only work you’ll have to do is add your vanilla soy milk into the carafe—tall, double shot, non-fat, vanilla soy latte, anyone?
All the options!
Flat white, latte, ristretto, milk, cappuccino—advanced superautomatic espresso machines include everything but the kitchen sink! These superautomatics combined everything we love on the first two types of machines and double the features that they have to offer. The menu is filled with traditional and popular espresso drinks that you can customize the coffee strength, temperature and volume. Don’t forget to save your favorite drinks in the profile section when you’re done—it’s like having your own personal barista!
One-Touch Cappuccinos And Frothing Control
Steaming with advanced superautomatics feature one-touch technology and generally the ability to program milk options such as the volume. Typically, superautomatic espresso machines have one-steam-fits-all because there’s no way to adjust the aeration, so achieving a variety of milk-based drinks is a challenge. But, good news! We’ve been introduced to machines with milk siphon systems that do offer foam control, so fear not—there are wondrous machines out there!
Advanced Interface And Extra Features
When you bump-up the features, there’s other perks like touchscreens, digital displays and more. With an expanded interface, advanced machines include the extra bells and whistles to keep your machine fine-tuned. Daily maintenance is effortless with smart filters, automatic rinsing and descaling alerts. All the additional goodies also means that advanced superautomatic machines have larger water tanks, bean hoppers, etc. to make multiple drinks back-to-back. These machines are great workhorses for continuous use in a small office or busy, well-caffeinated homes.
Whether you like to keep settings simple or have all the options, there is a superautomatic espresso machine for you. This is the end of our coffee journey through superautomatics, but there are always new reviews and comparisons on machines to help you narrow down more choices. Check out a few of our suggestions below and tell us your favorite superautomatic in the comments below.
Crew Comparison: DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino vs ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart
How Does It Compare?
On this week’s Crew Comparison, we’re bringing you a DeLonghi showdown: The DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino versus the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart! In one corner we have the Eletta packed with programmability; auto-on, espresso and milk volume, LatteCrema system and—for all your drip drinkers—pulse-brewed coffee! In the opposite corner the Smart puts up a fair fight with seamless operation, LatteCrema system and affordability. But it’s hurting on programmability. We’re rooting for the Eletta! It feels like a shoo-in, but the match isn’t over until we’ve seen what these two superautomatics can do!
The DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart’s simplified menu rises to the challenge to wake you up and get you out the door. Its select dial swiftly scrolls through your two espresso and three milk drink options. There’s no need to worry about choosing the wrong drink either! When you’ve chosen your drink, all you do is hit brew to start the Smart. The catch-22 for the Smart is the lack of programmability that we've seen on the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino, which might be worth the extra investment for some coffee lovers.
The Smart plays a fair game, but the Eletta’s customization hits its mark every time. Customize the espresso and milk volume for all your favorite drinks—that includes the milk menu drinks! The Eletta requires a little one-on-one time to find your ideal drink settings, but your hard work pays off with one-touch cappuccinos brewed to your liking. But the real knock-out is it’s pulsed-brewed coffee—not espresso! The Eletta’s strategy is to deliver slow and steady pressure to achieve drip coffee consistency. And you know what? It truly is like a cup of drip.
Both superautomatics introduce the LatteCrema system to the new lineup. The system features a three-setting milk foam dial that makes a creamy froth, medium foam or a thick, fluffy foam with the ability to froth in between. The first dial steams instead of frothing the milk for a texture perfect for hot chocolate or lattes. The last option is our go-to for traditional cappuccinos!
While both machines impress us with frothing, we’d put on money on the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino for it’s winning combo—the LatteCrema system and programmable milk volume. You’ll whip up creamy lattes with just the right proportions of espresso, milk and foam. Bonus: With the Eletta, you can program each drink’s espresso and milk volume.
Where the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart excels, again, is the LatteCrema system; however, the factory settings leave us yearning for more action. That said, if you’re satisfied with the convenience and consistency of your cup, you won’t blink an eye without it! With the Smart, one-touch cappuccinos are brewed without a second thought on your part, coffee lovers.
Standing at nearly 15-inches tall, the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino seems to dwarf the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart. However, when you compare the numbers, the Smart isn’t that much smaller! The Smart saves half an inch in depth and barely a full inch in height thanks to its tall bean hopper. Both DeLonghi’s sport sleek profiles with clean edges to easily cozy up to your other appliances under the cabinet. In fact, with the front-access to the water tank and grounds bin, both the Eletta and Smart are well-designed for modern homes.
Where the Eletta visibly squashes its opponent is its display. Not only does it open up features like automatic on and off options, but it also flaunts an easy-reading digital display and touch-sensitive buttons. Program the Eletta to turn on in the morning and shut off when you’re heading out the door—this sort of customization saves time and energy. We appreciate the angle of the display, which offers a clear view for taller coffee lovers. That said, the Smart isn’t an underdog—it brews delicious coffee and cappuccinos without extra finessing. The Smart will also make delicious coffee without breaking the bank.
We had a close match between the DeLonghi ECAM44660B Eletta Plus Cappuccino and the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart. Both machines feature the LatteCrema system that whip up foamy drinks, but the Eletta offered us customized coffee that we couldn’t find on the Smart. That said, if you’re on a budget and willing to sacrifice customization, the Smart might be for you! What do you think of the latest DeLonghi superautomatics? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
How Does It Compare?
You might just become an early bird when you have the DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino making coffee for you! Wake up to a pre-heated machine ready to brew one-touch cappuccinos or creamy lattes. If you’ve been following our recent reviews on DeLonghi, you know that they’ve added the LatteCrema system to their machines—and the Magnifica S Cap is no exception! The carafe features one milk frothing option that steams up some fluffy cappuccino foam. Another new kid on the block, the (similarly named) DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart, has three milk frothing options—that truly texture the milk differently—but its limited programmability leaves more to be desired. That’s why we’re falling for the Magnifica S Cap. It programs everything from the espresso to milk volume—yeah, it saves the milk amount too! Now that’s a perfect morning.
Rise and shine! With the DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino, programming your favorite drinks the night before makes grabbing a cup morning-proof. Easily customize the temperature, coffee strength and even the espresso and coffee ratio—the Magnifica S Cap will remember the proportions! It also features five different strength settings that help you find the sweet spot for new beans. Like a lot of superautomatics, temperature settings are within a given range. If you love your coffee piping hot, the Magnifica S Cap impressed us with a consistently hot shot!
Beneath the 10-ounce bean hopper, the incredibly silent stainless steel burrs grind beans into espresso. One of the hidden gems of the Magnifica S Cap, though, is the 13 grinder settings! In comparison, the DeLonghi ECAM 23260SB Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart only has seven settings. Coffee lovers gain more control over the coarseness of their grind and ultimately, the flavor! And for coffee drinkers who pre-grind their coffee at the store, the Magnifica S Cap has a bypass doser.
The LatteCrema system continues to impress us with foamy milk of our choice! The dial determines the frothiness of the milk, offering casual coffee drinkers anything from a latte to cappuccino foam that you’d expect at a cafe. As an added bonus, the carafe features a clean option on the dial that keeps the inner system sparkling clean. The clean cycle won’t flush into the carafe either, so you can remove it and store in the fridge for later.
The LatteCrema system works best when paired with the milk drink of your choice. For instance, more foam and less milk for cappuccinos. We mentioned earlier that programming your coffee was a cinch—so is programming the milk! To set up your proportions, press and hold the button to program and wait for the screen to show it’s programming milk. Once it has reached the ideal amount, press the button again to save the milk portion and it’ll repeat for your espresso.
The DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino’s narrow, elongated profile is designed to cozy up underneath cabinets. Equipped with a 67-ounce water reservoir, you can make drink after drink for the whole family without refilling! Even better, the tank slides out from the side that further benefits its slim profile. You’ll need height space to add beans or adjust the grind, but the front-access tank is a huge advantage compared to other models that require a foot plus!
Along with the convenience of one-touch brewing, the Magnifica S Cap features an intuitive digital display that’s easy on the eyes. Its tactile operation works with the buttons and dial to select items within the menus. The menu features classic functions such as descale or the auto-on and off—a fantastic feature for early mornings. Set the time and then program the auto-on to warm up the machine before you want coffee.
Waking up just got a whole lot easier with the DeLonghi ECAM 25462S Magnifica S Cappuccino. It's designed with one-touch brewing and an intuitive interface that makes programming our favorite drinks a snap! We’re ecstatic that we can program the espresso to milk ratio for our lattes or cappuccinos. And, of course, the LatteCrema system whips up delicious frothiness for those said drinks. Have you checked out any of the new DeLonghi’s exclusive to Seattle Coffee Gear? Check them out and tell us what you think in the comments below.
How Does It Compare?
Coffee to-go takes a whole new meaning with today’s two travel coffee makers, the Aerobie AeroPress and the Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Machine. As you probably guessed, the Minipresso is a lightweight, compact espresso-making fiend—it makes a perfect camping companion for espresso lovers. Most of you don’t need an introduction to the AeroPress, a crowd favorite for home brewing and exploring! Like the Minipresso it’s incredibly light and stores easily. It makes a smooth, rich cup of coffee that we’ve heard some people compare to espresso. The AeroPress definitely brews a stout cup, but the Minipresso makes a strong shot that even has crema! Keep reading to find out the different mechanics of these two travel brewers.
The Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Machine has everything you need to make espresso anytime, anywhere. Brew basket? Check. Water tank? Check. Pressure? Check! The Minipresso uses a semi-automatic piston that extracts with 8 BARs of pressure just like your typical espresso machine! Pop open the piston in the middle of the machine and squeeze it about one pump per second—and presto! A delicious single shot in seconds! The brew basket holds 8 grams of coffee for a proper dose.
By comparison, the Aerobie AeroPress has defined a new way to brew. It’s still an immersion-style coffee maker (French press anyone?) but the results are a cleaner, more concentrated cup of coffee. Instead of a metal filter, the AeroPress uses micro-filtered paper that picks up oils and grit that create a smoother sip. Some have described it as espresso; however, it creates less pressure and is made with 1:10 coffee to water. Whether you brew traditionally or with the inverted method, the beauty of the AeroPress’ design allows you to stop extraction whenever you like! It makes 1 to 4 cups of bold, rich coffee.
Streamlined for traveling, the Wacaco Minipresso weighs 12.8 ounces and is 7 inches at its longest. Every inch counts when you start to factor in carrying the water and coffee to brew! The ergonomic design slips in backpacks or purses for a caffeinated companion while you’re hiking or traveling. The only downside for people on the road is the Minipresso requires basic maintenance to clean out the old coffee and has several small pieces such as the brew chamber—something that’s easily misplaced on the road. If you include a few extra moments to give the Minipresso some TLC, this portable espresso machine will make coffee you love everywhere!
The AeroPress is renowned for it’s innovative, lightweight and user-friendly design—coffee aficionados just can’t get enough of it! And rest assured, the AeroPress is now BPA-free and dishwasher safe Outdoor enthusiasts or travelers will appreciate that it has fewer pieces for assembly and makes a larger cup of coffee. The only beef we’ve heard with the AeroPress is it can really engage the biceps—if you know what we mean. The plunger and pressure help develop the fuller body of coffee, but that said, it’ll be different for everyone.
If you’re looking for the perfect traveling coffee maker, check out the Wacaco Minipresso and AeroPress. Whether you’re on-the-go or just hanging at home, the AeroPress will fit into many lifestyles. With the immersion brewing, the AeroPress makes a strong, smooth cup some have compared to espresso. Of course, if you crave the real deal, the Minipresso is our top pick for portable espresso! Ready to travel in style with one of these portable coffee makers? Tell us which one is your favorite in the comments below.
Your Coffee. Your Schedule.
Gone are the days of stale beans, empty cups and last minute coffee runs. Say hello to the new way to make coffee you love at home—SCG Subscriptions!
We launched SCG Subscriptions to bring you specialty roasted coffee delivered straight to your door. Choose from some of our favorite roasters and set your mailing frequency to fit your coffee consumption. With guaranteed freshness on your schedule and 5% savings on every order, the hardest decision you'll make is picking your coffee.
What Coffees Are Subscribable?
Most of our coffees offered year-round and some seasonal selections are available for SCG's coffee subscriptions. Every eligible coffee will offer a red subscription button before checkout. Generally, coffees like single origins that are roasted for a short time will not be available for subscription—unless you sign up for Join The Club! Select the single origin option and the SCG Crew will pick three single origins to receive our latest favorites!
Bonus: We offer subscriptions on teas, syrups and cleaning supplies too!
How Fresh Are The Beans?
We adhere to the roaster’s freshness policy for our beans. Each roaster sets their freshness date and your order will adhere to their guidelines. If you ever have a concern with your order, we’re happy to help!
What's The Delivery Schedule?
The frequency we offer is weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or bi-monthly. You can set your first order to take place anytime from checkout or in the future. You can expect to receive your order from then on—with the exception of delays made by the courier, weather or other circumstances beyond our control.
How To Sign Up
Step 1. Get Started Here
Start at the seattlecoffeegear.com/subscriptions page to discover what coffee subscription is right for you!
What's The Difference Between One Or Two Bags?
When you subscribe to two bags of coffee, we offer free shipping and the option to mix or match coffees!
What Is Join the Club?
Glad you asked! SCG will pick three coffees for each of the three clubs offered. The clubs are Espresso, Coffee and Single Origin. We've curated this ever-changing selection for different brew methods and will choose coffees we think will shine the brightest in each brew! Joining one of the clubs is perfect for anyone looking to expand their coffee palate.
Step 2. Shop By Taste, SCG Picks or Clubs
Click on Get Started and you’ll be directed to our coffee. You can browse through coffees based on their flavor profiles, specialities, staff picks or choose to Join the Club.
Step 3. Choose Your Coffee
Found some coffee you like? Awesome! On coffees that are available for SCG's coffee subscription, under the “Add to Cart” button is the “Subscribe” button. Click on “Subscribe” and the website will prompt you to log in to your SCG Account.
Step 4. Schedule Your Coffee
Log in or create your Seattle Coffee Gear account and fill out the subscription information. In your account, you will be able to:
- Adjust frequency between every week, two weeks, a month or two months for delivery
- Set the start date for your first order
- Address who’s receiving the delivery
- Change your address when you move
- Add, change or cancel your order at any time!
Make Coffee You Love
That’s all there is to it! Put the pep back in your morning routine and brew yourself another pot of coffee. With SCG's coffee subscriptions, you can have coffee, tea, syrups and cleaning supplies mailed to your door on your schedule. Sign up for SCG Subscriptions to receive freshly roasted coffee from our curated selection of roasters.
The Round Up
Are you ready to enjoy espresso brewed at the touch of a button? We gathered our top three most popular superautomatic espresso machines; the Saeco Intelia Deluxe, Jura Impressa A9 One-Touch and Saeco Gran Baristo Avanti, that each has features for every coffee drinker. The joys of superautomatics are you don’t need to have any technicals skills to make coffee you love—that and coffee is on demand! The Intelia Deluxe is a fantastic entry-level machine with its simple interface and programmable espresso. While it's not a one-touch machine like the other two on this list, it features two milk frothing accessories that will work for the whole family. Our other two, the Jura Impressa A9 and Saeco Gran Baristo Avanti are one-touch wonders packed full of customizable drink options—just like ordering from your favorite cafe! Check out the ins and outs of our top three superautomatic espresso machines!
Staff Pick: Saeco Intelia Deluxe
The Intelia Deluxe has a lot going for it—two programmable espresso buttons, adjustable coffee dosages per shot and flexible steaming options—and that’s one of the features we dig the most! You have the freedom to interchange the cappuccinatore, an auto-frother, with a panarello-style steam wand. The benefit of a panarello is that you can add as much foam or heat as you desire.
The ease of use made it our top machine as an entry-level superautomatic espresso machine. It has a digital display operated and programmed by well-marked buttons that the whole family can use! If your kids love hot chocolate, the Milk Froth button whips up the milk without the coffee. While our other two machines feature one-touch drinks, there’s a lot to love about the intuitive Intelia Deluxe.
Best Shots: Jura Impressa A9 One-Touch
Jura’s famed for their quality build and espresso—two features the A9 has! The A9 doses more grams per shot making a stronger cup of coffee than its competitors. That’s just the cherry on top of this machine. The A9 features a beautiful touchscreen display that offers fast customization and easy access to menus. This superautomatic makes classic favorites like lattes and cappuccinos and has over 12 coffee drink optins—something for everyone!
The A9 uses a milk siphon system to froth delicious cappuccinos right into your cup! The one-touch design allows you to draw milk right from the carton. If you like having a removable carafe, Jura offers a stainless steel option or you can go bigger with one of Jura’s attachable milk fridges—great for small studios or hosting!
Features Galore: Saeco Gran Baristo Avanti
The last superautomatic espresso machine on our list is the Saeco Gran Baristo Avanti. It’s filled to the brim with features like pulse drip coffee, profile programming, one-touch drinks and a removable milk carafe. If you aren’t already frothing over this machine, the Avanti has a smartphone app that programs your espresso and milk down to the milliliter. Use the app to save your favorite drinks or select from traditional drinks like lattes and flat whites.
The Avanti’s clean cut design and stainless steel casing complement home barista’s kitchens. While it has a slim profile, it’s a deep machine that might stick out from cabinets (seriously, it’s 19.3 inches long including the cord). That said, if you have space and desire the features, this is the perfect superautomatic espresso machine for you!
Casual coffee drinks and connoisseurs alike will find something they love with these top three superautomatic espresso machines. The Saeco Intelia Deluxe offers entry-level features and programming for every coffee lover while the Jura Impressa A9 packs in more coffee per shot and features a sleek touchscreen display. Last, but not least, the Saeco Gran Baristo Avanti knocked our socks off with great coffee and tons of customizable options to make coffee we loved. Find our more specs and details about each superautomatic espresso machine by visiting their product page!
How Does It Compare?
For a single boiler machine, the Crossland Coffee CC1 packs a punch with advanced features. Built with a dedicated thermoblock for steaming—a feature most single boilers lack—it whips up frothy milk in minutes! Not to mention it helps reduce the heating time. The digital display’s seamless design allows users to easily program the built-in PID or save up to three espresso profiles. In comparison, the Rancilio Silvia M, another single boiler favorite, features a simple switch interface and factory settings; however, we offer the option to add on a PID. That said, without the PID the Silvia M’s interface operates with simple controls. If you crave control over your coffee, the CC1 offers easily adjusted settings to make coffee you love at home.
The programmable PID displayed on the Crossland Coffee CC1 lets users set their ideal brew temperature and maintains consistency to perfect your shot. While you’re programming the brew temperature, customize the pre-infusion, brew and wait time for your three profiles—oh, and the pod profile is your third profile since the CC1 does not work with pods. That’s a lot of customizable options this machine!
Coffee connoisseurs yearning to hone in their barista skills will love the CC1’s 58mm portafilter—trending to be the industry’s standard—and the option to purchase the CC1 bottomless portafilter. If you’re getting serious with your coffee, the bottomless portafilter opens a window into extracting espresso. While there are different indicators of good espresso, one of our favorites to observe is tiger striping—when espresso cascades with blond and brown stripes to show even extraction.
As with any single boiler machine, we recommend baristas first froth milk and then pull shots. With the added thermoblock, though the Crossland Coffee CC1 reaches steam temperature in no time! But before you start frothing, purge the condensation—a good practice—and give the thermoblock some time to heat up to avoid sputtering. When it’s ready to go, the CC1 produces steady power that is perfect for entry-level baristas. It allows you time to work the milk, hone your technique for frothing.
With the CC1’s articulating steam wand, finding a comfortable angle to work the milk is incredibly easy. The wand’s L-shape design and extra long tip clear the underside of the machine to allow you room to pivot your pitcher. The CC1’s traditional wand is mounted on the underside, which means we can’t adjust the steam wand higher; however, all things considered, the wand is incredibly accessible. If you’re ready to improve your latte art, the CC1 is one of the machines we’ve enjoyed practicing on!
The Crossland Coffee CC1 sensible, clean-cut style works in your favor, coffee lovers. The CC1 focuses on features and capabilities while maintaining an affordable price. We often hear people say they’re attracted to the CC1’s industrial stainless steel case. Paired with the boxy construction—reminiscent of traditional espresso machines—the CC1 is pretty identical to the Rancilio Silvia M. The most noticeable differences is the CC1’s digital display that adds a modern touch.
The CC1 recently underwent an upgrade and we got to say, we give it two thumbs up! The three-way solenoid valve uses to block the water tank, but now it’s situated inside the machine. The water tank is a touchy subject for some of us—it can be difficult to remove. The portafilter and wand tend to get in the way as well as the water tubes located inside the tank. With the right maneuvering and patience, we can get the CC1 up and brewing!
The Crossland Coffee CC1 packs in fantastic features for a single boiler machine. The programmable PID and three profiles let baristas customize their espresso to their perfect drink. While we may not be able to brew and steam at the same time, the dedicated thermoblock for steaming adds enough extra boost to froth beautifully. If you’re ready to hone your barista skills, check out the CC1! Share your thoughts on the CC1 in the comments below.
How Does It Compare?
The grind is one of the most important steps to making coffee you love at home. This week, we compared two magnificent, high-end grinders: the Rocket Espresso Macinatore Fausto and Baratza Forté AP. Both machines fall into the same price range but are equipped with radically different features. The Fausto’s burly burrs and infinite stepless grinder adjustments dose consistent grounds perfect for espresso—but the Fausto’s really just for espresso. Once you’ve homed in your ideal setting, you’ll only tweak it slightly or you risk losing your place.
Then we have Baratza’s only commercial-designed machine, the Forté AP. The Forté AP (All Purpose) fine-tuned and marked grinder settings make it effortless for baristas and home brewers alike to find their sweet spot. We should add that the Forté AP has a wicked quick motor that grinds beans in a matter of seconds! But don’t let stepped or stepless grinding dissuade you—we think both grinders would look good seated on your kitchen counter! Find out which grinder has the right features and style for you.
Sure, these high-end grinders are designed to be used in a commercial environment, but that doesn’t mean small offices or homes shouldn’t reap the benefits! The Rocket Espresso Fausto is a meaty machine topped with a 1.4-pound bean hopper to caffeinate a crowd. All those beans are no match for the 65mm flat steel burrs and a beefy motor that runs 1650 RPMs (rotations per minute). All that’s left is dialing in the Fausto. Some fear stepless grinders because of the limitless adjustments. While the dial turns easily, you should be aware that each turn makes a huge difference in the grind—you can be nearly there and then way out of the ballpark instantly! Although, once you find the right spot, you won’t be adjusting the Fausto much.
In comparison, the Baratza Forté AP adjust quickly and effortlessly thanks to 10 macro and 26 micro stepped settings—that’s 260 options! In a few clicks, it can grind from espresso to French press! With that in mind, the stepped adjustments are well-suited for the Forté AP—an abbreviation of all purpose. And it really is all-purpose! Even at the coarsest setting, the 54mm ceramic flat burrs efficiently grind consistent grounds. While it’s burrs are a bit smaller than the Fausto’s, the motor runs at steady 1950 RPMs—or an average of 3.5 to 3.7 grams per second for French press.
The Rocket Espresso Fausto’s doserless chute and stainless steel portafilter holder are designed for espresso. The Fausto’s consistently fine grounds works with non-pressurized portafilters on a semi-automatic espresso machine. With limitless adjustments, we’d recommend pairing the Fausto with the Rocket Espresso R60V, which features pressure profiling. Together, these machines offer coffee connoisseurs countless opportunities to tweak their espresso. And with two programmable time-based buttons, you can save your ideal dosage for a single or double shot.
The Baratza Forté AP’s has a trick up its sleeve. When you’re in a hurry, use one of your three programmable profiles and dose your grind with the touch of a button—oh yeah, did we mention it has a touchscreen display? The Forté AP doses grinds by weight, time or manually (perfect for topping off). Bonus: You can use the profiles to save both weight and time doses! However, weight-based dosage only works with the grounds bin—a great companion for a drip brewer. The Forté AP also comes with a portafilter holder, so you can grind directly for espresso!
The Baratza Forté AP’s modern style and user-friendly interface make it one of our favorite high-end grinders. The combination of the touchscreen and tactile grinder settings allow us to make quick adjustments that satisfy home brewers and baristas need. Baristas working the peak morning shift will rejoice with the programmable doses—and their customers will appreciate a quick cup! Coffee lovers who enjoy French press and espresso will find it a snap to brew both.
While the Forté AP is built for commercial settings, it’s actually closer to the size of home machines. Now can you see this high-end grinder in your home? We can! On the other hand, the Rocket Espresso Fausto is considerably bigger—nearly three inches taller. It might not sound like much, but the Fausto is nearly 18 inches tall and 11 inches deep. However, most of the Fausto’s height is from the one-pound bean hopper. In comparison, the Forté AP has 10-ounces hopper, so you’ll have to decide what features is important for you. The Forté AP’s small footprint would fit perfectly in a coffee cart or studio office while the Fausto would support a local café.
While both grinders fall in the same price point and are marked for commercial use, the Rocket Espresso Fausto and Baratza Forté AP are completely different machines. The Forté AP features an intuitive touchscreen that saves your three favorite settings—perfect for cafés or home brewers—and 260 grinder adjustments. The Rocket Espresso Fausto is designed for espresso and showcases its capable 65mm burrs with its stepless adjustments.
Thanks for checking out this week’s Crew Comparison. If you’re looking for a high-end grinder, naturally you’ll want a high-end espresso machine to complement it! Check out Gear Guide: Top Three High-End Espresso Machines.
The Round Up
Coffee connoisseurs, prepare to be awestruck by today’s Gear Guide picks for high-end espresso machines: the Nuova Simonelli Musica, Rocket Espresso R60V and La Marzocco GS/3. Crafted with advanced technology and finished in contemporary style, these semi-automatics are top of their class for good reasons!
The Musica features a heat exchange boiler and electric flair—literally! You can order the Musica with light-up side panels. Next, the R60V draws its fame from a double boiler design and a programmable PID that features pressure profiling, an adjustable feature not found on many machines. Last to round out our list is the GS/3, built with commercial grade components that delivers precision shots—and it’s easy on the eyes! If you’re ready to invest in a top of the line espresso machine, then look no further than today’s top three. Go ahead—take the plunge!
Beauty, brains and brawn—the Musica has it all! Nuova Simonelli is the official espresso machine provider for the World Barista Championship and famed for their impressive steam power. The Musica’s blessed with power and a four-hole tip steam wand to whips frothy milk in seconds. This is the only heat exchanger in the lineup, but rest assured the espresso comes out consistent and hot for the best shot. Plus, it’s equipped with programmable espresso buttons that coffee connoisseurs can enjoy setting and saving for their perfect brew.
Lets not forget about the Musica’s electrifying looks! You can choose between the luxe lighting or stick with black accents. Both versions feature stainless steel casing and matching drip tray that exude 50s jukebox style—but just the style. This modern machine is built with electronic controls and user-friendly interface. Overall, a fantastic pick for high-end espresso machines!
Rocket Espresso has piloted home brewing into the modern age with advanced programmability, features and even a smartphone app. The R60V includes a programmable PID featuring—wait for it—pressure profiling! If you’re new to pressure profiling, this feature allows baristas to modulate pump pressure and duration. For example, you can set a pre-infusion pressure of two bars and then jump the brew pressure to a classic nine bars. Use the smartphone app or attached PID controller to program up to five pressure settings for three separate profiles—you can tinker and play without losing your best profiles! Dual stainless steel boilers work independently, so you call the shots for your espresso. You even have the option to plumb-in this machine to keep the espresso flowing—need we say more?
Yes, we do! Hand-built by expert craftsman in Italy, each machine is a little unique in just the right way. There’s no denying that the R60V is a beautifully crafted machine featuring contemporary influence. It’s built with high-quality materials, an E-61 brew head, rotary pump and a heavy-duty 58mm portafilter. This is just another one of our high-end espresso machines that will make you feel like a barista in a cafe.
Last on our list of high-end espresso machines is a machine built with dual stainless steel boilers, a customizable PID display and commercially-approved and NSF-rated components suited for light cafes and serious home setups alike. The La Marzocco GS/3 will have coffee connoisseurs head over heels. The enormous 3.5-liter steam boiler and 1.5-liter brew boiler will pull shot after shot and won’t run out thanks to a 3.5-liter water reservoir. Or, you can plumb-in this machine like both of our other picks for unlimited water! And with the PID, you can adjust each boiler to your desired temperature.
Alongside the GS/3’s generous boilers are features like a quiet rotary pump that maintains a set volume and a saturated brew head that evenly extract grounds to produce consistent shots. And let’s not forget cappuccino or latte lovers! The traditional steam wand blasts powerful steam thanks to that big ol’ boiler and is a breeze to clean with a no-burn wand—just remember that it’ll still be hot!
There you have it—our top three picks for high-end espresso machines! We started off with the vibrant Nuova Simonelli Musica featuring lit side panels, a heat exchanger and Barista Championship-famous steam power. For baristas who love tweaking coffee parameters, the Rocket Espresso R60V comes equipped with a PID featuring pressure profiling for the ultimate customization. Lastly, La Marzocco knocked the socks off of coffee aficionados with the GS/3 that features two burly boilers and some impressive brewing components that help you pull more consistent shots. If you’re ready to up your espresso game, drop a hint by sharing this story on Facebook or Twitter!