Ascaso Bar 2 Group Espresso Machine
The Ascaso Bar 2 Group offers a great value with a great impression for the low volume, budget oriented cafe or a medium size office! This plumbed-in 2 grouphead espresso machine uses heavy duty, brass 58mm portafilters locked into two thermically-balanced heated groupheads that each have thermoblocks to offer good consistent heated water with each having its own vibration pump for the espresso. The single steam wand and single hot water spout are backed up by a large stainless steel boiler with its own vibration pump for refilling.
The unit fills an internal sealed reservoir that has a float device. This helps mitigate any water line pressure issues that could damage the pumps. We found this to be a very nice feature inside the right rear corner of the machine.
This espresso machine requires a 110 volt outlet with a dedicated 30 amp circuit breaker.
Thermoblock / Boiler system
Each grouphead on the Ascaso Bar 2 Group has it’s own thermoblock for making espresso. With a thermoblock, fresh is used every time in contrast to boilers that have water sitting. Thermal isn’t an issue since the internal pipes are over 30 inches long. The thermoblocks consist of aluminum and stainless steel. The stainless steel is the internal pipe that the water passes through. So no water actually touches aluminum. This also reduces any chance of limescale buildup.
The boiler in the back of the machine is used for hot water and steaming. It’s 4 liter size helps ensure lots of steaming capacity and water dispensing. The boiler is also made of stainless steel to help reduce limescale buildup.
Lighted work area
There is a switch in the front upper right panel. This turns on a row of lights on the sides of each grouphead. These lights will illuminate the drip tray area. It also helps give the Ascaso Bar 2 Group extra flare in a low lit cafe / restaurant.
The controls are very simple. The power controls are on the front lower left panel. The large black knob activates the heating elements. Switching to position 1 only activates the thermoblocks. Switching to position 2 activates the thermoblocks and the boiler. Underneath the black knob are 2 push button power switches. The left switch turns on the left grouphead. The right switch turns on the right grouphead. In the front upper right is a rocker switch. This activates the lighting of the work area. On the upper front panel is your controls for coffee and steam. The row of S, L, XL buttons control the espresso for each grouphead. The S and L buttons are for electronic dosing. The XL button is for semi-automatic dosing. The knobs on the left and right control the steam wand and hot water wand respectively. Turn counterclockwise to activate and clockwise to deactivate.
Most large commercial espresso machines that hook up to a water line require the use of a rotary vane pump. The Ascaso Bar 2 Group is able to use 2 vibration pumps by way of a special water basin inside. The direct water feeds water into this small water basin that has an automatic shut off when full. Using vibration pumps help bring the cost down on future replacements.
The legs measure approximately 60 mm in diameter and are stainless steel. This helps ensure a very stable unit. The feet raise the unit about 2.5 inches off your counter. The feet are adjustable to increase the height of the unit approximately 1 more inch. Each foot is independent of each other so it can easily adjust to an uneven surface.
Steam / water wand
The steam wand is on the left of the machine. It’s multi-directional which allows you to steam to the side of the machine. There is a rubber grip on the wand to help prevent burning your fingers. The steam wand tip has 4 holes which helps froth milk faster.
The hot water is on the right side of the machine. It’s also multi-directional although most people leave it in place. The short stem allows for large containers to fit underneath up to 5.5 inches.
The tray is made of a high quality stainless steel. It has a drain hole so your espresso machine must have a drain line connected. The distance from the tray to the portafilter spout is 5 inches.
The top surface of the machine is a passive cup warming tray. The 20″ x 18″ surface allows to fit alot of cups, plates, pitchers, or anything you will utilize.
Steam pressure gauge
The gauge is on the front right panel. Optimal steam pressure is anywhere between 1 and 1.5 bar.
Getting access to the inside of the machine is very easy. The are 6 Philips head screws on the top you need to remove. This will allow you to remove the top panel.
- Single spout (PM.125) and dual spout (PM.126) portafilter. Both measure 58 mm in diameter. These are the same portafilters used with the Ascaso Steel Professional models.
- Extra 1-cup (I..534) & 2-cup (I..535) filter basket just in case you lose the original ones.
- Double sided aluminum tamper (V.1916). One side measures 53 mm and other side measures 57 mm. For a complete tamp, we recommend upgrading to a 58 mm tamper.
- 2 Plastic scoops (V..520) if you plan to use ground coffee.
- Instruction manual available in 5 languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Korean.
- This machine is NOT NSF nor ETL approved. Please check with your local health department before purchasing.
On direct plumbed espresso machines, it is important to insure you have water (cold only) going to the espresso machine’s inlet water line before powering on. If there is no cold water going to the machine, you can damage the solenoid valve and 3 pumps on the machine – none of which will be covered under warranty.
Warm or hot water going through the inlet hose will damage the machine and will void the warranty.