We love this machine! This is the perfect machine for a small office. It allows the use E.S.E. pods or ground coffee. The thermoblock design allows the machine to be left powered on all day.
The Steel Uno Versatile, upgraded in 2013, is one beautiful espresso machine! And, it has been one of our most reliable. With our feedback, Ascaso has incorporated many improvements in version 2 over the initial version launched several years back:
- There is an increased cup height between portafilter and drip tray: 3.35 inches.
- The lateral removable (from right side near rear) water reservoir allows easy access for refilling and cleaning without moving the machine away from overhead cabinets. The clear reservoir also allows you view the water level from the right side of the machine.
- The black rubber protector over the wand allows holding the wand for longer periods of time.
- Ascaso includes a solid aluminum tamper, not one of those cheap plastic ones included with most machines.
- Aluminum thermoblock with stainless steel tubes for water passage improves temperature stability and reduces limescale buildup.
Ascaso has even stated the following advantages of the Steel Uno Versatile over competing models in similar price ranges, and these include:
- Large size cup warmer (~14.5″ x 10.6″) – keep in mind that most cup warmers take up to 2 hours to heat the cups on top.
- Side and rear rail (rear rail was originally removed from machines for the USA to provide greater area for cup warmer. After customer requests we asked the manufacturer to redesign).
- Exterior body completely made of stainless steel.
To enjoy the Ascaso Steel Uno Versatile, it is important to run water through the steam wand after every steaming session, to descale the machine every 3-4 months, and to backflush once every 50 espresso extractions. In addition, if a timer is used to power up the machine, it is important to have the coffee, hot water and steam switches in the off position to avoid damage, and it important to place a surge suppressor rated 1080 joules or higher between the machine’s electrical plug and the timer as timers can cause surge damage. The water reservoir should be manually cleaned with non-abrasive dish detergent once every two weeks, and the drip tray should be emptied and cleaned every 3 days or less.
During normal operation, there is approximately a 30-45 second wait time to go from coffee mode to steam mode (after depressing the steam switch). One should always purge the steam wand before steaming/frothing milk. After steaming milk, the user can close the steam valve and depress the steam switch off. After placing a cup under the steam wand, the user can rotate the steam valve/knob to the open position, and the hot water switch must be depressed for the the pump to activate so that the ‘too hot steamed water’ exits through the wand and the temperature of the thermoblock can be brought down to make additional espresso.
Also, the three way solenoid valve operates to relieve the pressure on the filter basket immediately when you depress the coffee switch to off. This prevents the ‘explosion’ of coffee grounds that is normally found on home espresso machines without three way solenoid valves. The solenoid valve on this machine also assists in creating a dry puck after the extraction (please note there are certain coffees, grinds, and amounts of coffee that will make a wet extracted puck which no three way valve will compensate for). The relieved pressure exits to the drip tray and you will see.
Enjoy the Ascaso Steel Uno Versatile preparing your favorite beverages! Espresso, cappuccino, latte, cafe americano, and hot chocolate to name a few! We hope you purchase this machine!
- Brushed stainless steel finished body over a black enamel painted steel frame.
- Water reservoir removable from the right side of the machine.
- Ergonomic-styled brass filter handle with plastic grip.
- Slide out drip tray made of plastic for easy cleaning (please note drip tray cover is part of machine). Front portion of pull out drip tray is in brushed stainless steel.
- Four selection switches: power on/off, espresso extracting, hot water, and coffee/steam mode.
- Vent in top rear of machine allow heat near water reservoir to escape.
- Blue lights (left to right) indicate power, heating (on when heating in coffee or steam mode), pump for hot water on, and steam mode (on when machine is in steam mode).
- Three-way solenoid valve allows the immediate removal of the filter handle when the espresso extraction is completed. The three way valve also allows the user to backflush the grouphead.
- Multi-directional steam wand allows the desired angle of the steam wand into the steaming pitcher (recommended size 20 oz or less) on counter or placement over drip tray.
- Passive cup warmer on top with side & rear guard rails.