ECM Barista Switchable Espresso Machine
The extraordinary and extravagant design found in this octagonal stainless steel body – this style icon will be an eye-catcher in any kitchen. This hand-crafted professional model is for those who wish for the highest demands and absolute espresso pleasure. The ECM Barista is the lowest priced ECM Manufacture model. It differs from the higher-priced Technika in that the Technika has wider and refined body panels, upgraded portafilters, and joystick controls for the steam/hot water valves – all of which ultimately cost more to produce. However, this is still one fine model to review before purchasing.
Heat exchange system:
- Stainless steel, insulated – The boiler is made of stainless steel which is less susceptible to limescale. Typically stainless steel boilers do not retain their heat as well as copper or brass boilers. This machine compensates that by being wrapped with insulation. The end flanges are also stainless steel.
- Safety valve – Located on top of boiler. This opens if the boiler goes into overpressure, usually due to calcification of the pressurestat pipe.
- Pull a shot & steam milk at the same time – Steam is always readily available. Therefore there is no wait time going from coffee to steam mode. Works well if entertaining a small group of people.
Separate pressure gauges:
- Steam pressure gauge – Located on the top left. Better visibility near the top rather than near the bottom. Measures from 0 to 3 bar. Optimal pressure is between 0.8 and 1.1.
- Brew pressure gauge – Located on the top right. Better visibility near the top rather than near the bottom. Measures from 0 to 16 bar. Optimal pressure is between 8 and 10.
- Constantly heated – Hot water circulates from the heat exchanger through the grouphead and back to keep the grouphead and your portafilter nice and hot. This keeps the grouphead at a constant, stable temperature compared to other groupheads that have a built-in heating element. With the heat exchanger/thermosyphon system, only fresh water from the water tank is used for the espresso extraction. The water in the heat exchanger flows to and from the grouphead.
- Pre-infusion – The lever next to the grouphead activates a microswitch which turns on the pump to pump water through the coffee grinds. When you pull the lever half way up, it will open the valve to allow water into the grouphead without activating the pump. Please note that true pre-infusion requires the direct water connection whereby the water pressure from the water line creates true pre-infusion.
Rotary vane pump:
- Quiet operation – Rotary pumps are necessary for direct connect capable machines since vibration pumps cannot handle the incoming water pressure. The main benefit that you will experience is that they are a lot quieter.
- Adjustable – No need to remove the body panel to access. The adjustment screw is accessible underneath the machine.
Water tank / direct water connection:
- Easy transition – After hooking up the water line (included) to your machine, all you need to do is activate the switch located behind the drip tray on the left side. Turn to the “1” position.
- Magnetic float in water reservoir will power off the heating element when the water level is low. The removable water reservoir should be manually cleaned every two weeks with non-abrasive dishwasher detergent.
Steam & hot water wands:
- Rotational knobs – Allows for easier control of the intensity.
- Multi-directional – Allows for more movement and flexibility
- 2-hole steam tip – Allows for a slow gradual build-up of microfoam.
- Grips on wands to protect hands from heat while full-size steam wand allows greater steam power over no-burn wands.
- Body made of polished stainless steel.
- Removable drip tray and grate made of polished stainless steel.
- Removable cup warm tray has nice high rails so cups do not slide off when removing. Please remember to tilt back when removing so the cups do not slide forward.
- Low profile black feet allow lowest height capability.
- The best in class overpressure valve (OPV) to release excessive brew pressure.
- Full-size Sirai pressurestat properly configured vertical and away from boiler top.
- Dual safety thermostats in case one fails during a potential overpressure situation.
- The highest quality electronic brain unit, Gicar, is situated internally near the bottom of the unit away from heat. It refills water to the boiler after steam or hot water is dispensed.
Accessories included with the ECM Barista:
- Portafilters – Single spout portafilter and a dual spout portafilter. The filter heads are solid brass.
- Filter baskets – 1-cup filter basket which holds approximately 7 grams. 2-cup filter basket which holds approximately 14 grams. Blind filter basket which you can use for backflushing. All baskets are 58 mm in diameter.
- Tamper – A cheap plastic tamper, common for most espresso machines to keep overall selling price of machine low. We recommend upgrading to a better tamper.
- Scoop – A simple plastic scoop if you are going to use ground coffee.
- Backflush detergent – A starter packet for cleaning out the oils in the grouphead.
- Instruction manual – Written in both German and English. The instructions also work for the Technika.
For more ECM Germany products, please visit our ECM Germany brands page. If you have any questions, please reference the Q&A tab on each product page.