When I was offered an opportunity to test drive an ECM espresso machine, I was intimidated. I pretended to be happy. But I was very intimidated.
Because I’m a novice at espresso. And a newborn at espresso extraction.
But at least I already knew what qualities I wanted a espresso machine to have:
- It needed to be the best on the market. It’s my nature to fall deep into rabbit holes. So I knew I would do loads of research. And I knew that I would lean towards the machine with the most unanimous appreciation.
- And everyone was unanimous about the fact that I needed a dual boiler. The benefits of a dual boiler are endless. Precise temperature control. The ability to brew espresso and steam milk simultaneously – you can continuously brew and steam without having to wait for the machine to cool down or heat up. Etc, etc, etc… The list is long. Who was I to argue.
- It needed to be unbreakable. If someone was going to loan me an expensive piece of equipment, I needed to be reassured that there would be nothing my clumsy self could do to kill it.
- It needed to be intuitive. I know what a good espresso tastes like. But I don’t know how to get there. I needed a machine that would hold my hand.
- It needed to fit into my space. I turned a very small bedroom into a “coffee lab”. It’s my version of a man cave. And I needed a machine that wouldn’t dominate that small space. But she had to have a confident presence.
- It needed to be beautiful. Yes, I’m that guy. Aesthetics mean something to me.
- And this is nit picking, I know. But I can’t stand the banging of a vibratory pump. The sound makes coffee preparation feel… agricultural. And I wanted my time in my man cave to be quiet. Contemplative. So knew I wanted a rotary pump.
I decided on the Mechanika Max. Let me tell you why.
Setup is a breeze
Getting started was a breeze. Thanks to the friendliest technician from BonCafe, ECM’s exclusive distributor in the Middle East.
My favorite part of his visit was how he took his time to patiently answer every one of my questions. And some of those questions were, well, pretty dumb. But he didn’t make me feel like an idiot. In fact, he left me feeling empowered and excited.
And the way he joined me at the end of our meeting to take a step back and just quietly admire the Max was quite a special little moment.
Traditional design but modern innovation
I’m a fan of E61 group head machines. Faema invented the E61 group head in 1961. Hence the name. It’s an invention that revolutionized the espresso industry. And the design is simply iconic. They’re beautiful. Timeless. The Porsche 911 of coffee.
ECM took that design and threw the kitchen sink of technological innovation at it.
It’s not a dual boiler
The Mechanika Max has a Smart Heat Exchange Boiler. It offers dual boiler accuracy but doesn’t have the giant footprint of a dual boiler machine. I personally went to introduce myself to ECM’s dual boiler beast, the Synchronika. And it’s as beautiful as, I’m told by just about everyone, it is capable. But way too big for my space.
Digital PID Display for Precision Control
The ECM Mechanika Max boasts a Digital PID Display, offering unprecedented control over the brewing experience. The PID controller allows precise temperature regulation, resulting in consistent extractions and exceptional coffee flavor.
Dual Temperature Control for Brewing and Steaming
Unlike single-boiler espresso machines, the ECM Mechanika Max excels in maintaining optimal temperatures for both brewing and steaming simultaneously. Separate temperature control for brew and steam functions ensures precise control over each process.
Brew and Steam Temperature Modes
You’re allowed to choose between Brew Temperature First Mode, for perfect espresso extraction, or Steam Temperature First Mode for frothing milk. These modes affect pressure, allowing for gentle extraction or powerful milk frothing.
Flush Advisor Function for Optimal Brewing
The Flush Advisor eliminates guesswork by indicating when a cooling flush is needed, ensuring the ideal brew temperature for every shot.
Thermal stability is critical for espresso machines, and the ECM Mechanika Max excels in this regard. Its Brew Temperature First Mode maintains stable brew temperatures, accommodating various coffee beans’ flavor profiles.
But wait, there’s more
When I say kitchen sink, I mean it. There are many more features. Like programmable pre-infusion, a smart timer to automatically switch the machine on and off, etc. I’ll talk more about those after I’ve properly used them all.
So there’s much more ECM Mechanika Max content to come.
You’ll notice, for example, there are no latte art photos here. Because I still suck at latte art. But I’ll keep practising. Until I pour some art worthy of instagram.
If, however, you’re already convinced you want one, click here to check out the stock at BonCafe.