Need advice ......


New member
Oct 11, 2006
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Coffeee gurus arround the world ....

I need some advice

Iam owning a noname cheap espresso brewer that does anything but esspresso. So iam at the point where radical thing is about to happen. I want good esspresso, not the liquid one i mean the thick almost chocolate like looking espresso. My favorite coffee place serves them just as i want them, but the machines they use is about $10000 so iam find it hard to convince my wife of that ;-)

So .. compromises is compromises. I found two machines that iam interseted in, one is Isomac Zaffiro and the other one is ECM Giotto Premium.

Both of them have had great reviews and are in the same price segment, is there anyone here that have handson experience in either one ? iam happy to get any responses.....


Jan 22, 2006
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The Isomac Zaffiro is an e61 group single boiler machine while the Giotto Premium is an e61 group heat exchanging machine.

An e61 group is an e61 group will perform well regardless of what machine it's attached to. A heat exchanging machine has a boiler held at steaming pressure/temp and a heat exchanger to provide water at brewing temp. With a heat exchanger you'll be able to extract espresso and steam almost at the same time depending on the size of your boiler. A single boiler is controlled by thermostats- one for brewing, one for steaming and going from brewing to steaming involves flipping a switch to turn on the heating element for steaming. Since one boiler has to change temperatures up or down depending on what you want to do there's a wait between brewing and steaming. Single boilers are slower for making milk based drinks but might be easier to maintain brewing temperature for extraction. Heat exchangers get hot after an idle period and need to be flushed to get the water temp down for extraction so they're a little more involved to use but once you get used to flushing it's easy. A heat exchanging machine is a more versatile, flexible and faster machine than a single boiler.

The Giotto Premium looks like a good machine. It's pump is a vibe pump and it's a pour over so it'll be noisier and maybe not as easy to adjust as a rotary pump and you'll need to keep your eye on the water tank to keep it filled. With a heat exchanger, given the flushing you do, it can be a pain to have to fill it. I've got a Quickmill Vetrano, which is very similar to the Giotto Premium in that it's an e61 group heat exchanger with no burn steam wands. The Vetrano is a rotary pump plumb in, though, so it's quiet and with the machine directly connnected to a water line there's no worries about filling a tank.

A true e61 group extracts good espresso so getting a machine using the group is a good investment. If you like lattes or cappuccinos or entertain family a good heat exchanging machine would be a better investment than a single boiler. If you mostly like straight espresso and rarely make a milk based espresso drink then an e61 group single boiler is cheaper and a better investment.

Whatever you decide get a very good grinder and buy from a vendor with a good reputation for service and support.