Reneka Techno

With the Reneka Techno’s distinct appeal to down-and-dirty, hardcore espresso aficionados, you would think espresso machines were the passion that fueled Reneka from the get-go. In actuality, Reneka spent a lot of time soul-searching before it found its calling. After initially specializing in chromium plating for orthopedic equipment and car parts, they moved into silverware manufacturing in Alsace, France. From there they began producing catering products, and in 1932 came up with their first chrome-plated coffee machine. Reneka finally found its niche in 1958 when they brought their first espresso machine to market. Ever since, they have been using their progressive technology to produce professional espresso machinery.

Fast-forward around 45 years to the introduction of the Techno. The kids at Reneka got the bright idea to develop a double boiler machine, pair it with a rotary pump and lots of other exciting bells and whistles, mount it on a steel frame, and cover it with an attractive brushed stainless steel casing and removable colored side panels. The result? A professional caliber machine designed specifically for the serious home barista.

The technology behind the taste.

As we all know, one of the most important keys to extracting the perfect espresso is temperature, and that’s where this baby shines. What’s so great about the double boiler technology is that it allows for one of the Techno’s 1.4 liter boilers to be dedicated exclusively to heating water to brewing temperature, while the other’s sole purpose is to produce steam. And, thanks to its advanced electronics, you’re able to adjust the temperature for each boiler independently using the buttons on the Techno’s control panel, giving you absolute temperature consistency and control.

Next, let’s talk pressure - the second essential in the creation of the perfect espresso. And here’s where the rotary pump takes the lead. This next generation of pumps is largely considered the best pump currently available for espresso machines, delivering consistent, dependable pressure through the brew group. The rotary pump is also the reason the Techno needs to be directly plumbed to a water line - if a rotary pump were to run dry it would incur serious damage, and the addition of a direct water line alleviates this danger. And to keep the Techno quiet when it’s running, the rotary pump has been mounted on soft rubber. You should also note that the Techno requires a bit of special electrical wiring - because of the power this machine draws, it requires a 110 volt 20 amp circuit.

What’s wrong with being called easy?

The Techno operates with one finger ease. The front computer panel gives you three brewing options: single shot, double shot, and manual. Both the single and double shot buttons can be programmed to dispense the amount of liquid you desire and also include preinfusion into the brewing process. The dosing sizes come preset from the factory, but are easily customizable to your preferences through a simple 2-button process - press and hold the ON/ECO key until its indicator light flashes, press the button you’d like to program, and when the amount you desire has been dispensed, press it again to stop brewing. Now every time you press that brewing button, the same amount of liquid is dispensed. The convenience of this feature is nice, but the Techno also allows you to brew whatever you’d like on the fly by using the manual brewing button.

In the same control panel, you’ll find the steam, hot water, and ON/ECO button. The steam and hot water buttons completely replace the knobs found on most other espresso machines, giving the Techno a sleek, minimalist look. This might take some getting used to, because a lot of machines require you to press a button like this and then open the steam or hot water knob. However, when you press one of these buttons on the Techno, steam or hot water is going to start shooting right out, so you should remember to always put your frothing pitcher or cup beneath one of these dispensers before pressing a button.

The ON/ECO button is a pivotal point of the Reneka Techno. First off, it’s the key to the Techno’s unique "sleep mode" option, which simply drops the temperature of the machine to one that’s safe for the internal parts during long periods when it’s not being used. The feature also drops the amount of time the machine needs to reheat, from 13 minutes (when you’re starting with a cold machine) to 5 minutes from ECO mode. This button is also your entrance into the programming modes for the brewing buttons and the temperature for the brewing and steaming boilers. Press and hold the button once to program a brewing button, twice to program the brewing temperature, and three times to program the steaming temperature. The Techno’s brewing boiler can be programmed between 86 and 98ºC and the steaming boiler can be set to function between 109 and 121ºC, and are set by using the other buttons on the control panel as detailed in the user manual.

It’s like Christmas morning!

Opening up the Techno’s box holds more surprises than you might think. First you’ll find the standard equipment, like two 56mm chrome plated brass portafilters (a single spout and double spout model), filter baskets, a group brush, backflush disc, and an instruction manual. Because the machine needs to be plumbed, you’ll also unearth the Techno’s hydraulic connection set - complete with water supply and drain hoses - and the Brita Aquaquell BC-06 Water Softener, which honestly looks as impressive as it sounds. This beast is over a foot tall and is specifically designed for espresso machines like the Techno, which need to be plumbed directly to a water line. It removes chlorine, reduces hardness and scale, and can last through brewing up to 5300 cups (yup, you read it right - 5300 cups) depending on your water hardness. At that rate, you’d have to blow through almost 15 cups a day every day to wear her out in a year.

Take it off. Take it all off.

Your path of discovery doesn’t end when the box is unpacked. After you get the Techno out of the box and onto your counter, it’ll become apparent that this machine is a bit of an exhibitionist. Both of the colored side panels (red or black depending on your preference) come right off so you can get an up close and personal look at what really makes your Techno tick. Inside you’ll see the massive 1.4 liter twin boilers, a commercial quality flow meter, and - just when you thought you’d seen it all - an internal pressure gauge. Enough talk already. Let’s play! One look at the Reneka Techno tells you that this machine means business, but it still manages to appeal to that kid in all of us that wants the biggest and best toy. Its no-nonsense machinery and straightforward controls make it perfect for the person who wants great espresso easily and efficiently but reserves the right to tinker when they please. So step right up to the Reneka Techno, and let the futzing begin.

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