Articles From Whole Latte Love

Product Spotlight: Brasilia Mini Classic

Posted: 12/10/08
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Brasilia Mini ClassicAt first glance, you’ll be attracted to the Mini’s classic beauty, but it will be its strength and versatility that will draw you in for good. Constructed of the highest quality parts and finest craftsmanship, the Mini is a prosumer machine designed for the no-nonsense coffee baristas looking for the gusto, not the fluff. The Mini features commercial quality parts: a nickel-plated copper boiler with heat exchanger for simultaneous brewing and steaming, two-hole steam tip for creating micro froth for latte art, commercial E61 brew group, unique lever control w/ 3-Way Valve, the “G Rossi” Controls, and separate hot water and steam valves. From the housing to the plumbing, and everything in between, the Brasilia Mini is built to perform and made to last.

boilerBoiler

The heart of the machine is the 1.2 liter boiler, which is made of nickel-plated copper, considered the best material for boilers, and the same material used in commercial machines with a NSF certification. Boasting a 1400 watt heating element, the Mini works perfectly off a standard 15 amp outlet. Like many commercial machines, the Mini uses a single boiler with a heat exchanger, allowing you to brew and steam at the same time. The 1400 watt heating element and a two-hole steam tip provide a perfect set for creating great steam pressure that holds. The result is a great milk rotation in the frothing pitcher for creating microfroth for latte art.

thermo siphonBrewing Components

The brewing components on the Mini are top quality. The portafilter is heavy duty, 58mm chrome plated brass, same as the best commercial machines. The Mini has the E61 brew group, known throughout the industry to be one of the best due to its thermal properties and its water distribution system. It’s made of chrome-plated marine brass which retains its heat for optimal brewing and adds to the beauty of the machine. A “thermo siphon” circulates hot water from the boiler through the brew group to keep it hot, even during times of inactivity.



Brew Group, Lever in brew position, 3-way valve relief outlet, activating pumpThe brewing is controlled by a lever on the right side of the brew group. Pushing the lever up opens a valve in the brew group that allows the water to flow over the coffee. Located on the back of the lever is a cam that activates the pump. Pushing the lever down turns off the pimp and opens a valve that relieves the water pressure off the coffee. This leaves a nice, dry coffee puck that is easy to knock out of the portafilter.

 

 

pressure gaugesOn the front of the machine are a brew pressure gauge, a steam pressure gauge, and indicator lights used for monitoring the status of the machine.



G Rossi controller & solid state relayControl System

The Brasilia engineers custom designed this control system to last. The “G Rossi” controller works in conjunction with a solid state relay which controls the power being sent to the heating element in the boiler. Only a small amount of current passes through the pressure stat, reducing arching when cycling on and off, thus preventing premature failure. The "G Rossi" control and the solid state controller are mounted vertically on a stainless steel plate to avoid any possible contact with water. It will also turn the boiler off if the reservoir or boiler runs out of water.

boilerPlumbing

The plumbing in the Brasilia is nice and neat. The large brass adjustable OPV valve is used to control the brew pressure and act as a safety valve. The internal plumbing is made of copper, except for a minimal amount of Teflon tubing on the outlet of the pump, which is used for vibration isolation. The boiler comes complete with a manual reset high temperature cut off, vacuum relief valve, pressure relief valve, and foil-backed foam insulation. The pump is a 52 watt Ulka with a brass outlet tube for long lasting durability. An air remover is installed on the outlet of the pump so that in the event air gets sucked into the pump, it will prime itself.

thermo siphonReservoir

Located in the back of the Brasilia Mini is the 90-ounce reservoir, which can be filled in place, or removed for filling. Another very nice feature on the Mini is the magnetic water level sensor—-the best and most consistent way for the “G Rossi” control to monitor the water level in the reservoir. When the water level gets too low, the “G Rossi” control turns the machine off.

 

 

cup liftThe Brasilia is housed in polished stainless steel. The drip tray and drip grate are made of heavy gauge stainless steel. The tray comes with an optional espresso cup tray, which can raise the drip tray for smaller cups. This is also a great feature as you can raise the tray to reduce the time it takes the espresso to reach your cup, so it reduces splashing and doesn’t break up the crema. Topping off this versatile, solid machine is a passive cup warmer.