"Expobar Espresso Machines; The best machine for the home user." - David Schomer…"
With more than 20 years of espresso machine experience, Expobar, a Spanish company located in Valencia, has produced something no other espresso machine company has to date: a true commercial styled heat exchanger espresso machine for the home with a price tag under $1,300. Expobar is known for its product reliability and continual improvements while following closely industry changes and adapting technological advances. Expobar espresso coffee makers are the solution for customers who want commercial quality and the convenience of making "the best coffee" at the home.
Whole Latte Love is your authorized Expobar repair center
This is an astounding package we have put together! The Expobar Office Control espresso machine plays host to this space saving espresso bar setup. The incredible Mazzer Mini coffee grinder joins in to handle the beans. This package gives you commercial café quality all the way around without sacrificing your counter space.
The Coffee Grinder – we have discussed coffee grinders here in the past and defined what a weight measuring coffee grinder can do. Now I’m going to tell you a seldom revealed astonishing fact; the quality of the coffee grinder directly affects the taste and crema of the espresso!
For instance you can experiment starting with a very good espresso machine like the Gaggia Classic. Make espresso shots using grounds of the same coffee from various coffee grinders like a low end burr grinder, then go up in quality to a better home burr grinder, then to a prosumer-commercial burr grinder and on to a high end commercial conical burr grinder. You will actually notice how much better the espresso is using coffee grounds from each coffee grinder!
In keeping with the spirit of our espresso-as-science experiment and the ability to be consistent, we had talked about the very good Baratza Vario-W Coffee Grinder.
The next step up, in my opinion, would be a prosumer-commercial grade machine like the Ceado E37 Coffee Grinder, which is a programmable dosing grinder that has amazing burrs and will give you a better espresso because of the burrs and the design of the grinder. It also lets you program the dose electronically based on grind time. So again you can be consistent in the amount of coffee you use. Here is a link to learn more about this amazing grinder. Ceado E37 Coffee Grinder.
The next step up to a commercial grade machine may seem like a little much for home use; however, a great choice would be the Mazzer Kony as it has conical burrs and it is also available in an electronic version for producing consistent doses of coffee grounds. This coffee grinder or any commercial conical burr coffee grinder would permanently end any further need to upgrade your coffee grinder. A coffee grinder like this will absolutely give you the best chance of making a truly superior espresso.
Looking at the coffee grinder as one of the controllable variables in our espresso-as-science experimenting we find that selecting the best grinder we can afford is one thing we can change and get a predictable result. That is, if we keep everything else the same, tamp, amount and type of coffee, and the size of the shot, then adjusting the grind and tasting the shot results will determine what grinder and grind fineness will give us the best tasting results.
For most people the grinder and grind settings would be the variable that would give them very noticeable results quickly.
The Espresso Machine – So far we have looked at many of the variables involved in making great espresso. Another variable is the espresso machine. Many espresso aficionados consider the espresso machine to be the most important one. I do somewhat agree that the machine is an important part of producing quality espresso.
With the correct machine you have the potential to make a great tasting shot of espresso. I say potential because so many factors go into making a great espresso. Many of these factors are going to be based on the user’s knowledge and skill at crafting an espresso from what they have to work with. Again if we look at this as a science experiment one of the factors that can be controlled if you have the proper machine is the brewing water temperature.
Espresso coffee taste will vary considerably when brewed at different temperatures. I always tell people about wine and how to relate wine temperature and how it affects wine almost the same as coffee. Actually wine and coffee have many similarities as far as how they are cupped, tasted and have different characteristics based on where they are grown and even how good or bad the growing season was.
Back to temperature and wine; If you order a really good bottle of white wine somewhere and it is kept in the beer cooler at near freezing you know when you get that wine it will only taste cold. It is not at the proper temperature for the wine to let you in on all the nuances and flavors the vintner has worked so hard to get in that great bottle of wine. As the wine warms up and gets to the proper temperature for serving then you start to notice the flavors of the wine such as oaky, fruity, flowery, and all the other great descriptions of the wine.
Coffee is the same way. Temperature plays a very large roll in how exactly the espresso will taste. The whole idea of looking at this as a science experiment is to learn how you can control many of the variables in making espresso. Having a machine where you can control temperature is a huge advantage at being able to make an espresso that may be the best you have ever had.
Spending your money on the right equipment will give you the potential to make an espresso shot that is downright amazing. The ability to control temperature is going to let the espresso have different tastes. You may be able to pick out chocolate, berry, caramel, fruit and also something like currants. Notice the similarity to wine descriptions.
If you invest in a machine that allows you to control the brewing water temperature, like one of my favorites the Expobar Brewtus IV Espresso Machine, and you keep all the other variable parameters consistent, you will get to the point where you know exactly the temperature that will yield the best tasting espresso coffee.
Having an espresso machine that will brew at exact temperatures will certainly help us in our quest to make the perfect shot. Since our love of espresso coffee and our ability to be scientists should have a goal and a plan to get there I will discuss how this all ties together in part three of espresso as science and perhaps reveal what this all means!
Today in espresso school, the tech department pulled out an open housed Expobar Brewtus IV-Rotary Pump Espresso Machine. At first, it looked like an unsolved Rubik’s Cube to me as it had all the various parts of the internals labeled in different colors for demonstration purposes. I immediately became nervous because obviously our tech department had done their homework ahead of time and I had not (just like high school!).
Professor Todd Salzman took his time thoroughly explaining to us in great detail the engineering and operation of this dual boiler machine. We of course compared this model and its components to similar espresso machines like the Rocket Espresso R58 and the Izzo Alex Duetto II. This information was very enlightening and will enable me to give better answers and information to the many customers who call in inquiring about these espresso machines. Customers have very detailed, (mechanically speaking), questions about technical features that I now feel more confident answering after today’s lecture. For example, we discussed how the Expobar has a larger brew boiler than other dual boiler machines allowing for better temperature control. So I guess bigger is better after all!
We also examined the functionality of the E-61 group head and how the circular flow of this system is beneficial to the art of brewing espresso with consistent temperatures. When examining the PID, (Proportional-Integral-Differential), controller of this machine, we looked specifically at how the solid state relay plays an important role in the temperature stability process by sending pulsating electrical currents to the heating element allowing for consistency. Whoa! I’m starting to sound like one of them now. I may not be a true tech geek but after today’s lesson, I have become a lot closer with my new understanding of how these machines function. Beam me up Scotty!
Recently we explored the origin of the term “coffee table”. (Whew, am I glad it was invented in time to have some place to put the remote, the TV Guide, and that book by Kramer about coffee tables). That got me thinking about other coffee named things that we take for granted but that don’t have coffee in them. Cake! Of course, coffee cake! (Sometimes called Kuchen or Gugelhupf ) It doesn’t have coffee as an ingredient, but has the name. What’s up?
The concept of coffee cake has no specific inventor or date of conception. Food historians reveal that it evolved from ancient honey cakes through various cultures to sweet cakes and yeast rolls made in medieval times, and then to sweet yeast breads & cakes developed by Dutch, German, and Scandinavian cooks. When coffee was introduced to Europe in the 17th century these cakes were a perfect partner for a cup of coffee.
The first coffee cakes were more like bread than cake. Simple recipes of yeast, flour, eggs, sugar, nuts, dried fruit and sweet spices eventually changed to include sugared fruit, cheese, yogurt and other creamy fillings. (Oh, cherry cheese Danish where art thou?).
Immigrants from Europe brought their recipes with them to America and kept tweaking them with new ingredients until the sweet treats we enjoy today came to life.
Although Germans brought the Kaffeeklatcsh to their communities, Scandinavian households, where a pot of coffee was usually brewing on the back of the stove, were most likely responsible for creating coffee breads, coffee cakes, coffee rings, and other sweet rolls for their midmorning or mid-afternoon coffee klatch.
Still according to the book Listening to America, by Stuart Berg Flexner, it wasn't until 1879 that the term "coffee cake" became a common term. Recipes for “coffee cake” with coffee as an ingredient began to appear in cook books in the late 1800s; finally in 1909 a recipe reflecting the modern day American coffee cake appeared in the book The Art of German Cooking and Baking, by Wetzel Bros.
My favorite is the type with a Streusel or Crumble topping. I am enjoying one at my desk right now! An Entenmann’s Mini Crumb Cake. And I am pairing it with an Americano I made from Supreme Bean Organic coffee on the Expobar Espresso machine in our break room. Yum!
What I Like About The Brewtus
Double Boiler The Brewtus has a double boiler. What this means is you have one boiler for steam and another boiler for brewing espresso. The great thing about a double boiler is it gives you great temperature stability for brewing espresso. It is interesting to note how the espresso taste can change when brewing at different temperatures, The Brewtus with a double boiler allows you to brew at exact temperatures shot after shot. The double boiler is one of the most coveted features among espresso fanatics and is found on only the best machines.
PID The PID is what gives the Brew boiler the ability to brew to exact temperatures. PID stands for Proportional, Integral, and Derivative. Here is a simple explanation of what it does in regards to the brew boiler: a PID is a computerized, digital thermostat. It monitors and learns how your boiler heats. It then will accurately control any temperature you want it to maintain. The advantage is it is a variable you can control as you learn to make repeatable great shots.
E61 - The Brewtus IV is outfitted with a chrome-plated brass E-61 Brew Group. This type of group head is well known for its ability to help maintain exact or in this case calculated temperature stability. It does this by using a thermo siphon system that circulates hot water from the boiler to maintain group head temperature. The Expobar Brewtus IV machine now offers a concave pre-infusion chamber that allows the user the ability to control pre-infusion by using the lever. Many people feel that by experimenting with the pre-infusion you can really control the taste of the coffee.
Plumbing options We felt it was important to give the Brewtus IV many options for plumbing. We have covered all the bases. You can use it as a pour over with the vibration pump reservoir model. You can hook a water line directly to it with the Rotary pump model. This model is quieter and also will let you attach a water softener/filter system to protect your machine. You also have the option in a reservoir model that can be plumbed or you can use it as a plumb in version. So with this model you can use it either way and it is fitted with a vibration pump.
Construction and Durability We are very proud of all the positive feedback we get in regards to how much people love their Brewtus. Many of these people use their machine multiple times a day and love not only the great shots they get but also how well the machine works and holds up. We have done a great job of constantly improving the machine realizing that one of the most important things is the reliability and durability of the machine. We are proud of our efforts and how well the Brewtus line has held up for us.
What I would improve:
Size- The Machine especially in the plumbed in version may be a little larger in size and heavier then people expect.
Larger Cup Size Right now the Expobar IV It fits a 4 and inch cup underneath the spouts. It would be nice if it could fit a larger cup say about 7 inches for a larger travel cup or a 16 ounce cup. But it certainly is not a deal breaker because if it is made to take a taller cup it may not fit under a normal counter.
Those at-home baristas that want to use a commercial style machine with commercial style quality. Also for those that entertain often. I really think is the machine for people who never want to suffer from upgradeitis or espresso machine envy as this is the best of the best for a home machine. I also think this is the machine for espresso lovers that treat espresso like wine. They want to taste, compare, experiment and maybe even rate. No matter how well the espresso rates this machine gets high marks from all who are fortunate enough to have purchased one.
Things I like about this machine:
- Heat Exchanger
I love the fact that this is a heat exchanger machine. With this option you have the ability to brew and steam at the same time. With a normal single boiler machine you would have to wait between brewing and steaming. With the Expobar you do not.
- Great Looks
The Lever machine features a good look that fits well into any modern kitchen. The exterior of the machine is covered in polished stainless steel. The machine offers both the steam wand along with a hot water wand that is great for americanos.
- Drip Tray
The Lever boast a large drip tray which makes clean up a breeze. With its ability to hold high volumes of water you don't have to worry about emptying it constantly. I have found that with my coffee habits I end up emptying it about once every 4 days.
- Low Water Cut Off
One the Expobar Lever machine you have a water reservoir that is located in the back of the machine. To access the reservoir you have to remove the top grate and fill from the top of the machine. The nice feature on the lever is that when you get low on water the machine will not work. This prevents you from running out of the water and running the boiler dry.
- E61 Brew Group
The Lever has the commercial E 61 Brew group. What this does is circulate water from the boiler around the group head to keep it at a consistent temperature. This is nice because it helps prevent heat loss when brewing your shot of espresso.
What I would change about this product:
- Steam wand
If I had to change anything on this machine it would be the steam wand. It does not have the no burn steam wand. This is not a deal breaker, but it is a nice option to have. With the wand that is on the machine you need to make sure that you hold on to the clip or else you will burn your fingers.
- Power Switch
The second thing that I would change is the power switch to the machine. The reason I say this is only based on cosmetics. The Rocker switch works well I just think that it takes away form the overall appearance of the machine. It would be nice if they were to replace the rocker switch with a toggle switch similar to the brewtus.
Customer Match/ Recommended Use:
I would recommend this for someone who is looking to take a step up from the single boiler machine. With this machine and a good grinder you will be able to really dial in your shots of espresso. Another great feature of the machine is its ability to withstand steady use. Because of this I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to entertain.
Odds are you’re looking around our site trying to make some sense of the coffee and espresso world to determine which machine would be a good fit for you. If you’ve had an espresso machine before, you may be looking to upgrade to a higher-end, more performance-driven model. We classify these types of units “Prosumer” machines. They are typically light-duty commercial machines or heavy-duty home machines. Most are heat exchange machines and, as such, have a completely different set of performance specs.
The judging criteria are a bit different for this class of machine, compared to most of my other “Best Bang for your Buck” winners, which were priced under the $1000 mark. If that criterion remained the same, we wouldn’t have a blog, as none of the machines in this class are under $1000. So, I’m going to raise that bar to $1800. The price range for prosumer machines starts around $1100 and can go as high as $6495 with the La Marzocco GS/3 1 Group Auto. With that in mind, $1800 or under is a good starting point for our intents and purposes. Additional criteria used to select the “Best Bang for Your Buck” include: ease of use, drink and build quality, machine durability, and access to after-warranty service or parts.
I’m going to select two outstanding machines, the Rocket Espresso Giotto Premium Plus and the Expobar Office Lever, as clear front runners for the grand prize. I chose these machines for very different reasons.
First, the Giotto clocks in at $1799 and is a beast of a machine. It has a true E61 group head, a nickel-plated 1.8-liter boiler, a Sirai pressure stat, and gravity-fed water reservoir, all within a beautiful, stainless steel body. The performance and build quality of this machine are well documented, from the days when it was made by ECM until now, after Rocket Espresso split off into its own company. As with all of the Prosumer machines, the Giotto Premium Plus is very durable, with the life expectancy of 10+ years, provided you keep up with regular cleaning and maintenance. When you factor in the decade-long life expectancy, $1799 for a machine is not bad at all. We handle the warranty work for Rocket Espresso machines, and are available for all of your parts, as well as, after-sale service and technical support needs.
The Expobar Office Lever is priced at $1299. Shot-performance wise, I would put this machine head-to-head against any of the other Prosumer machine with confidence. It sports a 1.75 liter boiler, no burn steam arm, and a true E61 group head. The Expobar line is also supported by us in-house; so any parts, servicing and tech-support needed after the sale would be directly through us. The Expobar Lever is a solid choice, but if you’re looking at this machine, you may also want to consider getting the Office Lever Plus. For an extra $50, you’ll be able to plumb the machine.
There you have it; these are my top picks for prosumer espresso machines that offer the “Best Bang for Your Buck.” Keep an eye out for my next blog; I’ll be offering up my take on grinders.
If you are curious about the pre-infusion feature available on Expobar Brewtus IV machines, then this is one video you shouldn’t miss. I’ll go into detail about how pre-infusion works and what makes it such a great feature for espresso lovers.
In this video we take a look and explain the reasons to backflush. We will examine why to backflush, what it will do for your coffee and equipment and also why it is important. There will be a demonstration on backflushing as well as products we would recommend using. This is something you should do often to your professional or prosumer machine. It will help your machine stay clean as well as make sure your coffee tastes great.
Spring is just around the corner and with it comes extended daylight hours. If you've been cooped up all winter, now is the time to take advantage of the longer days. To make sure you get the most of your spring days, we're back with our picks of solid espresso machines sure to give you perfect pick-me-up brews. Best of all, there's a machine for every budget!
One of our newest semi-automatic machines, the Capresso EC100, proves that you can make good espresso and cappuccino without breaking the bank. This Espresso and Cappuccino Machine comes in under $150, yet does not scrimp on the features and benefits. Peel back the attractive polished black panels and you'll find a powerful 15-bar pump, capable of extracting crema-rich espresso. The EC100 is also backed by a stainless steel ThermoBlock heating system for respectable temperature stability.
This Capresso model is a great starter machine, can accommodate pods as well as ground espresso. Like milk-based beverages? The EC100 has creative milk solutions to deliver rich cappuccinos and lattes. This model comes with a unique frothing attachment, leave it in place to froth or detach it from the wand to steam.
Designed to make brewing and frothing hassle free, the Capresso EC100 features exceedingly simply controls. This machine is a solid choice for beginners. It even features a handsome exterior, with stainless steel accents, to ensure that it'll look great on your kitchen counter.
Our mid-range machine spotlight is a true classic. The Gaggia Classic is one of our most popular semi-automatic espresso machines. Costing just under $400, the Gaggia Classic gives you, arguably, the best value for your money. Though it is designed for home use, the Classic has a slew of high-end features including a commercial-grade brew group and chrome-plated brass portafilter as well as dual heating elements and a three-way solenoid valve. These features help to create a very impressive brewing experience.
One of the qualities that differentiates the Gaggia Classic from its peers is the remarkably quick warm-up time; from a cold start this machine is ready to brew in roughly 5 minutes. You'll also get three portafilter baskets—a pressurized, non-pressurized and pod basket. This allows the Classic to be completely flexible and accommodate a wide range of brewing preferences. Due to its flexibility and impressive capabilities, along with a history of reliable performance, the Gaggia Classic has earned a devoted following, one which includes our very own sales rep. Mike R. In fact, he has even written a blog contemplating whether or not the Classic is the perfect machine.
This Gaggia model is recommended for value-conscious espresso lovers. The Classic has a nice stainless steel housing unit that makes for easy cleaning and maintenance; Gaggia has done a great job of integrating very utilitarian features into this compact machines.
If you're looking to duplicate café quality results at home, the Expobar Brewtus IV may be the perfect machine for you. This prosumer espresso machine is a brewing and frothing marvel. Engineered for complete temperature stability, the Brewtus IV has dual copper boilers backed by 1250-watt heating elements. Since one boiler is dedicated exclusively to brewing and the other is used for steaming, frothing and dispensing hot water, the Brewtus IV can meticulously control its environment to deliver temperature appropriate espresso. A Gicar PID control takes it one step further, letting you adjust boiler temperatures to create optimal extraction conditions for any kind of roast.
This prosumer favorite operates using a vibration pump and comes equipped with a steam boiler switch. The switch is unique to Expobar; it will let you turn off the steam boiler and run just the brew boiler. Doing so will decrease warm-up time. With the steam boiler deactivated, the Expobar Brewtus IV can be ready to brew within 15 minutes of a cold start.
As you can see, a good espresso machine and can be had with any budget. Don’t get overwhelmed by your choices; give our Sales Department a call, our trained representatives can match you up with the perfect machine!
In the world of shiny stainless steel prosumer espresso machines, the Expobar Brewtus is nothing short of a rock star. Like any proper celebrity, it has a large, devoted following. Countless forums are scattered throughout the Internet populated with die-hard Brewtus fanatics ready to debate, defend and expound upon the virtues of this semi-automatic line. Just as one eagerly awaits an album or movie debut, Brewtus devotees have been on the edge of their seats anticipating the next generation of the iconic line.
One of the Brewtus's most ardent advocates happens to our own Todd, the Tech Guy. He initiated the Whole Latte Love-Expobar collaboration and took part in the creation of the Brewtus line. Three generations and multiple upgrades later, watching him unwrap the newest iteration of these machines is still like witnessing a proud parent bring the baby home from the hospital. There's much to take pride in with the newest members of the family, the Brewtus IV, IV-P and IV-R.
Switch it Up
You'll notice an extra switch on all fourth-generation Expobar Brewtus espresso machines. It is a control switch that will let you turn the steam boiler off and run only the brew boiler. Why would you ever want to do such a thing? Well, for starters, if you're only going to be pulling a shot and don't need to use the steam wand or hot water dispenser, deactivating the steam boiler will let the Brewtus warm up from a cold start much quicker than running both boilers. Exercising this option will allow the fourth-generation Brewtus machines to get up to brewing temperature in less than 20 minutes. If you decide you want to froth some milk after all, flip the switch and the steam boiler will be ready to go in under 10 minutes. As an added bonus, running only one boiler could translate into reduced operating costs in the long run.
Want to go against the grain and run the steam boiler without the brew boiler? You can do so with the brew boiler shut-off option. This is a great alternative if you just need hot water for tea or want to steam some milk without extracting espresso. To turn off the brew boiler, hold the "UP" button of the PID display for two seconds. Once the boiler has been deactivated, the display will read "OFF."
Enhanced E-61 Brew Group
Another upgrade that is universal to all fourth-generation Brewtus machines is the enhanced E-61 brew group. Improving the E-61 brew group, which is already very highly regarded among espresso enthusiasts, is no small task. While the group head has always provided for superior temperature stability, Expobar has altered the design of Brewtus IV, IV-R and IV-P brew groups to include a pre-infusion chamber to allow for maximum flavor and aroma extraction.
The chrome-plated brass brew group is still supported by an advanced thermo siphon system, which circulates water from the boiler to the group head to ensure proper brewing conditions. However, the brew group has been redesigned to feature a concave pre-infusion chamber. During the pre-infusion process, the brew group dispenses hot water and once that water comes into contact with the shower screen, it floods back up and fills the pre-infusion chamber. The water is then evenly distributed through the coffee grounds for extraction.Expobar Brewtus IV
Expobar Brewtus IV-P
The mid-grade machine of the range, the Expobar Brewtus IV-P is equipped with a vibration pump and full plumbing capabilities. This model will allow you to connect a water line to the machine, ensuring that you never run out of water for brewing and frothing. You can also supply the Brewtus IV-P using the integrated water reservoir, if you prefer. Switching between using a plumbed line or water reservoir is quick and easy. You can also run a drain line from the drip tray to eliminate the need to manually empty it. If you're looking for a plumbable espresso machine, the Expobar Brewtus IV-P should be at or near the top of your list.
Expobar Brewtus IV-R
The Brewtus IV-R is the top-of-the-line Expobar model. It is equipped with a commercial rotary pump designed to work with a plumbed water line. The rotary pump allows for quiet operation. You can drop the stainless-steel intake line into a large water tank or plumb the machine. Like the IV-P, a drain line can be connected to the drip tray of this machine. The Expobar Brewtus IV-R is ideal for espresso connoisseurs who wish to introduce a commercial brewing experience into the home.
Still not sure which Brewtus model is right for you? Take a look at the following chart; it will give you a quick rundown of the features and capabilities of the new Expobar machines.