ECM Technika IV Profi Switchable Review

by Marc Buckman Updated: August 26, 2019 4 min read
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Introducing the ECM Technika IV Profi Switchable Espresso Machine

Today we take a look at the ECM Technika IV Profi. It’s a beautiful machine designed in Germany and built in Italy.

When you get to this level of machine you come to expect a number of features and this machine has all them. But after spending a couple weeks with the Technika IV there are touches of quality that help this machine stand out from the crowd. Some are easy to see but many are hidden away under the hood.

Operation and Features

Beyond the quality and detail of finish on the outside what really struck me the first time using the machine was just how quiet it is. Of course the machine has a rotary pump, but I’m telling you it’s just so smooth - without question one of the quietest I’ve ever experienced. Inside, are really nice pump mounts which keep any vibrations in check.

Also under the hood, a frame that runs continuously from the back of the machine all the way to the front including the drip tray. Now some manufacturers will cut corners and weld the drip tray onto the machine’s body. On the Technika, no welds. The drip tray support is part of the frame. And that strong-solid base is another reason why this machine is so quiet.

And here’s another example of those extra quality touches: these stainless steel slides on the frame. They help the drip tray slide on nice and smooth and keep the tray from scratching the paint and causing rust.

Of course the the heart of any machine is the boiler. In the Technika you’ve got a 2.1 liter insulated heat exchange stainless steel boiler. It’s horizontally mounted on a solid bracket similar to the design of full-on commercial machines.

The stainless steel has excellent thermal stability and resists corrosion. The insulation adds to that and keeps the heat in the boiler and away from other internal components. At 1400 watts it’s packing some power and because it’s a heat exchange boiler you can brew and steam at the same time.

With the panel off the machine, it’s very easy to access internal components. And you’ll notice other details. Some machines use some teflon tubing. On the Technika it’s all copper and braided stainless steel.

And the internal quality doesn’t end there. You’ve got a high quality OPV and top-of-the line Sirai pressurestat. Put all the internals together and you’ve got a machine engineered without compromise.

The Technika IV is plumbable and comes with a braided stainless line for tying it in. A point of failure on other machines is an electrically operated solenoid valve for switching between the reservoir and water line. The Technika uses a more reliable manual valve. Then behind the drip tray there’s a rocker switch for turning off the water reservoir sensor.

The brew pressure is adjustable using this control underneath the machine. And we like the pressure gauges which are easy to see mounted up high. On some machines they’re placed down near the drip tray making them difficult to see.

So let’s take a look at the exterior of the machine. It has an industry standard E61 brew group. But even here ECM takes it to another level with the enhanced top nut, the design of the lever handle, and the upgrade to the bottom fitting on the blow off tube. All touches that really help set this machine apart from others. As for brew temps, ECM engineered the components of the machine to deliver a nice consistent brew temperature of 200 degrees.

The design of the lever follows through to the portafilter handles. It comes with a single and double. They’re heavy chrome-plated brass and balanced with an angled design that feels natural in the hand when locking in or tamping. Spouts on the portafilter have open tops so you get a longer look as espresso flows.

The steam and hot water wands are insulted to help prevent burns. They’re controlled with lever operated valves. Compared to turning knobs the levers take a lot less movement to operate. The steam wand has a two-hole tip for distributing steam from the ample reserves of the boiler for excellent steaming performance.

The exterior housing is constructed of high grade stainless steel and is gorgeous. From a distance the machine has the classic squarish profile - but get closer and you notice every edge from top to bottom and front to back is curved and rounded. Even the drip tray is a stand-out with curved edges leading to it’s inset grate.

Up top, the smooth rolled edges form the sides of a larger cup warming surface and in the rear a hinged lid to access a substantial water reservoir with a capacity of 3 liters which is about 100 ounces.

ECM refers to the Technika IV Profi as the Rolls-Royce of semi-automatic machines and we agree. Its design and build show no compromise using some of the best available internal components. The exterior of the machine has the classic style but with even a quick look it’s hard to miss the extra effort given to every detail.

With this machine we believe ECM has moved the quality bar higher for machines of this level. That’s the ECM Technika IV Profi and it’s available now at Whole Latte Love. Thanks for reading and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest on everything coffee.