If you’re on the hunt for an espresso machine with a heat exchanger boiler, commercial-grade steam wand, and a sleek look with the option to add wood accents, the BZ13 is a machine you should definitely consider. There are two variations available of the BZ13 – the BZ13 PM and the BZ13 DE – but both are beautiful crafted espresso machines with high-end features like a PID display and copper boiler.
I got the chance to take the BZ13 PM home for a few weeks to find out what it’s like to live with the machine, and I was happy to find that it’s a great machine for my daily espresso drinks. Read on to learn more about what it’s like to brew and steam with the BZ13 PM.
Brewing with the included bottomless portafilter on the BZ13 PM
An Overview of the BZ13
Both versions of Bezzera’s BZ13 are Whole Latte Love exclusives, and they’re well-loved by many of our customers. We have two versions of this semi-automatic espresso machine, the PM and the DE, though the only difference between the two is the amount of brew buttons. With the PM, you just have one button that you press to start and stop the brewing process, but with the DE there are programmable buttons for a single and double shot as well as one for manual shots like the PM has. The inner workings of both machines are identical, so the choice is really between whether you want to just push a button once and have your machine run or stick to a manually-timed shot every time. Since the PID display doubles as a shot timer during brewing on both machines, you can still stick to the same brew time consistently even without the single and double dose buttons.
The Bezzera BZ13 PM is a NSF and ETL-certified PID heat-exchanger espresso machine with incredibly fast heat-up times, phenomenal temperature stability, and rock-solid durability thanks to Bezzera’s in-house manufacturing team.
The BZ13 is equipped with a 1.5-liter copper heat exchange boiler that allows you to brew and steam as soon as you take your espresso machine out of the box. You can get your machine up to the right temperature in eight minutes, so you won’t be waiting a long time between switching on your machine and diving into brewing. Since the BZ13 uses an electric heating element to heat the group instead of convection like an E61 group uses, you’ll see an improvement to temperature stability, which helps with getting consistent results while brewing.
Bezzera designed the BZ13 with the customer in mind, and it definitely shows in the number of ways that you can customize your brewing experience. Not only are you able to adjust the temperature of the boiler using the PID display, but the BZ13 PM (and DE) comes with a bottomless portafilter alongside the usual double spout portafilter.
Testing the BZ13 PM
I took home a BZ13 PM for a few weeks and got the chance to test it out. I recently tested out another heat exchanger espresso machine at home, so I was excited to get another one home to try. I have a pretty tiny kitchen with very low upper cabinets, so I wasn’t able to fit the BZ13 on my regular counter (though the height is only 14.75 inches and it would fit underneath the average upper cabinets, which are 18-22 inches above the countertop). Still, once I got it set up, it looked great on my counter. One of the positives of where I set it up was that I can see the back of the machine, which has the Bezzera logo engraved on it. Between that detail on the back and the wood accents on the front knobs and portafilter handle, this espresso machine looked gorgeous in my kitchen.
When it comes to actually brewing, the BZ13 PM is ready to go in just eight minutes, which is great for busy mornings. I would turn it on before making myself toast or eggs for breakfast, and by the time I was done it was ready to brew, so I could easily keep my morning flowing. With the PID display, I was always sure that it was up to temperature and stabilized before brewing as well, so I never had to guess whether or not it was ready to go. The PID display also doubles as a shot timer while brewing, which made it easy to know whether my shots were dialed in or not without having to hit extra buttons on my espresso scale.
The BZ13 PM is equipped with a vibration pump, which means that it can’t be plumbed into your kitchen and may be overall a louder espresso machine than those with rotary pumps. However, I didn’t notice that this machine was overly loud during brewing. My roommate’s room is near the kitchen, and she never noticed me turning on the machine or brewing in the morning before she got up, though I did worry that the noise would wake her up a few times. There’s some rattling, but when I tested out whether cups on the warming tray were the cause of the sound I noticed that having cups on the warming tray didn’t impact the volume at all. This was a relief because I was storing quite a few mugs on top of the BZ13 since I have such a small amount of storage space in my kitchen.
When it comes to steam power, the BZ13 PM does not disappoint. The commercial-grade two tip steam wand makes it very easy to get a whirlpool going in your frothing pitcher, even if you’re not very experienced at steaming milk. Lately, I’ve been opting for iced drinks so I’m out of practice with steaming milk, but I had no issue steaming milk with the BZ13 PM.
Things we love
- Quick heat up
- Affordable pricing
- Unmatched steam power
- Manual shot control
Things to consider
- Not plumbable
- No programmable dosing settings
I tested out the hot water wand when I was making tea one night, and overall I liked it, though I was a little surprised at how slowly water was dispensed. A lot of steam comes out of the hot water wand alongside the hot water, so there was definitely some splashing and surprise bursts of steam. If I were using the hot water wand to make an Americano, I would worry a little bit about splashing, so I would recommend brewing your espresso into an espresso cup and then adding it to your mug after filling it with hot water as opposed to brewing into your mug and then adding hot water from the wand.
Speaking of mugs, there is a great amount of clearance under the portafilter spout on the BZ13. I was able to brew directly into my favorite mug (which is around 3.5 inches tall) even when it was placed on a Brewista Smart Scale II. When brewing into a very short espresso cup, I did notice a little bit of splashing, but using a taller cup or mug solved that problem very quickly.
The Difference Between the BZ13 PM and the BZ13 DE
Like I mentioned earlier, the only real difference between the BZ13 PM and the BZ13 DE is that the PM only has one button while the DE has three to allow you to create single and double shot presets. That means that if you wanted to be able to set a specific timing for your morning espresso that would let you click it and be free to spend your 20-30 seconds doing something else you can. The BZ13 DE does also have an additional button that allows you to manually brew like the PM, so the real difference is just the addition of those presets.
The BZ13 PM is a high-quality semi-automatic heat exchanger espresso machine that is loved by many of our customers and employees alike. Whether you want a quick double espresso to sip before you start your day or a latte to help fight an afternoon caffeine crash, the BZ13 PM is a great machine for your daily use.
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