When I found out I was going to be able to take the Profitec GO home with me to test and review, I was very excited. The buzz surrounding Profitec’s “single boiler machine that could” had been building for a while at the office, and I jumped on the hype train very early on.
After getting my hands on the GO and using it extensively for the better part of a week, I can say Profitec has knocked it out of the park once again. From the simple, yet attractive contemporary design, to the inclusion of a remarkably accurate PID that also doubles as a shot timer, the GO is an excellent option for those looking to invest in a premium entry-level espresso machine with features and build quality that go the extra mile.
Continue reading for a review of the Profitec GO!
Initial Setup and First Use
Right out of the box, I was very impressed with the design of the GO. My test model came in matte black with stainless steel accents, a glossy black steam valve knob, and a baby blue pressure gauge. The blue in the pressure gauge was a nice touch to add a splash of color to an otherwise dark and brooding aesthetic. For those interested in something more vibrant, the GO also comes in red, yellow and blue matte housing with a black pressure gauge.
There are also buttons on the front of the machine: one dedicated to controlling brewing, one for steaming, and another for turning the machine on or off. To the right of the buttons, is the steam valve knob that opens the steam valve and feeds the steam wand. The Profitec logo is also cleanly and clearly positioned on both the front and back of the machine.
After setting up the GO on my kitchen counter and plugging it in, I very quickly became familiar with some of its top features: the PID display, adjustable brew pressure, rapid heating phase, and three-way solenoid valve.
The PID display allows you to set a desired boiler temperature control for unmatched brewing and steaming. It also functions as a shot timer when making espresso, in addition to controlling other machine functions. For more information on the PID, check out the “Using the PID” section below. I found the shot timer to be an extremely handy feature, especially during my first few shots while I worked to dial in the Eureka Mignon Silenzio grinder I used.
Also included is an over-pressure valve (OPV) for adjusting brew pressure. Located in front of the 2.8L water reservoir, the ability to to adjust brew pressure externally is very seldom seen in machines in the GO’s price range, unheard of in lower-end appliance-grade products. To use the OPV and set brew pressure, put the included blind basket in the included double-spout portafilter, run the pump, and adjust. The industry standard to shoot far is nine bar of pressure, but it’s recommended you shoot for 10 bar to show on the OPV to achieve this.
Profitec claims the GO has a rapid heat up time of five to seven minutes, and as someone still learning about the nuances of premium espresso machines, this was something even I appreciated from the onset. After testing my machine 10 times over the course of five days, I clocked an average heat up time of just under five minutes. I’ve used machines in the past with much longer heat up times, and it really does make a difference. While I had the luxury of using the GO whist testing, the quick turnaround from turning the machine on to reaching the temperature set on the PID is a big deal for people who have a short window to get their affairs in order every morning before heading out the door for school or work.
Another feature I’ve learned to appreciate in my time reviewing machines and appliances is the inclusion of a three-way solenoid valve. The GO has one, and boy does it make a difference. What the valve does is remove excess pressure and water from coffee after an extraction. This results in dry coffee pucks that are easy to knock out. For those who have used a machine or appliance without a three-way solenoid, they, like myself, can attest to how sloppy and messy the resulting pucks can be.
Using the PID
Since the GO is a PID machine, the accuracy of the brew temperatures it provides is unmatched when stacked up against comparable machines without a PID. Our staff expert and on-camera extraordinaire Marc Buckman tested the accuracy of the PID reading and found the actual temperature to average out to within about one degree of the temperature displayed. Check out his review video at the beginning of this article for more information.
When it came to using all of the features of the PID, Profitec made sure this was a simple and straightforward process. Even I was able to get the hang of it relatively quickly, and I had little to no experience prior.
To access the PID functions, press and hold plus and minus buttons together. Once T-1 appears in the display you can press the plus button to begin adjusting the brew temperature of the machine using the plus and minus buttons. From here, you can precisely adjust brew temperature to whatever you see fit.
To access other functions, again press and hold both buttons until T-1 appears then use the minus button to cycle through the options available. In addition to T-1, which sets the brew temperature, there is steam temperature, ECO mode, cleaning reminders, and the ability to change the display temperature units to Celsius or Fahrenheit. Steam temperature functions the same way as brew temperature, while ECO mode allows the option to set a time for the machine to automatically turn off after a period of inactivity ranging from 30 minutes to 10 hours. Cleaning reminders offers the option to set the machine to display an alert prompting you to do a back flush after a set number of brewing cycles. The final “degree” setting lets you choose Celsius or Fahrenheit for the display.
As someone who tends to forget where I left the car keys while the keys are still in my hand, the option to have the machine automatically turn off after sitting idle for a while, as well as automatic cleaning prompts, are very much appreciated. The less things to worry about during the daily hustle and bustle, the better.
For milk steaming, Marc ran a number of tests at different steam temperature settings and wait times after pushing the steam switch. It’s worth mentioning that Profitec recommends doing a pair of five second purges with a 10 second pause in-between immediately after pushing the steam switch. To view Marc’s findings, check out the video at the beginning of this article.
While I did not run tests to the extent Marc did, my experience with milk steaming was excellent. As someone who is not yet nuanced enough to appreciate the difference between froth times of 22 and 32 seconds, what I did appreciate was the weighty feel of the wand, its angled design to accommodate pitchers of different sizes, and the power of the steam dispersed. The result was a very quick and simple process that allowed me to seamlessly incorporate a latte or two into my morning coffee routine after just a few hours of experimenting.
Additional Features and Customization Options
The GO also features a number of high-end features like a commercial 58mm portafilter, a larger than expected 2.8L water reservoir that feeds to a vibration pump, a passively heated cup warming surface that runs along the top of the machine, and a surprisingly large drip tray that offers the added convenience of sliding straight off without having to be lifted. I really appreciated the large water reservoir and drip tray because it meant I had to fill and empty less frequently than I was expecting, especially early on during testing when I was cranking out shots at a rapid clip.
As for the internal components, the .4L brass boiler has a ring brew group and an insulation jacket. All pressure carrying pipes are made of either copper, brass or braided stainless steel, and sensitive electronics like the PID controller and static relay are well protected and located away from heat and moisture sources. The vibration pump has flexible rubber mounts to help reduce noise. The reduced noise was a boon in my household, as I’m usually the first to wake up, and I was able to get right to work without waking anyone else up.
Also included with every purchase GO are single and double shot filter baskets, a surprisingly sturdy and weighty tamper, and a group brush. Additionally, Whole Latte Love-exclusive customizable wood species accents for the steam knob and portafilter handles are now available for those looking to really spruce up their setup. I’ve seen these wood accents first-hand, and I can attest that they look and feel amazing.
With top of the line features like a PID display, adjustable brew pressure, rapid heating phase, and three-way solenoid valve, the Profitec GO lived up to the high expectations I established for it prior to getting my hands on it.
While minor and relatively common setbacks for single boiler machines like the need to cool the boiler down each time after steaming can slow things down if you tend to make milk-based drinks somewhat frequently, they do not deter from the lengthy list of benefits offered.
Overall, the GO is an excellent premium entry-level espresso machine that incorporates an excellent design and construction with reliability and ease of access.
We could go on and on about the Profitec GO, but we want to hear from you! Let us know if you plan on purchasing the GO, or what you think if you’re already the proud owner of one, by following us on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and leaving a post or comment.
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