More Bang for your Buck
The Profitec Pro 300 is a prosumer level, dual-boiler with PID with a kind of amazing price. It actually costs less than a number of well respected heat-exchange machines.
We’re already huge fans of this machine’s big brother: the dual-boiler Pro 700 with PID. It’s one of our favorites based on exceptional engineering, components, and build quality.
Profitec Pro 300 vs Breville Dual Boiler
And the Pro 300, while it scales back in a few areas like boiler size, retains the fine engineering and quality components of it’s big brother — just not it’s price.
The first thing we want to talk about is the machine's overall wattage rating. The Pro 300 has been available in Europe for a while now. Machines across the pond and a few initially brought to North America were rated at 2400 watts using 1200 watt heating elements in each boiler.
Here at Whole Latte Love we worked with Profitec to create a version of the Pro 300 compatible with 15 amp power circuits found in many US homes and kitchens. So all our Pro 300s have power ratings of 1600 watts using 800 watt heating elements in each boiler.
That's a lot of numbers, and what do they all mean? The bottom line is that you can expect no power issues with our 1600 watt version of the Pro 300, as you might find with the 2400 watt machines.
Now if you are not familiar with PID, it’s an acronym for Proportional Integral Derivative. It’s a “science-y" way for your machine to maintain extremely accurate and user programmable brew temperatures.
If you’ve used a heat-exchange machine before, then you know there’s a lot of guesswork in determining brew temperatures. Before pulling shots on a heat-exchange machine, you have to flush out overheated water. By timing the flush and other factors, you can adjust brew temperature to some extent.
With PID, just set the temperature you want and that’s what you’ll get. So experimenting with different temperatures and how they affect flavor profiles with a given coffee is easy and consistent.
How To Program the PID on a Profitec Pro 300 Espresso Machine
We were very impressed with temperature consistency and the quick heat-up times of the Pro 300. In testing, Scace measured temps at the portafilter were consistently well within one degree Fahrenheit of the PID set temperature. That’s more accurate than most machines we test.
And the Pro 300 heats up quickly — it’s up to temperature and ready to go within about ten minutes. Quick heat-up time and extra stable temperatures are due in large part to an 11 ounce stainless steel brew boiler mounted directly to a ring brew group made of heavy chrome plated brass inside the machine.
The 25 ounce steam boiler is made of stainless steel as well, with temperatures controlled by a Ma-ter pressure stat. Both boilers are wrapped with a high quality insulating jacket.
Other internal components include the top-of-the-line Gicar PID and controls, copper and braided stainless for all high-pressure lines, and a vibration pump specially mounted to reduce noise. During heat-up, no steam is vented inside the machine so everything stays nice and dry.
Some users prefer vibration pumps to rotary pumps as they ramp-up to brewing pressure more gradually. Now we love the smooth sound of a rotary, but the vibration pump in the 300 is very quiet.
A large 3 liter water reservoir is at the back of the machine with an unobstructed cup warming surface occupying the majority of the top surface.
The controls on the Profitec Pro 300 are simple. There are 2 switches below the PID display, one for main power and another for turning on and off the steam boiler. Brew temperatures are set with the PID, as mentioned above. During brewing the PID control switches to a shot timer and when not brewing, it displays the boilers current temperature.
On the right, a gauge shows the pressure in the steam boiler. Top front is the brew switch, there are knobs for steam on the left, and heated water on the right. A green light indicates the machine is on while an amber light indicates the steam boiler is on.
Steam is delivered through a two-hole steam tip mounted to a no-burn wand on a fully rotating ball-joint. In our testing we think some users might prefer a single hole steam-tip over the stock two-hole. It’s a personal preference, but going to a single hole can up the steam power and longevity. Now the machine has decent steaming power, but it is drawing from a steam boiler that’s smaller than typical for a dual-boiler machine.
At just 10 inches wide, a hair over 15” high, and under 16 and a half inches deep, the Pro 300 is very easy on counter space. It’s among the smallest dual-boiler machines available. And, of course, the exterior case is all mirror finish stainless steel.
The Profitec Pro 300 doesn’t have quite the same level of external detail as the more expensive Profitec machines, nor does it have the heavy duty sprung valves or a rotary pump. But there’s no reason to think it can’t make espresso that’s every bit as good as the others.
Even missing those valves, it has finish details you don’t find in other machines. A good example are the internal welds of the drip tray. Attention to detail in minute spots are a good indication of craftsmanship throughout a machine.
In our opinion the Profitec Pro 300 is a good choice for those looking to upgrade from single boiler dual use machines, or those currently using a heat-exchange machine but looking for better brew temperature control.
Now, it does have a smaller steam boiler than many dual boiler machines. So if you’re looking to do more than a few milk-based drinks back to back — you may have to do some waiting. But for most home users, this should not be an issue.
On the plus side, it’s one of the most affordable dual-boiler PID machines. Not to mention, we’re sold on the quality of Profitec’s machines and, like their others, this one has it where it counts with thoughtful engineering and quality components.
There's a lot to love here, including the extra stable brew temperatures and quick heat-up. And if space is a concern, this one doesn’t need much. Heck, it’s smaller than most heat-exchange machines!
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