Owning the 969.Coffee Elba 1
Our six legged friend, the Elba 1 from 969.Coffee is a compact espresso machine that’s temperature stable and quick to heat up to brew temp. Its heat exchange boiler makes for simultaneous brewing and steaming. Though it doesn’t feature a PID, the Elba 1 is remarkably temp stable. It just requires a cooling flush after steaming, or if it’s been sitting for a while between shots, to purge out any overheated water. The machine is incredibly compact at just 9” wide, partly due to the removal of a dedicated hot water wand. Thankfully, hot water for Americanos and the like can still be dispensed directly from the group. An industry standard E61 group keeps the group head nice and hot using a thermosyphon system to draw hot water from the boiler through the group and back, so the brew water never gets a chill. The large 1.5 L boiler makes the Elba 1 a standout in its class, both for its small footprint and large capacity. The drip tray is a behemoth, too, and can be detached from the machine entirely due to an extra pair of legs keeping the Elba 1 on its feet. We love it because it makes for even greater functionality. You can remove it for cleaning, to brew into an extra large cup, or even to store it when you need to reclaim a little extra counter space.
The Elba 1 has excellent steam pressure, as seen on the integrated pressure gauge, owing to its access to a whopping 1500 watts of power. We really noticed a difference in how quickly we were able to froth a pitcher of milk. 969.Coffee’s design is particularly thoughtful when it comes to machine safety. The Elba 1 features anti-flood protection, which cuts the pump after the brew lever has been depressed for 90 seconds to prevent flooding. Similarly, low water detection ensures that if the pump runs for more than three minutes but is unable to fill the boiler, it automatically shuts down. Both of these features keep the Elba 1 safe so that it can keep brewing and steaming delicious drinks for years to come. If you like the Elba 1, but would prefer a little added flair, the Elba 3 features wooden accents and a few other design upgrades.