Technically, the La Marzocco GS/3 is a commercial machine, ready for use in a coffee shop or kiosk – but we’re also selling it for the home. With dual stainless steel boilers for simultaneous brewing and steaming, a 118 oz water reservoir, separate stainless steel hot water and steam wands, a multifunction backlit keypad and easy to read digital display, programmable water volumes, adjustable temperature control and more, we figured that this machine was too good to hide from a retail audience. If you’re ready to blur the line between “consumer” and “professional,” or if you think the line never really existed in the first place, then you’re ready to take a closer look at the respected and reputable La Marzocco GS/3. This machine has a 13 month warranty.
Features & Benefits: Coffee
To the left of the brew group are two pressure gauges – the far left pressure gauge shows the pressure in the brew boiler, and the gauge closer to the brew group shows the pressure in the steam boiler. Above these gauges is the steam wand, and below them is the steam activation lever.
To the right of the brew group is the digital display with clock and below the display is the keypad. This is also where you find the hot water dispenser and hot water lever. They keypad has icons, so you can remember which button does which. From left to right, they stand for espresso, double espresso, coffee, double coffee, programming and tea. When in programming mode, the espresso and double espresso buttons stand for a down arrow and an up arrow, respectively. The coffee button is used to access certain menus, the double coffee button has no programming function, and the tea button is used to turn the GS/3 on and off.
The machine is heated to proper brewing temperature when the keypad buttons are backlit. Before brewing, it’s a good idea to run some hot water through the portafilter. This warms the portafilter to brewing temperature, so your espresso is brewed at a consistent temperature. Add grounds to the portafilter, insert the portafilter into the group head, and press the button corresponding to your preferred drink – espresso, double espresso, coffee, or double coffee. The machine will automatically dispense a set volume of water through the grounds. When brewing, the brew boiler pressure gauge should read about 9 bars.
Programming Options and Recommendations
The La Marzocco GS/3 offers two programming menus – “machine on” programming and “machine off” programming. “Machine on” programming controls your preferences for espresso, such as the brewing and steaming temperature, water volume, digital clock adjustments, automatic on/off, pre-infusion, and more. “Machine off” programming controls the actual GS/3’s performance, and it is not recommended that you adjust these settings, such as the boiler temperatures, language, temperature measurement units, water filter alarm, and more. To enter in the “machine on” programming mode, press and hold the programming button while the GS/3 is turned on. To enter into the “machine off” programming mode, turn the machine off and then press and hold the programming button.
Adjusting the Brewing Volume
To adjust the brewing volume for an espresso, double espresso, coffee, or drip coffee, enter into the “machine on” programming menu. Press the button corresponding to the drink you want to adjust – the machine will begin brewing. When your desired volume is reached, press the button again to stop the flow of water. The new volume is now saved and programmed, so you can repeat this step for the other drinks.
The cup tray on top of the machine acts as a storage space for your cups, as well as heats them using residual heat from the boiler. Pre-heating your cups before brewing preserves the temperature of the espresso for longer.
Features & Benefits: Frothing and Hot Water
To begin steaming milk or other liquids, press the steam activation lever, and when you’re done steaming, return it to the “off” position. The GS/3 has a boiler just for steaming, so you can brew and steam simultaneously. Remember to run a little water through the steam wand once you’re done, and wipe off the wand with a damp cloth to prevent milk residue buildup.
To dispense hot water, press the tea button on the control panel. Hot water will begin flowing from the hot water dispenser on the right side of the machine, so make sure you have a container handy. The flow of water will stop automatically – you can adjust this volume, as well as the temperature of the water, by consulting your programming menu.
Features & Benefits: Care, Maintenance & Other
The La Marzocco is plumbable, which means that you can connect it directly to your home’s water supply. Home users, however, may find it more convenient to use the water reservoir, which holds nearly 120 oz of water. About once a month, rinse and clean the water reservoir with warm soapy water or in the dishwasher to keep your coffee tasting fresh.
Depending on how often you use your machine, there are certain cleaning steps you’ll need to take. The shower screen, filter baskets, and portafilter can be removed and soaked in detergent and hot water for up to a half hour. Use the blind filter basket to back flush when needed – back flushing sends cleaning solution backwards through the brew group, cleaning out coffee residue and oils. When the drip tray fills, you can remove and rinse it out. Since the GS/3 has a stainless steel exterior, it can be wiped clean with a damp cloth to keep it looking new. If the steam wand has milk residue that doesn’t come off with a damp cloth, soak it in hot water to remove the residue.
The La Marzocco GS/3 comes with a single spout portafilter, double spout portafilter, blind filter basket, single shot filter basket, double shot filter basket, tamper, cleaning solution, plumbing kit, detailed user manual, and 1 year warranty.