Owning the La Marzocco GS3 MP
If you’re after the Maserati GranTurismo Coupe of espresso machines, look no further than the La Marzocco GS3 MP. This feat of engineering has the best of everything, including a dual boiler and rotary pump dream team. An update from the earlier model, the steam wand is double walled, but with steel instead of plastic, which maintains its cool touch without sacrificing steam temperature, leading to a much dryer steam. The steam is powerfully dispensed with the press of a lever, which takes some getting used to, but, once you do, you can achieve a really excellent microfoam. Front and center, both in our sight and admiration, is the paddle operated, saturated group. Resting atop it is a manometer, which reflects the pressure in the group during brewing. Inside the group there is a conical valve which opens as you turn the paddle from right to left, and you can restrict the flow however you like. For instance, we like to do a light 3 bar pre-infusion, ramp it up to 6, then to 9, before gradually closing the valve. The paddle group is an excellent way to experiment. You can mimic the flow on a traditional lever machine to make a comparable old timey shot; you can severely restrict the flow to pull a ristretto and really bring out the flavor notes on a single origin coffee; you can even [insert your great idea here]. Truly, it doesn’t get any better than the GS3 when it comes to intuitively pressure profiling your shots.
Internally, the GS3 is thoughtfully laid out, with the near silent rotary pump lying in between the giant PID-controlled 3.5 liter steam boiler and 1.3 liter brew boiler. You can choose to use your GS3’s 2.5 L reservoir, or opt for plumbed in operation. Whereas before pre-infusion could only be accessed during plumbed operation, the GS3 MP has been updated to offer pre-infusion capabilities during either plumbed or reservoir operation. Excess flow from the group during pre-infusion or low pressure brewing is routed into the large drip tray, which can be removed for cleaning or to access the pull out reservoir for refilling. La Marzocco has programmed the GS3 to alert users to low water levels on the display, and cut off operation until the machine is refilled so as to avoid damage. Using the GS3 is intuitive, though it can be intimidating at first. The machine is ready to brew when its keypad buttons are backlit. Using the keypad, you can program brewing preferences, such as brew and steam temperatures, as well as set the clock, program automatic on/off times, etc. Boiler temperatures, language, temperature units, and the water filter alarm can all be altered as well, though it isn’t recommended as they control the GS3’s performance. The La Marzocco GS3 MP is the best of the best. Its gorgeous design, pressure profiling paddle group, mammoth capacities, optional plumbed operation, intricately thoughtful features, and, let’s be honest, serious bragging rights, raise the GS3 to its position at the highest echelon of home espresso machines.