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There's no doubt that the upscale consumer marketplace for espresso machines is in an upswing. The veritable surge of machines formerly reserved for catering and light commercial use has exploded onto the consumer marketplace. These are most often heat exchanger (referenced as HX) machines, with one or two double boiler machines tossed in; where four years ago you could count the number of choices in this category on one hand, today there's dozens of machines out there.
Some names are readily familiar: Pasquini Livia; ECM Giotto; Isomac Millennium and Tea; Nuova Simonelli Oscar; Expobar Office Pulser; and others. For the most part these machines are durable, efficient, and produce great results. They're also fairly new to the North American marketplace - if you asked me a year or two ago what the longest-running machines in the high end market were, I'd say the ECM's Giotto and the Pasquini Livia.
But they aren't the "oldest" continuous machines on the marketplace in this prosumer category of HX machines. There's one line of machines that's been around for much longer: the Elektra Microcasa Semiautomatica.
This machine seems to be almost unknown (or unheard of) in 'geek circles, and it doesn't get mentioned often when someone asks for a machine suggestion in its given price range (though the buzz certainly picked up after our First Look at this product a long time ago).
And this is a shame. The Elektra Microcasa Semiautomatica (referenced as the Elektra Semiauto in this review) is easily one of the most unique, most capable, and most beautiful heat exchanger machines on the market today.
Elektra's a company long known for the beauty of their machines. They've taken knocks for what's under the hood sometimes (especially in their commercial machines), but no one disputes the fact that Elektra makes works of art to the eye.
With our Detailed Review process on this machine, we wanted to see how the Elektra Semiauto delivered the goods in a fairly high volume use, long term test. The following pages are the result of almost a year's worth of on again, off again testing against a wide variety of machines, using a wide variety of grinders, in an even wider variety of test situations.
Now find out more about our definitive thoughts on this work of art: the Elektra Microcasa Semiautomatica.