Visually stunning machine with commercial build quality - a non-stop flight to espresso nirvana.
Positive Product Points
I know of no machine in this category more impressive looking that the Giotto Premium, often described as a “mass of morphing chromium.” The build quality, though not perfect, is better than competing machines such as the Andreja Premium. From the half moon boiler pressure gauge to the bulging side panels, this is a product that just looks cool. Because the boiler is mounted horizontally, the lower, wider profile looks at home in the residential kitchen.
Negative Product Points
The drip tray looks like an add-on and is not well integrated. The tray should have a pull-out drawer and should be a little deeper.
Add a timer so Giotto can be pre-heated and ready to go when the user wakes up in the morning.
Improve company branding. Design a real ECM logo and place a classic plaque on the front edge of the drip tray. Take inspiration from the Ala di Vittoria La Valentina Levetta.
Write a better instruction booklet. The 2005 manual makes no mention of an espresso machine’s worst enemy – hard water. No mention of descaling maintenance. No mention of back flushing the group head. No mention of connecting the machine to the water supply
Much has happened in the last 44 years. The world has born witness to unprecedented technological advances in computers, medicine, automobiles and space travel.
Not so with semi-commercial espresso machines, which are largely commodity items stuck in 1961. That is the year the E-61 brew group was introduced — a beautiful design that makes excellent espresso. However, the often espoused notion that E-61 cannot be improved recalls Mr. Charles Duell, the commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office, who in 1899 claimed, “Everything that can be invented – has already been invented.”
Despite the industry-wide dependence on decades-old technology, pulling a good shot with the Giotto is very easy. Let the machine warm up for at least 20 minutes. Bleed the steam wand for 3 seconds. Run water through the group head. Add 7 grams of finely ground espresso to the portafilter, tamp the grinds and you are ready to go. If the beans are ground correctly, there will be a delay before the espresso pours. Ideally, the pour should take about 25 seconds. Using the Rancillo Rocky doserless, I use use a setting of about 10. Giotto produces a shot with thick crema, great texture and wonderful flavor.
1st-line Equipment had the best price and their free 2-day shipping (from New Jersey to Los Angeles) actually arrived in one day.