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ECM Tecnhika IV - Dimitris Achlioptas's Review
Posted: May 12, 2013, 6:22pm
review rating: 8.0
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
ECM Technika IV Espresso Machine
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More About This Product
Arrow The ECM Tecnhika IV has 3 Reviews
Arrow The ECM Tecnhika IV has been rated 9.33 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 6, 2012.
Arrow ECM Tecnhika IV reviews have been viewed 33,832 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Ken O 9.67
Anthony Baselli 9.33
Dimitris Achlioptas 8.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.4
Product Reviewed: Techica IV
Manufacturer: ECM Heidelberg Quality: 10
Average Price: Varies Usability: 9
Price Paid: $1,899.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: 1st-line Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 1 week Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Rancilio Silvia, Breville BES900XL, Rocket R58
Bottom Line: Happiness in a warm cup. Other than the Bezzera Mitica, it's hard to think of an HX machine that comes close at this price point.
Positive Product Points

Everything. Both inside and outside. (OK, except for the lame plastic tamper that comes with the machine.)

Even just carefully going over the pictures on the manufacturer's website conveys the incredible quality of this machine. Since I find Ken O's review of the Technika IV on this site (very fair and) comprehensive, I will focus on a few "details" and comparisons below, specific to my experience.

Negative Product Points

In the beginning I had a hard time making decent micro-foam because the steam is very powerful and the joystick controller a bit stiff. Moreover, there is no way to adjust the intensity of "full-on" steam. But this problem went completely away when I bought the Espro toroid pitcher: http://espro.ca/toroid/ Frankly, now making excellent microfoam has become so brain-dead easy that it's almost no fun :-)

Detailed Commentary

Truth be told, I wanted this machine from the minute I set eyes on it. My guess is that it's just the German-ness of it. Sadly, it was not available for almost two months and needing a new machine badly I caved and gave two other machines a chance, thinking that at least one of them would do the trick. Having owned a PIDed-Silvia in the past and appreciative of the importance of temperature stability, I went for double-bolier machines (going for a different HX just felt like too much of a betrayal of "the dream"). I tried the Breville BES900XL and the Rocket R58.

Breville: in terms of usability, the Breville makes every other (<3k) machine I know look like a complete anachronistic joke (including the Technika). Everything is exactly as you think it should be, precisely because the Breville has clearly been designed from the ground up with the home user in mind. (Many people, including myself, have some minor quibbles about its wake-up/timer function, but that's the only usability fault I could find).

Why not keep it? Unfortunately, I just could not make good coffee with it. I spent hours trying to adjust the OPV valve (customer service was completely lame in that regard). Even after that, though, I feel that the pump and the brew-head were just not up to snuff. Maybe I had a bad unit. Don't know. The good thing is that Amazon carries it, so it's not too difficult to give it a spin. If you like the coffee I think that you'll be more than happy with everything else.

Rocket: at its price-point this machine is a joke. There, I said it. In spite of its lust-inducing looks, it is nowhere near ready for prime-time, both in terms of design and in terms of quality of manufacturing. From the awkward PID controller, to the squealing pump-lever (yes, you read that right; so much for "joy of use"). I can rant for a long time for the Rocket, but I will spare you. Just one really notable point: because of the PID and the intensity of the double-boilers, the lights in our house would dim every time the boilers came on. Noticeable, rhythmic, perpetual, and highly annoying... That alone was reason enough to give it up. And, in the end, the annoyances were just too many to ignore.

The Technika IV is very similar to the Rocket externally, especially in the area around the E61 brew-head. But in contrast to the Rocket, the metal work is much cleaner, the joystick levers a joy to use, the drip-tray huge and very easy to work with, the lever brilliantly smooth, the water reservoir also huge and very easy to remove/insert, the warming area efficient and large. Overall, the machine just inspires fantastic confidence and allows you to focus on preparation.

My speculation is that both the Rocket and the Technika are manufactured by Bezzera. If you look at pictures of the Mitika closely, the similarities with the Technika IV are way too strong.

Which brings me to the one thing I don't like about the Technika IV: the ultra-loud way in which the EMC logo is attached to the machine's body. Yeah, we get it: Dis maseen iz in ze great tradition of ze ECM brand. But guess what? Anyone impressed by this sentence, does not need to have it beaten over their head... Take a hint from the gorgeous way in which Bezzera embosses its logo guys!

Buying Experience

Excellent from 1-st line.

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review rating: 8.0
Posted: May 12, 2013, 6:22pm
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