Great machine, Great shots, solid product that should last for years!
Positive Product Points
Good build quality PID controller Brew pressure gage Much quieter pump Ease of access for maintanance
Negative Product Points
Needs better guide for programing PID
I purchased this machine just before Christmas. When it arrived I was impressed with the way that it was packaged for shipping, everything was safe and secure, all exterior parts were well protected. The only problem that I had getting my machine running was to be found in the fact that the unit was delivered on a day when the temperature in Kansas was near 0 and when I tried to prime the my machine the water froze in the pipes. After waiting an excruciating hour I was finally able to get the machine to prime and then I had to discipline myself to give it 30 minutes to warm up and stabilize.
From the first shot that I pulled I was sold on this machine. Compared to the Expobar Office Control that I have been using for 6 years this machine is incredibly quiet. Expobar has done a wonderful job of dampening the vibration that comes from the pump. The quality of the espresso that I get from this machine is consistently better than anything that I have know in the 15+ years that I have been trying to master this process. I really enjoy being able to adjust the temperature of the brew boiler and have even enjoyed learning how to adjust the programing on the PID controller. Over all this is an absolutely wonderful machine that is well worth the investment if you are truly hooked on espresso.
One thing that made the cost of this investment palatable to my wife and me was the recognition that if we had purchased all of the shots that we pulled with our Office Control from a commercial vendor we would have spent over $40,000 on coffee in the past 6 years. When you look at this purchase in that light the cost of a Brewtus in really quite reasonable.
Of all the features on this machine that I enjoy, and there are many, I really like having the brew pressure gage. If there is anything that has improved the quality of my shots this is it. Using the feedback from the pressure gage I have been able to adjust the grind that I use with different beans and I have been able to improve the consistency of the tamping process. This has led to a much more consistent quality in the shots pulled and fewer pucks being flushed down my disposal.
Being able to adjust the brew temperature has also been a significant benefit. I was amazed to find out what a significant difference a few degrees differentiation in brew temp could make with coffees that I have always loved. There are tones and hews that I am discovering that I never knew existed. The Brewtus III had restored the joy of adventure to the entire brewing process for me.
An added bonus for me has been the fact that my wife likes the way that the Brewtus III looks in our kitchen. This is a substantial machine, weighing in at more than 60 pounds but the stainless steal is real not just a chrome job! As I mentioned, this machine is much quieter than my Office Control and the bigger drip tray is a wonderful addition. The fact that the drip tray is also steel rather than plastic will make long term maintenance much easier as well.
If you are looking for a prosumer machine I would recommend this one with out hesitation. I am glad that there is a choice between the rotary and the vibration pump. Since I am not sure that I will be long term in my home and I have lived in places where plumbing in a rotary would not have been possible without great expense I am very pleased with the vibration pump.
This is a quality machine and I am very pleased!
Whole Latte Love was swamped when I purchased this machine. We had some issues with shipping but the folks at Whole Latte Love came trough and expedited the shipping when a delay was discovered on their end. This was a very easy process and I have appreciated the support that they have offered when I have had newbie type qestions.
Three Month Followup
I am still very impressed with this machine. I continue to pull quality shots on a consistent basis. One of the aspects of this machine that I value the most is the large, stainless steel, discharge tray. It does not require daily attention and the fact that it is stainless rather than plastic makes it much easier to keep clean.
I have read comments about the steam pressure not being adequate for frothing milk, I totally disagree. The folks at Expobar have matched the tip on the wand with the capacity of the boiler and I have been able to get a good result each time that I have used the machine.
All in all this is a wonderful product and the support that I have received from Whole Latte Love has been excellent. This machine is a good value for the investment and since it is not automatically controlled it gives the barista ample opportunity to experiment with different options with regard to beans or grind.