A Volvo-like semi-commerical/home espresso machine that brews cafe quality espresso, looks modern and feels like it should last a lifetime in a home environment. (Note not machine pictured here)
Positive Product Points
Capable of brewing cafe quality espresso with outstanding steaming strength. Highly reliable, 'Volvo-like' quality, with excellent servicability worldwide. Elegant design.
Negative Product Points
Loud. Bigger than you might expect. Small reserve tank.
The Epoca S1 is available in a direct water connection model and a tank model. Both are further available in automatic and semi-automatic versions. This is review is for the Tank Semi-Automatic model (user must fill it with water and turn off the coffee brewer manually).
Single group head
Medium foot print (Width-15" Depth-22" Height-19")
Heavy duty commercial construction (compare photos of the inside)
Stainless steel machine body, base and sides made of HDPE and ABS plastics
Heater 1600 watts (110v/220v versions)
3.9 liter boiler
2 liter water tank
Vibration pump (heat exchanger)
Available in red or grey
I've been using this machine in a home environment for slightly less than 2 years now. No problems thus far, pulling on average about 1000 shots / year. It was purchased as a first and *hopefully* last serious home espresso machine. The goal was to buy the best performance & quality machine for under 2,000 USD - that also looked good!
Negative Points The machine when delivered was bigger than I expected, about twice the size of a Gaggia Classic. It was also about 2 times louder than a Gaggia! Lastly, the water tank has only 2 liters capacity and generally needs to be refilled after making 2-3 lattes. The usability is rated at 8 only because for a novice, it could have better documentation. If your experienced you should not have any problems with usability.
Positive Points Although a bit loud, aestically the Epoca S1 is very well designed and pleasing to look at. The drip tank is quite deep and easy to clean. The single & double 58mm portafilters that come with the machine are very solid and well designed. Brews perfect espresso with the right knowledge and touch. 3-hole stream head is very powerful for creating microfoam/interface cream. Brews and steams at the same time without problem. Machine warms cups well. If service is ever required, a strong world-wide network of Rancilio service centers exists.
Other machines considered La Spaziale Vivaldi S1 (+ quiet dual boilers, - requires direct connection) Pasquini Livia 90 Semi Automatic (+ less expensive, - looks like a Fiat inside)